Indian Couple Donate $24 Million Forune to Charity to Adopt Monkhood

A wealthy couple from Gujarat, India, have decided to donate their entire Rs 200 crore fortune to charity and become Jain monks, relying solely on the generosity of others for survival.

Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife have built their wealth in the lucrative construction business, amassing an enviable fortune of over Rs 200 crore ($24 million). Like most other millionaires, they have enjoyed a life of luxury complete with opulent houses, expensive cars, and pretty much anything else their hearts desired. But the two recently decided to give it all up in order to become Jain ascetic monks, inspired by their two children – a 16-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter – who adopted the same path in 2022. On April 22, the Gujarat power couple will renounce all worldly possessions, sever ties with their families, and embark on a barefoot journey across India, surviving only on alms.


Photo: Nayan Bhalotia/Unsplash

The Bhandari couple has already taken a vow of renunciation to commit to “Saiyam Jeevan”, or a life of restraint. They began giving away their fortune in February when they participated in a four-kilometre procession during which they gave away anything from money to mobile phones and even air-conditioners. Surrounded by around 35 people, the couple could be seen making their donations from atop a chariot.

After they officially adopt the ascetic lifestyle, Bhavesh and his wife will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a “rajoharan,” a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting, an iconic symbol of their non-violent lifestyle.

This sort of life-changing decision is not uncommon in India. In 2017, a couple from Madhya Pradesh donated Rs 100 crore and left their three-year-old daughter to become monks. Last year, a multi-millionaire diamond merchant and his wife became Jain ascetics, five years after their adopted son did the same thing.

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