An 87-year-old Jain monk embraced death at a Digambar Jain shrine near Gandhi Chowk in Durg, Chhattisgarh, after giving up food and water in keeping with the community tradition of ‘Santhara’.
The monk, Adhyatma Sagar Maharaj of Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, died after five days of fasting. He began his fast on August 8 (two days before Rajasthan high court declared the practice illegal).
Adhyatma Sagar Maharaj is is said to be the first Jain saint in Durg to embrace death through ritual fast in 15 years.
Referring to the high court order, Jain official said that, “the practice is not the same as suicide as it is a means ‘to salvation’. The decision is taken with a calm mind.”