S is for Sadhu

Sadhu (monk) is a male religious leader.

The sadhus are person like us but they have voluntarily left the worldly life and have accepted five great vows* as a code of conduct to purify his soul from karmas and inturn to uplift the soul. The sadhus stay in upashraya. They do not cook for themselves and do not eat any food that is cooked for them. They take only accepted food from various houses. They give up attachment for their parents and relatives. The sadhus keep a few clothes, a few bowls to collect food, rajohan (soft cotton or woolen broom to clean), muhapati (mouth cover to protect fine living beings). Some sadhus donot wear any clothes and they keep morpichhi (broom made from shed off feathers of peacock) and kamandal (water utensil to wash and feets). They do not keep money, jewelry, or own anything, e.g. house or car. They do not keep anything more than what they need. They walk bare foot so that they donot crush bugs or insects. The sadhus do not touch or sit with ladies or girls. They do not stay in one place for more than a few days at a time, except in rainy season. Svetambar sadhus wear white clothes while Digambar sadhus do not wear any clothes.

They observe total Ahimsa, non-violence. They tell the truth, observe the celibacy, and do not believing in possessions. They follow strict code of conduct, study scripture, perform meditation, and austerity to free their souls from the cycle of birth and death. They go through a hardship to get rid of their karmas. They teach people about our religion. Upadhyayas sadhus teach sadhus and sadhvis (a female religious leader) about the scriptures. Acharyas are the heads of all the sadhus and sadhvis and look after the Jain Sangh, that is made up of sadhus, sadhvis, shravaks** and shravikas***.

We should always respect the Sadhus and Sadhvis for all the discipline they have and for all that they teach us.

* look under V

** lay men and women