Q1. Why did Lord Swaminarayan worship Lord Krishna?
Answer: Lord Swaminarayan in a human form and to teach humans how to live He accepted Shri Krishna as his presiding deity, as Shri Krishna avatar was a Paripurna avatar among all the other avatars of God. And there is nothing new in this. Lord Ram(purna Avatar) worshipped Shivji and Lord Shri Krishna accepted Four-armed Vasudev Swarup as his presiding Deity. But in reality, Lord Swaminarayan is the Avatari( From whom all the avatar emanate) of all avatars.
Q2. What is Dharma?
Dharma is defined as the good conduct adopted in accordance to religious scriptures.What scriptures? Then Shikshapatri (Download English) Detailed Explanation of Shikshapatri (Download), Vachanamrut (Download English), and other Shastras.
Q3. What is a religion?
The philosophy behind following the good conduct determines the religion. And the intention behind the good conduct determines what you achieve after death or while you are alive.
Q4. What are Shikshapatri And Vachanamrut?
Shikshapatri is a Sanskrit book (letter) written by Lord Swaminarayan for the betterment of whole mankind as well as every living being in the world. It is like a code of conduct.
Vachanamrut is the easiest to understand philosophical books spoken by Lord Swaminarayan and authenticated by Him in His presence, chronologically written in a question and answer format.
- Shikshapatri (Download English)
- Detailed Explanation of Shikshapatri (Download)
- Vachanamrut (Download English)
Q5. Which are the 11 moral rules that are executed in Swaminarayan Sect?
- Follow Vegetarianism. (Know more)
- Do not indulge in any type of intoxicating addiction. (Know more)
- Do not commit adultery.(Know more)
- Do not steal.(Know more)
- Do not proselytize.(Know more)
- Adopt Non-violence.(Know more)
- Do not commit suicide under any circumstances. (Know More)
- Not to put slander on anyone.(Know more)
- Not to blaspheme any deity.
- Not to hear a saga or a story from an abdicated person.
- Not to prohibited food and not to marry someone which causes proselytization.
These are the arch tenets.
Q6. What doctrine is followed in Swaminarayan Sect?
The Swaminarayan sect follows Vishishtadvait doctrine. (It can be described as qualified monism or qualified non-dualism or attributive monism)
Q7. What is sin(paap) and what is virtue(punya)?
In terms of spirituality, any thought, word or deed which leads you away from God is a sin, and virtue is any thought word or deed that leads you near to God is called virtue.
Q8. Why do the saints of the Swaminarayan Sect do not interact with women?
It is to preserve and safeguard their spiritual journey. The most distracting of all forces of Maya for a male aspirant is female and similarly, for a female aspirant, a male is the most distracting force. For tyãgis, eight types of Brahm-chãrya have
been prescribed, which prevent them from associating with the opposite gender in the following ways:
Smaranam – Thinking about, contemplating about or remembering the opposite sex which is seen/read or heard about.
Keertanam – Talking or listening about qualities or faults of the opposite sex, describing their body/beauty etc, or talking vulgar or offensive talk is called keertanam.
Keli – Playing Holi, chess etc games or frolicking with or playing mischief and flirting with
Prekshanam – Intentionally looking at, or lustfully looking at.
Guhyabhãshanam – privately conversing with
Sankalp – Reading romantic or vulgar books, or watching such films or photos and then fantasizing about it.
Adhyavasãya – Planning to acquire some lady which one wishes to attain.
Kriyã – intercourse with
This prevents them from ending up like Asharam Bapu.
Q9. Why do Swaminarayan devotees not worship any other Gods or Goddess?
A true Swaminarayan devotee worships Lord Swaminarayan singularly, however, he does not blaspheme any of the deities.
The Swaminarayan Sect has systematic knowledgeable scriptures and constant reviewing of it by saints through regular spiritual lectures which makes the devotee more aware of all the surrounding beliefs. This prevents them from being misguided into false faiths and false superstitions. They believe in one God, and that is Lord Swaminarayan. Also, we believe in Satvik demigods, so we are not much interested in tamas deities where non-vegetarian foods and alcohol are served as Prashad.
Q10. What is spirituality?
Spirituality is recognizing and a constant awareness of oneself as a soul and then realizing God and serving God as an eternal servant of Him.
Q11. Why are women criticized so much in all most all spiritual texts?
Most of the spiritual lectures delivered by the saints were males, and they were not allowed to talk to women, so naturally, their lectures were directed towards males.
For a male spiritual aspirant, (desire for) female is the biggest distraction and obstacle, and unless one realizes this fact, we need to constantly make him aware of the disadvantages of having a desire for women, that is why the drawbacks of women are highlighted every now and then along with the demerits of luxury, fame and money etc.
It is to be naturally understood by a female spiritual aspirant, that a male is a biggest and most distracting obstacle on her spiritual journey, so do not get offended, as your identity is not the body but it is the soul, and when the lectures are directed towards females, the same amount of criticism is awarded to men too in the scriptures, so take the scriptures according to the context instead of getting offended.
One should always keep in mind that one is not this body, one is the soul, we are bound the bodily conception of men and women, and that is why one should not desire the opposite sex, also, even after realising oneself as the soul, to maintain that consciousness, one should refrain from opposite sex as prescribed in Shikshapatri and other scriptures.