Spiritual Departure with Sallekhana ॐ Mainadevi Pincha

by on September 13, 2016

My Badi Ma – my father’s elder brother’s wife – passed away in Santhara at the age of 87. There is no greater way to depart from this world. As Jains, we are taught to celebrate the arrival of death as much as we welcome the joy of birth. Death is neither to be shunned nor feared, but to be treated with serene acceptance as part and parcel of existence. And this process is known as Sallekhana or Santhara.


Santhara Sallekhana
On August 9th, my Badi Ma – Smt Mainadevi undertook the vow of Santhara. She was fully conscious and aware of her decision; but intuitively felt that the time of departure had come. The next 35 days, she was an epitome of serenity and compassion. She gave up any intake of food altogether and renounced many other things, including the use of electricity. Her body might have been in pain and discomfort, but her absolute silence and peace-filled countenance made it obvious that she was in tune with her spiritual self and was dissociating from her physical self. We could not hear even a slight moaning sound from her.


Days passed by and she became even more frail, but remained conscious. Even though it took a lot of effort, she always folded her palms and touched them to her head when the Jain sadhvis came by.


As we received news about her, with each passing day, I deeply remembered her younger daughter, my beautiful cousin turned Jain Sadhvi – Siddhaprabhaji M.Sa. I wondered how she felt receiving news of the Santhara and her mother, now her worldly mother. Within an instant, the answer too echoed within me – she would greet the news with the same detachment which we have observed ever since she had embraced the path of renunciation.


I always used to wonder – what made my cousin renounce the world – how did she get those samskaras? In the past 35 days, as my Badi Ma displayed greater religiosity, that question got answered.


The most important reason for Sallekhana is the belief that the aura in which you die is the aura in which you enter your next life. This is why preparation for death is important. The tranquility which surrounds my Badi Ma’s passing away touches each one of us. We miss her ardently, yet know that her soul must have chosen wisely, taking her to a better space and higher spirituality. RIP.


P.S: Smt. Mainadevi Pincha was the wife of Late Shri Jawarimalji Pincha. She was blessed with 3 sons and 2 daughters. She stayed with her sons Nirmal Pincha and Dinesh Pincha in Salem.
卐 ॐ 卐


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