[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 14:07:23 +0530
From: psahni <psahni@bom5.vsnl.net.in>
Reply-To: psahni@bom5.vsnl.net.in
To: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Subject: FREEMASONRY

Dear Wor. Bro. Dryfoos,

My association with Freemasonry has been almost mystical. Many who read this will not believe that I am about to tell them.

I was born and brought up in an atheistic household. My father was a revolutionary and a Marxist and taught us to hate religion and the concept of God. I was sent to Russia in the early sixties for my higher studies. Russia was then the bastion of communism and I was exposed to the full blast of it's philosophy. I was brainwashed mercilessly.

During those years I traveled extensively to Europe and was exposed to European and American writers and artists and philosophers and some of them had a profound effect on me. I had never heard of Freemasonry till then.

The people whose works affected me the most were Benjamin Franklin, Lev Tolstoy, Mozart and Beethoven, Voltaire and Rousseau and may others.

In Russia I was taught "scientific atheism", "Marxism-Leninism", but by a strange and ironic coincidence it was in one of the monasteries in Russia (Abramtsevo) that I was touched by God and became a believer.

When I came back to my homeland and searched for the soul and spirit of India, I found it in the writings of our great philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda.

Then, in the early 70s tragedy struck. I had an accident which invalidated me for almost four years. I found myself in the valley of the shadow of death. An elderly neighbour was immensely kind and considerate and helped me through those years of distress. I soon learnt that he was a Freemason. I was intrigued.

I was helped also by Volumes of the Sacred Law and they pulled me through those days of darkness and dispair. I turned to them and they gave me solace. Also I must say that the American evangelist Norman Vincent Peale's books were my constant companions and gave me great courage.

In the late seventies there were communal riots and much bloodshed in some of our states(between Hindus and Muslims) and I traveled there and was asked to give speeches in public places. Often a group of two or three men would come and address me as "Brother" and ask me if I was a Mason. When I asked them why thy thought I was one their reply was :"You just spoke like a Mason". This intrigued me. There was something very humane, very compassionate and appealing about these Masons I met during my travels in these disturbed states. I approached two friends in Bombay who I had learnt were Masons and implored them to enlighten me about Freemasonry and help me to join the Fraternity but I was always refused and side-lined.

This went on for 30 years! I couldn't understand why I was being given the cold shoulder. Undoubtedly, it was because of my atheistic and Marxist background. Needless to say, I was somewhat put off and decided to forget about Freemasons and Freemasonry. My patience was wearing thin.

Then last year something unbelievable happened. I discovered to my utter astonishment that almost all the people I had admired all these years had been Masons - Benjamin Franklin, Tolstoy, Mozart, Voltaire and even our very own Swami Vivekananda. I learnt that even Norman Vincent Peale was a Freemason!.

In excitement and desperation I turned to my computer. I logged on to the website of the Grand Lodge of India and poured out my heart to them. My prayers were answered. This year in the month of September I received my third degree and finally became a Master Mason at the age of sixty!

And now, having realized my dream, I feel that I have been reborn and that my life has just begun.

One of our ancient Sanskrit prayers goes thus:

"LEAD ME FROM UNTRUTH TO TRUTH,
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT,
FROM DEATH UNTO IMMORTALITY".

Only through Freemasonry can this prayer be answered...


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