Since you asked, Yes I’m Gone, Here’s Why

I really can no longer even pretend to follow a belief where I find so many more questions than plausible explanations

Bible belt, Christainity,
Church bells resounded throughout the town during my childhood years

I was asked by several Christians, and even some Hindus, in the US and India why I left Christianity. Christians want specifics, I hope this will help explain.

I started life in a small country town, where church bells rang on Sunday mornings and  stores were closed on Sunday by matter of law, not custom, (although laws can arise from customs).

Since just about everyone in that small town went to church each Sunday, it never occurred to me that there was a choice in the matter. It was just what people did. Period. Monday thru Friday people went to work or school. Then on Sunday they went to church. I never analyzed it as just the way of life in The Bible Belt, but then, I was 5 years old.

Fast forward several years, I was starting to wonder about things I had heard in church, things which society enforced, or at least historically embraced because, well, it was in the Bible so it was “God’s will.”  Incidentally, these doubts weren’t just in church, but also school. Each morning for my first 9 years of schooling we said a prayer, and in some cases Bible verses, before our academic day began. Some days we would actually discuss a story or two from the Bible prior to classes. In the ninth grade it was a Catholic school which only intensified matters.

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Whats in a Name?

Name a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred.          Synonyms designation, honorific, title, tag, epithet, label

Sometimes when one wants to sincerely embrace some facet of another culture, it is hard to be taken seriously. Even if the one embracing is totally committed right to the point of having officially severed ties with  a previously assigned

spiritual order.

Not long ago, I discussed the conflict I am having about changing my name. I can understand both sides of the issue, and am honestly quite conflicted.  The person with whom I was speaking assured me that under no circumstances should I dare call myself a Hindu unless I am willing to change my name.  In my defense, I mentioned, among others, Stephen Knapp and Julia Roberts, previous Christians who are now converted to Hinduism and still retain their birth names.

My companion, was however, not dissuaded. Her belief is that no matter how much a person has contributed to the Vedic world or how devout they are to their personal deity, unless one has a Hindu name, they should not consider themselves a total Hindu. Continue reading “Whats in a Name?”

Hindus Proselytize….but Maybe Not Enough

One of the main lessons I have learned about Hinduism is that  proselytizing is a charged word. The Hindu mindset is not to do it, even though it has and is being done to us, sometimes, even by means of chicanery and deceit.  Like many other concepts though, the act itself is neither good or bad, but all in the application.

It is safe to say that  the early Hindu missionaries to the West  were evangelist as well as a proselytizers. At this point I should stipulate that the difference between the two is purely one of perspective. Christians describe their conversion efforts as evangelism.  However in a reverse situation, Christians call the messengers proselytizers. I prefer to say that these beautiful souls and others evangelized The West.

Not too long ago I encountered some Americans in the Eastern section of the New Age book store and we began chatting. I asked if they were Hindu, and one responded with “I am not in a religion but I am spiritual.”  He spoke about his meditation practice and how it made him more calm.  His friend told me how she is trying to get him into yoga. I helped her a bit by saying how I enjoy it and scores of other men. Continue reading “Hindus Proselytize….but Maybe Not Enough”

Musings of Hinduism By Nithin Sridhar A Book Review

                                                                              Musings of  Hinduism                                                 Book By Nithin Sridhar Dharma Brahman Vedanta or non-duality           By Nithin Sridhar

Nithin Sridhar has created a master piece. He has many meaningful thoughts on Hinduism that he packs into this book, Musings of Hinduism. His basic premise is that of the philosophical concept of Vedanta or non-duality, which essentially means to know and to merge with what is real. For instance, since, Brahman being the highest reality, from which we came, we will eventually again merge with Continue reading “Musings of Hinduism By Nithin Sridhar A Book Review”

Minimize, Renounce, and Feel Good

” How quickly we tire of earthly pleasures. Desire for material things is endless; we are never satisfied .”

Recently, I have been studying a frequently misunderstood Dharma concept,  that of renouncement, (Sanskrit; Sannyasa).  It is not, as some seem to think, a mandate at any stage of life, although as people age it seems to come naturally. Actually, material renouncement is not exactly the same as sannyasa but it is the first step.   Most of us could use a bit of renouncement at any age, as was brought to my attention by my daughter as she explained to me after a rigorous “material cleansing” of what seemed to me to be most of her worldly goods.

“I am getting better”, she said, “slowly becoming more minimalist. It feels great to be content with what you have, and grateful!” 

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