Our Indian Heritage
- By Indu Shanmugam
- Published 11/28/2007
Indu Shanmugam is a 20-something, college student from Oregon, USA. She is majoring in English literature and language. She also studied Theology for a short period. She wants to be a teacher. As a literature enthusiast, she enjoys literature of all types and from writers of various backgrounds from the classics, French realists, Christian writings like C.S Lewis and South Asian literature. As for her own writings, "I am still trying to find and develop my own voice." She sees the art of the written word as a way to speak about Christ and explore truth. Before she met Jesus Christ, she has been searching for the meaning of life through experimentation of other religions, philosophies and ideas. At the age of 17, she accepted Christ after a powerful encounter with God through a miracle. God's presence and deep truths in the Bible fuel her creativity. She is involved in church activities and has a love for the church and would like to see every believer grow, become closer to God and live fruitfully. She loves traveling, sipping bubble teas, theatre, music, films and hanging out with friends and has a weakness for cheesecake.
It has been fascinating studying these epics and Hinduism. I will never turn my back on Jesus Christ, I gave my life to him and Christianity is a covenant between me and God.
Religion is not a set of consumeristic ornaments you put on yourself just to feel good about yourself. People are so superficial and selfish. Materialistic and self-centered American culture views everything from people, relationships and religions as commodies to appease self. Before, I go on a tangent I wanted to study these epics as literature so that I can get a deeper understanding of Hinduism.
I am trying to get the paper done. I am glad I read these books because now I can do a better job of articulating Christianity to a Hindu. I have more of a reason to be a Christian. I came from a Hindu background and know a little. I never understood it and as a child used to scared to get into a Hindu temple. The chanting of the mantras used to make my hair stand on the end. The philosophies of all religious are basically humanity's attempts to fill the void in their souls. The void in the soul is the thirst for reconcilliation to God, which is available through Christ.
Studying Hinduism through the epics really explains a lot about the Indian mentalities and culture. I am getting a deeper understanding of why people act a certain way.
And, a few days back, it was an international potluck at our church. I was conversing with one of the dear old ladies at church. I love these sweet li'l old church ladies who have truly spend a whole lifetime with God. I can sense peace and presence of God by being around them. She asked me if I speak Hindi or Malayalam. I said I'm trying to re-learn them. She just said, "Learn them because you'll never know when you'll need it." So true, if I am sent back. I wonder if I can make it in India because I'm just too Americanized.
Again, I was on the phone with my Ammachi and she was like, "Why don't you learn Malayalam and come back and visit me?" Aww...My ammachi is such a doll.