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Scriptures are the sacred writings. Normally, scriptures are considered most authoritative for any religious institutions. The impact of scriptures are visible in many forms. For example
Scriptures Uniquely Identifies Sampraday: The Scriptures are key to the identity of a religion or Sampraday. Scriptures provide guiding light for people as well as traditions.
Behaviors and words are constantly judged in the context of scriptures. Scriptures provide essential help to mumukshu in choosing Guru: Niskulananad Swami says one should
evaluate potential Guru over and over because his or her guidance will be the key to your spiritual progress. How can one evaluate a potential Guru? A respected sadhu once said
that a mumukshu must know “enough” scriptures to be able to choose Guru, there is no other way. He said that one must compare the behavior/views of a person with what is prescribed in Scriptures. It is then that person be accepted as the Guru who will lead him or her to God. Scriptures are key to the growth of a Sampraday: Shriji Maharaj states in Vachanamritm that in long run it is the scriptures which will be the key to the growth of a given Sampraday (Vachanamritm GaII-58). The scriptures are immortal in a sense, they survive many of the great leaders of the Sampraday.
The scriptures of Swaminarayan Sampraday:
Lord Swaminarayan extracted the essence from many existing scriptures and wrote a code of conduct for the followers only in 212 verses. It was originally written in Sanskrit. He has written in Shikshapatri, the behavior of an ideal human life with piousness of thoughts, speech and behavior along with morality. He has given in it, the guidance for daily rites, and the behavior in the family of society. (The Shikshapatri has been translated in many languages like English, Hindi, Kannad, Telugu, Franch and many more by several organizations)
Shreemad Satsangijivan is the main divine scripture describing the life of Lord Swaminarayan from his arrival to the earth and departure from the earth. It also describes His Philosophy and profound spiritual knowledge with ardent staunch devotion, non-attachment towards worldly objects, the way for ultimate redemption, the obstacles therein, the way to get rid of the obstacles, the ecstasy and the bliss in Akshardham.
Lord Swaminarayan gave Omniscient power (trikaldarshan) to the great Saint Satanand, enjoined him to write the philosophy, the movement and the life activities of Lord for the wide spread of his theory. It is written in Sanskrit. Lord Himself has authenticated it. It contains 319 chapters and 17627 verses.
Vachanamritm is the nectar of all the spiritual and philosophical knowledge.
The great Saints Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Nityanand Swami and Sukanand Swami heard and compiled the original words of Lord Swaminarayan and got them authenticated by Him. These vachanamritms were thousands in number, but Lord has selected 262 only.
Each Vachanamritm starts with the day, month, year, time, place where the discourse was given, who were present at the discourse, who asked questions, etc. (Gyanbag as well as Rajkot Gurukul has published English translation of Vachanamritm). Shatanand Swami has translated Vachanamritm in Sanskrit and is called “Harivakya Sudhasindhu”.
Bhaktachintamni is composed by Niskulanand Swami by Lords order in 164 chapters in Gujarati language in poetic form. It describes many of the lord’s activities during his existence on this earth. It also describes all of the vishnuyagas, festivals, the obstacles in preaching, the temples etc.
Shree Hari Digvijay
Haridigvijay is composed by the great saint Nityanand Swami by Lords order in Sanskrit language in 49 chapters. It describes in detail the characteristics of Atman (soul), Parmatman and Maya thoroughly and very distinctly.
Gitabhashya By Gopalanand Swami
Satsangi Bhusan By Vasudevanand Varni
Harikrushna Lilamrut By Mahanubhavanand Swami
Shri Haricharitra By Akhandanand Varni
Harilila Kalpataru By Achintyananad Varni
Harililamrut By Acharya Shri Viswaviharilalji Maharaj
Haricharitra Chintamani By Sadguru Shri Rugnathcharandasji Swami
Following eight scriptures did not originate with in Swaminarayan Sampraday but Shriji Maharaj have praised them (Sikshapatri 93-95)
The four vedas
Vishnu Sahastranam from Mahabharat
Shri Bhagavat Gita
Shri Vashudev Mahatmya