ask, "How can you mix spirituality and social service?" We
ask, "How can you separate the two?" Those who wish to
sincerely serve society must be spiritually pure and only those who are
spiritually pure can sincerely serve society!
BAPS South Africa is affiliated to the international Bochasanwasi Shree
Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). BAPS is a spiritual and
humanitarian Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas. It was revealed
by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the late 18th century and formally established in
1907 by Shastriji Maharaj. Today, Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the leader
and spiritual guide of the organisation.
BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and
individuals. This is done by individual attention, through elevating
projects for all. Its universal work through a worldwide network of centers
has received national and international recognition including affiliation
with the United Nations' EcoSoC.
The organisationís beginnings in South Africa go back to 1957, when
Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj; a spiritual luminary of BAPS; came to
Beitbridge on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe, and blessed the few
devotees present to continue satsang activities despite trying times in the
country. These blessings sowed the seeds of satsang in the country. As
decades went by, the untiring efforts of Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj
nourished the small fellowship.
These efforts bore fruit in 1991, when the first Swaminarayan Mandir in
Southern Africa was opened in Mayfair-West, a suburb of Johannesburg.
Consequently, a host of other Mandirs and satsang centers developed
throughout the country as the following grew from strength to strength.
Today there are 6 Mandirs (Mayfair-West, Lenasia, Durban, Pretoria, Tzaneen
and Gaborone) and several other satsang centers around Southern Africa.
Hand in hand with its spiritual and cultural activities, BAPS is involved in
various humanitarian projects. Be it the Childrenís fun day, annual winter
warmer drive, or the periodic blood donation camps. Be it poor feeding or
contributing towards child development and education; the children, youth
and elders of the organisation contribute towards the social wellbeing of
all South Africans.