Life in Brief
A sabha was taking place in Badrikasham where NarNarayan Dev were present along with Dharmdev and Bhaktimata. After a while a well known saint called Durwasa Rushi arrived. The people present at the sabha did not welcome him as they were so engrossed as to what Nar Narayan Dev was talking about. Durwasa Rushi got angry with the people at the sabha as they did not welcome him. He gave a curse to all the people at the sabha which was that they will have to take rebirth on the Earth. NarNarayan Dev said that he will also take birth along with the people to eradicate all the evil on the Earth.
On 9th day of the Bright half of the month Chaitra sud Vikram Samvat 1837, Ghanshyam Maharaj was born at 10.10pm in a village called Chappaiya near Ayodhya.
Namkaran (one of the 16 sanskars) took place. On this day Markanand Muni gave Ghanshyam four names Hari, Krishna, Hari Krishna and Nilkanth. Ghanshyam Maharaj served his parents and at the age of 10 years 7 months Bhaktimata became ill and was ready to pass away. Ghanshyam Maharaj read Hari Gita before sending Bhaktimata to Akshardham. Soon after, Dharmadev was also ill and he was also ready to go to Akshardham. Ghanshyam Maharaj read Shreemad Bhagwat to his father and sent him to Akshardham.
Ghanshyam Maharaj left home for Vanvicharan (Pilgrimage) to destroy the evil practices that prevailed at that time. While on Vanvicharan he was known as Nilkanth Varni. Nilkanth Varni did Vanvicharan throughout India for 7 years 1 month and 11 days. He arrived at Loj where he met Sukanand Swami and Muktanand Swami. Nilkanth Varni requested Muktanand Swami to answer the following five questions:
- What is Jeeva?
- What is Ishwar?
- What is Maya?
- What is Brahm?
- What is Par Brahm?
Muktanand Swami answered the questions to Nilkanth Varni's satisfaction. Nilkanth Varni decided to stay with Muktanand Swami for a while and was anxious to meet Muktanand Swamis Guru Ramanand Swami. Nilkanth Varni met Ramanand Swami in Piplana on Thursday 12th day dark half of Jeth Vad Samvat 1856. Ramanand Swami gave Bhagwati Diksha (initiation) to Nilkanth Varni on 12th day of Kartik Sud Samvat 1857 and gave 2 names which were Narayan Muni and Sahajanand Swami. At the age of 21 Ramanand Swami gave the Gadi (throne) to Sahajanand Swami at Jetpur on 11th day of Bright half of Kartik Sud Samvat 1858. This was because Ramanand Swami knew he would soon leave this world for Akshardham. Ramanand Swami left for Akshardham on Friday 13th Day of Bright half Margshar Samvat 1858.
Sahajanand Swami called a big Sabha at Faneni and gave the Swaminarayan Maha Mantra. He renamed the Sampraday from Udhav Sampraday to Swaminarayan Sampraday. Lord Swaminarayan started to spread his teaching far and wide throughout India. He gave diksha to many santoes such as Brahmanand Swami, Niskulanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Premanand Swami, Devanand Swami, Nityanand Swami and many others. Lord Swaminarayan gave Bhagwati Diksha to more than 500 hundred santoes and had over 50,000 followers.
To spread Swaminarayan Sampraday, Lord Swaminarayan established the 4 resolves. These were Acharyas, Temples, Shastras and Saints. He divided the Sampraday into two parts only for administration purposes. The North Diocese being Nar Narayan Dev Gadi and South Diocese Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi. Several huge Temples were built in His presence. Lord Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri on Vasant Panchmi 1882. Other Sampraday Scriptures include Vachnamrut, Satsangi Jeevan and many others.
Lord Swaminarayan had now completed his task for which he had come to this world. He departed for Akshardham on 10th day of Jest Sud Samvat 1886 in Gadhada.