MUMBAI: The task at hand would have been more gruelling, given the fact that the panel of examiners included a galaxy of stalwarts from across the social spectrum-- S P Hinduja, Ashok Hinduja, Dilip Shangavi of Sun Pharma, High Court Justice K K Tated, Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly Dilip Valse-Patil, Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Ragha Savla and IIM-A (Ahmedabad)professor Anil Gupta to name a few.
However, the august panel or the 3500 people, who packed the megapolis’ Shanmukhanda Hall, failed to intimidate the 22-year-old ascetic, Ajitchandra Sagar, who successfully dredged from memory, the 200 items that was recited by the audience in the ascending and descending order as well as in random fashion.
The practice of jogging one’s memory to remember the facts and the names of various things is known as Avdhan in Jainism. And it is called shat- Avdhan, if the number of things or facts thus recollected totalled 100.
A disciple ofNayachandra Sagar belonging to the Shevtambari sect of Jainism, which believes in idol worship, Ajitchandra Sagar successfully accomplished the Shat- Avdhan at Ahmedabad in 2009. And on Sunday, Ajitchandra stumped the audience at the Shanmukhanda Hall, when he slowly began to recollect the names of all the 200 items that he had assimilated during a three-hour span.
The items to be memorised varied from eight digit numbers, one-line phrases, quotes, verse from the scriptures, proper names mathematical calculations, quotes, synonyms, names of scientists, philosophers, patriots, names of the rivers, mountains and pilgrimages.
To begin with, 10 persons randomly picked from the audience were asked to recite a one-liner in Hindi, Gujarati, Sanskrit or Prakrit. This was followed by a verse in Sanskrit and one-liner quotes. As the tasks
progressed, the level of challenge also mounted. For instance, in the questions 22-30, Ajitchandra was not just to memorise but also to remember the synonyms or antonyms of the words, earlier spoken out by the audience. Despite the onerous nature of the task, Ajitchandra accomplished the feat with aplomb.
Later on, he even memorised a line in an unidentified foreign language, that a member of the audience had asked.
Meanwhile, the task became even more challenging after the completion of 100, where he not only hand to remember the 25 objects that were shown to him, but was also required to memorise five serial numbers as blanks. The Jain monk’s scintillating feat also included performing mathematical calculations, by dredging them from memory.