Sadguru Ramanand Swami
Sadguru Shri Ramanand Swami
The founder of the nucleus Uddhav Sampraday emerging in various areas throughout the world as Swaminarayan Sampraday is Sadguru Shree Ramanand Swami. He was born due to curse of Rishi Durvasa at the house of mother Sumati and father Ajayvipra in Ayodhya. It was the day of Janmashtmi (Shravan Vad 8) of Vikram Samvat 1795. In his childhood he was known as Ramsharma.
Growing like a bright Moon, Ramsharma made his parents happy and influences the family as also the people of the city through his Bhakti, Vairagya and Swadharma (self accepted duties).
After having pious Yagnopavit-threading ceremony, he left home and went out in search of a Guru as he wanted to study Vedas. Ramsharma started his journey from Ayodhya, He roam many places throughout India and finally met Siddha Guru Shree Atmanand at the foothills of Girnar from Junagadh in Sorath region of Gujarat. He took Diksha and adopted his name Ramanand Swami. He observed Ashtang Yog Sadhana and achieved the state of Siddha. During his Samadhi he enlightened and saw a luminous glow of light with Lord Shri Krishna, But Guru Atmanand said “the luminous glow is the shape of God”, which frightened him and he left this Guru and took his path towards the Shri Rangkshetra of South India.
In Shrirang region, he took Vishishtadvait Mat specified Diksha from Acharya Shri Ramanujacharya. During his Samadhi he had darshan of the Lord Shri Laxminarayan. But the local people could not withstand the fame and glory of an outsider. Disturbed a lot by such people Ramanand Swami came to Vrindavan, where he had darshan of Shri Krishna. He was inspired to leave the place and to establish a new religious Sampradaya. In Prayag region he gave diksha to Dharm – Bhakti to fellowship of Uddhav Sampraday and came back Gujarat and establish Uddhav Sampraday.
Shri Ramanand Swami establish an Ashram to a village named Loj and started different 50 kinds of charity works nearby, More than 50 saints joined him towards the divine path of Salvation.
Shri Nilkanth Varni gracefully visited his Shri Ramanand Swami’s Ashram at village Loj on Shravan Sud 6 Vikram Samvat 1856. In Piplana village, Ramanand Swami gave Diksha to Nilkanth Varni and gave him two names Sahjanand Swami and Narayan Muni. In Jetalpur, he handed over the reign of the Uddhav Sampraday to Sahjanand Swami in Samvat 1858. Ramanand Swami accomplished his life task and the soul left his body to attained divine body at village Fareni on Magshar Sud 13 Vikram Samvat 1858. Thus Uddhav Sampraday established by Sadguru Shri Ramanand Swami later came to be well known as Swaminarayan Sampraday.