Pavan* grew up feeling unsettled in his destiny. As the firstborn son in his family, he thought he would have to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Buddhist monk.
But music intervened into this cultural tradition that should have dictated his future.
Pavan, now a Christian pastor, recounted his past and the persistent fear that once plagued him: He had been afraid of dying.
“There was no peace. There was no meaning in life,” Pavan said in an interview in Nepal. “It compelled me to ask the question, ‘What am I here for? And how long? And what happens after I leave this earth?'”
He didn’t have answers, so he turned to local religious leaders for guidance. When he voiced his concerns, Buddhist monks tried to assuage his fears by telling him that it was natural to go through storms. “You may have to go through lonely places,” they counseled. “You may have to go a very dangerous way. But do not be afraid. Just keep continuing. Carry on your journey.”
But Pavan wasn’t buying into the “keep calm and carry on” mantra. Buddhist teaching says that some people are born into suffering, live in suffering and die in suffering. This way of understanding existence seemed hopeless to Parvan. What if his destiny was defined by continual suffering?
Peace through song
The turning point in Pavan’s story happened deep in the jungle when he went for a walk with a friend. As they walked, his friend starting singing and asked him to close his eyes and listen to the words.
Pavan thought it a bit strange, but he obliged.
As he listened, a sense of peace overcame him. He wondered if the songs themselves brought peace, so he began spending more time with his friend and listening to him sing. Along the way, his friend shared the Gospel while explaining the meaning behind the songs. His friend told him if he received Jesus as his Savior, he’d have freedom — spiritual peace and eternal security.
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Source: Baptist Press