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The Swaminarayan Sampradaya is a Bhakti Sampradaya which advocates God within the disciplines of Dharma. Lord Swaminarayan has propagated a philosophy where He says that God is Supreme, has a divine form, is the all doer and always present on earth. He simply states that jivas never merge or dissolve into God and neither are they part of God but always subservient to God. The Jiva, through absolute surrender and attachment toward the Guru, attains the realized state and becomes eligible to offer pure worship to God.

Redemption consists in the realization of Ekantik Dharma comprising righteousness, right knowledge, detachment and devotion to God. This is the goal to be pursued under the guidance of the Sadhu who is in constant rapport with God, the manifest form of Aksharbrahman. The divine experience of this highest state is possible, here and now, in one's embodied state of worldly existence.

Jiva or soul, is the finite individual self, conscious spirit, knower, enjoyer and doer of things. Jiva is eternal, not created at anytime, by anybody. Jivas are innumerable, each distinct from the other. Each Jiva pervades the whole organism, and is different from the three bodies - gross, subtle and causal. Weapons cannot cut it, nor fire burn it; water cannot wet it, nor wind dry it. Yet, it is bound by worldly desires that are formed according to its karma. Though conditioned by Maya, Jivas can be eternally released by the grace of a Brahmaswarup Guru and God. top


Ishwar is the cosmic self, conscious spiritual being conditioned by the adjuncts of Mahamaya (greater Maya). There are innumerable Ishwars, each of which is assigned the duty of taking care of a universe, or at least a particular aspect of it.


Maya or Prakriti is the inert primordial principle from which the universe of names and forms comes into being. Maya is trigunatmik, constituted of three gunas - sattvagun, rajogun and tamogun, and is the cause of bondage for the Jiva and Ishwar. Maya is difficult to transgress and is the cause of identification of the Jivas and Ishwars with their bodies and relations thereof. But with the grace of the Brahmaswarup Guru and God, one can attain Atyantik Moksha - ultimate liberation from Maya and remain in the eternal service of God.


Brahman or Aksharbrahman or Akshardham is transcendent to Jiva, Ishwar and Maya, but subservient to Parabrahman. He is effulgent, all-pervading and divine. He serves the supreme Lord in a two-fold manner, in his personal aspect, he serves the Lord both in His abode and wherever He incarnates Himself. Aksharbrahman is the ideal devotee and the most appropriate mediator for the aspirant striving to reach the supreme Lord. On the other hand, in his impersonal aspect, he serves the Lord by being His divine abode which is effulgent, infinite and all-pervading and in which innumerable redeemed souls serve the Lord. He is also the foundation of all that is subservient to him. And that Aksharbrahman incarnated on the earth in the form of Gunatitanand Swami to serve Lord Swaminarayan.


Parabrahman or Purushottam is the highest reality, the supreme Godhead, one and unique. He is, at once, transcendent to everything and immanent in everything. He is the concrete reality with divine form and perfect personality who is the controller and supporter of everything. Jiva, Ishwar, Maya and Aksharbrahman constitute the body of Parabrahman who is their soul. And Lord Swaminarayan Himself is Parabrahman or Purushottam.

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