Gunatitanand Swami

Gunatitanand Swami (28 September 1784 – 11 October 1867), born Mulji Jani, was a prominent paramhansa of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya who was ordained by Swaminarayan: 22 : 16 : 123  and is accepted as the first spiritual successor of Swaminarayan by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).: 16  Born into a religious family in the small farming community of Bhadra in Gujarat, India, he first received religious education under his father’s guru, Ramanand Swami before encountering Swaminarayan and becoming a swami under him at the age of 25.: 19  He was revered for his spiritual discourses and divine service
For the BAPS, he embodies an essential element of the doctrine of Akshar and Purushottam.: 92  They believe based on interpretation from the Vachanamrut that “Akshar is an eternally-existing spiritual reality having two forms, the impersonal and the personal”.: 84  Furthermore, BAPS claims that Gunatitanand Swami was 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”.: 16 : 86  The Vadtal and Ahmedabad dioceses of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya do not subscribe to this theory.: 55–60 Gunatitanand Swami held various administrative roles, most notably as the mahant of Junagadh mandir, a position he held for forty years.: 55 : 94  In addition, 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 dharma, knowledge of the atman, detachment, bhakti, and various other matters has been published under the name Swamini Vato.: 16 : 192 : 70  Gunatitanand Swami died in 1867, and a famous shrine known as the Akshar Deri was built upon the spot his cremation rites were performed.: 132

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