In Sanathan Dharma (Hinduism), the belief is Monotheism where there is one Supreme God who pervades everywhere in all the universes. He is worshipped by different names and different forms.
Hinduism is the dominant religion of India, where over 85% of the population follow it. This religion is eternal and currently we are in our last era called Kaliyuga. This era continues for 432,000 years where we are approximately 5,500 years into. In whole there are 4 eras which total a lifetime of our universe, at the end of this the universe ends and the process of creating a new universe begins by Lord Swaminarayan himself. While everything ends the religions still lives on hence why it is called Sanathan Dharma meaning eternal religion. In Hinduism, there is only one Supreme God and within our Swaminarayan Sampraday (faith) we believe Lord Shri Swaminarayan is the Supreme Lord and He is the source of all the creations in this universe and other millions of universes.
He comes to the earth for the salvation of his devotees, to re-establish religious ways and to rid the earth of evilness. He comes to earth in His many different forms (Avtars). These forms are known as His incarnations like Krishna Bhagwan, Ram Bhagwan, Buddha Bhagwan, Matsya Bhagwan, etc. Stated already in our Hindu scriptures there is going to be one principle incarnation in about 400,000 year’s time born to a Hindu Brahmin family in India.
In Sanathan Dharma, we believe that God Supreme (Swaminarayan Bhagwan) is as eternal as the soul which dwells in all-living things. We originate as his devotees but due to our desire for material things in this material world, we have lost our way. We are trying to achieve permanent happiness in this temporary life and world.
There are a total of 8.4 million different types of bodies that a soul will go through before being born as a human, which is considered to be the highest form. It is in this human form that one can achieve salvation through devotion of Swaminarayan Bhagwan and be liberated from the cycle of birth and death based on his karma (actions).
In principal Hindus believe in the main FIVE fundamental commandments that are listed below:
1. All Hindus believe in non-killing (Ahimsa). We do not eat any kind of meat, eggs or any of their by-products.
2. Drinking and even touching alcohol is prohibited.
3. Not to steal anything even though the intentions may be to offer it to God.
4. Not to commit adultery of any form.
5. Not to force anyone else to eat something that they wouldn't normally consume leading them to believe it is ok to eat it.
We pray to Swaminarayan Bhagwan 5 times during the day (Mansi pooja- mental worshipping) of which one is done while doing pooja in the morning after waking up and taking bath. The others are at lunchtime, teatime, dinner time and the last is at bedtime
We have murtis (idols) of Swaminarayan Bhagwan in an altar in our home where Pooja, food offerings and prayers are offered by the family daily. We also have murtis of other Gods such as Krishna, Hanuman and Ganapati and offer our worship to them also. We are encouraged to go to temple daily.
Our place of worship is called a Mandir (Temple). Aarti and prayers are done twice daily after which religious discourses are delivered and then all are offered prashad (food that has been sanctified by offering to God first). Many different varieties of offerings are made to Swaminarayan Bhagwan five times daily.