The art of ancient Hindu construction estimates the lifetime of a mandir to be 1,000 years. They carry forward to future generations the cultural, spiritual, and communal lifeline of a heritage.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan built six mandirs in His lifetime. These mandirs were built in Ahmedabad, Vadtal, Dholera, Bhuj, Gadhada, and Junagadh. They were built during the last six of years of His life and stand as a testament to His legacy. In Vachanamrut Gadhada II-27, Bhagwan Swaminarayan explains the purpose of building these mandirs: “For the sake of preserving upasana and faith in God, I have relaxed the emphasis on renunciation and have built mandirs of God…. Even if a little renunciation remains, if upasana remains firm, through it, many jivas will attain liberation. When bhakti diminishes, the upasana of God is also destroyed, and a lineage of blind and lost followers results….”
Bhagwan Swaminarayan built these mandirs to provide direction for spiritual aspirants. Today, that tradition and legacy lives on through the work Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s fifth spiritual successor, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has built more than 1100 mandirs around the world as centers of personal and community development.
Mandirs provide an environment where the mind becomes still and focuses on progressing in more ways than one. These mandirs host a variety of weekly activities: spiritual forums for children and adults; courses in ethnic language, music, and dance; and events which cultivate personal talents and interpersonal skills. A mandir instructs on how to strengthen family relationships and improve the communities in which the mandir sits. Beyond all else, a mandir is a center for spiritual growth and a place of worship. It is a place which millions of devotees call a home away from home. Now you can too – look for the nearest BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in your neighborhood.