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The Guru in the Swaminarayan Sampradaya

In accordance with the injunctions from shastras of Hindu Dharma cited above, Bhagwan Swaminarayan too considers the Guru as foremost; to be venerated as one venerates God. In His Vachanamrutam He uses the terms Sadhu and Satpurush synonymously for the true Guru.

Gadhada III.27:

"The scriptures advocate five attributes of: Nishkam, Nirlobh, Nirman, Niswad and Nisneha for a sadhu. The sadhu in whom one observes such attributes has a constant rapport with God. Therefore one should have immutable faith in his words, and by his words should realize the knowledge of God."

Gadhada III.26:

"The sadhu who lives in a way in which he subdues his indriyas and antahkaran, but is not subdued by them, who engages in God-related activities only, strictly observes the Panch Vartamans, believes himself as being Brahman and worships Lord Purushottam, can be known neither as a human being nor a deva, since neither man nor deva possess such attributes. Therefore such a sadhu, though a human being, deserves to be worshipped at par with God."

Finally, how should an aspirant serve such a Guru?