The Cost of Discipleship

For Modern Christians, being a disciple of Christ is as simple as joining a church organization where sharks like TPM are lurking around with salivating mouths. Rarely do people realize that they are just adding to the strength of the great whore of Babylon. However, in these last days, true Christians are just a remnant. People of Indian ancestry should not forget the life and death of great Saints that contributed to the work of Christ.

When TPM fanatics think of Church Fathers, they automatically think of Pastor Paul Ramankutty and they struggle to suppress the thought of Alwin accompanying his name. If it could have been possible, The twisted history books of TPM would have made Jesus the firstborn of Pastor Paul. Such onesided history books of TPM are just a waste of time. We thought it necessary to remind our readers about heroes of faith who could have been forgotten in the Babylonian church system.

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Heb 13:7

More than the sermons, the life of such people of God speaks to us and also sustain us in our faith Life.

We are called to the Salt of the Earth and the Light of this world. (Matt 5:13-16)

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Life of TPM Saints

Consider the impact of the lives of the stalwarts of TPM. Recollect how they impacted the society around them and how is it impacting even now.

  1. They built a cult system around them and went to conquer people in the name of Christ. Remember the White Horse Rider of Rev 6:2 ?
  2. They subdued people and blinded them with erroneous doctrines and put heavy yokes on them.
  3. Instead of working for their sustenance, they build a tax system(tithe) which will ensure them constant revenue and they can live without any accountability.
  4. They made it very easy for us to count the number of Orphanages, Old age homes, Hospitals, Schools, Colleges etc. established by them. They took the services of Aryabhatta though.
  5. Every year they build, demolish and rebuild new cult houses called faith homes, buy properties in acres in every city they are in.
  6. They give wrong testimonials to the government and get benefits which they should not be getting.
  7. They break God’s First institution(Family) in the name of their Cult.
  8. To this day, they have not changed. They have added more worthless rules and remains a closed community.
  9. They cover-up all the immoral activities by the clergy and assume that the world is blind to their actions.
Do you think that TPM Stalwarts can be called as Salt of the earth and the Lights of this world?

Contrast the life of TPM White Clads with that of Pandita Ramabai.

The Life of Pandita Ramabai

If you have been serious about your study of your History lessons in school, you would not have missed a few paragraphs about Pandita Ramabai(1858-1922). Indian History books associate her with the reform movement and freedom struggle. Rarely do people know who she was in reality. The youngest daughter of Anant Shastri Dongre and Laxmibai Dongre was not only an Indian social reformer, an activist and a writer who challenged the task of liberating women from enslaving Hindu traditions and customs but was a woman of intense prayer, a deeply spiritual person who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and placed great importance on the texts of Scripture. She acquired a great reputation as a Sanskrit scholar and was the first woman to be awarded the titles of Pandita and Saraswati after being examined by the University of Calcutta.

Ramabai’s father was a very orthodox Hindu who belonged to the Chitpavan Brahmin community and strictly adhered to caste and other religious rules. Yet he thought it was right to teach his wife how to read and write the Sanskrit language and sacred literature other than the Vedas. He cared little for what people said and did what he thought was right. He taught and educated his wife, children and others.

When Ramabai was six months old, her parents left their home and led a Pilgrim’s life. Her parents did not like their children to come in contact with the outside world. Learning any other language other than Sanskrit was out of the question. They were always travelling from one pilgrimage site to another, bathing in sacred river or tank, visiting temples, worshipping the images of gods/goddesses and reading Puranas, in order to get rid of sin and of earning merit to attain Moksha.

This sort of their life went on until the great Indian famine of the 1870s hit the land. They did not have food to eat. They had to sell all that they had to buy food. They were too proud to beg or to do any menial work(False Honour). Therefore they were ignorant of any practical way of earning an honest living. They suffered like the rest of the poor people. Nothing but starvation was before them. Ramabai’s father, mother and sister all died of starvation within a few months. Only Rama and her brother Srinivas survived. They wandered about, still visiting sacred places, bathing in rivers and worshipping the gods and goddesses in order to get their desires fulfilled. After years of fruitless service, they began to lose their faith in them. However, they still continued to keep caste rules, worshipped gods and studied sacred literature as usual.

The Cost of Discipleship

Ramabai and her brother became famine wanderers and had walked more than four thousand miles on foot without any sort of comfort. They wandered from south to the north as far as Kashmir, and then to the east and west to Calcutta in 1878. They stayed there for a year and once they were invited to attend a Christian gathering. With the permission of the Brahmans, they went to the Christian people’s gathering for the first time in their lives. The Christians gave her a copy of the Bible in Sanskrit. She tried to read it but did not understand, as she quoted,the language was so different from the Sanskrit literature of the Hindus, the teaching so different, that I thought it quite a waste of time to read that book, but I have never parted with it since then.”

Ramabai spent much of her time in Calcutta studying books of Hindu law, the Dharma Shastras and the Mahabharata. She soon gained fame for clarity and eloquence of her lectures on the Puranas, and by the age of 20, she could quote 18,000 Sanskrit verses and speak in five languages. In the meanwhile, her brother died. She rebelled against the caste system and married a Bengali Shudra advocate, Bipin Behari Das. Just 16 months after their marriage, her husband died of cholera, leaving her alone with an infant daughter, Manorama. This loss deepened her concern for the women of her country.

There was a Baptist missionary, Mr Allen, living at Silchar. He occasionally paid visits to Ramabai and preached the gospel. He explained the story of creation from the first chapter of the Book of Genesis to her which was so unlike all the stories which she read in the Puranas and Shastras that she became greatly interested in it. It struck to her as being the true story but she could not give any reason for thinking so or believing in it. Having lost all faith in her former religion, she was desperately in need of some religion and with her heart hungering after something better. She eagerly learnt everything which she could about the Christian religion and declared her intention to become a Christian.

After leaving Silchar, she came to Poona and stayed for a year. Miss Hurford used to come and teach her the New Testament, in Marathi. The Rev. Father Goreh was another missionary who used to come and explain the difference between the Hindu and Christian religions. She profited much by their teaching.

When in 1882 a commission was appointed by the government of India to look into Indian Education, Ramabai was one of the few to give evidence regarding the working of the same. She gained considerable renown for her views on the need for reforms for women and children, not just in India but in Britain as well.

Ramabai’s concern for health conditions among Indian women undoubtedly prompted her own desire to become a doctor and she went to England in the year 1883 to study medicine. In her travels throughout India, she had been repeatedly moved by the sufferings of Hindu women; her goal, as she put it, wasto fit myself for a life of usefulness, in order to benefit my countrywomen.

While she was in England, when her hosts encouraged Ramabai to read the New Testament, she was deeply touched by the gospel stories of Jesus ministering to the oppressed. The way He treated people like the Samaritan woman made a strong impression on her. Her feminism was freely reconciled with this new faith; she started to realize that Christ could truly transform and uplift the downtrodden womanhood of India“. She later wrote, “One can feel that the teaching of our Lord Jesus comes from the All-Father, who loves not one nation, not one class, or one caste, but bears in His heart every creature of His hand; it would be a blessed day for India, if her sons and daughters could see that He is the revelation of the Father.

Thus Ramabai’s heart was drawn to the religion of Christ. She quoted,I was comparatively happy and felt great joy in finding a new religion which was better than any other religion I had known before. I knew full well that it would displease my friends and my countrymen very much, but I have never regretted having taken the step. I was hungry for something better than what the Hindu Shastras gave. I found it in the Christian’s Bible and was satisfied.”

After her baptism and confirmation, she studied the Christian religion more thoroughly with the help of various books written on its doctrines. Although she quite content with her newly- found religion, so far as she understood it, still she was labouring under great difficulties, and her heart longed for something better which she had not found. She came to know after 8 years from the time of her baptism that she had found the Christian religion, which was good enough for her; but she had not found Christ Who is the Life of the religion, and “the Light of every man that cometh into the world”. She said, “One thing I knew by this time: I needed Christ and not merely His religion“.

Ramabai, at last, came to an end of herself and unconditionally surrendered herself to the Saviour. Since then she had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour and had the joy of sweet communion with Him. Her life became full of joy. She could scarcely contain the joy and keep it to herself. She felt like the Samaritan woman who “left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, ‘Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ !'” Ramabai said, “I feel I must tell my fellow- creatures what great things the Lord Jesus has done for me, and I feel sure, as it was possible for him to save such a great sinner as I am, He is quite able to save others. The only thing that must be done by me is to tell people of Him and His love for sinners and His great power to save them.

Ramabai’s dependence on the Holy Spirit was remarkable and her generosity without limit. In the 10 years before her death, she had given over  Rs. 11,000 to Indian Bible Society. She had sent 300 pounds to the Sisters in England to help with their needs. In her lifetime, she helped thousands of women and girls (child-widows, orphans, poor, destitute, physically and mentally handicapped, blind, famine victims, etc) gain their dignity by caring for them, introducing them to the Living God and educating them so that they could be employed and made a valuable contribution to the society. While in the U.S., she raised money for a school she planned to found upon returning to India. When she spoke to the American audience, they were moved to laughter and tears before responding with resounding applause and a standing ovation.

By April 1889 she started a home-cum-school in Bombay, which she named Sharada Sadan. This was the first home for widows in Maharashtra, the only other home was in Bengal, started by Mr.Sen. Observing Ramabai’s godly life, girls started showing interest in Christianity. She moved the Sharada Sadan to Poona as she was worried about having entirely dependent on American funds, she set up a Trust to collect money for a farm, which would render the Sadan self-supporting. There were over 1500 people living there. They were not rich, nor great, but they were happy, getting daily bread directly from the Loving hands of their Heavenly Father.

Ramabai founded another shelter which she named Mukti Mission. She had resolved in her mind that although no direct religious instruction was to be given to the inmates of her home, yet she would daily read the Bible aloud and pray to the Only True God in the name of Christ; that her countrywomen, seeing and hearing what was going on, might be led to enquire about the true religion, and the way of Salvation. No one was urged to become a Christian, nor was anyone compelled to study the Bible, but the daily testimony of the goodness of the True God awakened new thoughts in many a heart.

When in 1896, a terrible famine broke out in Central India, Ramabai and her helpers were able to rescue several hundred women. She took 600 women and children from the affected areas under her care. She then started the Kufa Sadan which got 300 inmates within a span of three years. In 1900, when another famine broke out in Gujarat and Kathiawar, she sent twenty of her sisters to the famine-stricken areas. At the turn of the century, there were as many as 1990 people in the Sadan. A school was organized and 400 children were accommodated in the Kindergarten. A training school for Teachers were also opened and an Industrial School with gardens, fields, oil press, diary, laundry, ovens were started. It also taught sewing, weaving, and embroidery.

At the beginning of 1905, Ramabai was led by the Lord to start a special prayer-circle. There were about 70 of them who met together each morning and prayed for the true conversion of all the Indian Christians including themselves, and for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all Christians of every land. In six months from the time they began to pray in this manner the Lord graciously sent a glorious Holy Ghost revival among them and also in many schools and Churches in this country. The results of this had been most satisfactory. Many hundreds of their girls and some of their boys had been gloriously saved, and many of them started to serve God, witnessing for Christ at home, and in other places.

Ramabai translated the entire Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek into her native Marathi. She had become the first woman Bible translator in the world. She was awarded the Kaiser-I-Hind Medal for community service in 1919 by the King.

Manorama, Ramabai’s beautiful daughter, graduated from college and was ready to take the supervision of the work of the school and also to start other schools like it. Suddenly Manorama was taken sick and died in the year 1920. Ramabai took up the care of the school again, but on April 5, 1922, she too herself left for her heavenly abode at the age of 64, as she quoted, “A life totally committed to God, has nothing to fear, nothing to lose and nothing to regret.

Conclusion

The Cost of DiscipleshipPandita Ramabai is considered the Mother of the Pentecostal Movement in India. Ever heard of any TPM Pastors preaching about her? Of course NO because their history book starts in 1923 with Ramankutty. How can they know Ramabai? Consider the adversity she went through in her life. Her parents, siblings, spouse and her only daughter died before her eyes. She herself went through terrible famine so that she can save many souls in other famines. Her actions changed the lives of many people including the future generations of Indian womanhood. She translated the entire Bible into Marathi even when the so-called Early Christians of Kerala never had read a copy of the Bible in their own language.

In 1989, the Secular Government of India brought out a postal Stamp in her honour. The Government recognition of this Lady is the ultimate testimony that she was the Salt and Light in her land.

May the Lord lead us to be the Salt of the earth and the Light to the world for his glory.

Bibliography
Pandita Ramabai, Genesis Books.
Ramabai, Pandita, My Story,1907

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6 Comments on “The Cost of Discipleship”

  1. Indeed an example to remember and follow, – the life of Pandita Ramabai. Apart from mother teresa – she is the only other Christian recognised in india for her charity work. And interestingly both these Christian salts in India are women folks.

    @Writers of this site:
    It will be enlightening to see a new series – remember the leaders series . This will realign tpm mind shift to look to lives of some real saints to emulate, rather than assuming that this verse in Bible (HEB 13:7) is written about tpm saints. We had Pandita ramabai’s life to start with. We can add many lives like of John Wycliffe who translated Bible from Vulgate to english, William Carrey – a missionary to India, who translated Bible into 29 languages and dialects, missionary to south Africa – David Livingston , missionary to burma – Adoniram Judson , etc. Let people know the life and suffering of real missionaries compared fake godmen of tpm.

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  2. Brilliant article on PANDITHA RAMABAI.
    What a glorious past that God kept HINDU land in good stead.
    I am sure it would add to the better knowledge of many TPM clergy and laity how God had led another contemporary of RamanKutty ,a Brahmin woman RAMABAI from during 19 th century.
    From my own archieves, I wish to share the following information to the readers.
    “If you don’t know the inner strength of an Indian woman with a divine call, you haven’t met Pandita Ramabai.”..was the statement of Dr. KEITH J. WHITE who wrote forty meditations on passages from the Bible, organised into five sections: – Looking back – Doing – Being – Going astray – Looking forward Each meditation is followed by a prayer. (Dr. Keith J. White lives with his wife at Mill Grove, a residential Christian community caring for children and families. He is an Associate Lecturer at Spurgeon’s College and a faculty member of the Asia Graduate School of Theology. He is Chair of the Child Theology Movement)

    Pandita Ramabai was just five feet tall, with short black hair and small bones. Yet wherever she went the presence of this Brahman Indian woman—characterized by her grey-green eyes, shapely lips, and light complexion—seemed to cast a spell over all whom she met. She was adored as a goddess when she arrived in Calcutta at age 20. Years later, when she addressed the 2000 delegates of the National Social Congress in Bombay in 1889 (the first woman to do so), she took the assembly by storm.As she was preparing to speak on two resolutions for gender reform, her audience took some time to settle down. She remained silent and still until you could have heard a pin drop and then began with the remarkable words: “It is not strange, my countrymen, that my voice is small, for you have never given a woman the chance to make her voice strong!” From that moment on, she carried her enraptured listeners in the palm of her hand, and the resolutions were passed by a huge majority.And so it was throughout much of India and then America: Audiences were moved to laughter and tears before responding with resounding applause and standing ovations. She knew many of the sacred texts of the Hindu religion by heart and had an ear for the varied cadences of the written and spoken word. But she also knew from 20 years of wandering the hard realities of everyday life for Indian women. It was a brave person who ventured to contradict this combination of academic brilliance and personal experience. She was a born leader, held in awe by the rich and famous and trusted by the poor and oppressed.
    The renowned Indian social reformer D. K. Karve wrote, “Pandita Ramabai was one of the greatest daughters of India.”
    We are indeed fortunate to own the rich legacy of Indian Christiandom in PANDITHA RAMABAI.In my next mails I am going to share the 3 more women contemporaries of PANDITHA RAMABAI,and their quality of life that they led.

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  3. This mail is in continuation of previous one.
    The contemporary global church, then, is facing a significant decision:
    “How are we going to respond to the continuing abuses against women in the church and in society at large?”
    As we continue to ponder  over the issue that this blessed  site opened up a very relevant debate on the untimely deaths of many young women who had been implicated to serve the mammon in this manner.
    This debate really helped us to reach out some valuable lessons that  could be learned  from the rich legacy  left  behind by 4 godly mothers,out of whom PANDITHA RAMABAI figures in.
    (MOTHER THERESA was curiously left out from these 4 godly mothers. according to this author Saritha D. Gallagher.(U.S)
    I am privileged to share the following excerpts that i preserved in my archives.
    (Sarita D. Gallagher is associate professor of religion at George Fox University. She is author of Abrahamic Blessing: A Missiological Narrative of Revival in Papua New Guinea , and co-author of the upcoming book Breaking Through the Boundaries: God’s Mission from the Outside In).
    EXCERPT BEGINS—-  “The fiery female evangelists and missionaries of the 19th century, in particular, have always captured  my attention. Women like Sojourner Truth, Pandita Ramabai, Amy Carmichael, and Shi Meiyu inspire me to follow Jesus with courage, passion, and zeal. During a time period when women were praised for their delicate manners, petite frames, and soft-spoken dispositions, these women’s fearless dedication to social justice and equity was anything but polite. They understood that following Jesus included participating in God’s active love for the voiceless and marginalized.
    Although these four women lived during the same time period, they came from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, worked in different countries, and had distinct ministries and professional callings.Despite these differences, each reformer shared four key characteristics in common:
    1. THEY WERE WOMEN OF PRAYER
    Prayer is a consistent motif in the stories of these remarkable women. It informed their fervor for social justice, and as such, they each considered their ministries to be a natural extension of their love of God.Sojourner Truth (1797–1883), for example, is often remembered for her personal courage, support of women’s rights, and rebuke of the practice of slavery in the United States. Less emphasis, however, has been placed on her dynamic and heartfelt life of prayer. Truth, born Isabella Baumfree, was one of at least ten children born to Betsey and James Baumfree, both slaves in New York State. During her life, Truth faced innumerable personal hardships. Born into slavery, Truth was sold to four different slave owners, forced to marry a fellow slave, beaten severely, physically neglected, and forced to fight the US legal system in order to free her son, who had been illegally sold across state lines. In the midst of these hardships, she prayed.Truth first learned about God from her mother, Betsey, who often gathered her children together and talked to them about “the only Being that could effectually aid or protect them”—God. She recalled her mother explaining to them, “My children, there is a God who hears and sees you. … He lives in the sky … and when you are beaten, or cruelly treated, or fall into any trouble, you must ask help of him, and he will always hear and help you.”As Truth began speaking publically on behalf of the abolitionist movement, women, and the poor, she continued her regular practice of calling on God in prayer. Having never learned to read, she asked people to read and re-read the Bible to her. Empowered by the Word of God and her own prayer life, she fearlessly campaigned for the equal dignity and rights of all human beings.
    2. THEY WERE WOMEN OF ACTION.
    Along with prayer, these four women responded to the pain around them with decisive action.Ramabai Dongre Medhavi (1858–1922), more widely known as Pandita Ramabai, fought for female education and the rights of child brides and young widows in her homeland, India. These issues were close to Ramabai’s heart for personal reasons. Her own mother was a child bride who married her father at age nine, and Ramabai herself gained the unenviable status of a Hindu widow when her husband died after only 18 months of marriage. Having witnessed firsthand the struggles of Indian women, she dedicated her life to advocating for the voiceless in her community.When Ramabai and her daughter became followers of Jesus in 1883, she intensified her social justice efforts. In reflecting on her visit to a rescue house for women in London, she wrote that “Christ was truly the Divine Savior he claimed to be, and no one but He could transform and uplift the downtrodden women of India.”Although Ramabai often used the written word to encourage reform, she also was a woman of action. In 1889, she founded Sharada Sadan (House of Wisdom), a non-religious school for young Hindu widows. Two years after the severe famine of 1896, she opened the Mukti (Salvation) orphanage and Christian school specifically for female survivors of the famine. Additional houses for the elderly, young boys, and the blind were later added, and in all, over 2,000 people were given food, housing, and access to education and medical assistance at the Kedgaon campus. Ramabai’s ministry embodied the love of God in word and deed.
    3. THEY WERE WOMEN OF PERSEVERENCE.
    All four of these women embodied fearlessness in the face of life’s challenges. Their paths were not easy.After a dramatic encounter with God in her early teens in Belfast, Ireland, Amy Carmichael (1867–1951) dedicated her life to the gospel and in 1894, joined the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society in India. When she first moved to Dohnavur in Southern India in 1901, she couldn’t have foreseen what was to come: a ministry called Dohnavur Fellowship, where hundreds of girls would call her ‘Amma’ (mother).On March 6, 1901, when seven-year-old Preena (which means “Pearleye”) showed up on her doorstep, Carmichael had only heard rumors about the young girls held as ritual prostitutes in the local Hindu temples. Although buying and selling children was illegal in India, the underground trafficking of young girls had become a prevalent practice. “My name is Pearleyes,” Preena said to Carmichael when they first met, “and I want to stay here always.”Preena became one of the first temple girls to be welcomed into the Dohnavur Fellowship. Despite resistance from local temple workers and even fellow missionaries—who initially refused to believe the horrific stories of abuse—by 1913, the Dohnavur Fellowship was caring for over 130 children, many of them girls and infants who were rescued from sex trafficking. In reflecting on her steadfast commitment to serving God in India, Carmichael said: “If one is truly called of God, all the difficulties and discouragements only intensify the Call.”
    4.THEY WERE WOMEN OF COURAGE.
    In addition to embodying lives of prayer, action, and perseverance, these four women also challenged unjust social systems.
    Shi Meiyu (1873–1954) first learned about courage from her parents, who made the extraordinary decision not to bind their young daughter’s feet, a widespread practice in China at the time. Believing that Meiyu would never marry due to her unbound feet, her Christian parents sent their teenage daughter to pursue a medical degree in the United States.When Meiyu (also known by her English name, Mary Stone) returned to her hometown of Jiujiang in 1896, she was both a qualified physician and a newly appointed Christian missionary. Fighting to dispel the colonial myth that Chinese women were helpless and in need of foreign support, she politely declined a position in the American-run missionary hospital and instead, at the age of 24, cofounded a Chinese-led dispensary to serve local women and children. Beyond providing comprehensive health care for her patients, she endeavored to elevate the social standing and sense of self-worth of female staff and patients.As her medical practice grew, Meiyu founded a nursing school to meet the increasing demands of the hospital, which in 1915 was treating more than 25,000 patients a year. By the 1930s, over 200 nursing students were enrolled in the school. Trained as nurse-evangelists, each student took courses in religious studies and was encouraged to pray with patients. In 1918, Meiyu’s evangelistic spirit led her to cofound the Chinese Missionary Society, which was established to train and send Chinese missionaries to remote regions in China.
    Today, as we navigate the harsh realities of abuse against women and children, we can learn significant lessons from these four women and their counter cultural lives. They made conscious decisions to address the injustices in their
    communities. 
    They chose to pray.
    They chose to act.
    They chose to persevere.
    They chose to have courage. 
    As we determine our response to the current sexual abuse crisis, may we embrace the words of the prophet Micah—who reminds us “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God” (6:8). Let us also find the courage to be change-makers, advocating for God’s justice and mercy in tangible and concrete ways.”EXCERPT ENDS

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