“A Converted Brahmin's Account of Himself”

BIPOC Voices in the Victorian Periodical Press

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A BRAHMIN named Narain Rao has been recently baptized by our Missionary at Junir, in Western India, the Rev. C. C. Mengé. The following account of himself will be read with interest. It represents the state of many a poor heathen, labouring and heavy laden under an uneasiness and distress of mind which he know not how to account for, and tries in vain to still. It is the restlessness of a man while a wanderer from God, from whom he was created, and in whom alone he can find rest. How delightful is it when "the day-spring from on high" visits such poor and needy sinners, to guide their feet into the way of peace! Narain Rao was born in the year 1812 at Hindele, in the district of Rutnageeree. He writes—

My father was a respectable Brahmin, with whom I resided till some time after my marriage. During that period I studied the Brahminical law, and qualified myself for secular employment. When I was about twenty-five years old, I resolved to go on a pilgrimage to Benares, accompanied by my family. On my way I passed through Nassuck, where my wife and child were carried off by cholera. This bereavement affected my mind so much that I gave up my intention to go to Benares, and returned to Bombay. However, I could not forget the heavy loss I had sustained; and, being at last quite overcome with grief, I became melancholy. In this state of mind I determined to spend my small earnings in visiting some of the most holy places of pilgrimage in Hindustan, in order to obtain perfect righteousness and peace. Among others I visited the celebrated places Rameshwar, Kari, Prayag, Juggernaut, and Kartik Swamy. On the way to these places I suffered severe hardships and privations. Notwithstanding all this, I could not obtain that purity of heart and peace of mind which I was in search of. Everywhere I could observe nothing but deceit, fraud, and hypocrisy, and nothing to convince me of the truth and reality of the Hindu religion. On my return from Rameshwar I made the acquaintance of Suchitanunda, a famous religious teacher and devotee in the city of Goomtoor. He convinced me of the vanity and unprofitableness of idol-worship and every thing connected with it, and at the same time directed me to worship the only invisible God. Although I was now fully persuaded of the truth that there exists but one invisible and supreme Being, still I had found no peace in my heart. About this time I began to reflect on what I had heard from the Missionaries at Mangalore and Bombay concerning the Christian religion. I remembered that in the Christian religion was enjoined both the worship of the invisible God and the necessity of leading a holy life; but, above all, I discovered in it that one great truth, that God became man in Christ Jesus to save sinners: further, that He made an atonement for the sins of mankind and became their surety, and that, by believing in His name, and trusting in His merits, we receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal redemption at the hands of God. These truths occurring to my mind from time to time, brought me to the resolution to embrace Christianity; but as yet I did not reveal my intention to any body. Besides, I felt very sorry for having lost so much time and strength and money by going on pilgrimage, and determined in my mind henceforth no to seek the favour of God by engaging in a vain and fruitless pursuit, but to employ the ability and talents which God had given me in some lawful occupation, in order to receive further instruction in the Christian religion, and apply for baptism. With this object in view I arrived at Ahmednuggur; and there, in conversation on the Christian religion with several of the converts, my few remaining doubts were removed, and my desire of becoming a Christian was confirmed. Being informed that the Catechist Ram Krishna, whom I had met at Nassuck ten years ago, was at present residing in Junir, I took an introduction to him from one of his friends and went thither. I immediately opened my mind to him, and applied for baptism. On Friday, the 8th of November 1850, I came to live on the Mission premises, and made over to Mr. Meng— my sacred string, rosary, and ladle, with the following words—I have given up the performance of Brahminical rites, and cast myself at the feet of Jesus." Having received fuller instruction about the nature and importance of baptism, I was admitted into the Church of Christ by Mr. Meng—, on Sunday, the 24th of November 1850, and my prayer to God is that I may remain unto the end a living member of His Church.

Digital Publication Details

Title: “A Converted Brahmin's Account of Himself”

Creator(s): Anonymous; Narain Rao

Publication date: (1851) 2022

Digital publishers: One More Voice, COVE

Critical encoding: Kenneth C. Crowell, Cassie Fletcher, Jocelyn Spoor, Adrian S. Wisnicki

One More Voice identifier: liv_026006

Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Anonymous, and Narain Rao. (1851) 2022. “A Converted Brahmin’s Account of Himself.” Edited by Kenneth C. Crowell, Cassie Fletcher, and Jocelyn Spoor. In “BIPOC Voices,” One More Voice, solidarity edition; Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE). https://onemorevoice.org/html/bipoc-voices/digital-editions-amd/liv_026006_HTML.html.

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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