I often think that the world is moving from doing things “by birth” to doing things “by choice” – and that is a VERY powerful transition.
Taking an example: Earlier, members of specific communities/families, would be vegetarians by birth. Today, several westerners have embraced vegetarianism and veganism – purely by CHOICE. (And of course, some of us – like me – are vegetarians both by birth and by choice)
In 2016, I had the chance to visit the breathtakingly beautiful Hindu Monastery, in the Kauai island of Hawaii, USA. It was a powerful experience of witnessing the intensity of ‘Hinduism by Choice’ – where a group of westerners are pursuing a Hindu life (which they were not born into) with incredible rigour and vigour.
The elaborate Pooja at the Kadavul temple, the beautiful Rudraksha grove cultivated with great care, the Hinduism Today newspaper published so ‘religiously’ – the intensity of ‘Hinduism by choice’, was evident in everything.
I sang “Ananda natamaaduvaar” after the Pooja – and the ashramites not only posted a note with an acoustic recording, but even picked up a translation of the Tamizh lyrics! Whatever this Ashram does, clearly seems like a labour of love for the faith of their choice. In the first comment below, I have attached a brilliant video of the ashram, below this link.