Monday, June 01, 2015 - 05:30
  India has probably never seen a diksha as elaborate as the one conducted on Sunday for Delhi businessman and billionaire Bhanwarlal Raghunath Doshi. In a majestic three-day ceremony that began on Friday, the 58-year-old “plastics king” renounced all his worldly possessions to embrace monkhood in Ahmedabad. After accepting Jain diksha the chairman of DR International Pvt Ltd gave up his Rs 600 crore empire to become a Jain ascetic. He has been rechristened as Bhavyaratna Vijay Maharajsaheb. For the event more than 500 hotel rooms were booked to accommodate 7,000 guests, many of whom came from abroad. The family members were staying at a residential complex that was entirely booked for them. Apart from 1.25 lakh spectators, the ceremonies were graced by 1,000 Jain sadhus and sadhvis, and also well-known industrialists including Gautam Adani. Screenshot from YouTube channel Jain Diksha - Shree Bhanwar Lal ji Doshi Gunratnasuri Surishwarji Maharaj, under whose discipleship Doshi became a monk told the Ahmedabad Mirror, "Men of Doshi's stature don't often renounce their life. This may be perhaps the biggest diksha that I have given in all my years." The functions were nothing short of a Bollywood mega event with reports suggesting that the celebrations were hosted in a space of 10 lakh sq feet. A ship-shaped pandal of 560-feet length was erected on Ahmedabad Education Ground on the theme of “samyam jahaj” (ship of restraint). The ground, which was built at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore, was equipped with an assembly hall, food area, prayer hall, welcome room and even a dispensary with 12 doctors from every field including a cardiologist. The ceremonies began on Friday with a religious song programme for which 72 international artists were called. At the event around 100 people from the audience took a resolution to accept diksha in the coming five years. Maharaj further said to the Mirror, “Taking diskha is not easy. He cannot cut his hair, he has to pull it off his head and walk without footwear. A Jain muni's life is like that of conch shell that cannot be painted by any other colour.” Many videos can be seen on YouTube depicting the life of Doshi, including a 24-minute documentary that goes into detail about his spiritual and professional life. Video of Fp1MqWpEEMw One video shows him celebrating his upcoming diksha with a quaint mix of Bollywood music and religious lyrics. Another video documents his arrival into Ahmedabad where he received a grand welcome. Completing the larger-than-life entry was the patriotic song “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo” playing in the background with some lyrics changed. Video of uP0OVdYs2y0 The video further shows a large convoy leading him into the city, a procession that could easily rival that of Jalyalalithaa’s after her recent acquittal by the Madras High Court.  Video of 37JRGEbcz3s

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.