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WhoisaHindu

IcallmyselfaSanataniHindu,becauseIbelieveintheVedas, theUpanishads,thePuranas,andallthatgoesbythename of Hindu scripture, and therefore in avataras and rebirth; I believeinthevarnashramadharmainasense,inmyopinion strictly Vedic but not in its presently popular and distorted crude sense; I believe in the protection of cow. I do not disbelieve in murti puja. (Young India: 6th October, 1921 / CWMGVol24Pg370371)

WhyIamNotaConvert
HinduismasIknowitentirelysatisfiesmysoul,fillsmywhole being.Whendoubtshauntme,whendisappointmentsstare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfortme;andIimmediatelybegintosmileinthemidstof overwhelmingsorrow.Mylifehasbeenfulloftragediesand iftheyhavenotleftanyvisibleandindelibleeffectonme,I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. (Young India: 6thAugust,1925/CWMGVol32Pg195)

IDisbelieveinConversion
Idisbelieveintheconversionofonepersonbyanother.My effortshouldnevertobetoundermineanother'sfaith. This implies belief in the truth of all religions and,therefore, 2|P a g e

respectforthem.Itimpliestruehumility.(YoungIndia:21st March,1929/CWMGVol45Pg145)

Conversion:ImpedimenttoPeace
It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversionafterthestylethatgoesoninIndiaandelsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? WhyshouldhenotbesatisfiediftheHinduisagoodorgodly man? (Harijan: 30th January, 1937 / CWMG Vol 70 Page 367)

NoSuchThingasConversion
Ibelievethatthereisnosuchthingasconversionfromone faith to another in the accepted sense of the word. It is a highlypersonalmatterfortheindividualandhisGod.Imay nothaveanydesignuponmyneighbourastohisfaithwhich I must honour even as I honour my own. Having reverently studiedthescripturesoftheworldIcouldnomorethinkof asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own. (Harijan:28thSeptember,1935/CWMGVol68,pg20)


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NoConversionDesignsUponMe
IamnotinterestedinweaningyouawayfromChristianity andmakingyouHindu,andIdonotrelishyourdesignsupon me.,ifyouhadany,toconvertmetoChristianity.Iwould alsodisputeyourclaimthatChristianityistheonlytrue religion.(Harijan:6thMarch,1937/CWMGVol71Pg12)

Conversion
Conversion must not mean denationalization. Conversion should mean a definite giving up of the evil of the old, adoption of all the good of the new and a scrupulous avoidance of everything evil in the new. Conversion, therefore, should mean a life of greater dedication to one's country, greater surrender to God, greater selfpurification. (YoungIndia:20thAugust,1925/CWMGVol32Pg316)

ApingofEuropeansandAmericans
As I wander about through the length and breath of India I see many Christian Indians almost ashamed of their birth, certainly of their ancestral religion, and of their ancestral dress. The aping of Europeans by AngloIndians is bad enough, but the aping of them by Indian converts is a violencedonetotheircountryand,shallIsay,eventotheir newreligion.(YoungIndia:20thAugust,1925/CWMGVol32 Page316)

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WhyShouldIChangeMyReligion
I hold that proselytisation under the cloak of humanitarian work is unhealthy to say the least. It is most resented by people here. Religion after all is a deeply personal thing. It touchestheheart.WhyshouldIchangemyreligionbecause the doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has curedmeofsomedisease,orwhyshouldthedoctorexpect metochangewhilstIamunderhisinfluence?(YoungIndia: 23rdApril2,1931/CWMGVol51Pg414)

MissionaryAim:UprootingHinduism
MyfearisthatthoughChristianfriendsnowadaysdonotsay oradmititthatHindureligionisuntrue,theymustharbourin theirbreastthatHinduismisanerrorandthatChristianity,as they believe it, is the only true religion. So far as one can understand the present (Christian) effort, it is to uproot Hinduismfromherveryfoundationandreplaceitbyanother faith.(Harijan:13thMarch,1937/CWMGVol71Pg43)

UnderminingPeople'sFaith
The first distinction I would like to make between your missionary work and mine is that while I am strengthening the faith of people, you (missionaries) are undermining it. (YoungIndia:11thAugust,1927/CWMGVol39Page314)

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PhysicianHealYourself
Conversionnowadayshasbecomeamatterofbusiness,like any other. India (Hindus) is in no need of conversion of this kind. Conversion in the sense of selfpurification, self realization is the crying need of the times. That however is neverwhatismeantbyproselytization.Tothosewhowould convertIndia(Hindus),mightitnotbesaid,"Physician,heal thyself."(YoungIndia:April23,1931/CWMGVol51,pg414)

Missionaries:VendorsofGoods
When the missionary of another religion goes to them, he goeslikeavendorofgoods.Hehasnospecialspiritualmerit that will distinguish him from those to whom he goes. He doeshoweverpossessmaterialgoodswhich hepromisesto those who will come to his fold. (Harijan: 3rd April, 1937 / CWMGVol71Page98)

IfIhadthePowerandCouldLegislate.
If I had the power and could legislate, I should stop all proselytizing. In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink . (Harijan:11th May, 1935 / CWMG Vol 67 Page 48 - 49)

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TheOnlyBegottenSonofGod?
I regard Jesus as a great teacher of humanity, but I do not regardhimastheonlybegottensonofGod.Thatepithetin its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus formeChaitanyamaybetheonlybegottensonofGod.God cannotbetheexclusiveFatherandIcannotascribeexclusive divinitytoJesus.(Harijan:17thApril,1937/CWMGVol71Pg 131)

WesternChristianityToday
ItismyfirmopinionthatEuropedoesnotrepresentthespirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when appears with the name of Godonhislips.(YoungIndia:8thSeptember,1920/CWMG Vol21Pg241) I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negationofChrist'sChristianity.IcannotconceiveJesus,ifhe was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry. (Young India:22ndSeptember,1921/CWMGVol24Pg290)


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ChristianityandImperialisticExploitation
Christianity in India has been inextricably mixed up for the lastonehundredandfiftyyearswithBritishrule.Itappears to us as synonymous with materialistic civilization and imperialistic exploitation by the stronger white races of the weakerracesoftheworld.ItscontributiontoIndiahasbeen, therefore,largelyofanegativecharacter.(youngIndia:21st March,1929/CWMGVol45Pg144

NoRoomForThem
Inthemannerinwhich theyareworking therewouldseem to be no room for them. Quite unconsciously they do harm tothemselvesandalsotous.Itisperhapsimpertinenttosay thattheydoharmtothemselves,butquitepertinenttosay that they do harm to us. They do harm to those amongst whomtheyworkandthoseamongstwhomtheydonotwork, i.e.,theharmisdonetothewholeofIndia.ThemoreIstudy their activities the more sorry I become. It is a tragedy that such a thing should happen to the human family. (Harijan: December12,1936/CWMGVol70Pg139)

Outrage!
Onlytheotherdayamissionarydescendedonafaminearea with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their

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temple,anddemolishedit.Thisisoutrageous.(Harijan:11th May,1935/CWMGVol67Pg49)

LettheHindubeaBetterHindu
Icametotheconclusionlongagothatallreligionsweretrue andalsothatallhadsomeerrorinthem,andwhilstIholdby myown,IshouldholdothersasdearasHinduism.Sowecan only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should becomeaHindu.ButourinnermostprayershouldbeaHindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a ChristianabetterChristian.(YoungIndia:January19,1928/ CWMGVol41Pg112)

WelcomeThemBack
If a person through fear, compulsion, starvation, or for materialgainorconsiderationgoesovertoanotherfaith,itis a misnomer to call it conversion. Most cases of conversion have been to my mind false coin. I would therefore unhesitatingly readmit to the Hindu fold all such repentant without much ado. If a man comes back to the original branchhedeservestobewelcomedinsofarashemaydeem to have erred, he has sufficiently purged himself of it when he repents his error and retraces his steps. (Harijan: 25th September,1937/CWMGVol72,Pg253) CWMG:CollectedWorksofMahatmaGandhiasavailable onwww.GandhiServe.org

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