How did a Catholic raised in India who in England adopted a westernized Hinduism meet the Lord?
Dr. Reagan and I on our ministry’s television show Christ in Prophecy had the pleasure of asking this question of our special guest Caryl Matrisciana. Caryl is a best selling author and filmmaker and is a recognized expert on Eastern religions, contemporary cults, paganism and the occult. She has been involved in the production of more than 60 documentaries over the past 30 years. Her biographical testimony Out of India explains how she grew up under Hinduism in India and lived it in England and the U.S. as a New Ager before accepted Christ as Savior. She joined us warn us of the dangers of equating Yoga with Christianity.
Caryl Matrisciana: After Hinduism moved west it got called the New Age Movement. This New Age spirituality has crept into the whole of society now.
In the early days of the 60’s we were on a mystical, spiritual search. Even if it was a search for Jesus it was still called a mystical, spiritual search. Nobody differentiated between the two because we’d believed Jesus was one and is one in all.
I was actually brought to Christ on a modeling job in Chicago through two other models who were on the job. It’s a wonderful story that I’ve written in my book. It’s a little too complicated to get into in full, but the point was I was taken to a back room for a Bible study, though I didn’t know it was at the time. If I had known it was Bible study I promise I wouldn’t have gone because at the time I thought Jesus was very narrow minded. In my New Age embrace of everything Jesus was too narrow and the Bible was too narrow and Christians were hypocrites and bigots. I was by this time a complete lover of peace and the environment. I was a vegetarian and a feminist. I did yoga. I contacted spirit worlds. I was gung-ho for the New Age.
So, these friends invited me to a party in downtown Old Chicago and I thought there was going to be drugs there. I didn’t realize that I had gone into a Christian bookstore because the Lord had so blinded my eyes. I was even raised doing graphic-design and I was an art student, but my eyes could not see all the Christian graphic images.
So, I went into the back room where I thought everybody was passing around drugs because they were such a happy group of people. They were smiling and they were at peace. I wanted to see where the joint was and there was nothing there!
I saw this man, this young bohemian sort of hippie, reading from a well worn book in the corner. He was reading and everyone was listening. Slowly I started to realize he was talking about God and that tuned me in. The environment that I was in also tuned me in. I came there with the idea of looking for where the drugs were being passed but instead realized something incredible about the authority of this man. I didn’t know what it was, but he spoke with an authority. Afterwards, they prayed and their prayers were very personal. I remember thinking that because I had been raised on the rosary and rote sort of repetitive prayers and this was a very freeing type of praying.
I was so touched by the prayer time that I went to him afterwards and I said, “Thank you very much for this.” He asked, “How long have you been a Christian?” I replied, “All my life.” That was my answer, “all my life,” because that is the confusion today. A lot of people who aren’t Christians think they are, and I too truly believed that I was a Christian. So I answered, “All my life.” Then I was doing yoga, contacting spirits, and was involved in spiritism. I was involved in every occultic, satanic possibility that I could have been involved in that era of my life.
So, he asked one other question which completely changed my life, “When did you accept Jesus Christ into your life?” I had never been asked that question. I didn’t know, I just didn’t know that. I think he felt me stumbling around and he came in right there with a twelve minute Gospel which is a power of God onto salvation. The full twelve minutes he had me riveted. I was focused. I finally realized that there was somebody who had died for me that loved me so much. I had a lot of boyfriends by that time being a model, and all of them told me that they loved me, but none of them would have died for me, I promise you that! Just knowing that somebody died for me, well it totally changed my life.
The man asked, “Would you like to accept Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Of course! I mean, how could anyone deny inviting somebody who loves you so much that He gave His life for you? And, at that moment it was almost like a vacuum cleaner came into my life. Everyone of my transgressions were wiped away. I was slated clean!
Well, when I finally walked out of that little room at the back and into the room that was in the front I discovered it was a Christian bookstore with hundreds of books all about Jesus. My eyes were now opened. I thought, “How did I get in here not realizing?” It was just incredible.
Dr. Reagan: Caryl, I want to thank you for the testimony you shared with us. Man, I was tingling all over and wanted to stand up and shout “hallelujah” and everything else. It was great! It’s one thing to read about it in your book, but it’s another thing to hear you tell about it. Going into a place looking for drugs and coming out with Jesus Christ well, I mean, that’s really something.
In the next part of this series “Escaping from Hinduism” with guest Caryl Matrisciana, we’ll explore how Hinduism has impacted the Western World and Christianity.