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This Class XII topper from Ahmedabad has decided to become a monk
India is a country known for its vast religious diversity. Many religious communities exist within the geographical boundaries of our country like Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis.

On browsing through history, one would come across numerous examples of famous personalities having embraced spiritualism at a very tender age. The finest example in this respect that comes to mind is of Gautam Buddha – the founder of Buddhism – who even gave up his family to embrace sainthood.

However, in today's age and time, where the youth have a lot of distractions around like the internet and social media, it would be difficult to expect such devotion and spiritualism out of the present generation.

But, wait till you hear the story of Varshil Shah, who's a resident of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He recently scored 99.99 percentile in his calls XII board exams which could have earned him an admission in the finest of colleges. But this 17-year-old who hails from a middle class family has some other plans.

What makes him contrastingly dissimilar from other students of his age is that instead of pursuing further education, Varshil wants to adorn white robes and become a Jain munni (monk).

Varshil is the son of an income tax officer and his mother is a homemaker. The boy took this bold decision two weeks prior to his boards results being announced.

The Ahmedabad teenager will take diksha – a religious ceremony that marks the initiation of jain monks or nuns – on June 8, informed his uncle, Nayanbhai Suthari. The ceremony shall be held in Gandhinagar.

Surprisingly, both his parents, his father Jigarbhai and his mother, Amiben Shah are supportive of their son's decision. Being ardent followers of Jainism, the parents have raised Varshil and his older sister Jainini in a simplistic manner.

The family uses minimal electricity (mostly at night when the children study) as it feels that generation of electricity leads to killing of many aquatic animals. Surprisingly, Shah household does not have a refrigerator or television.

Varshil had embarked on the path of spiritualism three years ago after coming in contact with Surat-based Munni Shri Kalyan Ratna Vijayji. He was waiting for his exams to finish before he could take diksha. Interestingly, before the commencement of the academic session of 2016, Varshil had sought help from Jain monks to improve his concentration for scoring higher marks.

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