I come from the 145th direct generation of Sri Vaishnam Bhattachary priesthood community. Even today, grandfather, Raghu Bhattachary is the chief priest in Srilakshmaneshaswamy Devasthanam at Ponvanugalathoor. I come from a family background of priests and today my whole family are Bhattacharyas by the grace of Jesus Christ, have come among you as a Bhattacharya for Lord Jesus Christ.
At the age of six I wore the sacred thread (poonool) according to the Hindu tradition.
I was sent to an ashramam for my studies. Right from my childhood I studied the Rigveda, Yegurveda, Samarveda, Adarvarnaveda, Nalayiram Lijya Prabhandtha, Ethihasa, Purana Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagvatgeetha etc etc in the Hindu mythological subjects in Sanskrit as well as in the Grandha Language. Once my early education was over in Hindu philosophy in south India, I was sent to North India, Uttar Pradesh to do my doctorate in the Banaras University. I went there and did my siromony in Sanskrit and PhD in Grandha. While I was studying in the Banaras University the destruction of the Babri Masjid took place at Ayodhya. Since I was a Bhattachary and since I was doing my double PhD in a famous Hindu University, I was chosen by the RSS as their national youth leader
The research topic that I had taken for my thesis was “How will man go to the kingdom of God after his death?” How will a man reach the Brahma patha or Sivan Narayan Patha or how can we go to the kingdom of God. While I was going through many books in the library, a very old sanyasi came to the library and called out to me. He was having a long beard and very long hair. He was wearing only an ordinary dhoti. He called me out, and giving me a small piece of paper he walked out. I did not know who he was or where he came from. After he left I looked at the small piece of paper and on it was written the verse . “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, for whosoever believe him should not perish/die but shall have everlasting life in heaven
I went to all my gurujis and asked them who is this begotten son. All they could tell me was that the begotten son is Krishna and Rama etc etc but nobody told me that Jesus is the only begotten son. For one month I was desperately hunting for the answer. After one month, one particular morning I was sitting in my dormitory going through this piece of paper once again. Every day my eagerness becoming very high to know who this begotten Son of God is. Then I heard a voice telling me to read the rigveda. Upon opening it what I read in Sanskrit was “Santhakaram purakasayanam, pathmanabam suresham, vishwakaram mekavarnam lakshikanthan yogikirtham vandal bishnumbam, survalokayika.” which means, “The God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son of God that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life”. When I read the bible scripture in my own Rigveda I decided that even if I die I must obey this only begotten son but dont know who is that begotten son.
I was invited to Delhi to be awarded the presidents Gold medal in the Indian parliament amidst all the distinguished parliamentarians.
I booked my ticket on the Ganga-Kaveri express. At Varnasi station I boarded the train and subsequently arrived in Madhya Pradesh.The railway staff went for a coffee break and at the same time I heard a voice telling me to get down at this station. I was wondering why I should do this for I did not have any relatives there. The more I refused to listen to the voice the more persistent it became. Finally I gave in and got off the train. After a few minutes the train left the station and I was left alone on the platform. Again I heard a small voice telling me to start walking. I started to walk. After walking for nearly 3 kilometers I came to a place called Baratpur. Mapier town in Jabalpur city. The moment I came to this particular spot, where there was a cement arch, I saw the same old sanyasi who had come to my college library, 800 kilometers away, coming towards me pointing his fingers at me. Putting his hand on me he said, “The Lord who you wanted to know in your life is Jesus Christ. The only begotten son whom you are seeking is Christ. He loves you and forgives your sin and he is going to cleanse you from all your sinful natures. He is going to give you a new life”. When he said all that I could not control myself. Here was a very simple man, very old and ordinary, but yet filled with the resurrected power of the Lord, preaching the gospel to me. I humbled myself and yielded to that saint.
From there he took me to a place called Bidagarh. That is where the Narmada River flows into a very high velocity. We crossed the river and went to the other side where we could find no human beings at all. He took me into the forest and he took me inside a cave. With a great burden he knelt in the cave and opening the bible he started to preach the gospel. He told me how God created the heavens and the earth, the rivers and the seas, the plants and the animals and how he created human beings. He told me of the fall of man into sin and how the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as the Messiah, how much He suffered on the cross at Golgotha and how he finally died
But here I found the Jesus came and died for my sins. Even Hinduism says very sincerely in the Samaveda, “Every man is a sinner and unless he is cleansed by the precious blood he cannot go into the kingdom of God”
The Lord was merciful to me . As it says in the bible “He that covers his sin shall not prosper but whosoever shall confess it and forsake it shall have mercy”. Again it also says, “If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you all your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness”. I did it in the presence of the Lord. I wept bitterly for all my sinful activities right from my childhood to that day. God heard my prayers for in the bible it is written in revelation chapter 3:20, “Behold I stand at your door and knock, and if any man heareth my voice, open the door. I will come to him and will sup with him and he with me”. He stands at your door and knocks. It is because when he chooses a son or a daughter for his kingdom, he has the courtesy to knock. Satan never knocks. For him a small ventilator is enough to creep in through. Lord Jesus alone can bless. That is how I came to know the Lord. After accepting Jesus as my personal saviour, He showed me many areas in my life where there was still sin and on my part I confessed and prayed and got myself cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
Every morning we used to kneel together in the presence of the Lord for hours and pray and meditate upon the word of God. After 2 months one day he took me to the Narmada River and baptized me in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
The moment I reached home my parents were standing outside. My father did not allow me to go inside the house. They said to me. “We sent you to get a higher education in the most famous university. You received 2 gold medals from the president of India. After all this you are returning as a poor, downtrodden, inferior untouchable caste. What happened to you?” They left me standing at the door and after asking for some Ganges water from the temple my father proceeded to give me a bath as I was defiled. He poured that water over me. Even then according to them I was still impure for only external purification had taken place and I still needed internal purification. So he sent another priest to the backyard of the house and asked him to bring a glass of cows urine. I was told to drink this by my father. In our family our father is very revered and in no way do we show any disrespect to him. Therefore when he commanded me to drink I had to obey. I silently received this and saying “victory in the blood of Jesus”, over and over again, I silently drank it. Only then was I allowed to enter.
My parents were still afraid that I might sneak out and join some Christian church in Nepal, and once or twice without my fathers knowledge I did visit a faith home in Nepal. Thus my father started to give me so much work that I would always find myself to be busy. I was given lot of chores to do, even in the temple mainly cleaning and washing various idols housed there. All this I did obeying my father, always saying “Victory in the name of Jesus”. Wanting to punish me he left me behind in the temple one night.
These temples were constructed 2000 to 3000 years ago and right from the entrance to the Mola Sarpa Graha, we had to walk not less than 3 km. The ceiling is 100 to 120 ft high and at night there are no lights as there were no electricity connections. The temple was also infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions. For many days I was not given any food nor did I have any proper clothing. But amidst all these dangers I knelt down and prayed, “Lord without your will I can never be here. I do not know for what reason you have kept me here but help me to proclaim and lift your name to these people. Lord open the door where I can proclaim the good news for David said in the scripture, “What shall I do unto the Lord who has given me the joy of salvation?” Again in the very next scripture he says,” I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the presence of all his people“. The next morning about 60 bhattacharyas came to open the temple early in the morning and doing so they came inside. I was on fire and at that moment called out to the bhattacharyas. “Come here. What does your Vedas say about God? What does Hinduism say about God? Who is true God in Hinduism? What are the characteristics of God mentioned in Hinduism? What does Hinduism say about how a man can go into the kingdom of God? Who is the true god that can bring salvation to mankind? For example Om Shri brahmaputhraye namaha- what does this mean? The only begotten son I worship thee. Who is the only begotten Son? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. Om shri Martha Namaha- the Holy Spirit of God I worship thee. Who is the Holy Spirit of God? Again it is the Lord Jesus Christ. Om shri Kannisuthayeha namaha-which means the Lord who is born to a virgin. Om vidyshtayaha Namaha- the Lord who had the circumcision I worship thee. Om shri Panchkayika namaha- the Lord who had the five injuries for the sake of mankind. Om shri vriksh shula arudayaka nama vrisha pondha marthil shulathil siluthayil baliyanavare, umbaye nan namaskarikunen. Who is the Lord who died on the cross of Calvary? All this is our Lord Jesus Christ. Our God is not a dead God. It is true that he came as a messiah to this world. He preached the gospel. He cancelled the devils and the demons. He healed the sick people ad brought salvation to so many people and finally he died on the cross of Calvary, he was buried but he did not become sand. Om Shri mrithyu nayaya namaha meaning the Lord who resurrected from the depths of the Earth on the third day I worship thee”. By the divine grace of God 13 people accepted the Saviour. Out of them 6 took baptism. Today they are strong believers. All this God did for His glory.
There is a crown of life awaiting each and every one of us. In order to receive it we must run a good race and we should fight a good fight. It is not enough just accepting the Lord as our personal saviour or being baptized, nor is it enough that we receive the f=gifts of the Holy Spirit.