Why a Hindu Priest Left the Religion to Follow Christ

Growing up in London, my parents were Hindus.  That automatically makes me a Hindu.  Hinduism is a canvas of hundreds of religions  with different doctrines and ideas and philosophies.  I was so desperate to search for God that at the age of 19,  I flew to India and trained to become a Hindu priest.  In my first month of training, I was in the temple  upstairs praying, worshiping.  At that moment, I had this very silent voice in my left ear  say, “Have you made the right choice?”  My goodness, what have I done?  In this Hindu religion that I was with,  we firmly believed that the guru is God.  When he speaks, God is speaking.  So to be chosen to be one of His favorite priests  is like the most incredible dream coming true.  I was feeling more and more restless  because the more I studied, the more questions I had.  And when I asked tough questions to the scholars in India  and they weren’t liking it, one of the scholars  said, “Submit to what we’re teaching you.  You’ve decided to wear these clothes.  Now, this is forever.”  So I knew that seriously, there’s a problem here.  I thought because I’m so close to the guru,  I can easily share what’s on my heart.  And so I said I feel that I’m being brainwashed.  And there was a dead silence in the room.  He looked at me and said, “You think too much.  Just get on with it.  And as time goes on, your questions will be answered.”  That didn’t gave me a sense of peace  that this journey is the right journey.  So I left the room.  Flags were raised in my mind, and the battle really  started to begin.  As a Swami priest, I went to Rome 19 times  because I just love the atmosphere of churches.  I used to visit the Sistine Chapel.  And I was in my orange robes with a shaven head.  And I remember looking up at the paintings of Jesus and John  the Baptist.  I felt something beyond the physical that was there.  There was something really resonating in my heart.  One day, I was buying books in a bookshop near the temple,  and I saw a children’s Bible.  And I opened it, and I started reading it.  I felt a connection so quickly, so easily.  I then had to shut the book quickly.  It just represented something completely  opposite to what I represented.  It’s the fear kept me distant from the Bible.  These secret moments with Jesus were significant.  I started including these experiences in my talks,  and people were liking that.  I could sense on people’s faces that they’re  being fed with something that they really do need by a God  that they didn’t know.  Thousands of people were cheering me on,  clapping when I would speak.  I would climb off the stage and go to my room  and literally say to a God that I didn’t know, “Can you  please get me out of here?”  At the same time, if I left, I’d be seen  as the guy who betrayed guru.  The whole world I knew, every friend that I had made,  every thing that I’d worked for, it would all be lost.  Fear crippled me.  Fear kept me where I was.  I had a meeting with the guru.  This meeting with him in Mumbai was very different.  I just knew something was wrong.  And immediately, he challenged me  about my doctrine, my theology.  Finally, it just came out of my mouth.  I said, “I don’t want to be a Swami anymore.”  And soon as I said that, this silence just fell.  He said, “Fine.  Go.”  And that was it.  And so my mind froze.  But I got up that day.  I left the room.  I finally got off this train that I was on for 20 years.  I was done with my search for God.  And I parked the whole idea of religion  because I had no answers.  Then feeling that I’ve wasted my life with Hinduism,  I forgot about my secret encounters with Christ.  I was done.  So I flew back to London.  Three weeks later, I was walking to South Kensington Station.  I had a prompting, and my head turned, and I saw this church  down this very quiet road.  And as I approached the church, I  saw these beautiful red doors.  It was a Sunday morning.  And these two people were welcoming people to come in.  And soon as I walked through the doors, the presence of God  just fell on me.  I felt this incredible peace.  And this very silent whisper again in my left ear  said, “You’re home.”  I went upstairs and sat in the pew.  I heard the worship.  The sermon made sense to me.  I needed to repent of my sins.  I needed to ask for His forgiveness.  And I gave my life to Jesus, which released a huge burden  off my shoulders.  And there was a deep sense of comfort.  I realize that God was there throughout my life  knocking on the door of my heart,  attracting me, guiding me.  He valued my soul so much, even though I was seeking out  another religion.  Jesus met me where I was.  It’s not a religion.  God showed me this is a relationship now.  I’ve never felt so much rest in my soul.  I mean, a peace that surpasses all understanding.  And for me, it’s mind blowing.