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Affluent Gujarat couple donates Rs 200 crore to embrace monkhood; will survive on alms

The Gujarat couple's decision follows in the footsteps of their children, a 19-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son, who took up monkhood in 2022

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- April 15th 2024 05:22 PM
Affluent Gujarat couple donates Rs 200 crore to embrace monkhood; will survive on alms

Affluent Gujarat couple donates Rs 200 crore to embrace monkhood; will survive on alms

PTC Web Desk: An affluent Jain couple from Gujarat, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife, have made headlines with their recent decision to donate nearly Rs 200 crore and adopt monkhood, embarking on a journey for salvation.

The Gujarat couple's decision follows in the footsteps of their children, a 19-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son, who took up monkhood in 2022. The Bhandaris' decision has captivated the state of Gujarat as they renounce their material wealth and adopt an ascetic path.


Bhavesh Bhandari, a successful businessman from Himmatnagar known for his work in the construction industry, and his wife made their generous donation during a ceremony in February. Later this month, they will officially take their vow of renunciation in a significant event. Inspired by their children's earlier commitment to a life of monkhood, the Bhandaris plan to fully embrace the ascetic lifestyle by severing all family ties and giving up all material possessions.

Once they take the pledge on April 22, the couple will be required to give up their wealth and live without any 'materialistic objects.' They will embark on a barefoot journey across India, surviving solely on alms. As part of their ascetic path, they will be allowed to own only two white garments, a bowl for collecting alms, and a "rajoharan" — a white broom used by Jain monks to sweep away insects from an area before they sit, in accordance with their commitment to the path of non-violence.


Their decision to renounce their luxurious lifestyle has garnered considerable attention throughout the state. The Bhandaris join a select group of individuals who have chosen to leave behind vast fortunes for a life of restraint, similar to Bhavaralal Jain, a pioneer in micro-irrigation systems in India who also took the path of monkhood. 

The Bhandari couple, alongside 35 others, participated in a four-km procession where they donated all their possessions, including mobile phones and air conditioners. Videos from the procession show the couple riding atop a chariot dressed in regal attire. The scene juxtaposed their past wealth with the simplicity of the ascetic life they were about to undertake.

This commitment to asceticism is not unprecedented in Jain communities. In recent years, several multi-millionaires in Gujarat have made similar choices. For example, a wealthy diamond merchant and his wife embraced monkhood last year, five years after their 12-year-old son had done the same. Notably, their son rode a Ferrari for his diksha (initiation) ceremony, while the couple used a Jaguar for theirs.

The trend is not confined to Gujarat; in 2017, a prosperous couple from Madhya Pradesh made headlines for donating Rs 100 crore and leaving their three-year-old daughter in the care of her grandparents to pursue monkhood. Sumit Rathore, 35, and his wife Anamika, 34, followed through with their decision despite concerns raised by the Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) about the future of their daughter, Ibhya. The GSCPCR had sought a report from civil and police authorities regarding the steps taken to secure the child's welfare, given that her parents would no longer maintain any relationship with her.

- With inputs from agencies

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