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Moral Disciplines

The Swaminarayan Sampraday is well-known for its purity and ability to uphold strict spiritual disciplines. These disciplines are not simply confined to its scriptures, but followed by its devotees, right down to the youngest child. The disciplines protect and spiritually nourish the lives of people in this progressive and permissive world.
  For Sadhus For Householders

Disciplines for Sadhus
Every Swaminarayan sadhu has the ideals of panch vartman to observe the five vows by thought, word and deed.

1. Nishkam (Non-lust)
Lifelong celibacy. Not to marry. Not to keep any contact with females. Not to physically touch, write or talk to, intentionally look at, or even think of women. To overcome all objects and desires that are sexual.

2. Nirlobh (Non-greed)
Not to possess or have any desire for possessions. Not to physically touch money, or ask anyone to hoard money on one's behalf. Not to own property nor pine for any type of worldly objects.

3. Nisneh (Non-attachment)
Not to become attached to any place or person. To give up all family ties. Not to meet, talk or write to family members. To look upon all with an equal eye.

4. Niswad (Non-taste) Not to indulge in food for the sake of taste or have special preferences. To mix all food items in a wooden bowl and add water before eating.

5. Nirman (Non-ego)
Not to be egotistic. To overcome 'I'-ness. To become humble and remain a servant of one and all. To respect all and bless those who bruise, honor those who hurt and pray for those who persecute.

Disciplines for Householders

All Swaminarayan devotees are initiated into the Sampraday with the Vartman ceremony, wherein he or she takes an oath to abide by spiritual disciplines. All past actions are forgiven in the presence of God and the chance to begin a new, spiritual life is provided.

The Ekadash Niyams - the eleven disciplines are:

1. No Violence
Not to abuse, hurt or kill anyone, not even an insect.

2. No Adultery
Not to commit adultery, or excessively associate oneself with the opposite sex.

3. No Meat
Not to eat meat or take even medicines derived from meat.

4. No Alcohol
Not to consume alcoholic drinks or take even medicines mixed with alcohol.

5. No Suppression
Not to suppress or take advantage of widows or other helpless people.

6. No Suicide
Not to commit or even contemplate suicide.

7. No Theft
Not to steal, nor even pick a flower without the owner’s permission.

8. No Slander
Not to slander or blacken the character and lives of others.

9. No Vilification
Not to vilify other deities or religions. To respect all faiths.

10. No Impurity
Not to take food which is impure, not prepared with filtered water or prepared by unknown hands.

11. No Atheistic-association
Not to keep the company of atheists or lend one's ears to lectures given by non-believers.

All Swaminarayan devotees also avoid the intake of onions and garlic in any form.

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