Rahil's Story

Rahil was a successful Hindu priest whose world was changed by an unexpected encounter with the love of Jesus Christ.

Rahil was a successful Hindu priest whose world was changed by an unexpected encounter with the love of Jesus Christ.

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I remember once reading a Hindu scripture,
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trying to get a hold of it and
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this very silent whisper at that time said: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
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And it was so sweet and authentic and beautiful.
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My name is Rahil Patel, and this is my story.
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I was involved in the temple in North London
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And then when I was sixteen the guru of the organisation, the denomination was in London
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and he asked me: would you be a priest?
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And at the time, we all believed that the guru is literally god.
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He is the vessel for god, he is the purest form
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on earth to hold god, in god's totality.
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So because of that after my A-levels,
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I went on this journey.
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Leaving to train as a priest, as a swami, means a six year intense
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training programme in India.
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As in terms of life-style, it's a life-time of celibacy,
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it's a life-style of having no money.
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Your actually taught how to visualise that it's all burnt away.
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Your parents, your relatives, your friends - everything about you.
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Everything, everywhere is provided in an incredible and sometimes lavish way.
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What happens as a result, is you are now completely dependent and sucked in.
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And so there's no way you can actually leave.
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But there was always a void.
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When you walk away from the guru - you know that certain key questions you have
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have been deflected.
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That gives birth to doubts -
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about who he is - who he really is.
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Or what this whole thing really is about?
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So this inner turmoil was increasing more and more.
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The lack of peace led me then to perform even more.
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I raised more money,
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I built more temples and centres,
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I travelled more - I went to the Sistine Chapel.
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And I remember looking up at the paintings -
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the stories of Jesus and John the Baptist and I remember saying to myself,
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this just makes sense.
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I found a really deep connection with the cross,
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I couldn't articulate it - I just loved staring at it.
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There was something, that was really reaching deep inside.
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My travels enabled God - to really push
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the borders and boundaries of my mind
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and say to me - hey I'm much bigger than an image in a temple,
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I'm much bigger and more beautiful than just within this guru.
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And so that challenged - the doctrine, that challenged the theology, that challenged the organisation -
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quite dramatically.
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So there were concerns.
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I went to Mumbai to see the guru and as soon as I went into the meeting
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he was just cross.
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He just started giving verbal slaughter
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and said you're staying here in India, in the villages.
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Basically the idea was to put me in place where I don't have influence.
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And I said "no".
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Then suddenly it just came out of my mouth.
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I said: "I'm leaving now - I don't want to be a priest, a swami anymore".
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And this silence fell in the room.
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And I felt this incredible relief.
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I had a friend who said, come and stay with me in his hotel in South Kensington.
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So three weeks into my stay I was
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walking towards the station and I saw this church spire.
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It was a Sunday morning, it was about 11.15 and
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I thought, that'll be nice - let me just go and sit in there for a bit have a look at the artwork.
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I approached the church and there were people standing outside welcoming people in.
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And the smiles on their faces -
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I remember that I'd never seen that much joy, that much love on people ever in my life.
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As soon as I walked through the doors, the presence of God fell on me.
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In this beautiful, deep way
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and this peace just came on me.
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And this silent whisper in my left ear said: "your home".
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In that moment when the presence of God fell on me,
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it was effortless on my behalf.
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I had read countless self-help books,
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as well as different meditation techniques.
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In Christ, in that moment -
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that peace which is what your soul always searches for,
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it was met.
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It was this unconditional love
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from God, who loves me as I am.