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Jains across the world bid Rs.7cr to perform Shri Madvijay Ravindrasuri Maharajsahebji’s last rites

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MUMBAI: Ahead of the unique community rituals of Jain’s . The last rites of the 62-year-old Jain monk, Shri Madvijay Ravindrasuri Maharajsahebji has collected Rs 7 crore.

These bids of 25 rituals are called for the right to perform the last rites of Jain monks which includes washing the monk’s feet, wrapping the body in a shroud, performing the last aarti and applying saffron and chandan to the body .

Maharajsahebji has passed away last week in Rajgarh, a small town in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. The amount of bidding has spiralled steadily. An Ahmedabad-based land developer, Kalpesh Shah, paid the perfectly symmetrical sum of Rs 1,11,11,111 (Rs 1.11 crore).

Eventually, land developers and gold dealers won most of the bids. The second, third and fourth pallbearers paid Rs 68 lakh, Rs 42 lakh, Rs 27 lakh and Rs 20 lakh each. The bidder who got to wrap the body in a shroud had pledged Rs 52.52 lakh.

Maharajsaheb took his lifetime vow of diksha decades ago, he had renounced the world and all its comforts, familial and material. In the hierarchy of monks, Maharajsahebji was one of the senior-most in the Tristutik sect. Under Shri Madvijay Ravindrasuri Maha rajsahebji, 85 people -10 men and 75 women -had taken `diksha’ (renunciation of family and worldly pleasures).

The temple source said. “The money collected by the Mohankheda temple in Rajgarh, where he died, will be used by the temple trust for religious activities and to continue the work undertaken by the monk,” said a source from the temple.

Maharajsahebji body was bathed by Bauble Vardhan from Rajasthan before he was placed on the pyre, for a sum of Rs 41.41lakh.

The practice of bidding, or ‘ghee bolo’, started 450 years ago to catalyse community charity . “Something had to be done to raise funds to build more Jain temples and spread the religion. So, the idea of ghee bolo emerged.Initially, the ritual was carried out only when resources were needed, but over the years it has become a regular practice,” said Vimal Sagar Maharajsaheb, a Jain monk.

Bids are not invited for every monk’s passing bidding is associated with those who have a huge following. “There may be one or two cases a year where it could run into crores. For monks who are not senior or acharyas, smaller sums are asked. This is as frequent as twice a month,” said Parekh.

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