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Mumbai businessman to take deeksha

Sunday, 23 April 2006 - 7:05pm IST

On May 1, multi-millionaire Mumbai businessman Uttamchand A. Khinawasra (67) will relinquish everything and take deeksha in accordance to Jain traditions.

MUMBAI: On May 1, multi-millionaire Mumbai businessman Uttamchand A. Khinwasra (67) will relinquish his Mercedes car, air-conditioned residence, offices, home, mobile phone and his retinue of servants and take deeksha (renouncing worldly pleasures) in accordance to Jain traditions.

Khinwasra will "renounce the world" in the true Jain traditions and walk barefoot all over India for eight months, except during the monsoon. During his travel, he will depend on community resting place, known as sthanak.

Sthanaks are bare shelters where Jain sadhus rest during their wanderings; these places have no electricity, water or toilets. According to Jain traditions, Khinwasra can eat food, which must be begged, only during daytime. He would spend his time in meditation, reading scriptures and engaging in spiritual pursuits.

Khinwasra is one of the leading business magnates of city and a well-known name in the diamond industry. His decision has surprised many in the city business circles in the city.

"Its a voluntary decision and comes after years of thinking, in fact, it took me nearly four years to convince my own family that I intend to take deeksha," says Khinwasra. He explained that the decision came about after he studied and understood the Jain philosophy behind renunciation - "it did not happen on the spur of the moment."

The deeksha ceremony will be held in New Delhi on April 30 and performed by Jain spiritual leader, Guru Gyan Muniji. It function will be graced by bigwigs in the Jain community and promises to be a memorable event.

Khinwasra said that his entire immediate family including his wife Mainadevi, sons Bhanwar, Kamal, Anil and daughter Asha- finally accept his decision and gave their permission, as required by the community.

"Now, if the family wish to meet me they can travel to wherever I am, if I come to Mumbai, I may meet them," Khinwasra said. However, suring such meetings, the discussion can only be spiritual, he pointed out.

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