Vishnu is said to have taught the principles of Vaishnavism to four disciples: Lakshmi, Brahma, Shiva and Sanatkumara. And in turn they started the four main Sampradayas or traditions of Vaishnavism: Sri Sampradayam, Brahma Sampradayam, Rudra Sampradayam, and Kumara Sampradayam. Now the Sri Sampradayam, the one started by Lakshmi, is most famous for containing the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member). But this isn't the only sect that traces its origins to the Sri Sampradayam. There's also the Ramanandi sect, which Tulsidas the author of the Ramcharitmanas belonged to. And then there is the Swaminarayan sect, which is the subject of my question.

Swaminarayan was a Vaishnava thinker who lived in the eighteenth century. His followers consider him to be an incarnation of Vishnu, specifically a rebirth of the sage Narayana whom I discuss here. In any case, Swamninarayan was a disciple of Ramanand Swami, who claims to have received initiation from the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Ramanujacharya in a dream, which is why the Swaminarayan sect considers itself part of the Sri Sampradayam. (Personally I find that odd, but that's a discussion for another time.) Swaminarayan subscribed to the Visistadvaita Vedanta philosophy of Ramanujacharya, with some modifications: Ramanujacharya believed that there were three Tattvas or substances in the worlds: Chit or souls, Achit or matter, and Ishwara or Brahman. Swaminarayan, on the other hand, believed in five Tattvas: Jiva, Ishwara, Maya, Brahman, and Parabrahman.

Now like the vast majority of Hindus, the Swaminarayan sect subscribes to the Vedanta school of philosophy, and the defining text of the Vedanta school is the Brahma Sutras, a work by Vyasa which summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. You can read the Brahma Sutras here; they're usually written with the help of a commentary. So my question is, are any Swaminarayan sect commentaries on the Brahma Sutras available online in English?

Now apparently the Swaminarayan sect has written two commentaries on the Brahma Sutras. First there's Muktanand Swami's Brahma Sutra Bhashya Ratnam, which you can read here in Sanskrit and Gujarati. Then there's Bhadreshdas' Brahma Sutra Swaminarayan Bhashyam, published in 2009, which is available in print form in Sanskrit. But have either of these commentaries ever been translated into English, and if so is there an online version of them?

The reason I ask is that I'm interested to see what the differences are relative to the Sri Bhashya, Ramanujacharya's commentary on the Brahma Sutras. Both of them would be written from a Visistadvaita point of view, but as I said there are differences between Ramanujacharya's Visisitadvaita philosophy and Swaminarayan's Visistadvaita philosophy.

  • Did this Swami Narayana meet Aswattama in 18th Century?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 5:58
  • 1
    @AnilKumar Swaminarayan people believe that Swaminarayan's parents met Ashwathama; see here: swaminarayan-oldham.org/media/publications/Life_and_Faith_Book/…. Personally, I'm skeptical of claims of sightings of Ashwattama (like claims that he visits villages and all that); I think he's alive but I think he probably lives deep in the Himalayas and doesn't mingle with ordinary people. Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 7:07
  • @AnilKumar By the way, if you're interested in Swaminarayan you may be interested in my question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/6623/36 Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 14:09
  • 1
    @KeshavSrinivasan you might also be interested in this: goo.gl/Sme2ky Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Currently the commentrtires written by Pujay Bhadreshdas Swami is not transleted in to english. But, there is small introductory book available in english which contains the essence of that and it is also written by Pujay Bhadreshdas Swami.

That book can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Parabrahman-Swaminarayans-Akshar-Purushotam-Darshan-Introduction-ebook/dp/B07FY7JZVY/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=akshar&qid=1576015617&s=digital-text&sr=1-3

Hope that helps.

Thanks, Nixit


There are a few of the commentaries that have been translated into english and published by Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University.

Akṣara-puruṣottama-darśana-kārīkā-sañcaya: https://www.amazon.com/Aksara-Purusottama-Darsana-Karika-Sancaya-Explanation-Translation-Notes-NEW/dp/8183154131/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9788183154130&linkCode=qs&qid=1664377437&s=books&sr=1-1

Mahāmahopādhyāya Bhadreshdas Swami's The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad Svāminārāyana Bhāṣyam : https://www.amazon.com/Mundaka-Upanisad-Svaminarayana-Bhasyam-NEW/dp/818315414X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9788183154147&linkCode=qs&qid=1664377523&s=books&sr=1-1

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