Ladnun - Jain Vishva Bharati - Trip To Spirituality [41.4] Diksha - Starting Into New Life (1)

Published: 10.02.2005
Updated: 15.02.2008
The morning, when his new life was about to start, Kamal’s brother-in-law was sitting in deep meditation on the stage of the assembly hall at JVB Ladnun. He was sitting near to Yuvacharyashree Mahashraman who was finishing his administrative morning task. Like every morning, his amazing capacity of concentration enabled him to complete his task in public, where others need separate offices. He is the realised ideal of not wasting one instant of one’s lifetime, not by preaching, but living it. To watch him at work inspirates one to the insight that we all have only a short lifespan on this earth, and to aim at charging the same with as much meaningful activities as possible.

For the Muni-to-be, since one week, there was no more question of eating or sleeping; we were told by an excited Kamal. Together with him, we had come to the assembly hall and reached it in complete silence; none of us had left a single word. For us, it was not only the first time to experience a Diksha ceremony, but also to witness how a young father of family entered the mendicant state. Some days before, we had met him and his wife; Kamal had presented us to each other. They had both come to the place where Acharyashree and the monks were staying. We were told that this is valued as acceptance of the aspirant’s decision.

The leader of the group, where Kamal’s former relative would belong to in the future, had finished his Kayotsarg and was preparing to address the audience. According to the audience’s reactions, his speech was highly amusing. We were told that he spoke on his responsibility to facilitate the new member’s orientation in the order and welcomed him in the order in a very friendly and humorous way.

The future monk had come out of his deep meditation for a short while; he seemed to be already part of the spiritual reality he had decided to dedicate his life. His look still was turned inside; he seemed to have left behind focus on the outer world. We had learned from our friend Kamal, that the aspirant’s worldly affairs were very well organised by his wife and his parents. His worldly family was already integrated in his parents’ household since quite some time. His parents had treated their daughter-in-law from the beginning with love and respect; they gave full support to her and their three grandchildren.

The nuns-to-be were ornamented with chains of beautifully handcrafted artificial flowers by relatives. For Jain ceremonies, no natural flowers are used in respect of Ahimsa, to avoid unnecessary violence. The three aspirants in the first row and the fourth in the second row (not visible in the photo) are wearing mouth pads. This indicates that they will be Sadhvishrees very soon. They came across as very collected and mature, giving a touching contrast to their young age. They had already the special brightness in their eyes that can be noticed in all Sadhvishrees’ eyes.

For Jain lay followers it is very auspicious to give ornaments to the nuns as sign of respect and devotion towards a totally Ahimsa oriented life style. As members of the family where the nun is originating from, they feel uplifted in their own spirituality on the one hand, on the other, they are well aware of the fact, that public attention is focused on a Sadhvi’s worldly family as lighthouse of conduct. It is not easy to be worldly sister or brother of a mendicant, for even they have to act as role model of ethical character building.

On the photo, the female side is shown; males and Munishrees are sitting on the other side (seen from Acharyashree on the stage). A huge quantity of people had assembled to watch the holy ceremony; Munishrees, Sadhvishrees, Samanijis, and many, many interested spectators. During ceremonies and gatherings, the Sadhvishrees and Samanijis are occupied with sewing, studying the scriptures or sitting in deep meditation. No matter what they have chosen to do, they do not move at all during the whole ceremony.

Further, they have been trained to occupy as small space with their bodies as possible. They arrive, sit down, keep quiet, get up when the function is over, and even do not show any sign of leg pain or other inconvenience. They have learned to accept all situations of life with equanimity. The one who tries to sit quiet for only half an hour, can imagine to which extend they are able to master themselves. By living like they do, they are inspiring the lay followers to do like them. The laywomen in the background of the photo are trying to sit as disciplined as the Sadhvishrees.

Kamal’s sister is addressing the audience in a touching speech. She was so clearly accepting her former husband’s decision that there was no need to understand the words she had spoken. Her calm attitude and her smiling eyes spoke to everyone. While she was giving her address, her former husband was in deep meditation again.
After her statement of acceptance, the relatives of the young female aspirants expressed their approval. Without the family’s approval in public, no Diksha can be taken. All worldly affairs have to be well regulated before.

Now the moment has come, when the aspirants enter the hall after having changed clothes and shaved hair. In honour of the aspirants’ decision to observe Ahimsa completely, everybody stood up. The Sadhvishrees are certainly especially touched by this moment, reminding the moment they had done the same step.

The aspirants are approaching the stage for being welcomed by their Guru. They will observe the five great vows of Jain saints and get their new names. From then on, the order will be their family; their worldly relations will be dissolved.

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ahimsa
  2. Concentration
  3. Diksha
  4. Equanimity
  5. Guru
  6. JVB
  7. JVB Ladnun
  8. Kayotsarg
  9. Ladnun
  10. Mahashraman
  11. Meditation
  12. Mouth pads
  13. Sadhvi
  14. Space
  15. Spiritual Reality
  16. Violence
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