A mandir is a Hindu house of worship. The primary function of a mandir is to provide an environment for people to discover their spirituality and strengthen their faith in God. BAPS mandirs add a spiritual aspect to an individual’s development. Each activity or event at a mandir has religious roots and focuses on the importance of prayer and devotion. Weekly satsang sabhas, spiritual counseling sessions, and daily rituals and practices serve as a reminder of spirituality to millions of individuals at BAPS mandirs around the world.
Murtis are central to many of the spiritual activities that take place at a mandir. Murtis give form to bhakti and add tangibility to spirituality. Bhakti, or devotion, is the basic foundation of spirituality. Darshan aarti, thal, chesta, mansi, abhishek, and puja give people an opportunity to add a spiritual element to their daily routines. It makes spirituality all the more pertinent. These rituals are not practiced blindly out of tradition; there is a practical explanation and origin to each one that is also taught to devotees early on.
Katha, or spiritual discourses, are also an integral part of spiritual instruction at BAPS mandirs. They provide practical spirituality for people from varied backgrounds. Sadhus and devotees offer discourses that are applicable to everyday life, which helps individuals identify and connect with their spiritual side. These discourses and assemblies solidify the principles of Hindu Sanatan Dharma: mandir, shastra, and the sant.
One-on-one and family counseling are also important to spiritual progress. Questions are quenched and confusion is quelled with comprehension. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has counseled millions of people around the world regarding their doubts and queries: Does God exist? Why do we worship murtis? How can I get rid of my inner desires and instincts? If left unanswered, these questions can cause a state of spiritual frustration, but Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his sadhus patiently listen and console aspirants to reaffirm their faith in God. Again, a customized approach for children and adults make these counseling sessions effective and relevant.