A life of cultural identity confusion
Hello Ambaa, I think the advice you've given him pretty much sums it up. It will be hard for the parents to see their son reject their faith and embrace a new one. If they're orthodox Christians, then it might take time for them to come to terms with their son's decision. Even if they're liberal, it might not be easy. In my case, my parents are pretty liberal. But if I told them that I was going to embrace a new faith, it would surely put them under duress, at least for a while until they realize that I, as an individual, have a right to chose my own path. Take it slow and steady and don't worry too much about their initial response. I'm sure they'll eventually embrace his decision. Regards. Amit.
I think you have given him good advice. Obviously it depends on his parents, but he could perhaps discuss multiple religions with them, and whether they believe that God is in all of them.
Reading about non Indian Hindus is a completely new experience for me and I like most of what I read here from everyone. For someone such as Kyle, I would suggest he follows Hinduism along with his current faith. One need not exclude the other. As most of us agree, Hinduism is an inclusive religion. Acceptance is a significant truth in Hinduism. I suggest anyone looking for conversion, or looking to denounce their earlier religion, begin by accepting their former one and by accepting their parent's beliefs. They are not outside of Hinduism. No thought, no feeling, no belief exists outside of the Supreme Being. Call it Vishnu or Lalitha or any other name. It is Supreme, all encompassing. Don't follow it if you don't believe in it, and explain to parents why you don't believe in following the norms, the disciplines or whatever it is that is uncomfortable for you. However, your suggestion to take it slowly is good. I would also suggest to Kyle to debate on issues and beliefs and have regular conversations with his parents. Just so they're aware of his quest.
So true! He can begin to incorporate Hindu practices into the life he has currently and need not renounce Christianity at this point (or maybe ever, depending how it plays out).
Christian monotheism is completely different from Hindu polytheism. In Christianity the only salvation is through Jesus Christ. Those who don't accept Him as their Saviour will burn in Hell. In Hinduism such compulsions and punishments are not there. One stops being a Christian when one starts to think that there are many other ways to reach or realize God.To become a Hindu Kyle should start incorporating Hindu ideas in his way of thinking. Some Hindu ideas are Polytheism, Paganism, Pantheism, Inclusiveness, Idol/ShivaLinga/Cow/Tulsi/BanyanTree Worship, and stories of Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. He should not go for the moral doctrines of Hinduism right now which are difficult to follow for Hindus themselves. Instead, he should develop his interest in Hindu ideas and Hindu way of life.Hinduism is open for all. Any person of any age, race, or background can become Hindu.
Yes it is important for him to understand what he really wants. He can read and know Sanathana Dharma more. Also, we need to consider that he is only 15. His mind is too young to decide what is right and what is wrong. I believe his parents will also be shocked to know that their son does not believe in what they do. This may hurt them.You can also tell him that everything has to be done according to Dharma in Hinduism. Right now, his Dharma is to be a good son. It's important for him to not let his parents down. That is Dharma. Eg: Like how Ram obeyed his father's words and went for Vanavasa leaving his kingdom. He was following the Putra Dharma here. Seeta did not argue, she left the kingdom as well, she was following Patni Dharma here. Explain this to him and he should understand it. However, he is free to learn more from people like you and other bloggers on Santhana Dharma.Glory to Sriman Narayana!- Nithyawww.nithya.co.in
Such a challenge! I know obeying my parents was very hard for me at that age and really at any age. Not because I don't respect and love them but because I have a very strong personality and big ideas that don't always fit the mold around me!
Ambaa,Life is not easy. Remember what Lord Krishna told Arjuna?Karmanye Vadikaraste Mafalesu KadatjanaMeaning: Do your duty (karma) and do not expect the Fala (Fruits). One should do their karma by following their Dharma. It must not have been easy for Arjuna to kill his uncles and teachers in war but he had to do it. Else, he would have been killed by them that would have been the death of Dharma more than the death of an individual.Glory to Sriman Narayana!- Nithyawww.nithya.co.in
He is too young to decide on this matter, and I believe he is still under his parents' care. Just advise him to go deeper into his current faith, and if that still makes him feel empty,let him wait until he stands on his own feet and exercise his choice. God bless all.
It's true, though I know how difficult that is to hear! I remember how pig headed and stubborn I was at that age :)
Hi Kyle, u know what I don't know what makes u to love hindusim but remember one thing that whoever we are we just have to love ourselves and also our creator. Just make sure that ur parents must be proud of u for what u have done with so much confidient.
There is no need for Kyle to worry about becoming a Hindu. The fact that he is emotionally and intellectually drawn to the precepts and concepts of Hinduism, is what is important. As some have suggested, Kyle can continue to be what he is now, while slowly familiarising his parents about India and Hinduism in a very cool non aggressive way. In particular, if he can get a copy of the video CD titled "The Story of India", by Michael Wood, watch it, and perhaps let his parents also watch it, it could help to slowly bring about a change in their perspective. Here is a link to a recent article that may also be useful:huffingtonpost.com/chris-fici/why-being-a-hindu-has-mad_b_1425982.htmlAn important thing, is, to start practising vegetarianism -avoid meat, chicken, and fish to the extent possible. Vegetarianism is also the in thing today, and is the hallmark of Hinduism.If Kyle is interested, I can post some more relevant articles.Hope this helps.
Ohh..I know exactly how he feels. When i was 16 I decided I wanted to be Hindu so I also had the same worries about how my parents would react. At 16 I became a vegetarian and told my parents I was interested in Hinduism. I started by talking to them about the philosophy and also had debates with them about their views on different religious beliefs. During that time I was listening to bhajans, chanting some mantras and doing extensive research on Hinduism. I am now 19 years old, I'm having my pancha samskara & becoming formally initiated into Sri Vaishnavism in a few weeks, and in about 6 months time I am traveling to India for 3 months and going on a pilgrimage down south in Srirangam. My biggest advice I would give this 15 yr old boy is to just be patient. Once he becomes an adult he can become more open about it with his family and friends. The mistake I made is that I became open about it too soon to too many people and it was very hard at times having to put up with teasing & immature comments by friends & family. Even now my father thinks I am in a cult...but in the end I am an adult now and as much as I respect my parents I have to do what is best for myself.I have so much to say and a lot of advice to give this boy. Please tell him if he needs any advice or anyone to talk to I am happy to help because I know exactly how he feels.Katherine :)
I agree with your suggestion .he should take time to understand sanatan dharma.however after 20 once he is independent .however I feel that once you feel that you are inclined toward one faith I.e Hinduism in this case one has to convert fully in to Hinduism otherwise these kind of ppl remain confused in their whole life and yes slowly people will understand your view.