Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 1998-12-01
Gurudeva discusses steps of conversion to Hinduism for those who were previously members of another religion. Gurudeva tells us we can create a wonderful future for ourselves and insure a good birth in our next lifetime. Sivalaya Deepam is tomorrow, Gurudeva tells us the meaning of this festival.
Today at Kauai Aadheenam. December 1st. Welcome to our cyberspace, electronic Ashram. We are very,very happy to see all of your faces out there. You look very, very beautiful. Today is the last day of our phase, which is our vedic week, and we are looking forward to a 3 day retreat. The entire team, 25 of us, turns out to clean the ashram on the last day.
Tomorrow is Sivalaya Deepam. This is when Siva turns into a pillar of light, and a big fire is set all over South India. If you were to fly a plane throughout the country on this particular day, you would see many, many fires in every single village, all worshipping Siva. The Sivaness within everyone is emulated by lighting a big bonfire and everybody is so happy. It is a beautiful festival.
Also, today the Mayor of Kauai, First Lady of our Garden Island, has invited us with a special invitation to the inauguration, of herself and our county council. She just won the election. So, we'll be going to that.
Well, here is a question that has come in about conversion."Are there any other ways or things we should do to convert, other than the six steps that you mentioned from 'Loving Ganesa' yesterday?"
Yes, there are. If persons who are very religious and have sort of fallen away from their religion, they come to Hindu festivals, make Hindu pilgrimage and find Hinduism as their religion. In other words, they become religious within Hinduism. Then, if they wish to convert, we always suggest they go back to their previous religion for a month or two, a hundred percent, and test it out to see if it works for them. Often, they never return. They stay there as a religious person, whereas previously they were not religious at all in their previous religion.
Often times also, they find their philosophical concepts no longer agree. They talk to their pastor, priest, or rabbi, tell them that and obtain a release or an 'isto facto' excommunication. It is quite necessary to put someone through this, if they have had a history of going to the synagogue, and going to church, or going to mass, so that they are doubly, doubly sure about the great step they have taken in this life, which will affect their future birth.
Well, enough on that subject. We have a few other questions but time is short and the answers are long. So we'll take them up after the retreat. We will be seeing you after our 3 day retreat.
It is holiday time, be careful. Supervise your children well. Take care of your body. Only you can do that. It is the only one you have got. We'll be seeing you on Sun One, when our retreat is over. You can take the retreat with us too, and reflect upon what you did in the last two or three weeks and what you are going to do in the days to come and get a clear perspective. Our future is created with our mind. We can't do a lot about the past, except quiet the emotions that are carried in past memories. We can create a wonderful future for ourselves based on having learned the lessons from the experiences of the past.