”35 Jains, including a businessman and a schoolboy, prepare to renounce worldly life for monkhood in Gujarat”


PTI, Apr 19, 2024, 7:20 PM IST

Credit: iStock Photo

As many as 35 persons from the Jain community, including an 11-year-old boy and a wealthy couple, will embrace monkhood in Gujarat on April 22, a religious trust said on Friday.

A five-day initiation ceremony for community members from Gujarat and Maharashtra began on Thursday at ”Adhyatma Nagri” (spiritual city) on the Sabarmati Riverfront and will conclude on April 22.

According to a release by Shree Adhyatma Pariwar, a Surat-based trust, 35 persons will receive ‘diksha’ from revered Jain monk Acharya Vijay Yogtilaksurishvarji Maharaja.

Of the 35 persons, ten are under the age of 18 years, with the youngest being an 11-year-old boy, the release stated.

One of the children embracing monkhood is 13-year-old Surat resident Het Shah.

Het left his studies nearly two years ago to perform ‘Updhan Tap’, where one has to live like a monk away from home for 47 days.

”Het found it difficult to balance school and spiritual activities and left his studies nearly two years ago to be with our gurus. He then expressed his desire to shun worldly life. Though he is our only child, we accepted his wish, as we were also convinced there is nothing better than a monk’s life,” Het’s mother Rimpal Shah said.

Also renouncing worldly possessions are five couples who will shut their business and lock their homes after receiving ‘diksha’.

Ahmedabad-based businessman Bhavesh Bhandari (46) and his wife Jinal (43), who ran a real estate and finance business, are following their children into monkhood.

Bhandari’s son and daughter became monks in 2021.

”We saw how our children were living happily as monks. It is a myth that we can’t lead a happy life without money or other luxuries. The teachings of our gurus also helped us make the decision. Now, my father and elder brother will handle my business,” said Bhavesh.

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