Gujarat Monk who sold his sports car chooses Hindu wedding

AHMEDABAD: His life was lush with luxuries in Germany — he drove a swanky sports car, dined at the finest restaurants, and lived in plush homes. But he shrugged off the high life in a snap to find meaning in spiritual life. In his journey, Chris Muller met Julia Ukhwakatina, a school teacher from Russia who is also an expert in yoga. They ran into each other in Vietnam and bonded well over the years. On Sunday, the villagers of Sarodiya in Himmatnagar witnessed a unique wedding. Muller and Ukhwakatina walked the Saptapadi steps and got married in a Hindu ceremony with Vaidik rituals and mantras. Mueller has travelled to every continent of the world. He has stayed with the shamans of the Amazon and Maasais of Africa. He said he chose India as his wedding destination because he felt at home here. “I did not feel at home in my country. Spirituality is not a big thing there,” said Mueller. “Also, western weddings are materialistic and superficial. India is my spiritual home.” Mueller said India may not be as developed in material terms as many other countries in the West but it is ‘overdeveloped’ in the spiritual context.

After learning the spiritual science of Dada Bhagwan from the late Gyani Purush Kanudadaji in 2019, the couple planned to marry in the Hindu way. They believed that was necessary to keep the relationship pious and long-lasting, said Lalabhai Patel, a follower of Dada Bhagwan. The couple visited Sarodiya village where Patel resided and fell in love with the place and its people. “It’s amazing to see how people bond with each other in the village. Some families have three generations living under one roof,” said Mueller. As the couple’s parents could not attend the wedding due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic, Patel and his wife played the role of godparents at the ceremony. The wedding procession went from Sarodiya to the nearby Bavsar, where the villagers hosted the bride.

The bride and groom observed Ganesh puja, the turmeric ceremony, and Saptapadi and other rituals. They played garba and touched the feet of elders for blessings, said Bhagirath Patel, the son of Lalabhai Patel and a close friend of Mueller. Recalling the time when he decided to give up his lavish life and pursue his search for ‘inner peace’ Mueller said it happened to him when he was about 23. “I was sitting in my penthouse, having all the materialistic wealth but I was still feeling miserable. I was facing health issues and was not at peace,” he said. “I sold my sports car, gave up my lavish lifestyle, and began travelling the world to find my inner self.”

Initially, he had some apprehensions about visiting India but his doubts were dispelled once he came to the country. Also, Ukhwakatina who had been to India and had spent three years here earlier, encouraged him to undertake his journey. The moment I landed in India I knew I was home,” he recollected. Currently, Mueller is the CEO and founder of Spiratio UG as well as Inner Living Private Ltd that offer consultations and coaching in personal growth and inner development. He also organizes seminars and conducts workshops on breathing techniques.

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