A principal belief of Swaminarayan devotees is that Purna Purshottam Narayan is 'sakar', that He has a divine form. In Vachanamrut Gadhada II-13, Bhagwan Swaminarayan describes the true form of God. He states that God, having a human form with two arms, two legs, and two eyes, sits at the center of one’s soul. That divine form is surrounded by very bright divine light. As spiritual aspirants, we must progress past that light through meditation and understanding, to see the physical form of God. If one cannot see that form, the devotee's mind becomes affixed on the light, limiting his spiritual progress and keeping him from liberation. In Vachanamrut Gadhada I-45, Bhagwan Swaminarayan cites the ancient Hindu scriptures saying, “Purushottam Bhagwan eternally possesses a form, and that form is luminous. The Shrutis also mention, ‘That God looked towards maya….’ Now if this scripture refers to God as able to see, does that mean that He only has a pair of eyes and nothing else? In reality, He does have hands and feet; this proves that God has a form.” Further mention of this belief is found in various Hindu scriptures including the Mundak Upanishad and in the philosophies of Ramanujacharya, Vallabhacharya, and Madhvacharya. Bhagwan Swaminarayan strongly asserted the existence of God’s divine form and urged that devotees should believe the same to be true, saying in Vachanamrut Gadhada III-39, “To realize God as being formless is a sin much graver than even the panchmahapap, the five grave sins. There is no atonement for that sin…. One should keep a firm conviction in the form of God and staunchly worship Him. This is My message to you. So please imbibe these words firmly in your life.”
Believing Purna Purushottam Narayan to have a form is the basis for many Hindu beliefs and rituals, such as murti puja, bhakti, and even the building of mandirs.