Why Do Christians and Muslims Seek to Convert Hindus?
Over the centuries Christians and Muslims have sent out not only missionaries but also armies to convert Hindus. Today they are probably spending more money than at any point in history to achieve this aim.
Obviously one does not seek to convert someone whose views one respects. Clearly such Christians
and Muslims do not appreciate Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, its many
saints, sages, yogic practices and spiritual philosophies. They do
not understand Yoga and Vedanta and may be opposed to such spiritual
approaches even in their own traditions. If they appreciated such
knowledge they would be coming to the Hindus to learn, as many
Westerners have, and not be peddling their own generally inferior
doctrines instead. It only shows that they don't know what is of
true spiritual value. Hindus who are taken in by them only
demonstrate a greater ignorance.
This conversion mentality
reflects an outward view of religion, in which religion becomes a
social-political institution whose main goal is to increase in
numbers. It generally inhibits the internal dimension of religion or
the spiritual quest, which it is often opposed to, and which the
very groups that it seeks to convert often know much more about.
Such missionaries are to be pitied. Though they may have their
idealism and their noble sentiments, much like politicians, they
have not understood the real purpose of religion which is not to get
other people to follow a belief but to awaken the Divine Self in
all. They need to be taught the true missionary spirit in religion
is not the missionary spirit of conversion but the yogic spirit.