|February 26, 1999 |
Swaminarayan Bhagwan had appointed two aachaaryas, Raghuvirji Maharaj in Vadtal, and Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj in Ahmedabad. Raghuvirji Maharaj was the son of Ichharamji, Lord Swaminarayan's younger brother, and Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj was the son of Rampratapji, Lord Swaminarayan's elder brother.
Given in Jaga Swami Ni Vato 2/2 and Swami Ni Vato 5/426, only 13 days after Swaminarayan Bhagwan passed away, several devotees instigated Raghuvirji Maharaj's older brother, Gopaljibhai that since he was the elder, he held the true right to the gaadee or seat of the aachaarya. Though inwardly feeling a little upset, Raghuvirji Maharaj was very softhearted, and so would not object when his elder brother would sit on the gaadee. Seeing Raghuvirji Maharaj's predicament, Gopalanand Swami created the effect that Swaminarayan Bhagwan had entered the body of a saint named Keshavdas. Keshavdas captured everyone's conscious and scolded them, saying, "Only Raghuvirji Maharaj has the right to the Vadtal Gaadee, as he is the aachaaarya that I have appointed."
This story eventually reached Nityanand Swami in Umreth, who sent his disciple Pavitranand Swami to Vadtal to investigate. In Vadtal, Bhagvadanand Swami had written a letter to the Ahmedabad Gaadee accusing Gopalanand Swami of creating a "new God" and misbehaving in satsanga. The letter urged that Gopalanand Swami be demoted from saffron to white robes. The decision was made to do this in the presence of both aachaaryas at a congregation.
When Gunatitanand Swami found out about this, He saw that if Gopalanand Swami became upset and gave up his body, the good deeds accumulated by all spiritual seekers would be lost. Gopalanand Swami's distress would displease Swaminarayan Bhagwan, which would ultimately mean hardships for the poor devotees. Gunatitanand Swami immediately left Junagadh for Vadtal and reached one day before the meeting was to take place. He first went to Raghuvirji Maharaj and explained to him that this should not happen. Raghuvirji Maharaj indicated that he was powerless in the matter and asked Gunatitanand Swami to visit Nityanand Swami. When Gunatitanand Swami talked to him, Nityanand Swami agreed that what was happening was not right. Nityanand Swami had a niyama (vow) that he would not talk while doing maalaa (rosary). During the congregation he would begin his maalaa indicating his position on the matter.
Gunatitanand Swami then went to meet Bhagvadanand Swami who had originally created the disturbance. When Bhagvadanand Swami saw Gunatitanand Swami approaching from a distance, he began preparing a seat for Him. Gunatitanand Swami kicked it with His foot and began explaining to Bhagvadanand Swami the terrible mistake that was being made. Gunatitanand Swami made it clear that though Bhagvadanand Swami was doing as he pleased in Vadtal, in Akshardham, he would stand alone in the scorching heat. Bhagvadanand Swami reasoned that there was no scorching heat in Akshardham. But, Gunatitanand Swami replied that just for him, using His anyathaa-kartu shakti (the power to make the impossible come true), He would specially create the scorching sun in Akshardham. Touching Gunatitanand Swami's feet, Bhagvadanand Swami finally agreed that he would not do anything. Gunatitanand Swami then went to Gopalanand Swami and reassured him that everything would work out alright. Gopalanand Swami expressed to Gunatitanand Swami, "Just by seeing You, my problems are relieved."
While Gunatitanand Swami prepared the saints in Vadtal, Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj left from Ahmedabad. On the way, a problem with one of the carriage wheels caused the aachaarya to arrive late at night.
The following morning in the meeting, both aachaaryas arrived and took their respective seats. Nityanand Swami also entered, but immediately commenced his maalaa. When Manjukeshanand Swami started the topic on Gopalanand Swami, Gunatitanand Swami immediately interrupted him. At the time, a puraanee (knowledgeable of the scriptures) saint from Ahmedabad stopped Gunatitanand Swami and complained that (by talking about Swaminarayan Bhagwan as the supreme God), Gunatitanand Swami was going against the scriptures. Nityanand Swami stopped his maalaa, silenced the puraanee saint, and urged Gunatitanand Swami to continue speaking. Gunatitanand Swami explained the role of aachaaryas and saints, and that Swaminarayan Bhagwan is the supreme God.
Gunatitanand Swami ended the meeting by hugging the aachaaryas, saints, and devotees, and returned to Junagadh.