Monk Jay Shetty went from ‘experimenting with drinks and drugs’ in London to marrying  J.Lo


Inspirational speaker Jay Shetty, who ditched his finance career to spend three years living in an Indian monastery,  was the surprising officiant for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck‘s Hollywood wedding this weekend. 

Stunning photos obtained by DailyMail.com the celebrity couple known as ‘Bennifer’ smooching as they hold their second wedding ceremony with loved ones on Saturday at Affleck’s rural estate in Riceboro, a month after they secretly wed in a small Las Vegas service.

They have since had their ceremony in front of friends and family, with the blessing ending with a kiss, according to a source who spoke to E! The New York Post reported that Lopez wore a Ralph Lauren gown.

However their officiant wasn’t a fellow A-lister, or American priest – but a Brit from North London who quit his job in the City to become a monk before finding social media fame. 

Inspirational speaker Jay Shetty, who ditched his finance career to spend three years living in an Indian monastery, was the surprising officiant for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's Hollywood wedding this weekend

Inspirational speaker Jay Shetty, who ditched his finance career to spend three years living in an Indian monastery, was the surprising officiant for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s Hollywood wedding this weekend

The 34-year-old was born and raised in London, where he had a rebellious childhood having been suspended from school three times and threatened with expulsion

The 34-year-old was born and raised in London, where he had a rebellious childhood having been suspended from school three times and threatened with expulsion 

Jay was born and raised in London to non-practising Hindus, where he went to Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet.

According to one profile, he had a lightly rebellious childhood where he ‘experimented with drugs, fighting and drinking too much.’ 

He told The Guardian in 2020: ‘I was lost at that time; I really didn’t know what I valued. The troublemaking wasn’t fun – it was full of fear and guilt.’ 

When he was 10-years-old, his father started to experiment with different types of spirituality after growing disenchanted with his job in the city. 

Jay now believes it was this moment which planted the seeds of interest for his alternative lifestyle. 

He continued his rebellious stage as a teen, was suspended from school three times, and was threatened with expulsion. 

After seeing a monk give a lecture at his business school, he abandoned his career to move to Mumbai (

He returned to the UK nd shared his wisdom in his bestselling book Think Like a Monk

After seeing a monk give a lecture at his business school, he abandoned his career to move to Mumbai (left), before returning and sharing his wisdom in his bestselling book Think Like a Monk (right) 

After launching social media channels promoting his wisdom, he moved to the US where he won awards for his podcast

After launching social media channels promoting his wisdom, he moved to the US where he won awards for his podcast 

Meanwhile he gave up drinking alcohol at the age of 18, explaining in one interview that he ‘didn’t enjoy the way I behaved when I was drunk’

The monk who inspired Jay Shetty to abandon his City career for life in a monastery in India  

Gauranga Das, 51, was born and brought up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh in 1971

Gauranga Das, 51, was born and brought up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh in 1971

Gauranga Das, 51, was born and brought up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh in 1971.

He was an Engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. 

While in Bombay, he was drawn towards Lord Krishna and began visiting the temple regularly.

His life changed when he was in college, and one of his friends attempted suicide. 

In 1993, he joined the temple and began training as a monk. 

He started an eco-village in 2005 with 5 humans and 8 castles.

He hoped ‘to build living spaces, not buildings’, ‘to build home not house’, ‘to make people healthier not a doctor’. 

He has since launched a number of books, including The Art of Focus and The Art of Resilience. 

He said: ‘I think I used to drink only out of ego and competition with drinking games and all that kind of stuff.’

He has previously said he was ‘following the usual path’ with plans to graduate from university and pursue a corporate career in finance.

He first heard a monk speak at the age of 21 while he was attending Cass Business School in London.

He met Gauranga Das, a monk invited to speak at the school on selflessness and living a minimalist lifestyle.

He spoke with Gauranga after his talk and followed him for the remainder of Gauranga’s lecture circuit around the United Kingdom.

In his book, Think Like a Monk, he wrote: ‘That night, as I listened to the monk talk about his experience, I fell in love.’

For the next three years, he spent half his summer vacations working for a large financial firms and the other half living as a monk in India.

He graduated with a 1st class BSc (Hons) Degree in Behavioral Science from the business school.

And after three years of back-and-forth, Jay committed to living the life of a Monk full time at the age of 22.

For for another three years, he lived with monks, woke up at 4 am, meditated for 4-8 hours, studied timeless wisdom and served others in nearby communities.

He shaved his head, abandoned his belongings, slept on the floor as well as studying ancient Indian scriptures and meditating for hours each day.

After leaving the monastery, Jay returned to London, moved back in with his parents and stopped being a monk.

Instead, he worked in the City while launching a career as a motivational speaker and life coach. 

He has said it was one of the worst periods of his life, and called it the closest he had ever felt to being depressed. 

He began sharing lessons on mental health and life purpose on social media, and previously told how the methods he picked up have been ‘massively beneficial at mastering the mind’.

His career started to take off, and when Arianna Huffington spotted one of his motivational talks, she gave him a spirituality show on HuffPo.

In 2016, he married his wife Radhi Devlukia-Shetty and the two moved to the US, filming videos for social media on relationships, wellness and mental health.

In an interview last year, he said he never expected the job to become a full time career, telling Eastern Eye: ‘I thought I would make videos in the evenings and weekends, go to my day job and do this as a hobby on the side because I loved and believed in it.

After being inspired by a talk at university, Jay moved to a monastery in India where he spent his days meditating

After being inspired by a talk at university, Jay moved to a monastery in India where he spent his days meditating  

After leaving the monastery, Jay returned to London, moved back in with his parents and stopped being a monk (pictured, with his mother)

After leaving the monastery, Jay returned to London, moved back in with his parents and stopped being a monk (pictured, with his mother) 

‘The fact that it’s got to this level… I live in gratitude because I never expected it.’ 

In 2017, he hit international headlines when he was listed under Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

And by 2018, one of his videos was the most viewed on Facebook.  

He now has 4.5 milion subcribers on YouTube, 11.5 million on Instagram and a Facebook audence for videos of 28 million. 

His book How to Think Like a Monk, which was released in 2020, was also a bestseller. It offers advice on reducing stress and improving focus, based on Shetty’s experiences from the ashram. 

Last year, he told Good Morning Britain that his time living as a Vedic monk at an ashram in Mumbai taught him ‘thankfulness, inspiration, meditation and exercise’ are the cornerstones of a happy life.

‘You definitely don’t need to live like a monk to think like a monk,’ he said. ‘Four habits that I think are truly integral to monk life and the path that really help are; thankfulness, inspiration, meditation and exercise.’

In 2016, he married his wife Radhi Devlukia-Shetty and the two moved to the US, filming videos for social media on relationships, wellness and mental health (pictured)

In 2016, he married his wife Radhi Devlukia-Shetty and the two moved to the US, filming videos for social media on relationships, wellness and mental health (pictured) 

He said that gratitude is a ‘huge practise’ in everyday life, and advised finding ‘one person a day in your life’ to be thankful to, which will ‘transform how you feel’.

Explaining how to seek inspiration daily he went on: ‘Waking up and seeking inspiration in the morning, most of us pick up our phones, 80 per cent of us pick up our phones before we see our partner or our kids.

‘Actually if we can switch that for a quote we like, a song we love, a piece of art in the morning the first piece of insight you consume in the morning is so important for your mind.

‘Meditation may sound daunting, it may sound difficult and tricky, but really it starts with just scheduling some time for yourself in your diary, so you can spend a little bit of time and check in with yourself. We check in with family and friends, but rarely do we check in with how we feel.

‘Exercise we hear about it all the time, movement – whether it’s yoga or a virtual work out or going on a run – the idea of movement is so powerful for the mind.’

He began sharing lessons on mental health and life purpose on social media, and previously told how the methods he picked up have been 'massively beneficial at mastering the mind'

He began sharing lessons on mental health and life purpose on social media, and previously told how the methods he picked up have been ‘massively beneficial at mastering the mind’.

In the US, he found acclaim for his advice around meditation and wellness practises, and quickly grew a large following

In the US, he found acclaim for his advice around meditation and wellness practises, and quickly grew a large following 

Jay often goes back to visit the monastery, and says that while many of the monks are unaware of his current occupation, those who do know are ‘wonderfully encouraging’.

‘Most of them have no idea of what I actually do,’ said Jay. ‘They’re not connected to social media.

‘But the ones who do understand are so wonderfully encouraging and very happy and supportive of the fact that I’m able to share some of these ideas out there and messages.’

‘If you ask my parents they will definitely tell you I thought I was going to do it forever,’ he said. ‘That was the decision I had made and that came with a lot of challenges and negativity.

‘I heard a lot of people say ‘Jay how will you get a job again and reintegrate’, but I was so focused on the path and dedicated to it.

He has since gone on to interview celebrities, including Khloe Kardashian, for his podcast series

He has since gone on to interview celebrities, including Khloe Kardashian, for his podcast series 

Meanwhile he has also found a host of celebrity fans, including A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured, speaking at In goop Health Summit last November)

Meanwhile he has also found a host of celebrity fans, including A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured, speaking at In goop Health Summit last November) 

‘But I really found those three years were like going to school and almost since leaving trying to apply those principles in the world has been the test, the exam.

‘And the methods, the techniques I learned in those years have been massively beneficial at mastering the mind and training my own self to deal with what comes to us in the real world.’

He has since become a close friend of Jennifer, having hosted her on his ‘On Purpose’ podcast. 

Other stars such as Alicia Keys, Khloe Kardashian, and Kobe Bryant have appeared on his show, resulting in 64 million downloads.

Jay previously officiated Lily Collins and director Charlie McDowell’s wedding in Colorado September last year.

He has since become a close friend of Jennifer, having hosted her on his 'On Purpose' podcast (pictured, speaking to one another)

He has since become a close friend of Jennifer, having hosted her on his ‘On Purpose’ podcast (pictured, speaking to one another) 

Celebrity life coach and podcaster Jay has reportedly been close to Jennifer for a number of years. 

In January, he joined Jennifer for the debut episode of ‘Coach Conversations’, a monthly YouTube series.

In the first episode titled ‘What’s Your Calling?,’ Jay and J.Lo’s conversation touched on themes such as finding your purpose, the difference between a ‘calling’ and a ‘career,’ and why striving for your best makes all the difference.

In February, Jennifer invited him to officiate four weddings that she organised as part of a PR stunt for her latest movie Marry Me.

At the time, he penned on social media: ‘When Jennifer Lopez asks you to officiate 4 weddings and speak on the power of love during her ‘Marry Me’ Special Performance you say yes.

‘What an incredible experience it was seeing 4 beautiful couples take their vows and having Jennifer Lopez and Maluma as their wedding singers! Their stories and journeys brought tears to everyone’s eyes and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.’

Jennifer and Ben's happy reunion comes 20 years after they first dated and got engaged, only to call-off their wedding in fall 2003, blaming excessive media attention

Jennifer and Ben’s happy reunion comes 20 years after they first dated and got engaged, only to call-off their wedding in fall 2003, blaming excessive media attention

Jennifer and Ben’s happy reunion comes 20 years after they first dated and got engaged, only to call-off their wedding in fall 2003, blaming excessive media attention.

Photos show the happy couple on the steps of the Big House, a plantation-style mansion that is the focal point of the $8.9 million estate.

Lopez, already decked out in her stunning white gown, greets Affleck affectionately as he ascends the staircase. Following the early kisses and hugs, the couple head into the home to prepare for the big ceremony.

The couple are now enjoying their evening celebration. A fire truck was spotted arriving at the property shortly after 8pm, but onlookers say it did not have its lights or siren on, and it is believed to have been called out as a precaution for a fireworks display.

Sources told DailyMail.com that Lopez requested guests wear white as, they speculated, she planned to wear a different color and wanted to strike a dramatic contrast.

Floral displays that festooned the wedding area were also white, with guests clad in the snowy shade seen spilling out of the couple’s plantation mansion as the evening wore on.



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