Sunil Rane

5 02 2010

I come from a Goan orthodox Hindu family. Ever since my childhood, I had a very strong desire to learn more about God. My parents taught me prayers that I used to chant every day while worshipping the idols placed in our house, but I had many questions and queries which neither my family members nor the priests in the temple could answer.

As a child, I would share my sweets with the idols placed in my house, and surprisingly, these sweets would disappear the next day. I thought that God accepted my offerings, so one night I decided to stay awake to see my God, but to my great disappointment, I found that it was not God, but rats who were ‘pleased with my offering’. I was in my teens when one day, while chanting my prayer verses as usual, I suddenly sensed something within me asking a question, “Do you really know what you are chanting?” I was shocked for a moment and I began thinking about it since I really did not understand a word of those verses in Sanskrit.

Over a few years that followed, I was in a deep state of confusion as to what I was doing and whom I was worshipping. During that time, I realized that there was an unknown force within me leading me to seek the unknown.

In due course, I stopped going to the temples and I started wondering, “What next? How do I pray?” At night I would stretch my arms towards the open sky and pray to the unknown God, “Oh, Universal God, Creator of all that exists, I want to know you, help me! I am lost, God! Are you out there? Please, speak to me!”

Such was my immense craving for God that I travelled places just to learn more about spirituality and meditation, I went to ashrams, I met Gurus and I read many religious books. I was already working at that time when in 1996, I came across a religious book exhibition where I found some old scriptures in Hindu books called Vishnu Puran and Books on Vedas . In them, I found the following: Rig-Veda book 10 says, “In the beginning only God and his Supreme Spirit existed. From God’s mouth the first word was born in the form of light and through him all creation was made.” Another verse says, “The sins of the world can be washed away by the sacrifice of this first-born. He should be bound stretched on a wooden sacrificial post. Those making the offering should divide his clothes among themselves and consume his flesh and blood.” I did not understand these verses at that time. In the meantime, I was also going through other holy books such as the Quran and the Bible, but it was only when I started reading the New Testament that I received a great revelation. I got so engrossed in this book that I was not aware of the time and space – I even forgot to eat and drink. The immense joy that filled my heart from knowing Jesus of Nazareth was beyond expression; he touched my life like nothing ever did before. Within moments, everything became so clear and easy to understand – he was like the key to the locked treasures of the knowledge of God. Ecclesiasticus 24: 5-6 reads, “I came out of the mouth of the most high, the first born before all creatures. I made that in the Heavens there should rise light that never faileth”. This verse from the Bible was similar to that verse I read in the Veda. My heart moved with such an immense gratitude for knowing the ultimate truth about Jesus that the next moment I found myself kneeling on the floor with my body electrified and tears of joy running down my face. I started shivering and weeping bitterly, for this Jesus in the Bible was the one who was crucified for my sins. There are many verses in Veda that describe Jesus as ‘the Saviour’, ‘a Lamb of Sacrifice’, and still another verse says, “Those who believe in this first-born and chant his name on their lips shall be liberated in this world itself and there is no other way of salvation.” There are similar descriptions in the Bible, for example, Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Bhagavad Gita says, “When there is decline in religious principles, the Lord comes in disguise to the earth to deliver the pious and to re-establish God consciousness. In his final incarnation he will come to judge over the living and the dead riding over a white horse with a sword in his hand (Kalki avatar)”. Revelation 19: 11-16 describes our Lord’s second coming on a white horse as well.

I came to know my God, but I was still a Hindu and I wondered how I should go about it – what should I tell my family, relatives and friends? How do I practice Christianity? How do I consume His Body and Blood, which was available in the form of Holy Communion only in the Roman Catholic faith? I surrendered all these problems unto Jesus, and He did take care of my burdens.

In October 1999, I landed in Dubai. After a period of three months on a visit visa, I got a job – that too only on the last day, Praise God! That same year, I visited St. Mary’s Church, Dubai, for the first time and I was amazed by its interiors and especially by a group of people singing in one corner. Little did I know that one day God would make me stand in that group and use me as an instrument to sing for his glory. On September 8, 2000, on Mother Mary’s birthday, which also happens to be my birthday, I was baptized in St. Mary’s Church. I will never forget the day I received my first Holy Communion – my physical embracement of Christ. The congregation must have wondered why I cried that day after receiving my first Holy Communion, but only my Lord knew the long journey I travelled i! n search of Him.

I was once lost but now I am found !


Accessed on 05th February 2010



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