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Hinduism - American Family Tree   [Return to List of Trees]

Hinduism is the name given for the majority religion of India. There is no central authority in Hinduism, although most Hindu groups and traditions believe in reincarnation and venerate gods and goddesses who are viewed as manifestations of God. Sanskrit texts known as Vedas are sacred scriptures in Hinduism and were composed between 1200 and 900 BCE. Major traditions within Hinduism include Vaishnavism, which is devoted to worship of the god Vishnu, and Shaivism, organized around worship of the god Shiva. Following the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed for more immigration from India, the Hindu population has grown rapidly in the U.S.

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Note: Groups that are colored blue are currently active. Groups that are colored gray are defunct.

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Religious Group Founded Description
Swaminarayan (1781-1830) No description available.
Original Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday (Ahmedabad) 1826 The Original Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday is the northern branch of the Swaminarayan movement that was founded in the early nineteenth century. Leadership in the northern branch has passed from Ayodhyaprasad (son of the original preceptor, Ramapratap, who was brother to Swami Narayan) through a succession of acharyas. These acharyas included Tejendraprasdji Maharaj, who formally retired in 2004 but continued to assist his successor.
Laxmi Narayan Dev Spiritual Organization 1978 The Laxmi Narayan Dev Spiritual Organization (southern branch) is one of the two main branches of the Swaminarayan Hindu Movement founded in the nineteenth century. The leadership of the organization is passed through a succession of archaryas and has gone through two upheavals over the years. The first of these took place early in the twentieth century and ultimately caused the creation of the Bochasanwasi Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which would emerge as the third branch of the Swaminarayana movement. The group differs in leadership but shares beliefs and practices with the northern branch.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) 1906 Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha was founded by Shastri Maharaj. The organization is a Vaishava Hindu spiritual group that is committed to bettering society through Swaminarayan tradition. By the late twentieth century, the group emerged as the third major branch of Swaminarayan movement.
Shree Swaminarayan Sidhhant Sajivan Mandal No description available.
Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul, Rajkot, USA 1947 Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul, USA was founded when Swami Dharmajivandas left the southern branch of the Swaminarayan movement. Dharmajivandas's new organization, the Swaminarayan Gurukul, was considered a separate entity; however, it maintained a close relationship to the southern branch of the Swaminarayan movement. Swaminarayan Gurukul became fully free from both the North and South branches after neither side was willing to perform the formal installation ceremony for the temple room.
Yogi Divine Society (New Jersey) 1974 The Yogi Divine Society was founded by His Divine Holiness Guru Haroparasad Swamiji. The society was formed as a result of the excommunication from the Bochasanwasi Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). The group is similar to BAPS; however, there is a more open approach to the participation of women.
Anoopam Mission 1977 The Anoopam Mission was founded as an independent branch of the Swaminarayan movement by Jashbhai, who was also known as Saheb. Originally a part of the BAPS movement, Saheb broke apart when different views on the place of women in the spiritual order arose. He and his followers were asked to leave and reorganized as Anoopam Mission.
Gunatit Jyot No description available.
Yogi Divine Society (Illinois) The Yogi Divine Society (Illinois) is guided by H. D. H. Hariprasad Swamiji and its main goals are to serve individuals, families, and society with humanitarian and spiritual activities based on faith in Lord Swaminarayan.
Swaminarayan Mandir Vasna Sanstha 1987 Swaminarayan Mandir Vasna Sanstha was founded Swami Devandandasji, also known as H. D. H. Bapji. Devandandasji acknowledged the lineage of Swaminarayan Mandir Vasna Santha's founder, Muktajeevan, along with the divine status of Abji Bapashree. The group originated in India, but a small group of members migrated to the United States where they founded a center in New Jersey.
Shree Swaminarayan Agyna - Upasana Satsang Mandal No description available.

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