Bhagwan Swaminarayan (April 2, 1781 - 1830) was born to a samvedi brahmin family
in the village of Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India. His father's name was Dharmadev
and his mother's name was Bhaktimata. After serving his parents, he left home
at the age of 11 to travel over 8,000 miles throughout India on a holy pilgrimage
for 7 years, 1 month, and 11 days. During his travels, Ghanshyam was given the
name Neelkanth Varni for his fearless acts against nature's most ferocious animals.
He eventually settled in Gujarat.
At age 21, he established Swaminarayan Sampraday, with the blessings of his
Guru Sadguru Ramanand Swami. He initiated more than 1500 saints to spread the
pious Sampraday. To achieve ultimate redemption he taught the “Swaminarayan”
To preserve the purity in the religion, he devised five basic Codes of Conducts
for Haribhakt (Devotee) like not to steal, not to eat meat, not to drink, not
to commit adultery, not to follow impurity and for Tyagi (Saints) like, Nishkam
(Lust-less), Nirlobh (Greed-less), Nissenh (Attachment-less), Nisswad (Taste-less)
and Nirman (Ego-less).
He established beautiful temples at Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Vadtal, Dholera, Junagadh,
Gadhpur for Upasana – worshipping God in all His greatness & glory
and Bhakti – Devotion. With all these, he gave a small but huge Code of
Conducts with only 212 verses, The Shikshapatri. And the nectar of spiritual
discourses performed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, The Vachnamrutam.
Thus, in a short span of 49 years He revived Hinduism, glorified spiritual
values and founded the Swaminarayan Faith and left for His Divine Abode, Akshardham.
The Swaminarayan Sampraday
The Swaminarayan Sampraday was established by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in early
18th Century. Founded on the pillars of practical spirituality, it reaches out
far and wide to clear the confusions and questions that crowd the moral, social
and material world of today.
Its strength lies in the purity of its nature and purpose. The Sect strives
to better the world by consolidating character in societies, families and individuals.
This is done not just by mottos and slogans but by mass motivation and individual
attention, through elevating projects for all, irrespective of class, creed,
color and country.
The Sect's global network comprises of Mandirs, Children's forums, Youth forums,
Women's forum and character-building centers are perennial sources of moral,
social, cultural and spiritual activities.
Such moral purity and spiritual surety add a deeper brilliance to all the hundreds
of social services performed for Better Life through its 6 basic organs, namely
Deity, Mandir, Aacharya, Scripture, Saint and Disciple.