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Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwan history of India

Shri Swaminarayan built six dhams in the hands of God

Shri Swaminarayan

Religion: Ahmedabad

 Main Deo: Shri Narayanarayan Dev

 Reputation: VSwant 3 Phalgun Sukal 1, Monday (9/6/3)

 Extra: The first temple of Sri Swaminarayan sect in the whole world.

Ahmedabad Shri Narayanarayan Dev

Dham: Bhuj

 Main Deo: Shri Narayanarayan Dev

 Reputation: VSwant 3 Vishakha Sud 1, Friday (3-5-6)

Bhuj Shri Narayanarayan Dev

Religion: Elderly

 Main Deity: Shri Lakshminarayan Dev

 Reputation: VSwant 3 Karthik Sood 1, Thursday (3-5-6)

Extra: Own form Shri Harikrishna Maharaj Padhravia.

For the first time in this universe, its appearance has grown into a spectacle.  Vadatal stood in the temple and ordered to be filled.

Elderly Shri Lakshminarayan Dev

Dham: Dholera

 Chief Dev: Shri Madanmohan Dev

 Reputation: VSwant 3 Vaishakh Sood 1, Saturday (Ta 1-3-6)

Shri Madanmohan Dev

Religion: Junagadh

 Chief Dev: Shri Radharan Dev

 Reputation: VSwant 3 Vaishakh Vad 1, Thursday (Ta 1-3-6)

Extra: Siddheshwar Mahadev Padraviya in Junagadh Temple in entire denomination.  Mahapunja of Gopalanand Swami is in that temple.  Punja occurs for 5 days.

Shri Radharan Dev

Dham: Garhpur

Chief God: Shri Gopinathji Maharaj

Reputation: VSwant 3 Ashad Sud 3, Tuesday (3-5-6)

Extra: The Maharaj made the statue of Gopinathji Maharaj by taking the measure of one of his organs.  The Maharaj considered his home, besides the Garhpur grandfather's Darbar fort, and Akshara room and Surya Narayan Padraviya in the temple.

Shri Gopinathji Maharaj

Prior to his death, Swaminarayan decided to establish a line of acharyas or preceptors, as his successors. He established two gadis (seats of leadership). One seat was established at Ahmedabad (Nar Narayan Dev Gadi) and the other one at Vadtal (Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi) on November 21, 1825. 
Swaminarayan appointed an acharya to each of these gadis to pass on his message to others and to preserve his fellowship, the Swaminarayan Sampraday. These acharyas came from his immediate family. He formally adopted a son from his brothers and appointed them to the office of acharya. Ayodhyaprasad, the son of Swaminarayan's elder brother Rampratap andRaghuvira, the son of his younger brother Ichcharam, were appointed acharyas of the Ahmedabad Gadi and the Vadtal Gadi respectively.

Swaminarayan decreed that the office should be hereditary so that acharyas would maintain a direct line of blood descent from his family. The administrative division of his followers into two territorial dioceses is set forth in minute detail in a document written by Swaminarayan called Desh Vibhaag Lekh. 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 his death, several divisions occurred with different understandings of succession. This included the establishment ofBochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), the founder of which left the Vadtal Gadi in 1905, and Maninagar Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, the founder of which left the Ahmedabad Gadi in the 1940s. The followers of BAPS hold Gunatitanand Swami as the spiritual successor to Swaminarayan, asserting that on several occasions Swaminarayan revealed to devotees that Gunatitanand Swami was Aksharbrahm manifest.

 Followers of BAPS believe that the acharyas were given administrative leadership of the faith while Gunatitanand Swami was given spiritual leadership by Swaminarayan. The current leader of BAPS is Shastri Narayanswarupdas. The followers of the Maninagar Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan hold Gopalanand Swami as the successor to Swaminarayan.

The well-spread community of Hinduism now-a-days has a great establisher who actually asked questions which really make sense and might open your eyes at seeing things. The establisher of Swaminarayan Community, Sahajanand Swami (b. Ghanshyam Pandey) actually found the answers of those five questions. He said that those questions are useful to select appropriate Ashram. But I will make you believe that those questions are much more than that.
Sahajanand Swami started 7 year pilgrimage around the India to know the culture of this ancient country. India still has many unrevealed secrets and things which we don’t understand. This country has its core in ancient civilizations as well as the stuff which we call divine. It has witnessed divinity and maybe the real form of divinity can only be found in those ancient parts of this country. Well, let’s return on the topic. So, Sahajanand Swami started his pilgrimage under the name of Nilkanth Varni. And he wandered the world to seek the enlightenment. And guess what? He learned the secrets.

Krishna and Vishnu

Krishna and Vishnu (According to Vaishnavism and Swaminarayan):
But let me first inform you few things which might be helpful to understand this particular topic. The Dashavtar (Ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu) are Matsya. Kurma, Varaha, Narsimha, Vamana, Parshurama, Rama, Krishna/ Balarama, Buddha and Kalki. Well, I expect readers would have already known that. My main focus is on the eighth number. Yes, I know if you read the list, you might have confused at Krishna. But that’s true. As I explained in previous many posts why Krishna is said to be complete god, in Vaishnavism and Swaminarayan, Lord Krishna is considered as the god himself (Swayam Bhagwan). They believe that the eighth avatar was Balarama, because Krishna is Vishnu himself. They believe that Balaram incarnated in eighth avatar to destroy demons. And the Krishna appeared as the god himself. He has that actual knowledge and powers. He has peacock feather, Sudarshana, Panchjanya, Saringa bow, Kaumadaki Mace, Garuda, Dwarka (Mirror of Vaikunth), ocean of Dwarka (mirror image of Kshir Sagar) and the knowledge of three tenses. Besides, his appearance is illustrated same as Lord Vishnu.

That’s why these two communities believe that Krishna was the complete god. He was not an Avatar or part of Vishnu, he was Vishnu himself.

Swaminarayan community came from Udhava Sampradaya, which was existed when Sahajanand Swami was given the responsibilities to lead them. Then, later the name of that community was given as Swaminarayan.

What is Swaminarayan word?

Swaminarayan word is clearly made of two words Swami and Narayan. Narayan is Lord Vishnu. But here, Narayana is Lord Krishna, because in this community Krishna is the supreme god. And Swami is referred for Sahajanand Swami, establisher of this community. Together these words indicate the joint of Nara and Narayan, Nara Narayan.
However, before existence of this community, Nara Narayan was used to refer Krishna and Arjun. Krishna and Arjun were known as Nara Narayan. Clearly here, Narayana is Krishna and Nara is Arjun.

So, basically, Swaminarayan Sampraday worships the Nara Narayan form of god, which is Sahajanand Swami, the establisher. The supreme deity is clearly Narayan.

Five Questions:
Sahajanand Swami asked five questions to select appropriate Ashram. The Ashram which could give the answers appropriately, is the best.

1. What is Jiva?

2. What is Ishvara?

3. What is Maya?

4. What is Brahmana?

5. What is Para Brahmana?

I think these questions are much more than that. If properly answered, these questions could give you proper knowledge of life. I’ll here try to answer all those question according to my view and knowledge.

What is Jiva?
Jiva means the being which has life. But here, what is Jiva means what is Jivatma. Here, Jiva is used for Soul.

Jiva images

As I explained in Gita Articles, Souls are parts of the supreme soul. As mother gives birth to a child in her womb, the nature gives birth to a being in its womb and soul is seed. Then, the three qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas bind the soul in body and creates its nature. And according to development of these three qualities, a person’s nature is built and his/her life also belong on his/her nature. So, Jiva is soul of all beings, who have only one destination. The Supreme Soul. According to Swaminarayan, the supreme soul is Narayan, and according to many communities in Hinduism, Vishnu is Narayan and the supreme soul himself.

So, this question is basically a question whose answer is Sankhya Yoga. If you have understood Sankhya Yoga as I explained, you might understand what Jiva is. Due to less time I can’t again explain all that here. But I’ll provide link which would directly take you there.

What is Ishvara?
Ishvara means god. Here, I mean the supreme soul. The supreme soul is the god, the Ishvara. We all are souls and our destination is the supreme soul. We are parts of Ishvara, bound with the three qualities which have hidden our ultimate knowledge. And if we receive the Aatma Gyan (Enlightenment), we could know what Ishvara is. This is also connected with Gita articles, right? So, read there, what is Supreme Soul?

Ishvara images

What is Maya?
Maya means the things due to which a person forgets his/her ultimate knowledge. The soul knows everything, it’s hidden with those three qualities of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. And these three qualities are known as Maya. The souls are bound with Maya and formed into bodies. And if a person could know how to balance these qualities or how to get rid of these, he/she could be freed from Maya. And if you’re free from Maya, you can recognize the real supreme soul of everyone’s soul. Because as I said in Gita articles, every souls are connected to the supreme soul. And if we are free from Maya, we can see the supreme soul in each soul. We don’t have to find supreme soul in idols or anything.

What is Brahmana?
Brahmana here doesn’t mean Brahmins. It has nothing to do with Brahmins. Brahmana means Yogi. Yogi is a soul who is free from Maya, and a person who knows that his body has its work in this nature and his soul has nothing to do with it. His body has work of Nature’s cycle. And a person who does all works of life, but doesn’t get connected into them, is Yogi. A person who works without expectations, affections, love, hate, or anger; is Yogi. So, Brahmana means Yogi. And there are various types of yogis like Sankhya Yogi, Karma Yogi, Karma Sanyas Yogi, etc. The type of Yogi depends on the way he takes to reach the supreme soul. For more info, see Gita Articles.

What is Para Brahman?
Some people mistake these term and say that Ishvara and Para Brahman are same thing. That’s partially right. Yes, Ishvara is Para Brahman. But what is Para Brahman? As we know that Brahmana means Yogi, Para Brahman means the first Yogi. Sometimes, it’s referred as Adiyogi. It means a Yogi who first got enlightenment. And clearly, the Para Brahman can’t be born or can’t die. First Yogi has found the Yoga. There are two Para Brahmans according to Hinduism: Vishnu and Shiva.

Para Brahman images

I know that many of Puranas conflict the fact on supreme soul. Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, and few other Puranas say that Shiva is the supreme soul and supreme god, who established the Yoga. He didn’t born. He is Para Brahman.
However, Vishnu Purana, Garuda Purana, Bhagwat Purana, Kalki Purana, Bhavisya Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Vedas say that Vishnu is the supreme soul. And most of the Hindus believe the same. It is said that Vishnu and Shiva both are same. Shiva is just another side of Vishnu, whose responsibility is to destroy the demons when Vishnu wants. That’s why we can see Brahma (Creator of the Universe) is appeared from the navel of Lord Vishnu. We can always see a lotus born from navel of Vishnu and on that lotus, Brahma sits. Vishnu told Brahma to create the universe. And Shiva is mirror image of Vishnu himself. Shiva lives ascetic. Vishnu himself watches over the world. That’s why Vishnu is considered as the supreme soul.

I assure my readers that I’d post a brief description about Vishnu and Shiva in another post. Because explaining those stuff here might distract readers who are here for those five questions.
But, we can agree on the fact that Vishnu and Shiva are two only Para Brahmans, who started the Yoga. Shiva is said to be founder of Yoga, but we know that he found Yoga through meditation. And Shiva meditates Vishnu, and Vishnu meditates Shiva. That makes sense that they both are same and equal.

Shivay Vishnu Rupay, Shiva Rupay Vishnave,
Shivasya Hridayam Vishnu, Vishnusche Hridayam Shiva,
Yatha Shivamayo Vishnu, evam vishnumayo shiva

This, these five question asked by Sahajanand Swami are the same questions explained in Gita. If you have properly understood Gita, you know what these question means.
However, we know that today religion has nothing to do with this knowledge and they only worry for money. Whether it’s Swaminarayan, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, or the whole Hinduism, we all are fake devotees. Because we worship without understanding what the worship is.
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