Satsang is defined as the association with the Satpurush (God-realized Guru), Bhakta (devotee), and Bhagwan (God). It is practiced through devotion to God, the study of scriptures and observance of dharma (code of conduct).
Clockwise from top-left: (1) His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj with folded hands, (2) A family performs puja in front of their mandir at home, (3) BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto Canada, (4) a traditional arti performed at BAPS centers worldwide.
Satsang provides more profound knowledge of the atma (soul) and God. Through this knowledge, one develops the patience, courage, and understanding to face the ups and downs of life with stability and peace of mind.
A family walks up the steps of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago, Illinois.
This same transformative power helps to free individuals from addictions and remove inner vices such as lust, ego, anger, envy, and greed.
One of the primary means for strengthening one’s personal Satsang is weekly Satsang Sabha (spiritual assembly), organized in every BAPS center worldwide. Here devotees come together and enjoy spiritual discourses, scriptural readings, and devotional singing.
BAPS centers host a variety of regular programs that keep us connected to our spirituality.
A group of female devotees perform their morning puja together in Chino Hills, California.
An essential practice for strengthening one’s satsang is daily morning puja (worship). Every BAPS Swaminarayan devotee begins their day by performing morning puja, which involves mansi (meditation), introspection, mantrajaap (spiritual chanting), prayer and scriptural reading. Regular practice of morning puja 09 strengthens one’s connection and devotion to God.
To cater to the needs of the individual, family, and community, Hindu scriptures and traditions have prescribed the following three types of mandirs: Shikharbaddh mandir, Hari mandir, and Ghar mandir.
Shikharbaddh mandirs are built according to the ancient texts of Hindu architecture. These magnificent structures, made from hand-carved stones, are ancient art and architecture masterpieces.
BAPS Shikharbaddh mandirs are also typically adjoined by Satsang Activities Centers, which provide facilities for various cultural, social, and spiritual activities.
These mandirs’ facilities include Prayer & Assembly Hall, Children’s and Youth Activities Areas, Classrooms, Exhibitions, Dining Area, Gardens, and Gift Shop.
Although not made from stone like traditional Shikharbaddh mandirs, Hari mandirs also offer similar facilities and activities for spiritual, cultural, and social growth.
Ghar mandirs are small mandirs in devotees’ homes, where family members gather for puja, morning and evening Arti (prayer) and thal (offering of food).