In view of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, the Swaminarayan sect has announced to close all its temples globally and suspend routine activities until further notice as part of its efforts to protect the health of volunteers, visitors and local communities.
COVID-19, which has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has claimed over 5,000 lives, including 41 in the US, and infected more than 134,000 people globally. The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha, which runs about 100 temples in the US, over the weekend in particular is visited by thousands of devotees every month.
The BAPS is a volunteer-driven organisation that aims to improve society through individual growth by fostering Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service. “To prevent large gatherings, BAPS mandirs (temples) will be closed throughout the world, but devotees will be given daily darshan through the websites of each mandir,’ the BAPS said in a media release.