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What are the steps to take if a person wants to convert to Hinduism?
Is it possible for anyone to convert to Hinduism?

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  • They should visit Arya samaj. – Mr_Green Jun 26 '14 at 6:47
  • There are some prayaschitta karmas that can be performed. These were given to the founders of Vijayanagara Empire as guided by Vidyaranya Swami. A learned guru/srotriya pandit can advise you on the details. To wit, these prayaschittas were undertaken, up until the not so recent past, by brahmins who crossed the ocean or committed un-brahminly acts. – user1195 Feb 11 '15 at 9:14
  • May be they performed a self- prayaschittam with an earnest penance... a barber has a right to shave himself. – Narasimham Mar 31 '18 at 15:08
  • These exactly are the kind of comments that are responsible for the dilution and casual attitude we see plaguing within as well as about Hinduism 😬 – 9bilvapatra Feb 2 at 18:48
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Is it possible for anyone to convert to Hinduism?

As P. V. Kane says in History of Dharmaśāstra, Vol II Part I, there is no provision in the Hindu smṛtis and dharma śāstras for people of other faiths to convert to Hinduism because one is simply born a Hindu:

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 born Hindu however may lose his caste and gain it back:

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.


In practice though, people of foreign ancestry were absorbed into Hinduism but as to how this was done is not known and may also vary from person to person because there are no set rules (remember that in theory the smṛtis don't allow conversion to Hinduism):

The ancient smṛtis do not expressly prescribe any rites for bringing into the brahmanic or Hindu fold a person who or whose ancestors did not belong to it. But as Hinduism has been extremely tolerant (barring a few exceptional instances) it had a wonderful power of quiet and unobtrusive absorption. If a person, though of foreign ancestry, conformed to Hindu social usages in outward behaviour, in course of time his descendants became absorbed into the vast Hindu community.

This process has gone on for at least two thousand years. The beginnings of it are found in the Śāntiparva chap. 65 where Indra tells the Emperor Māndhātṛ to bring all foreign people like the Yavanas under brahmanical influence. The Besnagar column inscription shows that the Yona (yavana) Heliodora (Heliodorus) son of Diya (Dion) was a bhāgavata (devotee of Vāsudeva)...

In the caves at Nasik, Karle and other places many of the donors are said to have been yavanas ... Several inscriptions state that Indian kings married Huna princesses, e.g. Allaṭa of the Guhila dynasty married a Hūṇa princess named Hariyadevi ... king Yaśaḥkarṇadeva of the Kalacuri dynasty is said to have been the son of Karṇadeva and Āvalladevī, a Hūṇa princess. These and similar examples show that persons of foreign descent and their children were absorbed into the Hindu community from time to time. This absorption is illustrated in modern times by the case of Fanindra Deb v. Rajeshwar ... in which it was found that a family in Kooch Behar not originally Hindu had adopted certain Hindu usages and it was held that it had not taken over the practice of adoption. How Hindu customs and incidents persist even after conversion to Islam is strikingly shown by the Khojas and Kutchi Memons of the Bombay Presidency, who though made converts to Islam several centuries ago, were held by the courts in India to have retained the ancient Hindu Law of succession and inheritance.

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  • I think you are talking about foreign women and the progeny upon marriage to a Hindu male if they liked, and adopted certain practices, being ABSORBED in Hinduism gradually..this is not conversion.. – 9bilvapatra Jan 31 at 3:02
  • No, see Śāntiparva chap. 65 'where Indra tells the Emperor Māndhātṛ to bring all foreign people like the Yavanas under brahmanical influence' -- this is conversion but exactly how this was done is not explained. @9bilvapatra – sv. Jan 31 at 3:09
  • How can their term ‘influence’ be construed as conversion? One can be influenced on a certain topic without any permanent change such as conversion of religion..a person can get deeply influenced by say, a Brahmin neighbor without any change in his own religion too..probably that example was about brahminical influence on their thinking on certain issues...imo it doesn’t conclusively mean permanent formal conversion of Yavanas into Hinduism..we have to see context of that – 9bilvapatra Jan 31 at 4:33
  • The link says: "The duties and rites inculcated in the Vedas should also be followed by them. They should perform sacrifices in honour of the Pitris, dig wells, (and dedicate them to universal service), give water to thirsty travellers, give away beds and make other seasonable presents unto Brahmanas." - Follow the Vedas... Presents unto Brahmanas...These are clear indications of a conversion/absorption/<whatever else you may want to call it> happening... @9bilvapatra – sv. Jan 31 at 4:47
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You can become a Hindu by following the Hindu's worship procedures and practices. There is no need of any formal conversion procedure like other religions. Any one cannot compel/convert anyone to Hindu. You can become a Hindu by acting as a Hindu. There are many worship procedures depending upon the gods and cultures.

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  • by acting as a Hindu.. no pun intended. – Narasimham Mar 31 '18 at 15:07
  • Please add some references; right now this looks like an opinion. – sv. Jan 22 at 1:30
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    You people were so lucky back in those days where you can write just a comment and get huge number of upvotes in return. – Rickross Jan 22 at 6:18
  • On what authority/reference do you make such sweeping conclusive statements which at best are misleading to mlechchas and people of other religions?? This wrong advice is being circulated mindlessly! – 9bilvapatra Feb 1 at 15:52
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Hinduism is a way of living, it is a culture passed by Ancient rishis and Yogis. It just help to realize who you are. As a culture, it does not need any conversions based on religions. Even if there are so many beliefs, rituals and sacraments in Hinduism it all lead to the single road, self realization. It teach to see God in every thing, in trees, in animals, in stones and in all living and non living things. According to Hinduism for attaining the self realization you can follow any path. So for being a Hindu you do not need any conversions and only religions follow such procedures.

This culture know that every God is the same. So according to Hindus, Krishna, Jesus, Allah and Shiva are equal.

Even though, Self realization is the ultimate aim, according to Hinduism there are different ways to attain that, karma marga(way), bhakthi marga and Jnana marga. And for common people, the way of 'Karma' is advised. So, if someone want to follow a life by obeying all dharma/rules in Hinduism(which is a perfect way of living), as a first step you should consider understand about dharmas/rules from the books like Bhagavat Gita, Upanishaths,etc. One example of such rule from Upanishath is 'Ahimsa Paramo Dharma', which means, not to harm anything in the world. Likewise there are so many rules in sanathana dharma to follow. This can be done by yourself and if that is difficult, you may need a guidance/help from someone who know about such dharma.

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  • Ahimsa paramo dharma -is an incomplete quote. Pl see the complete one and the meaning is DIFFERENT!!!@user11 Sanatana rules are not supposed to be twisted to suit personal agenda of any group but following it with uncompromised integrity whether they are convenient or inconvenient..like Raja Harishchandra practising truth through even most horrific ordeals... – 9bilvapatra Feb 1 at 15:31
  • Rules of Sanatana are to be followed in purity per se NOT to be twisted to suit personal agenda of any individual/groups but following Sanatana with uncompromising integrity whether convenient or inconvenient especially in important issues like CONVERSION...For common people it is Bhakti not Karma Way that is prescribed in Kali Yuga eg. ISKCON cult..every religion prescribes a so-called’way of life’ if SD is merely a way of life, how about its CORE PROFOUND VAST philosophy...is it too to be simply ignored??!!! – 9bilvapatra Feb 1 at 15:48
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Steps for conversion


Where you can legally convert to Hinduism?

Goto any Arya samaj temple. After conversion, you will be provided legally valid certificate.

Many Hindu/Vedic sects will convert you, such as Arya samaj ,Shaiva Siddhanta Church , BAPS, ISKCON etc. Some sects will not be interested in convert anyone.

Easiest will be to approach either AryaSamaj, or ISKCON


Familiarize yourself with Hinduism, which has many paths to moksha as per ability of the follower

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Agenda of Hinduism is not to convert like Abrahamic faiths. Hinduism is an integrity based religion which organically evolves around enlightened Gurus.

Seeker will have to be initiated into "practice" of Hinduism by a Guru or Acharya.

Hinduism is an open architecture religion with very intricate set of practices. Most of the literature out there is written by non-Hindus or non-practicing-Hindus. Only a practicing expert can reveal/educate you about its subtleties and effectiveness based on one's "need".

I would highly recommend watching the following to get a perspective on what it means to be "initiated". They are interview of Hindus from 3 extremely different background

  1. "The "Spiritual But Not Religious" Movement: A Hindu conversation" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJymyuWHcWI

  2. "Discussion with Suzin Green, a Kali Worshipper & Yoga-based Life Coach" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy6xQyjX7qg

  3. "Hinduism and the Future of Science, Rajiv Malhotra Interviews Paramahamsa Nithyananda" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0JftnvuwSU&t=2758s

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  • in your response you have cited many evidences but all are ANECDOTAL or HISTORICAL only.injunctions Of Smrutis which are explanaton/elaboration of principles shrutis and hence only corroborate Smrutis. When topic is about conversion or Varna vyavastha why the theory and practice is being emphasized as different when such differentiation is not delineated for other points. Why should we assume it is only talking theory wrt conversion can it not be accepted as is? Is karma siddhanta wrong then, when we get birth in exact yoni and caste, per karma so changing is going against prarabdha? – 9bilvapatra Jan 29 at 19:40

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