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Two Jain girls renounce the world to take ‘diksha’

    Trichy (Tamil Nadu), January 30, 2013: In a religiously significant event, two Jain girls – Pooja Lodha, 25 and Kumnaji Surana, 27 – will be taking ‘diksha’, a ceremony of embracing a serious spiritual discipline in Jainism, in Trichy on February 1. Though the girls hail from Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh, they chose Trichy for the ceremony as their pontiff Acharya Ramlalji Marasha, who is always on a barefoot tour of the country, is at present travelling through the southern part of India. Marasha, who is in Thanjavur came to Trichy on Wednesday morning to conduct the ceremony.

    Pooja attained the desire for renunciation of the mundane life when she was 20, but her father Premchand Lodha, 50, a textile businessman did not accept the idea. “I was indeed angry when she broke her wish to me, but ultimately she won me over last year,” Premchand told. This is the first time such a religious ceremony is taking place in Trichy and to honour the occasion, one of the marriage hall owners in the city came forward to give his place, free of charge to the Jain community for four days, said Anil Jain, one of the members of the 250 Jain families that have chosen Trichy their home.

    Both the girls, attired in their best bridal wear, would be taken in a procession from the hall to Kalaignar Arivalayam on Thursday winding through all the important streets. Elaborate rituals would follow throughout Thursday. For instance, the consent of the parents in writing to their attainment of a new spiritual path is sine qua non for the acharya to initiate them into a new life. Premchand said he gave the written consent since he realized that his daughter was determined in her chosen path.

    When Pooja was asked why she refused marriage, she said, “Renunciation may be a pathway to a simpler life, but it is a highway to spiritual freedom.” She further said, “It is more by self-realization than by chance.”

    The other girl, Kumnaji was on the way to the hall with her parents. A group of 70 relatives accompanied the girls from their state. As many as 375 mahasathis and 49 munis have already arrived in Trichy for the grand religious function. -News Courtesy: Times of India

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