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

Rahil’s story was produced by the
Evangelical Alliance with the support of
 

I remember once reading a Hindu scripture,
trying to get a hold of it and
this very silent whisper at that time said:
Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
And it was so sweet and authentic and beautiful.
My name is Rahil Patel, and this is my story.
I was involved in the temple in North London
And then when I was sixteen the guru of the organisation, the denomination was in London 
and he asked me:
would you be a priest?
And at the time, we all believed that the guru is literally god.
He is the vessel for god, he is the purest form 
on earth to hold god, in god's totality.
So because of that after my A-levels,
I went on this journey.
Leaving to train as a priest, as a swami, means a six year intense
training programme in India.
As in terms of life-style, it's a life-time of celibacy,
it's a life-style of having no money.
Your actually taught how to visualise that it's all burnt away.
Your parents, your relatives, your friends - everything about you.
Everything, everywhere is provided in an incredible and sometimes lavish way.
What happens as a result, is you are now completely dependent and sucked in.
And so there's no way you can actually leave.
But there was always a void.
When you walk away from the guru - you know that certain key questions you have
have been deflected.
That gives birth to doubts - 
about who he is - who he really is.
Or what this whole thing really is about?
So this inner turmoil was increasing more and more.
The lack of peace led me then to perform even more.
I raised more money, 
I built more temples and centres,
I travelled more - I went to the Sistine Chapel.
And I remember looking up at the paintings -
the stories of Jesus and John the Baptist and I remember saying to myself,
this just makes sense.
I found a really deep connection with the cross,
I couldn't articulate it - I just loved staring at it.
There was something, that was really reaching deep inside.
My travels enabled God - to really push
the borders and boundaries of my mind
and say to me - hey I'm much bigger than an image in a temple,
I'm much bigger and more beautiful than just within this guru.
And so that challenged - the doctrine, that challenged the theology, that challenged the organisation -
quite dramatically.
So there were concerns.
I went to Mumbai to see the guru and as soon as I went into the meeting
he was just cross.
He just started giving verbal slaughter
and said you're staying here in India, in the villages.
Basically the idea was to put me in place where I don't have influence.
And I said "no".
Then suddenly it just came out of my mouth.
I said:
"I'm leaving now - I don't want to be a priest, a swami anymore".
And this silence fell in the room.
And I felt this incredible relief.
I had a friend who said, come and stay with me in his hotel in South Kensington.
So three weeks into my stay I was
walking towards the station and I saw this church spire.
It was a Sunday morning, it was about 11:15 and
I thought, that'll be nice - let me just go and sit in there for a bit have a look at the artwork.
I approached the church and there were people standing outside welcoming people in.
And the smiles on their faces -
I remember that I'd never seen that much joy, that much love on people ever in my life.
As soon as I walked through the doors, the presence of God fell on me.
In this beautiful, deep way
and this peace just came on me.
And this silent whisper in my left ear said:
"you're home".
In that moment when the presence of God fell on me,
it was effortless on my behalf.
I had read countless self-help books,
as well as different meditation techniques.
In Christ, in that moment -
that peace which is what your soul always searches for,
it was met.
It was this unconditional love
from God, who loves me as I am.