In last 100–130 years, many foreigners/Christians have embraced Hinduism. Most of them are highly learned people and great thinkers. I have jotted down few points, on what could have attracted them. This is because they didn’t have anything lacking in their lives from a materialistic point of view. These people had actually had seeking for unanswered questions from their previous belief system.
I could cite following reason behind this:
- Love of All: All loving philosophy of Hindusim ‘Vasudhaiv kutumbakam’ (whole world is family ). Westerners predominantly Christians find this very close the Jesus’s ‘Love for all’ teaching.
- Broadminded Monotheism: Although Hinduism may seem like Polytheistic at first glance but when seen from ‘One consciousness lives in all’ Vedantic theory, it suddenly covers all religions, including Christianity and Hinduism becomes essentially a very large hearted inclusive Monotheism. So the contrast between and Polytheism and Monotheism dilutes in this case.
- Karma: Many of Monotheistic beliefs, including Islam and Christianity are unable to explain the uneven life conditions for every person in their lives. Like birth in a poor family or getting less opportunity to progress in life. These conditions can be easily explained by the Karma – Previous birth Karma accumulation philosophy of Hinduism.
- Mukti/Liberation Vs Heaven: This is most important. Monotheistic beliefs, Islam and Christianity at best offer Heaven as the best possible outcome of their deeds. Many people who have already experienced the pleasures of earthly lives find it too simplistic and mundane and still not able to conceive what lies beyond Heaven and Hell. Hinduism offers the concept of ‘Mukti /Liberation” the final freedom from cycle of birth and death for Hindus Heaven is just a middle step.
- Absolute Inclusiveness: While other religions claim that only their paths is true while others will go to hell. By this negative narrow minded philosophy everyone would end up in Hell. Hinduism teaches that all paths are like rivers which will end up in same Ocean. The Supreme being in Hinudism does not hates anyone, not eve those who do not follow Hinduism. He just weighs souls based on their Karma.
- The openness towards modern Science : Hinduism is open to all scientific discoveries of space and Physics. Its concept gels very nicely with the scientific discoveries and accepts them wholeheartedly even string theory and quantum physics.
- History of giving shelter to every religion: History of Hinduism has a history of welcoming every religion and fasith with open arms without any prejudice. Hinduism ha given shelter to every persecuted rligion Parsis, Jews, Tibetan Buddhists etc also to other faiths like Sikkhism, Jainism, Bahaism, Chiristianity, Islam etc. Such large heartedness is definitely a sign of greatness. To the high level thinkers this is definitely a great quality. It attracts them for this reason.
- It accepts even Atheists: That is the beauty of Hinduism even if you do not believe in God and go by logic only then you are actually on the line of Samkhya philosophy of India. In this way Hindiusim is actaully much more that religion it is actually a way of life.
- Freedom to question even your religion: Hinduism allows you to question your own beliefs and scriptures. Noone feels offended about it. The questions are debated and answered in a very open outlook. People are not killed in the name of blasphemy. While in Abrahmic religions questions on faith are not welcome. It limits your thinking.
- Colorfulness of Hindu Culture:Yes the vibrant colors of Hindu culture is also a very attracting feature.Its full of life and believes in making life beautiful while we are alive and not only in heaven
- Respect to Elders and living beings:Elders in hinduism are regarded in high esteem and generally live a more peaceful and happy life in old age too. While in most of western set ups the parents and elders are often more lonely in their old age
Overall a more Logical and All inclusiveness and science friendly structure of Hinduism has attracted these liberal thinkers.
The reason behind such attraction/pull towards Hindusim also comes form the fact of rapid spread of Vedantic philosophy in modern times. Most important turning point was the speech given by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago in 1893. After that many foreigners had heir interest ignited in the vast knowledge of Vedic philosophy and many of them converted to Sanatan Dharma. Swami Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi is a very important milestone as well.
Not only they converted to Hindusim but many became Sanaysis too and reached the high level of spiritual seats as well. List is very long and is increasing continually. There is a very interesting series on such foreigners on link given below. This gives the details of such of Foreigners who love Hinduism and India.
Do read to know more about each of them.
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