Bokaro: A 75-year-old woman, who recently recovered from Covid – 19 but was suffering from multiple ailments, chronic kidney disease being one of them, has taken Santhara also known as ‘Sallekhana’. The devotee Bimla Devi Choraria is a resident of MDA Heights, Chas of the district. Santhara is a religious death through fasting, seen as a highly respected practice in Jainism.
Devi has been taken off ventilator support and stopped taking food and water since the past nine days. Earlier she was admitted in a private hospital in Ranchi and now is in her home. Dharmender Jain, 55, her son and renowned businessman said “we are seeing Santhara in front of our eyes. It is not easy. But we are happy because my mother will be attaining moksha”.
As the news spread in the area about Devi taking up Santhara, people started visiting to seek her blessing. Devi is survived by three married sons while her husband Moolchand Choraria died earlier. Her three sons- Madan, Dharmender and Subhash Choraria – are well established businessmen owning Malls, hotel, rolling mill, steel sheets plant, electrical and mobile dealership and real estate business in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
All the family members, relatives, friends and closed ones are dedicatedly participating in the religious process. There was chanting of mantras, bhajans carried on round the clock until Devi attained salvation. The messages of Jain saints, women monks and others started pouring in as the news of Devi’s taken up Santhara reached Parasnath, holy shrine of Jains, situated in neighbouring Giridih district.
Jain said that her mother took another step for salvation on the fifth day. They pray that she with a healthy and calm body and strong determination power committed to her goal in a fully awakened state by imbibing the basic principles of life, different body- different soul. Her Santhara happily reached her destination.
However, Subhash said “her Santhara entered ninth day. All her parameters like blood pressure, pulse, oxygen level, sugar and others checked by doctor is normal or can say better than earlier test results. She was tested Covid-19 positive in September and got cured. However before taking Santhara she was admitted in a private hospital in Ranchi suffering kidney ailment. There doctors find difficult to get reading of her blood pressure and pulse as it was very low. But after she taken up Santhara, her health condition returning back to normal”.
Devi vows Santhara on October, 19 and stops eating and drinking so as to prepare for death. Many visitors said “watching her attaining Samadhi was a great feeling. Only a few brave attain salvation through this process”. President of Bokaro chamber of commerce and industries, Sanjay Baid, who is also a Jain, said “Devi is the fourth person in the 40 year history of Bokaro who took Santhara. But she is the first who is surviving on the ninth day in the process. Earlier three of the residents from Jain community took Santhara in Bokaro. But they all attained Mokshain a day or two. Devi is the longest survivor”.
It is very rare that Jain ascetics and householders vow Santhara. The person who took Santhara abandoned all desires and dislikes on a spiritual journey to attain ‘moksha’ (salvation).