Sri Chinmoy
(b. 1931)
   a popular yogi and peace activist, who has a worldwide following Chitrabhanu, Gurudev Sri (1922– ) Jain monk and teacher of ahimsa
   Gurudev Sri Chitrabhanu is a very popular Jain preacher and advocate of nonviolence as a way of life. He was the first Jain master to leave India to preach and lecture in the West. Gurudev Sri Chi-trabhanu was born on July 26, 1922, in Rajasthan, India. After an experience of spiritual awakening at the age of 20, he became sensitive to questions of the purpose and meaning of life. His search for answers led him to the JAIN religion. For 28 years he lived the life of a monk, the first five years in silence. Through his practice, Chitrabhanu came to the realization that the purpose of life is to be liberated from attachment and desire. Leaving the monastery with this wisdom, he promoted a message of enlightenment and became known to millions across India.
   Chitrabhanu became an advocate of AHIMSA (nonviolence) during the same period that Mohandas Karamchand GANDHI pursued his nonviolent struggle for Indian independence. After the upsurge of violence afflicting the West-ern world during the 1960s, Chitrabhanu made a conscious decision to spread ahimsa around the world. In 1970, he was invited to the Sec-ond Spiritual Summit Conference in Geneva. He became the first Jain master ever to travel to the West, excusing himself from the doctrine that Jains should travel only by foot. The following year he attended the Third Spiritual Summit Conference at Harvard Divinity School and lec-tured at a number of universities in the eastern United States. In 1974, he founded the Jain Meditation International Center in the Ansonia section of New York City.
   The center follows the fundamental principles of ahimsa, promoting the mission to create unity within the diversity of humankind. Chitrabhanu teaches that everyone must become his or her own master, believing that the approach to peace begins with oneself in everyday living. The mis-sion of one’s life is to realize this inner mastery and peace. The JAIN MEDITATION INTERNATIONAL CENTER includes 67 centers across North America as well as in England, Africa, Japan, and India.
   Chitrabhanu has written over 25 books on self-realization, liberation, and peace. He con-tinues to give talks at various centers around the world. Chitrabhanu and his wife, Pramoda, are the main advisers for the Jain Meditation Interna-tional Center.
   Further reading: Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu and Leonard M. Marks, Realize What You Are: The Dynam-ics of Jain Meditation (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978); Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu and Lyssa Miller, The Psy-chology of Enlightenment: Meditations on the Seven Energy Centers (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1979); Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu and Clare Rosenfield, The Philosophy of Soul and Matter (New York: Jain Meditation Inter-national Center, 1979); Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu and Clare Rosenfield, Twelve Facets of Reality: The Jain Path to Freedom (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1980); Clare Rosenfield, Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu: A Man with a Vision (Bombay: Divine Knowledge Society, n.d.).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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