Wednesday, January 6, 2010

INDIA Brahmin, a follower of Gandhi, I embraced Jesus, the light that triumphs over darkness - Asia News

  • by Nirmala Carvalho
    • Scion of two of India's foremost independence heroes, Pandit Dharam Prakash Sharma met Jesus when he read the Sermon on the Mount at the age of 17. After 20 years of searching and a career in the movies, business and politics, he converted and was baptised. Only Christ breaks the chains of sin and triumphs over death.
    •  For 20 years, these words followed him until his conversion to Christianity in 1976. A member of the Brahmin caste, Pandit Dharam Prakash Sharma is also the son of two of India's foremost independence heroes, and grew up under the protective wing of the Mahatma Gandhi.
    • "One evening in 1954 as a teenager student, when I was in my hostel room, studying from my English text  book (which was my subject), I came across a lesson heading: 'Sermon on the Mount'. I read out the whole text in one breath! Oh! It was the same that inspired the life and work of Gandhiji during the freedom movement of India. It was a memorable moment for me, while reading this great sermon, I heard repeatedly a divine voice from all around me saying, “I am the same whom you are seeking from your very childhood." Suddenly, his heart felt at peace.
    • Pandit Dharam Prakash Sharma (pictured with the correspondent of AsiaNews) was born on 23 December 1937 in Fatehpur Prison, in Uttar Pradesh. He is the only son of one of the leading Hindu religious leaders of the holy city of Pushkar (Rajasthan), a place of never-ending pilgrimage.

      His father, Pandit Sohan Lal Sharma, and his mother, Gyaneshwary Devi, played an important role in the independence struggle and were sent to prison for this reason several times.

      When he was five, he was taken to Pavanar Ashram in Wardha, near Nagpur, and grew up under the loving and watchful guidance of Mahatma Gandhi.

    • He went on to have a brilliant career first as a film star, then a prominent business executive and finally as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house in India's parliament, between 1969 and 1973. In 1977, he left politics after becoming a Christian, despite pressures by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to stay. Later when Indira Gandhi was jailed, she turned to Dharma, and asked him to pray God for her salvation.
    • The process of conversion spanned many years of his marriage. He married a Christian. This in turn led his parents to follow his example. Ten days before his death, Dharma's father, Sohan, told him, "My son, for ten years I have watched your life change and [saw] the resulting peace. You are on the true path and have found the way. Your Lord is my Lord too.” 

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