A Sadhu has a important place in Swaminarayan Sampraday. These Sadhus are ascetic yet they are ever ready to serve people. They know their responsibility towards society. Hence there is a good co-ordination between a Sadhu and a Grihastha. Therefore, the foundation of the Sampraday has become strong and steady, and has developed ever since. The saints of Swaminarayan are not burdensome to society. They are, on the contrary, brilliant stars of the society.The society has its brilliance and reputation because of them.They make society all the while brighten day by day.
Shriji Maharaj has founded two Gadis, one at Ahmedabad and the other at Vadtal. He has also appointed the Acharyas on these posts. These Acharyas are the crowns of our Sampraday yet Shriji Maharaj in Shikshapatri has clearly commanded that these Acharyas should be honoured as they deserve. Maharaj addresses to Sadhu in SHIKSHAPATRI.
1. “Sadhus shall keep all their sensory organs under their control, especially the organ of taste.”
2. They shall neither earn or accumulate money nor allow others to do that on their behalf.
3. They shall not take safe custody of others wealth or accept any thing as trust.
4. They shall never loose their forbearance.
5. They shall never permit any woman to enter their residence.
6. They shall never move out at nights without the company of their group. Even in the daytime, they shall not move out alone except under difficult circumstances.
7. They shall never wear such clothes which (as) are costly or rosy coloured with designs or robes even though someone may offer as a gift.
8. They shall never visit the residence of house holders except for religious mendacity or for religious assembly.
9. Sadhus shall refrain, at any cost, from chewing betel-leaf or to bacco and taking drugs such as opium.
10. They shall not sleep during day times unless they fall sick or feel weak.
11. They shall neither speak nor listen to vulgar words intentionally.
12. They shall not lie on a cot unless they are too sick.
13. Even if they are insulted with harsh words or beaten by wicked person, they shall not retaliate, but shall forgive those persons, and pray for their well being.
14. They shall not indulge in the act of messenger or spy, and shall not slander, they shall not have the illusion that their bodies are them selves and shall not have any attachment towards relatives. The Swaminarayan Sampraday differs especially in one respect from other Sampraday or religions, and that is in respect or relation between man and woman. Shriji Maharaj has made a separate arrangement for DARSHAN for men and women. Their seating arrangement in an assembly is also separate, not only that He commands his Sadhu/saints:- as follows:-
15. These who are my disciples shall not look at or speak to ladies deliberately. They shall not discuss about ladies and shall not perform the daily rites such a bathing, Sandhya Vandan, etc. in those places whae normally visited by women.
16. They shall no wilfully touch or look at the portraits or images of women though they are made of wood or metal except the images of goddesses. They shall neither look nor touch even a male who is disguised as female. On hearing and reading all this, one would wonder if a woman is being harassed by a goonda, and if her life is in danger, should a Swaminarayan Sadhu walk away unconcerned? Shriji Maharaj himself has answered “No, not the least”. He has clearly commanded in Shikshapatri that When they find that their own life or the life of a woman is in danger, at any time, they shall save her life or their own life by speaking to her or even by touching her”.
17. This lesson is meant to understand the speciality of Swaminarayan Sampraday.