In 260 BC, Ashoka's army attacked Kalinga in an attempt to expand the Mauryan empire. The campaign was militarily successful but many civilians and military people lost their lives. Watching all this trauma, Ashoka decided to renounce war forever and he soon converted to a monk.
He followed the path of renunciation just like his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Dynasty. Maurya was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient India but later renounced it all to become a Jain monk.
You must be thinking why I am telling you all this. It is because, I want to tell you that it wasn't just the ancient period when people with power, wealth and fame sacrificed it all for the sake of monkhood. Here is the list of people who have had reached a genuine success point in life, but decided to leave it behind to become munis (monks).
According to Hindustan Times, a Jain couple from Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh has decided to leave behind their three-year-old daughter, Ibhya, and property worth around Rs 100 crore to become monks. It is Sumit Rathore, 35, and his wife Anamika, 34, who are scheduled to take diksha (the first step of their initiation into monkhood) under Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj at Surat in Gujarat on September 23.
Sumit and Anamika got married in 2013 and have taken a vow of silence till the diksha. You will be shocked to know that Anamika was Neemuch's first gold medallist in Class 8 board examinations. She did her BE from Modi Engineering College, Laxmangarh (Sikar) in Rajasthan and worked with Hindustan Zinc before marriage. Even her husband, Sumit holds a diploma in import-export management from a college in London. He stood and worked there for two years before returning to Neemuch to manage the family business.
The first question that was asked to them was, "What about their daughter, Ibhya?" To which they replied...
"We had no counter to their religious arguments and relented. One cannot stop anyone when religion calls," Anamika's father added. Sumit's father, Rajendra Singh Rathore, who owns a factory that makes sacks for cement companies, too accepted the decision. "We were expecting this, but not so soon," he said.
"I will take care of my granddaughter," said Anamika's father, Ashok Chandaliya, a former Neemuch district president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Do you know the couple had the plan to take monkhood when...
You must be thinking how much jolting this decision of the couple would be for their family members. But you know what Sumit and Anamika's decision was not exactly a surprise for their loved ones. This is because they had announced their plan to become munis when Ibhya was only eight months old and they even started living separately.
According to Hindustan Times, Sumit announced his final decision to take diksha during a gathering of Acharya Ramlal's at Surat on August 22. The Acharya there asked him to take Anamika's permission. She gave him the consent and even expressed her desire to take diksha for herself too.
"He had everything that a man wanted. Property worth around Rs 100 crore, a loving wife and a daughter. But he chose to renounce everything. We are stunned."
"This is the first time that such a young couple is taking diksha and that too by leaving behind a daughter," added Prakash Bhandari, a leading Jain community member in Neemuch ho claimed this decision to be unusual.
Earlier this year, another shocking transformation was made by a 17-year-old. Keep reading to see what happened with this person.
17-year-old, Varshil Shah, from Gujrat, who got 99.9 percentile in his Class 12th, is now Suvirya Ratna Vijayji Maharaj, a Jain monk.
According to Hindustan Times, Varshil's mother Amiben Shah and Jigarbhai, an income-tax officer, are satisfied with their son's decision. They stated that Varshil was raised in a house that doesn't have a television or a refrigerator. The electricity was used only when it was absolutely necessary as the family believes many aquatic animals are killed during power generation, which is against the Jain vow of ahmisa or non-violence.
In the next slide, you'll get to know about Varshil's diksha ceremony.
When the commerce student aced his school-leaving exam, there were no celebrations. Even his Diksha ceremony was done as a private affair.
His Vashidaan (a process in which members of the Jain community dispose of jewellery and cash, symbolising shunning of the material world) was held on the banks of the Tapi river. This was then followed by tonsuring of his head, reciting of prayers. And then came perhaps the most emotional of the rituals when the young man asked the permission of his family to forsake the world.
Next story is about Delhi's 'Plastics King', read further to know about him.
According to The Times Of India, Delhi's 'Plastics King', Bhanwarlal Raghunath Doshi, gave up his over Rs 600 Crore business empire to embrace Jain religious life. He became a monk under the discipleship of Jain Acharya, Shri Gunratna Surishwarji Maharaj. He became the 108th disciple of Surishwarji Maharaj and 354th postulant to become a monk under him.
The ritual that took place during his monkhood conversion cost around...
He is a father of two sons and a daughter, Doshi had been planning to take diksha since 1982 but he could assure his family only last year. As many as 101 people from the audience also took a sankalp (resolution) to take Jain diksha during the next five years.
The diksha took place at Ahmedabad Education Ground that was built on the theme of a 'samyamjahaj' (ship of restraint) that had cost Rs 100 crore. Apart from 1,000 sadhus and sadhvis, there were 1.5 lakh samayiks (spectators). A large number of dignitaries, including Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, honoured Doshi at the event. His 'Varsi Daan',was taken out with 1,000 Jain monks, 12 chariots, nine elephants, nine camel carts and traditional musicians.
This was a royal regeneration, right?
Next is the story of a 13-year-old girl who died due to the practice of 68 days of upavasa, ie, fasting.
In 2016, a thirteen-year-old Aradhana Samdariya, died due to a practice of 68 days of upavasa (fasting). It is a customary practice to attain purity, mercy and success in Jainism.
According to The Indian Express, Jain leaders prohibited the state from interfering in the religious affairs of the community, even after the death of a child.
Even after having everything in life, succeeding at some level, these people decided to live their remaining lives as a monk. What do you wish to say in this regard? Do let us know in the comment section below.
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