An 8-year-old diamond heiress from India gives up her $61 million fortune to live in poverty as a "monk"

Anita Durairaj
Devanshi SanghviPhoto byYouTube

Eight-year-old Devanshi Sanghvi from India was born to a life of luxury and a family of wealthy diamond merchants with a fortune of about $61 million.

Devanshi was an heiress to the Sanghvi and Sons jewelry business located in Surat, the diamond capital of India.

Devanshi's family is a part of the Jain religion, a sect of Hinduism that practices strict vegetarianism, non-violence, and compassion for all living things.

This January 2023, an extravagant ceremony was held for Devanshi in Surat, Gujarat. Accompanied by her parents in a procession, she was dressed in jewels and fine silks with a diamond tiara on her head.

Devanshi and her family sat in a chariot pulled by an elephant while crowds threw rose petals and celebrated. There was a procession of camels, horses, dancers, and performers to entertain the crowd.

Devanshi's family was giving her a grand send-off before she would take a vow of renunciation in the presence of senior Jain monks.

According to her family, Devanshi had decided to renounce the world and join the "monkhood" of Jains. Devanshi was to become a Jain nun.

After a four-day celebration, Devanshi was brought to a temple where she exchanged her jewels and fancy clothing for a simple, white sari. Her head was also shaved as a nun.

She would now live a simple and austere life as a Jain nun in the temple. Jain nuns walk barefoot and go door to door seeking alms. She will not be able to see her parents.

According to Devanshi's family, the girl had always been pious and had an interest in religion. She was a regular presence in the temple and never had an interest in worldly goods, TV, or going to the malls and restaurants.

Devanshi is one of the youngest children to renounce her worldly possessions although child nuns and monks remain uncommon in this sect of Jainism.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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