BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Jacksonville
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a spiritual, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to improving society through individual growth by fostering the Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a socio-spiritual Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas. It was revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830) in the late 18th century and established in 1907 by Shastriji Maharaj (1865-1951). Founded on the pillars of practical spirituality, the BAPS reaches out far and wide to address the spiritual, moral and social challenges and issues we face in our world. Its strength lies in the purity of its nature and purpose. BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Its universal work through a worldwide network of over 3,850 centers has received many national and international awards and affiliation with the United Nations. Today, a million or more Swaminarayan followers begin their day with puja and meditation, lead upright, honest lives and donate regular hours in serving others. No Alcohol, No Addictions, No Adultery, No Meat, No Impurity of body and mind are their five lifetime vows. Such pure morality and spirituality forms the foundation of the humanitarian services performed by BAPS.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha strives to better society through individual development by instilling values, promoting spirituality, cultivating skills, and nurturing growth. We aim to preserve Indian culture and the Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service in diverse communities around the world. We envision a society whose joy lies in the joy of others.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha possesses a rich history. The Swaminarayan Sampraday was established by Bhagwan Swaminarayan over 200 years ago in Gujarat and later formalized by His third spiritual successor Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj in the small town of Bochasan, Gujarat. After over 100 years of growth, the organization has 3,850 centers, 55,000 volunteers, and over 1 million followers around the world.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a registered and reputed Charitable Trust in India, and an NGO in Consultative Status with the EcoSoC of the United Nations. It has won many awards and honorable mentions for its activities, including International awards for Environmental activities and National awards for Child-upliftment and for Animal care.
In the Hindu tradition, the discussion and understanding of philosophy is a fundamental tool for a spiritual aspirant to attain moksha, liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. The sound philosophical base of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, and particularly the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, is grounded in the Aksharbrahma-Parabrahma philosophy derived from the Vedas and revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. This philosophy teaches aspirants to worship Paramatma and to realize their true form to be the atma and not simply the body. The attainment of ekantik dharma is at the heart of the practical application of this philosophy in the life of a spiritual aspirant.