Tuesday, January 10, 2023
How I Came To Know I Am Jesus Come Back (Podcast 16)
I was born into a landowning Hindu family. My great-grandfather was a rags-to-riches story who had ended up with more land than anyone else in the village in southeast Nepal near Janakpurdham. We always had plenty to eat. But when I left for college in the US in August 1996, my family had never owned either a car or a telephone. My family still does not have a car.
In middle school, I remember leafing through a Bible out of curiosity. I figured out the Ten Commandments are the summary. I read each of them. Worship God. Makes sense. Respect your parents. Makes sense. Do not lie, cheat, steal or kill. Makes sense. No argument there. A South Indian physical education teacher in Kathmandu who still regularly shows up in my Facebook stream first took me to church in Banepa in the Kathmandu Valley. I read through the Gospels on my own many times over the years. In fact, that is the only thing I read in the Bible when I felt like reading the Bible. The story was great, and the lessons were nothing to argue with. Do good, be good. No argument there.
Other than the Psalms and the Genesis story, I mostly stayed away from the Old Testament. The genealogies felt like Latin. Even the New Testament past the Gospels I simply skipped, until 2016, that is, when I read the Bible cover to cover. When God Himself tells you that you are Jesus come back, one thing you are going to do is read the Bible cover to cover. I read every word of the genealogies with rapt interest. When I came over to the Book Of Isaiah, I got elated. The work that I was here to do was described in vivid detail right there. It was as if I was following a script.
Me being born human is a voluntary emptying of powers and knowledge. In 2016 the concept of the Holy Trinity was explained to me by the Holy Father in human form and the Holy Spirit in human form. Early in 2016, I had what Sadhguru might call an enlightenment experience. You see something that is much, much brighter than the sun, but you are not seeing it with your physical eyes. It is not a dream. It is an experience. I still have to read the news. I still read books. But after that experience, I can make sense of every book of scripture. The knowledge was gifted to me. Or what I had voluntarily relinquished, I took some of that back. Back then I thought it had been gifted to me. Then in 2022, the Holy Father in human incarnation hinted I myself was doing it. I took back some of what I had given up voluntarily. Fully human, fully divine.
Early in 2016, I made a trip to heaven. There is similitude as has been said in the Koran. I saw a garden. I heard music that is incomparably better than anything I have heard on earth. I went to smell hell. It is foul. Why would that be? Why did I make those trips? This person that is talking to you has direct knowledge that indeed there is a heaven, there is a hell. Just like I know the news today, I know there is a heaven. It is true.
But then you show up for college in Kentucky, Bible Belt, and there are many instances when you are asked to pick your side. Do you want your soul saved or not? A good friend of mine once just sat me down and said, “Either you are right, or I am right, and I am willing to switch over!” I said, look, I don’t think you are wrong, but I don’t think I am either! There is nothing for you to leave!
To those who tried to point out the miracles in the Bible, I wanted to say, if only you knew all that Hanumanji did!
I stayed a Hindu, but it was always so obvious to me that it is the same God being talked about in the major religions. But to each his or her own while I tried to make sense of the whole tech startup thingamajigger. I visited temples, monasteries, gurudwaras, mosques, and churches indiscriminately. One month a few years before 2016 every meal I had was at a local mosque during Ramadan. Such was my circumstance that it was that or I go hungry. The divine me had created that circumstance that the human me found myself in. I sat down. I ate.
I must have had at least a thousand meals at gurudwaras across the US, from New York to California. They happen to serve the very best food in the country. The basics of community building have been mastered.
Then towards the end of 2015, despite my best efforts, looked like I was hurtling toward not having a place to stay. Then one day, when I had barely the money for it, I went ahead and ordered a pizza. I was renting a small room in Astoria, Queens. I had seen a cartoon in the New Yorker. That showed a wall outside a window. That is all I see outside my window, but at least I live in New York City, the caption said. That was my room at the time. And it really was a small room. There was just enough space for my meager belongings, much of which I had to throw away before I made my move to the shelter. I could only take what I could carry. I left my stuff out on the sidewalk. The landlord threatened arrest if I did not move out by the court-given deadline, a deadline I had volunteered. The living room was so small, the rule was nobody should be using it. It was a shared apartment. There were three others in their own tiny rooms.
“How much time do you need to move out?” the lawyer asked me before the hearing.
“One month,” I had said.
When I said that I thought I might be able to get some money from somewhere and rent a new room. Not to be.
With what I could carry, I walked over to a nearby library. About an hour before closing time, I went online and looked for a “homeless shelter.” The food and lodging were comparable to the best school in Nepal I had attended. But the attitude of the shelter residents could be atrocious. There were people who were in the absolute best position to just pray, but they were not doing it, most of them were not. It was against the shelter rules to organize religious activities. I tried to organize a Bible study group. They said, can’t do that. It is against the shelter rules.
The shelter could have been a monastery with the right attitude.
In fact, one way the Holy Father told me I was me was, he showed up one day, and he gulped down his share of orange juice with great relish. I had been doing that. And I had been doing that so well that other residents who saw it took it to offer their orange juice to me. Do you also want mine? This dude really seems to like that thing, let’s just give it to him. It was quite a show to them. What is there to like? But he seems to like it!
I could barely afford the pizza. Come to think of it, that had been my story for years and years. Often times the only way I could afford something was because my blog had made 20 dollars that month from Google ads. I could barely get by, but I always had just enough. Except now. Now it looked like I might not have a place.
One way to look at that timeline is an example of career failure. Except in hindsight, it is so obvious an omnipotent God was moving with utmost mastery to architect a grand act of forgiveness. In 2016 I forgave America and New York City by voluntarily staying at a homeless shelter for 12 months. By volunteering, you are to know God is One. I tried my best not to end up homeless. But the Holy Father has powers.
In 2008 NYC and the US had me behind bars for six months through a process that was procedurally incorrect every step of the way. In 2016 I forgave. That act of forgiveness is one of the things that establish my identity among those that understand.
I went to a local store, bought the pizza, came back to my room, and ate the pizza. Then I found myself sitting on my tiny bed, resting against the wall, feet on the floor, and I felt this pressure against my two palms. I stayed in place for hours. There was no pain, just pressure, the two palms, and my two feet. After it was over it felt like a reenactment of the crucifixion experience.
After it was over, I found myself asking, so how long was Jesus up on the cross? I decided to go visit a nearby church and get that information. Perhaps I will pick up a Bible and look it up. At this point, I still was not aware of my true identity.
A few days later I went to a nearby church, I had to visit anyways to collect some food from the food pantry. I attended a service. After it was over, I asked if I could get a Bible. The person instead gave me the paper that went with the service before which he asked, “What do you need?”
I took the paper and looked through it. There it was! It was written how many hours Jesus had spent on the cross. That paper had been printed before I asked the question, how long. It was too obvious a higher power foresaw my question and had arranged for me to have the answer. Suddenly it hit me. God was in direct communication with me. But why?
It was an overwhelming experience. As I walked back to my room, I was in this pleasant daze. Really? God has felt the need to communicate with me?
Why pizza? At college in Kentucky, my first summer I was seeing a girl who was Jewish. One evening I was with some Afghan friends and an Albanian at their apartment. I was gearing to leave. The only reason I stayed back was they said they are going to order pizza. And so I stayed. That girl also came over after her work shift was over. There was dinner, but no alcohol. Two of the guys slept in the living room. Two girls and two guys slept on the floor in the furniture-less bedroom.
The following morning we all went our separate ways to work. The girl reached out to me a few hours later. Her roommate had been harassing her. You have been raped! I need to take you to the hospital! She said, can you sit down with my roommate and talk to her? I said okay. The three of us sat down and I explained it to her. I said, look, this meeting is her idea. She is more offended than I am about what you are saying. Stop bothering her like that.
But no, the whole story took a life of its own and stayed in circulation for as long as I was at the college. There is this thing called the political spectrum. The basic facts don’t matter. There were going to be plenty of people who were going to believe the other version of the story. The girl was Jewish. There was pizza involved.
That was the pizza in Astoria I ate two decades later right before I had the symbolic crucifixion experience. A few months later I had a similar symbolic transfiguration experience. Crucifixion I had known, but of course. But I had never even heard of transfiguration before I had the experience. It was not anything anybody else saw. It happened in a crowded, overflowing dorm room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I was lying down. It felt like my whole body was electrified, but there was no pain. A few days later the information on the transfiguration was passed on to me. And the way it would happen is, I would be out and about, perhaps browsing online. And the relevant article would show up in the manner of me going about my own thing. And I read about transfiguration.
That lack of knowledge is very much part of my role. I am here to be relatable. The Holy Father in human incarnation in 2022 taught me about Om on the phone. That was His way of saying, I know you know very little about Hinduism. That is very much how it is supposed to be. I am supposed to be relatable to Christians. That is my role. I do situps and pushups more than yoga. I did some yoga in middle school in Kathmandu. I want to go back to doing some more.