Mind vs manas:  Religious re-conversion and the conflict within

Inducement and/ or coercion are the natural suspects in any form of religious conversion.  In the case of re-conversion, however, there seems to be a far more potent force – a psychological driver.

In the case of re-conversion or what is called #GharVapasi, literally ‘returning home’, the crux of the conflict seems to lie in the conceptual difference between ‘mind’ and ‘manas’.  As evidence of this, let me give this simple illustration:  If you ask a person to indicate the home of the ‘mind’, the hand automatically points to the head.  However, if you ask a person to indicate the home of ‘manas’, the hand would go to the heart.  The original conversion which has been provoked by inducement or coercion is a move mediated by considerations and calculations of the ‘mind’.  However, the heart, where the ‘manas’ resides, doesn’t coalesce with the culture it is thrust into by the machinations of the ‘mind’.  From this ecosystem of discomfort, where the mind and the manas are not in cohesion, ghar vapasi appears to offer a conflict resolution of sorts.  To term this act as ‘returning to the roots’ may be more apt and provide a better explanation than to call it ‘returning home’.

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