Students who secure 99.9 percentile in their Class 12 Board exams are generally on the look out for the best colleges with a future of high-paying jobs. However, this was not the case with 17-year-old Varshil Shah who grew up in a middle-class family in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Unlike his age boys, he has “renounced the world” and decided to take the religious path.
On June 8 in Gandhinagar, the student will take ‘diksha’ which is a religious ceremony for the initiation of Jain monks and nuns. Varshil learnt of his high score when the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) announced the results on May 27 this year.
“The result is as per expectations, but to attain and maintain peace, I think renouncing the world is the only way,” said Varshil’s uncle, according to HT reports. The teenager shunned the limelight and kept to himself and his parents expressed their happiness for his chosen path.
“Though I scored high marks, I don’t want to pursue the usual path where people run behind earthly possessions. My goal is to attain inner peace and eternal happiness. That will be possible only when I leave behind everything and become a Jain monk,” Varshil said.
Varshil and his sister Jainini have been raised in complete simplicity, following the Jain principles of “Jivdaya” or compassion towards all living beings. In the Shah household, electricity is restricted and there is no television or refrigerator.
Guru Kalyan Ratnavijaysuri Maharaj has inspired him to become an ascetic. Varshil says his success depended on hard work and a peaceful mind.