The Real Conversion
The other day I was talking to a journalist friend Renuka. A Hindu by birth, as her name indicates, she had nightmares due to the violence in Gujarat. She was utterly disturbed that Hindus killed Muslims and looted their belongings. She could not believe that Hindus could do such a thing. Ashamed of being a Hindu and feeling sympathetic towards Muslims for the misery thrust upon them, she is considering becoming Muslim herself, as a gesture of solidarity towards them. She has so many Muslim friends in her social circle; one can easily imagine what she must be going through. Not just Renuka but, many other people with sensitivity must be going thorough the same agony. They are searching for solutions to this senseless mass killing that has been termed as genocide by Western media.
In such a situation, converting to Islam is a drastic and extreme emotional reaction. This solution in itself is momentary and cannot be a lasting solution to the problem. Proselytism to express solidarity with the suffering Muslims will not bring peace in Gujarat. Tomorrow some Muslims will kill Hindus somewhere, as has happened in the past, and you will again be affected by the misery of sufferers. Again your conscience will compel you to convert to Hinduism to express solidarity with them. No, this kind of conversion does not help! Neither it helps you nor it helps others who are killing each other.
The real conversion is a transformation-hundred eighty degree transformation-when you stop wearing the masks of being a Hindu or Muslim or Christian-and you declare that you are simply a human being above all these things. The Baul mystics call such a person Aadhaar Manus! They song is: "Sabaar Ooper Manus Satya, Tahaar Ooper Naahin." Returning to your original humanity and living like a human being is the purest form of religiousness.
Osho says: "Conversion does not mean a Hindu becoming a Christian or a Christian becoming a Hindu; that is not conversion. That is simply changing one prison for another, moving from one dead system of thought to another dead system of thought -- but you remain the same. Conversion means a radical change in your being. It is not a question of changing your ideology, it is a question of changing your consciousness.
A Hindu can become a Mohammedan, a Mohammedan can become a Christian, a Christian can become a Hindu -- that is not conversion. That is again changing masks. When a Christian becomes religious, a Hindu becomes religious, a Mohammedan becomes religious, then it is conversion. It does not mean to move from one religion to another because there are not two religions in the world. There cannot be two. Religion is one.
"Religiousness is a quality; it has nothing to do with sects and doctrines and dogmas, churches and temples and mosques. If you are in a mosque and you become religious, you will no longer be a Mohammedan; you will simply become a pure being who has no adjective attached to him. If you are praying in a temple, the temple disappears: you are no longer a Hindu; you have become religious. This is conversion."
Osho emphasizes: "To be religious is not to be a Mohammedan, not to be a Christian, not to be a Hindu: to be religious is just to be religious, nothing else is needed. That is conversion."
Swami Chaitanya Keerti
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