Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Gunatit Gurus have long been patrons of Sanskrit and scriptural study. After decades of formal and informal study by BAPS sadhus at external institutions, Pramukh Swami Maharaj established the ‘Yagnapurush Sanskrit Pathshala’ in Sarangpur in 1973. In 2013, the Pathshala became affiliated with Shree Somnath Sanskrit University and BAPS youths also began formal studies. The Pathshala was renamed ‘BAPS Swaminarayan Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya’.
To cater for the rise in enrolments, this new building was erected. Mahant Swami Maharaj performed its inauguration rituals on 26 May 2019 and on 3 November the new Mahavidyalaya building was officially opened by Pujya Viveksagar Swami, Jnaneshwar Swami and senior sadhus. Guests present included esteemed academics such as Prof. Gopabandhu Mishra, vice-chancellor of Shree Somnath Sanskrit University, Veraval; Prof. V. Muralidhara Sharma, vice-chancellor of Rastriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati; Prof. Mahipatsinh Chavda, vice-chancellor of Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar; and Prof. Arknath Chaudhary, former vice-chancellor of Shree Somnath Sanskrit University, Veraval.
In the assembly that followed, Mahavidyalaya students presented creative and informative speeches, videos and a shastraarth (spiritual debate) to the large audience of invited guests, devotees and parents. Atmatrupt Swami, Principal of the Mahavidyalaya, and Mahamahopadhyay Bhadresh Swami spoke about how the Mahavidyalaya provides a platform to youths for both academic progress and character development. Speaking in Sanskrit, Prof. V. Muralidhara Sharma of Tirupati, praised the scientific nature of Sanskrit and the benefits Mahavidyalaya students will gain from its study.
Concluding the program, Pujya Viveksagar Swami narrated incidents of Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj’s vision and blessings for the establishment of such a ‘College of Brahmavidya’. Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj conveyed his blessings through a video message for the occasion saying, “Yogiji Maharaj insisted that everyone should study brahmavidya. Brahmavidya is the root and everything will grow from it.”
The new building includes technology-equipped classrooms, reading hall, library, prayer hall and boarding facilities.
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