I was born in an orthodox Hindu family and use to hate Christianity, as it was perception that Jesus Christ is foreign God and foreign people are influencing their religion in our country. Yes, most of the Indians like me are in the same perception.
My father was a pious and well-known person in our community. Every day he used to get up early in the morning at 4.00 a.m. for personal devotion. As I grew up, I strictly followed the footsteps of my father. When I turned 13, I looked up to my father as a role model. He was never negligent in performing pooja/worship to all Hindu gods every day.
His day began early in the morning at 4:00 a.m. with prayer in our special prayer room and continued until 7:00 a.m. He strictly adhered to this schedule. After him, I went into the pooja room and performed pujas to all Hindu gods. As per the custom I went for the bhajan at the temple every day. I was strictly advised to do it diligently for the uplifting of my spiritual life. During the daytime my father wrote ‘ SRI RAM NAAM ‘, and he was the first one to write it more than 10 million times during those days. (1977). He dedicated it in one of the RAMA TEMPLES at Badhrachalamin Tamil Nadu.
We were four sons, and I was the youngest in our family. I was very weak in my studies and stood second last in the class. I lost my father when I was in 10th Standard (secondary school), That was the turning point in my life. After that, I decided to concentrate on my studies. By God’s grace [at this point in your life, as you did not yet know the one true God, it may be good to say something to the effect that in retrospect, you could see that God was working in your life even though you didn’t know it at the time] I passed my matriculation exams (10th) with second class and joined higher secondary.
I was sincere in my school studies and stood in the top three ranks of the class. I also used to play county level cricket matches and won many trophies. Then I joined B.Sc. (Maths) and tried to complete my graduation so as to get a decent job. I became a sincere, serious and religious person.
In spite of all my hard work I managed to pass in only four papers out of eight papers in the first year. My elder brother fired me because of the poor results. I told him that I had written all my papers very well and did not know how I had failed. He had asked me to check with university for re-evaluation all these four papers. My papers were sent for re-evaluation and fortunately I had passed in two more papers but failed in two other papers. Out of these two papers, one was Algebra wherein I had scored 02 marks out of 100 though the minimum marks per question is 5 marks.
Thereafter my lifestyle changed completely. I was frustrated as I could not secure good results. And I started to smoke and became a chain smoker. I started using drugs and drank liquor. I became a ringleader of a gang. I indulged in ragging, brawling, and eve-teasing. Whenever there was a college strike, I stood in the front to lead it. I became a notoriously bad person. But every day I went to the temple ceremoniously and performed the puja in my house every morning, in-spite of doing all these misdeeds, as there was no one to teach me or correct me or encourage me to live right life.
Believe me, this subject called Algebra was after me, as I didn’t know it at the time that this subject called Algebra would play an important role in my journey to faith or bring complete transformation of my lifestyle/character. I was not able to complete my graduation within the stipulated time (three years) due to this. I rewrote my Algebra exams FIVE TIMES of and every time I scored only 02 MARKS. But the students who copied my papers got 50 marks!
I was greatly disappointed as I was disqualified to secure a decent job. My family members were very much annoyed about my failure, and I did not find anyone to comfort or guide me at that time.
I sought for a job in that city (Chennai) and finally got a job as supervisor in one of the textile export companies with a salary of Rs.250 per month for eight hours duty. The salary was negligible and I had a tough time with family members. So I started working with a Chartered Accountant as a part time job from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.
After working for more than 12 hours a day, I burned the midnight oil studying Algebra, which was a nightmare. I wrote the exam once again but in vain because I got again 02 marks in that exam. There was NO PEACE IN MY LIFE … NO JOY IN MY LIFE … NO ONE TO LOVE ME … NO ONE TO GUIDE ME … NO ONE TO TAKE CARE OF ME — although my own people were around me. My health worsened and I vomited blood due to excessive consumption of drugs/alcohol/smoking.
I reached the brink of desperation and so I decided to commit suicide. I felt that I was worthless to my family and to society. One afternoon I went to a well to commit suicide and tried to jump in, while I was trying to jump in, I heard a voice saying, ‘SUICIDE IS NOT THE CONCLUSION OF LIFE AND YOU NEED TO FACE THE FACT’. In-fact, there was no one around me or in a visible distance and I was not able to understand whose voice was it.
Then again, I tried second time to jump in but this time also I heard same voice saying ‘SUICIDE IS NOT THE CONCLUSION OF LIFE AND YOU NEED TO FACE THE FACT’. Again I looked around but found none and I ignored the voice but tried time to jump in well, but again I heard the same voice saying, ‘SUICIDE IS NOT THE CONCLUSION OF LIFE AND YOU NEED TO FACE THE FACT.
Finally, I decide to postpone my suicide attempt and face the challenges of life. Again, one afternoon I was so depressed that I ran to the temple (Hindu temple) with bare footed and literally cried before the GOD at the temple (Hindu temple), asking God “Why has this is happening to me? In spite of my hard work, why I can’t I obtain my degree? And why can’t I find real love or comfort from my family members?’ why so many failures (one after one) in my life? But there was no answers for all questions and returned with more disappointment.
Sometime later, I decided to go to my eldest brother’s house (who was the first Christian convert in our family), whom I hated more, and all my family members/relatives disowned him and caste out our family because he has changed his religion. I decided to go to him because I do not have any other place to live some time with peace of mind.
Even there I used to continue to visit Hindu temples for pooja. My brother had never questioned me or stopped me to visit temple because he was bit afraid of me since I hated him most. I never attend any of their family prayer or church meetings (though he himself is pastor). I started some of the books related to bible just to pass my time but I could not able understand anything from these books. There I got zeal to know about the Bible, but not with the intention of becoming a Christian. One day I told to my brother that I want to know about this bible, as many of my fellow Hindu people are changing their religion by reading or going to the church. My brother was shocked and asked me to pack up and go back home.
After much persuasion, my elder brother agreed to send me to the Bible college on one condition: That I should not disclose this to any one of our family members or friends. Otherwise, they may cause trouble to him [because of the Christian influence he was having on you?]. I agreed to that – as I did not want to become a Christian but only to know about the Bible. I joined a Bible College in Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh State).
On the very first day, God started working in my life through miracles. Here is the first miracle that I experienced in my life. In the first week of my Bible college study, I fell sick, and I never knew how to pray to God. It was night and there was no one to take care of me since all were new and I did not know what to do. But that night, around 11 p.m., I just knelt down and started crying without uttering any word. Praise God who saw my tears and healed me that very moment.
Even after this miracle I did not accept Jesus as my Savior but while reading the Bible, God opened my spiritual eyes and convicted me to understand that I am a “SINNER”. I confessed my sins and repented but still did not accept Jesus as my Lord.
During the days of my Bible College, I appeared for Algebra exams in Chennai. A couple of months later I asked God to give me the Algebra exam result within 24 hours. I kept this as a test to find whether this God is a true God or not. (I did not know whether the results were published or not at that time) But I prayed earnestly “GOD IF YOU ARE A REAL GOD, PLEASE ANSWER MY PRAYER.”
“GOD I WILL GIVE 24 HRS TIME FROM NOW ONWARDS (IT WAS IN THE AFTERNOON). I SHOULD GET MY RESULTS BY TOMORROW 0200 P.M. ”
That night I fasted and prayed to God continuously. Next morning, I attended the Bible classes. That afternoon all the students had gone for lunch, and I was alone in the classroom with great stress. I was praying to God. After lunch all the students returned to the classroom and the second half of the session was about to begin. The set time was nearing, and I was really tense, and I thought: Did this God also forsake me? If it is so, then there is no God at all.
When the class was about to start and the professor had entered the classroom, I was in the last bench of the classroom with downcast heart and soul. But at exactly 2:00 p.m. I saw a postman standing at the door — calling my name. Immediately I stood up and approached him to get my parcel (that was a registered AD). I got the sealed cover, and I opened it in front of all the students and teacher, as I was very anxious to know what was inside the cover.
Believe me … I got my original mark sheet of Algebra wherein I scored 2nd in the class! I was not able to believe this and without knowing I literally cried in front all the students and professor. They looked at me with great puzzlement. Immediately, the professor asked me what happened? I requested the professor to allow me to speak a few words and my request was granted. That event is still vivid in my memory, and these are the words I addressed at that time:
“I TESTED GOD BY GIVING HIM AN IMPOSIBBLE THING TO DO. I STARTED PRAYING TO GOD TO MAKE IT HAPPEN WITHIN THE STIPULATED TIME — THAT IS WITHIN 24 HRS TIME. I ALSO ASKED (told) GOD THAT IT SHOULD HAPPEN BEFORE 2:00 PM TODAY, OTHERWISE THERE WILL BE NO EXISTENCE OF GOD FOR ME”.
(And with a loud voice with tears streaming down my face) “BUT TODAY THE LIVING AND THE PRAYER – ANSWERING GOD HAS PROVEN THAT HE IS THE MIGHTY GOD AND CAN MAKE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS POSSIBLE!
“TODAY I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE IS NO GOD BESIDES THIS GOD – LORD JESUS – WHO IS THE TRUE GOD AND WORTHY OF ALL GLORY!”
That day onwards my faith increased, and I decided to get baptized and lead a life pleasing to Jesus Christ.
Now the journey is ongoing and still my God is answering prayers of mine and I sincerely thank this God for showing great love and compassion though I am unworthy.