Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why a Jain Lady Renounced Jainism and Became a Christian?



If someone changes his or her religion, one should not object it. I do not believe in following a religion just because of taking birth in the society, which follows the respective religion. Religion should be a personal thing. Instead of blindly following hereditary religion, one should have a comparative study of various religions, and then he or she should choose one to follow.

Last year, a Jain couple in a village near our city adopted Christianity. Some of the city Jains, especially those who have connections with Saffron people, made propaganda of this conversion. Eventually, people forgot this incident.

Here is a story of a Jain lady from our city. She was born into a staunch Jain family. Her brother was my friend and classmate. The family lived nearby our colony. In front of our colony, on the opposite side of the road, there was a Jain temple. The lady of this story, who was a teenage girl at that time, always visited the temple. She always attended the sermons of Jain monks and nuns, and took part in various religious functions.

Eventually she got married, and went to another city, to live with her husband. Within two years, they got separated and she came to her brother’s house, with her one-year-old daughter.

As a Jain woman, she always visited Jain temple, and occasionally listened the discourses of Jain monks and nuns. She was a staunch Jain, and had never leaned before non-Jain Gods or Gurus.

On one Sunday, I was passing from the gate of the Church in our city and was surprised to see that the lady of this story was coming out from the gate. She was accompanied by another lady, her friend from childhood, who was also a Jain. Both of them saw me, smiled and went to the direction of their homes. For a while, I thought that they would have visited the Church for just of curiosity.

And for just of curiosity, I talked about this with one of my friends who kept lot of information about happenings in others’ homes. He stared at me in such a way as if I was a useless person who knows nothing.

“I am afraid”, he taunted, “you know much about happenings in the Jain community on Mars, but how do you are unaware about the things happening here?”

I laughed, and said, “ Yes, I know nothing about what is happening in our street, that is why I am asking you. Tell me.”

“Well”, he said, “ She has got converted to Christianity and her friend you mentioned is also on that way!”

I was a bit shocked by listening it.

“It is surprising! Do you know why she did it?” I asked.

“ I don’t know much about it, better you should ask directly to her,” He said, “She visits the Church every Sunday”

On next Sunday, I met the lady and her friend at the gate of the Church.

“Hallow,” I said to the lady, “ I want to talk with you. Do you have some time?”

“ I have much time!” She said, “ Let us go to the garden” She pointed her index finger towards the garden neighboring the church.

We went to the garden and sat on a bench, which was somewhat in the lonely part of the garden.

It was a difficult thing for me to start the subject, but the lady herself started it.

“I Know, what do you want to ask me,” she said, “You want to know why I became a Christian. Isn’t it?”

“Ya” I replied in an apologetic voice, and looking elsewhere.

“Look at me,” she said in a raised voice, as if she was ordering me, “ You know me from last decade. You are a close friend of my brother. You worked a lot for my marriage ceremony. But after my marriage ceremony, some wrong things happened and I had to come back to my father’s house. I am here for last 6 months. But you never asked me about the problems with me, in spite of coming to our home regularly. Even now you want to ask about my conversion to Christianity, and not about what happened with me!”

“I am sorry,” I said, “But it is very difficult to ask someone about personal problems. So I avoided to ask you about that”

“Well”, She said, “That is the problem with YOU Jains! You people have nothing to do with sufferings of your co-religionists. You worry about sorrows of the animals and birds, but not of the mankind”

I was bit angry, but controlled myself and said,

“Look, you know that getting birth in a Jain family is a rare thing. Only fortunate persons, because of their virtuous acts in previous birth are born in Jain families. Jainism is the greatest religion in the universe. Unfortunately, you have thrown away this great religion and following a wrong path”

“Ha Ha!” She Laughed, “You know very well about our family. You know that my brother was in Jail for 3 years, as he was responsible for suicide of his wife. You know my father and his deeds. If your philosophy is right, then I think that I was born in this family only because of my bad deeds in my previous life, if there is any. And what about the Jain girl children who are killed before taking birth? What your philosophy says about them?”

I was helpless, not able to say anything on her questions.

“Let me tell you”, she said, “ When I was in problems, when I was very disturbed and worried about my daughter’s future, no one from Jain community here asked me about my worries. Even my brother stopped to talk with me from the day when I got separated. It was my Christian friend Sunita, who took care of me and gave me a mental support. She was the person who listened my problems and worries. She was the person who suggested the solutions. Because of her, I started to visit the Church. It changed my life in a positive way”

“ But Christianity is a wrong faith..” I murmured.

“May be,” She said, “ But I don’t care about it. I have realized that we are not for religion, religion is for us. If your religion has nothing to do with the problems and worries of the followers, people in problems will follow other paths.”

“O.K”, I stood up from the bench and said, “I have to go now, take care, bye”

“Oh, you have to dine before sunset. Take care of the insects” she laughed, “By the way you are welcome here any time. I am sure you will come”

“Never!”, I tried to shout, but it was just as speaking to myself.

32 comments:

  1. Mahavirji, give me the details of the Lady (Phone, Address)

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  2. Very Nice Blog. I like it. I also want to tell you something no religion is wrong.. I am a jain But I respect every religion and I am very thankful to that women because she is Our Eye Opener... I am in USA right now and working with Pakistani Ismaili (Muslim) Boss.. I saw his religion and I shocked.. How good they follow their religion.. Always ready to help eachother and everyone(no religion matters). Always thinking good. No matter what give their part of ROJI to god and many more things.. I saw many orthodox jain families, they follow jainism blindly.. They dont know why Tirthankar said all the things.. I think Human should be treated first and then religion.... Think Over It and try to help everyone.. God Bless U.. Jai Jinendra

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  3. Very nice blog... From my perspective there is one god in the whole universe who has supernatural powers and it depends from people to people how they look towards him and worship him... I am also a Jain fellow and pursuing my Masters degree in USA. I also go to church every Sunday and have went to different churches over here.... The only thing to say is you can learn so much of things and also know about true god in the way one never thought of... It helps to know things in day to day life and also helps to know things one never knows or eventually never thought of....

    Thanks...

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  4. I am happy that she is now happy. But I feel that she needs to know something. A religion and society are two different things and for two different purpose. Blaming a religion for the fault of society is just not fair. I accept that Jain society forgot the basic principles of Jain religion but it’s us who make the society, if something is not right we need to correct it. I just wanted to know what she did for the betterment of society in her good time. I am sure she is not the first who is facing worries, problems and pain. It can happen anywhere and in any society and with any person. Even thousands of examples can be find in the society where, she belongs now.

    Expectations, expectations & expectations, and we forget what we are doing.

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  5. NiceBlog, It Clearly states its TIME To Work on Foot WAR basis to Save the Jainism.. and Stay away from the mis guidance from other peoples. Together We can and We WILL make a difference.

    I will not say much in this comment but surely work much more to avoid this kind of situations

    JAI JINENDRA !!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. very very true.....i think jain schools is the best way to develop these.....

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  6. Religion and Society are different identities. In our Jain History (not many years ago) Jains have encountered many worse difficulties in mundane life but nevdr gave up their precious Jain Faith which they acquired after lot of good deeds in the past lives.

    - Hasmukh Shah

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  7. Hi Mahavir,
    I think you are perturbed with her change of religion. Faith and following ritual is only a part of religion and not the whole religion.

    If some one changes his or her religion because of earthly benefit, no one has to do anything. Christians have converted large numbers of people in India and other parts of the third world in this way.

    I am not ready to believe that Jain community is not thinking of fellow Jain. I know hundreds and thousands of Jain charitable organizations doing a lot for Jain people.
    There are some exceptions and the lady is one of them.

    I live in Jaipur and see regularly Jain people in need or distress go to wealthy and powerful persons in the community and get help from them.

    I know several Jain people who are involved in searching about Jain people in distress and help them.

    If you know Jain people in need of monetary assistance you can refer them to Nakoda trust.

    Thanks,
    Jyoti Kothari

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  8. I read the story and was totally suprised. I know jainism spreads the moral of non-violence but humanity comes first. We should as a person should console the person in problem known to us and help them.

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  9. This is really a nasty blow on Jainism & jain people. I know no religion is bad, but just because some of your people does not give you the desired support, one should never change his/her religion. I know religion is made for man & man is not made for religion.But never forget that people are ready to anything for thier religion. But this is something very demotivating....

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  10. I thought in same ways as Ashish said in above comments
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    A religion and society are two different things and for two different purpose. Blaming a religion for the fault of society is just not fair. I accept that Jain society forgot the basic principles of Jain religion but it’s us who make the society, if something is not right we need to correct it
    I am sure she is not the first who is facing worries, problems and pain. It can happen anywhere and in any society and with any person. Even thousands of examples can be find in the society where, she belongs now.
    Expectations, expectations & expectations, and we forget what we are doing.
    -------------------------------------------------

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  11. Its really heart touching incident that Jain person converted his/her religion to christian.

    if she has converted from hindu or parsi,sikh then also we don't feel surprised much but she had converted into christian which is relly unbelieable.

    Every person has right to take decision of his/her life so as a Jain i can't make comment on her decision whether it s right or wrong.

    All the Best and whenver you feel you are on wrong way than do not hesitate to take step back from there.

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  12. Hi
    "Parasparo bhakraho Jeevanam"
    Helping another jeev is the nature of Jeev as per jainism.
    Jains not only worry about insects.Jains follow ahimsa and avoid himsa to all living beings form human to plants.
    If one suffers in the persent life it is due to the effect of their accquired karma in their earlier births.Accepting their old deeds and doing good deeds only improve their position now and in the future.
    conversion to other faith may give them teporary relief but put them to misary now (in the present life) and future births.
    Better understand the religious principles correctly before blaming it.
    The right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct only the path for happyness for the present and future.

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  13. One of the Five must do in Jainism is Sadharmik Bhakti....so jains always take care of Sadharmik People......I think her problem is not Jainism or Jains but the wrong people around her... instead of Sunita if she would have got a good jain friend or Sadhvi they would have helped her even better than Sunita...

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  14. Much has been discussed on all this but one simple thing one needs to understand is that Jain religion is above humanity. It teaches us to think of each and every living being so in turn it teaches to think of the welfare of human beings also. Sadharmik Bhakti as told by Bhumit Shah is one of the must stated in Jain religion. So, there is no reason whatsoever to point at religion.

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  15. If that lady taunts on jains saving insects, why did she convert to a religion which promotes non-veg diets?? How did she dare to blame Jain religion and spread wrong talks about it? She is a bloody looser that she left the sacred Jain religion. If she says no Jain helped her in her bad time, what did she do to help the other sadharmik Jains in her good times? What did she inculcate in herself after attending Jain religious preachings? If she was a true lady, she would not have said such things about Jainism.
    If people say that muslims follow their Roza and religion very accurately, why can't we JAINS follow our religion such accurately?? We also have tapasyas such as Maaskhaman, Atthai, Aayambil Olis, etc..........
    In roza, one can eat at night but in maaskhaman, Jains don't eat even a bit of food for 30 long days. Why can't we see and Praise such our Jain fellows?
    We have been given correct and easy guidelines to live our life in the best way.
    If you dont follow the Jain lifestyle guidelines accurately, you must not dare commenting on it and also must Not Expect Good Results for it. If such Christian religion FALSELY preaches Non-Violence, why are Slaughter houses existing there? Why do they consume Slaughtered animals? This is just pretending being good. In India too, the Britishers entered and split the Indians apart only to rule on us. The CONVERSION to Christianity is one another way for the same purpose. We all must unite and OPPOSE this. We must set an example to all other religions such that they convert to Jainism. Following Jainism is the only way to attain Moksh. Now its on each individual whether he wants to roam in this world or...............
    Jai Jinendra!!!

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  16. mahavirji first of all i thanks u.sir i think not to blame the women who converted as a christian.her way of thinking is at the situation when she suffers some hard problems in her life.at this time she wants strong emotional & mental support,which she search in christanity by her friend.but if her mental level or in marathi i said her tatvik leval zar wadhleyale asste tar she cannot blame jain relagion & jain socity,which she thinks they cant help in diffulcities.at this moment i only said this phrase 'ANUKULTA ME DHARMA SAMAJ ME AATA HAI AUR PRATIKULTA ME USKA SAHARA LIYA JATA HAI.''JAI JINENDRA.

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  17. Instead of wondering why she became a Christian, one should have rather wondered what it was that bothered her, and how without thinking or caring about her conversion, must one help her out.

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  18. read the full story but my view is ompletely different

    dear friends our religion JAIN is not a particular a religion we have been given a lot of information but we dont actually follow it properly..our religion is not just protecting animals and other creators but it is about protecting and helping to any type of a living being(human,animals,insect, ekindriya,beindriya,triindriya,charindriya,panchindriya and even suksham jiva which has no form as mentioned in our agams..)..

    You people must have read story of abhaykumar a king who had promised a jiv to protect him from his eneymy and gave his life instead...
    i know todays actually most of jains are not following culture properly but it doesnt mean to change out religion just bcos something wrong happened...IT;s all about karma we have to bear for all our wrong deeds and while bearing these deeds we shouldn't complain..

    A good phrase

    "SAAMNE WALE KO NIMIT, AUR KHUD KO HI DOSHI MANE, TABHI SE BHAGWAN HONE KI SHURUWAT HO JATI HAI"

    MEANS
    at time of problems when you think it's just b'cos of ur wrong deed problem arised and the third part is just being framed and it is not his mistake...



    well i m not a professionl blooger there may be some mistake in typing,or gramatical but my point is clear

    LOVE JAINISM FOLLOW TRUE JAINISM AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE

    thanks mahavirji.. on ur bolg i get to read many things..may be i will also try to blog somedays...


    JAI JINENDRA JAI MAHAVEER
    JAINAM JAYTI SHAHSNAM

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  19. Thanks Mahavir, until we all Jains don’t unit together & work for the welfare of common Jain people & feel their feeling as all Janis are not rich as we all believe, some of then even cant afford one time meal to eat, we all Jains should come out of Temples & Sthnak & build welfare or corporative society for our fellow people where they can get all products at cheap rates. Instead of building new Temples we should build hospitals, hostel, and affordable home for our people just like Parsi community is doing other wise in 40 or more years our Jain community we vanish just like the Parsi community is at present.

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  20. Nice blog. Currently time have changed and people also need to change as per that. Today we have JITO, JIWO, etc to help Jains in all aspects, its the duty of jains to spread awarness of this to whole world.

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  21. I have yet to see a JIWO / JITO work. Presently I see them only on stage with big brass but does not see any benefit to grassroot Jains.And compassion is one thing which everyone should have and more so in Jains. If u feel for others then u can not sit idle and rush to help others. But it seems Jains in this town did not have that human factor and hence she rightly got converted to other faith.Instead of doing expensive vidgans and pratishtha and doing chamachagiri of Rich non performing Jains let us start more and more charities. Alok Tholiya tholiya@hotmail.com www.aloktholiya.blogspot.com

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  22. I am surprised by the attitude of this woman.. there are many problems 100 times graver than this woman which my grandmother faced she lost her husband, child, property many more things which meant everything to the woman of 1930s. But she never broke? Today she is 95 years and living happily. Problems are meant for humans not for stones & woods.
    She talked of a friend who helped her.. i know Christian missionary & their people always searching people & these people are soft targets. I live in mexico, i have seen how core christians work, they are always ready to give u something(money, materials) in exchange to ur religion. Read bible there it is all mundane.

    Problem with people is they do not think what they can do to change it..

    And who said Jain people think of insects only? If your family did not help you to stand up again then it is attitude problem of the family that has nothing to do with religion?

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  23. I feel sad for her problem and I am willing to help her , but i would like to strongly condemn and completely disagree with her philosophy that the cause of her problem is that she was a JAIN and that it has solved because of converting herself into Christian . This is complete ignorance . While I dont critisize any religion but I can say that I am proud to be born as a Jain . I can prove beyond doubts that Jainism is the purest form of religion known to mankind. She is just another person trapped by the Christian missionary , whose only aim is to destroy the rich culture and heritage of all religions and establish Christianity world over .

    Problems and pleasures are a part of everybody's life and it should not be linked to religion . Good people and bad people are there in every religion and just because a few unhelpful people in her life she should not take such a drastic step. Can she disown her own mother just because she did not help her sometime ? I pity her ignorance and pray to Panch Parmesthi Jineshwar Parmatmas to give her good sense and think right .

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  24. One more fascinating story from this great mind.. Mahavirji, your stories have always excited me to know more about our religion..

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  25. Hi interesting blog and serious discussions. I want to put my comments from the perspective of my Christian back ground.

    The world we live in today is crowded. We live in places which were once habitat for the wild animals. As the cities grow we are encroaching more of the wild world space. Is it right for Jain’s to live in such cities and become part of a culture that neglects respect to the animal boundaries. Hospitals, take precaution to keep rodents away from their campuses. Will the Jain’s look upon this as breach of religious doctrine and stay away from treatment given by these institutions. At our homes we use insect and pest control to keep the cockroaches mosquitoes at bay. Would you suggest that we allow these rodents to run all over our food and keep the remaining for us to consume? We keep trample innumerable organisms as we walk and there are so many living organisms that we consume along with the food we eat. Do people keep collecting sin points as they unavoidably keep doing this? Will one ever be able to avoid these and have a sinless life (if at all these are sins that they are committing)? Let’s say we are somehow overcautious and mange not to kill incautiously. We may still, crush some insects and even consume them while asleep. You just cannot stop hurting other living creature’s right? The blog itself is posted with the comment that it may hurt the sentiments of some readers.

    When God made the world he made man the master of all the creations in it. He gave the animals so that men could eat their meat. He wanted his men to find peace in Him on the terms He set forth in the Bible and not strive to invent methods of salvation out of capabilities of human capacity. For our incapacities He gave us His only begotten son Jesus, who got us pardon for the mistakes we commit. All we need to be forgiven is to surrender to Him (Jesus).

    Likewise, it’s not in human capacity to unite a few for our thoughts and then think of inspiring the entire world to believe and accept it. All of us are gifted with our own freewill and we will always have groups that think differently from other groups. And there will always be difference of opinion within the group members of a group. No leader or King (even the King of Kings Jesus included) could inspire the whole world on one opinion. It’s nothing but your freewill at play. The only thing that could possibly unite the entire world would happen when its people realize that they need to submit to God. He has given us all freewill; our glory will depend upon the choice we make. God expects us to worship and obey Him. The troubles in our life are not dependent on the count of animals we kill; it’s got from having our eyes shut from the will of our Creator.

    Holy Spirit, open our eyes. Amen.

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  26. Very nice blog. I am a Christian. Born in Brazil but living in Portugal. I became interested in Jainism mostly because the skyclad monks, but I have read some of the teachings and found something related to Christianity (non-violence, to give the other face to enemy). I came across this blog by searching comparisons between Christianity and Jainism.
    Just to mention the subject: I was born in a Catholic family. Not really faithful but average. I have changed to Jeovah Witnesses and came back to old Catholic Faith. I have discovered so much beauty that were forgotten by the "average" followers.

    In fact I think that men are free to choose their path. Even if the path is already drawn, it is your duty to find it. Not to let it flow. Religion is part tradition, but mainly for me is the path for the truth.
    I think the role of a religion is to answer two things: Where did we come from and where we are going to.
    bye

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  27. Some of the most fake and misguided people I have met are Jains. I am a Hindu and my ex-husband is a Jain. He took all my earnings from our joint account and left my son and I to fend for ourselves. He was not earning when I met him and has never had a steady job because he thinks he should be an entrepreneur. His parents have the typical greed, selfishness and pettiness of the typical uneducated Jhaveri family involved in diamond dealing. When I was 21 and met my father-in-law for the first time, his comment to me was: "oh so you are originally from Varanasi. Yeah, the city is very famous for whores." I was shocked and tried to explain how I felt to my husband, who dismissed my concerns by saying "he must have been joking" and "you are over sensitive". In any case, I have yet to hear of a father-in-law talk in that manner to a daughter-in-law. Later, this sort of demeaning verbal and emotional abuse continued. In any case, to cut a long story short, they tried their best to stop me from doing my masters and then when I started working as a lecturer, they insisted that coz I wanted to work, I was not being a good mother. The taunts and jibes were relentless until I just avoided talking to them. My husband then sold our house in which I had invested much of my savings and pocketed it all. Now, I have my own place and am supporting my son as well as raising him single-handedly. My ex-husband only pays my son's fees. But before we separated, he invited his parents to our place and they went to the police to say that I will kill my son. If they are so concerned about my son, where are they now and where were they when I was raising him all alone even during the yrs we were married? My husband usually didn't get back home before 3 am and said that he was in the Jain temple on weekends. All I know is that he wasn't spending anytime with me or my son. When my domestic and work pressure got too much and I occasionally, hesitantly asked him to take care of my son, he grew agitated and angry. Helping him with homework etc. didn't even occur to him. But, the wonderful thing is that my son and I are happy now that we are away from them. My son will be 12 now and he's witnessed everything to know the truth. No one knows better than him that his so called "father" threw us out of the house without a thought for us. He is old enough to know that by no stretch of the imagination can this father claim to love or care for him. My husband and his father (both religious Jain men) threatened me that they will go to court and try to prove that I am mad to gain custody of my son. Then, to make my employers suspicious about me, they went to the police station and asked the police to call my office while I was at work to find out if I was there. (The intention behind was to damage my reputation at work). They could have easily driven any sane person crazy with their cruelty and maliciousness. But, the more nasty the got, the more determined I got. I decided to start again on my own and am happy that things have worked out wonderfully for my son and I since I got separated from my husband. I don't know about others but my experience with Jains has been of the most unpleasant kind. They can stoop to any level and can be very cruel. If this is how they practise Jain philosophies of non-violence, then it's a shame. Btw, while my husband was cheating me and stealing from me, he religiously kept going to the Jain temple. Hah!!!

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  28. View point of a Christian : I have converted to Christianity from hinduism and here is what I have to say. Christianity is the only religion where God is a "Person" and not some power out there in the universe or some power in our inner being. God is a person and that too he is a living person. He is most compassionate and merciful and he will never force anything upon us. Our parents may force certain things upon us.. bur our God the Heavenly father has given us free will and wants us to come to him, call him and choose the right way from the wrong way in this world. He has given us a "sound" mind. You can call his for help and he will help you out. He will heal your sickness and remove all your pain. God is real.. just call out.

    In Hinduism, Jainism and other such religions the focus is on good work or leading holy life, but in Christianity it is an accepted fact that we cannot attain salvation or moksha (eternal life) thru our own good works. The flesh is weak and by birth we are sinners.. we need the holy sacrifice of Jesus Christ (his death on the cross) as an atonement of our sins. Only then can we be saved! Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. He will then give you a new heart and the Holy spirit. Holy spirit is a real person.. who will then guide you thru the rest of your life.

    Ask Jesus to show you which one is the right path! God Bless you dear brothers and sisters.

    Here is another testimony of a Jain family that accepted Jesus.
    http://www.guardianangel.in/ga/237-P-Popup-Sungeeta-Jain---A-Model-Christian.html

    Praise the Lord!

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  29. Hello Mahavirji, This is Suji. I m a Christian girl. But i want to convert into Jain because i love their thoughts, behaviors and everything. Please help me to convert.

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