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Religion & Theology
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K.L. Seshagiri Rao's Conversion: A Gandhian Perspective (Essay Sample)

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This work required the writer to analyze an article by K. L Seshagiri Rao. The article gives insight into religion and conversion from Mahatma Gandhi’s perspective.

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K.L. Seshagiri Rao’s “Conversion: A Gandhian Perspective,” précis
In this article, K. L Seshagiri Rao gives insight into religion and conversion from Mahatma Gandhi’s perspective. This article explains the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and how he resisted conversion to Christianity. Gandhi travelled around the world in search of spiritual truth. He wanted to remove all doubts about spiritual disharmony and understand about the true conversion and religious traditions of different faiths.
The author of the article explains that Mahatma Gandhi had an immense psychological struggle concerning spiritual matters. Gandhi was motivated by religion, and it is because of this that he traversed the entire globe in search of answers in his mind. Despite being of the Hindu faith, at no point did Gandhi consider any religion to be better than the other. What drove Gandhi was the search for religious truths. The author further explains that Gandhi was tolerant to other religious cults. He embraced what the others believed in, as this enabled him to advance his knowledge in religion and later pass this knowledge to others. In a time when many Hindus were converted to Christianity, Gandhi remained steadfast in his faith.
His visits around the world further enhanced his knowledge about religion. His visit to England from 1888 exposed him to Western religions. Gandhi knew about Atheism and Christianity, and due to differences between various cults he was exposed to, finding truth became his objective. Gandhi would later visit South Africa, and as the author points out, both the cruel and good deeds of religion were presented to him. Racial prejudice in South Africa prompted his stay in order to fight for injustice. Gandhi established a religious community, and the amazing thing was that all religious cults were part of it. Gandhi allowed the Christians, Muslims and Hindus to observe their rituals and traditions. Gandhi spent his time in South Africa doing charity work, helping the afflicted and urging people to practice religion in a noteworthy manner. Efforts to convert Gandhi to Christianity were unsuccessful. To him, religion is about humanitarian deeds regardless of the religious cult. Gandhi used his findings to give teachings about conversion. To him, conversion to another faith is not necessary. Gandhi’s core teaching was that people need o assist each other to propagate moral deeds, irrespective of their religious traditions. The conversion that Gandhi advocated for was that of self-realization and self-purification; conversion in terms of moral development.
Gandhi castigated modern conversion as it is based on material things and business. Real conversion is not about material things, but rather the inner change of heart. Gandhi urged people to turn to true conversion, that is, the actual overturning of one’s inner life. Therefore, it is not just about changing religious labels. Finally, Gandhi explains that the aim of all religions is the spiritual salvation of mankind, and that over the years; all religions have managed to salvage the lives of its followers through its teachings. The notion that only Christianity is the true religions needs to be annihilated.
The article explains about the conce...
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