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Three from Jain family embrace monkhood


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The Jain community in India is a minuscule minority, a tiny 0.4 per cent of the country’s population, but they are also one of the most affluent mercantile class, with many of them closely associated with the diamond trade.

Jains often live in mansions with fleets of luxury cars, and they are mainly confined to Gujarat, Rajasthan and Mumbai.

Despite living in such opulence, it is not uncommon to hear a Jain man or woman accept deeksha – a vow to embrace monkhood by renouncing all possessions and relationships.

They then lead a life of extreme deprivation, walk the streets and go around asking for food.

The spiritual goal of Jainism is to become liberated from the endless cycle of rebirth.

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However, in a rare occurrence three men of the same family, but from different generations took deeksha together in Jamnagar last week.

Viral Shah (25), his father Kaushik Shah (58), and his grandfather Ajit Shah (78) embraced monkhood by putting on white robes.

Viral was pursuing chartered accountancy studies, his father Kaushik ran a brass goods business and grandfather Ajit is a retired engineer.

They also renounced their loved ones and told them to no longer address them as fathers, husbands, sons or brothers.

Interestingly, Viral’s mother Meenaben had already taken deeksha last January. Now the entire family has followed in her footsteps.


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