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Tricks of conversion

Tricks of conversion

Author: Baba Prem
Publication: YogiBabaPrem.sulekha.com
Date: May 3 2006
URL: http://yogibabaprem.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=49452

A critical review.

So we feel secure in the realization that Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is the oldest and purist of the worlds major religions. Not to mention our strength in numbers, being that Hinduism is over 1 billion strong. Why should we be concerned? After all, didn't we teach our children that Brahman has manifest in all? And didn't we teach that all religions are basically the same? Did we shortchange our children with this view and belief, and has this lead to rather easy "pickens" for groups that are oriented towards conversion.

The problems that Hinduism is facing are a lack of response to issues that the participatory of Hinduism has created. Due to our gentle religion, nature, compassion, and kindness we have lost the ability to use discrimination properly as to the intent of groups. The tsunami of 2005, and the nefarious activities of conversion groups have revealed our vulnerabilities. When people were denied food unless they converted, villagers stepped forward to confront a growing challenge in India-conversion tactics of Christian and Islamic groups.

To be successful at conversion, a systematic and long-term approach must be applied. While the view to an outsider may be the quick conversion of people, the reality is that such groups are taking a multigenerational approach. This allows them to sow seeds of conversion over numerous generations to obtain their goal.

The strategy is quite simple:

* Teach locals to devalue their current religion.
* Present yourself as the authority on another groups teachings.
* Provide food, medicine, and education.
* Corrupt understanding of local religious texts.
* Demonstrate that their religious texts actually predated their particular saint, sage, savior etc.

This strategy has been quite successful and Hinduism must remember that NO religion in history has survived a direct attack on their religion by conversionist religions. For India the first step occurred years ago with the British occupation. It was during this time that India was taught to devalue its religion by alleged scholars and authorities. Though this process was not entirely successful, it did leave a powerful imprint on the culture. The British and other western scholars did, and to this day continue to, present themselves as the authority regarding India's great spiritual teachings.

Christian groups provide food, medicine, and education to many groups in India. In reality most Indians are educated through Christian schools. This process creates in roads for Christianity over generations. It also provides powerful censorship in media as those that were educated in Christian somehow feel it is a betrayal of their schools to allow critiques of Christian activities, though it is acceptable to sabotage one's own religion in this process. Certainly one could not argue that providing food, medicine, and education is not an honorable task, discrimination is required to see the purity or lack of in any activity. One can easily be reminded of the story of the mongoose that rubs its body in a few flakes of grain and half of the body turns gold due to the tremendous sacrifice that an Indian family gave in giving to another. Then when the mongoose rubbed its body in a box of gems that the king was giving away, the other half did not change color. Conversion groups are similar to the king, while they are giving to the people, they are not really making a sacrifice, it is merely a means to their ends, which is conversion.

Corruption of people's understanding certainly was well underway with the British, but conversion groups use successful strategies of corrupting terminology and using it to their benefit. As an example, Catholics might wear the robes of a swami and say that their guru is Jesus. While this is in direct violation of their beliefs, a subliminal process of corrupting the word guru is underway. Eventually Guru is replaced by 'savior' and it is introduced that their can be only one savior.

These groups also attempt to present that they are knowledgeable about Hindu religious teachings, and attempt to point out the differences. Though often these differences are illustrated through a well developed plan to create doubt over time.

The fifth principle is the most diabolical. It is the corruption of terms in sacred texts to prove points that favor their agenda. The following is a few examples:

Islamic groups have tried to say that the prophet Mohamed was mentioned in the Vedas. Examples such as Rig Veda 5.27.1 is given and the word "mamah" is used. Allegedly "mamah" is supposed the mean Mohamed. But in Sanskrit it means mine, or belonging to me.

Some have tried to rewrite words such as in the Atharva Veda X.2.33, where Islamic scholars have falsely alleged that Brahma is a name for Abraham, but this sloka is addressed to Purusha and Brahmaprakashanam. It is easy to just say, this words means our prophet or savior, but it must be supported within the tradition.

This is continued with claims made with the puranas, most notably the 'Bhavishya Puran". Within this text the word mahaamad but mahaamada means intoxication or pride. The same appears with the texts for Jesus, where Christians claims that "Isha" is a reference to Jesus. But "Isha" is the Sanskrit word for owning or possessing. It can also mean to behave like a master. More importantly it is the root for words such as Ishvara can a reference to our soul, a master, or a name of several Vedic deities. But western biblical scholars want Hindu's to believe that "Isha" derives from the Syrian word, Yeshu (Jesus). Of course this brings up several of the previous points such as 'corrupt understanding, and presenting yourself as the authority', in our list of five at the beginning of the article. Other have been so bold as to state that Jesus was known as Isha in the east. Though there is actually no factual basis for this, except a desire for it to be so.

Of course it is just easier to read into any meaning we want with any word one desires. But this does not fit the requirement for an educated response, but rather fits the requirement for manipulative conversion. These attempts are easily seem through with an educated and discriminating mind. .

The solution for Hindus is simple and complex at the same time. The simplest approach is to become knowledgeable about ones traditions. The complexity of this can be rather daunting as well. It would be wise to become versed in the incorrect claims made by conversionist groups. The key is being able to discuss or debate these without becoming emotionally involved. Every Hindu man, woman, and child should accept their responsibility in strengthening their ability to debate or discuss these issues. Hinduism will become stronger and healthier as a result of this process.

Sources used:
Rg Veda
Various Puranas

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