Badni Devi Daga, who had been on santhara for more than a month, passed away Saturday morning, leading to celebrations among her family members and the Jain community in her town Bikaner.
Badni Devi had taken up the ritual fast towards end July, and since then, had been observing the Tivihara form of santhara, which prohibits consumption of everything except water.
At 8.08 am Saturday, she breathed her last, marking the culmination of the santhara. In the last six minutes of her life, four Jain saints swore her into the Chauvihara phase, which means giving up of food as well as water.
A huge gathering of people from the Jain community participated in her ‘funeral’ procession, including Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who said had the Jain community taken the santhara ban lightly, it would have been an insult to the Tirthankars.
“Her last journey was taken out through the city. What was remarkable was the improvement in health she showed after being taken off medical care,” community leader Lunkaran Chhajer said.
After making several requests to be initiated, Badni Devi was finally sworn into santhara at 3 pm on July 25. A week before that, she had vountarily given up consumption of food, her family said.
Badni Devi is survived by three sons and a daughter, besides several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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