Religion

‘Bal Diksha’ – A Crime Or A Religious Step…


Jainism is on the rise and I am proud to say that I am a Jain by birth. Jainism according to me is one of the very few religion which is based more on scientific reasons than on beliefs.

Certain rules of Jainism such as one should not eat after dark is based on scientific fact that at night if one goes to sleep directly after eating it will make them obese. There are other many such rules which are mostly based on scientific findings but that details for another time….

At the moment the issue is ‘Diksha’ (Renunciation) of worldly belongings. In Jainism, Diksha means sacrifice of all the worldly belongings in order to turn themselves to religious activities and learn the ways of Jainism and then preach them to other people and I respect and honour such people who have courage to take up the decision of taking Diksha because it is not an easy path to stay on and follow.
Now the moot question is when a normal society does not allow a minor to take any decision for themselves and they have to be either affirmed by their parents or guardians, then how can they be allowed to take diksha‘s decision on their own. In some cases it is said that parents agree and stand by their child’s decision. But are these minors who have still to see and understand as to what the world has to offer them renounce the world or is it some kind of pressure coming from unexpected quarters.

According to me, when parents are not allowed to get their minor children married and it is also punishable under the laws of our country. The same law should be applied to underage diksha or renunciaton and the law should not allow either the minor or their parents/guardian to take this step until they reach an age of 21 as according to most of the Jains – Diksha is a big step and in which one gets married to religion and then as in marriage polygamy is not tolerated and you have to be loyal to your partner similarly once you take diksha you have to be loyal to the religion and not desert it, if you are not able to maintain your vows.

And so called bigwigs and self appointed care takers of Jainism – please realize that more you approve of such ‘Bal Dikshas’, more are the chances of our religion getting a bad name as there will be more and more case when one realizes their mistake they will want to return to the society…..

Please think liberally and logically.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I totally agree with the views, that when minors cannot take their decisions on their own, and parents also cannot take decisions on their behalf for marriage etc., how can they take about diksha. It should not be allowed. Only major above 18 should be allowed to take diksha.

    how can this be stopped is a question. There should be a law

  2. @viral Shah You have to learn to be broad minded. You have been living in a fool's paradise I guess. How can you be so sure about the concepts of Before and after life or attainment of moksha? How can you be sure or proveit to us that after child renunciation, the child is likely to attain salvation faster than the others? Well Ive gotta call that mere bull shit.

    @Kartik Sheth your article has been pretty impressive and has helped me a lot. I agree with your thoughts. Nice work (Y)

  3. True! Jainism is a philosophy and Diksha is a way to attain Moksha, but Bal Diksha is not a way wherein one can attain Moksha faster. In order to attain Moksha, one has to continuously strive.

    Diksha is an integral part of Jainism, but let us understand one thing that Bal Diksha is a totally modern concept and was almost non-existent in the olden days. Our Tirthankaras took children under their wing and taught them ways of Jainism and once they attained adulthood they were allowed to make an informed decision.

    Where as in today's time, Diksha is given to a child without giving him a chance to understand what it is all about. Once the child really starts understanding the concept it is either too late for him to return or the child will be not true to the ways of Jainism and will be ostracized by the society.

    Your point about Tirthankaras having to be mature to spread this philosophy is the exact point I am raising in my post. The child has to be mature enough to make an informed decision and spread the philosophy further.

    Any which way a child is not mature enough to understand the ways of Jainism or for that reason the ways of any other religion. A child is always at the risk of abuse in any given religion. We have recently read and have come across many such cases. What we don't want is a child who surrenders him/her self to a particular religion/philosophy coming back to the society as a disillusioned adult.

    My intentions are not to show any religion in bad light, but certain trends need to be looked at seriously and it is not only Jainism, all the religions have to evolve to be in sync.

  4. I totally agree with you that the bigwigs should not promote Bal Diksha and you would be right if this whole matter is seen from a very practical standpoint. Assuming that we as human beings care for lives it would not be human to put small kids under the penance of the strict rules abided by the religion.

    But lets look at this whole story from a little different perspective.
    First thing to note is that Jainism, although, given the name of a religion, is not a religion. Yes I am in my senses while I say this and believe me it's not a religion. It's a Philosophy!! Now I hope that by saying this I am opening a completely different realm of fact which not many are aware of.

    Jainism believes in the philosophy of Karma like any other Hindu religion. According to this philosophy, GOD is not responsible for anything happening to you in any of your past, present or future avatars. Now this concept is where the stream of Jainism separates itself from the Hindu religion.
    It is 100% belief of Jainism that even when you go to pray to GOD and ask him to get you rid from any problem or give you what you want, HE is not capable of doing it. YES! I am sure it is an eyeopener. HE is not asking us to go and pray to him. HE is not doing anything that's happening in your life. HE is enjoying his sanctity in Moksha. You are bearing the fruits of your past Karmas in this life and YOU and only YOU are responsible for what is happening to you in this life.

    Now when I say this, it becomes very clear that if a small child is going towards Bal Diksha it's because of his pious karmas of past that he is accepting this path at a very young age. Obviously, there are bigwigs who guide him towards that path but ultimately these bigwigs are promoting the very philosophy of Jainism which says that the path to salvation and Moksha is nothing but Diksha (meaning detaching yourself from worldly affairs).

    Now if we think as human beings we will realize that every action that we take is ruled by our mind. Our mind is the most powerful weapon. If a kid's mind, which is molded towards attaining Diksha, is ready to accept it then I see no harm in it. In fact, if he achieves Diksha at this age then it means that he is going to achieve Moksha much faster than others, which is good. If we talk about the penance he will go through then let me comment here that Jainism clearly says that our body is nothing but merely mud. What is more important in a human being is that a person's atma (soul), which is covered by layers of bad Karmas( bad deeds)of his past life actions. Now if a kid is ready to dissolve these bad Karmas and liberate the soul at an earlier age then I see no problem in Bal Diksha.

    Talking of Tirthankaras achieving Diksha at a older age, it is a simple answer. 1) His Karmas of the past took time to dissolve so HE achieved Diksha at a later age. It took time for him to realize that he wanted to renounce the world. 2) The mission and goal of any Tirthankara was to liberate as many souls as possible from this circle of life and death and help them achieve Moksha. Therefore, he had to mature to a certain age and understanding before he could spread this philosophy of life.

    Yes I would be against Bal Diksha if it is forcefully being given to a kid without his/ her parents approval. But this does not happen. Only in a few small incidences such a situation must have arisen. These wrong bigwigs of Dharma are therefore spoiling the name of such a fantastic philosophy. And let me ask you which religion does not have wrong bigwigs? I guess practically all religions today have wrong bigwigs who are trying to promote their own agenda instead of the religion.

    Hence, my sincere request to everyone that do not view this Bal Diksha in the wrong light. Instead see it in a positive aspect.Think that the kid who accepts this form of living is coming much closer to achieving Moksha and getting rid of the birth cycles.

  5. Sarvesh

    i have a simple doubt..is bal diksha a neo concept or is present in the ancient texts of the jains??

  6. Kartik Sheth

    In my view and what ever material I have gone through, bal diksha is a neo concept. In the ancient times the age group for all things to do was well defined.

    For example –

    Brahmacharya:
    – This stage is the first one and it begins at the age
    of 20 and extends up to 25 years.

    Grihastha:
    – At this point of time man needs to pay heed to his
    social and family life. This phase begins from 25 and lasts till 60
    years.

    Vanaprastha
    : – This is the step to Partial renunciation. This
    stage ushers in the life of man at an age of 50 and lasts till he is 74.

    Sanyasa
    : The last stage in his life comes when he completely
    snaps off his worldly ties. This phase begins at 74 and lasts till he
    dies.

    Even if you see the Tirthankaras, they have all renounced at an mature age and some of them even got married and then renounced worldly affairs.

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