About International Swaminarayan Satsang Organization
International Swaminarayan Satsang Organization (ISSO) is a national charitable organization that builds, looks after and advances the Nar Narayan Dev satsang outside of India. Its prime objective is "to advance the Sanatan Dharma, in accordance with the principles and teachings of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, founded and ordained by Lord Shree Sahajanand Swami".
It is a global interdependent network of young and old across the globe. Its structure ensures that each mandir works closely with the others within its umbrella body, each national body works closely with each other and is under the direct constitutional command of the Acharya of the Shree Nar Narayan Dev Gadi, and Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Kalapur, Ahmedabad.
Through the interdependent structure, the infallible adherence to the motto of its youth, "One God, One Leader, One Vision" to advance its objective: ISSO continues to blossom into a lotus with ever expanding petals.
His Holiness Acharya 1008 Shree Tejendraprasadji Maharaj (Retired) established ISSO in North America on Vijya Dashmi in 1978. From then on it has expanded through the development of Chapters (satsang mandals) which have blossomed into mandirs. The first ISSO mandir in the world was inaugurated in Weehawken (NJ) in 1987. ISSO has gone on to establish further mandirs in Boston (MA), Chicago (IL), Los Angles (CA), Houston (TX), Detroit (MI), Lakeland (FL), Edison (Central NJ), Cherry Hill (NJ), Cleveland (OH) and Toronto (Canada). Thousands of devotees participate in regular satsang sabhas in the remaining Chapters, which include New York (NY), San Francisco (CA), Cincinnati (OH), Atlanta (GA), Byron (GA), Washington (DC), Parsipanny (NJ), and Raleigh (NC).
Guru Purnima 1989 saw the establishment of ISSO Europe by His Holiness Acharya 1008 Shree Tejendraprasadji Maharaj. ISSO Europe has gone onto establish mandirs in Leicester (UK), Mariestad (Sweden), London (UK), Brighton (UK) and Gatwick (UK). In addition it also currently runs satsang sabha's chapters in Nottingham (UK), Edinburgh (UK), Coventry (UK) and Birmingham (UK).
Australasia established its first Shree Swaminarayan Temple, in Sydney (NSW) in 2006. This was also the first mandir established by His Holiness Acharya 1008 Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj, the seventh heir of Almighty Lord Shree Swaminarayan Himself. Chapters also run in Perth (WA), Melbourne (VIC), Brisbane (QLD) and Adelaide (SA).
Without a doubt ISSO New Zealand holds the jewel in the ISSO crown. The mandir established in Auckland in 2008 is a truly divine abode and can be matched in its grand architecture only by the great temple's of India. It is set amongst the beautiful green natural landscape of this splendid country. Inside, one can discover remarkable hand carved sculptures, artwork and design adorning the walls and ceilings.
ISSO continues to implement its objective to promote satsang through various means of service and help to millions worldwide. NNDYM (Nar Narayan Dev Yuvak Mandal), the youth body of ISSO, was officially setup by His Holiness Acharya 1008 Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj in India in 1994 as a way to unite the youngsters of this generation to spread the greatness and glory of Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan and His philosophy. This is carried out by holding various camps, seminars and shibhirs hosted by holy saints, academics and industry professionals. ISSO adopted this divine vision to capture the essence of our youth today and promote NNDYM within ISSO temples across the world. Today, NNDYM is fully active in North America, Europe and Australasia under their respective ISSO bodies.
Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan not only re-established the reign of dharma and satsang on earth, but He also served as a great humanitarian; providing food and shelter for the needy, and helping eradicate crime. Keeping true to ISSO's objective of promoting the values as Ordained by Shree Sahajanand Swami, ISSO-Seva was established in 2001 as a way to focus efforts of humanitarian aid and service to the world's needy.
Today, under the guidance and instruction of His Holiness Acharya Maharajshree, ISSO is fully committed to bringing the divine teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan to followers all over the world.
Gurukul - Classes are held in English every Friday evening in NW London, where the religious principles of the Sampraday are taught. Exploring the greatness of the scriptures and discussing and debating on the modern day issues affecting young satsangis stimulates the desire to learn more.
Religious Camps - Summer camps with religious teachings in a divine atmosphere in the blissful presence of Acharya Designate, H. H. Lalji Maharajshri 108 Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj & saints. These camps take place annually in the UK & USA, where hundreds of youth have been inspired into a religious life. Make sure you don't miss the next one.
Religious Publications - Audio Cassettes (Kirtan & Katha), Video Cassettes (Utsavs & Documentaries) & Scriptural books (Vachanaamrit, Shikshapatri, Satsangi Jeevan, Purans, etc.) All are available at the above-mentioned temples.
Humanitarian Relief has been accorded a privileged place in the Sampraday's social philosophy. All the above temples have been instrumental in raising awareness of the plight of people in numerous disasters; Orissa Cyclone Relief, Maharashtra Earthquake, Gujarat Earthquake, etc in recent times via the Swaminarayan Temples in India.
Other activities - Hospitals, blood donation camps, medical camps, clinics in remote parts of India, setting up almshouses to feed/clothe the poor and needy souls on a daily basis.