This is the story of an apostle of Christ in India who lived and died for Christ. He went to be with the Lord during June 1992 at the age of 88. His date of birth is not known because he did not expect some one to write his biography. He was unknown in the Christian world and died as an unknown hero of faith. In his death, he did not leave behind a tomb in his memory because his mortal body was not buried according to the Christian religious rites. The time and date of his death and the place where he died are not still known to us.
He was not popular in the Christian world because he lived in an obscure corner of India where there were no evangelists, pastors, churches but only the multitudes of the Hinduism who visited such holy places of pilgrimage seeking divine peace and salvation. He lived as a Sadhu (a hermit of the priestly order of the Hinduism). Sadhus use to live in places of Hindu pilgrimages). He was called the "Christian Sadhu" like the Sadhu Sundar Singh of India. Sadhu is a person who renounces life and everything that goes with it (religion, caste, family, etc.) and essentially becomes a wandering hermit seeking salvation.
He would have been popular if he had worked amongst the people who had already heard the gospel. He would have been popular if he had sought the pulpits of churches. He would have been popular if he had published a book or a magazine. He would have been popular if he had associated himself with a popular evangelist or a pastor who had a big congregation. His love for Christ and His Body, the Church was so burning in his heart that he yearned after fellowship with those evangelists who were used of God mightily in the towns and cities. Once he knocked at the door of a very popular evangelist in Chennai just to meet him. But he was turned away by them who guarded the bungalow of this evangelist, apparently, because he wore the soiled dress of a Sadhu. The establishment of this dear evangelist did not allow an apostle of Christ who was of the same Body of Christ to meet the former.
His name is Swami Kandiah Anand. His mother tongue was Tamil, a South Indian language which was not spoken in the town where he lived. When he was offered to marry a beautiful girl in the Karnataka State, South India, he heard the call of God in his life, "Give me to drink" (John 4:7). He declined the matrimonial offer and took upon himself the apostolic ministry of preaching the gospel in places where the people had not heard the gospel.
He was born in Sri Lanka but lived his entire life in Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh, India – a place known for Hindu pilgrimage located at the foothills of the Himalaya. Amongst the thousands of Hindu Sadhus and pilgrims, he was serving His Master secretly. He was given free food (two meals a day) and shelter by a Hindu Ashram, known asSwarga Ashram (meaning Heavenly Abode) though his Christian faith was known to the trustees of this Hindu Ashram. This was a great miracle of the God of Elijah who fed and sheltered His prophet Elijah in the midst of the prophets of Baal. He had no children and relatives in India. But he was not an orphan because he was an apostle of Christ in fellowship with His Master and with the millions of the people of God all over the world in the universal Body of Christ.
During 1980, N. Samuel, an apostle of Christ in India, met Swami Kandiah Anand for the first time on his missionary journey to Tibet. On his way to Tibet, Samuel met this great servant of God in Udampur, Jammu & Kashmir State. Samuel has described about the life and personality of Swami Kandiah Anand in his magazine "Deva Ekkalam" (meaning the God’s trumpet) as follows:
In 1905, Swami Kandiah Anand was born as the last child in a Hindu Vaishnavite family of Vellalar caste consisting of 7 children in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. When he was 14 years old, he learnt the Hindu Scriptures and Hindu devotional songs. His parents brought him up according to the righteous ways of the Hinduism.
Vision of Christ – "Give me water to drink!"
One day, after eating some herbs, he suffered diarrhea and vomiting. He became very weak and was on the deathbed. All the medical treatments were of no avail. At that time, his elder sister came to see him with a heavy heart. He noticed 3 demons sitting on her. These demons rejoiced and told him, "You are going to die. We have come here to drag you to the hell". Swami asked his sister to drive away these demons that sat on her. But she did not see these demons and thought that he spoke something unconsciously on the deathbed. He saw a vision at that time. There was a fence before him. Beyond the fence, a Man bleeding with wounds was seen. That Man was looking at Swami. He was full of love and asked Swami, "Can you give Me water to remove My thirst?" Swami replied, "Sir, how can I give you water as I am myself struggling to live in this world? If You heal me, I will definitely remove Your thirst". That Man asked Swami again, "Do you remove My thirst after you are healed?" Swami replied, "Yes. I will carry You with Your wounds on my shoulder and remove Your thirst". Immediately, the vision disappeared. This vision did not fade away from his mind with the passage of time. Then a Christian family that lived nearby visited him and prayed for him. Afterwards, Swami regained his health progressively and was healed by God. Later Swami came to know that the words spoken by that Man were from the Jesus of Nazareth Who wanted the Samarian woman to give Him water.
Swami came across a Roman Catholic friend, namely, George. George took him to a Catholic Church and showed him all the statues there. Swami noticed a particular statue there that resembled that Man whom he saw in the vision. When he asked his friend, "Who was the man for whom the statue was made?" the latter replied, "This is Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for the sin of the mankind".
On that day, Swami accepted Jesus as his Savior and began to worship Him. He stopped worshipping the Hindu gods and goddesses. His parents began to persecute him for his new faith. He was tied around trees and beaten up by his parents. Due to severe persecution, he fled to the forest in Anuradha and spent most of his days there. His parents then decided to withdraw him from the school and employed him in some grocery shops. Since he refused to bow before the idols in these shops, he was driven away from there. Then he fled from Jaffna, Sri Lanka and reached India. He came to a town called Shimoga in Karnataka State and stayed in the house of a Christian man who worked as a railway official, for many years. On observing his true Christian life, that railway official offered his daughter to Swami for marriage. Since Swami vowed to lead a bachelor’s life for serving his Master, he declined this offer. He visited Mysore in Karnataka State during the Hindu celebrations of Dussehra festival, and there he bought a gospel portion written by Mark. After reading this gospel, he came to know about the whole truth and obeyed the Lord in water baptism in a church there. He was filled with the passion for preaching the gospel. Since he spent many days of his youth in solitude in the deep forests of Sri Lanka, he longed to be alone with the Lord meditating on His Word and communing with Him. He spent some days in meditation on a mountain near Mumbai, Maharashtra State.
He spent most of his life in Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. Since he wore the saffron colored dresses of a Hindu Sadhu, he was mistaken by many for a HinduSadhu. He lived in a cave near Rishikesh two miles away from the town. One would really be filled with awe and fear if he saw the cave where Swami lived. Even during themidday of sunlight, the cave would be dark. He used to spend the time in meditating on the Bible and in communing with God in solitude.
A hermit’s life and ministry to God
Swami Kandiah Anand used to wear only the Saffron colored dresses. The color "Saffron" stands for sacrifice according to the Hindu mythology. He was a man of humility devoid of pride. His shoulder bag was also of the same color. He lived in a small apartment built on the land belonging to the Swarga Ashram. In the premises of his small house lived a sickly man afflicted with tuberculosis. Swami Kandiah Anand fed this poor man with the morsel of food he got from the Ashram. He shared with that poor man what he got. He also fed the birds of the air who were his special guests. The Sadhus used to get free clothes, blankets, and other essential items of living given by the rich people like Tatas, Birlas, etc. as donations. But Swami Kandiah Anand used to pass on these things to them who were needy. The Hindu Sadhus who lived in the Ashram called Swami Kandiah Anand "a red priest" because like the Communists he was devoted to the propagation of his message (the gospel) to the thousands of Hindu pilgrims and Sadhus. He used to send the gospel tracts to the addresses of these Hindu Sadhus since they refused to accept these precious printed materials from the hands of Swami. One Hindu Sadhu, namely, Mahavir Das, opposed the evangelical work of Swami Kandiah, and tore off the gospel tracts sent to him by the latter. After some time,Sadhu Mahvir Dass who hardened his heart without receiving the word of God was shot dead by a miscreant following a dispute.
When he stayed in the cave, Hindu pilgrims came to his cave as far as 2 miles from Rishikesh town, seeking to know the divine message, thinking that Swami was a HinduSadhu. When they visited his cave, he gave them gospel tracts and told them, "This is the message of God for you".
Swami was doing his evangelical work very secretly. He distributed gospel tracts to many thousands. Since many Hindu Sadhus refused to accept the same, Swami sent these words of eternal life to them by post anonymously. Some of them knew that it was from the "red priest".
Swami Kandiah Anand distributed thousands of gospel tracts even while traveling in trains and buses. He suffered persecutions and sufferings for the sake of the glorious gospel. He never demanded any help or money for his apostolic ministry.
Appearance of Satan
One day the Devil appeared before Swami. He looked like the Apoloyon of "Pilgrim’s Progress". His body was covered with scales. Swami rebuked him in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Sufferings and persecutions
He lived a very simple life and disliked comforts. During his visit to the house of N.Samuel in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, he was requested by the former to sleep on a cot. But Swami preferred to sleep on a mat on the floor despite the cold climate there.
During 1980, N.Samuel and Swami visited Kargil, a town close to the border of Pakistan on their missionary journey. In the biting cold of the winter, both of them stayed in a small hut which had no door. Swami never complained of staying in that hut for the sake of the evangelical work. Both of them lit some firewood before the hut to warm themselves in the cold. Nowadays, the evangelists called to preach the gospel demand all the comforts in the towns where they are supposed to preach the gospel.
Surprisingly, in whichever places Swami stayed, he slept peacefully like a baby. On a missionary journey, both Samuel and he stayed in an old missionary bungalow which was infested with bed bugs. Though both of them could not sleep there, Swami never complained of this suffering.
Love for the animals
One day Swami was served food in the house of Samuel in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu. Swami took his plate of food outside the house and returned home in a short time as if he had eaten the entire food. When Samuel went outside the house to know what happened, a street dog was there wagging its tail. Swami shared a part of his food with that animal.
One day, he slept in his cave all alone. When he woke up at midnight, he felt that some wild animal was on him. He woke up and switched on his torch light. He saw a wild cat running away from there. Swami felt sad that due to fear he disturbed the sleep of a wild cat which took shelter in his bed due to cold.
Zeal for the holy God
Swami never bowed before any idol, though he was compelled and tempted by the other Hindu Sadhus to worship idols. When many Sadhus succumbed to their fleshly temptations, Swami kept his body holy unto God. Though he had faced temptations to such kinds of dreaded sins in his life, he kept himself pure by the power of God. Swami shared some incidents that took place in his life with Samuel in this regard.
Fear of death
During 1980, Swami and Samuel traveled in a bus to Ladhak, Tibet, for their missionary work. The bus while climbing a hill was about to fall down the hill due to a mechanical defect. The bus was shaking greatly. All the passengers shouted for help. But Swami was calm and laughed. When Samuel asked him what made him laugh at that time, Swami replied that he did not fear death at all because he would be with Jesus after death. Since he loved Jesus, he did not fear death because "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear….. (I John 4:18). In the jungles, he came across elephants and other wild animals. By the divine protection around him, he was not harmed by these wild animals. On one occasion, with the help of a torch light in his hand, he drove away a herd of elephants. He only feared sin in his life.
Lived amongst wild animals
One day Swami was walking all alone in a jungle at Manali, Himachel Pradesh. He saw a black-complexioned man pluck corns of maize. Swami mistook this man for a villager gathering corns of maize from the nearby maize field and approached this man to inquire about the way leading to a particular village. When he asked that man in Hindi language, he did not receive any reply. The children who shepherded a herd of sheep on the nearby mountain watched this episode. They came to Swami and told him, "Why did you ask that bear about the way?" Then only Swami came to know that it was a bear he was talking to. The Lord thus saved him from the mouth of a bear on that day.
One day, he bathed in a river in a village located at the Gir forests known for the sanctuary of Indian lions. He dried his clothes after washing the same, on the bank of this river. He was meditating on God. To his horror, when he opened his eyes while meditating, he saw a lion that gazed at him constantly. Along with it, there were two lionesses. He thought that it was his last day on the earth. He did not run away from there but sat in the meditation posture like a rock. A lion cub which walked towards him turned aside. Then the other lion and lionesses also left that place along with the lion cub. The Lord did not allow these wild animals to harm him.
Miracle of deliverance
In the Himachel Pradesh, one day, he walked over a distance of 15 miles through the jungle to reach a village namely Manikaran. It rained torrentially. He had to cover 7 miles more. He came across a jungle river and its under-water was at a high speed. Since he could not cross the river, he began to shed tears. All of a sudden, three strongly bodied men appeared there. One of them carried Swami on his shoulders and crossed the river with the help of a pole. God thus miraculously sent these men to help him.
Since he was spending most of his life time in Rishikesh, he could not find time for attending church services there. However, during his visit to Tamil Nadu, he longed to participate in church services and to give his testimonies in these churches. During his last visit to Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, during 1990, he attended a worship service inSt.Luke Church, Kotagiri, which was built by the British people. He enjoyed the worship service and felt the heavenly presence there. His face radiated with glory after attending this service. He shared his testimonies in the churches at Kotagiri.
A life of devotion
Samuel closely observed the private life of this great apostle during his stay in the latter’s small house in Rishikesh. When Samuel fell asleep and slept inside the house, Swami used to switch off the electric bulb and to light his kerosene lamp so that his sleeping guest was not disturbed due to the glaring light of the electric bulb. What he did was read the Bible in the dim light of the kerosene lamp. He spent most of the night time in prayers and in writing letters to the people of God. He slept only for a short time at night. Swami used to serve a cup of milk-less coffee that contained a small dose of lime juice to Samuel in the morning. He never spent his time in gossip. He collected his ration of food from the Swarga Ashram daily at the scheduled timings. He took only two Chapattis (a round shaped cake made of wheat, that forms part of the North Indian food) and gave the remaining Chapattis to the poor sick person who stayed in his premises.
His last desire
He expressed his desire that after his death he should be buried according to the Christian rites and should not be burnt and cremated according to the Hindu rites. During 1992, he disappeared and was not traced by Samuel during his missionary journey to Rishikesh during 1993. He would have died in the Kashmir valley and his body must have been buried by the Muslims there.
His last days
After the disappearance of Swami probably due to his demise, Samuel went to Rishikesh during 1993 in search of Swami. He desperately enquired from some churches, post office, about his whereabouts. None of them could throw any light on his whereabouts or his death. Samuel went after the Sadus who wore the saffron colored dresses, looking for the one with whom he had fellowship for nearly 13 years. But he could not find the Sadhu who was after God’s heart. Swami wrote his last letter to Samuel that reached the hands of the latter on 30th April 1992. His letter is reproduced below:
”To my dearly beloved brother in Christ,
I write this letter from Chandigarh, PunjabState. I would go to Jammu & Kashmir via Amritsar after collecting sufficient quantity of gospel tracts in Chandigarh. I would reach the town of Jammu from Patote by bus and from Patote to Kashmir by foot. From Patote to Kashmir, there is only a narrow and difficult path. By walk, I can reach Kashmir very quickly. It is now very hot here. If I have to go to Srinagar in the Kashmir valley, I need warm clothes. But it is difficult for me to carry these protective clothes while walking. If I do not know known friends in the Kashmir valley and I have to stay with unknown people, I need to carry warm clothes. You must be aware of the hazards involved in such a journey. On 15th August, I will to Kulu valley from Kashmir. I do not want to be in Rishikesh during this November because it will be very cold there. At that time, I prefer to go to Tamil Nadu for evangelical work. This is acceptable to God. My days in Rishikesh are being wasted. At present, I am in Chandigarh".
From the above letter, it is presumed that Swami had gone to the Kashmir valley where he died due to some ailment or due to the attack of terrorists in the Kashmir valley. God must have buried His body through the hands of some unknown people in the Kashmir valley.
Accessed on 12th October 2011