In a remarkable shift from the pursuit of conventional success, a notable trend is emerging among India’s millions of Class 12 graduates who aspire to become engineers. A substantial majority of these ambitious students set their sights on the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and endeavor to conquer the formidable IIT-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE). Renowned as India’s premier engineering institution, the IITs are revered for their academic excellence.

The IIT-JEE entrance exam, widely regarded as one of India’s most arduous tests, serves as the gateway to these prestigious institutions. Despite the annual influx of lakhs of aspirants, only a select few manage to secure coveted spots within the hallowed halls of the IITs.

The allure of an IIT education lies in the promising career prospects it offers. Graduates from these institutions often find themselves inundated with lucrative job offers, both within India and on the international stage. Many IIT alumni embark on journeys abroad to work for prominent global corporations.

However, amidst this pursuit of worldly success, there exists a unique and intriguing cohort of IIT graduates who have chosen an unconventional path—one that leads them to embrace a life of asceticism.

In this article, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable journey of Sandeep Kumar Bhatt, an IIT Delhi alumnus who, at the tender age of 28, made the extraordinary decision to relinquish worldly pleasures and embrace the life of a monk. Renaming himself Swami Sundar Gopal Das, Bhatt’s journey from engineering excellence to spiritual enlightenment serves as a compelling testament to the diversity of human aspirations.

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Sandeep Kumar Bhatt distinguished himself during his academic tenure at IIT Delhi, earning the title of gold medalist in his batch in 2002. Following this achievement, he pursued a Master of Technology (M.Tech) degree and subsequently ventured into the corporate realm, working with Larsen & Toubro for a period of three years. However, Bhatt’s soul-searching journey led him to a profound realization, prompting him to depart from his high-paying job in 2007.

When asked about his transformative decision to become a monk, Swami Sundar Gopal Das articulated in an interview, “While society produces countless engineers, doctors, IAS officers, judges, scientists, and leaders, it is rare to find individuals whose mission is to illuminate an alternative path for society or nurture the character of its people.” In a world often driven by material pursuits, Swami Sundar Gopal Das’s remarkable odyssey stands as a testament to the enduring pursuit of inner fulfillment and the quest for a deeper purpose in life.