Texan Renounces Job as Lawyer to Become a Sadhu in India

July 30, 2004

Source: Houston Chronicle


On July 30, 2004 the Houston Chronicle reported, "Rahul Patel knows how to speak like a lawyer: He can make all the logical arguments. But this Georgetown Law School graduate did not rely just on reason when he decided to turn down a $125,000-a-year job offer from a New York City law firm to follow a spiritual path of poverty, chastity and obedience. He also responded to inspiration and his emotions about the spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan Hindu faith, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. 'It is hard to describe the feelings I get when I see him,' the 27-year-old said. 'He is unlike anybody on this planet. To please him and to serve him and, in the process, serve God and his devotees and the general human population is, I think, one of the greatest achievements -- if I achieve it -- in my life, more than being a lawyer or working for a big company.' Sunday, Patel turned in the last vestiges of his life as a car-driving, cell-phone-carrying Texan to join five other American-born Hindus in the diksha vidhi initiation ritual on the grounds of the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir...He also chose to live according to five principles: poverty, chastity, detachment from his family, obedience/humility, and abstention from food preferences. That means this former Aggie, son of two medical doctors from College Station and a one-time campaign volunteer for George H.W. Bush, has given up his life of comfort. He will no longer have any contact with his parents and older brother, and for the rest of his life, he will refrain from speaking to women."