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His Holiness Shantidoot Amrender Muni Ji


Muniji teaching a yoga class at Arkhaven-Katstretch Yoga Studio July 22, 2001

Muni preaches the values of Jainism,
Non-Violence, Vegetarianism, Yoga and Compassion to all human beings. He is a disciple of Maha Shree Sushil Kumar Ji Maharaj - the first Jain monk to preach and travel outside India.

Shree Amrender Muni Ji was born in 1949 in Delhi. He left home at the age of 11 to live in the company of Jain monks and was formally initiated (Diksha) at the age of 14.

He holds a degree in Shastri (Sanskrit), Masters Degree in Philosophy and is self-educated in the Hindu, Buddist and Jain scriptures. He has discussed the values of non-violence, peaceful co-existence and environmental protection with several senior religious and political leaders.

He has met Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, many Presidents and Prime Ministers of India. Muni Ji has traveled all the inhabited continents spreading the message of non-violence and world peace. He is not only an experienced philosopher but also a "hathyogi". He often states inner conflicts of a person, which surprises many.

He organizes camps for children and families to teach principles of Jainism, Non-Violence, Meditation and Yoga in India, the USA and Canada every year. He promotes scholarships to poor children and preaches compassion to prisoners in India.

Muniji has established three health centers in India, which serve the health care needs of the poor through alternate forms of medicine such as Naturopathy and Homeopathy.

Muni Ji has started a unique project on the outskirts of New Delhi, which will have temples of various faiths, boarding schools for orphans, a retirement home for the underprivledged elderly persons and a modern hospital. The uniqueness of this effort lies in the expected mutual care and support between the orphans and the elderly, which will be ably supported by a school and a health center on the premises
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Jain Monk from India Visits New Hampshire Seacoast August 10-18, 2006 Written by correspondent/columnist Jodi Blase

This past August, H.H. (standing for His Holiness) Shantidoot-Dhyan Yogi Amrendra Muni Maharaj, (otherwise known as Muni Ji,) master yoga teacher, Jain monk, and world-renowned advocate for peace, returned to New England on an annual visit, carrying a message of nonviolence. "When I speak of nonviolence, I mean nonviolence to all living things; plant, human and animals. We need to look at each other as part of the environment and take care of it as opposed to using the environment for our own needs," he said. Pathways Yoga Systems, Ltd, located in Exeter, New Hampshire, sponsored Muni Ji's visit. "The purpose of Muni Ji's visit was to spread a deeper understanding of the Jain principles of nonviolence and to teach the basics of Arhum Yoga, that is, yoga as it is practiced in the Jain tradition. Other values include vegetarianism, yoga and compassion," said Pat Bruno, founder of Pathways Yoga Systems. Muni Ji held an evening meditation and conducted a daylong workshop at Katstretch Yoga Studio in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. The first session of the workshop was a speech in which he emphasized the importance of meditation and mantra (chanting positive affirmations) through Arhum yoga. "Muni Ji taught students how to use yoga pranayamas (breathing techniques) and mantras in their everyday practices," said Bruno. Muni Ji believes there is great power behind mantra and meditation. Mantra, he said, has three benefits. It is good for the health, it awakens one's internal energy, and it brings inner happiness. "Mantra will awaken your energy, and this will help you be open to many things," he said. The afternoon session was based on the philosophy of Jainism. During this session, Muni Ji answered questions about the traditional relationship of the guru to his devotees. He was also asked about the role of the Satguru. "The Satguru's (Sat meaning truth and guru meaning spiritual teacher) role is to help students release the ego, or the self, which is distinct from the world and other selves. Once the ego is conquered, the student can achieve enlightenment. The guru or teacher's role is to help one achieve that goal," explained Bruno. Many people in attendance were so impressed with the monk whose life is devoted to the practice of non-violence that some, both Indian and American, chose to accept vegetarianism as their lifestyle, and ahimsa (nonviolence) as their goal. On August 15th, Muni Ji traveled to Portland, Maine to meet with Priyadarshi George, of the Arts of Living Learning Center in Augusta, Maine. The session was held along the banks of the ocean, beginning and ending with chanting and meditation. Students were most inquisitive about the differences between Jainism and Hinduism, who Jainists consider their God to be, and the difference between vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism. Muni Ji returned to New Hampshire where, for the next three days, he met with approximately 20-25 people per day. "Many of these people traveled from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine to consult privately with Muni Ji. Pat is wonderful, said Mary Van Abs, Pathways yoga teacher and student of Arhum Yoga. As the only Arhum Yoga teacher based in the United States, she hosted Muni Ji during his stay and opened her home to many people." He was able to bring understanding, peace and inner healing to everyone who spoke with him," said Vandana and Mahesh Verma, who were visiting from Oman,UAE. "Some people visited just to be in his presence. He was able to give suggestions on illness, mental confusion, pain, yoga practices, and spiritual concerns," said Joe Augustini, Pathways Yoga faculty philosophy teacher. Bruno stated that Muni Ji loves to tell stories of his youth. In the evenings he told stories of India and of his Guru, H.H. Acharya Sushil Kumar Maharaji, the first monk to bring Jainism to the West. Acharya Kumar was the founder of the World Fellowship of Religions, The World Center of Nonviolence, and The International Mahavir Jain Mission, which is affiliated with the United Nations. After being introduced to Muni Ji by Acharya Kumar, Bruno invited him to the northeast on his mission of nonviolence. "I first met Muni Ji twenty-two years ago. I believe that Americans at this point and time are especially interested in nonviolence and peace, and his message transcends political and religious differences," said Bruno. Muni Ji also discussed his center in New Delhi, India, which he established in 1990. The center consists of an old age home, school, library, orphanage and medical center aligned side by side. Although he doesn't charge for his lectures, Mun Ji accepts donations to support the center. Muni Ji claims to have 100,000 followers in America, mostly from Washington, Los Angeles, and New York, and 10 million followers worldwide. He has been lecturing since 1982 and travels eight months out of the year from May through December throughout the United States, Canada and London. During his stay in New England, Muni Ji resides at Siddhachalam in Blairstown, New Jersey, the only Jain temple in the West. Winters, from January through April, are spent in Delhi, Bahrain, Dubai and Oman. "Every night after meditation, people drifted home with the glow of his prayers and energy surrounding them. Muni Ji is an internationally renowned yoga teacher as well as spiritual guru who has met he Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and many presidents and prime ministers of India. His personal mission to globally spread the message of nonviolence has transcended cultural and religious boundaries. "Meditation and yoga can help to bring people together. Today there is so much that causes the individual tension. We can remove all tensions and bring peace through meditation. Without peace, people will continue to fight each other."