Boy tops class 12th exams in Gujarat, then becomes a Jain monk

Updated: 08 June, 2017 20:37 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Believe it or not! Seventeen-year-old Ahmedabad resident Varshil Shah, who scored 99.99 percentile in the class 12th examination in Gujarat, is all set to become a Jain monk

Varshil Shah
Varshil Shah. Pic/Twitter

Getting 99.9 percentile in Class 12 is a dream come true for any student. And that was true for 17-year-old Varshil Shah, an Ahmedabad resident, who scored 99.99 percentile in the class 12th examination in Gujarat.

But wait a minute. Varshil is not like any other student. He is not looking to join the engineering stream, or thinking of becoming a doctor. He has now left everything behind and is set to become a Jain monk, according to a report in The Hindustan Times.

Varshil, whose father is a government servant, emerged as one of the toppers in general stream of Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board examination, the results of which were declared two weeks ago.

ALSO READ: Vishal Dadlani meets Jain monk Tarun Sagar, apologises in person

The teenager will take diksha – a religious ceremony that marks the initiation of Jain monks and nuns — today at Gandhinagar, his uncle, Nayanbhai Suthari, the website quoted him as saying.

"Though I scored high marks, I don't want to pursue the usual path where people run behind earthly possessions. My goal is to attain inner peace and eternal happiness. That will be possible only when I leave behind everything and become a Jain monk," Varshil was quoted as saying.

And Varshil family is supporting him.

Indeed, his mother Amiben Shah and father Jigarbhai, an income-tax official, are happy with their son's decision to renounce everything.

The couple has two children – Varshil and his older sister Jainini. The report revealed that the family believes in simplicity and closely follows the Jain principle of Jivdaya, or compassion for all living beings.

The Shah household avoids even the use of electricity and keeps it to a bare minimum since it believes many aquatic animals are killed in the process of power generation, which is also against the Jain vow of ahmisa, or non-violence.

ALSO READ: Mumbai: Over Rs 11-crore bid made to light Jain monk's pyre

"Since childhood I used to think a lot about real happiness. Then I met my guru Kalyan Ratna Vijayji Maharaj, who made me understand fine nuances of Jainism and other aspects of leading a happy and meaningful life," he said.

"There is no end to the human greed. Those who are having thousands of rupees try to earn lakhs and then want crores. There is no end to it. But Jain monks who do not have anything except inner peace and knowledge are happier than these people," he said.

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First Published: 08 June, 2017 08:28 IST

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