Gunatitanand Swami

Gunatitanand Swami was the first guru after Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was the incarnation of Akshar, the greatest devotee and divine abode of God (Akshardham).

As a child he was called Mulji. Mulji was born on 17 Octber 1785 in the small village of Bhadra in Gujarat, India. Unlike other children, Mulji had little interest in eating, drinking, and fun and games. He always kept his mind busy in devotion and remembering God even while working in the farm. Even as a small child, Mulji constantly had darshan of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Sitting in Bhadra, he could see Ghanshyam's thread ceremony in Ayodhya, or Nilkanth's courageous travels through the Himalayas, hundreds of miles away. Many times, he used to talk to his friends and relatives about Shriji Maharaj and make predictions about His arrival. In this way, people saw how close he was to God.

Gunatitanand Swami: Ideal Devotee
Mulji BhaktaWhile Mulji was working on the farm one Shriji Maharaj in non-violent yagnaday, Shriji Maharaj appeared in the sky and called him to become a sadhu. Mulji left home at that moment. Shriji Maharaj initiated him during a grand yagna in Dabhan and gave him the name Gunatitanand Swami.



His humility, service and saintly virtues earned him the love and respect of all. Bhagwan Swaminarayan never missed a chance to point out the special spiritual relationship that Gunatitanand Swami had with Him. Shriji Maharaj often announced, "He is Akshar, the highest Abode of God (Akshardham). He serves Me eternally. Through Gunatitanand Swami a devotee can become like Akshar or aksharup and serve Me eternally."

Mahant of Junagadh
When Shriji Maharaj built a mandir in Junagadh, the Nawab or King of Junagadh asked Him to stay there forever. Shriji Maharaj asked him, "Should I stay Myself, or can someone who is like Me stay?"

Shriji maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami and Nawab of JunagadhThe Nawab folded his hands and replied, "There is no one equal to God."

Shriji Maharaj pointed to Gunatitanand Swami and said, "This sadhu is like Me. He is capable enough to do all of the things that I can do. I will keep him here as the Mahant (head)." After making him Mahant, Shriji Maharaj advised all the sadhus and satsangis to come to Junagadh for one month every year to learn from the teachings of Gunatitanand Swami.

His Message
Gunatitanand Swami spread Satsang throughout the Sorath region. Wherever he went, people developed faith in God and became good satsangis. Because Gunatitanand Swami was Akshar, or the ideal devotee, he understood the greatness of Shriji Maharaj better than anyone else. That is why he was able to spread the true greatness of Shriji Maharaj as the supreme God.

Gunatitanand Swami offered his services as the Mahant of Junagadh mandir for 40 years, 4 months and 4 days. Near the end of his life, Gunatitanand Swami told the devotees, "Now I'll travel in the Satsang fellowship and stay at Mahuva." Saying this, he thus revealed Bhagatji Maharaj to be his successor.

Gunatitanand Swami left this earth at the age of 82 in Gondal. The place in Gondal where his body was cremated is called Akshar Deri. His teachings have been written down in a scripture called Swamini Vato. Today, thousands of devotees read the Swamini Vato every day.

Life Span: 82 Years

From 17 October 1785 to 11 October 1867

Birthplace: Bhadra, Gujarat

As Guru: 37 Years (1830-1867 CE)


Mahant Swami Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan

© 2004, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith