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9 elephants, lakhs of spectators, crores of Rupees and a monk: The story of billionaire turned Jain monk Bhanwarlal Doshi

Bhanwarlal Doshi, a business tycoon recently took to spirituality, leaving his Rs 600 crore empire and beloved family behind.

Runa Mukherjee | News18.comhttp://@tweetruna

Updated:June 2, 2015, 11:05 AM IST
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9 elephants, lakhs of spectators, crores of Rupees and a monk: The story of billionaire turned Jain monk Bhanwarlal Doshi
Bhanwarlal Doshi, a business tycoon recently took to spirituality, leaving his Rs 600 crore empire and beloved family behind.
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Ahmedabad: Sunday was the day when a monk literally sold his Ferrari! No, this story isn’t just something out of the books, it is in fact the story of Bhanwarlal Doshi, a business tycoon who took to spirituality, leaving his Rs 600 crore empire and beloved family behind.

The weekend saw one of the biggest diksha (renunciation) ceremonies of the country take place in Ahmedabad, as Doshi gave up a life of moh and maya to become a Jain ascetic. However, renouncing the world came at a price. Read on.

The extravaganza saw a 560 feet long ship shaped pandal set up over an area of 10 lakh square feet on the AES grounds in Ahmedabad. The estimated cost, according to the organizers, is Rs 100 crores.

On Saturday, Doshi's procession was taken out with 12 chariots, nine elephants and nine camel carts.

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The man who became a monk, spent around Rs 10 crore to hire multiple agencies that ensured his three-day Diksha Utsav went without a glitch. This ceremony was streamed live for many Jainism followers on You Tube!

Around 1,000 monks attended the rare event of an industrialist giving up his riches, along with 1.5 lakh other spectators, some of whom included businessmen from overseas and friends of Doshi. 7000 guests came from outside the city of Ahmedabad to see his grand send off. 500 hotel rooms were booked for the guests!

The ceremony had over a thousand waiters serve food while 250 were employed to only serve cool water to the thirsty but earnest audience! Around 200 security guards were deployed at the venue! Woah!

Known as the 'king of plastic and chemicals', Doshi reached the pinnacle of success in his business but spirituality beckoned since 1982, when he began studying the Jain scriptures.

As a father of two sons and a daughter, Doshi could convince his family of his plans of renunciation only last year.

During one of the rituals, Doshi gave away silver and gold coins to the people in his procession, as a symbolic way of leaving behind his riches.

Now renamed as Bhavya Ratna Vijay Maharaj, Doshi is now set for Jain monastic life; a life of tremendous self discipline, deprivation and restraint.

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