A Search for Peace
A Hindu Story
I was brought up in a Hindu family in Calcutta where my mother taught me to worship various statues, especially Durga, and to pour water over the Shiva lingam stone. She told me that these statues were just symbols but I didn’t understand what they meant or why we were worshipping them and so when I came to Britain, I stopped honouring the statues but still went along to a nearby Hindu temple without really knowing why.
In the temple, I found that there was competition over who would be chairman of the Vedic Society and that those who gave most money were the ones who were given the opportunity to offer the arti before the statues of Krishna and the other gods. This didn’t seem right to me as it seemed to be like a business.
A Christian lady started to teach me about the Bible but I thought that I would go and find out about the origins of Hinduism in India. I travelled to the birth-place of Krishna and met with many sadhus or holy men but again I found that they all seemed to want money. One told me that if I gave 25,000 rupees then my name would be engraved on the floor of the temple and all this again seemed like a business to me. For over a month, I went to many different religious places and everywhere I found the same money-grabbing attitude of the pundits and holy men.
All the time that I was travelling, I carried a small Bible with me but when I returned to Britain, I was too afraid of what my family would say to go to church and find out more about Jesus. So I kept on visiting India every 6 months for the next 15 years going to so many religious places searching for the way to find God and His peace. I didn’t find anything really spiritual and gained no peace at all. My husband started to think that I was seeing someone else in India and this led to divorce and my children all left home because of my lack of peace.
In 1994, I had a big shock when my younger sister in Calcutta suddenly died. Something broke inside me and I thought that my sister who is younger than me has died, I could die and I still haven’t found the real God. So in 1995, I decided to leave everything in Britain and went to Bangladesh for a year where I met and married a Muslim man who wanted me to become a Muslim.
When I returned to Britain in 1996, my Christian friend invited me to a 25th wedding anniversary party. At that party, I saw so many happy Asian Christian people and I felt that this happiness was something real and different. That night I could not forget the peace and happiness that I had found there and I regretted that I had not gone to church before.After that every time I passed the local church I felt something inside me calling me to go in and then one day I started to attend the services and found a real peace there as well.
In 1998, I was invited to a baptism service at the local Asian Christian Fellowship and afterwards I really wanted to talk to someone about following Jesus. The pastor happened to come up and talk to me and I asked him if I could become a Christian. There and then I prayed for God’s forgiveness through Jesus and gave my life to following Him. I then decided to take all my statues and Hindu photos and throw them into the river near my house.
At first I was frightened to tell people about my new faith but after I got baptised, I found a new strength to talk to my family about Jesus. My mother, auntie and other relatives and in-laws in Calcutta all accepted me as a Christian but my Muslim husband found it difficult.
Nowadays my behaviour has changed because God’s Spirit in me stops me doing the things that I did before and I have found peace. My mother and auntie both became Christians as did my eldest sister and my neighbour in Calcutta. Also my three daughters in Britain all became Christians as well which has really helped their lives and produced much reconciliation in the family.