Illustration of Swaminarayan writing the Shikshapatri
Born Ghanshyam Pande
3 April 1781[1]
Chhapaiya (present-day Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died 1 June 1830(1830-06-01) (aged 49)
Gadhada (present-day Gujarat, India)
Titles/honours Venerated as an avatar of Narayana, from the Nara-Narayana deity pair or an avatar of Purushottama Narayana - the Supreme Being, in Swaminarayan Hinduism
Founder of Swaminarayan Sampraday
Denomination Vaishnavism
Guru Swami Ramanand

Swaminarayan (IAST: Svāmīnārāyaṇa, 3 April 1781 – 1 June 1830), also known as Sahajanand Swami, is the central figure in a modern sect of Hinduism known as the Swaminarayan Hinduism.

Swaminarayan was born Ghanshyam Pande in Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1781. In 1792, he began a seven-year pilgrimage across India, adopting the name Nilkanth Varni. He settled in the state of Gujarat around 1799. In 1800, he was initiated into the Uddhav sampradaya by his guru, Swami Ramanand, and was given the name Sahajanand Swami. In 1802, his guru handed over the leadership of the Uddhav Sampraday to him before his death. Sahajanand Swami held a gathering and taught the Swaminarayan Mantra. From this point onwards, he was known as Swaminarayan, and within the sect, he is regarded as an incarnation of God, Purushottama, or is venerated as an incarnation of Narayana in the Nara-Narayana deity pair by his followers. The Uddhav Sampraday became known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday.

Swaminarayan developed a good relationship with the British Raj. He had followers not only from Hindu denominations but also from Islam and Zoroastrianism. He built six temples in his lifetime and appointed 500 paramahamsas to spread his philosophy. In 1826, Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, a book of social principles. He died on 1 June 1830 and was cremated according to Hindu rites in Gadhada, Gujarat. Before his death, Swaminarayan appointed his adopted nephews as acharyas to head the two dioceses of Swaminarayan Sampraday.

Swaminarayan is also remembered within the sect for undertaking reforms for women and the poor, performing yajñas (fire sacrifices) on a large scale as well as performing miracles. Swaminarayan had an estimated 1.8 million followers when he died. By 2007, he had an estimated of 20 million followers.[2] He has, however, been criticised by people such as Swami Dayananda and Mahatma Gandhi. The acceptance of Swaminarayan as God and secondary treatment of women is questioned by critics.


  • Childhood as Ghanshyam 1
  • Travels as Nilkanth Varni 2
  • Leadership as Sahajanand Swami 3
  • Work and views 4
    • Women and the poor 4.1
    • Animal Sacrifices and Yagnas 4.2
    • Caste system 4.3
  • Temples and ascetics 5
  • Scriptures 6
  • Relations with other religions and the British Government 7
  • Death and succession 8
  • Following and manifestation belief 9
  • Notes and references 10
  • Sources 11
  • External links 12

Childhood as Ghanshyam

Dharmadev teaching Ghanshyam from the scriptures

Swaminarayan was born on 3 April 1781 (Chaitra Sud 9, Samvat 1837) in Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, a village near Ayodhya, in a Hindi speaking region in India.[1] Born into the brahmin or priestly caste of Sarvariya, Swaminarayan was named Ghanshyam Pande by his parents, Hariprasad Pande (father, also known as Dharmadev) and Premvati Pande (mother, also known as Bhaktimata and Murtidevi).[1] The birth of Swaminarayan coincided with the Hindu festival of Rama Navami, celebrating the birth of Rama. The ninth lunar day in the fortnight of the waxing moon in the month of Chaitra (March–April), is celebrated as both Rama Navami and Swaminarayan Jayanti by Swaminarayan followers. This celebration also marks the beginning of a ritual calendar for the followers.[3] Swaminarayan had an elder brother, Rampratap Pande, and a younger brother, Ichcharam Pande.[4] He is said to have mastered the scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata by the age of seven.[5]

Travels as Nilkanth Varni

Nilkanth Varni during his travels

After the death of his parents, Ghanshyam Pande left his home on 29 June 1792 (Ashadh Sud 10, Samvat 1849) at the age of 11.[6] He took the name Nilkanth Varni while on his journey. Nilkanth Varni travelled across India and parts of Nepal in search of an ashram, or hermitage, that practised what he considered a correct understanding of Vedanta, Samkhya, Yoga, and Pancaratra, the four primary schools of Hindu philosophy.[7] To find such an ashram, Nilkanth Varni asked the following five questions on the basic Vaishnava Vedanta categories:[8]

While on his journey, Nilkanth Varni mastered Astanga yoga (eightfold yoga) in a span of 9 months under the guidance of an aged yogic master named Gopal Yogi.[9] In Nepal, it is said that he met King Rana Bahadur Shah and cured him of his stomach illness. As a result, the king freed all the ascetics he had imprisoned.[10] Nilkanth Varni visited the Jagannath Temple in Puri as well as temples in Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Nashik, Dwarka and Pandharpur.[6]

In 1799, after a seven-year journey, Nilkanth's travels as a yogi eventually concluded in Loj, a village in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. In Loj, Nilkanth Varni met Muktanand Swami, a senior disciple of Ramanand Swami. Muktanand Swami, who was twenty-two years older than Nilkanth, answered the five questions to Nilkanth's satisfaction.[11] Nilkanth decided to stay for the opportunity to meet Ramanand Swami, whom he met a few months after his arrival in Gujarat.[12]

Leadership as Sahajanand Swami

Traditional iconographical portrait of Swaminarayan

According to the sect, Nilkanth's understanding of the metaphysical and epistemological concepts of the pancha-tattvas (five eternal elements), together with his mental and physical discipline, inspired senior sadhus of Ramanand Swami.[13]

Nilkanth Varni received sannyasa initiation from Ramanand Swami on 20 October 1800, and with it was granted the names Sahajanand Swami and Narayan Muni to signify his new status.[14]

At the age of 21, Sahajanand Swami was appointed successor to Ramanand Swami as the leader of the Uddhav Sampraday[14] by Ramanand Swami, prior to his death. The Uddhav Sampraday henceforth came to be known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday.[15] According to sources he proclaimed the worship of one sole deity, Krishna or Narayana.[16] Krishna was considered by him his own ista devata. In contrast with the Vaishnava sect known as the Radha-vallabha Sampradaya,[17] he had a more puritanical approach, rather than the theological views of Krishna that are strongly capricious in character and imagery. While being a worshipper of Krishna, Swaminarayan rejected licentious elements in Krishnology in favor of worship in the mood of majesty, alike to earlier Vaisnava teachers, Ramanuja and Yamunacarya.[18]

Sahajanand Swami was later known as Swaminarayan after the mantra he taught at a gathering, in Faneni, a fortnight after the death of Ramanand Swami.[19] He gave his followers a new mantra, known as the Swaminarayan mantra, to repeat in their rituals: Swaminarayan.[14] When chanting this mantra, some devotees went into samadhi (a form of meditation)[15][n 1] This act is also called maha-samadhi ("great samadhi") and claimed that they could see their personal gods, even though they had no knowledge of Astanga Yoga.[9][20][21] Swaminarayan also became known by the names Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shreeji Maharaj, Hari Krishna Maharaj and Shri Hari. As early as 1804, Swaminarayan, who was reported to have performed miracles, was described as a manifestation of God in the first work written by a disciple and paramhansa, Nishkulanand Swami.[14][22] This work, the Yama Danda, was the first piece of literature written within the Swaminarayan sect.[23]

Swaminarayan encouraged his followers to combine devotion and Gujarati roots.[24] He was particularly strict on the separation of sexes in temples.[25] Swaminarayan was against the consumption of meat, alcohol or drugs, adultery, suicide, animal sacrifices, criminal activities and the appeasement of ghosts and tantric rituals.[26][27][28][29] Alcohol consumption was forbidden by him even for medicinal purposes.[30] Many of his followers took vows before becoming his disciple. He stated that four elements need to be conquered for ultimate salvation: dharma, bhakti (devotion), gnana (knowledge) and vairagya (detachment).[31] Doctrinally, Swaminarayan was close to eleventh century philosopher Ramanuja and was critical of Shankaracharya's concept of advaita, or monistic non-dualism. Swaminarayan's ontology maintained that the supreme being is not formless and that God always has a divine form.[32]

Work and views

Women and the poor

Swaminarayan distributing food among the needy

After assuming the leadership of the Sampraday, Swaminarayan worked to assist the poor by distributing food and drinking water.[33] He undertook several social service projects and opened almshouses for the poor. Swaminarayan organized food and water relief to people during times of drought.[34]

According to the author Raymond Brady Williams, "Swaminarayan is an early representative of the practice of advocacy of women's rights without personal involvement with women".[35] To counter the practice of sati (self-immolation by a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre), Swaminarayan argued that, as human life was given by God it could be taken only by God, and that sati had no Vedic sanction. He went to the extent to call sati nothing but suicide. Swaminarayan offered parents help with dowry expenses to discourage female infanticide, calling infanticide a sin.[36][37]

The Swaminarayan faith has been linked to patriarchal class structures that subjugate women.[38] Professor David Hardiman states that Swaminarayan was not free from misogyny and "after travelling as an ascetic throughout India he was reported to vomit if approached by even the shadow of a woman".[39] Swaminarayan's writings like the Shikshapatri portray women as polluted beings who pull men down.[40][41] Swaminarayan refused to interact with women himself.[42]

Members of the faith are defensive of the fact that some practices seem to restrict women and make gender equality in leadership impossible.[43] Female followers are segregated rigorously. They are only permitted to enter special sections of the temple reserved for women or have to go to separate women's temples.[44] Concepts of pollution associated with the menstrual cycle lead to the exclusion of women from the temples and daily worship.[45] Swaminarayan also directed male devotees not to listen to religious discourses given by women.[46]

In case of widows, Swaminarayan directed those who could not follow the path of chastity to remarry. For those who could, he lay down strict rules which included them being under the control of male members of the family. This may seem regressive, however it gave them "a respected and secure place in the social order" of the time.[47] Swaminarayan restricted widows "to live always under the control of male members of their family and prohibited them from receiving instruction in any science from any man excepting their nearest relations."[46]

However, while "many would assert that Swaminarayan Hinduism serves a patriarchal agenda, which attempts to keep women in certain roles", Swaminarayan himself, despite considerable criticism from those in his own contemporary society who "loathed the uplift of lower caste women," insisted that education was the inherent right of all people.[48] At that time, influential and wealthy individuals educated their girls through private and personal tuition. Male followers of Swaminarayan made arrangements to educate their female family members. The literacy rate among females began to increase, and they were able to give discourses on spiritual subjects. Within the sect, Swaminarayan is considered a pioneer of education of females in India.[36][37][49][50][46]

Animal Sacrifices and Yagnas

Swaminarayan was against animal sacrifices as carried out by Brahmin priests during Vedic rituals, such as yajnas (fire sacrifices), influenced by the Kaula and Vama Marg cults.[51] The priests consumed "sanctified" prasad in the form of meat of these animals. To solve this problem, Swaminarayan conducted several large scale yajnas involving priests from Varanasi. These did not have animal sacrifices and were conducted in strict accordance with Vedic scriptures. Swaminarayan was successful in reinstating ahimsa through several such large scale yajnas. Swaminarayan stressed lacto vegetarianism among his followers and forbade meat consumption.[30][46][52][53]

Disciples of Swaminarayan composed devotional poems which are widely sung by the tradition during festivals.[54][55] Swaminarayan introduced fasting and devotion among followers.[56] He conducted the festivals of raas.[9]

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, had a low opinion of the sect and he criticized Swaminarayan and Vallabha Acharya for propagating the values which he thought were contrary to the true spirit of Vaishnavism.[57][58] In a letter dated 25 July 1918, to Manganlal Gandhi, he stated, “To be sure, I have felt in all seriousness that Swaminarayan and Vallabhacharaya have robbed us of our manliness. They made the people incapable of self-defense...It was all to the good that people gave up drinking, smoking, ect., this, however, is not an end in itself, it only is a means. The love taught by Swaminarayan and Vallabh is all sentimentalism. They have made an undesirable effect on Gujarat...Do not mix up the Vaishnava tradition with the teaching of Vallabha and Swaminarayan.”[59][60]

Caste system

Some suggest that Swaminarayan worked towards ending the caste system, allowing everyone into the Swaminarayan Sampraday. However partaking in the consumption food of lower castes and caste pollution was not supported by him.[30] A political officer in Gujarat, Mr. Williamson reported to Bishop Herber that Swaminarayan had "destroyed the yoke of caste."[35] He instructed his paramhansas to collect alms from all sections of society and appointed people from the lower strata of society as his personal attendants. Members of the lower castes were attracted to the movement as it improved their social status.[26][46] Swaminarayan would eat along with the lower Rajput and Khati castes but not any lower.[61] He established separate places of worship for the lower caste population where they were in large numbers.[62] However, Dalits - the lowest in the caste system - were formally excluded from Swaminarayan temples.[63] In the Shikshapatri, he wrote do not take food or water from a person of a lower caste. Members of a lower caste are prohibited from wearing a full sect mark (tilak chandlo) on their forehead.[64] Even now, however, for the vast majority of Gujarat's lower-caste, Untouchable and tribal population, the sect is out of bounds.[65]

It is said that Swaminarayan dispelled the myth that moksha (salvation) was not attainable by everyone.[66] He taught that the soul is neither male nor female.[26][67]

Temples and ascetics

Swaminarayan and Paramhansas in Gadhada

Swaminarayan ordered the construction of several Hindu temples and installed the images of various deities such as Nara-Narayana, Laxminarayan, Radha Krishna, Radha Ramana and Revati-Baldevji. The images in the temples built by Swaminarayan provide evidence of the priority of Krishna.[68][69]

The first temple Swaminarayan constructed was in Ahmedabad in 1822, with the land for construction given by the British Imperial Government.[70][71] Following a request of devotees from Bhuj, Swaminarayan asked his follower Vaishnavananand Swami to build a temple there. Following planning, construction commenced in 1822, and the temple was built within a year.[70] A temple in Vadtal followed in 1824,[70] a temple in Dholera in 1826,[70] a temple in Junagadh in 1828[70] and a temple in Gadhada, also in 1828.[70] By the time of his death, Swaminarayan had also ordered construction of temples in Muli, Dholka and Jetalpur.[72]

From early on, ascetics have played a major role in the Swaminarayan sect. They contribute towards growth and development of the movement, encouraging people to follow a pious and religious life.[73] Tradition maintains that Swaminarayan initiated 500 ascetics as paramhansas in a single night. Paramhansa is a title of honor sometimes applied to Hindu spiritual teachers who are regarded as having attained enlightenment. Paramhansas were the highest order of sannyasi in the sect.[74] Prominent paramhansas included Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Brahmanand Swami, Gunatitanand Swami, Premanand Swami, Nishkulanand Swami, and Nityanand Swami.[75]


Swaminarayan under a Neem tree in Gadhada

Swaminarayan propagated general Hindu texts.[24] He held the Bhagavata Purana in high authority.[76] However, there are many texts that were written by Swaminarayan or his followers that are regarded as shastras or scriptures within the Swaminarayan sect. Notable scriptures throughout the sect include the Shikshapatri and the Vachanamrut. Other important works and scriptures include the Satsangi Jeevan, Swaminarayan's authorized biography, the Muktanand Kavya, the Nishkulanand Kavya and the Bhakta Chintamani.[77]


Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri on 11 February 1826.[78] While the original Sanskrit manuscript is not available, it was translated into Gujarati by Nityanand Swami under the direction of Swaminarayan and is revered in the sect.[30][79] The Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency summarised it as a book of social laws that his followers should follow.[80] A commentary on the practice and understanding of dharma, it is a small booklet containing 212 Sanskrit verses, outlining the basic tenets that Swaminarayan believed his followers should uphold in order to live a well-disciplined and moral life.[77] The oldest copy of this text is preserved at the Bodleian Library of Oxford University and it is one of the very few presented by Sahajanand Swami himself. Acharya Tejendraprasad of Ahmedabad has indicated in a letter that he is not aware of any copy from the hand of Sahajanand older than this text.[81]


Swaminarayan's philosophical, social and practical teachings are contained in the Vachanamrut, a collection of dialogues recorded by five followers from his spoken words. The Vachanamrut is the scripture most commonly used in the Swaminarayan sect. It contains views on dharma (moral conduct), jnana (understanding of the nature of the self), vairagya (detachment from material pleasure), and bhakti (pure, selfless devotion to God), the four essentials Hindu scriptures describe as necessary for a jiva (soul) to attain moksha (salvation).[82]

Relations with other religions and the British Government

In 1822, The first Swaminarayan Mandir was constructed on the land granted by the British Imperial Government in Ahmedabad.

Swaminarayan strived to maintain good relationships with people of other religions, sometimes meeting prominent leaders. His followers cut across religious boundaries, including people of Muslim and Parsi backgrounds.[9][83] Swaminarayan's personal attendants included Khoja Muslims.[9] In Kathiawad, many Muslims wore kanthi necklaces given by Swaminarayan.[84] He also had a meeting with Reginald Heber, Lord Bishop of Calcutta and a leader of Christians in India at the time.[68] Bishop Heber mentions in his account of the meeting that about two hundred disciples of Swaminarayan accompanied him as his bodyguards mounted on horses and carrying Matchlocks and swords. Bishop Heber himself had about a hundred horse guards accompanying him (fifty horses and fifty muskets) and mentioned that it was humiliating for him to see two religious leaders meeting at the head of two small armies, his being the smaller contingent.[85][86] As a result of the meeting, both leaders gained mutual respect for one another.[86]

Swaminarayan enjoyed a good relationship with the British Imperial Government. The first temple he built, in Ahmedabad, was built on 5,000 acres (20 km2) of land given by the government. The British officers gave it a 101 gun salute when it was opened.[71][72] It was in an 1825 meeting with Reginald Heber that Swaminarayan is said to have intimated that he was a manifestation of Krishna.[68] In 1830, Swaminarayan had a meeting with Sir John Malcolm, Governor of Bombay (1827 to 1830). According to Malcolm, Swaminarayan had helped bring some stability to a lawless region.[87] During the meeting with Malcolm, Swaminarayan gave him a copy of the Shikshapatri. This copy of the Shikshapatri is currently housed at the Bodleian Library at University of Oxford.[88] Swaminarayan also encouraged the British Governor James Walker to implement strong measures to stop the practice of sati.

Death and succession

Madan Mohan and Radha (centre and right) with Swaminarayan in the form of Hari Krishna (left), installed by Swaminarayan on the central altar in Dholera (1826)

In 1830, Swaminarayan gathered his followers and announced his departure. He later died on 1 June 1830 (Jeth sud 10, Samvat 1886),[72] and it is believed by followers that, at the time of his death, Swaminarayan left Earth for Akshardham, his abode.[9][89] He was cremated according to Hindu rites at Lakshmi Wadi in Gadhada.[90]

Prior to his death, Swaminarayan decided to establish a line of acharyas or preceptors, as his successors.[91] 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 21 November 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 after sending representatives to search them out in Uttar Pradesh.[92] 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 and Raghuvira, the son of his younger brother Ichcharam, were appointed acharyas of the Ahmedabad Gadi and the Vadtal Gadi respectively.[93] Swaminarayan decreed that the office should be hereditary so that acharyas would maintain a direct line of blood descent from his family.[94] 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.[8] Swaminarayan stated to all the devotees and saints to obey both the Acharyas and Gopalanand Swami who was considered as the main pillar and chief ascetic [95] for the Sampraday.[96]

The current acharyas of the Swaminarayan Sampraday are Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasad Pande, of the Ahmedabad Gadi, and Acharya Shree Ajendraprasadji Pande, of the Vadtal Gadi.[97][98]

Decades after his death, several divisions occurred with different understandings of succession. This included the establishment of Bochasanwasi 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 sect while Gunatitanand Swami was given spiritual leadership by Swaminarayan.[99] The current leader of BAPS is Shastri Narayanswarupdas, who addresses the spiritual and administrative needs within the sect. The followers of the Maninagar Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan hold Gopalanand Swami as the successor to Swaminarayan.[100][101] The current leader of this sect is Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj.[102]

Following and manifestation belief

Nara Narayana installed by Swaminarayan in the first Swaminarayan Temple, Ahmedabad.

According to the biographer Raymond Williams, when Swaminarayan died, he had a following of 1.8 million people. In 2001, Swaminarayan centres existed on four continents, and the congregation was recorded to be five million, the majority in the homeland of Gujarat.[103][104][105] The newspaper Indian Express estimated members of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism to number over 20 million (2 crore) worldwide in 2007.[106]

In his discourses recorded in the Vachanamrut, Swaminarayan mentions that humans would not be able to withstand meeting god in his divine form, hence God takes human form (simultaneously living in his abode) so people can approach, understand and love him in the form of an Avatar.[31] While no detailed statistical information is available, most of the followers of Swaminarayan share a belief that Swaminarayan is the complete manifestation of Narayana or Purushottam Narayana - the Supreme Being and superior to other avatars.[14] A Swaminarayan sectarian legend tells how Narayana from the Nara Narayana pair, was cursed by sage Durvasa to incarnate on the earth as Swaminarayan.[107]

Some of Swaminarayan's followers believe he was an incarnation of Lord Krishna.[31] The images and stories of Swaminarayan and Krishna have coincided in the liturgy of the sect. The story of the birth of Swaminarayan parallels that of Krishna's birth from the scripture Bhagavata Purana.[14] Swaminarayan himself is said to have intimated that he was a manifestation of God in a meeting with Reginald Heber, the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, in 1825.[68]

The belief of many followers that their founder was the incarnation of the Supreme God has also drawn criticism.[108] According to Professor Raymond B. Williams, Swaminarayan was criticized because he received large gifts from his followers and dressed and traveled as a Maharaja even though he had taken the vows of renunciation of the world. Swaminarayan responded that he accepts gifts for the emancipation of his followers.[109]

The manifestation belief and Swaminarayan's teachings were also criticized by Hindu reformist leader Swami Dayananda (1824–1883). He questioned the acceptance of Swaminarayan as the Supreme Being and was disapproving towards the idea that visions of Swaminarayan could form a path to attaining perfection. Accused of deviating from the Vedas, his followers were criticised for the illegal collection of wealth and the "practice of frauds and tricks."[110] In the views of Swami Dayananda, published as early as 1875, the Shikshapatri Dhwanta Nivarana pamphlet came as a reaction to bring out the absurdities of the Shikshapatri.[111][112] Furthermore, he believed it was a historical fact that Swaminarayan decorated himself as Narayana in order to gain followers.[113]

Notes and references

  1. ^ The word samadhi has different meanings in Hinduism. It may refer to a form yogic deep meditation. As a cause of death, it refers to the act of consciously and intentionally leaving one's body at the time of death.[15]
  1. ^ a b c Williams 2001, p. 13
  2. ^ "Niche Faiths".  
  3. ^ Williams 2001, p. 141
  4. ^ Makarand R. Paranjape (2005). Dharma and development: the future of survival. Samvad India. p. 111.  
  5. ^ M. Gupta (2004). Let's Know Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Star Publications. p. 33.  
  6. ^ a b "Sampradat history: Nilkanth Varni". Harrow, England: Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  7. ^ Williams 2001, p. 15
  8. ^ a b Williams 2001, p. 36
  9. ^ a b c d e f Dinkar Joshi, Yogesh Patel (2005). Glimpses of Indian Culture. Star Publications. pp. 92–93.  
  10. ^ Gujarat (India) (1969). Gujarat State Gazetteers: Bhavnagar. Directorate of Govt. Print., Stationery and Publications, Gujarat State. p. 577. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Williams 2001, p. 75
  12. ^ Williams 2001, pp. 16, 17
  13. ^ "Swaminarayan: Life" (PDF). Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Somerset, NJ (Vadtaldham). Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Williams 2001, p. 17
  15. ^ a b c Williams 2001, p. 240
  16. ^ Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India 1. Asian Educational Services,India. 1995. p. 326.  
  17. ^ Guy Beck has studied and published a detail study of it in (2005) Alternative Krishnas: Regional And Vernacular Variations On A Hindu Deity SUNY Press
  18. ^ Aldwinckle, Russell Foster (1976). More than man: a study in christology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans. p. 223.  
  19. ^ Anil Kumar Sarkar (1997). Yoga, mathematics, and computer sciences: in change confronting the dawn of the twenty-first century. South Asian Publishers. p. 53.  
  20. ^ Kirin Narayan (1992). Storytellers, Saints and Scoundrels. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 141.  
  21. ^ Williams 2001, p. 21
  22. ^ Takashi Shinoda (2002). The other Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. p. 9.  
  23. ^ Williams 2001, pp. 17, 76, 189
  24. ^ a b Cybelle Shattuck, Nancy D. Lewis (2003). The pocket idiot's guide to Hinduism. Alpha Books. pp. 163–165.  
  25. ^ Robert Vane Russell (2009) [1916]. The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. BiblioBazaar. p. 404.  
  26. ^ a b c Rohit Barrot (1987). Richard Burghart, ed. Caste and sect in Swaminaran Movement. Hinduism in Great Britain. Routledge. pp. 67–70.  
  27. ^ Williams 2001, pp. 162
  28. ^ David Gordon White (2001). Tantra in practice. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 269.  
  29. ^ Williams 2001, pp. 77, 165
  30. ^ a b c d S Golwalkar (1997). "Swaminarayan , Pramod Mahajan , Bal Thackeray". In M. G. Chitkara. Hindutva. APH Pub. Corp. pp. 227–228.  
  31. ^ a b c Carl Olson (2007). The many colors of Hinduism: a thematic-historical introduction. Rutgers University Press. p. 336.  
  32. ^ Williams 2001, p. 79
  33. ^ "Times Music cassette on Swaminarayan serial launched".  
  34. ^ "Food and Water for the Needy". Shree Swaminarayan Temple: Sansthan Vadtal. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  35. ^ a b Williams 2001, p. 169
  36. ^ a b Williams 2001, pp. 165, 167
  37. ^ a b Martha Craven Nussbaum (2007). The clash within. Harvard University Press. pp. 322, 323.  
  38. ^ Hardiman, David (1988-09-10). "Class Base of Swaminarayan Sect". Economic and Political Weekly 23 (37): 1907–1912.  
  39. ^ McKean, Lisa (1996). Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement. University Of Chicago Press; New edition. p. 18.  
  40. ^ Hardiman, David (1988-09-10). "Class Base of Swaminarayan Sect". Economic and Political Weekly 23 (37): 1907–1912.  
  41. ^ Williams 2001, p. 152
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  • Williams, Raymond (2001). Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism. Cambridge University Press.  
  • Williams, Raymond (2004). Williams on South Asian Religions and Immigration: Collected Works. Ashgate Publishing Ltd.  
  • Dermott Killingley (2003). "Hinduism". In Ridgeon, Lloyd V. J. Major world religions: from their origins to the present. London: RoutledgeCurzon.  

External links

Swaminarayan Sampraday
  • The Ahmedabad Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday
  • The Vadtal Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday
  • BAPS
  • "Life Biography of Swaminarayan : Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul, Rajkot".