I was born in a Hindu family in South India. My family was among the most devout in our village. We worshiped the Hindu deities and kulla devtas (ancestral spirits). My grandmother was a respected spiritual figure in the village. People would come to her for advice, recognizing the power she had. She sometimes said she was possessed by the ancestral spirits. Villagers reported a bright glow above our ancestral house every night.
I grew up in Thane, a satellite city of Mumbai. Like many middle-class Indian students, I was very keen to do well in my studies, spurred on by parents and friends. The pressure to perform was enormous. Around the time of my final high school exams, I developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is a condition of the mind in which one is obsessed about certain things, like checking repeatedly whether something is done (like zipping up one’s trousers), or cleaning a place repeatedly.
To deal with OCD, a counselor suggested that I try Vipassana, a Buddhist form of meditation. At the meditation center, we were told that we should not speak to anyone for the eleven days for which the program lasted. This turned out to be hard on some of the trainees. They would suddenly give in to tears, get nightmares and so on. I found that instead of overcoming my problems, I got a new addiction – meditation! If I missed doing it for even a single day, I’d have problems perceiving things, and became disoriented and sleepless. I tried Vipassana for two years, hoping it would help me overcome my stress, OCD, anger and so on, but it never did.
After my high school, I joined university, majoring in physiotherapy. I wanted to develop skills in alternative therapies to enhance my knowledge, so I enrolled for an acupressure class. My acupressure instructor was also a hypnotherapist and reiki practitioner, and she introduced me to reiki (a Japanese healing technique).
I joined a reiki course with a well known reiki master in Mumbai. The first day was dramatic. I found myself surrounded by several people with various kinds of problems. All of them said they were helped immensely by reiki. One cancer patient whom the doctors said would die in three months was there, all hale and hearty, full of praise for reiki and my new teacher. Reiki was also suggested as a means to enhance one’s business prospects. My teacher has not taken any medicine for 15 years – she always uses reiki to heal herself whenever she is sick. There was even a young man who had attempted suicide. He said reiki enabled him to overcome his suicidal tendencies.
There are three levels, or degrees, of reiki teaching – the third level has two parts, A and B. Level 3A qualifies you as a reiki master, and Level 3B qualifies you to teach reiki. I studied reiki up to 3A.
The first degree was for three days, beginning with getting “attuned”. I had to sit in a room with eyes closed. A man rang a bell continuously near my ears, while a woman made some hand movements in front of my body supposedly to open my “chakras”, so that the “universal life force energy” could pass through me. Once this connection is made, a reiki practitioner can channelize this energy to a person or object to heal or rectify it.
We reiki students were told that as the classes would progress and techniques were taught, we would gradually develop spiritual powers of healing. However, on the night after my first class itself, I had a stomach ache, and I healed it. Evidently, the healing powers did not really depend on any “techniques” – some entity out there was willing to give me the power to heal!
In the second degree we were taught special symbols, which supposedly would increase our powers. I was also told that the universal energy is in the form of white light. We would touch the patient, draw the symbols on his body, and this would send the energy through him in the form of white light, bringing him healing and strength. I could feel a source sending this white light through me into the patient. In my visualizations, I used to see crystals of white flowers going inside the patient’s body.
The third degree saw us introduced to a powerful symbol that would enable us to resolve quarrels and further enhance our healing powers. My mother in Thane had a pain in her uterus, and I was able to heal her over the phone from Mangalore, more than a thousand miles away.
One day, a friend told me that his relationship with his girlfriend was in a mess. They had been quarreling a lot and she was refusing to talk to him. “You’re learning reiki, right?” he asked, “You can use me as your guinea pig. Do what you can to help.”
When I went home, I tried to heal his relationship with reiki. The next day he met me. “Did you try some reiki on us?” He asked.
“Yes I did,” I replied. “Why?”
“Well,” he replied, “my girlfriend called me last night and we had a nice long talk. I’ve never found her more considerate to me in a long time. Our relationship is back on track”
It was exhilarating! It seemed like I was a born psychic; I became increasingly popular among my friends as a person who could heal relationships and diseases! I practiced reiki more and more – that it also complimented my profession as a physiotherapist was an added advantage. Of course, there was more to learn. I had not yet come to the level of my teacher, who could predict the future, read minds, bend spoons, move objects, etc. – all by reiki.
After about one and a half year into reiki, however, it started backfiring on me. My head seemed heavy, there was uneasiness, insomnia, lack of perception, etc. If I did not charge up my reiki chakras each day, I would suffer. It seemed hopeless – a pit that I would never be able to come out of. To cope, I started to do both meditation and reiki together, hoping to pull through, but it didn’t work.
Meditation and reiki backfired on me in another way. According to the philosophy behind vipassana, the human sex urge is a bondage due to the kundalini that is in our lower spines. This power is supposed to spiral out of our bodies through meditation – freeing us from the bondage of sexuality. But the irony was that my sexual desires and lust only increased with meditation! I’ve seen a lot of my friends who were into reiki and meditation turn to homosexuality and sexual promiscuity, as a result of a heightened sex urge induced by meditation.
Reiki became such a bondage that I began to look for ways to escape. I started listening to hiphop and satanic music, watching gory and violent movies, playing violent video games, etc. I would be bound to my playstation for hours at a stretch. I started smoking and drinking, partly because of my frustration, and partly because of bad company.I gave up on life. Nothing seemed to work. Meditation, reiki – everything had failed completely. A numerologist told me to spell my name differently to attract good luck. Even this failed!
One day, while I was studying my notes, preparing for my university exams, I heard a voice: “I have chosen you.” I asked: “Who are you? Are you Allah? One of the Hindu gods? One of the kulladevtas?”
The voice answered: “I am the Creator. I am the One who built a ship and put people and animals in it, one male and female of each kind.”
This seemed strange! Was it really the Creator of the universe talking to me?! Being an Indian Hindu, I was not familiar with the Biblical account of Noah’s Flood. So the thought of a ship with animals in it felt really weird. But I felt a glow within me – a sense of well being that I’d never felt while being a reiki channel. I told my Roman Catholic roommate about this incident, and he told me that the Bible records God asking a man called Noah to build a ship to preserve life in a worldwide flood that was to come. I concluded that the voice that spoke to me was that of the God of the Bible. I felt a sense of excitement; here was hope that I could be delivered from the bondage of reiki and meditation! I called my mother and told her about my experience. She dismissed it as a psychological phenomenon that took place because I was under a lot of stress as I faced my exams.
That night, my mother saw a dream. A radiant figure in white clothes with a wool-like, snow-white beard and hair entered the room where she was sleeping. He told her: “I actually visited your son today. It was not a psychological phenomenon.” My mother told my father and my sister, and my dad called me the next morning. This was a confirmation for me that my experience of the previous day was indeed genuine.
Three years after this experience I joined as a physiotherapist at a hospital in Thane. During my rounds, I met an African patient who had a Bible in her hand. I read it and got curious. Christianity had always seemed phony to me. Christians seemed to be immoral, wanting to propagate their religion through fraudulent means. But I learned that most of what passes off as Christianity has nothing to do with the true Christianity of the Bible.
I visited a local autonomous church, wanting to buy a Bible. As I listened to the preacher delivering his sermon, I felt God was speaking through him to me. I experienced a comfort I had never experienced before. I was overwhelmed. I kept going again and again. This was the truth that I had been longing for all my life!
One day, I was smoking. A voice told me: “You’ve got the strength to quit.” Smoking was a bondage that I was in – I had never thought I would be able to quit. But now, for the first time, I felt I had a genuine choice to exercise. I made a decision to quit smoking, and that was the end of my smoking addiction. After a week, I was out of alcoholism. Next to go were the anger problems. I was able to forgive my sister. Our bitter sibling rivalry ended. There was peace in our house! My sister and parents were amazed seeing the change in me. I sold my playstation. I stopped listening to unwholesome music. Gone was the hatred, the abusive language, and the pornography. “Whoever has been speaking to me must really have to be the true living God”, I thought to myself. He was able to bring such wonderful changes in my life!
Could this God get me out of reiki? I told Johnny and Siby, a couple from church about my involvement with reiki and meditation. They told me that the only wholesome meditation is meditation on the word of God – pondering about the meaning of Biblical passages. Again, I felt the power, the genuine choice I had to quit reiki and meditation. As I went home, I had the assurance that I would be able to sleep that night without doing meditation or reiki. And I did! That was the end of reiki and eastern meditation in my life.
Gradually, I understood that Jehovah, the God of the Bible was the Creator of the universe. Out of love for me, He had sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. It was his blood, and his blood alone, that paid the penalty for my sins, and made me eligible to escape God’s wrath. By submitting myself to Him in repentance and faith, I became His child, possessing eternal life. I was overwhelmed with love for God. What could be a greater privilege than to be lovingly accepted as a child by the Creator of the universe? What a contrast the God of the Bible was to the false gods that my family and I had devoutly worshiped for so long!
Understanding the Biblical account of creation, I realized that all humans are equal. From the Bible, I also learned that apart from man, God had also created powerful beings called angels. Like humans, angels also have free will, and some of them, under the leadership of Satan, rebelled against God. Today, Satan wants the worship that God is worthy of. If not anything else, he wants to prevent people from coming to a knowledge of the true God, and boy, is he working hard!
I recognized Satan’s hand in the entertainment industry. Satan wants you to be bombarded with entertainment, so that you’ll spend all your time watching worthless movies, playing worthless games, passing worthless comments on social networking sites, and listening to worthless music. He takes a step further in filling media with anti-Christian themes. Suddenly it struck me – there is so much of anti-Jesus lyrics in popular music. Why nothing against any other gods or religious figures? Why have games like the Prince of Persia in which the prince is presented as a good guy, but sometimes assumes a sinister appearance?! [The Prince of Persia is a sinister angel mentioned in the Bible -see Daniel 10:13, 20]. Why make songs like “fallen angels”?!
I saw Satan’s hand in reiki! The white light hardly seems surprising when the Bible tells us that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) as he craves worship from humans! I also noticed that the image in my reiki degree certificate is reminiscent of the heavenly city described in Revelation 22:1. The power that reiki gives its practitioners comes from Satan and his demons. There are no chakras, and there is no kundalini at the lower end of your spine. But there are demons, willing to give power to those who ask for it.
What applies to reiki applies to all other non-conventional healing techniques and false religions. All the real power that they have stems from Satan and his fallen angels. Satan is quite happy to offer “pretty rainbows” to eager humans: healing, financial success, power, etc. bathing it in platitudes like “love”, “goodness to all”, etc. In contrast, the true God is holy. He demands accountability and submission. He also offers us what we really need: eternal life. In order to make it available to unworthy people like us without compromising His justice, He has shown us sacrificial love in letting the Lord Jesus die for us.
Satan also has a package deal for those humans who insist that everything that exists must be explained without any supernatural elements: the pseudo-scientific theories of inorganic and organic evolution. Satan does not care what you believe, as long as you don’t believe in Jehovah, the true Creator-God.
My circle of friends changed. My old friends who goaded me into unhealthy habits drifted away. But I developed new friendships with like minded people – true disciples of Jesus Christ who had experienced his transforming power like I had.
My sister and my mother have now become a disciple of Jesus Christ. She was astonished and thrilled when she realized that the appearance of the figure in her dream was the same as that of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:13-15.
Today, I am eager to spread the message of Jesus Christ to others. I feel especially concerned about my relatives and family. For a lot of Indians, idolatry is merely a ritual, a matter of appeasing gods to bring in money, luck, health, etc. but as a family, we were really devout idolaters, and I can recognize a consequent curse on us, in accordance with Exodus 20:3-5. But God seeks to bless us, if only we are willing to turn to Him. Are you? If He delivered me out of all my problems, He can do the same to you!