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BAPS Mandirs across North America celebrated the 233rd birth anniversary of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, also known as Swaminarayan Jayanti.  According to the Hindu calendar, Chaitra Sud Nom, also celebrates the birth of Bhagwan Ram. This year’s program, appropriately themed “Ekantik Dharma Pravartak”, celebrated Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s legacy of reestablishing Hindu dharma in 18th century India.

Through His teachings, Bhagwan Swaminaryan inspired harmony among the four spiritual elements that make up Ekantik Dharma – Gnan (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion), Vairagya (detachment), and Dharma (righteousness).  The children and youth of BAPS, who dedicated multiple weeks to preparing for the event, embodied these same principles in the various stage productions performed.  With classical devotional songs and dance, they illustrated the values and philosophical work propounded by Bhagwan Swaminarayan during His 49 years on this earth. From uplifting women in 18th century India, to the practice of ahimsa (non-violence), Bhagwan Swaminarayan helped improve the moral standard of living in Gujarat, India. Additionally, He helped revive spirituality in an era where superstitions and immoral practices were rampant. Through 500 paramhansas, ascetics of the highest order, He ushered an era of social and cultural reform in Gujarat, enabling communities to come together under a common banner. These ascetics traveled through the region, spreading Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s message of pure spiritual living and promoted the spirit of service. In times of drought and famine, Bhagwan Swaminarayan inspired His paramhansas and devotees alike to help those in need.
During the prior age of Satyug, Bhagwan Ram had exemplified dharma as prescribed by the Hindu scriptures. As a king, husband and father, Bhagwan Ram upheld ideal values, morals and behavior. Reestablished by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, these values carry forward today, inspiring thousands across the world to lead pure lives and give back to others in their communities.

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