I was surrounded by family and friends singing hymns. My daughter, sitting besides my headrest, gently wiped the cool perspiration that seeped from my forehead. Her gentleness was the medicine that assuaged the pangs of an old life passing, and a new one rising.
My sons, stood on each side, holding my hands and recording my last words. I wanted to finish my commentary on the book of Revelation, but my breath was shallow.
My disciples filled the room like guardian angels… Most of them born in the Christian Faith, but finding liberation of mind by chanting God’s Holy Names. For them, Salvation was no longer a postmortem hope, but an existential reality that made itself present whenever the Holy Name was proclaimed.
Alleluia Alleluia Yehoshua Alleluia! Yehoshua Yehoshua Alleluia Alleluia!
Forty years before, I had experienced the greatest disappointment of my life- the realization that all of the tens of thousands of Christian denominations on the face of the planet were false religions. They were devoid of the power of God because they had replaced the teachings of the Master with opinions, agendas and greed.
During that time of crisis God did not abandon me. In fact, He led me to a strange people that wear saffron clothes, marks on their foreheads, and who seem to always be dancing.
They worship a conception of God that is strange to the Western beholder. He is depicted as a dark-bluish person who wears a feather on his head, plays a flute…and loves to dance. They call Him KRISHNA, the jovial and all-attractive God Most High.
But it wasn’t their conception of the God Most High (Genesis 14:18) that struck me… As a disciple of Lord Jesus, Moses and Abraham, I am a firm believer that The God Most High is so transcendent, that the confines and limits of the finite human mind can never comprehend nor fully perceive the Infinite and Eternal God, unless He descends to our level and make Himself known in a way that we can understand or perceive. (Exodus 33:20)
When I had lost all hope, the Hare Krishnas were sent to me by God Most High, like saffron angels with the mission to be a living version of what the disciplic movement of Lord Jesus looked like, during the first couple of centuries after Christ’s resurrection.
They embraced me with fearless, jovial love. They respected me and honored Lord Jesus with their words and actions. They allowed and affirmed my commitment as a lost disciple of Christ without criticisms or challenges. They treated me with a level of honor and respect that as an Evangelical Christian I had NEVER experienced…yet always knew was lacking.
The God Most High, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, reminded me through the Hare Krishnas that Salvation is not a postmortem state of awareness in heaven, but rather, the realization that God is mystically present in His fullness whenever and wherever His Holy Names are wholeheartedly proclaimed. (Gen. 4:26; Ex. 33:18-19, 6-7; Dt. 12: 11-12; 16:6; Ex. 25:8; Ezra 6:12; Num. 6:24-27; Jer. 29:12; 2 Chron. 7:14; Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13; Matt. 18:20; 28:19-20, et. al.)
My relationship with the Hare Krishnas was as externally odd as when Abraham visited Melchizedek, the Canaanite Jebusite “pagan,” who worshiped the God Most High and who recognized Abraham as his God-brother. (Gen. 14:17-20) This opportunity for association, gave me the chance to confirm to them what they already knew, that the disciplic movement of Lord Jesus had lost its way and that Christ’s true disciples are a “little flock” alien to the marketed, mass-media “Christianity” of our day. (Luke 12:32)
Singing the Biblical Names of God, and especially the Name of Lord Jesus (Yeshua) saved me from insanity. God intervened in my self-destruction by simply being present through the proclamation of His Holy Names. My mind was liberated from the torment of betrayals and the injustices that are so prevalent in our churches.
Joy flowed from my heart…Peace overwhelmed my mind. Love took over my soul. Harmony mysteriously sprouted. The Spirit of God became evident to those around me, even to the point of transforming them as well.
Wherever I chanted the Names of the Lord, tired Christians were attracted. They thought it was my voice…they thought it was the instruments…they thought it was the happiness and harmony that they perceived with their eyes. But the more they chanted, the more they forgot about this passing world and realized that Salvation is simply to be saved from the illusions of a passing world and to become fully conscious of God’s Presence. (1 Peter 2:19)
As I laid upon my bed I knew where I was going. Like my Master, I knew that I had come from God, and now, I was returning to Him. (John 13:3-4) Not only had I learned my necessary lessons, but I was ready to disrobe from my old flesh and see Lord Jesus, my Master, face to face.
I found myself outside of my body… When my sons realized that I had died, they brought my dear Indian son, Kartikeya, who blew his mystical conch while my disciples filled the air with ecstatic praises, the sounds of cymbals and loud Alleluias.
…and as I looked upward I began to fly towards the most beautiful Light I had ever seen. Indescribable colors drenched every corner of my spiritual body. From a distance I began to recognize illumined silhouettes dancing ecstatically to the music and chanting of my disciples.
The semi-circle of dancing spirits of every epoch opened, and in their midst, the most beautiful Man I had ever seen was dancing to His Name. He was ecstatic to see me… He did not speak with verbal words, but my heart knew what He was saying.
I knew then that I had already entered Heaven the moment I began to chant His Name, and that by doing so, I had brought Heaven to a small group of devotees; lost sheep rescued by the presence of Christ through the proclamation of His Holy Name. The Name of God that means SALVATION. Psalm 96:2 (HCSB)-
Sing to Yahweh, praise His Name; proclaim His salvation (YESHUA) from day to day.