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Encyclopedia > Swaminarayan
Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan
Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan

Bhagwan Swaminarayan (April 2, 1781 - 1830) was born Ghanshyam Maharaj to a brahmin family in the village of Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India. His father's name was Hariprasad Pande (also known as Dharmadev) and his mother's name was Premvati (also known as Bhaktimata). He had two brothers, Rampratapji Pande, the older brother, and Icharamji Pande, the younger brother. After serving his parents, he left home at the age of 11 to travel the whole of India on a holy pilgrimage, eventually settling in Gujarat. At age 21, he was given the headship of a religious sect known as Uddhav Sampradaay (later known as Swaminarayan Sampradaay), with the blessings of his Guru Sadguru Ramanand Swami. He later became known as Swaminarayan after the mantra he taught. Swaminarayan was known by many names such as Shreeji Maharaj, Shri Hari and Sahajanand Swami. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x756, 86 KB) Summary www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (504x756, 86 KB) Summary www. ... 2 April is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 273 days remaining. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A Brahmin (ब्राह्मण) (pronunciation is Brahmana) is a member of the Hindu priestly caste. ... Uttar Pradesh (Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश, Urdu: اتر پردیش), also popularly known by its acronym UP, is the most populous and fifth largest state in the Union of India. ... Pilgrim at Mecca A pilgrimage is a term primarily used in religion and spirituality of a long journey or search of great moral significance. ... Gujarat (Gu: , De: ; , IPA ; also spelled Gujrat and sometimes (incorrectly) Gujarath) contained many of the former Princely states of India, and is the second most industrialized state in India after Maharashtra. ... Fishers of men; Oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Religion (see etymology below) —sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine; and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. ... A sect is a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ... References ^ Tirha, B. B. A Taste of Trascendence, (2002) p. ... A mantra is a religious syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. ...


He established temples at: Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Vadtal, Junagadh, Dholera, Gadhpur & – installing images of various manifestations of God, such as Nar Narayan Dev, Laxmi Narayan Dev, Radha Krishna, Radha Raman, Revti Baldevji, etc. Shreeji Maharaj made Gadhpur his home, in recognition of the exceptional devoted love from Dada Khachar, one of his most devoted disciples. Ahmedabad (અમદાવાદ in Gujarati) or Ahmadābād is the largest city in Gujarat and the 7th largest city in India, with a population of 5 million. ... Bhuj is a town in Gujarat. ... Vadtal is a small village in the Kaira district of Gujarat, India. ... Junagadh is a city, in Junagadh District, in the Indian state of Gujarat. ...

Contents


Philosophy and claims of Godhood

The Swaminarayan Sampradaya is a Bhakti Sampradaya which advocates for God within the disciplines of Dharma. Lord Swaminarayan has propagated a philosophy which holds that God is Supreme, has a divine form, is the all doer and always present on earth. He simply states that jivas, or individual souls, never merge or dissolve into God, but they are not part of God. Yet all jivas are always subservient to God. The Jiva, through absolute surrender and attachment toward the Guru, attains the realized state and becomes eligible to offer pure worship to God. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... ... Dharma - The Liberty of Knowledge The principle that all knowledge are the manifestation of Dharma by Dr. Edmund Chan Forest Dhamma Books Free English translations of the teachings from the Buddhist Masters of the Thai forest tradition. ... These five broad types of question are not the only subjects of philosophical inquiry, and there are many overlaps between the categories which are subsumed within the discipline under the four major headings of Logic, Ontology, Epistemology, and Axiology. ... The concept of the divine or of The Divine, meaning matters relating to a god, forms an important ingredient in many religious faiths (but compare Buddhism, for example, or Scientology). ... This article is about the meanings of the word form connected with shape or structure. ... In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is the immortal essence of a living being, subject to maya. ... In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva is the immortal essence of a living being, subject to maya. ... References ^ Tirha, B. B. A Taste of Trascendence, (2002) p. ... Worship usually refers to specific acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion, typically directed to a supernatural being such as a god or goddess. ...


Sahajanand Swami (Swaminarayan) was a Narayana and Krishna bhakta considered by his followers to be Narayana Himself, Rama, Krishna, etc. being his avataras. Swaminarayan sampradaya stems from the Ramanuja sampradaya, which holds Lord Narayana to be supreme and Krishna to be an avatar. Narayana (नारायण) or Narayan originates as an important Sanskrit name for Vishnu and is in many contemporary vernaculars, a common Indian name. ... Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, IAST ) is according to common Hindu tradition the eighth avatar of Vishnu. ... Bhakta is a Hindu term for a person who practices bhakti, that is loving devotion for God. ... Lord Rama (center) with wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman. ... Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, IAST ) is according to common Hindu tradition the eighth avatar of Vishnu. ... See Avatar (disambiguation) for other meanings. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Sri Ramanuja Acharya (1017 - 1137 AD) was an Indian philosopher and is recognized as the most important saint of Sri Vaishnavism. ...


In his main work called Shikshapatri (108) he writes: The Shikshapatri is a text of two hundred and twelve verses, and was written by Shree Swaminarayan, a reforming Hindu from the Vaishnava tradition, who lived in Gujarat from 1781-1830 and who was recognised by his followers as a deity during his lifetime. ...

That ishvara is Shi Krishna who is PraBrahma Bhagwan Purushottam and our most cherished deity (istadeva). He is worthy of being worshipped by us all (upasya). He is the cause of all manifestations and incarnations.

Commenting on this verse, Shatanand Muni writes in Arthdipika (Shikshapatri Bhashya): "That live (saakshat) God (bhagvan) Krishna who is above kshar and akshar, appeared from Bhakti through Dharma as Swaminarayan; assumed a human body on the earth like a dramatist (natta). That Krishna whilst observing the (human) dharmas of an Acharya speaks in third person (parokshavann) but that Krishna is none other than Himself." Ishvara (ईश्वर in devanagari script, pronunciation ī:shvərə), also variously transliterated (romanized) as Īshvara, Īshwara, Īshwar, Īśvara, etc. ...


This verse is used to prove his Godhood:[1] 43

Dharmadeva tada murtau, narnarayanatmana
Pravrte-pi kalau Brahman! Bhutvaham samago dvijaha
44
Munishapannrutam praptam, sarshim janakaatmanaha
Tato-vita gurubhyoham saddharmam sthapayannaja

with this translation: When the asuras who were killed by Myself and Arjuna begin to spread wickedness on earth, I will be born in a Brahmin family to Dharmadev and Murti from Nar Narayana. I, with many other rishis, will receive a shaap (curse) from a Muni to come on the earth to a Samved Brahmin family to protect the religion from evil gurus and rulers.” (Vasudeva Mahatmya 18.43-44 of Skanda Purana, Vishnu Khanda) Krishna to Arjuna: Behold My mystic opulence! Artwork © courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Arjuna (Sanskrit: अर्जुन, arjuna) is one of the heroes of the epic Hindu Mahabharata. ... In Hinduism, Vasudeva is the father of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. ... In Hinduism, Kartikeya (also Murugan, Subrahmanya, Skanda, Kumaran, Swaminanda) is a deity born out of a magical spark created by Shiva. ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... For other uses of the name Vishnu, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ...

43
dharma-devaat tadaa bhaktaad
aham naaraayano munih
janisye kosale dese
bhuumau hi saamago dvijah
44
muni-saapaan nrtaam praaptaan
rsiims taata tathoddhavam
tato 'vitaasurebhyo 'ham
sad-dharmam sthaapayann aja

The complete reference in the Venkatesvara edition of Skanda Purana is 2.9.18.43-44 (2.9 is Vasudeva Mahatmya).


It is mentioned that he will establish sad-dharma; but there is no name of a mother (if her name was "Bhakti", then the word bhaktaad cannot refer to her, because this is the ablative singular ending of a masculine noun; for bhakti it would have to be bhaktyaah or bhakteh). Kali_Yuga is not mentioned. Kali Yuga is also the title of a book by Roland Charles Wagner. ...

43 "From Dharma-deva, then, from the devotee, I, Naaraayana-muni, shall take birth on this earth, in the land of Kosala, indeed, as a braahmana, a singer of the Sama Veda."
44 "O Brahma, when cursed by a muni, some rsis take birth as human beings, I will protect them from the demons and I will establish the principles of religion."

Kosala was an ancient Indian kingdom, corresponding roughly in area with the region of Oudh. ... The Sama Veda (सामवेद), or Veda of Holy Songs, is third in the usual order of enumeration of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. ... Brahma (written Brahmā in IAST transliteration) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as brÉ™hmα:) is the Hindu creator god, and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ...

Present-day followers

Currently, there are three significant Hindu sects claiming the spiritual successorship of Shree Swaminarayan. All hold substantially similar beliefs, and are united in their faith and devotion towards Swaminarayan, however they are all philisophically and institutionaly different from each other with regard to spiritual successorship. Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu sects. ...


|| Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday ||

Prior to Bhagwan Swaminarayan departing for Akshardham, Shriji Hari divided his mandirs into two regions and in Vadtal, he established the dual Acharyaship, in direct succession to Himself. He did so by means of a legal document Desh Vibhag Lekh which is a scripture that was dictated to Shuk Swami on Maghshar Sud 15, Vikram Samvat 1883 and witnessed by elder saints and satsangis of the Sampraday. The Lekh serves two primary purposes: Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Gopuram of temples, in south India, are adorned with colourful icons depicting a particular story surrounding the temples deity. ...


-Demarcation of the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the respective Gadis


-Means of appointing future Acharyas.


Followers of Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday believe these acharyas to be Bhagwan Swaminarayan's immediate spiritual successors. The current acharyas, by hereditary succession, are HH Acharya Maharajshri Shri Rakeshprasadji Maharaj adorns the illustrious seat of LaxmiNarayan Dev Gadi at Vadtal, whilst HH Acharya Maharajshri Shri Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj adorns the illustrious seat of NarNarayan Dev Gadi at Ahmedabad. Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan Swaminarayan (April 2, 1781 - 1830) was born Ghanshyam Maharaj to a brahmin family in the village of Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India. ... A hereditary monarchy is the most common style of monarchy and is the form that is used by almost all of the worlds existing monarchies. ... H.H. 1008 Acharya Shree Rakeshprasadji Maharaj. ... H.H. 1008 Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj. ...


The Acharyas of the Sampraday are mere administrative heads. They are the spiritual leaders and the Guru through whom the path to atyantik kalyan (ultimate redemption) is opened. Swaminarayan Bhagwan adopted Ayodhyaprasadji from His elder brother Rampratapji and adopted Raghuvirji from His younger brother Ichcharamji. He accepted the two as His own sons and handed the Northern - NarNarayan Dev Desh (diocese) to Acharya Shri Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj and the Southern- LaxmiNarayan Dev Desh to Acharya Shri Raghuvirji Maharaj in Vadtal on VS 1882 (1826 AD) Kartik Sud 11 - Prabodhini Ekadashi (ironically on the very same day He was given the Acharya-pad by Ramanand Swami).


The NarNarayan Desh is based in Amdavad (Ahmedabad) and LaxmiNarayan Desh in Vadtal. Though known as NarNarayan Dev and LaxmiNarayan Dev Gadi, both are the Swaminarayan Gadis as they are the only authentic gadis established by Lord Swaminarayan Himself.


The Acharyas are householders and their respective wives (Gadiwala) stand as the females’ Guru. The Gadi is passed on to the most capable of the Sons from their family.


The Acharya’s role is to:

  • initiate followers into the Sampraday with a Samanya Diksha by giving the special guru-mantra
  • initiate sadhus (monks, ascetics) by giving them the Maha-Bhagwadi Diksha
  • perform murti-pratishtha, install deities in the temples
  • authenticate scriptures of the Sampraday
  • act as the Guru and leader of the entire Sampraday

The concept of having a householder (non-monk) as guru and that of hereditary succession are unique to the Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday. It is the uniqueness of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, that the closest a tyagi (saint) comes to leadership is being appointed the Mahant Swami (head-saint) of a Shikharbandh Temple. At all times, the true saints of the Sampraday take their instructions from the Acharya, their ultimate guru and leader. References ^ Tirha, B. B. A Taste of Trascendence, (2002) p. ... A hereditary monarchy is the most common style of monarchy and is the form that is used by almost all of the worlds existing monarchies. ... Swami playing the Harmonium Swami is a primarily Hindu honorific, loosely akin to master. It is derived from the Sanskrit language and means owner of oneself, denoting complete mastery over instinctive and lower urges. ... An acharya is a prominent guru, teacher and scholar who teaches by his own example (from Sanskrit achara, behavior). ...


In the Shikshapatri (62), Swaminarayan Bhagwan clearly states “And the form of Shri Krishna that has been given by your Acharya for the purpose of your worship and the forms that the Acharya has installed (i.e. in the mandirs) are the only forms of God worthy of worship. The rest are worthy of respect but not worthy of worship” Therefore, the only murtis (deities) worthy of worship are those installed by the Acharyas. The Shikshapatri is a text of two hundred and twelve verses, and was written by Shree Swaminarayan, a reforming Hindu from the Vaishnava tradition, who lived in Gujarat from 1781-1830 and who was recognised by his followers as a deity during his lifetime. ... Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, IAST ) is according to common Hindu tradition the eighth avatar of Vishnu. ... Murti Worship Different sects of Hinduism, especially devotional/bhakti and tantric ones, have their own particular monotheistic conception of supreme Godhead from whom all other deities and principles emanate (such as Vishnu or Shiva, Krishna or Devi). ...


The original Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday controls and maintains the first nine authantic Swaminarayan temples built by the instuctions of Lord Swaminarayan as well as 35 other temples in India and 45 centers worldwide.[2]


BAPS

BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) is a socio-spiritual organization with its roots in the Vedas, and was revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the late 18th century and established in 1907 CE by Swami Yagnapurushdas. ImageMetadata File history File links 10_32n_f-1-.jpg Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... BAPS mandir in Houston, TX, United States Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha or BAPS is a branch of the Hindu Swaminarayan sect with more than 1,000,000 followers worldwide and a greater presence outside South Asia than any other Hindu group. ... The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... Swami playing the Harmonium Swami is a primarily Hindu honorific, loosely akin to master. It is derived from the Sanskrit language and means owner of oneself, denoting complete mastery over instinctive and lower urges. ...


The Sanstha 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 Sanstha's universal work has received many national welfare awards and the affiliation to the United Nations. Its international network has flourished into 9,090 Youth, Children and Women centers, over 700 sadhus, 55,000 volunteers and the dedication of over one million followers. The hallmark of the Swaminarayan devotee is that he or she devoutly begins the day with puja and meditation, works or studies honestly and donates regular hours in serving others. He/she observes the five principal vows: No Stealing, No Adultery, No Alcohol, No Meat, No Impurity of body and mind. Such moral purity and spiritual surety add a deeper brilliance to all the hundreds of social services performed for a better life.


BAPS split from the Vadtal temple in 1906, rejecting the householder line of succession. In the words of its critics, BAPS is a split from the original Swaminarayan Sampraday which is under Ahmdavad and Vadtal Gadi, which Swaminarayan Bhagwan established himself. BAPS are neither confirmed nor stated in anyway, in the Swaminarayan Scriptures to be a authentic group of the sect. Followers of BAPS regard Gunatitanand Swami, a sadhu whom Swaminarayan referred to as "My divine abode" and "My ideal devotee", as his immediate spiritual successor. He is succeeded in turn by Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Shoaler 6 July 2005 19:05 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born December 7, 1921 in the village of Chansad in Gujarat, India) is a spiritual leader of the Hindu organization of Bochasanwasi Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
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The Swaminarayan sect takes its place in the bhakti tradition: the theological and philosophical base of the movement is Vishistadvaita Vedanta (see under Ramanuja), but upon this foundation certain specific teachings are developed, and the movement comprises several distinct groups.
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Lord Swaminarayan is supreme lord, the source of all incarnation.
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