Gunatitanand Swami

Gunatitanand Swami (17 October 1785 – 11 October 1867; born Mulji Jani, or Mulji Sharma) was the first spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and one of the most prominent of the 500 paramhansas who were ordained by Swaminarayan himself. Born into a religious family in Bhadra, a small farming community in the state of Gujarat, India, he first received religious education under his father’s guru, Ramanand Swami before encountering Bhagwan Swaminarayan and becoming a sadhu under him at the age of 25. Revered for his spiritual discourses and divine service, he embodies an essential element of the doctrine of Akshar and Purushottam. Based on the teachings of Swaminarayan in the Vachanamrut, devotees of BAPS believe that “akshar is an eternally-existing spiritual reality having two forms, the impersonal and the personal”. Gunatitanand Swami is believed to be the first personal manifestation of Akshar in the Guru Parampara, an unbroken line of “perfect devotees” who provide “authentication of office through Gunatitanand Swami and back to Swaminarayan himself”. The Vadtal and Ahmedabad dioceses of the Swaminarayan Sampraday do not subscribe to this school of thought. Gunatitanand Swami held various administrative roles, most notably as the Mahant of Junagadh mandir, a position he held for forty years. In addition to this, he was a prominent speaker and was held in high regard as an authority on religious matters in general. A collection of his most important teachings on swadharma (one’s duty), atmagnan (knowledge of the soul), detachment, devotion to God and various other matters relating to the Swaminarayan sect has been published under the name Swamini Vato. Gunatitanand Swami died on 11 October 1867 at 12.45am while resting his back against a pillar inside Gondal Mandir. His obsequies were performed on the banks of the river Gondali and a famous shrine known as the Akshar Deri was built upon the spot.

Read more about Gunatitanand SwamiEarly Life, Meeting With Swaminarayan, As A Sadhu, Later Life and Bhagatji Maharaj, Legacy, Death, Gunatitanand Swami As Akshar, Swamini Vato

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... Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) followers hold Gunatitanand Swami as the spiritual successor to Swaminarayan ... assert that on several occasions Swaminarayan revealed to devotees that Gunatitanand Swami was Aksharbrahm manifest ... and established this institution, claiming Gunatitanand Swami as the rightful successor ...
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... Literally meaning “Swami’s talks”, the Swamini Vato is a condensation of the numerous discourses given by Gunatitanand Swami over the course of his life ... Sadhu Balmukundasji, a disciple of Gunatitanand Swami, initially wrote a collection of the discourses in 5 chapters ...
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... When Gunatitanand Swami delivered discourses, devotees took notes on his talks ... The notes were later studied by Achintyanand Brahmachari, after being asked by Gunatitanand Swami to continue giving discourses on these topics ... and was written by Sadhu Balmukund Dasji, who was a disciple of Gunatitanand Swami ...
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... of BAPS and Akshar Purushottam Upasana hold Gunatitanand Swami, a saint and paramhansa of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, to be the personified form of Brahman as discussed above ... Acharya Shri Raghuvirji Maharaj quoted Bhagwan Swaminarayan when he referred to Gunatitanand Swami Maharaj as his 'Akshardham, within whom he forever resides in.' Shri Harililakalpatru VII/1749 ... Acharya Shri Viharilalji Maharaj referred to Gunatitanand Swami as Akshar Murti Gunatitanand Swami Maharaj in his Kirtan Kaustubhamala ...