Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, was born on 3 April 1781, in the village of Chhapiya, near Ayodhya, North India. Having mastered the scriptures by the age of 7, He renounced home at 11 to embark upon a 7 year spiritual pilgrimage on foot across the length and breadth of India. Eventually settling in Gujarat, He spent the next 30 years spearheading a socio-spiritual revolution. With a faithful following of 500 Paramhansas, He established the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, introducing social reforms, serving the poor and the needy, challenging superstition, addictions and blind faith. His work concentrated on promoting personal morality and moulding spiritual character. In a life span of 49 years, He enriched humanity with six majestic mandirs, revealed the Vedic philosophy of Akshar Purushottam worship, and imparted deep spiritual wisdom in the sacred scripture - Vachanamrut. In His own lifetime, He was worshipped as the supreme God by hundreds of thousands of devotees. And He promised to remain ever present on earth through a succession of spiritual Gurus.
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