8-year-old girl set to inherit  million becomes a nun in India – Insider

8-year-old girl set to inherit $61 million becomes a nun in India – Insider

  • An 8-year-old girl who was set to inherit a $61 million business gave up her fortune to become a nun.
  • Devanshi Sanghvi was ordained a monk in an extravagant ceremony under the Jain faith.
  • An Instagram page, operated at least in part by her family, documents her initiation in more than 100 photos.

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An 8-year-old diamond heiress in India gave up her fortune this week to become a Jain nun.

Devanshi Sanghvi stood as the heir to Sanghvi and Sons, her family’s jewelry business in the city of Surat, until Wednesday when she officially renounced worldly comforts and assumed her new role under her religious order, Agence France-Presse first reported.

Their family business is worth around $61 million, according to ICRA, a credit agency in India.

Sanghvi was initiated into the monkhood in an extravagant five-day ceremony, documented by a robust campaign on a 9,400-follower Instagram account.

More than 100 photos on the account show the young girl, dressed in elegant clothes and jewelry, as she poses with her parents and sister or participates in various rituals this week.

A post by @devanshi_diksha_danam

Ahead of the ceremony, the Instagram page began promoting the prospect of Sanghvi’s inauguration back in September, while simultaneously publishing posts extolling religious virtues and notable figures in Jainism.

“Today, Devanshi has chosen to live a life of spiritual development,” reads a post apparently written by her parents. “We know it’s tough, but we recognize that the diksha life will bring far more happiness than we can ever offer.”

The site’s latest posts on Wednesday show Sanghvi smiling after her transformation, in a white cotton robe covering her head while surrounded by other nuns and Jain devotees.

A post by @devanshi_diksha_danam

The Instagram page didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Her family is also of the Jain faith, AFP reported.

Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, originating in India at least 2,500 years ago, according to the Pew Research Center. The religious minority of around 5 to 6 million followers in India emphasizes the importance of non-violence, meditation and the rejection of worldly pleasures and vegetarianism.

Sanghvi is one of the youngest people to be accepted into Jain monasticism, giving up worldly possessions, according to AFP. Some Jain families are said to be encouraging their children to become nuns or monks to improve their family’s social standing, the outlet reported.

After their initiation, nuns stop addressing their relatives as family members, pull their hair out, never shower, always go barefoot and only eat what they receive as handouts, the BBC’s Priyanka Pathak previously reported.

Bipin Doshi, who teaches Jain philosophy at the University of Mumbai, told the BBC that once a person becomes a Jain nun, “the level of spirituality, social standing and religious standing becomes so high that even the richest man come down and bow to you”.

Sanghvi and Sons did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.