“Good morning. How many of you are really happy this morning? I am Dr. Srinivasa Bhattachary. If I appropriately introduce myself stating my full name it is too long. 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 for the gods who have eyes but cannot see, who have ears but cannot hear, who have noses but cannot smell, who have hands but cannot touch, who have legs but cannot walk, but I 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 given to the Gayathri Diksha, ombhoohu, Ombhuwaha, Om subhaga, ommaha, Omjanaka, Om thapaka, Om sathyam, Om thathuservdarinam, Om barbudevastimagam, Om diviyayonagam,Om prajothaya, Om jothirasakam, Om amarthavaram, Om burbosaram. 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 objective of the RSS, as you all know, is to stop foreign religions coming to India. They are especially dead against Christ and Christianity being proclaimed in the land of India. When I was in this organization as their national Youth leader, my personal commitment was to destroy the mosque then and there. In those days my faith in the Hindu religion and their gods was very strong and so I went all the way to France and I peddled a dynamite bomb and I brought it to India and set it off at the tomb of the mosque, using my personal computer from my cabin. At that time many Islamic fundamentalists came forward to stop us in our activities. In retaliation our Hindu parishad people chopped their hands and legs and chopped off their heads and killed not less than 3000 people and flung their bodies into the Sarayoor River. I recall this, as I was totally submerged into the sinful way of life right from the beginning. That was how strongly I believed in the Hindu philosophy.
After this incident I was doing the research work in my university library. 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 from John chapter 3 verse 16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, for whosoever believeth should not perish but shall have everlasting life”. The more I read this scripture the more it began to inspire me in the very depth of my heart. My dear brothers and sisters why did this particular scripture inspire me so much? The word of God says in John, chapter 1 that the word of God consists of life. 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 Paramatma and Rama Paramatma 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. Tears started to gush out my eyes 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 and that I must surrender my life to Him.
My exams got over and after finishing my thesis I registered the same with the registrar of the university. When the result came, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ I came first in the whole of India in both my doctorates. I was invited to Delhi to be awarded the presidents Gold medal in the Indian parliament amidst all the distinguished parliamentarians. But all this did not give me any joy. Here I was born into a royal family of Nepal, with my family breeding 13 elephants and having 108 divine temples across the world where we are the chief priests, having obtained double doctorates and double gold medals from the president and yet having no peace nor joy in life. The bible says, “If a man gains the whole world and yet loses his soul what is the use?”
There was a great vacuum in my life. I still did not know Jesus as the saviour of the world, nor as the prince of peace, nor as the redeemer of the world and in such a state I found myself making preparations to return to Tamil Nadu. I booked my ticket on the Ganga-Kaveri express. At Varnasi station I boarded the train and subsequently arrived in Madhya Pradesh. All the while I was reading John 3:16. Something told me that I should keep meditating on this verse and I did so till the train pulled into 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. When I heard all this I could not control myself for in Hinduism there are 33 crores ( millions) gods. But none of the gods came to die for me and my sins. 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”. But we find that no one came to shed their blood in Hinduism but we find Christ having done it. I opened my heart to the Lord and cried, “Lord I am very sorry . Lord I open my heart unto you. Lord it was for my sins that both your hands and your legs were nailed to the cross. It was for my sins that you wore the crown of thorns on your head. It was for my sins that a spear was thrust into your right ribs. Lord I am sorry and please forgive me Lord”.
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.
I stayed for two months with the old man in the forest. 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. It is very difficult for me to say everything that happened to me that day. As David says in the 23rd Psalm, he prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies and he anoints my head with oil. My cup runneth over, surely goodness and mercy will follow all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That was the assurance I got. After I received the Holy Spirit, the old man told me “Now God has brought you to Judea and then he will take you to Samaria and from there to the uttermost parts of the Earth”. He explained to me that Judea meant him, Samaria meant my hometown and community. He told me that I was to go back to my community and preach to them the gospel. I went back to Nepal.
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 cow’s 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 father’s 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.
Like this I was inside the temple with these people for 6 months and in the meantime the RSS people came to know about me and so did the BJP and the Shiv Sena along with a lot of other Hindu organizations. They came to Nepal and pulled me out of the temple and thrashed me mercilessly. They fractured both my hands. Today the hand you see is not the real one but an artificial one. In one hand I have 16 screws fixed in my elbow and steel plated within. They poured acid all over me and threw me into the streets. They told me that if I preach Christ anymore then they would kill me. My parents asked me to get out, as I had become a danger to their survival. I was shunned by my family, community, friend and villagers. At a total loss as to what to do then and there I knelt and prayed to the Lord and asked him what He wanted me to do. I claimed His promise where He said that in the days of your trouble I will deliver you and you will glorify me. The Lord told me that along with Judea even Samaria was over and so “Step out in My name and I will take care of you”. I asked for confirmation from the bible if God wanted me to go out for full time mission work and the scripture given to me was John chapter 1:5 “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God. All things are made by Him and with Him not anything made or was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” “But as many received Him to them He gave power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). Based on this scripture I was convinced that I was truly a child of God.
Slowly I made my way to the faith home in Nepal. There God miraculously provided me first aid and a plane ticket to the Bombay Navarathna hospital for treatment. I took complete treatment for 6 months and now I am all right. After that I went back to Nepal once again. My household did not open the door and they told me to leave. I did not do what to do with my life. There were so many denominations in Christianity like Roman Catholics, Jehovah witnesses, Marthomites etc etc. All I knew was the Father God, the Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit. After this I went into many parts of Nepal and interior villages to proclaim Christ. I was expelled from Nepal for preaching the Gospel. I went to Tibet and from there came to North India. Finally today I am in South India. Today right from Kanya Kumari in the south to Kashmir God has taken me to proclaim the good news. Other than parts of India, God took me to Sinapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, France, Sweden,Germany and Czechoslovakia. I came without anything yet I lack nothing. When I came into the ministry I did not have any money on me yet I cannot say that I have gone hungry even once. God provides me with everything that I want day by day. I am also on the RSS hit list. Ten days ago I was coming back to Tamilnadu from Rajastan and I was circled by the RDD people and I lost all my properties to them. By the grace of God I am well today.
My dear brothers and sisters all this while you have been listening to my testimony fro the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I request you to get a step closer to the cross of Calvary so that your life would be blessed more. I also humbly request you to uphold me in prayer because the word of God says, “He that has put his hand on the plough and withdraws is unworthy for the kingdom of God” Today you and me, we have put our hands on the plough of our Lord Jesus Christ. Come what may we must till the Christian ground to produce thirty, sixty and hundred folds of fruits for the glory of Lord Jesus Christ. Then only we can boldly say like Paul said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all them also that love His appearing”. Initially Paul was also torturing and persecuting Christians and the early churches.
Then on the road to Jericho near the city of Damascus he was touched by the power of God. Right away he fell flat on the road. When he got up he was blind. God told him to go and get healed by Annaias. Annaias laid his hands upon Paul and prayed and Paul got his sight back. He understood the power of God and accepted the Lord. He committed his life to the Lord. And he came all over Asia and proclaimed the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. He led thousands of people to the kingdom of God. That was the reason why he could say that he has fought the good fight. It is true in our cases also, dear brothers and sisters. 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. What is your personal contribution to the church of God? How much are you contributing to the church of God? The Lord has put you in such a beautiful and affluent place, what are your commitments to the Lord? In how many ways are you robbing God in the church?