Shanti Mandir

(est. 1987)
   The Shanti Mandir (Temple of Peace) was estab-lished by Swami Nityananda (b. 1962), brother of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, not to be confused with Swami Nityananda, the guru of Swami MUK-TANANDA, in 1987, to promote the Shaivite teach-ings of Swami Muktananda, head of the popular Siddha Yoga Dham. Shanti Mandir now has centers in Atul, Gujarat, India; Kankhal, Uttarandchal, India; and Walden, New York.
   Prior to his death in 1982 Muktananda had chosen a brother and sister team—Nityananda and Swami CHIDVILASANANDA, to coadminister the huge worldwide organization he had built. In 1986 Nityananda withdrew from Siddha Yoga Dham amid tension, controversy, disruption, and questions about his ability to administer the group. He renounced his vows of SANNYAS, entered private life, and set up a MEDITATION practice in California.
   In July 1987, he established Shanti Mandir (Temple of Peace), over the objections of Siddha Yoga Dham devotees who questioned his authen-ticity and authority. After two years of building Shanti Mandir on December 26, 1989, Nityananda took a quick plunge in the GANGES near HARIDVAR and reaffirmed his vows of sannyas and commit-ment to Muktananda.
   The Mandir in all three of its locations offers courses and meditation intensives and initiates students, using the chanting of MANTRAS as a pri-mary practice. Nityananda also holds seminars, retreats, and workshops in the United States, Aus-tralia, and Europe.
   Further reading: “Nityananda, One of Swami’s Muk-tananda’s Successors, Retakes Sannyasin Vows,” Hindu-ism Today 12, no. 14 (April 1990): 28.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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