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The Bicentennial Anniversary of
Bhagwan Swaminarayan's Advent in Loj, Gujarat.

( A.S.1856-2056, C.E. 1799-1999 )


Shravan Vad 6th, Ashadhi Samvat 1856 - 21st August 1799.

At first glance this day may seem like any other. The month of Shravan is the holiest in the Hindu calendar. However, the day of Shravan Vad 6th attained a greater auspiciousness when Bhagwan Swaminarayan's lotus-feet graced and sanctified the soil of Loj, a rustic village near the port of Mangrol, in southern Saurashtra. This event marked a monumental turning point in the history of Gujarat, Bharatvarsha and the world. Therefore the same day, this year, marks the bicentennial anniversary of His advent to Loj. To commemorate this landmark event we offer here our humble and devotional tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, by examining the unique factors which led Him to sow the seeds of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya in Gujarat, in light of the religious and cultural conditions then prevailing.

Divine Descent
Since time immemorial sacred Bharatvarsha has continually been graced by incarnations, sages, mystics and enlightened personages. Of the several reasons cited by Hindu Dharma's scriptures for the Lord's descent, one is to vanquish evil and re-establish Dharma. The second is to personally grant devotees His darshan, fruits of their sincere devotion and fulfil their devotional aspirations. A third reason is to eradicate mundane ignorance, which has been the source of suffering and misery. Thus people are enlightened and freed from the cycle of births and deaths. It was for the above three reasons that the Lord Purushottam incarnated as Ghanshyam in Chhapaiya, near Ayodhya on Chaitra Sud 9, Samvat 1837 (2 April 1781 CE). This crowned the Bhakti renaissance, initiated around the 15th century and perpetuated by saintly personages such as: Tulsidas, Surdas, Tukaram, Guru Nanak and the later Sikh gurus, Raidas, Kabir, Mirabai, Narsinh Mehta, Sant Jnaneshwar, Eknath, Namdev, Chaitanya, Vallabhacharya and others.


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© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith