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.)



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

Parry Sequeira said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, you are correct. Jesus asks us to change our heart and offer this to HIM.

In Christ

Parry Sequeira said...

Hi Priscidjp,

Thanks for your kind words. May God bless you as well.

In Christ,

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

۞AnUj GaUr۞ αℓωαýѕ● •ωιтн υ... said...

Hello frnds
My name is Anuj Gaur.I am a Graduate with B.E. (Mechanical) as my majors and an outstanding academic background.i want chang my Religian(hindu to Religiant Christian) plz any one help me

mail or call me at or 9414831343 in indai

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 why cant dey pray Jesus-The Supreme God.Amen!!

vikram singh 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
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

simharayudu arjun 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 Jesus 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.

joshi vk said...

hi sir i want change religion hindu into cristianity so plz plz help me my contact no. is 09904724669
email id is
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...


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