Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shikshapatri

One hundred and eighty-six years ago today, on February 11th 1826, Ghanshyam Pande wrote the 212 line Shikshapatri. the Bhagwan Swaminarayan, as Ghanshyam was called by his friends, turned out to actually be an incarnation of the Hindu god Narayana.

A large amount of the Shikshapatri concerns itself with sex; mostly about not having it.


They shall never touch nor speak with nor show their faces to any male who is not their nearest relative. – Shikshapatri verse 134



They shall take food once a day only, shall sleep on the floor and shall never knowingly look at any living beings in coitus. -- Shikshapatri verse 168


Narayana and Nara are twin male gods. The story goes like this: Nara-Narayana was -as the Supreme Being- talking up a bunch of folks outside their home when Shiva came in deressed up in his incarnation as Durvasa. Nobody notice him in his fancy flesh suit so he curses the whole lot. After some negotiation Shiva agrees to be satisfied with requiring Narayana being reincarnated in human form. He comes back as Swaminarayan, writes up the Shikshapatri, and a sect if born.

The twin likenesses of Nara-Narayana are often found in temples of the Swaminarayan faith. When Ghanshyam died on June 1st 1830 The sect was estimated at 1.8 million devotees in size. In 2002 the size of the sect was estimated at five million devotees; this despite numerous splits in the lines of accession.


No one shall ever here sermons or religious discourses or philosophical talks from a person whose words are likely to lead one astray from the path of devotion to Lord Krishna and/or from the path of one's own Dharma. – Shikshapatri verse 25


One proof of Ghanshyam’s divinity as an incarnation of Narayana is that he told Reginald Heber (Bishop of Calcutta) that he was divine. Reginald Heber is best known as a hymn-writer. One of his famous hymns is called: “The Son of God goes forth to war” and starts with the line : “The Son of God goes forth to war, a kingly crown to gain”.


They shall never keep close relation with a woman who has any kind of relation with a king. -- Shikshapatri verse 137




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