Also known as Sahajanand Swami, Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shreeji Maharaj and Shri Hari, It is another name of Lord Vishnu. Swaminaran is believed to be the incarnation of a God named Purushottama Narayana, the Supreme Being. He came on Earth to liberate souls from the clutches of materialistic desires and evil practices. His only aim was to teach spiritual practices so that people could attain salvation.
Legend of Birth
Swaminarayan was born on 3rd April 1781 in a small village in Uttar Pradesh named Chhapaiya. He was given the name Ghanshyam by his parents Hariprasad Pande and Premvati Pande. He was a born Brahmin The conventional Hindu caste system divided society into four sects and Brahmin was known as the learned class who gained the knowledge of sacred texts written on Hinduism(the upper most caste in Hinduism, also known as the learned) and had a deep interest in the Hindu scriptures. At the age of seven, he had mastered the Vedas, Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism the Upanishads and the Puranas (Hindu scriptures) and also the two Hindu epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
His birthday coincided with RamaRama
As of late, in the year 2007, the idea of whether Rama... Navami, the birthday of Rama (incarnation of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.., also known as the Preserver) and thus till date his followers celebrate Rama Navami and his birthday as SwaminarayanSwaminarayan
Also known as Sahajanand Swami, Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shreeji Maharaj and Shri Hari... Jayanti, on the same day.
Life after the Death of His Parents
When his parents dies, he was only 11 and had no attachment to materialistic pleasures. He left his home in search of a hermitage which could quench his thirst for knowledge and give satisfying answers to five of his questions. He wanted to know what were jiva (living being), Ishvara (God), Maya (illusion), Brahman (the undying spirit of universe) and Para Brahman (Supreme Cosmic Spirit).
He travelled as Nilkanth Varni and after completion of the journey of seven years, he met Ramanand Swami (a spiritual guide) in a small village named Loj in Gujrat. His senior disciple Muktanand Swami was able to answer all his questions and thus Nilkanth decided to stay.
At the age of 21, Nilkanth received sannyasa (stage of renunciation) and also inspired many elder saints under Ramanand Swami through his understanding of life and metaphysical concepts. He thus gained the new status of Swami. He was also appointed as the successor of Ramanand Swami.
Swaminarayan and his Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mind(group of sacred words)
Swaminarayan was also known for performing miracles like being seen at different temples at the same time, bringing a bucket full of dead fish, alive again and curing a stomach ailment of a king etc. After being gained the status of Swaminarayan, he taught a mantra to his followers, reciting which they attained Samadhi (a form of meditation) and claimed that they could see their personal Gods. It came to be known as Swaminarayan Mantra.
Teachings and Works
Swaminarayan believed in the unadulterated and pious form of devotion to God. He was against the evil practices practiced by Brahminic community in the name of God like earning money and favors from the worshippers, consuming meat as sacred Prasad It is the sacred food that is distributed after an auspicious event or day after offering it to the Gods(religious offering). He was against consumption of meat, alcohol and drugs. He preached a simple life without adultery and criminal activities. Suicide and animal sacrifices were also looked down upon. He performed various fire sacrifices without animal sacrifice in order to teach that god can be loved and pleased without killing an innocent being. He preached the ultimate formula of attaining salvation and that was to conquer four elements, i.e., dharma (righteousness), Bhakti It refers to devotion and the love one feels for God. People indulge in Bhakti to gain spirituality or salvation(selfless devotion), gana (knowledge) and vairagya (detachment).
He was also against SatiSati
The name Sati means true and justifying her name... (self-immolation by a widow on her dead husband’s pyre). He considered it equivalent to suicide. He voiced concerns for poor women and fought for their rights. He also advocated their right for education and was also in favor of widow-remarriage, if they didn’t want to follow the path of chastity. He helped people with dowry so that the rate of female-feticide could decrease.
He built various temples so that people could continue their righteous path and learn to submit to the will of the God. His famous six temples are situated in Ahmedabad as Shree Nar-Narayan Dev, in Bhuj as Shree Nar-Narayan Dev again, in Vadtal as Shree Laxmi-Narayan Dev, in Dholera as Shree Madan-Mohanji Maharaj, in Junagadh as Shree Radha-Raman Dev and in Gadhada as Shree Gopinaathji Maharaj.
He died on 1st June in 1830 and was cremated according to Hindu rites in Gadhada, Gujrat.