SURAT: Two minor girls, who cemented their friendship for over three years now, have chosen to walk the ascetic path in Surat. Aged 11 and 12 years respectively, the duo will renounce the world in February 2022 and accept monkhood. Both underwent rigorous training of over two and half years and have walked for more than 700kms before they were chosen for diksha.
Twelve-year-old Aanshi Shah, daughter of billionaire diamantaire in the city, had quit studies when she was eight only. The minor girl had developed interest in becoming a monk from a very tender age and started spending time with Jain monks at different places. Aanshi has also walked several kilometres with other monks and has also undergone the rigorous 30-day fast as well. “I have enjoyed life. But I find real happiness, peace and unity with the monks. Hence, I decided to join them for the rest of my life,” Aanshi told TOI.
However, while she prepares to renounce the materialistic world, her father, Dipak Shah, wants to give his daughter the joys of the world before she accepts the colourless life. Shah will take Aanshi to Dubai. “I wish to take her once on a foreign trip. I feel proud that my daughter has been chosen to become a monk,” he said. Aanshi will take diksha under guidance of Gunratnasurishwarji Maharaj and Rashmiratnasurishwarji Maharaj.
Meanwhile, her friend Viha Shah (11) was very categorical when she announced her decision to adopt monkhood to her her parents. She was clear that she will take diksha this year, though the parents persuaded her to delay it for a few years more till she grows older. Along with Viha, her father Shravak (45) and mother Sonal (43) too will renounce the world on the same day. “My son Kshama Shraman Vijayji Maharaj, now 18, took diksha when he was 13. He is an inspiration for all of us. We all have lived a materialistic life and wish to follow my son now,” said Sonal. Viha, who loves to click and post photos on Instagram, passed several tough tests before being approved for diksha. Shravak was working in a diamond unit but had to quit job to prepare for Diksha and started following strict routines as per the guidance of senior monks.