Indian diamond heir (8) joined monks, lost wealth | Aici

AHMEDABAD – An eight-year-old girl in India who stood to inherit a diamond worth millions of dollars was instead initiated into a strict religious order after giving up the pleasures of the world.

Devanshi Sanghvi, until this week, was the heir to the Sanghvi and Sons jewelery company in the western city of Surat, known locally as the “City of Diamonds” for its reputation in the trade. global gem.

His family is also a member of the Jain faith, a small but ancient Indian religion that preaches non-violence, strict vegetarianism and love for all creatures great and small.

This week, he was celebrated at a four-day ceremony to announce his new calling, at one point he was seen riding in an elephant-drawn carriage, according to photos shared with local media.

On Wednesday, she came to a temple to exchange her fancy dress for a simple white cotton dress, after removing all her hair.

Sanghvi was known by members of Surat’s Jain community for his love even as a child, according to a witness at Wednesday’s ceremony, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Devanshi never watched TV, movies or went to malls and restaurants,” they said, adding that the girl regularly attended temple functions.

The child was one of the youngest to undergo the “diksha” ceremony of renouncing material possessions and becoming a Jain monk.

Sanghvi’s parents said she wanted to become a nun, according to local media. Jain families are sometimes said to encourage their sons to enter monasticism to improve the status of their relatives.

His family business, founded in 1981, has a net worth of five billion rupees ($61 million), according to ICRA, the Indian financial agency.

Jainism has more than four million followers in India, many — like the Sanghvi family — from wealthy communities.

Followers observe a strict vegetarian diet and some monks and nuns cover their mouths with cloths to avoid accidentally swallowing insects.

The religion has come under criticism for some of its practices, particularly the tradition of fasting until death.

A 13-year-old girl in Hyderabad fainted and died in 2016 while on a two-month penitential fast, where she was only allowed to drink hot water twice a day.

His parents were charged with murder and faced public outrage over allegations that his family forced him to fast.

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