The backbone of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s spiritual and humanitarian activities is its dedicated force of volunteers and sadhus. These volunteers and sadhus form a diverse group of professionals and skilled workers that come from different geographical, academic, and social backgrounds, resulting in an effective mosaic of leaders and workers.
Sadhus make a lifetime commitment to the spiritual and altruistic service of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, their guru, and society. They strictly adhere to the five vows prescribed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan: eight-fold celibacy, detachment, humility, and aversion to wealth and taste. Sadhus leave behind their ties to the material world so that they can truly serve selflessly. Their strict vows are not taken due to lack of self-control, but rather to increase the efficiency and focus with which they aid society. They come from Europe, North America, Africa, India, and the Asia-Pacific region. Some of these sadhus have studied at the best educational institutions in the world, and others have worked at large corporate conglomerates. These sadhus have left their academic success and promising careers to commit to a life of service to God, guru and society.
BAPS Swaminarayan sadhus undergo a rigorous, 5-year training program in Sarangpur, India, where, they learn philosophy, traditional music, Vedanta, world religions, Indian languages, and other relevant skills. This expansive curriculum prepares them to capably serve society.
Thousands of volunteers around the world serve in their local centers. Many have professional careers and businesses, while others have left such positions to serve full time; they admirably balance their personal, family, social, professional and volunteer duties. Always willing to serve, these volunteers perform over 15 million hours of service annually. They are involved in physical service, planning, management and implementation.
The selfless services and dedication of these sadhus and volunteers support all of the activities organized by BAPS.