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Converter convinced not to convert

During our Swamigal’s visit to Nerur, (June of 1923), a young man hailing from a very conservative and pious vedic Brahmin family belonging to Kerala, came to Tiruchi with the intention of converting to Christianity. He was a graduate and possessed a clear and rational mind. However, his innocence accepted made him accept whatever information was fed to him. He got attracted by the teachings and speeches by the local Christian preachers and priests.

His friends took him to meet with F.G.Natesa Iyer, then municipal Chairman at Tiruchi. Natesa Iyer elaborated on his twenty years of experience and knowledge on the Christian religion and advised the young man that the Hindu religion was our mother and it was not appropriate to abandon your mother. He also told him that he was unfortunate to have committed such a sin, but realized his folly in time and he didn’t like to see anyone else commit the same mistake. However, this young man was very adamant and did not change his mind about converting to Christianity.

At that point, Natesa Iyer looked at him and said, “ I cannot say anything else to persuade you at this point. But, before you surrender to Christian priests, I want you to meet Sri Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Acharya Swamigal. He is camping close by and if you are willing, come with me.” The young gentleman accepted the offer and both of them went to a nearby village Kuzhumani, where Swamigal was camping. Swamigal asked Iyer to bring that youth to the banks of the local river. A little while after they reached there, Swamigal came to that place. Most of the river was dry and sand was visible. He took them both for a long walk in the sand, inquired his thoughts and desires and rationality for joining Christianity. The young man also expressed his thoughts and feelings frankly to Swamigal.

After hearing through, Swamigal told him that the Hindu religion was the basis for all the religions. Whatever practices that are prevalent in other religions can be found in the Hindu dharma also. Moreover, special ways and practices are prescribed in the Hindu religion. These practices and dharmas provide the path to reach God and everyone born as a Hindu can follow any of these paths to attain salvation. He spoke with that youth for a very long time that night and requested Natesa Iyer to bring him to the mutt for the next two days also. When Swamigal met the young man alone, he gave him a few upadesams. After that, the young man changed his mind about converting, got faith in his own religion, paid his homage to Swamigal and headed back home.

Source : Sri.Kalyanasundaram ramachandran (