Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hindu Brahmin converts to Christianity

Personal Testimony of Anant Mahadevan, editor of Outlook Business, India


"The world would call it a conversion; I call it a change of heart"  - Anant Mahadevan

Hindu Brahmin Background
I was born a Brahmin and am the grandson of a priest whom I dearly loved. I am educated and my current professional standing indicates that I am reasonably intelligent. I am also affluent and my income would put me distinctly in the upper middle class bracket. I guess that would make me high-caste, rich and smart. In other words, I am not a tribal, or poor or dim-witted. And yet, I chose to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

The world would call me a convert to Christianity. I have no problems with that, though I see my faith more as a relationship with God through Jesus Christ than as a religion. And for the record, I can truthfully claim that no one financially induced or threatened or deceived me into converting to Christianity.

I am fiercely proud of my national identity as an Indian and I am completely at peace with my cultural identity as a Hindu. I retain the name my parents gave me. My wife, who also shares my faith, continues to go by her Hindu name. We have two children and we have given both distinctly Hindu names. In fact, many of my colleagues and acquaintances who may happen to read this column are likely to be surprised. They have no inkling about my faith, for I generally don't go about announcing it. But if someone does ask me the reason behind the joy and hope that is ever present in my life, I am always delighted to share it with them.


Change of Heart not a change of religion
I write this piece to make one point—that my conversion was not a change of religion but a change of heart. To explain this, I need to go back to my childhood in Chennai, similar to that of so many other Tamil Brahmin boys like me. My grandfather, every bit the virtuous priest, had enormous influence over me. I absolutely adored him and as a toddler, always clung to him. He too loved me to a fault. There was no wish of mine that he would not rush to fulfil. But even in my early, formative years I was unable to relate to the religion he fervently practiced. Later, in my school days, I once spent my summer holidays with him in Trichy. Memories of dawn walks with him, for the ritualistic dip in the Cauvery river, cow in tow, are still fresh in my memory. I learnt many shlokas, some of which I still remember. But I never understood any of it and none of it helped me connect with God.


My Introduction to Christianity
When I was 19, a Christian friend with whom I used to play cricket invited me to his house for prayer. If he had invited me to a pub, or party, I would have gone too. At his home, he and his sister prayed for me. It was a simple yet delightful conversation with God that lasted all of five minutes. I don't remember it verbatim, but they articulated a prayer of blessing on my life, future, career and family. It was a simple affair—no miracles, no angels visiting. All they did was utter a deep human cry out to the creator God and His only son Jesus Christ. When they said Amen, I felt in my heart a desire to follow Jesus.

It was a faith encounter with God that I shall not even attempt to understand, rationalise or explain. I simply accept it. It is my faith. It is what I choose to believe. That evening I did not change my religion, for in reality I had none. Hinduism was my identity, not my religion. It still is.

The Christianity I acquired that evening is not a religion. On the contrary, it is an intensely intimate relationship with Jesus. Over the past fifteen years, I have come to know this Jesus even closer. I know Him as the pure and sinless Son of a Holy God. And I know Him as a dear friend to whom I pray and talk to every day—about my career, my dreams, successes, failures, finances and even my sexuality.


How can I not tell all my friends about Him?
If I read a good book, watch a good movie (Rock On is terrific, mate), or eat a good meal at a new restaurant, I would naturally tell my friends about it. In Jesus, I have discovered a truly amazing friend, guide, leader, saviour and God. How can I not tell all my friends about Him? And if anyone does listen and he too comes to believe in Jesus, I am delighted. The world would call it a conversion; I call it a change of heart, like mine.


A constitutional right to practice my faith and to preach it
But I would never force anyone to listen to me, leave alone financially induce, coerce or con him into believing. That to me is pointless and against the very grain of my faith. But I do have a constitutional right to practice my faith and to preach it without deception, force or bribery. It pains to see such basic rights of mankind being cruelly violated every day in this great Hindu nation.

God bless India.


(Anand Mahadevan is the editor of Outlook Business.)
 

source:  http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?238770


34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, conversion of heart; that is what Jesus asks from us, not merely a change of name. And no law can prevent it from being happen.

Priscidjp said...

God bless u n ur family sir... Good testimony n encouraging words to grow more in christ..

Priscidjp said...

Awesome testimony sir n ur words r really encouraging to grow more in christ.. May God bless u n ur family

Jinu John said...

Thanks for such bold statement..I have heard lot of people blindly accusing christians for conversion,which i believe is never true.Christ came into this world not for conversion but for salvation of sinners.May God bless you immensely.He loves us so much that He has written our names on His palms(Isaiah 49:16).Mark 8:38 says that we should be ashamed of testifying the greatness of our God.

Jay Joseph said...

We also have the duty to proclaim
the word of the Lord Loud & Clear.It is guatanteed by our constitution

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pramila said...

Hello Mr.Anant,

The concept of conversion as you said is so misunderstood and do not blame anyone. Its their relationship with God that makes them perceive otherwise. Please its a request I want to get in touch with you and yr wife. You will be a great testimony to my family.

Alex Panda said...

Every Hindu should worship Jesus Christ...amen

Alex Panda said...

India..for dat matter d whole world needs Jesus for peace and prosperity.Every Hindu in India should welcome Jesus in their hearts.Hindus already have some million Gods..so why cant dey pray Jesus-The Supreme God.Amen!!

Unknown said...

i m vikram pratap singh. a married man.....both he n she want change my religian(hindu to christian).
we r from fatehpur,u.p. 212601
my id vikramtomar1986@gmail.com
my cell no. 9839225464
any one plz help me

Anonymous said...

Hello sir my name is Puneet. I want to change my religion from Hindu to Christian. Please guide me... My e mail is puneet.kumar451@gmail.com

Unknown said...

i want 2 convert to christianity help me

Jesus loves you said...

For those of you, who are saying you want to "convert"...I have just one word of advice for you. Ask Jesus to come into your life, read the Bible and pray. Christianity is a personal relationship with God, it is having God as your friend, having Jesus live inside of you. May the Holy Spirit reveal the truth of God to you and may he come into your heart and grant you peace and love.

Christ to the World said...

Dear - "Jesus Loves You" -

You are correct - Christianity is a personal relationship with God.

To those who want to accept Jesus in their lives,
Jesus seeks your heart.

I pray O Lord that the Holy Spirit may move in those who are actively and sincerely seeking YOU. May your kingdom come in their hearts and homes. Amen.

For I know O Lord, that once they find you, you will lead them to become instruments of salvation and love.

Unknown said...

hi sir i want change religion hindu into cristianity so plz plz help me my contact no. is 09904724669
email id is vkjoshi676@gmail.com
i want really peace

A. S. Mathew said...

The misconception of the non-Christian religious followers is that JESUS is the monopoly GOD of the Christians, which is absolutely and totally wrong. JESUS didn't come to the world to start Christianity. In 70 AD, in the city of Antioch, the people addressed the followers of JESUS CHRIST as Christians. JESUS died at the cross for the sins of the whole humanity, for the people of all the religions and non-religion. The peace and joy through believing in JESUS is totally free of cost. Believing in JESUS is not changing religion. The totally bankrupt person and Bill Gates have the same right to the salvation offered at the Cross at Calvary.

Anonymous said...

I AM A HINDU BUT IN THE WORLD THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD , HIS NAME IS LORD: JESUS CHRIST & I WANT TO CONVERT ALL THE HINDUS IN INDIA INTO CHRISTIANS AND INDIA BECOME A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, SO PLEASE BOOST MISSIONARY IN INDIA.I LOVE JESUS. "PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST".

Anonymous said...

"TESTIMONY FOR ALL HINDUS" "PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST". IN PAST I AM ALSO A HINDU YOUNG BOY. I AM GRADUATED. I WORKED SEVERAL ORGANISATIONS. THEN I RESIGNED THE JOB AND PREPARING FOR BANK EXAM. AFTER THAT I DO PRAY IN TEMPLES. BUT NO JOB NO HAPPINESS. ONE DAY WHEN I WAS SEEING TV I REACHED 'SUBHAVARTHA' CHANNEL IN TELUNGU AND 'ANGEL TV' IN TAMIL. I WANT TO KNOW HOW INDIA CONVERTING TO CHRISTIANITY? I SAW THESE CHANNELS AT 10.30PM TO 12.00AM EVERY DAY AND BLESSED. THEN I SAW 2 PRAYER REQUEST NUMBERS FROM THESE CHANNELS. THEY ARE 1. JESUS REDEEM MINISTRIES- 04639220000, AND 2. PJS PAUL MINISTRIES- 09393117978. I CALLED THESE NUMBERS FOR PRAY. WHEN EXAMS CAME DOWN I CALLED THEM AND REQUEST TO PRAY FOR ME TO GET THE SUCCESS. IN THAT TIME I WROTE 6 BANK EXAMS. AFTER 5 MONTHS THE RESULTS WERE PUBLISHED. THE MIRACLE HAPPENED IN MY LIFE. I HAVE PASSED THESE 6 EXAMS. NOW I AM WORKING AS A PO AT SBI AND MY LIFE WAS IN HAPPINESS. SO "HINDUS WAKE UP AND COME TO THE REAL GOD JESUS CHRIST".

Anonymous said...

I think that it will happen before 2030

Anonymous said...

Great

santi said...

the god of vedas is none other than the lord jesus christ. he is the prajaapathy mentioned in vedas of hindu religion. they should worship him only. may the holy spirit help them to study and understand vedas and come to jesus their true god and their creator. praised be jesus amen.

santiago

Unknown said...

Its great dear may god bless u. I want jesus to come in my life.

Anonymous said...

Sir I am a Hindu too but I can't tell you how much I have changed because of the love of Jesus Christ. I can completely understand when you said that Jesus Christ is your saviour and friend. I have felt His guide, presence and love in so many ways. Earlier I used to complain about so many things in my life but now after following Him as my Lord all that I have in my heart is LOVE. God is LOVE and the LOVE is only JESUS CHRIST.

Anonymous said...

You are welcome to the real god Jesus

Anonymous said...

Hi.. I want to to change my religion hindu to Christian.becoz there is no peace in Hinduism. I am a post graduate of english literature and have master degree in education department of English. I want to earn more money and faith in God by accepting Christian. I want a secure teacher job in Christian school... After that I will spend all my life towards the jesus christ..... Plz help me.... I am from kanpur
.

Unknown said...

Myself ajay kumar rajput Hindu wish to convert to Christianity BT not finding channel to do so.plz help .E:ajaykumar_280673@rediffmail.com #8826183816,7834876176

Unknown said...

my name.is imran khan .i want to convert to crition .plz.halp m my cell no. 9713001551 .&email .ik9713001551@gmail.com plz contect me

Unknown said...

God has done wonder in your life............may it become source for many to come closer to God.

Unknown said...

Jesus is the answer for all in the world, I am Sreejith. Me and my cousin (Murukan) converted to Christianity. Then we accept the names Sreejith Varghese & Bernard. We convert more than 500 people to Christianity from Hinduism. Now all these people were happy & starts a new better life. Our plan is to convert the whole India to Christianity. So all must co operate with us. Come with Jesus & get healing.

Unknown said...

Oh Jesus, please help the whole India to convert as a Christian country. Praise the lord...

pushkar said...

I want to convert myself in to Christian

Stephen said...

Will point out in regard to change of heart that it was not something we do, it is HE that does it. See Ezekiel 36:26-28 "I will give you a New Heart and put a New Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

and Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to Know Me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart."

Being In Christ as He in Thee is not 'just' a relationship... it is a New Identity...that is to say , 'Name".

Isaiah 44:8 "Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses.

Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock (that is CHRIST, not 'Peter')?

I know of none.'"

9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.…" And There is No other NAME under heaven by which we can be Saved. DROP all other names...

Anonymous said...

Well said mr. Panda.

Anonymous said...

I love Jesus Christ, Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus 🙏🙏🙏🙏

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