Kumar, Sushil

Sushil Kumar (1926–1994) was born in a small village in India, became a Jain monk at age 15, and came to the United States in 1974 at the age of 48. He founded Siddhachalam, the first Jain religious retreat center in the United States, in 1983. He was recognized as an acharya, a spiritual teacher, in the Jain tradition and was often referred to by his followers with the honorific: Sushil Kumarji. Despite resistance from more conservative members of the Jain community, Kumar traveled widely to participate in conferences concerned with world peace and animal rights.