Swaminarayan, also referred to as Sahajanand Swami, is the main figure
of the Swaminarayan sect, a type of Vaishnavism. In this particular
faith, Swaminarayan is considered as being equal to the Purushottama or
the Supreme Being. He is actually considered to be an incarnation of
Narayana of the Nara-Narayana pair of deities.
Swaminarayan was born on April 3, 1781, as Ghanshyam Pande in
Chappaiya, near Ayodhya, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He was
born in the exalted Brahmin priest caste of Sarvariya, to Hariprasad
Pande (also referred to as Dharmadev) and Premvati Pande (also known as
Bhaktimata and Murtidevi). Swaminarayan had two siblings - an elder
brother, Rampratap Pande, and a younger brother, Ichcharam Pande.
The birth of Swaminarayan coincides with the Hindu festival of Rama
Navami, which also celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, one of the
avatars of Sri Maha Vishnu, and the central figure of the great epic,
the Ramayana. Hence, this ninth lunar day in the fortnight of the
waxing moon in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April), is celebrated
as Rama Navami by regular Hindus and as Swaminarayan Jayanti by
Swaminarayan Emerges as a Spiritual
Swaminarayan had exhibited his scholastic prowess from a very young
age. He is believed to have mastered all the major Hindu scriptures,
including the Vedas and the Shastras; the Puranas and the Upanishads;
and the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; by the tender age of
From 1792 onward, Swaminarayan undertook a seven year pilgrimage across
India, adopting the name Nilkanth Varni. Settling in the state of
Gujarat from the year 1799, he was initiated into the Uddav Sampraday
by his guru, Sri Ramanand Swami in the year 1800.This was when he was
also given the name Sahajanand Swami.
Swaminarayan speedily rose in the field of spirituality. In the year
1802, just before his death, his Guru handed him the leadership of the
Uddhav Sampraday. Sahajanand Swami then took his Guru's mission ahead
and held a gathering in order to teach followers the Swaminarayan
Mantra. This proved to be the turning point for him, as he began to be
referred to as Swaminarayan and was revered as an incarnation of God by
his followers. Sometime later, the Uddhav Sampraday became known as the
Rising further in status among both his followers and non-followers,
Swaminarayan developed a good relationship with the British Imperial
Government. His name and teachings spread far and wide and very soon,
he had followers not only from the Hindu sect, but also from Islam and
Zoroastrianism. People from all cultures thronged to take his Darshan
and listen to his discourses.
With a view to encourage people to visit temples and shrines,
Swaminarayan went on to build six temples throughout his lifetime as a
spiritual leader. He also appointed 500 Paramahansas, who would go
ahead and spread his philosophy to the rest of the world. In 1826,
Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, a treatise on social principles.
Swaminarayan's Sojourns as Nilkanth
After his parents left for their heavenly abode, Ghanshyam Pande left
his home on 29 June 1792, at the age of 11. Assuming the name Nilkanth
Varni on his onward sojourns, Swaminarayan travelled across India and
parts of Nepal, in search of an ashram or hermitage, which practised
and taught what he considered to be the right understanding of Vedanta,
Yoga, Samkhya and Pancharatra. These are the four principal schools of
Hindu philosophical thought.
Swaminarayan was actually in the quest of answers to five main
questions of Vedanta:
- What is Jiva?
- What is Ishwara?
- What is Maya?
- What is Brahma?
- What is Parabrahman?
In the course of his journey as Nilkanth Varni, Swaminarayan came under
the guidance of an aged master of Yoga, named Gopal Yogi. He mastered
the technique of Ashtanga Yoga, the eightfold path of Yoga, in the
short span of 9 months. Such was Swaminarayan's brilliance and
Continuing onward to Nepal, Swaminarayan met the King Rana Bahadur Shah
and cured him of his long-standing stomach illness. The King has till
then imprisoned many ascetics. Understanding his own fault and as a
token of gratitude to Swaminarayan, he freed all the ascetics and monks
he had imprisoned until then.
JAGANNATH, SUBHADRA AND BALARAM WITH PURI
TEMPLE IN BACKGROUND
Nilkanth Varni continued his quest and visited the famous and sacred
Jagannath Temple at Puri and then went on to visit the major Hindu
temples in Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Nashik and Pandharpur.
In 1799, Nilkanth Varni's journey finally concluded after seven long
years of travel. He decided to settle down at Loj, a small village in
the Junagadh district of Gujarat. In Loj, Nilkanth Varni met Muktanand
Swami, who was also a senior disciple of Ramanand Swami.
Muktanand Swami, who was twenty-two years older than Nilkanth, had the
right answers to all of Swaminarayan's five questions. Nilkanth then
decided to stay on there, in order to get the opportunity to meet
Ramanand Swami, who he had met a few months after his arrival in
Leadership as Sahajanand Swami
According to the followers of the Swaminarayan sect, Nilkanth's
understanding of the metaphysical concepts of the Panchatattvas or the
five Eternal Elements, along with his mental and physical discipline,
would actually inspire senior sadhus of Ramanand Swami to do better in
their own spiritual quest. Swaminarayan, as Nilkanth Varni, received
the initiation into the sannyasa order, from his Guru, Ramanand Swami
on 20 October 1800. He was also given the names Sahajanand Swami and
Narayan Muni, in order to signify this new status of monkhood.
At the age of 21, Ramanand Swami appointed Sahajanand Swami as his
successor also as the leader of the Uddhav Sampraday. Ramanand Swami
breathed his last shortly thereafter. The Uddhav Sampraday came to be
known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday after the latter took over it.
Krishna was the Ishta Devata (favorite deity) of Swaminarayan and
hence, he proclaimed the sole worship of Krishna as the Supreme One,
the Ultimate Divinity. This was in stark contrast to the beliefs of the
Vaishnava sect in existence then, also known as the Radha-Vallabha
Swaminarayan adopted a more puritanical approach in his worship of
Krishna, rather than the usual theological views of Krishna that are
rather capricious in character. Swaminarayan preferred to portray
Krishna as a majestic, royal character, more along the lines of earlier
preceptors of Vaishnavism, such as Ramanujacharya and Yamunacharya.
Emergence as Sri Swaminarayan
Sahajanand Swami came to be known as Swaminarayan after he taught the
mantra at a public gathering, in Faneni, a fortnight after the death of
Ramanand Swami. He gave his followers a new mantra, calling it the
Swaminarayan Mantra. He asked them to repeat this mantra in their daily
rituals. While chanting this mantra, some devotees went into a form of
deep meditation, called samadhi.
It is important to note here that the term, "samadhi", implies
different states of meditation, in different situations, in Hinduism.
While it is largely used to denote the parting of great souls from
their mortal shells, it also could mean attaining spiritual
enlightenment during meditation and penance.
It is believed that followers who attained Mahasamadhi in such a
fashion could see and interact with their personal Gods, in spite of
not having been trained in Ashtanga Yoga. This made followers realize
the true power and potential of the Swaminarayan mantra. By and by,
they started revering the giver of this mantra as God Himself.
Swaminarayan also came known by the names Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shreeji
Maharaj, Hari Krishna Maharaj and Shri Hari. He grew from strength to
strength and attained an exalted status among his disciples and
followers. As early as 1804, Swaminarayan was reported to have
performed miracles. He was described as a manifestation of God in the
Tama Danda, the first written work of his disciple, Nishkulanand Swami.
This work went on to become the first ever piece of literature written
within the Swaminarayan sect.
Swaminarayan as a Religious Preceptor
Swaminarayan believed in a practical approach to religion and
spirituality. He encouraged his followers to combine devotion and
dharma (righteousness) and lead a pious life. Using Hindu texts and
rituals to form the basic principles of his sect, Swaminarayan founded
what in later centuries would become a global organization with strong
Particularly against the consumption of alcohol (even while consumed as
a form of medical treatment), drugs and meat, Swaminarayan also spoke
vociferously against animal sacrifices, criminal activities, adultery,
suicide, tantric rituals and the appeasing of ghosts and such other
activities. He also strictly advocated the separation of sexes in
Many of his followers undertook vows before joining under him as his
disciples. Swaminarayan stated that four elements needed to be
conquered for ultimate salvation and that they were Dharma
(righteousness), Bhakti (devotion), Gnana (knowledge) and Vairagya
Swaminarayan's philosophy could be closely associated with that of the
eleventh century philosopher, Ramanuja. He was critical of
Shankaracharya's concept of advaita or non-dualism between God and the
human being. Swaminarayan's philosophy maintained that the Supreme
Being is not formless and that God always takes a divine form. He also
preached that moksha or liberation could be attained by one and all -
by both men and women alike. According to him, everyone was equal in
the eyes of the Lord and the only prerequisite for attaining moksha was
to have the burning desire, as also the ability to work, for the same.
Swaminarayan introduced fasting and devotion among followers. His
followers composed many devotional poems, which are sung, even today,
during festive occasions. He celebrated the major festivals like Vasant
Panchami, Janmashtami and Holi with great verve and vigour. Followers
would also arrange traditional folk dances, such as the Raas, on these
Swaminarayan as a Social Reformer
After taking over the leadership of the Sampraday, Sri Swaminarayan
involved himself in a lot of social work. He regularly distributed food
and drinking water to the poor and the needy. He also opened almshouses
for the poor and opened up relief camps to people during times of
DISAPPEARING DAUGHTERS - THE TRAGEDY OF
Swaminarayan strongly advocated women's rights as well and fought for
equality in the status of women in society. He spoke against the
practice of Sati, wherein a widow would immolate herself in her
deceased husband's funeral pyre. Swaminarayan's contention was that the
human life was given by God and it could be taken only by God. Hence,
he stated that Sati could not have had Vedic sanction. He even termed
Sati as a cowardly act of suicide. He was also against female
infanticide, which was very prevalent then. He would offer girls'
parents help with dowry and other expenses in order to discourage
Only the influential and the wealthy could educate their girls through
private and personal tuition, in those times. Taking this into account
and wanting to get all female members of society educated, the male
followers of Swaminarayan made arrangements to educate them.
Consequently, the literacy rate among females began to increase, and
some of the more brilliant women even started giving discourses on
spiritual subjects. Within the sect, Swaminarayan is hence considered a
pioneer of education of females in India.
Yagnas and Animal Sacrifice
Swaminarayan was also against animal sacrifice, which used to be
ritually carried out by Brahmin priests during Yajnas (sacrificial
rituals). After the Yajna, priests would consume animal meat,
considering it to a divine prasad. In order to prevent this from
happening, Swaminarayan conducted several huge Yajnas, inviting priests
from Varanasi. They did not indulge in animal sacrifice and strictly
adhered to the rules mentioned in the Vedic scriptures. In this way,
Swaminarayan successfully reinstated the concept of ahimsa
(non-violence) by means of conducting these Yajnas.
Working to Abolish the Caste System
It is believed that Sri Swaminarayan worked hard towards abolishing the
infamous caste system which was widely prevalent at the time. He never
liked the caste system and heartily welcomed everyone into the
He always instructed his Paramhansas to collect alms from all sections
of society and also appointed people from lower castes as his personal
attendants. He interacted freely with them, ate along with them and
generally, tried his level best to enhance their status in society.
During his time, Swaminarayan ordered the construction of many Hindu
temples and installed the idols of various deities therein, such as
Laxminarayan, Nara-Narayan, Radha-Krishna, Revati-Baldevji and so on.
Needless to say, Krishna was the predominant deity here.
Swaminarayan constructed stone mandirs (temples), where he encouraged
the concept of Upasana or worshipping God by way of bhakti and
vairagya. He constructed these temples with four major goals in mind:
- As places of worship
- As centres for religious meetings
- As centres for studying Sanskrit,
devotional music and Vedic literature
- As centres of social service where
alms, medicines and clothes were made available to the needy
Swaminarayan constructed the first of these temples in Ahmedabad in the
year 1822, using the land gifted to him by the British Imperial
Government, especially for the construction of this temple. Then, in
accordance with requests of devotees from Bhuj, he appointed his
follower Vaishnavananand Swami to build a temple in that region as
well. This temple was built in a year, followed by yet another temple
in Vadtal in 1824; one in Dholera in 1826; and temples in Junagadh and
Gadhada in 1828. As the time of his Samadhi neared, Swaminarayan had
also ordered the construction of temples in Dholka, Muli and Jetalpur.
One of the most prominent features of Swaminarayan temple architecture
is the priority given to the worship of Krishna. All of the temples
constructed during his life show Krishna in some form or another. The
temples in Ahmedabad and Vadtal have a central altar or a shrine
dedicated to Krishna. Hanuman is the central figure at the Sarangpur
Temple. All the temples have extra accommodation facilities for sadhus,
built within the temple complex itself.
Like other Hindu temples, Swaminarayan temples too have walkways around
the central shrine to allow worshipers to perform pradakshina
(circumambulation) of the shrine. These are often decorated with rich
inlaid marble designs. The main shrine area is divided by railings -
one side is for women and the other for men. There is great variety in
form and nature of the central images, in front of which are gold or
silver plated doors that open during the darshan hours.
Ascetics have always played a major role in the Swaminarayan faith as
in Hinduism. These ascetics have contributed a great deal to the
development and evolvement of the movement, as also spreading it around
the entire world. The ascetics of the Swaminarayan sect travel from
place to place, encouraging people to lead pure, pious and religious
Swaminarayan stipulated strict rules for ascetics. The first rule is
never to come in contact with money or be tempted by the opposite sex.
No sadhu is allowed to move out of the temple alone - they have to, at
all times, move out only in pairs. The food they eat must be mixed up
and eaten so that there may be no sense of taste.
Female ascetics, known as Samkhya Yoginis, receive initiation from the
Gadiwala or the wife of the Acharya. They stay within the temple
complex and strictly follow ascetic rules. They must wear only dark red
clothing and stay inside the temple Haveli. They are responsible for
maintaining the images in ladies' temples and conduct discourses for
It is believed that Swaminarayan initiated 500 ascetics as Paramhansas
in just a single night. The "Paramhansa" is a title of honor, also
sometimes applied to Hindu spiritual teachers who are have attained
high states of enlightenment.
Paramhansas were the highest order of sannyasis in the Swaminarayan
sect. The most prominent Paramhansas, who had been initiated by
Swaminarayan himself, include Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami,
Gunatitanand Swami, Premanand Swami, Brahmanand Swami, Nityanand Swami
and Nishkulanand Swami.
Life of a Satsangi
A member of the Swaminarayan Sampraday is known as a Satsangi. Either
the acharyas or the ascetics perform the elaborate initiation ceremony.
The ceremony itself involves taking five vows (also referred to as the
panch vartaman), namely, not to commit adultery; not to consume
intoxicants; not to consume meat; not to commit robbery and not to lie.
The perpetrator pours holy water over the initiate's hands and gives
him or her the following Sanskrit shloka or hymn:
"Shri Krishna twam gatirmama", which means, "Shri Krishna, thou art my
The initiate then offers at least half a rupee to the acharya and the
acharya adorns a kanthi thread around his neck. The initiate is then
required to apply the tilak chandlo to his forehead, which is comprised
of a "U" drawn out of chandan (sandalwood), with a red kumkum
(vermilion) dot placed in the middle. Ladies only apply the red kumkum
dot. A satsangi need not necessarily be a Hindu. There are people from
other religions as well, in this movement.
A Satsangi must always do the following things:
- Wear a Kanthi thread around the neck
- Wear a Tilak Chandlo on the forehead
- Have a Mala or rosary with 108 beads
- Do Nitya Pooja or pray everyday
- Visit the Mandir or temple everyday
- Take the Darshan of the Lord
- Perform Aarti after prayer
- Recite the Vandu Pad and the Chesta
Pad verses at the temple everyday
The Satsangi must also exhibit the following traits:
- Show reverence to God
- Show respect for the Shastras
- Respect the Acharya or the Gadi and
any Satsangi that they meet
- Show reverence for festivals
- Respect elders
- Exhibit good conduct always
SHRIMADA BHAGAVATA PURANA - AN OCEAN OF
DR. MAHENDRA MITTAL
Swaminarayan held great respect for all the Hindu religious texts and
propagated them among the masses. He especially held the Bhagavata
Purana in high esteem. Besides, he also created many texts for his
followers that are regarded among them as the holy shastras or
scriptures. These are meant for those within the Swaminarayan faith.
Notable scriptures throughout the sect include the Shikshapatri, the
Vachanamrut and the Satsangi Jeevan. Also included in this
list are Swaminarayan's own authorized biography, the Muktanand Kavya,
the Nishkulanand Kavya and the Bhakta Chintamani.
Swaminarayan penned the Shikshapatri in 1826. The original Sanskrit
manuscript is not available this time, but it had been translated into
Gujarati by Nityanand Swami, as directed by Swaminarayan himself.
Today, it is revered as one of the holiest books within the
One interesting fact with the Shikshapatri is that the Gazetteer of the
Bombay Presidency had summarised it as a book of social laws that the
Swaminarayan seekers should follow on a daily basis.
Shikshapatri literally means "Shiksha (learning)" plus "Patri (book or
manual)". Basically a commentary on the understanding and practice of
dharma, the Shikshapatri is a small booklet containing 212 Sanskrit
verses. It clearly outlines the basic tenets of the Swaminarayan sect
and lists the qualities a follower should possess in order to live a
well-disciplined and moral life.
The Vachanamrut, literally, the "nectar or wisdom" flowing out of the
Guru's mouth, holds Swaminarayan's philosophical, social and practical
teachings. This is a collection of dialogues collected from his spoken
words, as gathered by five of his foremost disciples.
The Vachanamrut is the most commonly used religious scripture within
the Swaminarayan sect. It contains views on dharma, jnana, vairagya and
bhakti, which are the four essentials elements for the jiva to attain
moksha in its present coming.
Swaminarayan's Relation with Other
Religions and Religious Leaders
Swaminarayan always worked to maintain a cordial relationship with
followers of other religions and faiths. He would sometimes even meet
prominent leaders, moving across religious boundaries, including people
from Parsi and Muslim faiths. Swaminarayan's personal attendants
included Khoja Muslims and Kathiawadi Muslims even wore the kanthi
necklaces given to them by Swaminarayan.
Swaminarayan also maintained a good relationship with the British
Government and met with dignitaries such as Reginald Heber, the Lord
Bishop of Calcutta, who was also a pioneer of Christianity in India at
the time. As a result of the meeting, both the religious leaders
exchanged ideas and also developed a lot mutual respect and admiration
for one another.
Swaminarayan's Relation with the
British Imperial Government
Swaminarayan also enjoyed a nice relationship with the British Imperial
Government. In fact, Swaminarayan's first temple in Ahmedabad, was
built on 5,000 acres of land gifted by the British Government. The
British officers gave a 101 Gun Salute when the temple was inaugurated
and opened to the public.
Reginald Heber had felt a little intimidated when he came to know that
Swaminarayan was believed to be a manifestation of God Supreme by his
followers. When he had a meeting with Sir John Malcolm, the Governor of
Bombay, in 1830, Swaminarayan gifted him a copy of the Shikshapatri.
This copy of the Shikshapatri is currently housed at the Bodleian
Library at the University of Oxford. Swaminarayan also worked with the
British Governor, James Walker, in order to implement strong measures
to abolish the terrible practice of sati.
Swaminarayan Attains Jivan Samadhi
In 1830, Swaminarayan announced to his followers that he would soon
leave his mortal coil and proceed onto the next world. His followers
believe that he left for his final journey at Akshardham, after
attaining his jivan Samadhi.
Continuing his life's mission till the final day of his life,
Swaminarayan attained samadhi on June 1st, 1830. His body was cremated
according to Hindu rites at Lakshmi Wadi in Gadhada, Gujarat. Before
leaving his sharira or human form, Swaminarayan appointed his nephews
as acharyas or teachers, and deemed them as the heads of the two
dioceses of the Swaminarayan Sampraday.
The Akshardham Temple
The 10-story Akshardham temple in Gujarat is a stunning architectural
marvel, housing the golden Murti or idol of Lord Sri Swaminarayan, the
founder of the Swaminarayan faith. Made of tonnes of pink sandstone
from Rajasthan, it uses no cement or steel whatsoever. It is believed
that this solidity will help the temple last for a thousand years
without the slightest damage caused to it.
Designed in accordance with ancient Indian Architectural Treatises
called the Sthaapatya shastras, the monument verily radiates a
spiritual aura, right from the start to the end of the temple complex.
This monument is filled with a certain sense of silence and peace,
which is especially palpable in the three floors housing the Hari
Mandapam, the Vibhuti Mandapama and the Prasadi Mandapam.
Every intricate carving in this temple is pregnant with meaning - it is
poetry in stone. Every statue appears real and breathes life and the
impressively huge dome resonates with divine vibrations. Akshardham is
more than a mere architectural masterpiece - it is the living devotion
of Swaminarayan followers to create Heaven on Earth.
Over the years, another grand Akshardham temple has been built in New
Just prior to his death, Swaminarayan established a line of acharyas or
preceptors as his successors. He established two gadis or seats of
leadership. One of them, Nar Narayan Dev Gadi, was established at
Ahmedabad; and the other one, Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi, at Vadtal.
Swaminarayan appointed one acharya to each of these gadis, in order to
pass on his message to others and to preserve his fellowship, the
The acharyas chosen by Swaminarayan, came from his immediate family. He
formally adopted his brothers' sons and appointed them to the office of
acharya. Ayodhyaprasad, his elder brother's (named Rampratap) son and
and Raghuvira, the son of his younger brother Ichcharam, were appointed
acharyas of the Ahmedabad Gadi and the Vadtal Gadi respectively.
Swaminarayan strictly decreed that the office of the acharyas should be
hereditary, so that they would maintain a direct line of blood descent
from his family. The current acharyas of the Swaminarayan Sampraday are
Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasad Pande of the Ahmedabad Gadi and Acharya
Shree Rakeshprasad Pande of the Vadtal Gadi.
Decades after Swaminarayan's death, several divisions occurred within
the sect, each one coming up with a slightly different phisolophy. This
gave rise to the establishment of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar
Purushottam Sanstha or BAPS, the founder of which left the Vadtal Gadi
in 1905. Yet another tributary, known as the Maninagar Swaminarayan
Gadi Sansthan came into being, the founder of which left the Ahmedabad
Gadi in the 1940s.
The followers of BAPS hold Gunatitanand Swami as the spiritual
successor to Swaminarayan, stating that Swaminarayan had, on several
occasions, revealed to devotees that Gunatitanand Swami was the
Aksharbrahm manifest. Followers of BAPS believe that the acharyas were
granted only administrative leadership of the faith, while Gunatitanand
Swami was given actual spiritual leadership. The current leader of BAPS
is Shastri Narayanswarupdas.
The followers of the Maninagar Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, on the other
hand, consider Gopalanand Swami as the successor to Swaminarayan.
Beliefs on Swaminarayan's
It is believed that Swaminarayan had a following of 1.8 million people
when he died. The movement continues to grow even today, long after his
time on Earth. Now, there are Swaminarayan centres spreading across
many continents of the world. Of course, the majority of his followers
are in Gujarat or non-resident Gujaratis across the world.
Swaminarayan was of the view that humans would not be able to withstand
meeting the Supreme Being as he is in divine form, and so, God has to
take human forms and Avatars or manifestations so that his devotees can
approach him and interact with him.
There is nothing official recorded about Swaminarayan being an avatar,
but most of his followers believe that he is the complete manifestation
of Narayana - the Supreme Being, who is also superior to other avatars.
He is also believed to be the Narayana aspect from the Nara Narayana
pair, who was cursed by the hot-tempered sage, Rishi Durvasa, to
incarnate on the Earth as Swaminarayan.
Yet other Swaminarayan followers believe that he was an incarnation of
Lord Krishna, who is an incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu and is also the
main deity of the Gujaratis. Most Hindus hailing from Gujarat believe
in Sri Nathji, an aspect of Lord Krishna.
Interestingly enough, the story of Swaminarayan's birth is somewhat
similar to that of Krishna's birth, as mentioned in the Bhagavata
Purana. In fact, Swaminarayan himself is believed to have claimed that
he was a manifestation of God.
Criticism of the Swaminarayan Sect
This claim was severely criticized by Swami Dayananda, several decades
after the formation of the movement. The Swami questioned the
acceptance of Swaminarayan as the Supreme Being and was disapproving
towards the idea that following the Swaminarayan faith could lead one
to attaining jivan mukti.
Some believed that the Swaminarayan faith has been linked to
patriarchal class structures that subjugate women. However, the fact
remains that Swaminarayan actually strived to uplift women by giving
them security in society. He did give them specific codes of conduct on
moving inside the household and also outside, but that was merely for
their own safety, which was quite relevant at that particular point in
In conclusion, Swaminarayan was indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Brimming over with compassion and wisdom for the world, he also strived
tirelessly for social welfare, to abolish inequality and to give a
respectable status to the women of the society.
Building temples, trusts and hospitals all over the world, Swaminarayan
followers try their best to serve the peoples of the world. The Pramukh
Swami medical centres established all over India provide treatment for
a variety of ailments at a much lesser cost than other private
hospitals. A major portion of the funds received by the trust,
therefore, are put to good use, being directed towards social welfare
and janaseva (people's welfare).
Sri Swaminarayan was indeed an Avatar Purush of his time, one that
richly deserves all the respect, devotion and adoration showered on