October 19th, 2015 : Mumbai: With the "plastic king" 58-year-old Delhi billionaire Bhanwarlal Doshi renouncing the world in a Ahmedabad ground on May 31, many others have followed him in this direction.When Bhanwarlal Doshi took the vow of diksha, the Jain monk Bhavyaratna Vijay Maharajsaheb was born. The business tycoon was renouncing his multi-crore company, his family, his house and all the comforts of the world. He stepped off the ship to embark on a journey that required him to pluck his hair, wrap a white linen cloth around his body, and live the life of a monk.

In February nine other high-flying professionals including doctors, advocates and engineers, signed up for monk hood under Namramuniji Maharajsaheb. In the 12-month period from August 1, 2014. to July 31, 2015, the community saw the largest count of people taking the vow of diksha or complete renunciation. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen and even teenagers were among those taking the route to monk hood.

When young Jain girl scored 89% in her class 10 exams, teachers counselled her to take up science and study medicine. Little did they know that she would choose a very unique path , she decided to take diksha.

Today, initiates like Rupali, have pushed the number of monks from the community to a whopping 16,000. In 1986, there were 9,426 monks, and their numbers rose by a mere 836 over the next decade. This despite the fact that there are about 1,200 deaths among Jain monks each year.

Equally remarkable is the preponderance of women, three times more than the number of men, taking diksha. Of the 16,008 Jain monks currently living in temples and upashreyas , 12,066 are sadhvis; another 3,942 are male monks. The extreme rigors of living conditions is no hindrance to those who have made up their minds.