Couple leaves Rs 100-cr asset, daughter to become monks

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WHILE FAMILY members and relatives of a Jain couple from Neemuch, in westernmost end of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Rajasthan's Chittorgarh and Kota districts, were certain that the two would become monks, they did not believe the decision would come so soon.

In a week from now, couple will renounce their family ties and seek deeksha or vow in Jain monasticism at a ceremony to be held in Surat on 23 September by a Jain monk Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj, reported PTI.

"I will take care of my granddaughter", Anamika's father, Ashok Chandaliya, told Hindustan Times. Coming from a family who was involved in business and politics, their decision took everyone by surprise. "We had no counter to their religious arguments and relented".

Although at first, the couple's kin tried to dissuade them in vain, they eventually accepted their decision and the Rathores went about making plans and began living apart as far back as when their daughter Ibhya was an eight-month-old baby. "One can not stop anyone when religious calls", they said.

Their families told PTI that both had made a decision to renounce the material world, and a religious ceremony marking their initiation into Jain monasticism under the Shwetambar sect will take place on September 23 in Surat, Gujarat. She not only gave her consent but also expressed desire to become a nun.

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Sumit and Anamika, who married four years ago, have taken a vow of silence till the deeksha.

Sumit's cousin, Sandeep, who is close to him, said, "He had everything that a man wanted". But he chose to renounce everything.

"This is the first time that such a young couple is taking Deeksha and that too by leaving behind a daughter", he was quoted as saying by the HT report.

The Jain community, with an estimated population of less than 50 lakh in India, follows an austere lifestyle including vegetarianism and a large section is known to observe customs laid down thousands of years ago. Later, Jain leaders spoke in support of the parents and said that their religion was being defamed.

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