Residents of Ahmedabad were witness to an eleven kilometer long spectacular procession on the occasion of DIKSHA of Shri Parth Shah and 30 others as per the ritual of Mandir Margi Jain Panth. The three day long exorbitant celebration that started on 22nd April and ended on 24th April will long be remembered by not only Jains but others too in the city of Ahmedabad.
Parth Shah, the diksharthi is 22 years old and had just completed his studies. This is the age where parents think that their son would start earning and would be a boon to the parents. This is the age of longing for a homely and beautiful bride. In case of Parth, however, the path chosen was different. He choose to abandon all worldly pleasures and comforts for adopting the life of a saint for betterment of humanity. He is slated to take DIKSHA in Surat later on 1st May, 2017 under auspicious blessings of Shri Kalyan Ratnaji Maharaj along with 30 other MUMUKSHUs.
The three day celebration was held in Orchid Green Housing Society of Shahibaug, Ahmedabad, which happens to be largest housing society in Shahibuag. The housing society is chiefly occupied by the Jain community of Rajasthan. The highlight of the celebration was a procession, which is commonly called as VARSHIDAN or VARGHODA organized on 22nd April, 2017. Varghoda started from the society premises located in Shahibag and ended near NID on the Sabarmati river front in Paldi. The route followed was Shahibaug – Under bridge – Hathisingh Jain temple – Delhi Darwaja – Income tax Circle – Ashram Road – Nehru bridge – Sabarmati river front Paldi.
The procession consisted of 6 elephants, number of horses, camels, camel chariots, and traditional bullock carts. Men, wearing the traditional Rajasthani Rajput warrior costume all decked with swords were on horseback. Besides, the procession was accompanied by traditional folk dance troupes from Kerala, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Punjab.
Other main attractions were two Maratha drum beating teams of 50 odd players each from Mumbai. Further, there was a group of flute players from the Jain community of Mumbai comprising of 50 players. In all, the entire procession was more than a kilometer long. First two days of celebration included musical evening of devotional song and preaching by Jain monks.
According to Rajendra Shah, father of Parth, Mumukshu the Jain community of Surat shall witness an all-time high 31 dikshas at Surat between April 29 – May 1. As per Shahibaug Rajasthan Jain Community this DIKSHA and procession is unparalleled in recent times.
It is felt that this is really a spiritual miracle and devotion from one’s own heart and soul that in this modern era such educated, intelligent and people from well to do and strong family backgrounds have decided to abandon all worldly pleasure and comforts. For the Shah family, the occasion is special as not only their young son Parth is embracing sainthood but his cousin Kumari Jheel is also attaining Jain Sadhvi six days later at Borivali in Mumbai.
Reader Contribution: Sakshi Kothari, Ahmedabad (Sakshi is a Management graduate with an Engineering background and is a part of the Operations team at GVK EMRI, Ahmadabad)