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.