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Book Release on Chitrabhanu, JAINA 2017 at Edison NJ
Rup–Rajendra Shah

(1922-07-26)July 26, 1922
Other namesmonk as Chandraprabha Sagar
EducationDegree in Psychology
Alma matercollege at Bangalore
OccupationJain Spiritual leader, Jain philosopher, author
OrganizationJain Meditation International Center in Manhattan, New York City
Known forFirst Jain Spiritual Leader travelled to US
Notable work
Gujarati composition "Maitri Bhavanu Pavitra Jharanu", The Jain Path to Freedom /

Chitrabhanu is a prominent figure[1] in American Jainism.[2][3] He was one of the co-founders of JAINA.

Early life[edit]

He was born on July 26, 1922 in a small town Takhatgarh in Pali district of Rajasthan, India. He studied psychology at Banglore.[4] He found Acharya Sagaranand as his Guru. He became a Jain monk on February 6, 1942 at the age of 20 at Palitana and was named Muni Chandraprabha Sagar for 29 years.[4]

In 1970 he was invited to attend The Second Spiritual Summit Conference to be held in April in Geneva, Switzerland.[4] Jain monks are traditionally not permitted to travel overseas.[5] He gave up monkhood in 1970 to attend the Summit, and became an ordinary shravaka. He also married Pramoda in 1971. He has two sons, Rajeev Chitrabhanu and Darshan Chitrabhanu.

In USA[edit]

After spending some time in Africa and Europe, he came to the USA in 1971 at the invitation of Harvard Divinity School.[4][6] In 1973, he founded the Jain Meditation International Center in Manhattan, New York City.[4] He claimed to attained enlightenment in 1981 by the ocean at San Diego.[4] In 1975 he met Jain Muni Sushil Kumarji to USA, the first practicing Jain monk on his visit to USA.[4]

He was among the early promoters of Yoga in USA. His disciple Beryl Bender Birch developed her own style of yoga.[7]

Establishment of JAINA[edit]

With his guidance, a federation of all Jain associations termed JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America), was founded which became the umbrella organization with more than 100,000 members. For his unprecedented journey to bring the Jain tradition of ahimsa to the Western Hemisphere, Chitrabhanu received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.[4]


He has written about twenty-five books which mainly deal with the topic of self-realization.[8] Some of these are:[4]

  • The Jain Path to Freedom
  • The Dynamics of Jain Meditation
  • Meditations on the Seven Energy Centers
  • The Philosophy of Soul and Matter
  • Ten Days Journey into the Self
  • The Miracle is You and Reflections

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Charles Tobias, A Jain Leader Addresses the World
  2. ^ American Yoga: The Paths and Practices of America's Greatest Yoga Masters, Carrie Schneider, Sterling Publishing Company, Oct 9, 2003, p. 39
  3. ^ Chitrabhanu: Man of the Millennium, Dilip Shah, June 21, 2017
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji – Life and Works" (PDF). Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ Iconoclastic Jain Leader Is Likened to Pope John, New York Times, GEORGE DUGAN, December 18, 1973,
  6. ^ Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu: On Achieving Omega Consciousness, SUSAN K. BROWN, The Harvard, Crimson, Monday, April 30, 1979
  7. ^ American Yoga: The Paths and Practices of America's Greatest Yoga Masters, Carrie Schneider,Sterling Publishing Company, 2003, p.39
  8. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.

External links[edit]