Yoga and concentration (samadhi) have given the sadhus, sanyasis, and the poets
of India great mental development and power. These psychic exercises lead to
self-hypnotism and also self-deception—a sort of satisfaction which comes from
self-denial and rigorous, self-imposed discipline of the physical body and the
So far, I have never met a sadhu or a religious man who could say he had truly found shanti (peace) or God. All they venture to say is that they are still seeking. How can they who reject the only Saviour, who gave His life for the salvation of mankind, get shanti and salvation?
Some of these men, however, can also work miracles and signs, which totally captivate people. We know that the magicians of Egypt did some of the miracles which Moses performed under the direction of God. Some, by worshipping evil spirits, can do certain things which appear like miracles. Some, by living a life of self-denial and by yogic exercises, can even heal the sick or read others’ minds and sometimes even make a clever guess at what the future holds. Many who worship evil spirits can tell the past events of men. Most people do not know that there are powers of darkness, which, if worshipped, can help them on a short-term basis, to feel fulfilled and even be apparently successful. But a true change of character and new life, none of these spirits of the underworld can give.
Indian religions are highly developed intellectual achievements of men. The mind, when highly developed, can function in an extraordinary way and even subdue man’s instincts and desires. This ultimately results in killing oneself and destroying one’s spiritual potentialities. But when a man comes under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, those instincts are not killed but controlled and sanctified and led in the right channels of service. Love with heart purity, love with holiness of life, and faith with humility, which the Lord Jesus gives a repentant sinner, result in a great capacity to bring men under the influence of the Cross of Christ. When people are truly broken at the Cross, the resurrection power of Christ begins to operate in them.
No great Indian sadhu can say, "I can bring salvation to another." The religions of India in their highest disciplines can only bring about a kind of negative ordering of the soul and body, which renders the body as a corpse, while all the time the spirit still remains unkindled and dead. Christ bring salvation to the spirit, soul and body and causes a person to live on a high level of faith, which in turn makes one go and rescue the fallen, and lift them into the New Life and the cleansed walk.
Sundar Singh was born in 1889 into an important landowning Sikh family in Patiala state, North India. With the passing away of his mother and the deep void it left in Sundar Singh’s heart, there came a desperate longing for reality and peace. If ever a man could have found true release and fulfillment through Yoga, it was Sundar Singh, as he was in dead earnest to practise and implement all that this system taught. But at this stage, he knew that he had tried all the available methods and meditations known to him, but the deep void persisted.
Earlier, his mother having already taught him a great deal from Hindu Scriptures, had put him under the tutelage of a Hindu pandit and an old Sikh sadhu. But Sundar was bitterly disappointed that they could not show him the secret which would meet his deep inner cravings. Of this period of his life Sundar Singh said, "They taught me with great sympathy and freely gave me the benefit of their experiences, but they had not themselves had that real blessing for which my soul was craving, so how could they help me to get it?"
Sundar’s struggles therefore continued. A great sadhu visited their home six months before his conversion and said, "This lad would become in future a great man in the world or a mad person." One day his father rebuked him when he saw him pouring kerosene and burning the Bible with perverse delight. Although he counted it to be a meritorious act, a deep unrest took hold of him shortly after this outburst of bigotry. He could not eat nor sleep for three days. This intense search for finding reality in God could not go on forever. He wanted to end his life if he could not find that real peace, which his mother had asked him to seek.
On the third night he got up at 2 o’clock and had a bath in cold water for one hour. Then he sat in meditation or prayer and said to God, "O God, if there is a God, if You answer me and give me peace before 5 o’clock this morning and appear to me in your true form, I will serve You as a sadhu all my life. If I do not get an answer from You I will end my life by throwing myself on the rails of the railroad behind my house, when the Ludhiana Mail passes in the morning." Sundar meant what he said. He went on praying and meditating and at four he closed his eyes again. At 4:30 when he again opened his eyes he saw a white smoke-like glow in his room. For a moment he wondered if there was fire in his room. But then came the thought that God perhaps was answering him and he closed his eyes again. As he prayed on, lo, before him stood a glorious figure with such brightness that exceeded the sunshine at mid-day. Yet he could see it without being dazzled by the sight. Then he saw the crown of thorns on the head of the figure which stood between the ceiling and the floor. There were wounds in the hands, feet and in the side which were bleeding. Having recognized Him to be Christ, Sundar turned away his face saying within himself, "He is none of the incarnations whom I believe." But then he heard these words, "I am Christ whom you are persecuting. There is salvation only through Me. If you believe Me now, you will be saved. If you don’t believe Me you will be damned fore ever."
Then flashed into his mind the fact that he had never prayed to Christ but to the universal God, to reveal Himself to him. He had challenged God that if He would appear to him, he would never back out but follow Him. He had never, for even a moment, expected that the answer to his prayer was Christ. How could he now refuse the revelation of the Living God? Immediately he fell on the Feet of the Lord Jesus Christ and worshipped Him. A mighty power like the power of electricity flowed into him and a great peace came upon him. He was so full of joy that he ran to his old father, who was sleeping, and woke him up saying that he had seen Christ and that he had given himself to Him. The father remembered the statement of that great sadhu who prophesied that this lad would become either a mad man or a great person. He told his son that something had gone wrong with his mind and that he should go and sleep. In this manner the Lord God Almighty captured for Himself a well-prepared young man to be His follower.
( Joshua Daniel, Laymen Evangelical Fellowship)
With permission from Job Anbalagan email@example.com
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.