60-yr-old sadhu takes an Austrian bride

Worldliness redux

On Thursday last, Baba Balak Das entered into wedlock with an Austrian lady Claudia, who is half his age, at a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh town  after a brief affair in a traditional way amidst chanting of vedic hymns in the presence of hundreds of curious onlookers.

The newly wed couple, however, had a `stony path' to take at the  beginning of their new life.  The couple got so angry over the presence of media personnel at the temple that they reportedly climbed on to the roof of the temple and pelted stones at them damaging a couple of vehicles.

Claudia had arrived in India in January last to study Indian Culture. She met Baba Balak Das at the ‘Kumbh’ (an annual gathering of Hindu pilgrims for taking bath in the Ganges) in Haridwar and was so much influenced by him that she decided to live with him.

Balak Das, who runs an ‘ashram’ at Chandaus in Aligarh district, according to the locals, had been living with the Austrian lady for the past few months. They later decided to marry after the locals objected to the presence of the lady at Baba’s ‘ashram’.

The two approached the Registrar at Gabhana tehsil last week and expressed their desire to marry but the latter refused permission after coming to know that the bride was a foreigner.

Claudia then changed her religion and converted to Hinduism and was named Chandra Das. The couple ultimately got married at the Arya Samaj Temple in Aligarh on Thursday last.

Marriage certificate

The marriage certificate was however not issued as the documents submitted by them were being examined, sources said.

The newly wed couple celebrated the the occasion in a typical ‘Indian sadhu style’. The groom took a breathful of  ‘chilam’ while the bride lit the ‘beedi’ (a leaf-wrapped cigarette).

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