A.M.A.M. Gunatitanand Swami
ANAADI MOOL AKSHAR MOORTI GUNATITANAND SWAMI
Gunatitanand Swami was born in the small town of Bhadra in Gujarat (in western India) to Bholanath (son of Vallabhram Jani of Latipur) and Sakarba (daughter of Sukhram Dave who became Vasudevanand Swami under Atmanand Swami). The date was Sharad Poornima (Aso suda 15) or Monday, October 17, 1785 at 11.01 pm. Ramanand Swami named Him Mulji Sharma. Four years later, Mulji's younger brother, Sundarji was born (who later becomes Nana Shivanand Swami). From childhood, Mulji displayed an unbroken communion with Swaminarayan Bhagwan. For example, He omnipotently asked His parents to recite a song about the Hindu thread ceremony at the same time that Ghanshyam Maharaj was given janoi hundreds of miles away in Ayodhya. Mulji first met Sahajanand Swami in 1800 during the ceremony of God's initiation by Ramanand Swami in Piplana. In 1804, and then again in 1807, Swaminarayan Bhagwan visited Bhadra revealing Mulji as His Abode. After Mulji's parents passed away, in 1810, Swaminarayan Bhagwan held a grand 18-day yagnya in Dabhan and initiated Mulji as Gunatitanand Swami (on Poshi Poonam). For the next 20 years, Gunatitanand Swami served Swaminarayan Bhagwan, the paramhansas, and devotees. He was appointed as the mahanta (head) of the temple in Junagadh where He taught brahmavidyaa (divine knowledge) to 200-300 saints. Until the age of 82, Gunatitanand Swami continuously talked about Swaminarayan Bhagwan as the supreme God.
GUNATITANAND SWAMI’S IDENTITY
1. The Mool Akshar entity has been referenced in the Vedic scriptures. Unfortunately, many scriptural commentators have either not acknowledged the Mool Akshar entity or have combined the entity of Mool Akshar with Purushottam (God). Mool Akshar is the Original Devotee and Abode of Purushottam. Swaminarayan Bhagwan has explained this in Vachanamrut Gadhada First 21, 63, and 71, amongst other places.
2. Mool Akshar has the complete knowledge of Purushottam. A devotee must identify with Mool Akshar (i.e. become brahmaroopa or gunaateeta) to achieve that understanding and become eligible for service to Purushottam.
"After separating the soul from the three bodies (gross, subtle, and causation), and with the understanding of being brahmaroopa, at all times, offer devotion to God as brahmaroopa." - Shikshapatri verse 116
3. Lord Swaminarayan has revealed the manifestation of Mool Akshar as Gunatitanand Swami on several occasions:
a. When Lord Swaminarayan visited Gunatitanand Swami's home in Bhadra, He told Gunatitanand Swami's mother, "This Mulji is My Abode and Original Devotee." (Krishnaji Ada Ni Vato 7-22)
b. During Gunatitanand Swami's initiation into sainthood, Lord Swaminarayan had said, "I am pleased today because Mulji Sharma is My incarnate Akshardham. He is above the three modes of nature, continuously beholds Me, and His glory is beyond words. Thus, I name Him Gunatitanand." (Harileela Kalpataru 7/17/49)
c. During the Holi celebration in Sarangpur in 1812, at Rathod Dhadhal's home, Lord Swaminarayan had sung a poem by Kabir describing the glory of God's Saint. (Swami Ni Vato 5/420) He said, "Such a Saint is Gunatitanand Swami, and I am incarnate Purushottam."
d. When Kurji [Dave of Akha] from Piplana had come to Loj with the news that Ramanand Swami returned from Kacch, Neelkanth Varni said, "For having Me see Ramanand Swami, in return, I will give you the gift of My incarnate Akshardham." When Lord Swaminarayan established the temple in Junagadh and appointed Gunatitanand Swami as the head of the temple, He fulfilled the promise to Kurji. (Swami Ni Vato 11/65)
e. After the incident in Vadtal when Gunatitanand Swami had washed saints' beddings, Lord Swaminarayan told Muktanand Swami, "Only after becoming like this Saint, who is My Akshardham, can one devote to Me...He is the only Anaadi Mool Akshar." (Swami Ni Vato 10/244)
4. Gunatitanand Swami Himself has revealed His own identity (given throughout Swami Ni Vato). Similarly, Gopalanand Swami and other senior paramhansas have talked about the identity of Gunatitanand Swami. Also, His identity is revealed throughout Jaga Swami Ni Vato and Krishnaji Ada Ni Vato.
5. Akshar-Purushottam upaasanaa is the worship of Purushottam after becoming gunaateeta (or brahmaroopa) or attaining the understanding/qualities of Mool Akshar Gunatitanand Swami. This is possible by the loving association and service of a present gunaateeta saint (or brahmasvaroopa saint), who has aquired the qualities of Gunatitanand Swami, and thus in whom God resides. Otherwise, when the aspirant reaches an elevated state by his/her own effort, there would be remnants of asmitaa (subtle ego or awareness). A pure gunaateeta lineage has continued through Gunatitanand Swami's three disciples, Bhagatji Maharaj, Jaga Swami, and Krishnaji Ada, then Shastriji Maharaj, and now Yogi Bapa.
- GunatitoAksharambrahm, Kakaji