Sadhvi Siddhali Shree: First American Jain Nun

Tammy Herbster, who is now Sadhvi Siddhali Shree
Tammy Herbster, who is now Sadhvi Siddhali Shree

© Mahavir Sanglikar


Sadhvi Siddhali Shree, previously known as Tammy Herbster, is the first American woman to become a Jain nun. She is a disciple of Acharya Shree Yogeesh.


Here is how a war veteran started her journey to her spiritual and ascetic life.

What is Jainism?

For those who do not know about Jainism: Jainism is an ancient Eastern Philosophy which does not believe in creator God, believes in soul and its liberation, incarnations and gives extreme importance to Non-violence. It also gives importance to pluralistic views.

The followers of Jainism are of two types. First type of followers are ascetics and others are lay followers. The number of followers of Jainism is very large in India, but on paper, the number is about half a million. In recent decades, this religion which is less known outside India is flourishing slowly, especially in North America and Europe.

There are lot of good books on basics of Jainism you can search for.

Jains in America

In North America, there are about 200000 followers of Jainism. Most of them are of Indian origin. But in recent past, many non-Indian Americans also are adopting this faith of Non-violence and pluralism. There are many lay followers of Jainism in United States and Canada who have become 'Jain by choice'.

Some of the well known North American Jains are: Writer and Director Michael Tobias, author and former politician Charlotte Laws, author Paul Constantine Pappas and many more.

Tammy Herbster is the first American to become a Jain monk.

Tammy Herbster's Story

Tammy Herbster was a medico. She was sent to Iraq with Medical Corp. After spending two years there, she returned to US and became a Jain nun. She was initiated to Jain order of nun-hood in September 2008 by Acharya Shree Yogeesh. When a lay follower becomes monk/nun, his/her name is changed. The new name of Tammy is Sadhvi Siddhali Shree. The initiation ceremony is known as Diksha. Here is a video of Diksha of Tammy Herbster:

Diksha Ceremony of Sadhvi Siddhali Shree

More about Sadhvi Siddhali Shree

Sadhvi Siddhali Shree is Spiritual Director of Siddhayatan Teerth, a spiritual retreat centre at Windom, Texas. The center is spread over 200 Acres of land with natural forestry and hills. Like her preceptor Achaary Shree Yogeesh, she too teaches non-violent way of life and spirituality. She does not belong to any specific sect of Jainism and stays away from sectarian views.

Her book Hidden Treasures of the Soul has become popular one, which is collection of her blog posts. You can get a copy of the book from her website: http://siddhalishree.com/

Acharya Shree Yogeesh

Dr. Achaarya Shree Yogeesh is preceptor of Sadhvi Siddhali Shree. He is a spiritual master. He differentiate spirituality from religion. He is not a born Jain and calls himself as Jain by Karma. He is well educated, has two Master's Degrees as well as Doctorate in Philosophy.

He promotes the philosophy of non-violence in America.

Tammy Herbster is one of his great disciples.

Read more about this great spiritual teacher at: Dr. Achaarya Shree Yogeesh

© 2013 Mahaveer Sanglikar

More by this Author


Comments 5 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

The non-violent foundation is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this information on this religion. It is always interesting to read about other's beliefs.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sadhvi Siddhali Shree: First American Jain Nun, an interesting and useful hub on Jainism, and a different kind of religion. It is worth reading about.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for this information, jainismus. I enjoy learning about different spiritualities and religions and found your hub interesting.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 2 years ago from Pune, India Author

No problem......


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

Well, I have to admit that I like how Jainism is about non-violence. But, for me (as if I'd ever be asked to participate) as long as they don't believe in the creator God, then I'll just stay content reading about their religion.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working