TWO JAINS INITIATED AS ASCETICS AT SHRAVANABELAGOLA
old Brahmachari Mahendra Shah (in saffron loincloth) and 71-year old
Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle (in white saree on left) being initiated
as Kshullak Hithendra Sagar and Kshullika Heerakmathi Mataji by Acharaya
108 Vardhamana Sagar Muni Maharaj in the presence of HH Jagadguru
Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji and other monks at
Chavundaraya Mantap in Shravanabelagola on Friday morning.
Amidst dharmic fervour, two
Digambar Jain Brahmacharis 27-year old Brahmachari Mahendra Shah and 71-year old
Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle were initiated (deeksha) as Kshullak Hithendra
Sagar Maharaj and Kshullika Heerakmathi Mataji respectively on Friday by Acharya
108 Vardhamana Sagar Munimaharaj in the presence of Acharya 108 Gunandi
Munimaharaj, HH Jagadguru Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji,
and other Jain monks and nuns.
The day began
early morning with venerated Jain monk Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Munimaharaj,
and other Acharyas and Arikas, performing Keshalonchana, the manual plucking of
the hair on the head and the beard of Mahendra Shah and the hair on the head of
Roopavathi Chougle, at Varani Bhavan inside the Mutt premises. Later, the duo
was ceremoniously brought to the Bandara Basadi where they worshipped Sahastra
Koota Jina Bimba after a holy bath, 'mangala snana'. The family members of both
the ascetics were present through out the ceremony.
Chavundaraya Mantap, the initiation process was finalized after the two
requested that they be initiated and the gathering of Acharyas, monks and nuns
accorded permission for the same along with those in the gathering and the
family members of the two ascetics. Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Munimaharaj
sought performed initiation ceremony by first removing tufts of hair locks from
the scalp of the duo amidst chanting of Jain hymns. After a brief ceremony that
followed, Brahmachari Mahendra Shah removed his cloths and clad himself in a
loincloth. His mother Sunita Jain received the cloths and all other adornments,
before she along with her husband Sureshchandra Jain, daughter Kavalshree Jain
and others handed the traditional symbols of a Jain monk, the 'pincchi' (a fan
of peacock feathers) and 'kamandala' (the water carrier).
Simultaneously, her son Udyakumar Chougle and other family members handed
Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle her 'pincchi' and 'kamandala'. Brahmacharini
Roopavathi Chougle was clad in sparkling white cloths, and the duo were given
another set of their new dress code, a saffron loincloth for Brahmachari
Mahendra Shah and a white sari and other addendums to Brahmacharini Roopavathi
Chougle. With the initiation process thus complete, Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar
named them Kshullak Hithendra Sagar and Kshullika Heerakmathi Mataji, and a roar
of approval went up among the crowd.
gathering Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Munimaharaj and HH Jagadguru Karmayogi
Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji complimented the family of two,
especially the parents of Kshullak Hithendra Sagar, in allowing them to embark
on this course to salvation despite the severe peer pressure they had to
overcome while allowing the two ascetics to embark on the course they had
decided for themselves.
Hithendra Sagar, a M.A (Hindi) post graduate, hails from Bholi, Sawai Madhavpur
near the Jain holy shrine Mahaveerji kshtra in Rajasthan. Acharya Vardhamana
Sagar initiated Shah as a Brahmachari 1 years ago.
Heerakmathi Mataji hails from Bhose Village in Sangli, Maharasthra and had been
a Brahmacharini for eleven years. She had visited the Jain holy place of
Kshikarji in Jharkhand five times and had arrived at Shravanabelagola for the
Mahamasthakabhisheka from Belgaum by walk with Acharya Vardhamana Sagar's team.
Wife of late Devappa Annappa Chougle, Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle's mother
was also a nun, late Aarika Sri Parswamathi Mataji. Munishri Approvasagar had
initiated Roopavathi Chougle as a Brahmacharini.