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Welcome to Hinduism, and wishing you all the very best

Reader comment on item: Conversions in Israel
in response to reader comment: i am now Usha Kumari, formerly known as Salma Noor

Submitted by Gopal Kamat (India), Jan 31, 2007 at 09:52

Dear Salma

Sorry to read of your experiences, and wish you heartfelt welcome to this beautiful and ancient faith of our land.. (as also buddhism, jainism and more recently sikhism)..

Hindus (and buddhists too) must and (most do) treat women with utmost respect, and we worship female deities like Durga, and Saraswati and Lakshmi (the latter two with important portfolios of education and wealth creation!) and of course, in ancient indian folklore there is the concept of "ardhnarishwar" or a human who is both male and female, so the roots of respect and equality for women are deep indeed..

Of course often critics blame hindus for "idol worship" but lets be clear here - the Gita or other hindu texts talk of various paths towards spirituality including knowledge, devotion and service - and an idol is only used for meditative and social purposes.. in any case others can be respectful of all practises which are not socially reprehensible..

Hindu (and indian) tolerance can be seen at Ajantha where hindu, buddhist and jain caves coexist.. in harmony

Of course a blot on hinduism has been the caste system (especially for dalits) though all religions have their share of slavery..

I do hope hindus will become a modern and progressive religion giving up on the caste system, giving full equality to women e.g. laws already do so, there is monogamy, women priests have started appearing, and i wish you all the very very best in you life.. God bless

Gopal Kamat

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