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A Mysore Brahmin

LAKSHMAN RAO, converted Brahmin, tells his own
        story.   "I was born at Gudibanda, in the Province
of Mysore, in 1860.   The first time I ever heard the name
'Christian' was when I was a boy five years of age.   One
morning I was naughty, and my mother very seriously
said that she would make me a Christian if I did not behave
well.   At my eighth year, according to the religious re-
quirements of Brahminism, I was initiated, with the
investiture of the sacred thread and learning of the sacred
mantras, into the privileges of a true Brahmin.

   "At my sixteenth year I became exceedingly religious,
but when I was about nineteen, through the influence of
a great student of Spencer, Huxley, and Tyndal, I gave
up all faith in ceremonial Brahminism, and boastingly
and ignorantly called myself an Agnostic.   In my eigh-
teenth year I went to Kolar, and began to attend the
English service on Sundays.   It was all so strange to
me--the singing of hymns containing what I thought good
words, people kneeling down to pray to an invisible God,
the reading of the Bible, and the preaching.
   On the 10th February, 1881, I heard Amanda Smith, an
Africo-American Christian, teach Christ as a Saviour for
sinners, and the work of the Spirit of God in giving life to
any who believe in Christ, which she called "regeneration[.]"
I had never heard there was such a thing in the Christian
system.   The Brahmins believe in what is called ceremonial
regeneration, or being "twice born," taking place at the
time of the investiture of the sacred thread.   Hence this
truth of "regeneration" arrested my attention, because of
the challenge that it was said to be a fact of experience,
to be known and realised by a believer in Christ now in
this present life.   I spent the whole night trying to solve
the problem, and I said to myself, "Why should I not test
the truth
of what she said?   If I believe in Jesus Christ,
and receive Him as my Saviour, I shall know by personal
experience the truth of the spiritual life.   If it is not true,
I shall be none the worse for testing."
   Just as I was thinking thus, God used the fifth proposi-
tion of the first book of geometry as a means to help me

to decide.   I argued with myself thus: "Now, to prove
the truth of this theorum, an hypothesis is assumed,
certain postulates granted, and construction for the
proposition made before the demonstration takes place,
and then the theorum is demonstrated.   So, if my pos-
sessing spiritual life is to be demonstrated in my ex-
perience, I felt it was very reasonable and absolutely
essential that I must fulfil the conditions laid down to
realise the truth of it, namely, 'repentance toward God,
and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ
(Acts 20. 21).   On
coming to this conclusion, for the first time in my life I
lifted up my soul to God, in Christ's Name, and definitely
by putting forth my heart and volition, I received Christ
as my Saviour.   The whole night I had been miserable,
but once I had yielded myself up to God, and received
the Lord Jesus in humble faith as my Saviour, there came
over me instantly such a perfect calm and peaceful joy
that was all the more marked because of the previous

   "Thanks be unto God that I, a poor, miserable sinner,
was enabled to find mercy in His sight and to trust in
Christ, Whom for 21 years I have found to be my gracious
Saviour from sin and a '[F]riend that sticketh closer than
a brother.'

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