About the author: Rabi R. Maharaja was descended from a long line of Brahmin priests and gurus and trained as a Yogi. He mediated for many hours each day, but gradually disillusionment set in. He describes vividly and honestly Hindu life and customs, tracing his difficult search for meaning and his struggle to choose between Hinduism and Christ. At a time when Eastern mysticism, religion and philosophy fascinate many in the West, Maharaja offers fresh and important insights from the perspective of his own experience. (copied from the back cover)
This autobiography is a bit dated. I tried to find other works written by Rabi, I found nothing. Even the internet provided little information about Rabi. Besides involvement with a Christian documentary, it appears that this book is all that he has written or accomplished within writing and Christian media. He was born in 1947 which means that he is sixty-nine years old. I could not find a personal website, however, on You Tube and elsewhere you can find videos of his testimony and speaking engagements (not many).
The Death of a Guru is a personal biography about Rabi and his conversion experience from Hinduism to Christianity. He was born into a family of devout Hindus, a very prominent family. Before Rabi’s birth his father (Chandrabhan Ragbir Sharma Mohair) made a vow of asceticism, he did not talk for eight years. Chandrabhan Ragbir Sharma MohairRabi’s spent his hours, days, weeks, and years in deep and disciplined mediatation. The family would have to feed and bathe him. No one minded because they believed that he was a god. They cared for him, with great love, admiration, and devotion. Rabi’s father died when he was five years old and in those five years he never heard his father speak. He never heard I love you, I am proud of you, there was never any show of affection or development of a father and son relationship. This reality hurt Rabi, but he knew that his father was a holy man, a god. It was believed that his father was an avatar (incarnated deity); people from all around would come to worship him. As a result, it was also believed that Rabi would follow in his fathers footsteps to become a great Hindu Yogi. At the funeral Rabi lit the fire that would consume the body of his father.
From an early age Rabi received worship and respect. Many people came to his home to give him offerings and worship him. Everyone knew who he was and they would bow to him as he walked throughout the rural area. He grew to love the worship, and he considered himself a god. He was enamored with himself and became quite upset when he was not revered. He had a terrible temper, and in particular directed his anger and hatred towards his aunt. During meditation he experienced hallucinations of the gods, and became fearful of them, but that did not deter his worship or devotion to Hinduism.
As a teenager, on two different occasions, Rabi experienced great danger, potentially life threatening. He believed that the gods were trying to harm him, and he could not understand why. Meanwhile other Hindus were compromising on Hindu teaching and lacked the devotion that he displayed. He couldn’t understand it, but he remained faithfully devoted. When he faced danger he remembered what his mother told him. If you ever need help and the gods are not answering, there is another, ask Jesus for help. So he did. Almost miraculously he was spared imminent death. He could not understand why Jesus helped him. He did not know who Jesus was. As he continued to grow up and when he became a teenager he remained devoted to Hinduism, synonymously his anger also increased.
It was not long before he was offered a Bible. Soon after he was invited to a church service; he went. The people gasped as they saw who entered the room. It was too hard, too strange to believe. Rabi was so devoted to Hinduism. His devotion was misplaced and he found ultimate freedom in Christ. He embraced Christianity, and as a result of his conversion and change, much of his family also converted. There were some who were disappointed and even angry. After his fathers death Rabi’s mother went to India to attend school. For many years he lived with his aunt. Upon his mothers return, Rabi told his mother how he had become a Christian. She was upset; she did not stay long. She had developed herself and obtained a reputable position in a Hindu temple. For many years Rabi’s decision would be a source of conflict. But after many years, she finally listened to him, and he was able to present her with a Bible.
Rabi left Trinidad and went to London for an education. It was there that he decided to enter into full-time ministry. Hallucinogenic drugs had become popular and he was amazed as he learned that the effects of the drugs were the same as deep meditation. Many times during meditation he experienced hallucinations. He spent some time ministering with Billy Graham. Rabi wanted to return to the East to preach Christ, but Francis Schaefer convinced him to stay in the West and preach to those in bondage to hallucinogenic drugs.
I enjoy reading the testimonies of those who have converted to Christianity from a different religion. I am always amazed at the devotion that they practice. It seems that they truly understand and appreciate the freedom from the bondage of religion. In contrast to many, who are second and third generation Christians. I have also reviewed Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Quereshi. The next autobiography, conversion testimony that I intend to read and review is I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter With God, look for it.