All Swaminarayan devotees are initiated into the Sampraday with the Vartman ceremony, wherein he or she takes an oath to abide by spiritual disciplines. All past actions are forgiven in the presence of God and the chance to begin a new, spiritual life is provided.Â
The Ekadash Niyams – the eleven Regulations are:
- No Violence : Not to abuse, hurt or kill anyone, not even an insect.
- No Adultery : Not to commit adultery, or excessively associate oneself with the opposite gender.
- No Meat : Not to eat meat or take even medicines derived from meat.
- No Alcohol : Not to consume alcoholic drinks or take even medicines mixed with alcohol.
- No Suppression : Not to suppress or take advantage of widows or other helpless people.
- No Suicide : Not to commit or even contemplate suicide.
- No Theft : Not to steal, nor even pick a flower without the owners permission.
- No Slander : Not to slander or blacken the character and lives of others.
- No Vilification : Not to vilify other deities or religions. To respect all faiths.
- No Impurity : Not to take food which is impure, not prepared with filtered water or prepared by unknown hands.
- No Atheistic-association : Not to keep the company of atheists or lend one’s ears to lectures given by non-believers.
Note: All Swaminarayan devotees also avoid the intake of onions and garlic in any form.