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3. If people convert due to spiritual reasons, should there be any objection?

      When there is true spiritual conversions, there is no objection. This happens when the person does it on his own inquiry, and not motivated by another to make a study. For example, a person who has some emotional problems, may make a change if approached by a missionary. This cannot be called a spiritual conversion.
     True spiritual conversion implies that a person not only understands the new religion well, but also that he is well-acquainted with his present one. In this way, he will be able to understand why the religion of his forefathers does not give him the spiritual satisfaction that he will find in his new religion. At the same time, since a man or a woman is always seeking to go on a higher spiritual plane, such a change becomes an enlightened one.
     Such an inquiry can be done by one who is materially contented, and one who has the necessary education to make the inquiry. It was in this context that Mahatma Gandhi said to the missionaries that before converting the poor, they should first convert him. They did not pick up the challenge because they knew that the Mahatma had done sufficient study of Christianity and had found that his own dharma was adequate for his purpose.

(See also Q. 7)

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Hindu Vivek Kendra, 5/12, Kamat Industrial Estate,
Opp. Siddhivinayak Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 025
Tel: (91-22) 422 1440, 422 5639 Fax: (91-22) 436 3756