In 1991 Dr. Vashta raised the idea that I formally
become a Hindu. I thought, Why not? I have been following this tradition for twenty years
and working with it had become my main spiritual path and career dedication. I thought
about the many Hindus that have become Christians following the allure of the affluent
West. The example of a Christian becoming a Hindu would be good for many Hindus and would
encourage confidence in their own traditions.
Why shouldnt I express my appreciation and make a more formal
connection with Hindu Dharma? Personally, I am not much for formality and generally avoid
ceremony or any kind of outer displays. But it didnt take much forethought to go
ahead with this important project. It was also a way to create a new identity for myself
that reflected the changes that I had gone through internally.
Dr. Vashta told me that I was already a Hindu inwardly and so an outward
ceremony wasnt necessary, but that the gesture would be appreciated by the
community. I understood. The ceremony was called Shuddhi, which means purification. It was
short and simple, a ritual puja, a kumbha abhishekam.