This is what libra does within their family, with friends, and at work. You are likely familiar with comparing sun signs. These two may not gel well as a couple. Is compatible with all numbers. Fopinion2fhoroscopes2ffweekly-horoscope-junefweeklyhoroscope3ajune8 offer free daily horoscope daily love horoscopes love compatibility matches weekly monthly forecast readings for all signs gemini cancer leo virgo libra scorpio sagittarius capricorn aquarius pisces matches.
It is impossible to make personal reports tailor made to your data with out devoting personal attention. Another concept that probably wouldn't go over well with the average movie goer. Weed out toxic people, places, and life paths numerology from your life. You will need courage and a clear head to stay on the right track. Sevens keep the world and those closest to them guessing. They have no worry about food and clothing all the life. When young, the 5 will love adventure and travel. Where you'll find them: producing, directing and starring in their own independent films, swept away in a romantic escapade, running for president.
You should provide date, time and place of birth details. Total of 20 incense sticks hand rolled in india. They are reserved , quiet at times and patient. They have a tough time sharing their feelings, but it is good for them too. It will help to relieve their suffering. People born on the 8th, 17th and 26 are tough people with a strong will thus their ability to survive. They may have hard lives, but they have the energy and the power to make it through. Birthday number 17 people are disciplined , persistent and courageous. There will be those who will admire them.
Eights tend to be the responsible one in their family and will look out for their loved ones. Jayewardene Sri Lanka. The best color for 17 birthday personality is Yellow. Green and blue can also work for them but yellow is best. They should wear or carry this color with them somehow when they want to bring good luck with them. The worst colors for them are red and black or maroon. Their lucky gemstone is blue sapphire. Birthday Number Analysis Name: Date of Birth: January February March April May June July August September October November December 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Traveling by train to Chennai and then to Sri Lanka was a remarkable and remarkably hot experience.
During my first year in Sri Lanka, everyone wanted me: the Muslims, the Buddhists and the Christians. I felt very, very special, being appreciated by so many people. Being an orphan, you are not often wanted. But I found that their way of thinking, their protocols and their philosophy didn't compare with what I had learned of Indian culture, art and the philosophy of Vedanta. After I was in Sri Lanka for about a year, Satguru Siva Yogaswami sent one of his closest disciples to Colombo from Jaffna, in the northern part of the island, to fetch me, an elegant gentleman from the vaishya caste, the Chettiar community.
Kandiah Chettiar began taking me to the Hindu temples. For the first time, I experienced how Saivites worship the Gods, about puja and the priests, about the mysteries of the temples and their connection to the inner worlds. Now the pattern was complete. I had been taken into the Tamil Hindu community and was preparing myself to formally enter Hinduism when the timing was auspicious. Kandiah Chettiar finally took me to Jaffna to prepare me to meet my satguru, whom Chettiar called "a living God. When we finally met in , I asked Satguru Siva Yogaswami, "Please bring me into the Hindu religion, fully and formally.
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That's how I became a Hindu. I also later received my diksha as a sannyasin from the great saint of Sri Lanka, who instructed me to "build a bridge between East and West" for all his devotees to the lands beyond Sri Lankan shores--Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries--preparing the way for the visarjana, the diaspora, of the Sri Lankan Tamil people forced by the great civil war that started in Until his departure he communicated with me, year after year, through Kandiah Chettiar.
The judge took it in stride and quickly granted the request. In , at age thirty, I began my public teaching mission in San Francisco. It later became clear to me that I was a Hindu in my last life and that I was born in the West to perform the mission that I am performing now. I am performing it now.
I have a Western body, an American passport and free transportation from India to the US, with the natural sequence of events.
In my life, I went from charya, to kriya, to yoga, to jnana, following dharma's progressive path, which we must remember is a progressive path. It begins with finding out what the path is in the charya stage, then living the path through sadhana in the kriya stage, then going in and realizing the Self in the yoga stage, which culminates in the jnana stage of bringing out what you have realized. Some people think, "When you get to the yoga stage, you don't have to do the worship, you don't have to do the service. You just do the yoga. These are dear and intricate parts of your life.
While in Sri Lanka, I was taken to Christian gatherings, to Catholic gatherings, to Islamic gatherings, to Parsi gatherings, and I found them all very nice people. But at that time I was on the yoga path, and those religions did not include the yoga marga. They did not encourage meditation and Self Realization, which was my particular path that I got started on very early in life--seeking full identity of my own inner Self. Having been orphaned at a young age, I was independent and free. I didn't have to answer to anyone, except myself.
So, I was on the path to find the Self to answer to. Also, these other religions didn't have the understanding of reincarnation and karma, which provided me a logical explanation of so many things that happen in life. I did meet wonderful people, though, from the Islamic, the Christian, the Protestant, the Catholic and the Buddhist communities.
I would say Buddhism influenced me most in the monastic path, because I visited and lived in many Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. I was received by the monks there. I saw how they lived, saw how they dressed, and that influenced in a very strict way the monastic protocols that we later put into action in our own monastic order. I was being prepared to go to the northern part of the country, the Tamil Hindu area which was quite strict at that particular time, very orthodox. The experience of my own entrance into Hinduism in my twenties set the pattern for my ministry in the years to come, when I worked to apply the same pattern for others who wished to fully enter Hinduism through self- conversion.
I ultimately developed a six-step pattern of ethical conversion that results in a sincere and lasting commitment to the Hindu faith, or any faith for that matter. I found it useful to distinguish between the convert, a person with clearly defined prior commitments to another faith, and the adoptive, a person with no prior religious affiliations, who is free, without severance formalities, to embrace and enter the faith of his or her choice. The most innovative step in this form of ethical conversion--and what truly makes it ethical--is the mandatory severance from any former faiths.
The devotee is asked to go back to his prior religious leader, priest, rabbi, minister, imam, etc. Typically, the leader may attempt to talk the devotee out of his intention, though some will immediately honor the depth of his new commitment and understanding. Only as full-fledged Hindus, committed percent to the Hindu religion, with no other religious obligations inhibiting their participation in the culture, philosophy and lifestyle, could they settle at last into the religion of their soul. Anything less, and they would remain half-Hindus. Only in completely entering the Hindu fold, I perceived, would followers be able to pass the fullness of our teachings on to their children.
Many, I realized, had lived as Hindus in past lives, and now, born in the West, were merely rediscovering the religion of their soul. Having found it, they would be content with no other religion. To not provide a way for formal entrance to Hinduism would be to leave them between religions, stranded, in a sense, with no religion at all. Research began, and it was soon discovered that, indeed, Hinduism does and always has accepted newcomers, though the issue is generally handled discreetly. Formal entry is accomplished through a simple ceremony, no different that the naming of a young Hindu child.
The pattern was set, and hundreds entered Saivite Hinduism in this way, joyously bringing their children into Hinduism in the same manner thereafter and raising them as orthodox Hindus. The process continues to this day. Soon a new generation of born Hindu children emerged from these converted and adoptive Hindu parents. A new gotra, or spiritual clan, was quick to form in the West, called the Subramuniya Gotra. Entrance into Hinduism was simpler for those who had little early training in the religion of their parents.
This group made up the majority of the clan, which continues to be the case. For those confirmed or baptized or deeply indoctrinated in a non-Hindu religion or philosophical system, the transition was more involved. I established a counseling office at our Himalayan Academy in San Francisco to assist aspirants in identifying their religious loyalties and convictions. Many students chose not to take this serious step and drifted away. Thus, the Saivite souls, as I call those who are inwardly destined to follow Siva, were distinguished from those who had yet another path to follow. After , only those who formally entered the religion were accepted as my shishyas, though non-Hindus were and are availed an introductory study of Saivism through the Academy's Master Course study programs.
Students with predominant non-Hindu backgrounds who wished to enter Hinduism, having completed Book One of The Master Course, were advised of the requirement to first sever their prior religious commitments. This generally meant returning to the religious institution of their childhood, there to obtain a severance through convincing their former religious leader that they had embraced the Saivite Hindu religion and intended to enter it formally. This severance was also documented in writing, in most cases through a letter from that institution.
It soon became clear that this honest approach, with the burden of severance falling entirely on the devotee, was a vital step in the personal spiritual unfoldment of these individuals, resolving long- standing subconscious conflicts between the old faith and the new. In cases of deep former commitment devotees were asked to study their former faith so as to prepare a point-counterpoint of its beliefs and those of Saivite Hinduism. In several instances, devotees became reinspired with their original religion and changed their minds about converting to Saivism.
It was not a surprise to us, for Hinduism has such a power, such a magic, being the oldest living tradition, being so full of the divine, having never put their Gods into exile, as did most other ancient faiths when they encountered the newer religions. Hinduism kept the original path intact, pure and unashamed, rich and bold in its ways, colorful and so profound. No wonder some souls upon seeing and experiencing this were reinspired inwardly and returned to their born religion with a new hope and vision.
Among those who have entered Hinduism in recent years in the West are former Jews, Taoists, Buddhists, Christians of all denominations, Muslims, atheists, existentialists, agnostics, materialists, new age seekers and others. Namakarana samskaras are now performed in the West by many qualified Indian priests--Saivites, Shaktas, Vaishnavites and Smartas--each performing the name-giving for adults and their children as is traditionally done for each Hindu child. In the early eighties, when Hindu devotees of other lineages, such as Smartaism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism, began seeking admittance to Saiva Siddhanta Church, I established similar procedures to help them make the transition to Saivite Hinduism.
This was found necessary, for while the great Hindu lineages share many common beliefs, each is also different and distinct enough to be considered a separate religion in its own right. Devotees who had been initiated by other gurus were not allowed initiation from me unless they obtained a formal release from their former initiator. Those with strong non-Saivite backgrounds were required to study the differences in belief between those school and the Advaita Saiva Siddhanta of my Church so that they could make the necessary inner adjustments to becoming a good Saivite, all based on the principle that former commitments must be dissolved before new ones can be made.
These are some of the reasons a formal process is needed. Another reason is the standing policy of most Indian swamis in the West to not formally convert their devotees to Hinduism. They generally give an informal Hindu first name only, and thereby create what may be called an ardha-Hindu--"half-Hindu"--who finds himself separated from his old faith by newfound beliefs and practice, but not fully embraced by his new one. The situation gets especially precarious when it comes to raising children.
Are they Hindus, Christians, Jews? The practical outcome I have observed in the last twenty years is that such offspring are raised with no formal religion at all and are left adrift to fend for themselves in an unforgiving world. Also, by setting a standard of ethical conversion, Hindus can help alter the oftentimes predatory nature of religious conversion. Applying this idea to another faith, if every Hindu who wanted to become a Christian went successfully through an ethical conversion, there would be no claims by Hindus that he had been bribed, coerced, enticed or otherwise forced into the change.
Of course, there would also be fewer conversions! Unfortunately, the continuing disruptive conversion tactics of the aggressive Abrahamic missionary religions are rarely on the agenda at global conferences. By advocating ethical conversion, Hindus can help the world overcome the single greatest obstacle to interfaith harmony. Entering Hinduism has traditionally required little more than accepting and living the beliefs and codes of Hindus. This remains the basic factor of conversion or adoption, although there are, and always have been, formal ceremonies recognizing an individual's entrance into the religion.
The most obvious sign of the adoptive is the Hindu name. Those names which are not descriptive of one's occupation or family are most frequently derived from the Christian Bible and signify a follower of Christianity. An individual who rejects belief in the doctrines of Christianity must also reject the name given him under that religion, for reasons that we will explain later. If you are a student of comparative religions, a truth-seeker, an onlooker or a devout Hindu, you will enjoy this book.
Perhaps you have studied Hinduism and now feel it is your religion. If this is the case, as it has been for so many who have been exposed to Eastern thought and beliefs, and if you are of another religion and sincerely wish to become a Hindu formally, you will be happy to know that it is possible to do so. The process is not at all difficult, and though each situation is unique, it generally follows the pattern outlined herein.
Should you be a born Hindu, especially if you were educated in a Catholic or Protestant Christian school or studied existentialism or secular humanism in a university, this book will certainly broaden and enhance your understanding of religious loyalty and belief and inspire you to rededicate yourself consciously and subconsciously to the Hindu dharma. This book is designed to serve three audiences: first, non-Hindus interested in entering the Hindu religion; second, Hindus changing from one Hindu sect or denomination to another; and third, mature Hindu elders who can help converts and adoptives make the necessary adjustments for full entrance into the community; as well as derive inspiration about their own faith and deepen their own spiritual life.
To some, the mention of the last purpose may seem out of place, but let it be known that everyone's faith can be strengthened and self-conversion even applies to those born to the religion, spiritually speaking. Yes, I am referring to "bringing Hindus into Hinduism. Hindus by and large don't understand the basics, let alone the depths, of their religion. For those seeking deeper waters, soul-searching, education and steps toward severance may be required to pave the way for a clear understanding of their born faith, leading to a happier future. Many Hindus, though born into the religion, have grown up attending Catholic schools.
But if you ask them about the effects, they generally say, "I really didn't pay much attention to what the nuns and fathers were saying. Because of such influence and other programming, many Hindus are Hindus in name only. When serious Hindu seekers discover the path, and the more esoteric, metaphysical aspects of their born religion, they must face and deal with the dragons that may lurk in their subconscious.
You will discover a wonderful example of this in the Chapter One story of our friend Sri Sita Ram Goel, one of India's greatest living thinkers. Though born in a Hindu family, He became an atheist and a communist in his youth, a disbeliever and a heretic to his father's faith. Yet, due to his sincerity and intelligence, one experience led to another and he, too, became a Hindu, after fully reconciling with his former mentors. Again, a few may inquire whether such emphasis is necessary, whether it may be more efficient to focus solely on matters of spiritual discipline, sadhana and philosophy and avoid these technical tangents.
Our answer is that these matters are really not so tangential as they might seem. For those once involved in another religion, the subject of this book is a most crucial one. What is being discussed is commitment, and commitment precedes the practice of deeper spiritual disciplines and meditations. By commitment I mean fully embracing one's religion, fully practicing one's religion, fully serving one's religion. Only in this way will the spiritual disciplines, sadhana and philosophy take hold and produce lasting results.
Only in this way, no longer as an onlooker, will the convert or adoptive become an intrinsic part of an ever-growing international community constituting one sixth of the human race. Belief is the keynote of religious conviction, and beliefs vary greatly among the different religions of the world.
Psychologically speaking, what we believe forms our attitudes, shapes our lives, defines our culture and molds our destiny.
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To choose our beliefs is to choose our religion. Compare your beliefs to the beliefs of Sanatana Dharma. If you find yourself at home with Hindu beliefs, the attitudes they produce and the culture that is lived by a billion-plus souls, then obviously you are a Hindu. It is that easy. But formally entering any new religion is a serious commitment, one which must certainly be considered deeply.
This book outlines the purpose and the requirements of that auspicious and important step. That is as it should be. Severance from a former religion or philosophy should be a memorable experience, sharp, clean-cut, with no ragged edges left. Then entrance into Hinduism is clear and completely positive.
Entrance to Hinduism should not be sought because friends are doing it or because this is the next step in a course of study. It must come from the heart, from a deep, inner sense, an inner knowing that this is the natural dharma of your soul. This book records the conclusions of over fifty years of work and research in the field of personal belief and religious conviction which occasionally culminates in the need to transcend the boundaries of one's born faith and seek solace in another.
How to Become a Hindu is thus a practical manual to help guide those seeking to ratify their self-declared commitment to the Sanatana Dharma in all its dimensions: spiritual, social, cultural, economic and educational. It's a package deal.
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How do you know if you are a Hindu deep inside? If an elder, your guru or a friend has given you a Hindu name? If you have met a swami or yogi, pandit or satguru who speaks out the truths you always knew to be the way of the universe? If you feel in your heart of hearts that no other religion suits you better, expresses your native spirituality more profoundly, offers you a way to personally know the Divine within you? Let's analyze and through the process of elimination find out. If you believe, as your guru does, in the existence of God everywhere and in all things, you are certainly not a Christian, Muslim or Jew.
The Buddhists, like the Jains, don't believe in a personal God. They don't like to use the word God. They don't feel the concept of God is part of their deepest understanding. They do not accept a creator, or a knowing God who guides His creation. I was deeply impressed at hearing the Dalai Lama and the head of a Japanese Buddhist tradition make a strong and articulate point of this to several hundred spiritual leaders at the Presidents' Assembly at the Parliament of the World's Religions' centennial in Chicago, where they appealed to the other religions to please not include the use of the word God in a key declaration, called "Toward a Global Ethic," that all faith leaders were asked to affirm and to sign.
Significantly, the word God was left in that document.
If you believe in the law of karma, action receiving its comparable just due, you might be a Buddhist, but then you have the personal God problem. If you believe in reincarnation, punarjanma, "being born again and again," you might be a Buddhist or a Jain, but then there is the God problem again. But again, you are not a Christian, Jew or Muslim, because they adamantly reject these Vedic revelations, though Hasidic Jews do attest to reincarnation. In summary, your religion is the group that you are the most comfortable with, those who think like you, share the same ideals, according to their similar philosophies.
Another point: if you are attracted to Hindu temples, well then certainly you are not a Christian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jew or Muslim. The Parliament of the World's Religions brought all these faiths together, and it became very clear to me that the religions of the world are happy to be different, unique, not the same. They celebrated these differences, while also affirming an inner oneness.
As one of the three presidents of Hinduism at the Presidents' Assembly, along with Swami Chidananda Sarasvati and Mata Amritanandamayi, I can say that each one of the leaders of the world's religions knows who the others are and is not about to change. The whole idea that all religions are one may be true in spirit, but in actuality, no. One path or another must be chosen and then lived fully. If truly you find you are the Hindu an elder, friend or guru saw in you by giving you a Hindu name--they usually give Ananda, Shanti or Jyoti for starters--then take the next step and accept the culture, the conventions the fullness of the world's oldest spiritual tradition, with its yogas and its multitudinous wisdoms.
Carefully choose the sect within the Sanatana Dharma, the old Sanskrit name for Hinduism, that you will devote your life to following. It is important to know that one cannot simply enter "the Hindu religion. It is necessary to enter one of Hinduism's specific sects or denominations. Even in these tempestuous times, the subtle differences of Hindu lineages are clearly and methodically demarcated by our priesthoods.
Your beliefs and way of life have affirmed your inner decision to become a Hindu. This ceremony brings you formally into the Hindu community, recognizing and ratifying your proclamation of loyalty and wholehearted commitment to the Sanatana Dharma and validating, now and forever, your Hindu first and last name on all legal documents. Chapter seven describes all the steps in detail. Included there is a model namakarana certificate that you can photocopy or re-typeset to document the event, signed by the priest and several witnesses, especially members of the community you are entering, who will share your joy in becoming a full- fledged Hindu.
Then have your new name made legal on your passport, social security or ID card, credit cards, insurance documents, driver's license, telephone listing and more. More information on arranging for the namakarana samskara and other matters can be found on our Website at www. We call upon Hindu religious leaders to welcome and embrace adoptive and converts and not say they disqualify for one reason or another.
Leaders, priests, heads of aadheenams, mathas and ashramas, pandits, managers of temples and devotees, make it your duty to bring in those who were Hindus in their last life, those who are brand new to Hinduism but have a deep interest in it and those who were born into the religion but drifted away and now seek to return, who want to know in their aspiring hearts, "How can I enter Hinduism? Now we have the overview of what is to come. Travel with me through this documentary book about full and formal entrance into my beloved Hindu faith, the oldest spiritual tradition on Earth, the divine family that is over a billion strong and growing.
You are interested, I know you are, as you have read this far. Read on, read on. You will never look back and regret that you did. Hindudharmenasaha Mama Sangamah. We begin with Hitesvara Saravan, a former Baptist who discovered Hinduism later in life and recently completed his conversion. These inspiring real-life stories illustrate the six steps of ethical conversion see Chapter Seven in captivating detail. Each story is written from a delightfully different angle. By Hitesvara Saravan.
G urudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, has blessed me with the name Hitesvara Saravan, which I interpret to mean One who cares for others born of the Lake of Divine Essence. My former name was Alton Barry Giles, a name from Scottish heritage. It was not until I was in the vanaprastha ashrama, at 56 years old, that in July of I typed the word Hindu into a search engine on an archaic, text-only computer.
This brought me into a new conscious realization as I came upon a text in Gurudeva's website about the five sacred vows of the sannyasin, which I printed and studied. These words touched me at a soul level. Through exploration of the website over the next few days, I was brought into a small group of devotees in San Diego and then to the local mandir.
My conscious journey into the beliefs of my soul intensified. I had not met Gurudeva in person. I had not even seen a picture of him until my first satsanga in August. I had been aware, however, for many more than twenty years that I had an inner, spiritual guide -- a gentle, kind man urging me onward. Now I know that Gurudeva has been with me all my life.
I began the joy of being able to communicate with Gurudeva by e-mail and to be introduced to him by phone, but I was not to meet him in person until December of that year. Why did I come in person to Gurudeva so late in life? I had many experiences from which to learn, many past life karmas to mitigate.
I had many years of living below the muladhara. I had the need to overcome fear of God from my fundamental Baptist upbringing in a very religious family. I had even been told by my mother that my lack of belief and lifestyle meant that I was going to go to hell. She cried. I had to commence on the path toward purity to find and learn many lessons from experience before I would be ready to wholeheartedly and completely dedicate myself to the San Marga, the straight path.
I had previously rejected the idea of any one person being my teacher. Now I know this was just in preparation until I met my one teacher, the guru of my soul, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. I had been introduced to the Eastern religions in a fleeting way all throughout the 70S and 80S. I had heard Krishnamurti, had glimpses into Buddhism and Taoism, but it never fully formed in my mind that the beliefs of my soul were Hindu beliefs. I had only heard briefly about Hinduism and only from a Western perspective.
In the 90S, after I renounced meat and sex, my spiritual path intensified. I read the Yogi Publication Society's books. I heard about Vivekananda and read his works, as well as Autobiography of a Yogi. I read some of the literature from the Theosophical Society; Light on the Path in particular struck home with me.
From January, , until I came into the Saivite fold I attended SRF Self Realization Fellowship services in San Diego, but was put off by the fact that while I believed in the concept of "saints of all religions," the pictures of Jesus on the altar and the references to Jesus did not sit well with me. Simultaneously with meeting Gurudeva's followers and having accessed the website, I began receiving the daily lessons from Dancing with Siva.
Every one of Gurudeva's beautiful words spoke to my soul. I realized that these were and had been always the beliefs of my soul. I had found my true path. From that day forward, and with greater intensity after my first beautiful experience of darshana and meeting Gurudeva in December of , I have tried to undauntingly move forward as I have been guided and led. I obtained and avidly read and reread Dancing with Siva and Loving Ganesha. I read "The Six Steps of Conversion. I attended the local mandir for Siva and Ganesha pujas starting the first month after accessing the website and mixed with Hindus during festivals.
There was immediate welcoming and acceptance. I wrote a point-counterpoint between Saiva Siddhanta and Baptist belief. I realized that I had never been comfortable with my Baptist upbringing. It made no sense that God would change. I always believed in God, but the God of the Baptist religion did not equate with my inherent knowledge of God. I commenced assigned sadhanas, books one and two of The Master Course, the teachers' guide, the Loving Ganesha sadhana among them, and of course daily reading of Dancing with Siva. I learned and began daily Ganesha puja, raja and hatha yoga, and made efforts at meditation.
I let Gurudeva know that I wished to make a formal conversion. On March 9, , I received the blessing of my Hindu first name based on my astrology and the syllable hi. My first name was Hitesvara, "God of Welfare," caring for others. I was now ardha-Hindu Hitesvara Giles. I was then permitted to pick three last names for Gurudeva to choose from. I chose Kanda, Saravan and Velan.
I attended several Baptist Church services locally, including Easter services. I made arrangements to travel to Boston on April 30 to meet with my father and brother and the minister of the church where I was brought up to fulfill the formal severance's third step of conversion and to inform my family of my decision. I had not been to the Baptist church for 38 years, except for my mother's funeral and one other occasion. My father is a non-demonstrative person. He is very strict. He had never once said to me the words "I love you.
Mother and father had both lamented that I was going to go to hell because of my lifestyle. I had continued, however, a good though distant relationship with them in later years, but I was concerned that father would be upset by my decision, and there was a possibility that he could disown me. That was acceptable, but I wanted to try to honor and respect him for his ways and to not upset him, and it was important to me that I be clear and try to have him understand my decision and sincerity. I therefore wrote him some letters.
I told him about my Hindu beliefs in God, and after meditation it came to me to write him a loving letter in which I reminisced about all of the good times that I could remember throughout my years of living at home. Gurudeva's devotees on their experiences in conversion. There was no question that I did a great deal of introspective searching and meditation on the process and that it was fiery and humbling.
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However, I remained undaunted and firm, but I did need to expend great effort and newfound willpower. I had some difficulty reaching and convincing long distance in advance the minister to meet with me, but before I left on my trip he agreed. When I arrived at our family home after greeting my father and brother, I immediately set up a Ganesha shrine and a picture of Gurudeva in my bedroom. The next day before dawn I performed Ganesha puja and prayed for obstacles to be removed.
I then spoke to my father, having prepared an outline in advance and explained to him the beliefs of my soul and also that I was in the process of receiving a Hindu name and that I would be giving up forever the family name. My father's love remained outwardly hidden from me, however he listened and in his way showed his acceptance by remaining silent and not commenting on anything I had said.
I invited him to join me in my meeting with his minister, Reverend Vars. My father declined, however my brother agreed to go with me. On Saturday I went to a brook where I had played as a child and performed Ganga Sadhana, imparting to the leaves and flowing water all of my vestiges of Christianity and giving wildflowers I had picked to the water in thanks. The meeting was set for the following Monday. I attended the Baptist church service on that Sunday with my brother and listened to Reverend Vars' sermon, which was on being joyful, gentle, having good, noble qualities.
I introduced myself to him and also met briefly with many of my father's old friends. My father had stopped going to church at 86 due to fragility and weakness. That Monday my brother and I arrived at the church at the appointed time. I believe that Lord Ganesha and Gurudeva were there with me.
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Reverend Vars was very cordial. I spoke to him, explaining that I was grateful to have had a religious upbringing, talked about my years of spiritual questing, how his sermon had touched me, as it indeed was our belief as well to be gentle and to live a good life with good conduct. I had some trepidation that he might be spouting hellfire and damnation to me. I explained to the Reverend Vars my belief that I have, and always had, a Hindu soul, my belief in temple worship, divine beings, and in having a spiritual preceptor.
I explained the Hindu beliefs of reincarnation and karma. Reverend Vars listened respectfully and told me that he had had chaplaincy training, where he had learned some about other religions, although he could not personally accept concepts like reincarnation. He turned to my brother and asked how he felt about what I was doing. My brother indicated that he would prefer it if I were to be a Christian but that he would support my choice. I asked Reverend Vars if he would write me a letter of release.
He stated that he would do so and mail it to me. I thanked him. I then offered him a copy of Dancing with Siva, Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism to give him additional insight into the Hindu religion. He accepted and said, "I will read this. Upon my return to San Diego I received the letter p. The court date was set for July I also arranged that day for the name change to be published on four weekly dates prior to the court date. It was as though my father had waited for me to tell him my news and that he had blessed me, for on July 16, , my father made his transition quietly in his sleep.
My mother had made her transition in I appeared in court on July The judge questioned the reason for my decision and promptly signed the decree. I immediately began the process of having legal papers changed, such as driver's license, social security and all of the many other places and documents that were necessary.
I then informed all of my business associates and acquaintances of my decision. After my thirty-one-day retreat subsequent to my father's death, I asked Gurudeva's blessing to have my namakarana samskara. Gurudeva sent a Church member, Sadhunathan Nadesan, and we met that day. I explained to him my Hindu beliefs, and he asked me some questions concerning these. I received Gurudeva's blessing, and subsequently Sadhu and I talked to the priest of our local mandir. He agreed to perform the ceremony.
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On the auspicious day of August 26, , at a most beautiful ceremony performed by our local Hindu priest and looked over and blessed and attended by the Gods and devas and devotees of Gurudeva, I, Hitesvara Saravan, was " Thus bound eternally and immutably to the Hindu religion as a member of this most ancient faith," and guardian devas were invoked from the Antarloka to protect, guide and defend me. Jai Ganesha. I published in the newspaper a notice of my namakarana samskara.
Our beloved Gurudeva was and is with me every step of the way. I received the following e-mail message from Gurudeva: "We are all very pleased that you have made this great step forward in your karmas of this life. Now the beginning begins. Don't proceed too fast. Don't proceed too slowly. Steady speed in the middle path. My life changed forever. Continuous blessings have been flowing ever since from our beloved Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Hitesvara Saravan, 58, is the Administrator for the California Department of Health Services in San Diego and has oversight responsibilities for hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and hospices.
By Vel Alahan. I was nervous as I sat with my former rabbi to discuss my change of religion. He turned out to be a fine, astute, intelligent man. We explained what we were doing, and he gave arguments in response. Basically he wanted us to give him a chance to start over with us. But we explained what we had been through and that we could not refute the inner knowing that had come from within ourselves about the truth of our Saivism. We brought a witness with us, an old friend who lives in the neighborhood near the synagogue. We told him that based on our own inner experience we believed in Saivite Hinduism and in Gurudeva as our guru.
We explained how our worship is set up and the striving for eventual knowledge of Lord Siva, merger in Lord Siva. I explained to him why I had come: because I needed to A test myself in the face of my former religious commitments and B in the presence of my former rabbi and Jewish inner plane hierarchy, in the Jewish institution, state my inner commitment and my desire to leave Judaism. He had his arguments. We just had to stay strong. I held fast to my inner commitment. My outer mind was fluxing and swaying a bit, but I always had the inner part to hold onto.
He would not write a letter of severance. He felt that by writing such a letter he would be doing a wrong act himself. But he wished us well, gave his blessings and complimented us on our fine intellectual knowledge of our religion and of Judaism. We introduced the witness and explained why we had brought a witness, so that in the event that the rabbi would not write a letter, the witness could write a letter stating what had happened.
We were well prepared, and that is a key point. If one were to go unkempt, unemployed, he would not get the respect. And if you are unprepared, you will fumble a bit. Afterward the meeting was over I felt a sense of release. I felt wonderful.