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Kesh Lonch Ceremony for Kshullikaji Subhmati Mataji in JCNC

Pujya Kshullikaji Shubhmatiji Mataji, disciple of Tapasvi Samrat 108 Shri Sanmati Sagarji Maharaj performed Kesh Lonch on Mahaveer Nirvaan day Veer Nirvaan Samvat 2032 (October 22, 2007) at the JCNC Jain Center in San Jose, California and showed the path of renunciation to the shravaks of Northern America. This event was webcasted live and viewed by shravaks all over America, India and other parts of the world.

A person who feels detached from the mundane desires of this world and goes into the shelter of the Five Supreme Beings (Panch Parmeshthi) can be termed as "Samyak Drishthi". This person desires to get liberated from the cycle of life and death. In order to achieve this, the person goes to the head of a Sangh (Acharya) and requests Diksha. Acharyaji before giving Diksha, tests the person. One of the tests is that a person should be able to perform Kesh Lonch and be able to bear the pain of Kesh Lonch.

A person who decides to give up worldly pleasures at the same time develops detachment towards the body and other material attachments. This then enables this person to pluck their hair without any malice or attachment. For the Sadhu's or Sadhivi's this becomes a ritual which is performed every three to four months, sometimes alone or in the presence of the Acharya and Shravaks. This is done by oneself and at other times with the help of other Sadhu's, Sadhvis or Brahamcharis. By doing Kesh Lonch, the Sadhus/Sadhvis observe one of the Mool Gunas. It also, prevents the origins of lice and other living beings in the hair and protects from any harm to these types of living beings. It also helps in observing the Shauch Dharma by keeping the hair clean and free of any living beings.

When a Thirthankar takes Diksha, He takes Diksha and performs Kesh Lonch on His own. He attains the ManhParyaya Gyan and the Saudharma Indra then lights four lamps indicating the four types of knowledge - Mati, Shruta, Avadhi and Manahparyaya. The Devs dispose of the Hair plucked into the Ksheer Sagar after putting them into a Jewelbox. Similarly the shravaks should disburse the hair in ocean or river or bury them deep into the ground.

Sadhus have 6 kinds of external austerities. This is depicted in the Tattvartha Sutra Chapter 9 Sutra 19. One of them is KayaKlesh. Kesh Lonch is part of this type of austerity. Another Sutra from Chapter 9 sutra 3 states that one does nirjara by doing tapa. Thus by doing Kesh Lonch, the Sadhu/Sadhvis get rid of their karmas as part of external tapa.

Many of us were fortunate to witness or see this austere ceremony live for the first time in North America. It truly depicted the hardships and resolute vows of the Digamber Sadhu's and Sadhivi's.

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