BAPS Public Affairs is the advocacy arm of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (“BAPS”), which is a Hindu organization that traces its roots to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a Hindu deity who founded this branch of Hinduism over 225 years ago. BAPS members aspire to live His teachings by offering devotion to God in a spiritually pure mindset. Spiritual purity is achieved through cultivating virtues, such as humility and compassion. Devotion to God includes not just acts performed out of love for God, but also any act that celebrates the inherent divinity in all. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016), the former leader of BAPS, expressed this spiritual precept in a single phrase: “In the joy of others lies our own.” Today, BAPS members derive inspiration from the life of his successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS. Mahant Swami Maharaj serves as a guiding light for BAPS’ global following through his saintly virtues, spiritual wisdom, and personal example.
Outside of India, BAPS is active in over 20 countries in southern and eastern Africa, western Europe, Australasia, Southeast Asia and North America. Of those many countries, BAPS in the United States is the largest BAPS fellowship outside of India. BAPS’ international presence and broad scope of charitable and humanitarian activities have led it to being granted General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.