Rabi Maharaj – A Man’s Quest for Truth

Rabi Maharaj is an Indian evangelist and founder of East-West Ministries. Rabi comes for a line of Hindu priest who are called “Sanyasi”. The biography of Rabi Maharaj is found in his book, “Death of a Guru: A Remarkable True Story of One Man’s Search for Truth”. This article presents some of the highlights of his life, taken from this book.

Rabi’s Early Years

Indians have known for thousands of years that there is real power in Yoga. But Rabi’s father lived it. He passed his days in meditation and the reading of the sacred scripture –nothing else. Rabi grew up in Trinidad. There is a huge Indian population there. His father was a Brahmin priest who sat under the tree in a lotus position – toes of both feet turned up on the top of the knees- on the board. His father had taken some vows before their marriage so he never talked or even paid a slightest heed to his son. Rabi never understood this. He just wished that at least once his dad would call him and talk to him. But that never happened.

People came from far and near and worshiped him. They would leave fruits and flowers at his feet. They marveled at him and said in solemn reverent tones that surely he had achieved his “Moksha” (Salvation), escaping the wheel of reincarnation. There would be no more rebirths into this world of death for him, only the eternal bliss of Nirvana. They would tell Rabi that “Your Father is very special – the greatest man one could ever have as a father”. One day the unthinkable happed for Ravi. His father passed away. He heard someone in the family say that may be the gods took him away. And he did not understand why this would happen to him.

Rabi felt he had lost everything. Though he had scarcely known him as his father, he had been his inspiration – a god –but now he was dead. At his funeral, his father’s stiff body was placed on a great pile of firewood. The thought of his body being sacrificed to Agni, the god of fire, added a new dimension of mystery to the bewilderment and deep sense of loss that already overwhelmed him.

Nana – Rabi’s Grandfather

After the death of Rabi’s father, he and his mom went and lived with her parents. Her family was a big joint family and had a successful business. Rabi’s grandfather, whom he called “Nana”, was recognized as one of the Hindu Leaders among the large East Indian population in Trinidad, a man who had mysterious super natural powers that none could deny or dared to meddle with. Nana valued occult powers more highly than money. He carried strong iron safe that had an object he wouldn’t sell at any price, a small white stone from India possessed of spirit powers both to heal and curse. Nana passed away during his childhood, but Rabi always felt that spirit of Nana haunted him in the house. He also had heard a story from his uncle that all his Nana’s wealth and the safe were guarded by a snake which could even be a form taken by the Spirits.

In the Footsteps of His Father

Following the instructions from his mother and guided by his father’s perfect example, Rabi practiced meditation every day from the age of 5. Sitting in the lotus position with his spine straight, he imitated his father who was more like a god to him. He had perfectly followed in the footsteps of Lord Krishna and other Yogis and his mother taught him that. His father had achieved wide acclaim and earned the worship of many and it was inevitable that upon his death his mantle would fall on Rabi but he has never imagined it would be so soon.

Solemnly and faithfully he worshiped his father’s spirit every day. After few days they whole family went to the site where his father was cremated. All evidence of the cremation was carried away only the memory could not be erased from his mind. Friends and relatives crowded around him in a semicircle. The pundit faced him with the barber’s scissors in one hand. Before he could realize all his hair had fallen to the ground where his father’s ashes had laid.

The chief priest and everyone in village had said that his father had gone back to Brahma and has attained Moksha. But in one of the ceremonies where the ashes of his father were laid, the temple priest saw the prints of a bird’s footstep and declared that his father has become a bird. Rabi was shattered. If his father could not go back to Brahma then there is no hope for him or anyone else in the world. After some days of Rabi’s father death, a feast was made in the house, the first of all food were offered to the dead as per the Hindu custom. So the family placed a all the different samples of food below the banana tree. The priest had warned no one to look back as the spirit of his father would come and eat the food as the spirits can attack anyone if they look back. But Rabi was so much tempted to see his father once, so he stayed back to see what happens to all the food. But to his immense disappointment, the food was still there. As he was taking one step after another he thought the spirit would attack him and he will die but nothing happened. He thought may be the spirits are gracious to him.

Few days after this, his mom told Rabi that she has to go to India, to the river Ganges the holiest of all rivers to sprinkle the ashes of his father. For Rabi an aura of mystery surrounded with that name, ‘Ganges’. He begged his mom to take him also to India but that was not possible. On the day his mom left to go to India by ship, young Rabi cried and cried and would not let go off the knob of the door. For days he cried himself to sleep, it was the worst time for him and missed his mom tremendously. But as a Hindu he was taught to accept his fate and he did exactly the same.

Ma was a very kind and gentle person. For somewhere she had a Bible but when Nana was alive when he saw Ma with the Bible, he was angry and beat Ma with a belt and threw her down from the stairs. But again she found a Bible from some other pace and the same thing happened.

Rabi had read in the Gita that all the roads leads to the same god so he thought it might be okay but he liked his religion the best. He was only ten years old and he decided to study Hindu scriptures under a famous Brahmacharya (priest) in charge of the temple. In obedience to Vedas, he strictly observed five daily duties, the offerings to gods, to the Seers, to the forefathers, to lower animals and to humanity embodied in the daily religious activities. He began to have visions of psychedelic colors, to hear unearthly music and to visit exotic planets where gods conversed with him. Also in the trance he encountered horrible demonic creatures that are depicted by the images in Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto and other religious temples.

He returned home after the training. He was 11 but already many people were bowing before him, laying gifts of money, cotton cloth and other treasures at his feet and hanging garlands of flowers around his neck at religious ceremonies. One day he had heavy cough and every one at home was worried for his health. But Rabi had a secret habit, he was a chain smoker, he smoked one cigarette after other hailing deeply with each puff. He had money but he can never buy a cigarette so he had to steal them and this troubled his conscience deeply. He was feeling very empty on inside. One day, as usual after doing his daily Puja (prayer), when he placed a fresh Hibiscus bloom on the cow’s head, the cow suddenly without a warning lowered her neck and charged him. He jumped back and ran. He felt his god was chasing him. This shook him; the god whom he worshiped faithfully day by day had attacked him today. This question haunted him for days.

Now it was 6 years Rabi’s mom was away, in all these years he was tired of being cared by his aunty who would be nice at times but harsh some other times. Many times he would have mystical experiences as if some invisible had had slapped him or knocked him down or chocked him. He lived for religious ceremonies, public ones in the temples and private ones at home. There he was admired by all.

His High School Days

It was time for Rabi to attend high school now. One of his Uncles whom he admired had studied in London and returned back. He insisted Rabi to go to a prestigious Queens Royal High school. When he went there, he met many Black, Orientals, English youth and those of other races. He found there were people in the world who were completely outside the caste system. He questioned how did they come into existence? According to his religion, they were clearly without hope. Yet they were not inferior to him, in fact he found hard to compete with them. Every single day he was faced with many real life questions for which he has no answer but only confusion.

One day he was in the garden walking and enjoying nature and a snake came behind him. He was utterly terrified and there was nowhere to escape. At that time he said “Jesus! Help me”. In that moment of frozen terror he recalled his mother voice that if ever he is in danger and nothing else seems to work he can pray to this other God, Jesus. Suddenly to his surprise, snake went other way. He pondered for days why nobody ever taught him about this god. Who was this god and what was he the god of? He tried Jesus one more time when he was sick and it worked. Rabi was going through many hard times with his extended family. He never got the care and nurture of parents, he felt very lonely and angry from within. He even thought of committing suicide. His religion, training and experience in meditation, all had taught him to look within himself and so he tried again and again but it proved futile.

Around that time, one of his cousin’s friends Molli came to see Rabi who was a Hindu devotee just like him before. She talked to Rabi about Jesus who came to die for the sins of mankind. Rabi always knew Karma and had no idea about forgiveness. He had many arguments with Molli but she was always calm, joyful and listened to him with compassion. For the first time in his life, something snapped inside of him and he was broken from inside and he prayed “God, the true God and creator, show me the truth, Please God”.

His cousin brought him a Bible and explained to him the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night. He learned about the “new birth”. The next day he went to a small Christian gathering with his cousin and 2 other Hindu friends who had now accepted Jesus as their Savior. The pastor taught from Psam 23. And that night he could not resist any more and he gave his life to Christ. He found insurmountable peace and joy within him which he had never experienced before.

The Death of a Guru

Miraculously God was simultaneously working in other members on his family and 13 of them accepted the Lord. Ma was already seeking the truth since a long time and now she could openly accept Christ too. Together the whole family took every idol from the puja room, searched every amulet, charm, fetish, religious picture and artifact throwing them all on the rubbish heap behind the garden and burning them. Rabi felt that it was his cremation ceremony. The old Rabi Maharaj had died in Christ. A new Rabi had been born and raised in Christ.

Rabi later on, received theological training from London Bible College, He has worked with Billy Graham, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in many churches, University campus and auditoriums all over the world, worked among the drug addicts and led them to Jesus Christ.

image link credit: http://sarahjphoto.typepad.com/sarah_j_photo/2009/07/a-day-together.html

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  1. NAKUL
    November 28, 2011

    Praise the Lord. God bless forever and forevermore.

  2. Claudia Brookshire
    July 28, 2012

    I have just finished reading your book Death of a Guru for the third time. I am convinced you should make a movie of it..
    I bought it because my former neighbors were Hindus with the last name of Sharma.
    I gave the book to them but don’t know if they read it..
    They have come to church with us when an Indian man with the last name of Chand spoke at the church.
    Doesn’t Billy Graham have the ability to direct you to making this a movie. Not a documentary? But your life story. Or someone like Spielberg or someone? Will pray you will pray to accomplish it.

  3. Viola Isaac
    October 15, 2012

    Almost through reading your book, ‘Death of a Guru’. I praise our Almighty Jesus for the wonderful and unique ways in which He chooses to meet His children and reveal Himself to them. May God open the hearts and minds of all people to experience the True and Living God.

  4. Issac Abraham
    December 27, 2012

    I advice him to learn more about advaitha vedantha and the works of Ramana Maharshi – especially the work “who am i?”. This will give an idea about the true essence of Hinduism

  5. chrish
    January 20, 2013

    Praise the lord . . . I got this encouragement as it must required for me.

    June 25, 2013


  7. Leo
    July 27, 2013

    I have read this book about three times, and have bought copies to give out to others. Such a simple but powerful story that shows God loves us ALL and wants us to turn to Christ, and become our God and not the god or gods we want to hold onto. Thanks Rabi. Bless you and your family.

  8. April 26, 2014

    Dear Rabi Maharaj,
    2001 you have prayed for my friend who was in the hinduistisch thinking and was away from Jesus. 2 Weeks after your pryer my friend and now my husband became a christian and believes still in Jesus. So we made an agreement I have to tell you that your prayer and mine also was coming as Jesus showed you prophetical and for that I am so thankful – to Jesus. just to let you know I have tryed a lot times to find you today we have visitors from America and my husband was active and so I am able to let you know…Jesus answers prayer.
    I am sure you know…it was a preaching in icf Zürich. Do you remember?
    God may bless you now we need prayer for our daughters they are very open fur Buddismus and we need a mirical that Jesus open their hearts again as they have had the trust as little children full in Jesus.

    Be blessed in Jesus name Sabina and Ralph Behnke with children 2 daughters Jennifer and Melina

  9. Pavan
    April 10, 2015

    Jesus might be a great sage who taught love. Jesus himself is a Yogi, who attained liberation (moksha). But the superstitious belief in bible is not good. I think these people has no understanding of God. Its insane to call Hinduism as Satan. This Rabi Maharaj as weak person who cannot understand the reality. Pray God for judgment day. That’s ignorance.
    He who judges can’t be a god.

  10. anabella bonells
    July 4, 2015

    Doy gracias a Dios por buscarle y rescatarle de esa forma tan maravillosa! No deja de asombrarme la paciencia de Dios para esperar que la dureza de nuestro corazon y nuestra razon decidan darle a EL el espacio que merece en nuestras vidas! Al igual que en su caso, Dios permitio la separacion de mi madre siendo yo una bebe. Ella se fue para Indonesia donde aprendio todas las doctrinas misticas orientales mientras yo en Colombia sur america, anhelaba que Dios respondiera mi oracion de traerla de nuevo conmigo. Cuadndo usted relata en su libro la soledad y profundo vacio que sentia por estar lejos de su madre, logro comprenderlo perfectamente.. Dios ha sido bueno y mis 25 años de edad me permite conocerle rescatandome de una vida de adiccion, depresion y desorden. Mi cristianismo tambien abrio una brecha enorme con mi madre a la que veia 15 dias cada 4 años que venia a Colombia. Pero antes de morir Dios me permitio ver que por fin aceptara a Jesus. Leyendo su libro pude entender las profundas raices de engaño que operaban en ella y la magnitud del milagro que Dios hizo al salvarla! Gracias por escribirlo. Dios le siga bendiciendo y le lleve a nuevos lugares a salvara a mas de “un millon” por su gracia! Al igual que usted, he sido llamada a compartir y me gozo cada dia haciendolo en mi pais. Fue una bendicion leer su historia!

  11. February 24, 2016

    Two books that changed my life One Sadhu Sunder Singh Two The Death of a Guru Praise the Lord.I thank the Lord God for you …it was way back in 1984 I was reading your book late in night when I came to that part when you prayed….I was born in a catholic family we used to pray …but when I read the way you prayed it was different….I stopped reading and said these words Jesus he being a Hindu prays with conviction and I being a Christian ….I…and all of a sudden tears began to roll down my cheeks …I first time felt something…….that was my changing point……I began seeking the Lord….May the Lord Jesus bless you abundantly

    May 2, 2016

    Greetings in the Name of our LORD who is our only exclusive Refuge.


    Kindly AT LEAST, as a benign gracious HUMAN goodwill if not as a Christian intercede for my healing as because of multiple health problems I do not at all have even subnormal life WHAT I HAVE IS TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY

    ABNORMALLY, ABNORMAL LIFE virtually rotting as an outcast in isolation under a curse.

    Friday the 15th I had an appointment with my Neurologist who told me that based on latest MRI, all the seven discs in my lumber spine are herniated and that I have no option but to live with it. My cervical spine is also extensively damaged, my left thigh has shrunk, I have:- Type-2 Diabetes, Peripheral Artery Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Neuropathy, Mylopathy and now I do not want to see any physician as they come up with new health issues for which they have no remedy at all.

    Man may go to the moon or any planet beyond this earth but they can never come up with treatment for physical healing. ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    Will be grateful for your sincere, consistent intercession NOT AT ALL THE SO CALLED “UNBIBLICAL, INEFFECTIVE, EPHEMERAL POPCORN PRAYER.”

    Pet animals such as pitbulls, pythons, snakes who are adopted as pets are million times better of than me.

    Also kindly intercede for Narcotic Undercover Law Enf. officer Mr. Nitin Daniels for his salvation, divine iron clad protection, safety and security and healing from emotional trauma. Kindly have your congregation to intercede fervently in one accord.


    Also intensely intercede for restoration of relationship and marriage of brother Ray Velez and his wife Evette. Ray is deceived by a MR KNOW IT ALL [NEFF] who has doctorate and Ph. D. in twisting the Scriptures who likes to have followers and told Ray “if his wife does not obey and follow him he can dump her as it is Scriptural.” I do not find such injunction in the Word of God at all.

    This most erudite ecclesiastical guru, pundit, scholar RON NEFF was with Beth Israel and SS teacher but had disagreement with brother Jonathan Kahn so left it and joined People’s Baptist Church and after 2 plus years left it saying “it was a cult, a false preacher and false gospel and drew 2-3 from the church behind him. He even prays ‘Lord destroy Beth Israel and People’s Baptist Church.’

    What a blaspheme! I never heard such prayers from true believers. No one ever prays that the LORD will destroy Muslim mosques, Budhists/Hindu/Sikh/Satan’s temples nor Mormon or Unification churches or JW’s Kingdom halls.

    Mr. Neff wants to be a pastor BUT his wife divorced him so he cannot. He loves to have those who would blindly follow him and never question him.


    West New York, NJ 07093-2050 USA

  13. patricia
    September 22, 2016

    There are many references to reincarnation in the Bible .
    One of them is the question asked of Jesus
    ” Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was BORN blind ? ” Jesus did not contradict the questioner. another is
    ” Some say that you are Elijah ” , said to Jesus.
    In the fifth century , at a council the pope did not attend, most references to reincarnation were deleted , for political and other reasons.

  14. patricia
    September 22, 2016

    The early church fathers, , including St. Jerome, believed in reincarnation . It was an accepted doctrine of the early church , until the fifth century . Thousands of Cathars were killed because of their belief in reincarnation .
    Spiritual experiences and powers can become ego based. A higher realisation involves not dissociating from the world, but Realising God as the Heart Itself , in Whom we live, and move , and have our being .
    The Heart Itself is ‘ within ‘ and ‘without ‘ , pervading all.
    Ramana Maharshi and Adi Da Samraj realised the Heart . All true spiritual masters have realised the Heart to some degree .
    Jesus also Realised the Heart , and knew and taught that sacrifice of the separate self is necessary to know and express Divinity .

  15. redhat
    February 21, 2017

    Jesus is figure of Myth not of History.

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