Over 30 American youth initiated as monks at BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Sumana | Date 03-10-2023
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville



In a first-of-its-kind event in the US, over 30 American youths were initiated as Hindu Swamis (monks) by Mahant Swami Maharaj, pledging a life of service, sacrifice, and devotion.

At a historic 'diksha din' ceremony held on October 2 at the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, Mahant Swami Maharaj initiated 30 young people who were born in the United States as Hindu Swamis, an official press release of BAPS North American Headquarters read.

This occasion symbolised their dedication to living a life of faith, togetherness, and devotion. These young people, from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, had helped build Akshardham, and they were now committing their life to selfless service, exemplifying virtues like compassion and humility. They were blessed by Mahant Swami Maharaj, who emphasised their choice to serve God and society.

"Diksha Din is not just an event; it is a testament to the indomitable spirit of these 30 young souls who have pursued diverse fields of study and professions at reputable universities and companies. Among them are individuals who are the sole children of their parents, indicating the profound sacrifice they and their families have embraced for the greater good," the release read.

The qualities of humility, compassion, and persistent commitment to improving mankind are exemplified by this holy initiation into the sadhu (swami) fold, a venerated community committed to selfless service. It emphasises the deeply held conviction that through selfless effort, extraordinary accomplishments are possible—achievements that go beyond the individual and have a long-lasting, constructive effect on society. 

The release further quoted Mahant Swami Maharaj as saying to the American youth that “it was in your mind to serve God and society, otherwise you would not be sitting here today. There is much work to be done from here on. May you be successful on this spiritual path of attaining God through your service.”

As these young individuals carry the teachings of Akshardham with them on their lifelong journey, they serve as a shining example of the universal messages of love, selflessness, and unity that lie at the core of this sacred place.

In honour of the International Day of Non-Violence, Akshardham sponsored a cultural event later that day called "Celebrating Values and Non-Violence." Devotees and well-wishers from all around North America met to talk about important Hinduism tenets like equality, honesty, and non-violence.

The International Day of Non-Violence celebrates Mahatma Gandhi's life and legacy as a leader who successfully fought for India's freedom while advocating non-violent resistance. Hindu shastras, the holy texts guiding the non-violent heart of the Hindu faith, are fundamentally based on these same principles of non-violence and peace.

In his speech, Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakashdas Swami (Doctor Swami) said, “On this day of [Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary], let us take inspiration from his life: success is not achieved through mere words, but through our actions and the purity of character.”

Both events serve as shining examples of how Akshardham promotes togetherness, cultural preservation, and spiritual piety while maintaining and disseminating India's rich traditions.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, is a hub for Hindu architecture, culture, harmony, and selfless devotion.