Jain Diksha (II)
The young Jain woman at the centre of this Diksha ceremony is renouncing all worldly possessions and duties to become a Sadhvi (nun). Lasting up to five days, a Jain Diksha includes a procession in which initiates symbolically dispose of their material wealth by donating money and jewellery to the assembled crowd.
Aparigraha, or ‘non-possessiveness’, is one Jainism’s three principal tenets as well as one of five fundamental vows prescribed by Jainism. The others are: Ahimsa, or non-violence, the undertaking to respect and cause no harm to other living beings; Satya, the vow to always speak the truth; Asteya, the promise not to steal and never take that which is not willingly offered, and Brahmacharya, the pledge to exercise control over the senses.
All followers of Jainism are expected to live according to these five main vows, but only Jain monks (Sadhu) and nuns (Sadhvi) are expected to observe them absolutely, whereas laymen may observe them ‘within their practical limitations’.
Aparigraha, (non- possessiveness), includes non-attachment to objects, places and people; hence, after the Diksha ceremony is over, the Jain Sadhvi pictured here will leave her family and community behind never to return.
Jain Dikshas are relatively rare events that draw substantial crowds. We witnessed this ceremony in Jaisalmer, on Day 4 of our recent Thar Desert Photography Expedition™ 2017.