Confrontation with Creator and Peace with God (Telugu)
I am from Vijayawada and was born in an Orthodox Brahmin Family and belonged to Bharadwaja Sect (Gouthram). My forefathers were orthodox, highly reputed and well known temple priests. During my student days, my friends took me to political classes organized by the Communists.
While attending these classes I had taken a decision that there should not be any religious favouritism in our country. In the process, I became an atheist. I joined a Radical Group which insisted that I take an oath. Accordingly I took an oath that I would do my best to eradicate religious favouritism from India. This I wrote with my own blood. I had also induced a number of people to take similar promises and even wrote articles on the subject and distributed them.
One day people clad in white dress and holding black books were passing through the streets singing songs. As they approached my house one of them pointed out towards our house and said "You men from the ends of the earth, look at me and receive salvation. There is only one God and there is no other God than Jesus Christ." This means that these people did not accept any other religion. Jesus is the only way and no one can reach heaven except through Him, they continued to preach. When I heard this, I decided that a religion of this kind should not exist in our country. I became furious and looked around for a stick to thrash them. I found one (my Grandfatherís walking stick) which had the face of a lion at the top and brass at the bottom. I beat all the 40 with that stick. Blood started oozing out many of them. Some became unconscious. My fury was such I did not know with what force I beat them. One of them had severe head injuries. I went into the house, changed my clothes and even walked over the bodies that were lying there. My feet were full of blood. Later after this episode I was made General Secretary for some areas. I was asked to take an oath as Secretary that I would eradicate Christianity from India. I began burning up the tents at the Christian meetings by pouring petrol in all corners. I persecuted several Christians in various ways. In a meanwhile I received a letter from one of the magazines asking me whether I could write an article criticizing Jesus. I agreed. With great difficulty I managed to procure a Bible and started reading in order to get enough material to write an article in order to criticize Jesus. While going through it I came across a verse from St. Johnís 8th Chapter, 46 verse where it was written the Pharisees, Jews, Teachers of Law and Religious people (religiously devoted) came together to Jesus in order to find fault with him.
Jesus answered "Which of you convicts me of sin." This was like challenging the whole world. I then thought that Jesus may be having some secret sins which are not known to those who wanted to find fault with him. So I started reading the Bible more closely in order to know more about Jesus.
As I was reading Mathew 26:40, here Jesus tells his disciples "Why could you not watch with me for one hour?" I thought Jesus was scared and so he was waking up his disciples. How can he be God who fears and is scared of those who wanted take hold of Him? I thought this was a good theme for me to write an article criticizing Jesus. I continued to read further. Verse 41 states "Watch and Pray lest you enter into temptation." Does this mean that his disciples should not be tempted whatever else may happen to Him? In other words, I felt he was asking them not to save him but to watch and pray lest they be tempted. I was wondering whether he was telling them not to get entangled even if any danger befalls Him.
While I was thus pondering over these thoughts believing Jesus was a good person, tears rolled down my cheeks. I could not believe myself. I must have cried when I was 10 years old but never did I shed tears as I did now. There was no smoke around, no dust around. Then why the tears? I just could not believe I was crying. I wiped my tears.
Then suddenly I felt I was in a dark valley beyond oneís imagination and I was wondering how I could come out of this valley. I felt I was trying to scale the wall and searching for some support. In the meanwhile I saw a light in the shape of a cross at a distance. I felt a thin stream of water flowing in front of me. I felt like drinking that water but when I bent down, I was surprised to see it was blood. It was human blood. The cross shaped light was looking very bright. As I was walking and crawling along the bloody stream, the light disappeared. I came near a log standing upright and another horizontal. The blood that I saw earlier was oozing out of the vertical log. That was a dry wooden log. How could such a nail in the flesh on the knees bleed like a crushed tomato? He might have been thrown and dragged and I was curious to see what happened. I brushed aside the trees and found pieces of flesh 3, 4 and 5 inches in size hanging from the thigh. It was a scary and fearful scene. I could not look at the person on the log. Why was it done like this? He could have died. Had he been stabbed, by some person or hit at a sensitive part of the body? Why was it done like this? I wanted to go further on. There was a big hole on the side of the body into where two of my hands could be placed. Blood was gushing out of that wound. The entire body became blood red. Hands of the body could not be seen. I went back some distance to see the hands. Nails had pierced into the hands. The nail that was hit in the palm had come up to half an inch near the finger thus tearing the palm. Wonít he fall down if that 1/2" flesh is torn? I continued to look further. Thorns were pierced on His head. Then I heard a loud voice reverberating. "He is your Saviour Jesus Christ, He is your Saviour Jesus Christ." I seemed terrified and looked helter and skelter.
Is he really Jesus Christ? Several people in the world believe in Him as God. Why was God helplessly hanging in shame, in such a pitiable condition, in a very cruel situation and could not save himself? If he was really God He should save Himself and come down to me. I turned around to the voice that was talking to me. Again it reverberated from the four corners and also within my heart. He only is your Saviour Jesus, why are you arguing? He is Jesus Christ.
My thoughts came rushing upon me. Is he really Jesus Christ? People in the world believe He is God. Then why was He helplessly hanging in shame in a most cruel and pitiable condition and could not save Himself? If He was really God he should come down from the Cross to me. So was I telling myself that He is Jesus Christ? I then said that I donít know whether He is God or not but what have I to do with Him? I turned back about 5 or 6 steps and heard a soft voice saying ďMy son donít criticize that there in no God. I only, am Jesus your Saviour. I have borne the punishment and continue to suffer for the sin you have committed." I have seen Him and have heard Him with my ears saying He is Jesus Christ. Now I must touch Him and feel Him. Is he really God or man? Let me touch and feel Him. So I started walking back to Him. Then I heard a big loud voice "Oh you people from the ends of the earth look at me and be saved. There is no other God other than me." Then the blood gushed out from his side and splashed on my face. That blood was very hot like boiling oil. My eyes and face should have been burnt. How will I spend the rest of my life with no sight? Why did I get caught into this? What if He were God? I opened my eyes and found myself in the room with my face on the Bible open at its middle. The papers of my articles written to criticize Jesus were all wet with my tears and lay there completely spoiled.
I came out of the house and stood in the street. Then I saw a person coming from a distance towards me. I had a strong feeling that I had seen him earlier somewhere else. He had no teeth at one side and looked ugly. Yes that was Godís servant who had lost his teeth when I had beaten him earlier. As I recognid him, the cross, the bleeding and the voice began appearing. I thought that Godís servants might be knowing all that I experienced in the room earlier. However, I shall ask him. I am not sure whether he will come as I had beaten him earlier. I decided to call him. Hello! Can I talk to you? I said. Jesus appeared to me. Why did they hang Him like that? "Jesus suffered all these so you may not be consumed by the burning hell" said the person. He explained the Gospel for a long time that Jesus gave His life on the Cross for our redemption. "Your sins will be forgiven if you believe in Jesus." He was looking at his watch and I asked him whether he had any urgent work to attend to now? Yes, I have a Prayer Meeting and I shall take leave of you. We shall meet again.
What do you do in the Prayer Meeting? I questioned. Oh! We sing songs and worship Him and will tell people how Jesus appears to people like you. I enquired whether I can attend the meeting. He invited me heartily and asked me to join him in the Prayer Meeting. He hired a rickshaw and took me to the meeting. In this meeting Jesus forgave my sins and washed away all my sins. I sent my testimony to the Govt. On 18th March 1984, eleven months after, I openly in the presence of 500 people confessed that while I was yet a sinner Christ suffered and died for me, so I am prepared to die for Him now or at any time. I took my baptism. Then the Govt. gave me a job. But after sometime Jesus called me to serve Him as a full time servant. I resigned my job. Since then I have faced several trials and tribulations both at home and outside. My parents disowned me and pushed me out of the house. I left home empty handed. But my Great God Lord Jesus Christ is using me to bring many to know their Creator and their Savior.
I was responsible in destroying my country to some extent. Now my objective is to present my country before the Lord. My earnest prayer is that my Lord should save my country from the clutches of poverty, superstitions and innocence. My ministry is to make known to them the love of God.
My prayer is that I may serve the Lord for the Salvation of our Nation.