BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Chino Hills
Located in Chino Hills, California, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a traditional Hindu place of worship.
Derived from the Sanskrit word Mandira, Mandir is a house of prayer that inspires faith in God and guides an individual towards spirituality. A Mandir instills basic virtues of humanity such as forgiveness, honesty, unity, friendship, humility, tolerance, patience, sacrifice, and charity. For countless generations, Mandirs have served society through spiritual and humanitarian activities.
The Swaminarayan faith is one of many Hindu denominations, with a presence in India and throughout the world. It has been growing steadily since the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, who was born in Northern India in 1781. Today, the faith’s leader is Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a well-known international religious figure. Followers are known for their discipline, dedication, spirit of volunteerism and commitment to a productive life.
The Swaminarayan faith is a socio-spiritual organization with a commitment to working for the betterment of society through an emphasis on family values and morality, and educational and charitable activities. Founded more than 200 years ago in India, it has more than one million followers worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the Swaminarayan faith operates religious and cultural centers in more than 64 cities.
It provides religious, educational, social and medical services across more than 3,300 centers worldwide. Its youth activities help young people flourish and develop into positive role models for friends and classmates. Though a spiritual organization, its members engage in a variety of volunteer programs and activities that encompass moral, cultural, social and medical fields.
Internationally, the Swaminarayan faith works in conjunction with the United Nations, providing disaster relief and help in crisis situations. After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, it offered a team of 12 doctors and 250 volunteers to the New York State Emergency Management Team for immediate assistance. Subsequently, it provided monetary support for families of the victims and for the building of a memorial. Years earlier, its volunteers helped in recovery efforts after the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Locally, the organization and its members were active in the Northridge earthquake relief efforts and post-civil unrest clean up efforts. It regularly participates in annual food, blood, health and toy drives.
Hinduism is a religious philosophy and way of life that is more than 8,000 years old. Just as other world religions, it encompasses many different sects. Hinduism cherishes all forms of life, respects nature and the environment, and strongly believes that humankind is one family. The Swaminarayan faith shares these basic Hindu beliefs. Its temple will be open to all faiths.