Swaminarayan (1781 –1830), also known as Sahajanand Swami, was a yogi. He is believed by his followers as an avatar of Narayana.
Swaminarayan was born as Ghanshyam Pande into a Brahmin family at Uttar Pradesh, India in 1781. In 1792, he traveled across India and adopted the name as Nilkanth Varni. Nilkanth Varni visited the Jagannath Temple in Puri as well as temples in Badrinath, Rameswaram, Nashik, Dwarka, and Pandharpur.
During his journey, he has done a lot of welfare activities to the people and he settled in the state of Gujarat around 1799.
In 1800, he was adapted into the Uddhav sampradaya by his guru, Swami Ramanand, and was given the name Sahajanand Swami. In 1802, his guru made him the leader of the Uddhav Sampraday before his death. Sahajanand Swami taught the Swaminarayan Mantra to the people. From then onwards, he was known as Swaminarayan. The Uddhav Sampraday became known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday.
Swaminarayan died on 1 June 1830, and was cremated in Gadhada, Gujarat.
Swaminarayan, established temples, as part of his philosophy of deity worship. These mandirs are known as Swaminarayan Hindu temples.
He constructed nine temples in the following cities; Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Muli, Vadtal, Junagadh, Dholera, Dholka, Gadhpur & Jetalpur. In these temples, he installed images of various Hindu gods, such as Nar Narayan Dev, Laxmi Narayan Dev, RadhaKrishna Dev, RadhaRaman Dev, Revti-Baldevji, Madan Mohan Dev, etc.

It is believed that the sage Narayana who took birth as Lord Krishna in dwapara yuga, has again taken the avatar as “SWAMI NARAYAN” in this Kali Yuga. He is regarded as an eminent and efficient guru among his followers. He has done many miracles to the people during his lifetime and is still answering the prayers of his devotees from his mandir. His mandirs are situated all over India, and also is situated in foreign countries. Let us pray to this great saint, and an avatar of the god, for our well being, and for the well being of the people of the entire universe. Let us chant his name and be blessed.