The business capital of the country witnessed the magnificent event "Vijay Prasthan Utsav" at Shimpoli Cricket Ground at Borivali.
This was the first of it's kind in the history of Mumbai which was held under the blessings and guidance of Jain Acharya Shree Yugbhushan Suri ji" Jain Acharya Shree Yugbhushan Suri ji (Pandit Maharaj Saheb).
The power packed event of Vijay Prasthan Utsav marked a pause today after 16 individuals went through a complete makeover in a religious ceremony to renounce worldly life for an ascetic one.
With the best of education on the resume and latest technology on the fingertips, these bunches of talented minds could have spread their wings to touch the horizons of success and worldly pleasures.
But instead of joining the rat-race leading to materialistic gain and fame, they are opting for the 'Path less travelled.'
With the turn of the New Year, 16 spiritually inclined people renounced the world embracing Jain Diksha.
Among the 16 aspirants for the Jain monasticism, one youngster belongs to a family which has never practised the Jain way of life. 29 years old Sanket Parekh hails from a Vaishnav family living in Mumbai.
He is a B.Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT-Bombay. With the vast array of choices for a luxurious life ahead of him, he chose the path of austerity and renunciation.
The inspiration came to him from his classmate Bhavik Shah, also an IITian who walked this path three years back and became a Jain Monk.
His spirituality endeavor gathered momentum after reading books of Pandit Maharaj Saheb and listening to his sermons.
The childhood inclination towards virtues and values forming into a good character has finally manifested to take up the Mahavrat (vows) of Ahimsa (Non - violence) and Aparigraha (Worldly renunciation).
Another person who got influenced by someone close to her heart and who had renounced the worldly pleasure three years back is Sneha Kataria from Bangalore.
With MBA in Finance, her career in the city better known as the Silicon Valley of Asia, would have been a perfect launch pad for a glorious career. But her sister Priyanka Kataria (Postgraduate in Biotechnology) took up Diksha three years ago and this paved way for Sneha to walk on elder sister's noble steps.
Sneha Kataria, who is now Saadhviji Dakshnidhi Shreeji left behind her bank balance and job at investment giant Goldmann Sachs with complete understanding said, "As a kid one finds happiness in toys. As a teenager, one finds happiness in gadgets. Then as you grow, successful career gives you happiness. Then your family becomes reason to your happiness. Why does one's reason to happiness keeps changing? What is true happiness? Where is it? And how to get it? These questions initiated me to search true happiness. And seeking answers to these questions I decided to go to gurukulam. There through learning Jain scriptures and understanding Acharya Yugbhushan Suriji's logical and convincing discourses for three years I realised that true happiness is not in the materialistic world outside but within me. And the only highway to reach to that happiness is Jain Diksha."
27 year old Pareen shah from Mumbai is a B Sc-IT graduate and professionally, a web designer and developer. She has chosen to design her destiny by giving up worldly pleasures. Pareen Shah, now Saadhviji Prashamnidhi Shreeji said, "If any of us suffers from an ailment, we would surely consult the best doctor in the field, get a proper diagnosis done and follow the medical prescription with utmost care and vigour. Each of our souls also needs diagnosis. The disease is karma and the all-knowing Jain Thirthankaras have prescribed five great vows, which if followed in the right manner, would surely help the soul achieve its true and pure form, without bondage of karma".
For young Mumbaikars like Priya Furia (21), Drashti Dedhia (20), twin sisters Khyati Dedhia and Khushboo Dedhia (18), Dharmil Dedhia (16) life in the city of dreams would have unfolded with careers and pleasures of their choice.
Yet these youngsters have dared to choose a non-materialistic option to seek inner peace and eternal happiness.
In spite of having a successful career and happy family, 39 -year old Pritesh Lodaya (Poly Technic Diploma in Ind.Electronics) and 32 -year old Viral Dedhia, MSc (Plant physio and Biochemistry) have also decided to renounce the World. Commerce graduate and a successful businessman 45 -year old Chetan Dhedia also decided to become a Jain Monk.
Three years ago his wife and only daughter had taken up Diksha. Among others, there is Kritika Dedhia (B.Sc) who is going to walk the path with her twin daughters. Similarly, Hemal Lodaya has taken Diksha along with her Husband and daughter. 41 -year old Chandresh Poladia has also decided to give up the worldly desires to gain deeper dimensions of liberation.
For most of those who belong to well to do families and have moved about in cars, will cover distances on foot (Vihaar) after Diksha. Youngsters adorned with branded clothing will adapt to simple white robes. The transition from the choice on the platter will turn into whatever comes as alms will have to be consumed. At the superficial level, it might seem severe, but these aspirants have decided to take up Diksha as their inner calling. For these 16, their roads may never cross, but they are, the wise say, on the path that has been carved by H.H. Acharya Yugbhushan Suriji who said, "The fearless adopt the path of Diksha, not to win the world, but to conquer thyself."
The historic diksha ceremony commenced early morning at 5.30am on Monday, 22nd January 2018 where these 16 educated and talented seekers from diverse backgrounds started their journey on a road less travelled.
The event was organized by JYOT INDIA and supported by Kalyan Mitra Pariwar (KMP) and Gitarth Ganga. The Event saw high profile dignitaries visiting from different fields.
The mega event included a variety of programmes like 'Varshidaan Yatra'- a grand procession of Diksharthis giving away their materialistic belongings, a live drama - 'Ek Mazay Ki Life' performed by professional actors based on the relevance and significance of 'Diksha' in modern times, an exhibit on 'Path to Victory' showcasing the journey of true victory through sound and light show, 'Diksha Kalyanak Gallery' with life size cut-outs depicting the scene of Lord Mahavir taking diksha etc.
CA Atul Shah, member of Jyot organization said that the festival is aptly named as Vijay Prasthan Utsav as 16 pathfinders have embarked on the path to victory. The Jain Tirthankaras including Lord Mahavir have walked on the path of Diksha, not to conquer the world but to conquer themselves. They are also called as "Jina" which means conqueror and their followers are called as Jains.
Mentioning about the historic event organized by Jyot in Ahmedabad in 2014 where 20 young and educated persons from various professional backgrounds took Diksha, Lajesh Khona of Jyot thanked the entire public and work force for making this event successful and said that we at Jyot are committed to bring more such offerings for spiritual upliftment and benefit of society hinting that more such Vijay Prasthan events are in pipeline. (ANI-BusinessWire India)