A FORMER THAI ASTROLOGER TESTIFIES
Compiled by Vachiravan Vanlaeiad
My name is Chairat Jitkaew. I had graduated from Chulalongkorn University in statistics and computer (insurance mathematics and business computer). I had also been trained in various IT courses both locally and abroad and worked with various large organizations in the executive position. I have married with one daughter.
My childhood life was full of difficulties caused by many problems occurred between my parents. All these incidents had significantly caused me to wonder about the mystery of human life. I always wondered where did human being come from? Why were they born into this world? Who had determined human’s fate and what was his purpose in life? I had constantly tried to find answers to these questions with my own strength and by my own methods.
When I grew up, I hadn’t stopped finding the answers to life mystery. On the contrary, I had brought myself to 2 main branches of knowledge: astrology (since 1973 when I was about 13 years old), and Buddhism. I had occasionally and seriously practiced Buddhism and meditation since I was 20 years of age. As a result, I had collected statistics on the relation between human lifestyle patterns and the position of stars in the sky (called horoscope calculation), both academically and practically, for more than 20 years. These had made me clearly experience with the miracles and relations between those two knowledge branches. Since having graduated in statistics and computer, I thus could understand those methodical relations, leading to the ability of making accurate future forecast and anticipation.
However, my extremely long period of study and experiment had led me to accept that the universe, the world, and human beings had been purposefully and methodically created by someone. This someone must have too mysterious and profound intellect for me to understand and might be the One which is called by all Thais “Phra Phrom the Creator”. However, even at that time I preferred to call this One “God”. Despite believing in God, I didn’t know Him. I had never had personal experiences with this God except that I had seen (in astrology) many witnesses shown in the sky which related to human life. I wanted to know Him but couldn’t find the way to make access to Him or knowledge about Him.
However, the word “God” is rejected in Buddhism context. I had been taught to believe that “You got to help yourself first.”, or “Don’t rely on others. Help yourself first.”, and about the circle of life: birth, aging, sickness, and death. If these truths were genuine, who had prescribed them? Who had designed our life to be in compliance with the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky? It was absolutely impossible that a man could do these gigantic tasks. And who had been behind the creation of these things? However, the rejection of God by Buddhism had made me uncomfortable since I was absolutely convinced that there was a Creator or God. God must not be only the rules of nature (as instructed in Buddhism) but He must be the One who had supernatural power. At the same time I was worried that if God was existed, the whole long years of seeking and collecting knowledge on Buddhism including practicing mediation would fail if I didn’t believe the existence of God.
All these contradictions had reached a crisis point, resulting in me not being able to find the conclusion about life. These truths I had encountered were beyond my wisdom and intellect. At this time I felt lonely, feeling like being suspended in the air. I had come to realize the foolishness of human being. I had nobody to turn to for the answers. I had been at my wit’s end since my most respectable and familiar senior Buddhist monk had died, there’s no one who could share my thoughts and experiences about life mystery.
At the same time, my daughter was growing up day by day and I saw the need to instill religion principal to her. However, taking her to a Buddhist temple had made me disappointed with Buddhism. This had increased my worry about my daughter’s religious life. What should I do?
I had been living a life full of questions about religion for a long time until I began to acquire knowledge about other religions which taught and believed in God. I had started with studying the Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism which rendered me with full knowledge of gods. Then I had asked my Muslim friend to give me basic knowledge on Islam. I had read and studied various kinds of books about Islam, however, I was still unable to access to the absolute knowledge about God.
Until the middle of 2000, I had started working with an insurance company (in the position of IT manager). The company’s office was then located on Surawong Raod (near Silom Road, which is one of Bangkok’s largest business centers). On Thursday, 30 August, after having lunch I had walked along the Surawong and turn left to a small Soi (lane) which links Silom and Surawong road. I had found a Christian Bookstore (CLC Bookstore) by chance. Being a book lover, I went inside the store and was very excited to find “a copy of Bible” unexpectedly. I bought the Bible and intended to read it before bedtime that night. I had hungered for the story of creation of the world and human beings of this Christianity God.
That night I had taken the Bible to bed. Anyway, strain, stress, and tiredness from work had so taken over me that I could not read the Bible. I then turned off the light and suddenly thought about how close I was going to know the God of Christianity. If God was existed, which God (Hindu’s, Islam’s, or Christianity’s) would be the true one. I thus sat up on my bed and prayed in my heart according to meditation methods I had been practicing, saying “If God is existent, please show Yourself to me so that I can know You. I’ve been searching for the meaning of life for a long time. I believe that there is God but don’t know which one? Now that I’m at my wit’s end and I desperately want to know the truth. God, would you please show Yourself to me so that I will worship You for the rest of my life.” After the prayer, I lied down and slept quickly.
At 2 AM that night, I had dreamed the most vivid dream in my life. In my dream, I saw myself standing at a place with cool air and golden, bright light surrounding me. The place was also surrounded by golden, bright clouds. There suddenly was a sound coming out of the golden cloud in front of me, saying “Open the Bible page two hundred and thirty…” I had heard the sound twice. That sound was very powerful and authoritative. There then appeared a three-digit number made of large bar of gold on the cloud in front of me. And the golden number and cloud around me started to move and close in on me so tight that I woke up immediately.
I turned on the light and found that it was 2:30 am of the new day. I quickly picked up the Bible which was the only book laid beside my bed and turned it to page 230. God knew that I did not know how to open the Bible by chapter and verse, He thus told the page number to me instead. I started to read with excitement and God said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” (Deuteronomy 4:10). I was strongly drawn into these words about teaching my offspring because this had been my main concern. And the other verse on the same page said, “Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.” (Deuteronomy 4:12). This was really like my dream. I had heard only the sound but not seen the form.
I continued reading the Bible until I found out this verse, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29). This verse surprisingly caused hope in my heart that I would find the God I had believed and sought. I had read more and found the verse, “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:35). After reading this verse, my heart beat harder, I then continued reading to the last verse of page 231. It reads, “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39).
All those verses had made me so excited that I had goose bumps and my hands were ice cold. Suddenly the inner depth of my heart had told me that God was existed and He had shown Himself in the Christian Bible. He had manifested Himself to me and had answered my prayers as well as solved all my questions which were stuck with me all the time: questions about God and life truths which I had been sought for long years. This also included my concern over my daughter’s religious life.
These encounters and the Bible verses had completed my jigsaw about the meaning of life. I had no doubts about God any more, but instead felt very excited and joyful by that vision. My conviction at that time was that this God was the Creator of everything. He had created the heavens and earth, and taken care and nourished our lives according to His will. However, I had no knowledge about how to live my life believing in this God. I had also felt dismayed when thinking about changing my religion, and then living with belief in God in my real life.
The next day I had visited that bookstore again and asked for comments and advices from the storekeeper. She told me to go to a church nearby my residence on Patanakarn Road. She also told me that Jesus Christ was God, which made me confused. That evening after arriving home, I told my wife about going to that church on next Sunday which I was free. However, I didn’t have the idea of whom I would go see and also about the Christian’s custom and tradition of attending church.
God would not let his salvation rendered to me incomplete at this point. He had sent his angel on earth to guide me to a church. She was a teacher named Nantiya who was my neighbor. She had taken me to Romyen Church (Bangkok Evangelistic Centre) which is located on Patanakarn Road Soi 17 (nearby my house). I then went to church for the first time in my life on 9 September 2001 and have accepted Jesus Christ as my God, Lord, and personal Savior since.