//Valentine Day special: Swamy marries devotee

Valentine Day special: Swamy marries devotee

Jeetu Pandya, Friday, February 17, 2006  02:10 IST

Vadodara: Cupid struck at unexpected quarters this Valentine’s Day. A Swaminarayan priest gave up his vow of celibacy and priestly life of 30 years to marry his beloved – daughter of one of his devotees!

And romance was in full swing as Swaminarayan Sampraday’s priest 40-year-old Pragatswami decided to get married right on Valentine’s Day. This sadhu’s marriage has created a storm among Vadodara’s Haridham gurukul’s other swamis.

Pragatswami, who originally hails from Anand’s Nar village, left the Haridham monastery about a fortnight before his marriage on the Akshar Purushottam Yugal Upasana Mahotsav, after spending 30 years there as a priest.

He had renounced "life’s material temptations" for over three decades. But his resolve went for a toss when he met 25-year-old Bindu Sukhrambhai, daughter of his devotee Khushalbhai, resident of Navsari district’s Asht village.

The marriage has become the ‘talk of Haridham’, as it was the last day of an exhibition, held as a part of the ongoing festival, and thousands of devotees were thronging the monastery and the temple.

Interestingly, more than ten sadhus have left Haridham during this particular festival of Akshar Purushottam over the past two years. The reason for his departure was hotly discussed and it is believed that he decided to leave Haridham for the same reasons as the other sadhus in the past.