Thursday, 31 December 2009

Christmas in a temple

A few days prior to Christmas I read in
my newspaper that a Mr Upadya (Upadhyay)
would be celebrating Christmas in his (Hindu)
Sai Baba temple and organizing a picnic for
The Lord spoke to me and said this was a
good opportunity to share the love of Christ
with the disciples of the godman Sai Baba.
I decided to pay them a visit and gift them
Christian literature and CDs.
My Mom and sister we not very pleased with my
going alone, as strange things have happened to women
in temples and other religious places,
but I was determined to go
in the Lord 's name confident that His
hand was upon me.
While other church folk were busy preparing
our love feast and basking in the sun I slipped out quietly.
Not knowing where to find Mr Upadya
(no address was mentioned)
I went to the most popular Sai Baba temple of the city.
There I got Mr U 's address in an unfamiliar part of the city.
I hopped onto a rikshaw and asked him to take me
to Durga Park, a residential
area of rich and wealthy people.
Upon reaching the temple cum house of Mr U
I met the priest (picture below)
who told me that everyone was
away at a picnic with orphans.
I was quite disappointed and gave him
my packet of literature and Cds, leaving
a message for Mr Upadya.
But the priest insisted that I stay
a while.

He disappeared into the huge
palatial multi storey house.
(Below -the entrance)

Mr Upadya is a multi millionaire
bridge contractor (builder).
The priest brought me a plate
of refreshments and water and
told me about the Sai Baba and his
various charitable works.
Then the priest invited me to visit the temple.
Although there was hardly a soul stirring
in the huge house,
which made me nervous to follow him to the 2nd floor
of the house
I did not look back.

The temple hall festooned for Christmas

Here the disciples sit on the floor for devotions.

Sai Baba is worshiped as an avtar or
incarnation of god, Jesus also one of them.
He has many rich disciples in the West.
More than 25 years ago ,Tal Brooke the son of an American diplomat
became his disciple and started living
in his Ashram in south India.
A missionary couple witnessed to Tal
and started to fervently pray for him.
Tal who was amazed at the miraculous happenings
at the Ashram refused the thought of any other god.
But gradually his eyes were opened and he saw
the TRUTH.
You can read Tal Brooke 's story on his books,
'The Lord of the Air ' and
'Avtar of the Night '

In the early 80s while attending a revival meeting
I spotted Tal Brooke in the crowd and told my
family and friends about him.
I recognized him from his photograph.
At that time he was writing 'The Avtar of the Night '
He was living incognito with a mission group
( I can 't name them) and was much hunted by
Hindu radicals for exposing the guru.
His book had been banned in India.

We invited him to speak in our church
and he accepted our invitation, but was very nervous
of unknown people. We could understand
that because he had been given life threats.

So this was a great opportunity for me to
go to this place.
Hoping another Tal Brooke might arise
from here.
You can pray with me

A Christmas tree in the library

Overlooking the balcony.
This is Durga Park, a place for the affluent
to relax

The neighbouring houses.

Manicured gardens surrounded with high walls.
No poverty in sight.

Some people have these fenced gardens
outside their walls . They look pretty
and prevent people from damaging
their walls

A TV tower in the vicinity

Another large house.
Visiting the temple and sharing Christ with them by way
of literature and Cds made my Christmas meaningful.
To paraphrase the song-
" Go tell it in the temples
All over India and everywhere
Go tell it in the Ashrams
That Jesus Christ is Lord".
Philippians Chapter 2
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(New Testament)
Glory to God in the highest.

11 Fertilize my soul:

Sita said...

Wow, Amrita..amazing that you could go in and take the pics--that story of Tal sounds fascinating--will look it up here--
love your twist to "go tell it..."
Amrita, I pray that your obedience and courage to go to the ashram will have its fruit in darkness being penetrated with the Tal..will pray for this...
Have a Happy New Year, sister!
Love u!

Saija said...

i loved your paraphrase of "go tell it .... " ... and you did ...

blessings on your 2010!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

You ought to write a little book, "Amrita's Adventure"! You are very brave, my friend!

I am glad the person you met had the sense to offer you refreshments. Of course, now over at the temple they are all talking happily about the lovely Christian woman they are praying for, hoping you will

I would love to have such a home as that estate! It would be quite full of unwanted dogs and cats...

Terry said...

dear i read this fascinating story, and your love of spreading the gospel, the only thing i could think of is this verse...
Proverbs 18:16
"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men."

god bless your dear indian hand maiden of the lord and may you have a very happy new year..give sheeba a pat on the head and give mama a real big terry

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
God bless you for being willing to walk the errands of Christ with Christ in the name of Christ bringing the mighty gospel.
What you did was brave and took faith and courage.
I'm sure your errand was not done in vain.
There is this promise in Isaiah that God's word shall not turn empty back.
I'm looking forwards to hearing about the fruits of your seed.

A happy New Year to you and your family
From Felisol

David C Brown said...

Again, I admire your boldness.
The world would like to have the Lord as ordinary, and to be able to compare Him to others. It is good to know that He cannot be compared with any other, and that God the Father has given Him that place.

May you and your have a blessing in the New Year!

David C Brown said...

Again, I admire your boldness.
The world would like to have the Lord as ordinary, and to be able to compare Him to others. It is good to know that He cannot be compared with any other, and that God the Father has given Him that place.

May you and your have a blessing in the New Year!

David said...

I just KNEW you would GO - - -
and that God would go before you and open doors. He opened them very wide, it seems. May God's love in you increase and multiply and go into the hearts of many who are now kept in darkness awaiting the revelation of truth that always brings release from captivity and into glorious freedom of serving the one true God.

John Cowart said...

Ruth 2:12

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

I'm truly amazed at how God is using you mightily in the propagation of the Gospel of salvation in your native land. That Christians are persecuted in India make your evangelistic work even more astounding. We who are free to exercise our faith openly can never imagine the persecution of our Christian brothers and sister in countries where Christians are the minority. Hinduism and Buddhism are similar in that they worship multiple gods and demigods. I have been to a Buddhist temple before and I was aghast to see images of demons there. This makes your evangelistic work in your part of India truly remarkable. I will pray that God strengthen and sustain you in your exemplary works. Thanks for the meaningful post. God bless you always.

tikno said...

This is a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing.