It is no surprise that when outcasts or so called ‘untouchables’ understand the gospel, they come to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and Messiah. Their fate is no longer determined by their caste and they have a hope of a better resurrection rather than an endless cycle of rebirths. In this book however, all five testimonies are derived from the other end of the spectrum, those of Brahmin origin. But what exactly would cause five Brahmins to trust in a Jewish Rabbi for their salvation alone?
Anand tried studying the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Ramayana. In addition, he meditated, practiced yoga, and memorised mantras. Whilst pursuing a university education, he saw labourers residing in awful conditions and working for a pittance to supposedly pay off karma from the previous life. Anand became aware that the system was purposely established to protect and perpetuate the ruling Brahmin minority.
As a student, Anand became keenly involved in Communism. A Christian whom he debated, left an impression on him by stating that peace in the world would only come when Jesus the Messiah returned to reign and established His kingdom on earth. That student encouraged him to read the Bible. He had studied most religious texts though he had never studied the Bible.
Anand discovered that the character of Jesus was pure and contrasted greatly with Shiva and Kali who were inconsistent and immoral. Also, Jesus the Messiah was the only way to heaven, and he came under conviction of his sin and needed forgiveness. He cast himself on the mercy of God and experienced a peace having trusted that Jesus had died and risen and given him life eternal.
Rabindranath Maharaj was privileged to descend from an impressive lineage of Brahmin priests. His father was a renowned spiritual leader who had taken strict vows and for eight years he did not speak to anyone. Sadly, his father died and since his mother followed Krishna’s teaching, she did not even mourn for her husband and left for India. It was several years later when she returned to see her son. Despite that double shock, Rabi resolved to become a guru.
Transcendental meditation was sometimes accompanied by frightening psychic experiences and similarly kundalini yoga could at times, result in mental and physical harm. He came to believe that he was God and even worshipped himself! On the other hand, he was painfully conscious that he was addicted to cigarettes, regularly stole and on one occasion lashed his younger girl cousins.
At high school he was assailed by numerous doubts from other students, some of which were on the grounds of logic that he was not God. If his reasonings could not be trusted, how could he be certain that the bliss he sought was actually real and not merely an illusion? Rabi met a follower of Jesus who was formerly a Hindu who claimed she had received forgiveness, peace, and love through trusting in Jesus the Messiah as the one true God and he wanted what she had. Rabi was born again. He was not reincarnated, but had a spiritual birth by repenting and trusting in the Lord and worshipping Him alone.
Like Anand Chaudhari, Raghu was influenced by Communism resulting in him questioning Hinduism. He took an interest in Dravidianism and added Bahai teaching which supplemented, but did not compromise his own religion. He then started reading the Bible and initially concluded that rituals practised in the Tanakh (Old Testament), had similarities to that of Hinduism and therefore all religions were in essence the same and arrived eventually at the same destination.
Nonetheless, although he was unaware at the time, Raghu was searching for something. He tried yoga, meditation and even music and films and travelled to holy sites in India. Nothing satisfied him. He became frustrated and disappointed on his travels, though a couple of Bible verses suddenly came to mind, one of which was “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).”
Raghu realised he was a sinner before a holy God and knew he needed forgiveness and that he needed to be reconciled to God. He confessed that he was a sinner, asked for God’s forgiveness, believed that Jesus had died for his sins, and asked the Lord to save him and give him life. He knew real peace for the first time in his life. Though rejected by his family he later married a believer and served the lord in Nepal where several fellowships were established.
Dr Uma Mahesh Bandarupalli
Although a Brahmin, Uma was once embarrassed when unable to answer a question about the Bhagavad-Gita. From then on, he set out to study Hinduism in all seriousness. He was taught that other faiths were dangerous and especially loathed the view that Jesus the Messiah is the only way to God and associated that with what ‘Christian Britain’ had done to India over 200 years. Hence Indian Christians were unsurprisingly comprised of outcasts and untouchables.
Uma then went out of his way to give any disciple of Jesus a really hard time and meanwhile he sought promotion within Hinduism. What made a difference however was the gracious response of the very disciples of Jesus who he directed his abuse towards. A sincere and genuine believer asked him whether he had a personal relationship with God and that caused him to think again.
Again Uma was embarrassed so he set out to disprove the Bible yet read it in a quiet section of a library distanced three miles from his home. Uma read Matthew Chapter 5 and realised that he was a sinner which came as a complete shock to him. He understood that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).” After he came to faith in Jesus, he faced many trials and even attempts on his life from Hindu fundamentalists, though he was saved from his sins and had peace with God.
Interestingly in contrast with the other testimonies and early on in his studies, Sadhu was taught statements in Sanskrit emphasising that he was born in sin, was a doer of sin, coveted sin and that God needed to save him from all kinds of sin. Sadhu expected to become a guru and enquired how many rebirths were required to be rid of his sin. The response was thousands of rebirths were needed and it was impossible!
Sadhu sought an answer to what he had done in his former life that caused his suffering in the present. He was instructed to read one of the Upanishads. Ironically whilst reading a certain story, he came to realise that reincarnation was illogical, and increasingly found further inconsistencies about gods and goddesses worshipped though not even mentioned in the Hindu Scriptures. Eventually Sadhu was asked to leave the Vedic class.
Sadhu later came across a Christian gathering and heard that the Son of God had become incarnate and offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins. Through reading the book of Hebrews, Sadhu discovered that the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah was through one offering which stands forever. He understood that he faced eternal judgement and turned from his sins and was born again immediately. Since then Sadhu served the Lord by preaching the gospel in India.