I appreciate the spirit with which Nitiya has written this rejoinder. The myth that Hinduism was not a proselytising faith has been propagated assiduously by certain interested groups. In fact many of the Buddhist viharas and Jaina basadis in the South were turned into temples after the kings took on the faith propagated by the Brahminical teachers. The king Vishnuvardhan is one such : according to the Wikipedia, "Scholars believe that Vishnuvardhana was originally a Jain known as Bittideva. Under the influence of the Hindu philosopher Ramanujacharya, Vishnuvardhana converted to Hinduism and practiced Vaishnavism. Numerous Vishnu temples were built during his reign at Belur, Talakad and Melkote. However, Vishnuvardhana's chief queen, Shantala Devi remained a devout Jain, and set a precedent of religious tolerance in the kingdom. " This has been accepted and there is little controversy on this count. But all these things happened hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Why do we have to live in the past? We need to be forward looking and also be able to deal with our present.
Thanks again to Nithiya for her intervention.
Cynthia Stephen Independent Researcher and writer Bangalore, India
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