The paramhansas of Lord Swaminarayan were the noblest sÃ£dhus the world will ever see. Their spiritual purity, sacrifice, selflessness, devotion and zeal to uphold goodness is incomparable.
Lord Swaminarayan had 3,000 saints. Among them 500 were paramhansas, saints of the highest order.
They had come from all phases of life. Some were profound scholars, spiritual leaders, and music masters; while others were common villagers – but all of them were committed to spiritual life.
Their life was their message. Wedded to the panch vartmÃ£n – the five spiritual vows – these lifetime celibates, had shunned the touch of money, and even their name and fame, to reach the roots of society. Lord Swaminarayan had instructed them not to eat until they had imparted the spiritual vows of good conduct to at least five persons in a day. For days they would stay without food, but they never compromised their goals. They were teased, troubled, persecuted and even physically beaten by the ignorant and evils. But they remained unrelenting. Their amazing self-sacrifice and ability to bless those who bruised them, brought mass transformations. Strengthening individuals, uniting families and uplifting society by their personal care and love, the paramhansas visited every hut of every village.
Lord Swaminarayan had established this new, dynamic fold of sÃ£dhus – renunciates – who lived in society, worked for society and yet remained untouched by it. They served the social needs of society and scaled the summits of spirituality.
Moral Disciplines for Saints :
Every Swaminarayan saint has the ideals of panch vartman to observe the five vows by thought, word and deed.
1. Nishkam (Non-lust) :Â 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) :Â 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) :Â 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) :Â 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) :Â 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.