Hinduism has always considered Lord Vishnu as narayan or Hari. All incarnations (avatars) of Vishnu are also considered as narayan as well, such as Ram Narayan or Krishna Narayan. Most of us have also seen Narad Muni saying “Narayan Narayan” in many TV serial, by saying “Narayan Narayan”, Narad Muni remembers his supreme lord Vishnu.
Although Narayan word is reserved for Lord Vishnu, there are many impostor (बहुरूपिया) sampradays in India who uses the word Narayan for reason to earn profit of it. I am from Gujarat, therefore I will describe reality of Gujarati swaminarayan sampradays.
Word ‘swamianrayan’ is made of two words: ‘swami’ and ‘narayan’. Until 18th century, in Gujarat swaminarayan referred to Vishnu; but since beginning of 18th century, power hungry business faith (sampradays) made up fake god as swaminarayan. Gujarati swaminarayan sampradays considers swaminarayan as a one word. Gujarati swaminarayan sampradays considers their swaminarayan is supreme to Brhama, Vishnu and Mahesh, whereas whole hinduism has always considered Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh supreme. Gujarati Swaminarayn sampradays absolutely shares no connection with Vishnu. Swaminarayan followers feel guilt to even take the name of Krishna or Ram. If you ever visit any swaminarayan temple, and say ‘Jai Shri Krishna’ or ‘Jai Siya Ram’, they will look at you like you have 4 head.
May be not all is at fault cause of swaminarayan; it is what came after swaminarayan is at fault. Swaminarayan wrote shiksapatri and I quote from shiksapatri sok 108.
स श्रीकृष्णः परंब्रह्म भगवान् पुरुषोत्तमः ।
उपास्य इष्टदेवो नः सर्वाविर्भावकारणम् ॥ 108॥
Translation: The Lord, Shree Krishna is the greatest entity. I admire Him the most. He is the cause of all incarnations and is thus truly worthy to be worshipped.
Swaminarayan mentioned in his shiksapatri that Krishna is Prabhram purshottam, but in many of swaminarayan sampraday’s temple have listed Krishna as a dev.
Evidence is in the picture above. BAPS swaminarayan temple is clearly not following what is told by swaminarayan. BAPS has gone on further to create their own book which they consider better to Bhagwad Geeta, Ramayan, Ved or Puran. If hindus continue to follow made sampradays blindly then it will be demise for Hinduism. I beg to the people to not follow or donate any money to their cause.