4

Taking into consideration the birth based practice of Varnashrama prevailing for a couple of millennia, kindly give a clear scriptural sanction/ permission from the ultimate— apaurusheya Vedas, Smrutis or Upanishads only— for converting non- Hindus to Sanatana Dharma ( excluding (ghar wapsi). Pl do not provide historical examples or opinions from saints, neo- vedantists/ universalists/reformers etc. They are more like exception.


I have checked all the other answers suggested to me. These are full of opinions and overwhelming number of them are not backed by any scriptures. Saying Shruthi is silent about it because back when Vedas were bestowed on us, there were no other non-hindus is a speculation. Secondly, if Vedas only dealt with what was the then prevailing situation, we are indirectly saying they are obsolete!! Secondly, the much touted Arya Samaj is mentioned as doing shuddhikaran conversions based on Devala Smriti but if that is so, this Devala Smriti deals with only reconversions or ghar wapsi and not conversions of non-Hindus. This is what I find-- K.M. Munshi in his work "Chakravarti Gurjaro translated into Glory that was Gurjaradesa says quote-

Devala, the author of the Smriti of the name, is placed between A.D. 800 and 900, when the fortunes of Islam in Sind, as stated before were on the decline. He also wrote his Smriti while in Sind. The movement represented by him appears to be largely responsible for the active campaign of reconversion from Islam, which led the Muslims to seek asylum in al-Mahfuzah, a fortress specially constructed for the purpose. Devala gives sanction to the practice of reclaiming mlechchhanita - a person converted by the mlechchhas. It deals with the problems of those who were kept as slaves by the mlechchhas and compelled to do unclean things, like killing cows, sweep the leavings of the food taken by the mlechchhas, taking flesh of asses, camels and pigs, and the forbidden food or drink. As regards women abducted or raped by the mlechchhas, the smriti shows a breadth of vision difficult to find in any Dharmasatra of later age.

So, this Devala Smriti written in 800 AD after the advent of all the three Abrahamic religions is the only text I could find and that too only for ghar wapsi which is not what I have asked about.

My question is not asking for opinions, historical examples or certificates given by converting bodies but the shastra pramaana that all of them should be finally relying on.

  • Please take a look at this answer: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/24330/… – Ikshvaku Nov 25 '19 at 1:32
  • Who remained there to be converted to other faiths, when the Rig veda says there is only ONE (RV 1.164.46) ? The Story of Adam and Eve, which formed basis for all Abrahamic faiths, was taken from Rig veda and re-written by the scholars of Western world. When the concept of conversion is itself flawed, why should scriptures of Hinduism contain authority for that ignoble act? – Srimannarayana K V Nov 25 '19 at 3:00
  • Then on what scriptural basis are people inserting themselves into Hinduism? Ironically if they truly believe in the tenets of Hinduism it says categorically that our prarabdha decides our race, religion and caste as their are NO mistakes in Divine plans..they should be content to stay where they are and do satkarmas..not change the ship! Also what gotta, Kati, mula and Varna they would be integral to being a Hindu.. – 9bilvapatra Nov 25 '19 at 4:20
  • 1
    My (admittedly limited) understanding is that Hindu is an ethno-geographical term for practitioners of āstika AND nāstika systems which developed in Bharata Khanda. This term was invented by Muslim invaders to denote non-Muslims. In the same way that the philosophy of science is based on some assumptions (the validity of empiricism, reasoning, and abstract thinking; cause & effect exist; the Universe operates according to discoverable laws [logos]; events have natural causes; two contradictory statements cannot both be true; the Universe operates independently of our perception of it),… – Rubellite Yakṣī Nov 28 '19 at 1:22
  • 3
0

The question is

kindly give a clear scriptural sanction/ permission from the ultimate— apaurusheya Vedas, Smrutis or Upanishads only— for converting non- Hindus to Sanatana Dharma ( excluding (ghar wapsi).

Good question indeed.


Let us understand the complexity of the issue.

The Veda, per se, advocates Self enquiry, but not idol/god's messenger/saints worship. So BASIC tenets of Sanatana Dharma aka Hinduism rest on ONE formless God/pure spiritual concepts only.

Idol worship or eulogising VISHNU/SHIVA/SHAKTI, etc, to be SUPREME and denigrating other Gods such as Indra, Vayu, Agni,etc, (epithets used in Veda), is not Vedic Culture.


The subtle concepts of SPIRITUALITY were expressed in the Veda had been spread through out the World in earlier era, in ONE form or the other.

For example, the Adam and Eve story from Abrahamic religions, has roots in this Rig Vedic mantra. So those religions have nothing new to offer to Sanatana Dharma. And, if the followers of those religions would like to come back and adopt Self enquiry advocated by Sanatana Dharma aka Hinduism, it amounts to coming back to own house (ghar wapsi) only.

So the people those following Abrahamic/other religions belong to Sanatana Dharma only.


Rig veda I.110 says about Ṛbhus

  1. When, seeking your enjoyment onward from afar, ye, certain of my kinsmen, wandered on your way, Sons of Sudhanvan, after your long journeying, ye came unto the home of liberal Savitar.

  2. Savitar therefore gave you immortality, because ye came proclaiming him whom naught can hide; And this the drinking-chalice of the Asura, which till that time was one, ye made to be fourfold.

This mantra talks about some people, in search of enjoyment, by forgetting the goal of Almighty Savitar (self realisation), went away. And, after long time, they came back to Savitar again and got immortality (LIBERATION/mukti).


So this converting non- Hindus to Sanatana Dharma has the approval of Veda.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    What is the reference for the claim that Adam Eve story has the basis in the RigVeda? This is Hinduism Stack Exchange. We don't interfere into other religious texts. They have different opinions and interpretation in this. Kindly stick to Hinduism. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '19 at 6:13
  • What was the authority of purana for claiming Shiva/Vishnu as supreme god, contrary to Vedas? It depends on interpretation@Sarvabhouma – Srimannarayana K V Nov 28 '19 at 6:25
  • 3
    Purana are Hinduism. We can discuss about it. Adam and Eve are not Hinduism. That's the difference. Christianity is not our subject to discuss. We even don't entertain questions who is Supreme since we are not supposed to declare or dictate one's faith. We discourage debates on that topic. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '19 at 6:36
  • 1
    The question is asking what is the procedure or reference of converting non Hindus to Hinduism. It doesn't ask about Adam Eve story or Buddhism. The question is not cross religious. If it is, I would have let the OP know it and cast my vote. Moreover, it denies opinions of historians too. What you have added in the answer is an opinion. The two birds analogy doesn't mean it's Adam and Eve. Anyway my intention is clear. Please avoid talking about other religions with own interpretations. That is not our subject to deal with. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '19 at 6:49
  • 2
    @srimannarayanakv- even the Abrahamics themselves vehemently establish that they are NOT belonging to or believing in Sanatana Dharma. Secondly, the RV quote given is specifically for Ribhus who made chariots for Ashvins...it is not for the Abrahamics or the non-hindus of those times.. – 9bilvapatra Nov 28 '19 at 22:00
0

There is no scriptural passage dealing with conversion of non-Hindus to Hinduism. If there had been such a passage then it would have been mentioned somewhere by someone. I give below an interview of Vivekananda where he was asked this question. He does not quote any scriptural passage even though he says that non-Hindus can become Hindus.

"I want to see you Swami", I began, "on this matter of receiving back into Hinduism those who have been perverted from it. Is it your opinion they should be received?

"Certainly", said the Swami (Vivekananda)," they can and aught to be taken."

He sat gravely for a moment, thinking, and then resumed, "Besides," he said, "we shall otherwise decrease in numbers. When the Mohammedans first came, we are said -- I think on the authority of Ferishta, the oldest Mohammedan historian --- to have been six hundred millions of hindus. Now we are about two hundred millions. And then every man getting out of the Hindu pale is not only a man less, but an enemy the more. Again the vast majority of Hindu perverts to Islam and Christianity are perverts by the sword, or to the descendents of these. It would be obviously unfair to subject these to disabilities of any kind. As to the case of born aliens, did you say? Why, born aliens have been converted in the past by crowds, and the process is still going on. In my own opinion, this statement not only applies to aboriginal tribes, to outlying nations, and to almost all our conquerors before the Mohammedan conquest, but also to all those castes who find a special origin in the Puranas. I hold that they have been aliens thus adopted. Ceremonies of expiation are no doubt suitable in the case of willing converts, returning to their Mother church, as it were; but on those who were alienated by conquest-- as in Kashmir and Nepal -- or on strangers wishing to join us, no penance should be imposed."

― Vivekananda (Complete Works V, p233, interview given in "Prabuddha Bharat", April, 1899)

Any way it is a moot point whether shastras talk about conversion of non-Hindus to Hinduism. Sri Chaitanya converted Muslims to Hinduism. A famous example is Haridas Thakur. Millions of Hindus of non-Indian origin live in Indonesia. The important point is that shastras do not prohibit conversion of non-Hindus to Hinduism. The implication is that non-Hindus can become Hindus if they want to do so.

A princess of Java recently (2017) converted to Hinduism. http://www.currentriggers.com/world/indonesia-princess-java-became-hindu/

| improve this answer | |
  • -How is my question a moot point??? The princess of Java case is one of Ghar wapsi because Javanese were forcibly converted from Hinduism by Islamists..I mentioned I wasn’t looking for neo Vedantist opinions..Vivekananda ji was on a mission to spread his neo Vedanta in the West so how could he then backtrack..? Besides he is from modern times and twisting of our scriptures and misinterpretation had already begun in the early 18th century. Chaitanya was a sant like Kabir Raidas Meera. He is not authority for scriptures. – 9bilvapatra Jan 24 at 3:00
  • -assuming that whatever our holy scriptures do not talk about means they allow it is dangerous eg.they don’t say each man can have 4 wives so does it allow them to go ahead and have four wives...? Rather we should have faith that if we were meant todo something our Shasta’s would ably guide us in that respect... – 9bilvapatra Jan 24 at 3:04
  • Vivekananda would have surely mentioned scriptural source for his mission in the west since that would have helped him in his cause. His silence shows that there is no mention in scripture.. Whether he twists our scripture is a matter of opinion and not shared by every one. The different positions taken by various Hindu organizations also show that scripture is silent on this issue. Your claim that scripture doesn't say each man can have four wives is not completely true. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Jan 24 at 14:31
  • Yes, Princess of Java is a ghar wapsi. However, the first Javanese who converted to Hinduism surely cannot be classified as ghar wapsi. As for faith in scripture, scripture itself says that 'scripture is no scripture if it cannot stand the test of reason'. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Jan 24 at 14:34
  • What makes you only think a Javanese converted? The first Javanese to be a Hindu could have been a person with a Indian Hindu father and Javanese mother...pl give me the exact source of your quote ‘scripture is no scripture....etc pl don’t confuse between core scriptures and religious books written in the course of history, commentaries etc – 9bilvapatra Jan 24 at 17:38
0

There is scriptural authority for spreading the message of Vedas/Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism to everyone:

Shukla Yajur Veda 26.2:

यथेमां वाचं कल्याणीमावदानि जनेभ्यः। ब्रह्मराजन्याभ्यां शूद्राय चार्याय च स्वाय चारणाय च ।
This auspicious/beneficial speech I shall tell to the people - to the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, śūdra and vaiśya, and to our people and to outsiders.

Two ancient commentators also explain this verse to the same meaning:

Uvata:
यथेमाम् । यथा इमां वाचं कल्याणीं अनुद्वेजिनीम् । दीयतां भुज्यतामित्येवमादिकाम् । आवदानि जनेभ्योऽर्थाय । के ते जना इत्यत आह । ब्रह्मराजन्याभ्यां ब्राह्मणाय राजन्याय च शूद्राय च अर्याय च । अर्यो वैश्यः । स्वाय चात्मीयाय च । अरणः अपगतोदकः पर इत्यर्थः ।

Just as, this auspicious i.e. non-violent speech, I shall speak for the sake of the people. Who are these people? brahma-rājanya, i.e. brāhmaṇa and rājanya, and śūdra and arya - arya is vaiśya, one's own people and others (i.e. strangers).

Mahidhara:
इमां कल्याणीमनुद्वेगकरीं वाचमहं यथा यतः आवदानि सर्वतो ब्रवीमि दीयतां भुज्यतामिति सर्वेभ्यो वच्मि । केभ्यस्तदाह । ब्रह्मराजन्याभ्यां ब्राह्मणाय राजन्याय क्षत्रियाय च शूद्राय अर्याय वैश्याय स्वायात्मीयाय अरणाय पराय ।

This auspicious non-violent speech I speak all around. I say to them to use this speech. To whom? brahma-rājanya i.e. brāhmaṇa and kṣatriya, śūdra, arya i.e. vaiśya, one's own people and to outsiders.

So the Veda itself says that it is for the benefit of all classes of society and for all people, domestic and foreign.


Considering all the comments so far, I must say that there is a lot of wrong understanding of the place and authority of Shruti and Smrti scriptures.

Shruti, which means Vedas, deals with topics of eternal concern, i.e. metaphysics and spirituality (adhyātma). Vedas only incidentally touch upon matters of society. The Smrtis, which means the Dharmashastras, deal exclusively with laws and regulations for society. This separation of roles has been done on purpose because the topics of adhyātma do not change from time to time, so the Vedas are eternally valid and authoritative for topics of adhyātma, which deals with the ultimate nature of existence and the means of enlightenment (including yajnas). So the comment above saying that Shruti is no longer valid, is incorrect.

Smrtis, on the other hand, have limited authority and validity. Every Smrti has an expiration date. As Parāśara-smṛti (1.24) says:

कृते तु मानवाः धर्मास्त्रेतायां गौतमाः स्मृताः । द्वापरे शङ्खलिखिताः कलौ पाराशराः स्मृताः ॥

In the Kṛta-yuga, Manu's laws apply, in the Tretā-yuga, Gautama's laws, in the Dvāpara-yuga, Śaṅkhalikhita’s laws, and in Kali-yuga, Parāśara's laws.

And, notwithstanding this shloka, there are 21 different Smrti texts written during different periods, to address the changing needs of society. Even the much-maligned Manu-smṛti admits the limitations of Smrtis which cannot enumerate a rule for every single possible situation (12.108):

अनाम्नातेषु धर्मेषु कथं स्यादिति चेद्भवेत् । यं शिष्टा ब्राह्मणा ब्रूयुः स धर्मः स्यादशङ्कितः ॥

In cases where the rule has not been specified, whatever wise scholars say, that is to be followed.

So the question of converting non-Hindus to Hinduism has come up only in the last 1000 years, due to the increased encounters with non-Hindus (i.e. Christians and Muslims). All of the classical Smrtis were written much earlier, and hence they did not have occasion to give a directive on this new social phenomenon. But the tradition of Smrtis clearly allows present-day Hindus to self-legislate a new directive in regards to endorsing conversion of non-Hindus.

| improve this answer | |
-1

As P. V. Kane categorically says in History of Dharmaśāstra, Vol II Part I, there is no provision for admitting people of other faiths into Hinduism.

Hinduism has not been an avowedly proselytizing religion. In theory it could not be so. For about two thousand years the caste system has reigned supreme and no one can in theory be admitted to the Hindu fold who is not born in it.

A Hindu may lose caste, be excommunicated and driven out of the fold of Hinduism, if he be guilty of very serious lapses and refuses to undergo the prāyaścittas prescribed by the smṛtis.

...

When the sinner performed the prāyaścitta prescribed by the śāstras, he was to be welcomed by his relatives, who took a bath along with him in a holy river or the like and throw therein an unused jar filled with water; they were not to find fault with him and were to completely associate with him in all ways.

| improve this answer | |
  • So, at last we see here clear admission that no one born outside Hindu fold can be part of it...of course if some people deliberately turn a blind eye to this fact and hell bent on doing things to suit their convenience eg. Getting paid caste certificates for entry into chosen Varna like a supermarket and ignoring Karmic ramifications for such fake forced entry..well Kali is reaching extremes... – 9bilvapatra Jan 29 at 17:26
  • This clarifies completely that all so called conversions into Hinduism are completely invalid and unrecognized by our Sanatana itself and hence totally fake!!! Those people are into make-believe and truly duped.... – 9bilvapatra Jan 29 at 18:08
  • Read my extended answer here, based on P V Kane's observations. No scripture or constitution in the world is followed to the letter. @9bilvapatra – sv. Jan 29 at 18:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .