Dignitary Info

Roop Chandraji Maharaj

Muni Roop Chandra Ji took Diksha at the tender of 13 in Terapanth Sangh under Acharya Tulsi. He is the founder of "Nav Tairah Panth" and "Manav Mandir Mission",has author of 100’s of books, poetry and articles. More than 15 books and his poetic work have translated into several Indian scriptures Bangla, Kannad, Gujarati, and English. He has walked over 40,000 miles bare-footed to all parts of India, and to Nepal as a monk. He is a great poet, writer, philosopher and has deep knowledgeable of Jain scriptures, and many non-Jain scriptures such as Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagvatgeeta, Buddhist literature and of Bible. He has a mastery of Mantra-Yoga-Meditation.

Muni Ji’s calm and thoughtful demeanor has won him religious and spiritual admirers all over the world. In last 30 years he has travelled to all parts of the world in the service of Jain Dharma spreading Mahavir Vaani and wisdom among Jain and non-Jain followers. He has inspired initiation of many Jain centers around the world and has attended and graced opening of 10’s of Jain organizations, temples, and spiritual centers in many cities in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Muni was an inspiration and key guide during the planning, construction and Pratishtha of Jan Bhawan. 

Swasthishri Bhattaraka Charukeerthiji, Sri Jain Mutt, Moodbidri.

Swasthishri Bhattaraka Charukeerthiji is enthroned on the religious seat of the Jain Mutt as a successor to the previous Swamiji three  years ago. Right from the day of his becoming the head of Jain Mutt, the Swamiji kept himself busy in all kinds of religious activities, organised literary conferences and religious functions.

In recognition of his immense knowledge in Architecture, Kolkatta Astrological University honored him by presenting the honorary award of Bharatha Bhushana in the International Astrological Conference. The “Non-Violence” organisation honored him by presenting the award of “Dharma Rathna”. Being the Head of the Trust of the local 18 Jain Temples, he has already taken up the work of renovating several Jain Temples with the help and support of generous donations from the devotees. His future dreams are to see a museum and a ‘Home for the Old’ coming into existence. He wishes to establish an Ashrama to propogate the Jain way of life. He has already given a start for the publication of rare works housed in the “Rama Rani Research Centre”. 

Shri Manoj Haran

Shri Manoj Haran (Manojbhai) is one of the most eminent and sought after Vidhikar for all types of auspicious  and sacred Jain religious and spiritual activities. Although he leads the life of a householder, he is constantly on the road visiting Jain temples and other religious places. Manojbhai has been instrumental in building of 100’s of Jain temples in India and around the world. His dedication to Jain Dharma is unparalleled, as he especially motivates Jain communities in remote and small villages in India to build Jain Temples and provides them support by raising funds to fulfill such projects. He never accepts any money or any other personal benefits for his services. Manojbhai has conducts over 100 Pratishtha ceremonies a year, and in last 10 years has conducted approximately 700 such ceremonies.

He is a devout disciple of Acharya Padam Sagar Ji, and was instrumental in generating the financial, material and other support from India for JCNC during the planning, construction and Pratishtha of Jain Bhawan. He motivated Dadavadi community of Pune India to hold Pran Pratishtha ceremony for Jain Bhawan Pratimas, and personally managed and conducted the ceremonies there.


Pandit Kumud Chand Jain

Pt. Kumud Jain is an accomplished Jain scholar and vidhikar. Although he has an M.Com degree and is a successful professional with business and financial background, his devotion to Jain Dharma is his primary objective and passion. He conducts various religious and spiritual activies such as Paryushana Parva, Shanti Vidhan, Vrahad Bhaktamar Vidhan, Vedi Pratishtha, Rishi Mandal Vidhan and Mahamandal Vidhaan Pujan. He motivated construction of the first  Jain (Digambar) Temple in Bangkok and visited Cambodia to conduct various Jain religious ceremonies there. Pt. Kumud Jain has also travelled to Washington, D.C. for conducting religious activities. In 2006, Pt. Kumud Jain conducted several Vidhanas at Vindhyagiri Parvat at Sharvanbelgola during 'The Bahubali Mahamastakabhisek Mahotsava.


Samani Akshay Pragya

Born in Tapara (Rajasthan, India), Samani Akshay Pragya Ji was initiated as Jain nun in May, 1982 in Ahmedabad (Gujrat), India. She has an M.A. degree in Jainology from Jain Vishwa Bharati. She is fluent in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi, English, and Rajasthani, and specializes in Jain Philosophy, Meditation & Yoga, Science of Living, Non-Violence.

Samani Akshay Pragya Ji was appointed ‘Niyojika' (Head of saman order) from 2002 to 2007, Member of Board of Management (BOM) of Jain Vishwa Bharati Institution; Member of Management Committee of Saman order(Pragya parishad), guided Parmarthik Shikshan Sanstha for 4 years. She has organized many Preksha Meditation camps, attended Interfaith Conferences, many other conferences & seminars in India and around the world. She has travelled all the states of India, USA, UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Holland, Poland, France, Switzerland, Finland and other Asian & European countries.

Samani Vinay Pragya

Born in Birpur (Bihar, India), Samani Vinay Pragya Ji was initiated as Jain nun on November 10, 2002 in Ahmedabad (Gujrat), India. She has a B.Sc. degree (Banasthali Vidhyapith), an M.A. degree in Jain Philosophy and Comparative religion, and an M.Phil degree in Jainology, NET. She is fluent in Sanskrit, Hindi, English, and Rajasthani, and specializes in Jain Philosophy, Meditation & Yoga, Science of Living, Non-Violence.

Samani Vinay Pragya Ji was appointed ‘Lecturer at Jain Vishwa Bharati in India. She has participated in Conferences and Seminars, Conducted Camps, written Dissertation and has written some Research articles. She has travelled USA , UK , Nepal , Many states of India.


Dr. Dipak C. Jain

Dipak Jain was named dean of the Kellogg School of Management in 2001. He joined the Kellogg School of Management faculty in 1986 as an associate professor and became an associate dean in 1996. In 1994 he was named the school's Sandy and Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and professor of marketing. In addition to his teaching at Kellogg, Jain has served as a visiting professor at the Koblenz Business School, Germany; Nijenrode University, the Netherlands; Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; IIT Delhi, India; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong; and Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Dr Will Turtle

Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, has a master's degree in humanities from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of California, Berkeley. A professional pianist, composer, and teacher, he has for the last 15 years presented at progressive churches, vegetarian and human potential conferences, and intentional communities throughout the country. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, intuition development, and spiritual healing. In July, 2007 he received the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey. He lives on the road with his spouse Madeleine in a solar-powered RV and enjoys exploring wilderness areas.

Shri Nipun Mehta

Nipun Mehta is the founder of CharityFocus.org, a fully volunteer-run organization that has delivered millions of dollars of web-related services to the nonprofit world for free. The recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the President's Volunteer Service Award, his work creatively leverages web technologies for collaborative and transformational giving, lending him insight into service, leadership, organizational design, and spirituality. He serves on the advisory boards of the Seva Foundation, Dalai Lama Foundation, and Airline Ambassadors.

Bob Linden

Bob Linden is the creator and host of a weekly radio program called GoVeganRadio. This show, which has been broadcast for 9 years, provides news and interviews people that advocate for a vegan lifestyle for ethical, health and environmental reasons. Podcasts of the shows are available at http://www.goveganradio.com/ and the show can be heard weekly in the Bay Area at Green 960 AM on Sundays at 3PM.

Bob has been an animal rights activist since the mid-80's, finding many reasons to protest: meat-eating, dairy and egg consumption, vivisection, fur, leather, wool, silk, circuses, zoos, captive animal parks, hunting, rodeos, and all cruel exploitation. Bob is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York (where he was involved with college radio, and where he decided to stop eating animals' cadavers). He began his professional career in commercial broadcasting in 1976, has worked for media giants including Gannett, Tribune, and United, and has been recognized as one of the leading rock, jazz, and world music Program Directors by Billboard Magazine.

Sudhanshu Jain

Sudhanshu Jain has been designing integrated circuits for 25 years. In 2008 he decided that the impending Climate crisis was far more important than designing the next switch chip for computer networking and he "retired" from Broadcom Corporation.

For the past two years, he has volunteered to perform home energy audits for Acterra in Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. He has also installed solar panels on low income housing with Grid Alternatives. As part of Citizen's Climate Lobby, he leads a small group of Bay Area volunteers which meets with members of Congress to advocate for a Carbon Tax with 100% revenue recycling (dividends to consumers).Sudhanshu holds BS and MSEE degrees from MIT.

Dr Nathan Katz

Dr. Katz is the Bhagawan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University in Miami, where he is also Director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. He came to FIU in 1994 and in 1995 became Founding Chair of its Department of Religious Studies. Arguably the world's leading authority on Indian Jewish communities, he is a pioneer in the field of Indo-Judaic Studies and has been involved in Jewish-Hindu/Buddhist dialogue for three decades. His "Who are the Jews of India?" was a Finalist for the 2000 National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Studies, and he has been awarded four Fulbright grants for research and teaching in South Asia. He edits an academic journal, the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies. He reads and/or speaks a number of Asian languages, as well as Hebrew-Aramaic, and has lived in South Asia for more than seven years, two of which with the U.S. Information Agency in Afghanistan in the early 1970's. He has published more than a dozen books, half about Buddhism or Hinduism, half on Indo-Judaic studies. He was a member of the eight-person delegation of scholars and rabbis who met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet about Jewish survival in exile. He has recieved statewide and national acclaim and awards for classroom excellence and has lectured at major universities and institutes around the world.

Dr. Gary Francione

Gary Francione is Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University. He has been teaching animal rights and the law for 25 years has lectured on the topic throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including serving as a member of the Guest Faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows. He was the co-director (with Anna Charlton) of the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Center, in which law students earned academic credits working on actual legal cases involving animals. Professor Francione is well known among animal advocates for his criticism of the animal welfare position and the property status of nonhuman animals, and for his abolitionist theory of animal rights. His most recent book is Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation (Columbia University, 2008). His other works include Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? (Temple University, 2000) and Animals, Property, and the Law (Temple University 1995). He maintains a website on animal rights/abolitionist theory at www.AbolitionistApproach.com. Gary Francione is the author of "A Losing Proposition".

Amit Jain

During his MBA Candidacy at Loyola Marymount University, Amit was connected with the right people and got into consulting with start-ups and non-profits. Amit completed his MBA in 2006 with a double emphasis in Marketing Management and Entreprenerial Organizations. He was proud and humbled to be the Graduate Student of the Year in 2005. Since then he has worked as an Independent Contractor for several boutique consulting firms while building his own consulting practice. During that time he has become even more aware of environmental and social issues. He is currently finishing his Certificate to become a Sustainable Leadership Professional from the UC Irvine. He was the previous YJA Co-Chair for the 2008 Convention in Chicago.