International Mahavira Jain Mission
International Mahavira Jain Mission was formed in the United States as an unincorporated entity in late 1970s. Subsequently, on June 29, 1981, it was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Ohio. Its initial trustees at incorporation were His Holiness Muni Sushil Kumarji, Dr. TJ Salgia, Dr. KC Bhaiji, and Dr. Dilip K. Ujla. Its first (and only) Chairman was Guruji.
IMJM’s first president was Dr. TJ Salgia, followed by Hans G. Funk, Arun Kothari, Dr. Narendra Parson (Vice-chairman following Guruji’s devlok in 1994), Shantichandra Shah (President), Dr. Ramanlal Daga (Vice-Chairman & President), and Samaj Ratna Jaipat Singh Jain (Vice-Chairman & President). Dr. Parveen Jain was interim Vice-Chairman and Kulbhushan Jain, interim President from March to Oct, 2015.
The purpose of International Mahavira Jain Mission, as set forth in its formation document, was:
- To promote understanding of Jain sacred scriptures and teachings of Lord Mahavira;
- To promote and propagate Jain religious doctrines and beliefs;
- To promote the aims and teachings of His Holiness Muni Sushil Kumarji;
- To provide academic, cultural and intellectual interchanges among Jains in the United States, India and elsewhere;
- To promote the principles of pure vegetarianism, non-injury (Ahinsa) and many views and truths;
- To celebrate auspicious Jain events and festivals;
- To foster and promote the idea of construction of a “Jain Temple” and “Jain Ashram” in the United States;
- To operate exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes that qualify under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
One of the foregoing purposes, namely “to foster and promote the idea of construction of a “Jain Temple” and “Jain Ashram” in the United States, became a reality soon thereafter in 1983 when the International Mahavira Jain Mission acquired about 108 acres of land that is now known as Siddhachalam Jain Tirth. The “Jain Temple” was formally opened in August 1991. In 1994, Siddhachalam expanded to include the land that now houses its library.
Guruji created several entities in various countries, formed under the laws of those countries, with same or similar names. International Mahavira Jain Mission formed in Canada and India continue to exist as independent legal entities with completely separate governance, each sharing a common object of promoting the message of Bhagwaan Mahavira, as interpreted in modern times by Guruji.