Mohan Jhass was born into great advantage in the Indian caste system. His family was Brahman, and he was firstborn. That means he was allowed -- and fully expected -- to become a Hindu priest.
Born into a religion
No Choice in Life
"You're born in a religion, in a caste, and you do what the family does. You do not choose your profession or way of life," said Mohan. "Even though I had the financial backing, a big home, the family, the wealth of my parents, the right to be the priest, I had all that, but there was still something inside that said, it's not enough. There's got to be more to God than what I know."
From the age of three, Mohan began training for the priesthood. He learned extreme discipline and a great many skills. But even as a boy, something nagged at him.
"One of the questions I always asked them was, 'Master, teacher, when will I have peace?' And they would always say, 'When you grow up.'"
When he reached his teens, he was still waiting.
"'Master, I still don't have peace. When will I have peace?' I was about 15-years-old," said Mohan. "He was 90-years-old. That day he told me that he did not even have peace yet. They used the word peace a lot, but they did not know it."
Trained as a priest
A Man Who Had Peace
Mohan was troubled, but continued his training for two years. Then an American missionary came to visit his temple. His name was Herb, and Mohan was assigned to explain Hinduism to him.
"He would ask me questions and I was so proud to tell him how my Hinduism was evolving," said Mohan, "where stories came from and what I believed because this American wanted to know. I wanted to be with him to practice my English. As I did that, I saw he had something different.
"He had that peace. He had that joy. There was something about his eyes. There was a light in there. I knew that was missing in me," said Mohan.
Mohan couldn't help but ask the question…
"What is it that you have?" he asked. "Tell me about your God."
Preacher Was Speaking to Him
Herb was more than happy to tell him about Jesus Christ. It wasn't long before Mohan did the unthinkable. For the first time in his life, he went to church.
"Every time the preacher looked at me, it was as though he said, 'Mohan, you're a sinner.' He didn't say Mohan, but he preached that all have sinned and fallen short, and the only way to come to know the Lord is go to God through the covering of the blood of Jesus because He paid for the sin," said Mohan.
"I did not know that I had sinned. I didn't think I had sinned because I didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't do all those things that you can count on your fingers. I didn't do them. Yet in my heart, I was full of pride at who I was. I thought I was somebody. I could do martial arts, yoga, meditation, and I felt superior in many ways. Also my family background gave me status. Just being a priest was an awesome thing, and yet, I didn't have that peace."
Afraid for the Future
Mohan was deeply convicted by the truth, but also afraid of what that meant for his future. Herb knew it as he took Mohan home.
Herb stopped in front of an Italian bakery with the aroma of the bread coming out. He said, "If you eat of the bread of Christ, you will never hunger anymore. And if you drink of Him, you will thirst no more."
Mohan received Jesus Christ as his Savior. Now he had to face what he dreaded.
"It is better for you to be dead than to be an abomination to the family," said Mohan. "There are many who become Christians, and, even right now in
, they face death. And the same situation was presented to me. If I chose Christ, I would lose the life I had known. I was given an hour to decide that. India
Graduating from college
'Out of this House'
"I was being asked to choose if I wanted life in Christ or to give it all up," said Mohan. "Then I went to pray. I said, 'Lord, You guide me.' The first Scripture I opened was Luke 9:23 . Jesus said to me, 'If any man wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me daily.'
"I said Lord, 'I want to deny everything that I am, and I want you to be Lord of my life.' The next thing I remember, there was a knock on my door. 'What's your answer?' And I said, 'I'm a Christian.' 'Out of this house' was the answer."
Mohan was disowned by his family and had nowhere to go. He ended up living and working at Herb's mission station to earn a ticket to
. In six months he arrived in America Longview, Texas, with only the clothes on his back.
Mohan and Susan
Grueling Academic Life
"I worked about 70 hours a week when I went to college," said Mohan. "I washed all the pots and pans at
LeTourneau University. I cleaned all the rooms at night. And I was privileged to sleep two hours a night."
Mohan graduated with degrees in Bible and mechanical engineering. Later he married Susan, and they started a family. He now pastors a local church and works as a certified therapist, sharing Christ and the truth about Hinduism with his patients.
"Hinduism has lots of discipline," said Mohan, "but you do all those things to win points with God. All those things are done so that one day you'll be good enough and make it to God. But there is nothing that brings out love, peace and joy."
Mohan now has contact with all his family, some of whom have also come to Christ. He has much to say about painful choices …
"All of us as Christians have ultimatums every day," he said. "Either we choose the Lord, or we choose self. And self brings in everybody else in the world - the things of the world, people, parents. All the choices we make are either for ourselves, or for God. So I would advise people and encourage them and pray for them to choose Jesus, no matter what the cost, how high the cost. It can never be as much as Jesus paid for you."