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Janmangal Namavali

Two hundred years ago Bhagwan Swaminarayan told one of His paramhansas, Shatanand Muni, to write a stotra (verses) that, on chanting, would protect His devotees from evil influences, fear and obstacles. Thereafter, Shatanand Muni described Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s glory and virtues in 108 names. Each name refers to the power and qualities of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. His work is known as the Janmangal Stotra or Janmangal Namavali. The Janmangal Namavali is the essence of 1008 names of Bhagwan Swaminarayan called Sarvamangal Stotra, also written by Shatanand Muni.

Purpose of Chanting
Shatanand Muni mentions that besides dissolving personal fears and problems the chanting of Janmangal Namavali will also help an aspirant realise dharma (morality), arth (wealth), kam (desires) and moksha (liberation) in life. Whosoever devotionally chants or listens to the Janmangal Namavali will be absolved of all sins. An aspirant also achieves his wishes by chanting the Janmangal Namavali with devotion and glory ten times each day.
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj and Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj prescribed the chanting of Janmangal Namavali for the accomplishment of any task. Today, Pramukh Swami Maharaj chants the Janmangal Namavali at the end of his daily puja for the happiness and spiritual progress of sadhus and devotees and for peace in the world. On Swamishri’s instructions the Janmangal Namavali is chanted during the weekly satsang assemblies by hundreds of thousands of devotees throughout the world for the completion and opening ceremony function of Akshrdham.

Method of Chanting
Sit cross-legged on the floor and meditate upon Bhagwan Swaminarayan who is seated on a divine throne in Akshardham. His divine form has been worshipped by Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and countless muktas of Akshardham. Chant each name while remembering the divine form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. When one member of the family or a devotee in an assembly chants the names then the rest should chant namah with their eyes closed.

Some Meaning of Names
Each name refers to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s virtues. The name, ‘Shri Krishnãya’ was given by Markandey Muni to Bhagwan Swaminarayan after His birth. ‘Shri’ means one who is full of infinite redemptory qualities and ‘Krishna’ means one who has a dark, attractive complexion.
Another name is ‘Shri Vãsudevãya’, where ‘Vãsu’ means atma and ‘dev’ means Paramatma or Parabrahma who is the controller or ruler. So, Bhagwan Swaminarayan, adorned with infinite virtues, is the ruler of atma.
In the name ‘Narnãrãyanãya’, ‘Nar’ refers to one who is a part of Akshar and ‘Nãrãyan’ refers to Paramatma (God).

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© 2004, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith