Revealing His True Identity

Magshar Vad 11th, VS 1858

In Samvat 1858, Magshar Sud 13th (Thursday 17th December 1801) Ramanand Swami dropped his mortal body to depart from Earth to Lords heavenly abode in  the village of Faneni.

On the 14th day after Ramanand Swami’s departure, Samvat 1858, Magshar Vad 11, (31st December 1801) Shree Sahajanad Swami called for a vast congregation of all followers of Ramanand Swami in Faneni. In this congregation Sahajanand Swami sought to bring about the uniformity amongst all the followers. He introduced uniformity in severa aspects to bring out a unique identification amongst the followers from dress code for all sadhus (monks/saints) and disciples, symbols on the forehead of tilak-chandlo to the new mantra of initiation and daily workship.


He revealed that while He was given different names previously – His parents Dharmadev and Bhaktimata gave him name Ghanshyam, Sage Markendaya Rishi gave him 4 names – Hari, Krishna, HariKrishna and Neelkhant, His Guru Ramanand Swami gave Him 2 names – Sahajanand Swami and Narayan Muni, people affectionately called Him Shreejimaharaj, but none addressed Him by His true name – SWAMINARAYAN.


Sahajanand Swami revealed that His true name was Swaminarayan and it represented being the Swami (master) of all Narayan (Vishnu or Purshottama and representing all forms or incarnations of Narayan).This name is also the ‘Mahamantra’ that contains within it the essence of all scriptures and the power of thousands of other mantras Reciting this name or mantra will cease one’s triveni taap , all of one’s internal enemies will be abolished, deep devotion towards Lord will be evoked and ultimately by remembrance of this mantra in the final stages of life, one would be granted liberation from the cycle of death and birth. One who faithfully chants the Swaminarayan mantra will be released from the burdens of past deeds, which bind the soul in a cycle of births and deaths. Devotees who chant the mantra will attain moksha, the pinnacle of spiritual attainment characterized by eternal bliss and devotion to God.


With this the Uddhav Sampraday came to be known as Swaminarayan Sampraday. Thus the Swaminarayan Sampraday as it is commonly known today is the original Uddhav Sampraday that was formed by Ramanand Swami, re-incarnation of Uddhav ji who had received the instructions of dharma from Lord Krishna Himself. In the Krishna avatar, Lord was able to perform 2 of the 3 main objectives of HIS human birth, –  To eradicate the evil  and to give darshan to HIS bhaktas but could not establish the Bhagwati Dharma. This was the task that was asked of Uddhav ji before Lord Krishna left for HIS heavenly abode.


VS 1878 – VS 1885

Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan and His Santos continued traveling around Gujarat to preach the greatness of God. During such vicharans, Bhagwan performed many Lilas or divine episodes and yagnas to strengthen the faith of devotees and to bring peace and harmony. Bhagwan built 6 magnificent temples at His own hands—Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Vadtal, Dholera, Junagadh, and Gadhpur.


Desh Vibhagh na Lekh

Kartik Sud 11th, VS 1882

With the sampraday blossoming in each facet, Swaminarayan Bhagwan realized that for the correct functioning of the sampraday based on the principles of true Bhagwathi Dharma, there was a need to restructure the sampraday, where in the ‘ Acharya who is a Grahasti (householder)’ and the ‘Sant or Tyagi (renounced)’ can have distinct lineages, roles and responsibilities. A  sant or tyagi cannot be involved with material or commercial matters and maintains his/her purity of thoughts and actions. A grahasti takes the responsibility of the satsang under the close guidance of the Sants and is focused on the welfare and administration of the sampraday.

Thus a hybrid model was invented wherein the Sants/Tyagi follow their own guru lineage focusing on the spiritual activities for the sampraday and the Acharya, who is a grahasti focusing on the growth and welfare of the sampraday in the wordly matters. The roles and responsibilities were clearly demarked to ensure the purity of the sants and the responsibilities of the grahasti or the Acharyas.

Lord Swaminarayan for ease of administration, formed the southern and northern dioceses.  A document that came to be known as Desh Vibhag no Lekh was dictated by Lord Swaminarayan Himself and written by Sadhu Shukmuni in the Darbar of Khachar Dada Ebhal at Gadhada in the year 1826 establishing the formal division of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya into two dioceses by territory of Ahmedabad (Nar Narayan Dev Gadi) and Vadtal (Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi).

This document is highly regarded by the two diocese as it establishes Acharyas as the successors to Swaminarayan.

In Vadtal, on Prabodhini Ekadashi of Vikram Samvat 1882, Swaminarayan adopted his nephews Ayodhyaprasadji Pande (Son of elder brother Rampratapji) and Raghuveerji Pande (Son of younger brother Ichcharamji) as his sons and subsequently nominated them as the Acharyas of the two dioceses. Ayodhyaprasadhi Maharaj became the first Acharya of the Nar Narayan Dev Gadi and Raghuvirji Maharaj became the first Acharya of Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi.

The Lekh has 30 articles, which give the following directions:

By establishing the Southern and Northern diocese of the sect in His own presence, Swaminarayan Bhagwan had effectively certified a smooth transition of power.



Maha Sud 5th, VS 1882:

On 11 Feb 1826, (Maha Sud 5, 1882 VS) in Vadtal, Bhagwan Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, addressed to each of His devotees, detailing the 212 commandments they must abide by if they want to achieve Him and Akshardham.

The  word Shikshapatri literally translates as “an epistle of beneficial instructions”.  It is a dharma text, providing detailed instructions on how to live a spiritually uplifting life.


Shikshapatri personifies the values that Lord Swaminarayan advocates. It explains the rudiments that one must adopt to live an honest and moral life. Attaining  Akshardham (the divine abode of Lord Swaminarayan) is easy when one adheres to the commandments of Shikhapatri. The Lord has stated that those who abide by the instructions in the Shikshapatri will attain the four great achievements of human life, Dharma(ones responsibilities in life), Arth (wealth), Kaam( virtuous deeds and actions), and Moksha(Salvation)

On 26 February 1830,At Rajkot a historic meeting took place between Swaminarayan and Sir John Malcolm, the then Governor of Bombay. At this meeting, Lord Swaminarayan presented a copy of the Shikshapatri to Sir John Malcolm. This copy is now housed at the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford.


Lord Swaminarayan instructed Nityanand Swami to translate Shikshapatri from Sanskrit into Gujarati. It has since been translated numerous times into other languages. It has been translated to Bengali, Gujaragujragtiti, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Udiya, Urdu, Vraj, Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Modern Hebrew, North Sotho, Portuguese, Russian, South Sotho, Spanish, Swahili, Xhosa and Zulu.


Jeth Sud 10th, VS 1886:

Having established true Bhagvathi Dharma and accomplishing His other objectives of human birth, on 1st June 1830, the Lord Supreme Swaminarayan Bhagwan dropped His mortal body and departed to His original abode-  Askshardham.

He was cremated according to Hindu rites at Lakshmi Wadi in Gadhada.



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