Are Swaminarayans Hindus?

Mauktik Dave
17 min readJan 16, 2024

Within this essay, I take a look at some frequent questions and comments on the Swaminarayan Sampradaya. As I practice the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu tradition, this article will be per my perspective. All thoughts are my own.

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, when King Janaka held a debate with the renowned Yagnavalkya Rishi, Gargiji took up the challenge to present her viewpoints to the great sage. This exchange is one of the most famous debates in Hinduism which has helped better understand the human condition and beyond.

Debate has been an essential aspect of Hinduism. Shastrarths — scriptural debates — are foundational to establishing one’s tradition within Hinduism. While debate is healthy and necessary for a society to develop and flourish, there are guardrails that must be implemented to avoid the aggregation of the topics spoken on. Even in the debate between Yagnavalkya Rishi and Gargiji, there was a point in which Yagnavalkya had to limit the discussion to maintain the disciplines of debate.

Today, unfortunately, there has been no guardrails in any discourse or debate. With the advent of social media, it has greatly distorted the idea of respectful discussion, experiential learning and introspection. Nevertheless, social media can also be a tool to rekindle this discussion.

Recently, there has been some debate about whether the Swaminarayan Sampraday is truly a part of the larger Hindu tradition. While many of the arguments are to provoke emotion, I wrote this lengthy article for a few reasons:

  • A number of misconceptions have been floating around about the Swaminarayan tradition, mainly due to a lack of knowledge. I wanted to provide my perspective on the various topics that are discussed.
  • There is not a lot of accessible material to provide a perspective to common misconceptions of the tradition.
  • Of course, internet trolls and comments have also been a reason for this. I wanted to showcase how a respectful discourse can be held.

In this op-ed that I present to you, I will delve into the primary reasons why the Swaminarayan Sampraday is considered a part of Hinduism and address seven common counterarguments. This is not to be used as source reference, but for some a starting point to learn more about the Swaminarayan Hindu tradition. This piece is intended to present specific viewpoints of the BAPS Swaminarayan tradition. The article covers the following:

  1. Swaminarayans Do Not Follow the Principles of Sanātana Dharma.
  2. Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Name is Not in the Vedas.
  3. Swaminarayans Do Not Worship of Hindu Deities.
  4. Bhagwan Swaminarayan is not God since he was born so recently.
  5. Swaminarayans Do Not Adhere to the Hindu Scriptures.
  6. Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Philosophy Does Not Align With Vedic Philosophy.
  7. Swaminarayan organizations are isolated from Hinduism and are not inclusive.
  8. Swaminarayans worship the guru above God.

Some of the following sections have been taken from material presented by various swamis of the tradition, books and other source documents.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Argument 1: The Swaminarayan Tradition Does Not Follow the Principles of Sanātana Dharma

Argument: Critics argue that the Swaminarayan Sampradaya cannot be classified as a Hindu tradition or a part of Hinduism as the teachings/practices deviates from the fundamental tenets of Hinduism.

The fundamental question to begin this examination is ‘what constitutes as a Hindu?’

Generally speaking, Hinduism is a way of life and is primarily called Sanātana Dharma or the ‘eternal way of life.’ Although there is not a single set of beliefs that a Hindu may prescribe to, there are some common beliefs and practices among all Hindus despite the various philosophies, theologies and denominations.

Not so surprisingly, there is not a single definition of Sanātana Dharma in any scripture that says that one must worship a specific deity or a specific tradition. There is no singular definition, rather Hindu scriptures often bring up the term “esha dharma sanatana.” Across Sanskrit texts, an expression crops up — esha dharma sanatana: “This is sanatana dharma” to explain values that those of Sanatana Dharma value. For example, in Manusmriti verse 4.138, it says:

सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात् न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयात् एष धर्मः सनातनः ॥
satyaṃ brūyāt priyaṃ brūyāt na brūyāt satyamapriyam ।
priyañca nānṛtaṃ brūyāt eṣa dharmassanātanaḥ ॥ -manusmṛti
Speak the truth, and speak favorably. Do not tell the truth if it is not favorable. Also, do not tell an untruth (although) it is favorable. This is the eternal dharma.


In 1966, there was a court case between the head of the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur, Shastri Yagnapusuhdas (which is NOT to be confused with Shastriji Yagnapurushdas Shastriji Maharaj, who is the establisher of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha) and Muldas Brudardas Vaishya. For the five Supreme Court judges, the basis of the case was at the core of defining what constitutes within Hinduism.

It was difficult to define Hinduism by the Supreme Court judges!

“When we think of the Hindu religion, we find it difficult, if not impossible, to define Hindu religion or even adequately describe it… It can be safely described as a way of life based on certain basic concepts to which we have already referred.”

Citation: Supreme Court of India 1966 AIR 1119, 1966 SCR (3) 242

Although it’s difficult to explain what is Sanātana Dharma, there are a few notable qualities.

According to book Hinduism: An Introduction, which is in-line with the definitions from other sources such as the Hindu American Foundation and Hinduism Today, there are a few common beliefs that constitutes as one being a Hindu:

  • Ātman — The unborn, eternal and indestructible inner self, or soul, that is the essence of life in all animate things. The atman is sat (eternal), chitt (consciousness), and ananda (blissful).
  • Karma — The universal law of cause and effect according to which a person is responsible for their actions and their effects. Paramātmā gives the appropriate fruits of a person’s good or bad actions.
  • Punarjanma — The principle of reincarnation and rebirth in which the atman passes through births to attain moksha, or spiritual enlightenment or liberation.One Supreme Divine Reality — The Supreme Divine Reality (also known as Paramātmā, Parabrahman, etc.) manifests in various forms. This Spremee Divine Reality is supreme, all-doer, all-powerful and all-prevading.
  • Authority of the Vedas — The Vedas are the ancient scriptures revealed by Paramātmā to the enlightened rishis and sages of India. Due to the origins of the Vedas, its principles have not originated at a particular time in history but are eternal and of divine origin.
  • Avatārvāda — The principle that Paramātmā takes birth on earth in human and other forms. Avatar means “descent of the Divine.” These forms come onto earth to liberate devotees, establish dharma and destroy evil.
  • Dharma — The natural, eternal and universal law that maintains cosmic and social order. It comprises of one’s moral duties and individual responsibilities towards one’s family, community, society and the environment. It acts as one’s moral compass in having proper conduct in society.
  • Ahimsā — Hindus believes that the Divine pervades all living and non-living things. Hence, Hindus love and respect all life forms and generally practice nonviolence through action, speech and thought.
Citation: Hinduism: An Introduction Vol. I  

By all aspects of the above, the Swaminarayan fellowship clearly agrees to these fundamental principles and are considered as Hindus. There is not an ounce of deviation from these core principles of Hinduism.

Argument 2: Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Name Is Not In the Vedas

Argument: Critics argue that Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s name is not in the Vedas, hence he cannot be considered God/Paramātmā. This invalidates the Swaminarayan tradition as they worship a saint/preacher rather than God.

Have you heard of Ushas, Rubhu, Manyu, Pushan or Bhaga? Probably not. These were deities in the Vedic times and are listed in the Vedas, of whom are not commonly worshipped in the 21st century.

In the other position, how many names of the deities highly revered today are in the four Vedas? Despite Bhagwan Shri Krishna or Bhagwan Shri Ram not being named in the original Vedas, they are accepted as manifestations of the Divine or the Supreme Divinity by many Hindus.

The beauty of Hinduism is the fluidity that the traditions have over time! Irrespective of the deity that one believes in, Sanātana Dharma accepts all. Each individual can have their perception of who Paramātmā (the supreme Divine) is. Some may say that Paramātmā is a man, some may say women, a union of both aspects (Ardhanareeshvara), or of no gender. Some may say that Paramātmā manifested on this earth in Mathura, Ayodhya, Chhapaiya, Kedarnath. Some may say that Paramātmā did not manifest physically on this earth. This is why Hinduism is accepting of all traditions.

The Rig Vedas explain that, “The truth is one but the wise speak of it in many ways.”

एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति |
The truth is one but the wise speak of it in many ways.
(Rig Veda 1.164.46)

This fundamental principle of the Vedas teaches to respect all deities and perceptions of the Divine. While a critical analysis is still needed to understanding one’s perception in the Divine, it also does not come at the expense of respecting another tradition (irrespective of how divergent it is from one’s beliefs).

If those of the Swaminarayan tradition say that Bhagwan Swaminarayan is Paramatma, then what is the argument against it when Sanātana Dharma has many definitions and perceptions of what the ultimate Divine is?

Argument 3: Swaminarayans Don’t Worship of Hindu Deities

Argument: Critics argue that BAPS places a strong emphasis on the worship of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, who is considered the supreme deity within the sampradaya. They contend that this exclusive focus on one figure deviates from the diverse pantheon of Hindu deities.

While Bhagwan Swaminarayan holds a central place in the BAPS Swaminarayan tradition, the worship of other Hindu deities is also an integral part of their practice. This inclusivity of various deities reflects the pluralistic nature of Hinduism, where different sects may prioritize specific deities while acknowledging the broader pantheon.

Bhagwan Swaminarayan has installed the murtis of various deities, such as Bhagwan Shri Nar-Narayana, Bhagwan Shri Lakshmi-Narayana, Bhagwan Shri Siddheshwar Mahadev, Ganeshji, Hanumanji and other deities in the six mandirs he had built. Within the Shikshapatri — a scripture on the code of conduct written by Bhagwan Swaminarayan — he outlines the importance of worshipping various avatars, devas and devis and respecting all mandirs and sampradayas.

BAPS Swaminarayan Hindus revere Hindu deities, including Bhagwan Krishna, Bhagwan Rama, Bhagwan Shiv and other prominent avatars, devas and devis of Hinduism.

Swaminarayan Hindus observes Hindu rituals, ceremonies, and festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Ram Navmi, Janmashtami, Rath Yatra and many others. The Satsang Diksha — a key scripture of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu tradition — outlines very clearly on the importance of celebrating key Hindu festivals with respect and enthusiasm as these observances are fundamental to many Hindus. It also outlines the importance of visiting core places of pilgrimages (teerth) of Sanātana Dharma.

Above: Verses from the Satsang Diksha text on worshipping the avatars, devas and devis of Hinduism.

While one should respect all deities, the scripture mentions the importance of ashro — one having firm conviction and refuge in one’s understanding of the Divine, known as ishtadev (personal deity), while respecting all traditions. For example, this is a key principle in the Pushti Sampradaya, in which a devotee offers singular worship to Shrinathji. Hence, Swaminarayans firmly believe in Bhagwan Swaminarayan as their ishtadev while having the utmost respect for other deities.

It’s also important to mention another aspect: Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philosophy — known as the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan — is the only philosophical tradition in Sanātana Dharma (in my knowledge) that provides a unique category for the devas and devis of Hinduism. Bhagwan Swaminarayan proposed there are five eternal metaphysical entities (tattvas), one entity being ishwara which are the devas and devis that run the universe. They are endowed by Parabrahman with the ability and freedom to act as they wish, while being wholly dependent on Parabrahman. Because of this specific ontological entity, Hindu deities are provided with the utmost reverence within the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu tradition.

Click here to read An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hindu Theology by Swami Paramtattvadas, which details out Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s theological principles (tattvagnan).

Argument 4: Bhagwan Swaminarayan is not God since he was born so recently.

Argument: Critics contend that BAPS’s relatively recent origin and unique theological principles make it distinct from the ancient Hindu tradition. Primarily, Bhagwan Swaminarayan was born onto the earth 200 years ago and yet his name is not given explicitly in the scriptures.

Hinduism has always evolved and diversified. Various sects and movements have emerged throughout its history. The Swaminarayan Sampraday can be viewed as a continuation of this ongoing evolution within Hinduism as mentioned previously.

A painting of Bhagwan Swaminarayan | Credit: Wikimedia Commons

So why is Bhagwan Swaminarayan worshipped as Paramātmā?

It is difficult for people to change their beliefs, let alone accept anyone as supreme God. (You can try this yourself! Ask your neighbor to believe that you are God! Will they belive you? Probably not.) Yet, how did people accept Bhagwan Swaminarayan as Paramātmā.

Some say that it is because of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s social reform. In the 1800’s, there was a resurgence of social reform in India.

Yet during this time, the other social reformers of India were not regarded as Paramātmā, they were seen as impactful leaders but nothing more. Some examples include:

  • Raja Ram Mohan Ray created Brahmo Samaj
  • Keshavchandra Sen created Prarthana Samaj
  • Dayananda Saraswati created Arya Samaj

Some say that it is because of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was a sadhu/saint that he was regarded as Paramātmā.

But from the first day since his initiation, he was not worshipped as a saint. Ramanand Swami, the guru of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, gave him two names when receiving diksha, or initiation based on the Vaishnav Parampara: Sahajanand Swami & Narayanmuni. However, Ramanand Swami did not give Bhagwan Swaminarayan Swaminarayan a regular sadhu diksha like Muktananad Swami, Anandanand Swami, etc.

So what stood him apart from the rest of the sadhus?

On May 17, 1829, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has said himself…

In fact, there is absolutely no difference between the manifest form of Purushottam Bhagwān visible before you and the form of God residing in Akshardhām; i.e., both are one. Moreover, this manifest form of Purushottam Bhagwān is the controller of all, including Akshar. He is the lord of all of the ishwars and the cause of all causes. He reigns supreme, and He is the cause of all of the avatārs. Moreover, He is worthy of being worshipped single-mindedly by all of you. The many previous avatārs of this God are worthy of being bowed down to and worthy of reverence.”

Citation: Vachanamrut Gadhada III-38 (

It’s important to clarify a common misconception here that Bhagwan Swaminarayan is NOT an avatar (incarnation) of Bhagwan Krishna. While there may be similar names, it should be understood that Bhagwan Swaminarayan is not an incarnation of any deity in Hinduism.

As mentioned before, someone can say that they are God, but how do you have firm faith and belief that they are Paramātmā?

The essence of this argument is by looking at one’s qualities!

When someone of a Shiva tradition looks towards Bhagwan Shri Shiva or of a Vaishnav tradition looks towards Bhagwan Shri Rama, Bhagwan Shri Krishna, they must learn about their life and values in order to develop firm faith that they are Paramātmā.

Similarly, for follower of the sampradaya, they look towards Bhagwan Swaminarayan and have faith that he is Paramātmā after examining his life, messages and values.

While this article cannot go into all the depths of his qualities and values, it may be worth to research more on this topic (or even do a future article).

Click here to read Akshar-Purushottam Upasana to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life and words and in-depth analysis on verious questions of the tradition.

Argument 5: Swaminarayans Do Not Adherence to Hindu Scriptures

Argument: Critics argue that BAPS places particular emphasis on the teachings and writings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, which they believe deviates from the traditional canon of Hindu scriptures.

While BAPS holds the teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan in high regard, it does not reject or replace the core Hindu scriptures. Instead, it incorporates these teachings within the broader framework of Hindu philosophy and ethics.

Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself has referenced specific verses from the Hindu scriptures in the Vachanamrut, such as the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Shrimad Bhāgwat, Bruhadāranyaka Upanishad, Chhāndogya Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Taittiriya Upanishad, Shvetāshvatara Upanishad, Hiranyakeshiyashākhā Shruti and the Mahābhārat.

Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself wrote various Hindu scriptures which are highly revered by him,

“The four Vedas, Vyas Sutras by Vyasji, Shreemad Bhagwat Puran, Shri Vishnu Sahasranaam, Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, Vidur Neeti, Shri Vasudeva Mahatmya, Skand Purana and Yagnavalkya Smruti are the most important scriptures and I hold these eight scriptures as special.”
(Shikshapatri 92–04)

The Swaminarayan Sampradayas adhere to Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and other classical texts. Discourses and readings of these scriptures happen at Swaminarayan mandirs frequently. Swamis (Hindu monks) of the tradition study these scriptures in depth to understand its essence to pass down to future generations. These texts form the philosophical and spiritual foundation of Hinduism.

It is essential that the teachings of one’s tradition are held in high regard and understood as those are the foundation of one’s philosophy. For the Swaminarayan Sampraday, that canonical text is the Vachanamrut — the discourses of Bhagwan Swaminarayan written down — and the Shikshapatri — the code of conduct written by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For BAPS Swaminarayan Hindus, the texts extend to the Swamini Vato and Satsang Diksha.

The philosophical principles of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Akshar-Purushottam Darshan are found within the scriptures itself (which we will get to later in this article).

For example, Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.13 states,

येनाक्षरं पुरुषं वेद सत्यं प्रोवाच तां तत्त्वतो ब्रह्मविद्याम्॥

Brahmavidya is that by which Akshar [Aksharbrahman] and Purush [Purushottam] are thoroughly known.

Similarly, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philsophical tradition can be found in other Hindu scriptures, such as the ten principle Upanishads, Brahmasutras, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and many others.

Click here to read selected verses from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita that explain the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan.

Argument 6: Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Philosophy Does Not Align With Vedic Philosophy

Argument: Critics argue that BAPS’s specific theological concepts, such as Akshar and Purushottam, diverge from traditional Vedic philosophical schools, potentially making it a distinct belief system. Hence, it cannot be part of Sanātana Dharma.

Swaminarayan philosophy follows a spiritual philosophy rooted in Hindu principles, emphasizing concepts such as dharma (duty), karma (action and consequence), and moksha (liberation) — as we encountered in the first argument. These philosophies are central to Hindu thought.

While Bhagwan Swaminarayan does introduce specific theological concepts, they are not incompatible with broader Hindu philosophy. Hinduism has a rich history of diverse philosophical schools, and BAPS’s interpretations of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philosophy can be seen as one strand within this tapestry.

This can be ultimately seen through the creation of the Swaminarayan Bhashyam — a five-volume Sanskrit commentary on the Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutras. For any distinct philosophical tradition under the Vedanta Darshana, commentaries must be written and validated by scholars to proclaim a tradition as a Vedanta Darshana. As mentioned before, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philosophy based on the cannonical text, the Vachanamrut aligns with the Hindu scriptures.

The Shri Kāshi Vidvat Parishd has stated in their Letter of Endorsement that,

“Within philosophy, just as Śrī Śaṅkara’s Vedānta is identified as the Advaita Darśana, Śrī Rāmānuja’s Vedānta is identified as the Viśiṣṭādvaita Darśana, Śrī Madhva’s Vedānta is identified as the Dvaita Darśana, Śrī Vallabha’s Vedānta is identified as the Śuddhādvaita Darśana, by surveying this sacred text it is our position that Sri Svāminārāyaṇa’s Vedānta is thoroughly established as the Vedānta Darśana. Therefore, we all collectively endorse that this Akṣara-Puruṣottama Siddhānta, which has been revealed by Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa, is distinct from Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, Dvaita, and all other doctrines and is a Vedic siddhānta.”

Image of the official proclaimaton made by the Sri Kashi Vidvat Parisad

Scholars from Jaggannath Puri, Somnath, Tirupati and others across the world have all agreed to this proclaimation that Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philosophical tradition is a Vedic, Sanātan tradition and is known as the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan. If scholars agree that this philosophical tradition is a valid tradition, then why can’t the masses?

Click here to read the five-volume Swaminarayana-Bhashayam online in Sanskrit.
Click here to read the Letter of Endorsement and release from the BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute.

Argument 7: The Swaminarayan Sampraday is isolated form Hinduism and is not inclusive.

Argument: Some argue that Swaminarayans (specifically BAPS) exclusive practices, such as initiation ceremonies, may create a sense of exclusivity and separation from the wider Hindu community.

Explanation: While BAPS has certain initiation ceremonies, known as vartman, these are not uncommon in the Hindu tradition, where many traditions have their initiation rituals through vartman or diksha. However, everyone is welcome to attend a BAPS mandir, irrespective of one’s caste, creed, gender, religion, background or socioeconomic status. It is a core understanding of the fellowship that all are welcome to the mandir.

Additionally, no person is restricted from practicing the tradition. The Satsang Diksha has outlined that all — regardless of culture, background, gender, caste or creed — can practice the tradition and can attain moksha.

Above: Satsang Diksha verses on the principle that all are entitled to spiritual upliftment and participation in the tradition.

Additionally, the BAPS Swaminarayan fellowship actively engages in interfaith dialogue and community service, promoting harmony and understanding among people of different faiths. This aligns with the Hindu ideal of:

वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् |
The whole world is one big family.
(Maha Upanishad)

BAPS is active in bringing the Hindu community and organizations together, such as through the recent Hindu Unity Forums held worldwide over the past two years. The organization’s commitment to interfaith dialogue and community service demonstrates its effort to foster unity and goodwill, in line with Hindu values.

Argument 8: Swaminarayans worship the Guru above God.

Argument: Critics argue that BAPS Swaminarayan tradition’s emphasis on the guru-disciple relationship, particularly the veneration of spiritual leaders may lead to perceptions of guru-centricity that place human gurus above the Divine. Critics contend that an excessive focus on gurus may inadvertently lead to misinterpretations or misperceptions that elevate the guru above the divine, potentially undermining the centrality of God in Hindu spirituality. Others may argue that outward expressions of devotion to gurus might be misconstrued, leading to misunderstandings about the core beliefs and practices of the tradition, which prioritize devotion to God.

Explanation: It is essential to clarify that within the BAPS tradition, the guru-disciple relationship is considered a means to deepen one’s connection with God, not to elevate the guru above God. Devotees believe that the guru serves as a spiritual guide to help individuals on their journey towards moksha. The guru is seen as a facilitator, not a deity to be worshiped in place of God.

Sant Kabirji has said a famous couplet on this principle which is spoken throughout Hinduism,

Guru and Govind (God) both are standing, whose feet should I touch first? My beloved Guru’s [feet I should bow down to first] who shows the path to Govind to me.

In the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, the guru is brahmaswarup — the very form of Aksharbrahman, who is the eternal servant of Parabrahman. The guru is the one whom Parabrahman eternally resides within and is the one who is the bridge between one’s inner self and Parabrahman. This is why the guru is held at such a high regard within Hinduism and specifically the BAPS Swaminarayan tradition.

And this is aligned with the Hindu scriptures as well.

Meaning, if a person maintains profound love towards the Ekantik Sadhu of God (i.e., the Guru) just as resolutely as he maintains profound love towards his own relatives, then the gateway to liberation is open for him.

Shrimad Bhagwat (3:25:20)

The foundational value of Hinduism is that there is a single Supreme Reality — Paramātmā. There can only be one ultimate and supreme God, however that Parabrahman remains on Earth through the lineage of Brahmaswarup gurus whom devotees revere. The guru is a vessel in which one can experience the bliss of Paramātmā and emulate one’s life towards.

In summary, while there are concerns about the perception of guru-centricity within BAPS, those who follow the tradition emphasize that the guru-disciple relationship is a sacred and essential aspect of their spiritual path, meant to lead devotees toward a deeper connection with the Supreme God, rather than replacing it.


The Swaminarayan Sampraday, specifically the BAPS tradition, can be regarded as an integral part of Hinduism due to its principle values, worship of Hindu deities, adherence to Hindu scriptures, and observance of Hindu rituals and practices.

While there are counter-arguments that highlight distinct features within the sampraday, they do not negate its broader alignment with Hindu principles.

Ultimately, the diversity of beliefs and practices within Hinduism is one of its defining features, and the Swaminarayan tradition is a testament to that diversity while maintaining its place within the larger Hindu tradition.