Monday, 1 March 2010

Sunday Blessings ; Chundra Lela

My blog friend Dr Elizabeth Mahlou invited me to write guests posts on her blog in Febuary. I did a series ofn prominent Indian christians who touched my life. Here is the concluding post.



Chundra Lela, A Priestess in Search of God


Chundra Lela was born in Nepal in 1840, married at seven, and became a widow when she was nine. Chundra’s father taught her to read Sanskrit and educated her as a Brahmin. When she was thirteen, Chundra began a pilgrimage to worship at India’s four great temples. After the seven years she spent visiting these holy places, Chundra was still not at peace, so she continued to visit holy places and shrines. She tried a variety of spiritual disciplines and served as a guru to other seekers.In her search for God, Chundra Lela endured much suffering and penance. She spent a long time reading and thinking about the holy scriptures. She said, "I felt that for all the outlay of money and time and for all my sufferings I had found nothing soul-satisfying. No knowledge of myself, nor yet of God for a vision of whom I had been willing to endure so much."When Chundra Lela met some Christians, she read Christian scriptures. She compared the Bible with her holy books and made a deep study of them.One day she prayed ,"O Jesus if thou art the true God, grant me a vision of Thyself." She says, "While I was still praying, my little house was full of light and a vision such as I am not able to describe. It was the Mighty and Glorious One. I fell on my face before Him and remained thus, my heart overflowing with joy. Then and there I resolved to become a Christian."Chundra professed faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized. Chundra continued her pilgrimages with a difference: she preached about Jesus. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, Chundra Lela lived by begging. The little she had, she shared.As she began to preach the message of Christ, she faced severe opposition. She was beaten several times. Once, a man approached her with a sword and threatened to cut off her head. She bared her neck and said, "I will go to God, and you will be accountable for your deed." He didn't kill her, and she went on preaching. Later he came to ask her for forgiveness, and she forgave him.Chundra Lela traveled all over India and Nepal, spreading the Gospel of Christ. Many times she would teach for hours without food or drink until people reminded her it was time to take rest and refreshment.Chundra Lela spent her last years living with a disgraced Hindu woman near a road so she could continue to preach to those who passed by. When she grew old, she sat in front of her hut and preached to those passing by. When her final illness took hold of her, her dying words were, "Four bright angels have come to take me to Jesus." Chundra Lela died on November 26, 1907.

11 Fertilize my soul:

Gail W. said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Amrita! I think it is especially easy here in the West to take many things for granted. I appreciate hearing true accounts of those who literally suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Chundra Lela's story stirs my heart this morning.

Sita said...

Amrita,
I don't think the 'west' can quite easily grasp the sacrifices made by those who come to Christ in India, the absolute devotion, the perseverance. This blesses me more than you know. Thanks for sharing this.
Love, Sita

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

Oh I love how you write, Amrita!

Gerry said...

A very interesting blog entry to me. I like to learn more about the trials of those who embrace Christianity in a country where they are apt to meet more than the usual opposition. Where the country is largely Christian the trials are not apt to be so great. So it seems that converts in your country must be especially devoted to withstand their trials.

David said...

oh for faith and discipline like that of blessed Chundra Lela

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
A captivating story of Chundra Lela.
Somehow I seem to recognize the name, but not the story.
It's a joy and a privilege to sit by your feet, being taught about what really matters.
I thank you and hope you will continue to educate me.
From Felisol

Shelley said...

Such a wonderful post Amrita and such a faithful saint of God...thanks so much for sharing this....blessings on your week...

Amrita said...

Yes indeed Chundra was a remarkable woman. She stepped out of the comfort , security and identity of her society and religion during feudal times when religious conversion was very costly more so for a woman.She wouldn 't have done this hadn 't she found THE TRUTH in Christ.My forefathers also forsook everything to follow Christ....they were turned out of their homes with only the clothes they wore.

Today thousands all over the world face persecution and death for the sake of Christ.If Christianity was just vain philosophy, or delusional, emotional or fanatacism, they would never have put their lives at stake.

Amrita said...

A very close friend of mine Geeta Grace found Christ as a student in New Delhi. Her Hindu parents were coming to take her away andf forcebly marry her off. Our friends hid her in their home and paid her college fees till she graduated.

Later on after her baptism she visited her home , where she was locked up in a room for a week and pressurized to denounce Christianity. They just had to give up.

Later on she worked as a librarian in the school I was teaching in.

Later on when she married a fine Christian man, her family visited and gave them lots of wedding gifts.

Kimmie said...

Hi Amrita;

I had never heard of her before, thank you for sharing her testimony with us.

Hope this finds you and your family well.

xoxo
Kimmie
mama to 7
one hoemmade and 6 adopted

Roo said...

wow. thank you for sharing this story. married at 7!!! what a bright testimony.