Bhagwan Swaminarayan was born
in 1781 in Chhapaiya( U.P.), in the northern part of India. After
His childhood years in Chhapaiya and Ayodhya He left home at the tender
age of eleven. He travelled the whole of India alone for seven long
years, finally settling in Gujarat at the age of eighteen. He founded
the Swaminarayan Sampradaya - a Vaishnav stream of Hinduism - at the
age of twenty-one, outlawing superstitions, addictions, violent sacrifices,
widow-burning and social evils in Gujarat 200 years ago. He and His
3000 paramhansas elevated the poor and ignorant from bad habits and
inspired faith and devotion to God.
He performed many miracles during his time and transformed evil people
into law-abiding citizens and devotees. He preached the message of
love, brotherhood, addiction-free living and respect to all. He said
that the ultimate goal of life was to realise oneself as atma and
offer devotion to God. Before he left this physical world in 1830,
he declared Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami as His successor.