The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanskrit Mahavidyalay is situated in the modest landscape of Sarangpur, Gujarat. The Mahavidyalay was envisioned by Pramukh Swami Maharaj to be a place where quality post-secondary and higher education would be accompanied with holistic and value-based learning. He emphasized the need for all education and research to be founded on a core set of Vedic values that enriched not only the lives of the students themselves but also of the communities in which they would come to live in and serve. Founded on this mission, the Mahavidyalay set forward on its journey to create an environment that would foster the development of responsible scholars and impactful, quality academic research.
Institutional affiliations provide prestige and identity to students and researchers, positively impact access to resources and infrastructure, and allow for plentiful opportunities for exposure, growth, and career advancement. In 2013, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanskrit Mahavidyalay became affiliated with Shree Somnath Sanskrit University (SSSU)—a public university created by the Gujarat State government through the Shree Somnath Sanskrit University Act in 2005 for the research and teaching of Sanskrit literature. By sharing a mutually beneficial relationship with SSSU, the Mahavidyalay grounded its advanced Sanskrit studies activities in a formal degree program, allowing its members to acquire diploma certifications and enroll in bachelors, post-graduate, and doctorate programs. Soon after in 2014, the Mahavidyalay took its first steps by becoming instituted within a wing of the existing Yajñapuruṣa Sabhā Maṇḍapa, an auditorium located within the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Sarangpur. Inaugurated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the Mahavidyalay initially became the home to a handful of students participating in Sanskrit language studies and advanced textual studies. The Mahavidyalay later began to accommodate the needs of students, instructors, and researchers from throughout Gujarat and supported a body of international students who wished to engage in a focused study of Sanskrit literature and sacred texts.
As one of the Mahavidyalay’s researchers aptly revealed, “Even though many of us were not present during the early years, many of us feel connected to the Mahavidyalay as if we might have just as easily been there. Why is this? The Mahavidyalay, from its very inception, has been driven by a singular focus to offer sanctuary for serious, responsible, holistic education and research. Everything about the Institute that we recognize as distinctive flows from this foundational commitment.” In short few years, the Mahavidyalay and its activities grew exponentially. As the number of students and researchers began to increase, the Institute began to integrate new learning programs and courses and prompted the creation of corresponding faculties and departments. Experienced instructors and administrators also joined the Mahavidyalay, facilitating its immense growth.
To accommodate the growing number of members, researchers, and staff, the Mahavidyalay relocated to its new premises in 2019. This new home of the BAPS Sanskrit Mahavidyalay was inaugurated by H.H. Mahant Sami Maharaj on November 3, 2019. Equipped with versatile classrooms, multi-functional digital classroom spaces, a modern computer lab, extensive digital and textual libraries, individual and group study spaces, administrative offices, and conference and assembly halls, the premise serves to inspire innovative, impactful learning and offer infinite potential and opportunity, all the while being grounded in Vedic tradition and values.