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The Pandita Ramabai Story,
in her own words
My father, though a very orthodox Hindu and strictly
adhering to caste and other religious rules, was yet a reformer in his own way.
He could not see why women and people of Shudra caste should not learn to read
and write the Sanskrit language and learn sacred literature other than the
He thought it better
to try the experiment at home instead of preaching to others. He found an apt pupil
in my mother, who fell in line with his plan, and became an excellent Sanskrit
scholar. She performed all her home duties, cooked, washed, and did all
household work, took care of her children, attended to guests, and did all that
was required of a good religious wife and mother. She devoted many hours of her
time in the night to the regular study of the sacred Puranic literature and was
able to store up a great deal of knowledge in her mind.
The Brahman Pandits
living in the Mangalore District, round about my father's native village, tried
to dissuade him from the heretical course he was following in teaching his wife
the sacred language of the gods. He had fully prepared himself to meet their
objections. His extensive studies in the Hindu sacred literature enabled him to
quote chapter and verse of each sacred book, which gives authority to teach
women and Shudras. His misdeeds were reported to the head priest of the sect to
which he belonged, and the learned Brahmans induced the guru to call this heretic
to appear before him and before the august assemblage of the Pandits, to give
his reasons for taking this course or be excommunicated. He was summoned to
Krishnapura and Udipi, the chief seat of the Madhva Vaishnava sect.
My father appeared
before the guru, the head priest, and the assembly of Pandits and gave his
reasons for teaching his wife. He quoted ancient authorities, and succeeded in
convincing the guru and chief Pandits that it was not wrong for women and
Shudras to learn Sanskrit Puranic literature. So they did not put him out of
caste, nor was he molested by anyone after this. He became known as an orthodox
reformer. My father was a native of Mangalore district, but he chose a place in
a dense forest on the top of a peak of the Western Ghats, on the borders of Mysore State,
where he built a home for himself. This was done in order that he might be away
from the hubbub of the world, carry on his educational work and engage in
devotion to the gods in a quiet place, where he would not be constantly worried
by curious visitors.
He used to get his
support from the rice-fields and coconut plantations which he owned. The place
he had selected for his home happened to be a sacred place of pilgrimage, where
pilgrims came all the year round. He thought it was his duty to entertain them
at his expense, as hospitality was a part of his religion. For thirteen years
he stayed there and did his work quietly, but lost all his property because of
the great expense he incurred in performing what he thought was his duty.
So he was obliged to
leave his home and lead a pilgrim's life. My mother told me that I was only
about six months old when they left their home. She placed me in a big box made
of cane, and a man carried it on his head from the mountain top to the valley.
Thus my pilgrim life began when I was a little baby. I was the youngest member
of the family. Some people honoured him for what he was doing, and some
despised him. He cared little for what people said and did what he thought was
right. He taught and educated my mother, brother, sister, and others.
I was about eight years old, my mother began to teach me and continued to do so
until I was about fifteen years of age. During these years she succeeded in
training my mind so that I might be able to carry on my own education with very
little aid from others. I did not know of any schools for girls and women
existing then, where higher education was to be obtained.
my parents did not like us children to come in contact with the outside world.
They wanted us to be strictly religious and adhere to their old faith. Learning
any other language except Sanskrit was out of the question. Secular education
of any kind was looked upon as leading people to worldliness which would
prevent them from getting into the way of Moksha, or liberation from
everlasting trouble of reincarnation in millions and millions of animal
species, and undergoing the pains of suffering countless millions of diseases
and deaths. To learn the English language and to come in contact with the
Mlenchchas, as the Non-Hindus are called, was forbidden on pain of losing caste
and all hope of future happiness. So all that we could or did learn was the
Sanskrit grammar and dictionaries, with the Puranic and modern poetical
literature in that language. Most of this, including the grammar and
dictionaries, which are written in verse form, had to be committed to memory.
since I remember anything, my father and mother were always travelling from one
sacred place to another, staying in each place for some months, bathing in the
sacred river or tank, visiting temples, worshipping household gods and the
images of gods in the temples, and reading Puranas in temples or in some
reading of the Puranas served a double purpose. The first and the foremost was
that of getting rid of sin, and of earning merit in order to obtain Moksha. The
other purpose was to earn an honest living, without begging.
readers of Puranas - Puranikas as they are called - are the popular and public
preachers of religion among the Hindus. They sit in some prominent place, in
temple halls or under the trees, or on the banks of rivers and tanks, with
their manuscript books in their hands, and read the Puranas in a loud voice
with intonation, so that the passers-by, or visitors of the temple might hear.
The text, being in the Sanskrit language, is not understood by the hearers. The
Puranikas are not obliged to explain it to them. They may or may not explain it
as they choose. And sometimes when it is translated and explained, the Puranika
takes great pains to make his speech as popular as he can by telling greatly
exaggerated or untrue stories. This is not considered sin, since it is done to
attract common people's attention, that they may hear the sacred sound, the
names of the gods, and some of their deeds, and be purified by this means. When
the Puranika reads Puranas, the hearers, who are sure to come and sit around
him for a few moments at least, generally give him presents. The Puranika
continues to read, paying no attention to what the hearers do or say. They come
and go at their choice.
they come, the religious ones among them prostrate themselves before him and
worship him and the book, offering flowers, fruits, sweetmeats, garments,
money, and other things. It is supposed that this act brings a great deal of
merit to the giver, and the person who receives does not incur any sin. If a
hearer does not give presents to the Puranika, he loses all the merit which he may
have earned by good acts. The presents need not be very expensive ones, a
handful of rice or other grains, a pice, or even a few cowries, which are used
as an exchange of pice (64 cowrie shells are equal to one pice) are quite
acceptable. A flower, or even a petal of a flower or a leaf of any good sacred
tree, is acceptable to the gods. But the offerer knows well that his store of
merit will be according to what he gives, and he tries to be as generous as he
can. So the Puranika gets all that he needs by reading Puranas in public
parents followed this vocation. We all read Puranas in public places but did
not translate or explain them in the vernacular. The reading and hearing of the
sacred literature is in itself believed to be productive of great merit -
"Punya," as it is called by the Hindus. We never had to beg or work
to earn our livelihood. We used to get all the money and food we needed, and
more; what remained over after meeting all necessary expenses was spent in
performing pilgrimages and giving alms to the Brahmans.
Death and Doubts
sort of life went on until my father became too feeble to stand the exertion,
when he was no longer able to direct the reading of the Puranas by us. We were
not fit to do any other work to earn our livelihood, as we had grown up in
perfect ignorance of anything outside the sacred literature of the Hindus.
could not do menial work, nor could we beg to get the necessities of life. Our
parents had some money in hand. If it had been used to advance our secular
education we might have been able to earn our living in some way. But this was
out of the question. Our parents had unbounded faith in what the sacred books
said. They encouraged us to look to the gods to get our support. The sacred
books declared that if people worshipped the gods in particular ways, gave alms
to the Brahmans, repeated the names of certain gods, and also some hymns in
their honour, with fasting and performance of penance, the gods and goddesses
would appear and talk to the worshippers and give them whatever they desired.
We decided to take this course of meeting our temporal wants. For three years
we did nothing but perform these religious acts. At last, all the money which
we had was spent but the gods did not help us.
suffered from famine which we had brought upon ourselves. The country too, that
is, the Madras Presidency, where we lived at that particular time, had begun to
feel the effects of famine. There was scarcity of food and water. People were
starving all around, and we, like the rest of the poor people, wandered from
place to place. We were too proud to beg or to do menial work and were ignorant
of any practical way of earning an honest living. Nothing but starvation was
before us. My father, mother and sister all died of starvation within a few
months of each other.
cannot describe all the sufferings of that terrible time. My brother and I
survived and wandered about, still visiting sacred places, bathing in rivers,
and worshipping the gods and goddesses in order to get our desire. We had
fulfilled all the conditions laid down in the sacred books, and kept all the
rules as far as our knowledge went, but the gods were not pleased with us and
did not appear to us. After years of fruitless service, we began to lose our
faith in them and in the books which prescribed this course and held out the
hope of a great reward to the worshippers of the gods. However we still
continued to keep caste rules, worshipped gods and studied sacred literature as
as our faith in our religion had grown cold, we were not quite so strict with
regard to obtaining secular education and finding some means of earning an
honest livelihood. We wandered from place to place, visiting many temples,
bathing in many rivers, fasting and performing penances, worshipping gods,
trees, animals, Brahmans, and all that we knew for more than three years after
the death of our parents and elder sister. We had walked more than four
thousand miles on foot without any sort of comfort_sometimes eating what kind
people gave us, and sometimes going without food, with poor coarse clothing,
and finding but little shelter except in Dharma Shalas, that is, free lodging
places for the poor which are common to all pilgrims and travellers of all
sorts except the low-caste people. We wandered from the south to the north as
far as Kashmir, and then to the east and west to Calcutta in 1878.
stayed in Calcutta for about a year and became acquainted with the learned
Brahmans. Here my brother and I were once invited to attend a Christian
gathering. We did not know what it was, for we had never come in social contact
with either the Hindu Reformers, nor with Christians before that time.
were advised by our Brahman acquaintances to accept this invitation. So we went
to the Christian people's gathering for the first time in our lives. We saw
many people gathered there who received us very kindly. There were chairs and
sofas, tables, lamps - all very new to us. Indian people curiously dressed like
English men and women; some men like the Rev. K.M. Banerji and Kali Charan
Banerji, whose names sounded like those of Brahmans but whose way of dressing
showed that they had become "Sahibs", were great curiosities. They
ate bread and biscuits and drank tea with the English people and shocked us by
asking us to partake of the refreshment. We thought the last age, Kali Yuga,
that is, the age of quarrels, darkness, and irreligion, had fully established
its reign in Calcutta since some of the Brahmans were so irreligious as to eat
food with the English.
looked upon the proceedings of the assembly with curiosity but did not
understand what they were about. After a little while one of them opened a book
and read something out of it and then they knelt down before their chairs and
some said something with closed eyes. We were told that was the way they prayed
to God. We did not see any image to which they paid their homage but it seemed
as though they were paying homage to the chairs before which they knelt. Such
was the crude idea of Christian worship that impressed itself on my mind.
kind Christians gave me a copy of the Holy Bible in Sanskrit and some other
nice things with it. Two of those people were the translators of the Bible.
They were grand old men. I do not remember their names, but they must have
prayed for my conversion through the reading of the Bible. I liked the outward
appearance of the Book and tried to read it but did not understand. The
language was so different from the Sanskrit literature of the Hindus, the
teaching so different, that I thought it quite a waste of time to read that
Book, but I have never parted with it since then.
Deeper Hindu Studies and Skepticism
staying in Calcutta we became acquainted with many learned Pandits. Some of
them requested me to lecture to the Pardah women on the duties of women
according to the Shastras. I had to study the subject well before I could
lecture on it, so I bought the books of the Hindu law published in Calcutta. Besides
reading them I read other books which would help me in my work. While reading
the Dharma Shastras I came to know many things which I never knew before. There
were contradictory statements about almost everything. What one book said was
most righteous, the other book declared as being unrighteous. While reading the
Mahabharata I found the following: "The Vedas differ from each other;
Smrities, that is, books of sacred laws, do not agree with one another; the
secret of religion is in some hidden place. The only way is that which is
followed by great men."
I found true of about everything, but there were two things on which all those
books, the Dharma Shastras, the sacred epics, the Puranas and modern poets, the
popular preachers of the present day and orthodox high-caste men were agreed:
women of high and low caste, as a class, were bad, very bad, worse than demons,
and that they could not get Moksha as men. The only hope of their getting this
much-desired liberation from Karma and its results, that is, countless millions
of births and deaths and untold suffering, was the worship of their husbands.
The husband is said to be the woman's god; there is no other god for her. This
god may be the worst sinner and a great criminal; still HE IS HER GOD, and she
must worship him. She can have no hope of getting admission into Svarga, the
abode of the gods, without his pleasure; and if she pleases him in all things,
she will have the privilege of going to Svarga as his slave, there to serve him
and be one of his wives among the thousands of the Svarga harlots who are
presented to him by the gods in exchange for his wife's merit.
woman is allowed to go into higher existence thus far but to attain Moksha or
liberation, she must perform such great religious acts as will obtain for her
the merit by which she will be reincarnated as a high caste man, in order to
study Vedas and the Vedanta, and thereby get the knowledge of the true Brahma
and be amalgamated in it. The extraordinary religious acts which help a woman
to get into the way of getting Moksha are utter abandonment of her will to that
of her husband. She is to worship him with whole-hearted devotion as the only
god, to know and see no other pleasure in life except in the most degraded
slavery to him. The woman has no right to study the Vedas and Vedanta, and
without knowing them, no one can know the Brahma. Without knowing Brahma, no
one can get liberation; therefore no woman as a woman can get liberation, that
is, Moksha. Q.E.D.
same rules are applicable to the Shudras. The Shudras must not study the Veda
and must not perform the same religious act which a Brahman has a right to
perform. The Shudra who hears the Veda repeated must be punished by having his
ears filled with liquefied lead. The Shudra who dares to learn a verse or
verses of the Veda must be punished by having intensely hot liquor poured down
his throat. This would no doubt be done to the Shudra who violates the sacred
law, if he were left to the tender mercies of the Brahman. His only hope of
getting liberation is in serving the three high castes as their lifelong slave.
Then he will earn merit enough to be reincarnated in some higher caste, and in
the course of millions of years, he will be born as a Brahman, learn the Vedas
and Vedantas, and get knowledge of the Brahma and be amalgamated in it. Such is
the hope of final liberation held out by the Shastras to women and to the
for the low-caste people, the poor things have no hope of any sort. They are
looked upon as being very like the lower species of animals, such as pigs;
their very shadow and the sound of their voices are defiling; they have no
place in the abode of the gods, and no hope of getting liberation, except that
they might perchance be born among the higher castes after having gone through
millions of reincarnations.
things which are necessary to make it possible for them to be born in higher
castes are that they should be contented to live in a very degraded condition,
serving the high caste people as their bondservants, eating the leavings of
their food in dirty broken earthen vessels, wearing filthy rags and clothes
thrown away from the dead bodies of the high-caste people. They may sometimes
get the benefit of coming in contact with the shadow of a Brahman and have a
few drops of water from his hand or wet clothes thrown at them and feel the air
which has passed over the sacred persons of Brahmans. These things are
beneficial to the low-caste people, but the Brahmans lose much of their own
hard-earned merit by letting the low-caste people get these benefits!
low-caste people are never allowed to enter the temples where high-caste men
worship gods. So the poor degraded people find shapeless stones and broken
pots, smear them with red paint, set them up under trees and on road sides, or
in small temples which they build themselves, where Brahmans do not go for fear
of losing their caste, and worship, in order to satisfy the cravings of their
spiritual nature. Poor, poor people! How very sad their condition is no one who
has not seen can realize. Their quarters are found outside every village or
town where the sacred feet of the pious Brahmans do not walk!
are the two things, upon which all Shastras and others are agreed. I had a
vague idea of these doctrines of the Hindu religion from my childhood, but
while studying the Dharma Shastras, they presented themselves to my mind with
great force. My eyes were being gradually opened; I was waking up to my own
hopeless condition as a woman, and it was becoming clearer and clearer to me
that I had no place anywhere as far as religious consolation was concerned. I
became quite dissatisfied with myself. I wanted something more than the
Shastras could give me, but I did not know what it was that I wanted.
day my brother and I were invited by Keshab Chandra Sen to his house. He
received us very kindly, took me into the inner part of the house, and
introduced me to his wife and daughters. One of them was just married to the
Maharaja of Cuch Behar, and the Brahmos and others were criticising him for
breaking the rule which was laid down for all Brahmos, that is, not to marry or
give girls in marriage under fourteen years of age. He and his family showed
great kindness to me, and when parting, he gave me a copy of one of the Vedas.
He asked if I had studied the Vedas. I answered in the negative, and said that
women were not fit to read the Vedas and they were not allowed to do so. It
would be breaking the rules of religion, if I were to study the Vedas. He could
not but smile at my declaration of this Hindu doctrine. He said nothing in
answer, but advised me to study the Vedas, and Upanishads.
thoughts were awakening in my heart. I questioned myself as to why I should not
study Vedas and Vedanta. Soon I persuaded myself into the belief that it was
not wrong for a woman to read the Vedas. So I began first to read the
Upanishads, then the Vedanta, and the Veda. I became more dissatisfied with
the meanwhile my brother died. As my father wanted me to be well versed in our
religion, he did not give me in marriage when a little child. He had married my
older sister to a boy of her own age, but he did not want to study, or to lead
a good religious life with my sister. Her life was made miserable by being unequally
yoked, and my father did not want the same thing to happen to me. This was of
course against the caste rules, so he had to suffer, being practically put out
of Brahman society. But he stood the persecution with his characteristic
manliness, and did what he thought was right, to give me a chance to study and
be happy by leading a religious life. So I had remained unmarried till I was 22
lost all faith in the religion of my ancestors, I married a Bengali gentleman
of the Shudra caste. My husband died of cholera within two years of our
marriage, and I was left alone to face the world with one baby in my arms.
and Life In Bengal
stayed in Bengal and Assam for four years in all and studied the Bengali
language. While living with my husband at Silchar, Assam, I had found a little
pamphlet in my library. I do not know how it came there but I picked it up and
began to read it with great interest. It was St. Luke's Gospel in the Bengali
was a Baptist missionary, Mr. Allen, living at Silchar. He occasionally paid
visits to me and preached the gospel. He explained the first chapter of the
Book of Genesis to me. The story of the creation of the world was so very
unlike all the stories which I read in the Puranas and Shastras that I became
greatly interested in it. It struck me as being a true story, but I could not
give any reason for thinking so or believing in it.
lost all faith in my former religion, and with my heart hungering after
something better, I eagerly learnt everything which I could about the Christian
religion and declared my intention to become a Christian if I were perfectly
satisfied with this new religion. My husband, who had studied in a Mission
school, was pretty well acquainted with the Bible but did not like to be called
a Christian. Much less did he like the idea of his wife being publicly baptized
and joining the despised Christian community. He was very angry and said he
would tell Mr. Allen not to come to our house any more. I do not know just what
would have happened had he lived much longer.
was desperately in need of some religion. The Hindu religion held out no hope
for me; the Brahmo religion was not a very definite one. For it is nothing but
what a man makes for himself. He chooses and gathers whatever seems good to him
from all religions known to him and prepares a sort of religion for his own
use. The Brahmo religion has no other foundation than man's own natural light
and the sense of right and wrong which he possesses in common with all mankind.
It could not and did not satisfy me; still I liked and believed a good deal of
it that was better than what the orthodox Hindu religion taught.
my husband's death, I left Silchar and came to Poona. Here I stayed for a year.
The leaders of the reform party, and the members of the Prarthana Samaj treated
me with great kindness and gave me some help. Messrs. Ranade, Modak, Kelkar and
Dr. Bhandarkar were among the people who showed great kindness to me. Miss
Hurford, then a missionary working in connection with the High Church, used to
come and teach me the New Testament in Marathi. I had at this time begun to
study the English language but did not know how to write or speak it. She used
to teach me some lessons from the primary reading books, yet sometimes I was
more interested in the study of the New Testament than in the reading books.
The Rev. Father Goreh was another missionary who used to come and explain the
difference between the Hindu and Christian religions. I profited much by their
Drawn To Religion of Christ
went to England early in 1883 in order to study and fit myself for my lifework.
When I first landed in England, I was met by the kind Sisters of Wantage, one
of whom I had been introduced by Miss Hurford at St. Mary's Home in Poona. The
Sisters took me to their Home, and one of them, who became my spiritual mother,
began to teach me both secular and religious subjects. I owe an everlasting
debt of gratitude to her, and to Miss Beale, the late Lady Principal of
Cheltenham Ladies' College. Both of these ladies took great pains with me and
taught me the subjects which would help me in my life work. The instruction
which I received from them was mostly spiritual. Their motherly kindness and
deeply spiritual influence have greatly helped in building up my character. I
praise and thank God for permitting me to be under the loving Christian care of
Mother Superior once sent me for a change to one of the branches of the Sisters'
Home in London. The Sisters there took me to see the rescue work carried on by
them. I met several of the women who had once been in their Rescue Home, but
who had so completely changed, and were so filled with the love of Christ and
compassion for suffering humanity, that they had given their life for the
service of the sick and infirm. Here for the first time in my life I came to
know that something should be done to reclaim the so-called fallen women, and
that Christians, whom Hindus considered outcastes and cruel, were kind to these
unfortunate women, degraded in the eyes of society.
had never heard or seen anything of the kind done for this class of women by
the Hindus in my own country. I had not heard anyone speaking kindly of them,
nor seen any one making any effort to turn them from the evil path they had
chosen in their folly. The Hindu Shastras do not deal kindly with these women.
The law of the Hindu commands that the king shall cause the fallen women to be
eaten by dogs in the outskirts of the town. They are considered the greatest
sinners, and not worthy of compassion.
my visit to the Homes at Fulham, where I saw the work of mercy carried on by
the Sisters of the Cross, I began to think that there was a real difference
between Hinduism and Christianity. I asked the Sisters who instructed me to
tell me what it was that made the Christians care for and reclaim the
"fallen" women. She read the story of Christ meeting the Samaritan
woman, and His wonderful discourse on the nature of true worship, and explained
it to me. She spoke of the Infinite Love of Christ for sinners. He did not
despise them but came to save them. I had never read or heard anything like
this in the religious books of the Hindus; I realized, after reading the 4th
Chapter of St. John's Gospel, that Christ was truly the Divine Saviour He
claimed to be, and no one but He could transform and uplift the downtrodden
womanhood of India and of every land.
my heart was drawn to the religion of Christ. I was intellectually convinced of
its truth on reading a book written by Father Goreh and was baptized in the
Church of England in the latter part of 1883, while living with the Sisters at
Wantage. I was comparatively happy and felt a great joy in finding a new
religion which was better than any other religion I had known before. I knew
full well that it would displease my friends and my countrymen very much, but I
have never regretted having taken the step. I was hungry for something better
than what the Hindu Shastras gave. I found it in the Christian's Bible and was
my baptism and confirmation, I studied the Christian religion more thoroughly
with the help of various books written on its doctrines. I was much confused by
finding so many different teachings of different sects; each one giving the
authority of the Bible for holding a special doctrine, and for differing from
five years after my baptism I studied these different doctrines and made close
observations during my stay in England and in America. Besides meeting people
of the most prominent sects, the High Church, Low Church, Baptist, Methodist,
Presbyterian, Friends, Unitarian, Universalist, Roman Catholic, Jews, and
others, I met with Spiritualists, Theosophists, Mormons, Christian Scientists,
and followers of what they call the occult religion.
one can have any idea of what my feelings were at finding such a Babel of
religions in Christian countries, and at finding how very different the
teaching of each sect was from that of the others. I recognized the Nastikas of
India in the Theosophists, the Polygamous Hindu in the Mormons, the worshippers
of ghosts and demons in the Spiritualists, and the Old-Vedantists in the
Christian Scientists. Their teachings were not new to me. I had known them in
their old eastern nature as they are in India; and, when I met them in America,
I thought they had only changed their Indian dress and put on Western garbs,
which were more suitable to the climate and conditions of the country.
for the differences of the orthodox and non-orthodox Christian sects, I could
not account for them, except that I thought it must be in the human nature to
have them. The differences did not seem of any more importance than those
existing among the different sects of Brahmanical Hindu religion. They only
showed that people were quarrelling with each other, and there was no oneness
of mind in them. Although I was quite contented with my newly-found religion,
so far as I understood it, still I was labouring under great intellectual
difficulties, and my heart longed for something better which I had not found. I
came to know after eight years from the time of my baptism that I had found the
Christian religion, which was good enough for me; but I had not found Christ,
Who is the Life of the religion, and "the Light of every man that cometh
into the world."
years ago, a new leaf was turned in my life. Since then I have come to know the
Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and have the joy of sweet communion
with Him. My life is full of joy, "For the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and
my song; He also is become my salvation." Now I know what the Prophet
means by saying, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells
of salvation." I can scarcely contain the joy and keep it to myself. I
feel like the Samaritan woman who "left her waterpot, and went her way
into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things
that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"
feel I must tell my fellow-creatures what great things the Lord Jesus has done
for me, and I feel sure, as it was possible for Him to save such a great sinner
as I am, He is quite able to save others. The only thing that must be done by
me is to tell people of Him and of His love for sinners and His great power to
readers will not therefore find fault with me for making this subject so very
personal. The heart-experiences of an individual are too sacred to be exposed
to the public gaze. Why then should I give them to the public in this way?
Because a "necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not
the gospel!" I Corinthians 9:16. I am bound to tell as many men and women
as possible, that Christ Jesus came to save sinners like me. He has saved me,
praise the Lord! I know "He is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for
them." Hebrews 7:25.
has given me a practical turn of mind. I wanted to find out the truth about everything
including religion by experiment. I experimented on the religion in which I was
born. I did not leave a stone unturned, as it were, as far as I knew; not only
in the way of studying books, but of doing myself what the books prescribed. I
have seen many others also doing the same thing. I saw them doing everything
that was commanded them. The sad end was that I found that they were not saved
by it, nor was I. It was a dire spiritual necessity that drove me to seek help
from other sources. I had to give up all pride of our ancestral religion being
old and superior, which is preventing many of my country-people from finding
Christ although they know well that they have not got the joy of salvation.
They can never have it except in Christ.
are I know many hungry souls, and may be, some of them might be helped by
reading this account. I would urge upon such brothers and sisters to make haste
and come forward and accept the great love of God expressed in Christ Jesus and
not to neglect "so great salvation," which God gives freely. Hebrews
is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven
given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
not therefore lose time through pride or because of any other difficulty. The
caste may put you out; your near and dear ones will perhaps reject you and
persecute you. You may very likely lose your temporal greatness, and riches;
but never mind, the great salvation which you will get in Christ by believing
on Him, and confessing Him before men, is worth all the great sacrifices you
can possibly make. Yes, and more than that, for all the riches and all the
gain, and all the joys of the world, do not begin to compare with the joy OF
the other hand, of what use are all the riches and greatness of the world, if
you are condemned to the second death and are to live in the lake of fire
forever and ever suffering indescribable agonies from which there is no relief?
what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own
soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:36-37.
would urge on you, dear brother and sister, to make haste and get reconciled
with God through Christ. For the great day of judgment is fast coming on us, so
make haste and flee from the wrath of God, which you and I have justly merited.
God is Love, and He is waiting patiently for you to accept His great salvation,
so despise not "the riches of His goodness and forbearance and
longsuffering," and know "that the goodness of God leadeth thee to
repentance." Romans 2:4.
found it a great blessing to realize the personal presence of the Holy Spirit
in me and to be guided and taught by Him. I have experienced the sweet pleasure
promised by the Lord in Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct thee and teach thee
in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
Holy Spirit taught me how to appropriate every promise of God in the right way
and obey His voice. I am sorry to say that I have failed to obey Him many a
time, but He tenderly rebukes and shows me my faults. Many a time He finds it
most necessary to punish me in various ways, His promise is:
will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether
unpunished." Jeremiah 30:11.
have many failures and am corrected as the Lord sees fit. It is always helpful
to be shown that His hand is in everything that happens. Then no room is left
for murmuring. Whenever I heed and obey the Lord's voice with all my heart I am
very happy and everything goes right. Even the tests of faith, and
difficulties, and afflictions become great blessings.
the year 1891 1 have tried to witness for Christ in my weakness, and I have
always found that it is the greatest joy of the Christian life to tell people
of Christ and of His great love for sinners.
twelve years ago, I read the inspiring books, "The Story of the China
Inland Mission," "The Lord's Dealings with George Muller," and
the "Life of John G. Paton," founder of the New Hebrides Mission. I
was greatly impressed with the experiences of these three great men, Mr. Hudson
Taylor, Mr. Muller and Mr. Paton, all of whom have gone to be with the Lord
within a few years of each other. I wondered after reading their lives, if it
were not possible to trust the Lord in India as in other countries. I wished
very much that there were some missions founded in this country, which would be
a testimony to the Lord's faithfulness to His people, and the truthfulness of
what the Bible says, in a practical way.
questioned in my mind over and over again, why some missionaries did not come
forward to found faith-missions in India. Then the Lord said to me, "Why
don't you begin to do this yourself, instead of wishing for others to do it?
How easy it is for anyone to wish that some one else would do a difficult
thing, instead of doing it himself." I was greatly rebuked by the
"Still Small Voice" which spoke to me.
did not know then that there were some faith-missions in India. Since then I
have come to know that there are a few faith-missions working in this country,
and I thank God for setting them up here and there, as great beacon lights.
the end of 1896 when the great famine came on this country, I was led by the
Lord to step forward and start new work, trusting Him for both temporal and
spiritual blessings. I can testify with all my heart that I have always found
the Lord faithful. "Faithful is He that calleth you." I Thessalonians
5:24. This golden text has been written with the life-blood of Christ on my
heart. The Lord has done countless great things for me. I do not deserve His
loving-kindness. I can testify to the truth of Psalm 103:10, "He hath not
dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our
are some of the things, which the Lord has been teaching me during the past
sixteen years, expecially in the last decade since He brought this Mukti
Mission into existence,
1. "Men have not heard, nor perceived by the
ear, neither hath the eye seen, 0 God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for
him that waiteth for Him." Isaiah 64:4.
2. "All the promises of God in Him
are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." 2 Corinthians
3. "The gifts and calling of God are
without repentance." Romans 11:29.
4. My unbelief shall not "make the
faith of God without effect." Romans 3:3.
5. "The secret of the Lord is with
them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant." Psalm 25:14.
6. "The blood of Jesus Christ His
Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
7. "This is a faithful saying, and
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners; of whom I am chief." I Timothy 1:15.
short, the Lord has been teaching me His Word by His Spirit, and unfolding the
wonders of His works, day by day. I have come to believe the Word of God
implicitly, and I have found out by experience, that IT IS TRUE. I praise God
and thank Him for His mercies to me and mine. Hallelujah!
feel very happy since the Lord called me to step out in faith, and I obeyed. To
depend upon Him for everything; for spiritual life, for bodily health, for
advice, for food, water, clothing, and all other necessities of life, in short,
to realise by experiment, that the promises of God in Philippians 4:6, 19, and in
other parts of the Holy Scriptures are true, is most blessed.
careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6.
my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in
Christ Jesus" Philippians 4.19
am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy
mouth wide, and I will fill it." Psalm 81: 10.
is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. It is better to
trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 118:8-9.
am spared all trouble and care, casting my burden upon the Lord. There are over
1500 people living here. We are not rich, nor great, but we are happy, getting
our daily bread directly from the loving hands of our Heavenly Father, having
not a pice over and above our daily necessities, having no banking account
anywhere, no endowment or income from any earthly source, but depending
altogether on our Father God; we have nothing to fear from anybody, nothing to
lose, and nothing to regret. The Lord is our Inexhaustible Treasure.
Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
are confidently resting in His arms, and He is loving and faithful in all His
dealings with us. How can I express in words the gratitude I feel toward such a
Father, and the joy that fills my heart because of His goodness?
the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the
Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine
iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from
destruction; Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; Who
satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the
eagle's." Psalm. 103:1-5...
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