AHMEDABAD: He scored in the 99.99th percentile in the class XII board examination, but Varshil Shah doesn’t want to be a chartered accountant or an MBA. Shah, 17, instead is looking at eternal happiness by taking up the white robes and the life of a Jain muni. Shah will take diksha in Surat, in the presence of several Jain acharyas.
The son of an income tax officer, Jigar Shah, and a homemaker, Ami, Varshil took this decision soon after his class XII (general stream) result was declared, a fortnight ago. He scored 93.06% and ranked in the 99.99th percentile.
Speaking to TOI, Varshil said the influence of his family since childhood drove him towards Jainism. “It was Kalyan Ratnavijaysuri Maharaj, my guru, who motivated me on this path. He is 32 years old and had taken diksha himself at around my age. When I spent time with him and got to know about his thoughts on contemporary issues and how Jainism is relevant, my resolve to cross over to the life of an ascetic became stronger,” he said, adding that the material world doesn’t provide the long-lasting happiness that millions seek. His relatives said Varshil, a student of Navkar Public School in Gulbai Tekra, knew that he would score well but did not even check his marks or get his mark sheet, as he had made up his mind. His sister, who was pursuing a career in chartered accountancy before abandoning it, had also scored in the 99.99th percentile in 2011. As a child, Varshil observed all his religious practices and led a simple life, showing an inclination towards this ultimate goal, his family members said. The diksha ceremony event will be held at Adajan in Surat at 6am on Thursday, where Jain acharyas such as Kalyanvratnavijayji and Vijaynarchandrasuri will participate and bless the new disciple. The preparations for a grand event have been started, as the Paldi-based Shah family and their relatives have reached the venue. Thousands of Jain devotees from Ahmedabad and Surat are expected to participate.