Shravanabelagola, Mar 9, 2006: With two Digambar Jain Brahmacharis all set to be initiated (deeksha) as kshullak and kshullika respectively on Friday, the atmosphere at the Sri Mutt is surcharged with dharmic fervour.

Venerated Jain monk Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Munimaharaj, and other Acharyas and Aryikas, today imparted the Prathyakyana Vidhi to Brahmachari Mahendra Shah and Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle, the duo who are due to be initiated on Friday as Kshullak and Kshullika respectively. HH Jagadguru Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji graced the ceremony.

The Prathyakyana Vidhi involved the Acharya and the other monks and nuns guiding the duo to ways in which they would partake food once they are initiated; and committed them to a whole day’s fast till the initiation process ended, complete with Kleshalonchana, the ceremonial plucking of hair on the head and face. The duo were committed to abstaining from anna (rice), pana (liquids), lehya (pastes) and khadya (substances that need to be broken and chewed). Later, the duo performed pooja to the idol of Ganadhara Parameshti.

27-year old Brahmachari Mahendra Shah, a M.A (Hindi) post graduate, hails from Bholi, Sawai Madhavpur near the Jain holy shrine Mahaveerji kshtra in Rajasthan. Acharya Vardhamana Sagar initiated Shah as a Brahmachari 1 years ago.

71-year old Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle hails from Bhose Village in Sangli, Maharasthra and has been a Brahmacharini for eleven years now. She has visited the Jain holy place of Shikarji in Jharkhand five times and had arrived at Shravanabelagola for the Mahamasthakabhisheka from Belgaum by walk with Acharya Vardhaman Sagar’s team. Wife of late Devappa Annappa Chougle, Brahmacharini Roopavathi Chougle’s mother was also a nun, late Aarika Sri Parswamathi Mataji. Munishri Approvasagar had initiated Roopavathi Chougle as a Brahmacharini. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)