Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jain Girl to Become Jain Nun

22-year-old rich girl chucks it all for sainthood
M R Venkatesh, Chennai, Jul 19, DH News Service:
Monday, July 19, 2010

As the medical world on Monday remembered the angelic Nurse Florence Nightingale for her deep compassion and devotion in tending the sick as ‘Nurses Day’, the Jain community here sprang a surprise.

In a different kind of compassionate response to cure men of the “sickness within”, Deepa, a 22-year-old commerce graduate, who could have gone miles for an MBA and a plum job, stunned her parents when she announced that she plans to “give up this world for a better tomorrow”.

Deepa, hailing from a well-to-do business class family in the city, whose forefathers had migrated decades ago to old Madras from Sojat district of Rajasthan, did not wish to go in search of more riches or gold.

Deepa’s father Tarachandji Garadia runs a profitable jewellery shop in Sowcarpet in North Chennai, the mini-Rajasthan in Tamil Nadu’s capital. The young girl could have got all that she wanted.

But a reflective Deepa chose to follow in the footsteps of her younger sister, Rekha, who has already taken ‘Diksha’ (initiation into monk-hood as per Jainism’s religious tradition) three years ago.

After getting the parental nod, including of her grieving mother Vimala Bai Garadia, the spiritual aspirant Deepa, clad in bridal attire, symbolically for the first and last time in her life, announced at a press conference here about her intent to become a ‘Jain Muni’.

“Deepa thinks that this world is so full of evil and ugliness; she strongly feels the only way to go to heaven as per our Jain tradition is to renounce the world and do some good to society as a monk,” Sangeetha, a close relative of the young girl told Deccan Herald. The ceremony for Deepa’s formal initiation into a life of renunciation – Diksha – has been fixed for July 21, Sangeetha added.

Former Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, S Sripal, a Jainism scholar himself, said when women take ‘Diksha’, “the hair on their head would be plucked”. The initiated girl would then have to don white attire and go barefoot, along with the other woman saints in the fraternity.

22 Year Jain Girl set to become a nun

CHENNAI: A 22-year-old Jain girl here will renounce the world in a diksha ceremony here on July 21 to become a monk. Deepa, a BCom graduate and resident of Sowcarpet, announced her plan here on Monday.

“World is full of sin and only sin. No one can live here without causing problems to others,” said Deepa.

She said she wanted a closer view of the spiritual life and alsoachieve the state of Supreme Being, which is called as Jina in Jainism.

She believed she would be able to help the poor and needy by becoming a monk and said she was not interested in living the usual life of a human being in this world.

Deepa, who has three sisters and a brother, said, “The whole family supported me in my decision to become a monk, after initial refusal.”

After the diksha ceremony, Deepa would not cook her food and would have to go to different Jain or vegetarian households and receive food. She would not take food or water between sunset and sunrise. She would have to walk bare feet everywhere and would not stay more than a few days at a place. Her name would also be changed.

In Jain tradition, becoming a monk is important for achieving salvation or moksha.

From Indian Express, Chennai

Friday, July 16, 2010



His Holiness Bharata Gaurava Swasti Sri Deevendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Humcha Jain Mutt passed away this morning.

Humcha (Shimoga District, Karnataka), 14 July 2010: His Holiness Bharata Gaurava Swasti Sri Deevendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Humcha Jain Mutt passed away this morning. He breathed his last due to cardiac arrest at around 5.00 am here at Humcha.
Aged about 63 years, Devendrakeerthi Swamiji was consecrated to the Bhattarakha seat at Humcha at an young age of 22 years in 1969.

He had an erudite knowledge on Jain philosophy and was know for his scholarly discourses on Jainism across the world. He is one among the few Jain pontiffs who had taken keen interest for the propagation of Jainism globally.

Many Jain temples have been constructed under his guidance and leadership in India and abroad. He was also instrumental in the renovation of numerous ancient Jain temples in Karnataka which would have been impossible without His guidance. Popularly called as Devendrakirthiji, he had a huge followership in India and overseas cutting across religions.
Representative at the World Parliment of Religions - He represented Jainism and delivered discourses at World Parliament of Religions held at Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Monterrey (2007) and Melbourne (2009).

Grief in Karnataka - The news of the sad demise of Sri Devendrakirthi Swamiji spread rapidly across Karnataka and the Jain samaj is in a state of shock. Phones calls and SMS started flowing around leaving the Jain samaj in a state of grief.

Last Rites at Humcha - Leaders of the Jain samaj, devotees and many religious leaders started pouring in to Humcha to have a last glimpse of the great guru. People from across Karnataka had assembled at Humcha to attend the last rites of Devendrakirthiji. The last rites were completed by around 6.30 pm today.

His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhattakalanka Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Sonda Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Lashmisena Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Narasimharajapura Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhanukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kambadahalli Jain Mutt, His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt and His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Moodabidri Jain Mutt attended the last rites of Swamiji.

Condolences Pour In - Condolences have started pouring from across Karnataka and the messages express the distress spread in the Jain community. People from all over Karnataka have mourned the sad demise.

His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt has said that, "the sad demise of Sri Deevendrakeerthiji is a great loss to the Jain community ".
His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt has condoled the death of Sri Deevendrakeerthiji and said that, "Sri Deevendrakeerthiji was a great scholar of Jainism. It is a great loss to Jainism at large and Jain Samaj of Karnataka in particular".

Dr. H.A.Parshwanath, (Jain scholar and editor-in-chief of 'Jaina Voice' a popular Jain monthly magazine on the internet and Professor of Pathology, SDM Medical College, Dharwad) in his condolence message said that, "The death of Sri Deevendrakeerthi Swamiji has created a lacune in the religious space of Karnataka which is difficult to fill by any one else." He recollected the pleasant spent with hi in many religioud functions and discourses.

Condolence Meeting at Badrinath - A group of 75 pilgrims from Karnataka who are on a Jain pilgrimage to Badrinath and other Jain pilgrim places conducted a condolence meeting at around 7.30 am as soon as they heard the news. Sri Y.C.Bhujabalaiah an advocate from Bangalore coordinated the meeting.

About Humcha - Humcha or Hombuja or Hunchadakatte is the well known Padmavathi shrine in Karnataka. It is at a distance of 55 Kms from Shimoga the nearest district centre. It can be rated as the most popular abode of all the Padmavathi shrines in the world. - Jain Heritage Centres News Service

Inputs from: Nitin H.P. (Mysore), Sri M.R.Sunil Kumar Jain (Mysore), Dr.H.A.Parshwanath (Mysore).

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