In the eighteenth century, our beloved India was really deteriorating in social and religious terms. There were many casts of people whose leaders were fighting amongst themselves for nothing but power and fame, and thereby causing a lot of violence and blood shed of innocent lives and sending a wave of fear, and lack of safety, amongst the innocent devotees of Lord. Religiously, it was much more worse. Devious saints used to wonder around misinterpreting the scriptures and misleading the devotees. They used to threaten devotees with black magic and evil spells if they did not follow what they said. Virtues such as truthfulness, forgiveness, non-violence, politeness, righteous conduct and humanity became history; instead, passion, ego, pride, greediness, jealousy, adultery, deceit, hypocrisy and violence were spreading everywhere. As promised by Lord Krishna in Bhagwat Gita, “whenever Dharma will deteriorate and Adharma will prevail, I will incarnate on this earth in human form, to destroy the roots of Adharma and evil, and, re-establish Dharma and protect my devotees”. The situation was now perfect for the Lord to incarnate. A meeting was held in Badrikashram, in front of Lord Shree Nar-Narayan Dev, where Munis (Saints) from different areas of Bharat (India) came with their pleas and prayers for protection from evil. Lord Nar-Narayan Dev on hearing their pleas immediately got concerned about his devotees.
At the same time Durvasa Muni came to Badrikashram from Kailash expecting a big welcome. On reaching the
Badrikashram he stood behind the sabha for a few moments. Not getting the welcome he expected, he got angry
and shouted “you shameless people, you don’t know how to welcome a great Sage like myself, I therefore
you all for that huge mistake, “that all of you will take birth on earth, and will be subject to a lot of
harassment, humiliation, from the Asuras and Rakshasas”.
On hearing the curse all the Munis pleaded to Sage Durvasa to null the curse as they were engrossed in Lord Nar-Narayan Dev to solve the Adharma on the Earth, Sage Durvasa then calmed down and said that the curse could not be revoked but he assured them that Lord Nar-Narayan Dev would also join them and protect them from curse. This was exactly what Lord Nar-Narayan Dev inspired Sage Durvasa to do. This curse was a boon in disguise for all the devotees. Think about it, if Sage Durvasa did not give that curse in Badrikashram then would we have be graced by Incarnation of incarnations Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan, in fact we should be grateful to sage Durvasa for his curse.
Lord Nar-Narayan Dev, adhering to Sage Durvasa’s curse, was born in a small village known as Chappaiya in Uttar Pradesh, to parents Dharmadev and Bhaktimata on the auspicious day of Chaitra Sud 9, 1837 (Monday 02/04/1781) at 10.10pm. He was known by four names given by Markandya Muni, that is, Hari, Krishna, Hari-Krishna and Nilkanth. Bhaktimata used to call him by the name of Ghanshyam, because Lord was her favorite. Ghanshyam had two brothers Rampratap (elder) and Ichharam (younger).
As days passed by and Ghanshyam became older, he performed various religious activities and miracles. He
mastered the knowledge of Vedas at a very young age. At the age of eleven his mother Bhaktimata passed away
and attained Akshardham and about six months later father Dharmadev also passed away and attained
At this time Ghanshyam decided to leave home and go to the forests for the benefit of other devotees and to
establish Dharma, Gnan, Vairagya, Bhakti and ways of attaining Salvation (Moksha) on Ashad Sud 10, 1849
(29/06/1792) at a tender age of Eleven years three months and one day. He was now known as Nilkanth Varni.
He then wandered in the thick forests of Himalayas and finally reached Pulahashram. During his journey through the forests he practiced Yoga and Meditation. After spending some years in Pulahashram, he then began his journey towards the south. He met Gopal Yogi, who taught him to perform Ashtang Yoga. When he reached Bengal, he saw saints sacrificing animals to deities. He advised them the path of righteousness and non-violence and ordered them to discontinue sacrifice of animals.
Thus Nilkanth Varni converted many cruel leaders and persons to calm, polite, and religious people. From Bengal he persisted his journey towards south to places such as Kamakshisthan, Navlakha Mountain (where he embraced Nine lakh Yogis, who were awaiting his darshan, at the same time), Jagannath Puri (where he paid homage to Lord Jagannath and cleansed the holy place from the fifteen thousand evil khakhi sadhus), Manaspattam, Tirupati Balaji, Bhottapuri, Kanchi, Shrirangam, Maduraj, and Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur, he then continued his journey towards North west to Pandaripur, Chandrabagha, he then proceeded for Nasik Panchavati.
He had a holy dip in river Godavari and had darshan of Thrayambaknath at Nasik.He then turned towards the North West region and crossed Thapi, Narmada, Mahi and Sabarmati, the holy rivers of Gujarat. He then continued his journey to Saurashtsra and finally reached Mangrol. After a short stay at Mangrol he finally came to Lojpur on the Shravan Vad 6 1855 (21/08/1799).
The journey through the forest lasted for seven years one month and eleven days. In Loj, Nilkanth Varni
Sukhanand Swami. Nilkanth Varni tested him with a few questions and got appropriate answers. He then asked
Sukhanand Swami about his Guru. Sukahanand Swami gave all the details about Ramanand Swami. He also invited
Varni to visit the ashram, which was headed by Muktanand Swami at that time because Ramanand Swami was away
preaching in Bhuj-Kutch. Varni then visited the ashram and was given a warm welcome by the saints. Varni
asked Muktanand Swami questions about the attributes and properties of Jiva, Ishwar, Maya, Brahm, and
Parabrahm. Nilkanth Varni got very clear answers, which satisfied his expectations and proudly asked
Mukatanand Swami about his guru. Mukatanand Swami hence proudly mentioned about the greatness of Ramanand
Swami. Nilkanth Varni then became very anxious to meet him.
He then wrote a letter to Ramanand Swami, which was delivered to Bhuj by Mayaram Bhatt. This letter to Ramanand Swami, Shikshapatri, and the summary of six Shastras(Gutko), were the only three things written by Lord Swaminarayan with his own divine hands. When Ramanand Swami opened the letter the whole place was filled with so much light, immediately Ramanand Swami knew who the letter was from and told the Satsangis present that, “I have always said that I am a mere a small player in this Sampaday and the main player is to come, that Player has now arrived in Loj and we will all soon do Darshan of Him. Ramanand Swami replied that he would be waiting for Nilkanth Varni in Piplana.
In the mean time Nilkanth Varni advised devotees to divide the Sabha of males and females, he closed the hole in a wall where saints used to exchange items with the Grahastas claiming that it was a hole in the satsang if not closed. Nilkanth Varni then went to Piplana accompanied by saints. When they reached Piplana, he saw Ramanand Swami and offered Dandvat and paid his respect to him. Swami then asked Varni his whereabouts and his parents. Varni then told him everything about his parents through to the journey through the forests until he arrived at Loj. Ramanand Swami was very pleased on hearing Varnis efforts.
On request of Nilkanth Varni, Ramanand Swami gave him Bhagwati Diksha(inititiation) and was given the
Sahajanand and Narayan Muni. Sahajanand Swami then took over the activities of Ramanand Swami, due to his
suitability, deep knowledge of the shastras, yoga power, and humble service to the saints and devotees.
Ramanand Swami then announced in the village of Jetpur, in front of a big assembly that Sahajanand Swami will take over my place and promote Dharma, Gnan, Vairagya, Bhakti and most important of all, the ways to attain Salvation (Moksha). A few days later Ramanand swami passed away, and Sahajanand Swami started his mission. He promoted samadhi, where people saw divine abodes such as Golok, Bhrampur, Swetdeep and Akshardham(eternal abode).
He then traveled to Mangrol where he initiated the digging of a well (Waw) and defeated Meghjit, followed by Kalwani, Meghpur, Manavadar, explaining people the importance of God, and ways to control the senses (Indriyos). He then proceeded to Bhaderpur, where he asked people to have faith in only one God and ignore faith in deities before which animals are sacrificed. He then left for Bhuj-Kutch. Here he advised people to perform non-violent Yagnas and preached and conveyed Vedic knowledge to devotees. He then left for Dhamanka preaching non-violence and true Vedic Dharma. He visited Sardharpur where he celebrated Janmashtami festival.
He was then invited to Kariyani, and then he went to Gadhda where Abhay Raja offered his best of service to the Lord. Much impressed by the services Lord installed the Murtis of Vasudev and Radha in the house of Abhay Raja. Lord decided to make Gadhda as his principle place of residence. He held a lot of sabhas and made strict rules to be followed by those who were initiated(Diksha) by him. The rules were such that, my disciples should perform non-violent Vaishnavi Yagnas, should have firm control over the senses(indriyos), should overcome evils such as passion, anger, greed, arrogance, and lust(Antar shatruos), should follow the Varnashram Dharma, should protect and preach the Dharma at all costs, should have firm knowledge about Jiv, Ishwar, Maya, Brahm and Parabrahm, should regard themselves as souls and should not have attachment to the body (Atmanishta) should not drink wine, liquor or any kind of intoxicants, should not eat meat in any form even if it is as medicine, should abstain from adultery and not look passionately at ladies, should not steal even if it is for the reason of Dharma, and should not eat food cooked by unknown persons and from improper sources(Panchvartman). Such were the strict rules to the followers of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan.
The fame and name of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan was spreading rapidly and many people believed in him as
Lord Supreme himself and thereby getting their initiation through him. This made the ill followers of
very jealous because the people were loosing faith in them. So they in turn took revenge by hurting the
saints, but the saints were strong and tolerated even the worst of the punishments without thinking bad
the punishers. They just believed that Lord is the Ultimate giver and taker and therefore he will be the
Lord Swaminarayan also converted the most dangerous and violent persons to loyal and humble followers; examples include Joban Pagi and Sagram Vaghri. Lord also celebrated various festivals like “fooldol utsavs”, “Janmastmi”, “Ramnavmi”, “Ekadashi Samaiyas” and unlimited “Vishnu Yagnas”. On such festivals, thousands of Brahmins, followers and non-followers participated, and were served with Prasad by Lord Himself and Saints. Lord was now satisfied about the establishment of Bhagvat Dharma.
He was satisfied with the faith of the followers and their devotion towards him. He then thought of post consequences that if he left for Akshardham how will the followers and the coming generations believe in him. He therefore decided to make big temples at Ahemdabad, Vadtal, Bhuj, Dholera, Junagadh, Gadhda, Muli, Jetalpur, and Dholka, he also created Holy books such as “Vachanamrutam” which contains Lords own discourses and debates over various religious issues, “Shikshapatri”, the handbook of our Satsang and Satsangi Jivan, written by Shatanand Swami and proof read by Lord Himself.
He then thought about the vastness of his mission and realized that it was not a single persons job to handle the Satsang as it had grown enourmously. He therefore established the Acharyas and Divided the Satsang into two regions. Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj headed Northern Region Ahemdabad and Southern Region Vadtal was headed by Raghuvirji Maharaj.
After this ceremonies Lord was satisfied because the system he established was working properly and efficiently. He then thought of going back to Akshardham, but due to the request of saints and devotees he stayed for some more time. He started to get ill more often, he called for Gopalanad Swami in Akshar-Ordi and asked him to take over, and look after the Satsang and Acharayas. On saying these words and his hands in the hand of Gopalanand Swami, he left for Akshardham, on Jeth Sud 10 1886 (Tuesday 1 Jun 1830) at the age of 49. This was truly a mission accomplished. Out of all the other incarnations, this incarnation was the only incarnation where there was a lot of attention given to the ways of converting the evil into good and humble followers and establishment of ways and virtues that would never arise the causes of that evil ever again.
|Shree Narnarayan Bhagwan||Shree Maha Laxmi||Shree Vishvaksen Acharya||Shree Namalvar Acharya|
|Shree Nathamuni Acharya||Shree Padmanetra Acharya||Shree Ramamishra Acharya||Shree Yamunacharya Acharya|
|Shree Mahapurna||AcharyaShree Ramanujacharya||Shree Ramanand Swami||Lord Shree Swaminarayan|