What follows is a testimony from a friend of mine who is a former Hindu. Although his parents may consider him a failure because he left their religion and gave up their wealth, he now heads a large ministry with international connections. In God’s eyes, he is not a failure, he is one of God’s success stories.
The seashore was familiar; the beach was crowded as usual. I walked toward the rolling waves. “They are just like me” I thought “so restless.” I would be restless until I knew who I was, where I came from, and where I would go. Not only were these questions troubling me, but my guilty conscience also was beginning to bother me.
I was born in a well-respected, high-caste Hindu family. My mother took great pains to teach me unadulterated Hindu orthodoxy. She got up at four in the morning and after a dip in the temple tank, went into the local temple to have worship her favorite deity. Very often she dragged me along with her. I would be deprived of my breakfast if I did not myself pay a morning visit to the temple.
We had our own family shrine also. In the evenings we worshipped there. We had our supper only after the ‘namam-japam’ (chanting of verses worshipping various deities). As a teenager, I regularly got up around 4 am and after my ritual bath (which was a purification ritual). went into the temple to worship and pray to the various gods and goddesses.
From my early childhood, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a militant Hindu organization, began to mold my thinking. The RSS (as it is commonly known) founders borrowed heavily from the Nazi Youth movement methodology. It is the only fascist organization in the world so far that has not seen a split all these years. It has similar goals as ‘al-Qaeda’ and Taliban and ISIS. but with Hinduism as the religion. I was made to believe that India, Hindustan, is for Hindus and our goal should be a ‘Hindu-Raj’ (Hindu nation). They taught that a true Indian can only be a Hindu and non-Hindus should embrace the Hindu philosophy or leave India. So I grew up with a strong hatred for people who were not Hindus, especially for Christians and Muslims.
In my teens, I felt I should serve my country through the RSS. My mission was to bring back ‘defectors’ from the Hindu faith who had become Christians and Muslims. If we could mange to get a non-Hindu man ‘purified’ to Hinduism, this was considered to be the height of achievement.
However, there was a vacuum within me. Life was a riddle. Questions concerning my nature and destiny plagued my mind. To drown my endless questions and cover up my fears, I tried to get ‘kicks’ out of life. Before I realized it, I was a slave to un-healthy habits. I became desperate. My sincere attempts to break my habits and find answers to my questions led me from one god man to another and from one temple to another. The result? Disillusionment. I finally concluded that there was no meaning to life at all.
At that time, one of my friends, a doctor, told me he had an experience with Christ. He was a notoriously evil man. I could not believe the positive change I saw in him. He was very enthusiastic about his new found faith and most of the time he talked about Christ. I thought the whole thing must be the effect of the moon on his brain.
About the same time, I met a student who had been a communist leader. He told me, “Jesus Christ changed my philosophy and made my life a meaningful one.” I was puzzled. Here I was, trying to ‘save’ my people from the clutches of Christianity, faced with two fellows who claimed to have met Christ. Also they possessed what I did not have and what I was desperately seeking!!! And they kept after me, even though I tried to avoid them like the plague.
My active involvement in RSS and other socio-religious activities did not make me happy. I was getting more miserable day by day. So one of my relatives took me to a psychiatrist. My Problem was beyond the reach of psychiatrists.
One day, I happened to be in my doctor friend’s room. He was, as usual, telling me about Jesus Christ and how Christ was helping him in his life. Not realizing why I did so, suddenly I said in my heart, “Jesus, I do not know you. I really do not believe you are a god. For gods cannot be killed. But if you are the true God, change me. Now. Not when I am sixty years old, but right now. Give me peace. Reveal yourself to me. If you do that, then, I will give my life to you as I wanted to give to the RSS.”
A little later when I left that room I found myself strangely different. The questions that had been tormenting me had vanished. My fears were gone. I felt a remarkable calmness. I had a new realization that Jesus was real and He was my God. The hold my habits had on me, which I had been trying to break for months, was gone. Instantly. I had no more craving for drugs or any such thing. My faith in the gods and goddesses I had worshipped vanished and in my heart, a strong and pleasant realization that Jesus is the true Lord and God of this world. Christ alone is my Lord and my Savior.
My parents and relatives could not accept this change in me. Can a high caste Hindu join this low-caste religion? They soon found that they could not turn me from my lunatic ways so they became quite hostile towards me and disowned me. It was a difficult experience. I felt that I should move to another town. Also I thought that God wanted me to serve Him.
Within weeks of my coming to Christ, the Lord led me and ‘entrusted’ me to man a missionary from the United States of America. He became my guru. Since then, until his death, he has been my mentor, a ‘Paul’ to a ‘Timothy’.
The Lord has given me a very good wife; she is a committed Christian and has a definite call to serve God. We also have two wonderful children.