Eight-year-old heiress to $61 million fortune gives it up to become a nun
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An eight-year-old little girl, who was in line to inherit a $61 million (£50 million) fortune has renounced her birth right to become a nun.
Devanshi Sanghvi is the heiress to diamond empire Sanghvi and Sons based in Surat, India.
The eight-year-old is one of the youngest people to abandon their life and material possessions to enter Jain monkhood.
Devanshi's family are members of the ancient Jain faith, which practices love for all creatures, vegetarianism, and non-violence.
Her parents have told local reporters that the youngster had always hoped to become a nun.
According to the Times of India, Devanshi has been abiding by a strict routine of three prayer sessions per day since she was a tot.
Another family friend claimed that Devanshi had once walked around 700km with other monks, embracing their way of life before she was officially brought into monkhood.
"Devanshi showed religious inclination since she was a toddler. She has followed the ascetic life since a very young age," they told NDTV.
This week, the young girl began her transition into monkhood with a four-day 'diksha' ceremony.
As part of the ceremony, Devanshi rode in a carriage pulled by an elephant in a spectacular grand entrance.
By Wednesday (18 January), she was brought to a temple to have her hair cut off and to trade in her luxury clothes for a white cotton outfit.
Jainism has more than an estimated four million followers, who follow strict rules to abide by the religion.
In some instances, to maintain their vegetarian diet, members will go as far as covering their mouths with fabric to avoid accidentally swallowing insects.
Even eating root vegetables is not allowed, since removing the root from the ground would kill the plant.
It also preaches to always speak the truth, to not steal, to show sexual restraint, and to not become attached to worldly things.
Sanghvi and Sons, one of the oldest diamond making companies in the state, has branches all over the world, and has an annual turnover of billions of rupees.
As a result of Devanshi's decision, the family inheritance will likely be left to her younger sister Kavya, five.
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