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GUIDLINES OF JAINISM

Bhadrabahu Vijay

Organization of the Jain Society

The Jain society Is organized into four groups:

1. Sadhus

2. Sadhvis

3. Shravaks

4. Shravikas

These are also called the four kinds of organization.

The Sadhus and Sadhvis renounce wordily life; assume a life of austerity and discipline and keep moving on the path of self awareness or spiritual attainment. Besides soaring towards the firmament of spiritual elevation and development they also give to all classes of people guidance in respect of moral religious and spiritual values that help the proper deveIopment of their lives. For this purpose, they adopt such means as discourses, discussions, training programs, meditations, repeating of Mantras; celebrations, devotional festivals, writing articles etc.

The Shravaks and Shravika while remaining as 'grihasthas householder) carry on their wordily duties and conforming to some noble principles and rules of conduct, also pursue the path of self-realization and spiritual elevation.

In every town and city in India, there are Jain mandirs (temples), Upashrays (religious centers), Pathshalas (Jain schools), Libraries of scriptures, Panjarapol (shelter for animals and birds), Ayambilshalas, Choultries (Dharamshalas) and other such institutions. These institutions are under the management of the local or other sanghas (Societies). These societies render service with devotion to Sadhus and Sadhvis who are on padyatrci; (who travel on foot).

The brothers and sisters of the Jain Societies extend co- operation and sympathy to the fellow members of the society. Most members of the Jain Society offer financial and other aid and help according to their ability and means, for religious and social activities. They render manual service; and they also render service to society with magnanimity.