The Almighty Lord Shree Swaminarayan manifested upon the Earth in the 18th century CE and brought with Him, a magnificent array of sublime teachings, which were based on morality, respect, living a life of decency and honour, and the performing of charitable and benevolent acts.
Lord Swaminarayan established the Swaminarayan Faith and inspired thousands of people from all creeds and classes to become devout disciples.
By manifesting as Jeevanpran Shree AbjiBapashree, Lord Swaminarayan elucidated His magnificent philosophy. These tenets form the foundations of Shree SwaminarayanGadiSansthan.
Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s teachings have been kept alive through His divine heritage of spiritual successors, starting from Shree GopalanandSwamibapa, whom the Lord Himself established as His spiritual heir and leader of His divine Faith. In this heritage then came Shree NirgundasjiSwamibapa, Shree IshwarcharandasjiSwamibapa and Jeevanpran Shree MuktajeevanSwamibapa; and today, the divine heritage of Lord Shree Swaminarayan is represented by Acharya Shree PurushottampriyadasjiSwamijiMaharaj. These are the Acharyas, the sovereigns of Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s divine office, Shree SwaminarayanGadi, which is the eternal throne upon which the forever presides in His celestial abode, Akshardham.
Jeevanpran Shree MuktajeevanSwamibapa took responsibility of the Faith in 1942 CE and established Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Maninagar, Ahmedabad, India as the headquarters of the SwaminarayanGadi Faith. By the mercy of the Lord, and with the inspiration of His Divine Holiness Acharya Shree PurushottampriyadasjiSwamijiMaharaj, Shree SwaminarayanGadiSansthan continues to flourish remarkably throughout the world.
The Lord is ever-present. However when He manifests on this earth as a human being, His physical and material body must pass away just as other humans. The Lord however lives on. He lives on through His idols (Murtis), through the scriptures such as Vachanamrut and He also lives on through His spiritual successor.
Lord Swaminarayan Himself has stated in the Vachanamrut (Vadtal 18) that every paramhansa (sant) and devotee should know and understand the Guruparampara (lineage of the Gurus).
Shree SwaminarayanBhagwan then stated that His Guru was Shree Ramanand Swami. Shree Ramanand Swami was given diksha (initiation as a sant) by Shree Ramanujacharya, and hence Shree Ramanujacharya was the Guru of Shree Ramanand Swami. This was the Guruparampara.
A very important question needs to be asked at this point. Shree SwaminarayanBhagwan is the supreme Lord, so why did He see a need to make a Guru for Himself? Lord Swaminarayan taught by example. By making a Guru Himself, Lord Swaminarayan has indicated the importance of a Guru. He has indicated that we should all have a Guru. JeevanpranSwamibapa says that without a Guru, you cannot attain knowledge. “Guru veenagnannahee.”
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