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After Scoring in the 99th Percentile, This Boy Chose Religion

Varshil Shah did not even check his marks because he had already decided to become a Jain monk.

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Varshil Sinha (right). (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia/Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/jainstoday/photos/basw.AbpKmWoI0vvd4hdSyUf9TFunTSJR_p6J_ZrBXCZkwyS79_djWSDmHrKHn4zZu-BcWhqRRiMpkgwvKwKkYI7_yRXDIj0pEVCiNRucyPuw3ThEToM5VlVWf0xT-dU9P5n_TDFXXfGAymwvbrCus22WO6IU_vHViOhGd8qbCKi-_A3UnQ.1897727323774622.1790170604577918.1780921508893561.1214107011989813.1326728100723474.10203066560740542.1798008997081227.1365708620190518.1734459580146901/1897727323774622/?type=1&amp;opaqueCursor=Abrakddi_8fURikEFON8aS7xQJMU2JQbzdABsz3ObOaSFnU9jfPAixEBtypFGgJhf8IIM8JndwoBxLZya7D-Q9Oj4V-UgntI0sMyBLT30cemTQOvehEXJvJ2SpC84fR1elapQJX4k6PREtmPcHXr63ATUPnkw-dpcFsM1GT6V_PkVyZZhC4ilX3YZRla7trgG1_zKSxzwNPr0xYbywdj9L4jvwHWldpCHcfPUe0C7aFgf6HZLb7C-8uWsG3JfsT3VTLRMFbOw0YQ1Iqpo50_PbAhCWzoWsZKvEn0QQT41WsVCDd54G34bEPTpmpuwV4ZqMCqHr9S295P0NVxWiZfIHuSmtHwJjtIDuuluAr55g7Z4XSJJOv3CHg-RYtS93Qikhz-CWyKo7WAN1ozbsAvk-z9bBXZ-qLD2mpxiod-DKbYUHujlmLO1-QEj06RLCvterI2Df6zE6oeF4SbvQdie9I16sPVGWTZYibHw5xdceTgaNH2aM7JyKBjrgTcbPPjBD-6BYz8rugOpC-7Ge4RxshNyRX34xWD_3wJztC4ArbTy2Rk-T7E49Ymy1NaAMLVQrjEtjNOMv_zTHD871tfuFZgxgdDAo0gg2NKT3tfErr90fCb7HlrtHGK1brVsPJBmzSGn1hKnvKI9QJXY9FvsxS7Cp1bG_09nu8gwKK0dXlOEnj2odR7OBXUStIhxvDMNls&amp;theater">Jains Today</a>)

When you score 99.9 percentile in your 12th boards, the whole world is open to you, and you can pursue whatever career you want.

Varshil Shah, a 17-year-old student from Ahmedabad, did the impossible but then chose a path that’ll leave you scratching your head.

Rather than pursuing a course in engineering or business management, Shah has decided to embark on a more enlightened path – becoming a Jain monk.

A student of Navkar Public School in Gulbai Tekra, Shah knew he would score well, but had made up his mind before he knew his result.

Shah will take diksha – the ceremony that marks the initiation of Jain monks and nuns – in Surat, in front of Jain acharyas, according to a report by The Times of India.

The Pull of Jainism

Shah said the material world doesn't provide the long-lasting happiness that others seek. Shah told The Times of India that the influence of his family guided him towards Jainism from an early age.

It was Kalyan Ratnavijaysuri Maharaj, my guru, who motivated me on this path. He is 32 years old and had taken diksha at around my age. When I spent time with him and got to know about his thoughts on contemporary issues and how Jainism is relevant, my resolve to cross over to the life of an ascetic became stronger.
Varsil Shah
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It’s in the Family

Academic success runs in Shah’s family, as his sister – who is pursing a career in chartered accountancy – had also scored 99.9 percentile in her 12th board exams.

According to his family members, Shah observed all his religious practices and led a simple life, showing a natural inclination towards becoming a monk.

Shah’s family closely follows the Jain principle of Jivdaya, or compassion for all living beings, as reported by The Hindustan Times.

His mother Amiben Shah, and father Jigarbhai, an income-tax official, are happy with the path their son has chosen.

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His relatives said Shah knew that he would score well but did not even check his marks or get his mark sheet, as he had made up his mind.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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