Panch Vartman (5 basic vows)

Five Vows for Householders
Whosoever wants to become the follower of Lord Swaminarayan has to take an oath in the presence of a great Saint keeping water in his right hand to abstain from these five. If anybody transgresses any of these five is not called a follower of Shree Swaminarayan and is excommunicated from the religion. These are the five basic Vows for householders. They are known as Panch Vartman.

  1. Not to drink wine, beer, intoxicating drugs, or sniff, inject any intoxicating drugs or any forms not even as a medicine. Addictiveness is strictly prohibited.
  2. Not to eat meat in any form and not even as an offering of sacrifice to deities or as a medicine to save ones own life.
  3. To abstain from adultery, not to look at a female passionately nor keep company with women accept nearest relatives.
  4. Not to steal even small worthless things even for the offerings for God.
  5. Not to take food or drink from improper persons or made by improper persons or sources.

Five Vows for Sadhus (Saints)
Sadhus of Lord Swaminarayan have to observe their special five vows strictly listed below as well as the five basic vows listed above. They are given to them at the time of their initiation as Sadhus. They are initiated by Acharaya from either Ahmedabad or Vadtal Gadi. These are taken at the time when they become Sadhus (during the ceremony of Diksha).

  1. Lust less, desire less: observe eight-fold celibacy strictly. Fast if Sadhus sees the face of a female. Not to expect any form of reward for good deeds and should have no desire for anything.
  2. Greedless: not to be attached to worldly objects. Not to touch or accept money for himself.
  3. Tasteless: eat only once a day mixed with water and should not have or desire food with taste. Not to eat anything that is not offered to God.
  4. Prideless: Should not have pride of any form i.e. knowledge, efficiency, religious austerity, efficiency etc. One should not abuse even if someone beats him. There should be no grudge, but wish him well.
  5. Affectionless: He should have no affection for his relatives, his disciples or his well wishers except for Lord Supreme.