Sadguru Shri Vyapkananad Swami

Shitaldas of Jharnaparna, a village in North India, once heard of Ramanand Swami’s greatness and decided to go to Faneni in Gujarat for his darshan. However, when he arrived in Faneni Shitaldas was disappointed to learn that Ramanand Swami had passed away. Seeing Shitaldas’s disappointment, Maharaj consoled him by promising him Ramanand Swami’s darshan if he stayed in Faneni. In anticipation of Ramanand Swami’s darshan, Shitaldas agreed to stay. 

Then, Maharaj asked Shitaldas to chant the ‘Swaminarayan’ mantra. As soon as Shitaldas began chanting “Swaminarayan”, a miracle occurred. By Shreeji Maharaj’s grace, he went into samadhi and experienced the divine bliss of God. When Shitaldas came out of samadhi, he narrated his divine experience, “Maharaj was seated on a lustrous throne in the divinely luminous Akshardham. Ram, Krishna, all the avatars, and even Ramanand Swami were standing and offering their prayers to Shreeji Maharaj. I performed Maharaj’s pujan. I wanted to perform pujan of all the muktas there. However, I was only one and there were infinite muktas.” “At that point, Shreeji Maharaj suggested to me, ‘Make a wish that if Ram, Krishna, Ramanand Swami, or any avatar is the Supreme God, Parabrahman Purna Purushottam, then may I assume infinite forms so that I can perform pujan of the infinite muktas simultaneously.’ I recited this in my mind, but nothing happened. “Then as proposed by Maharaj I made a wish that if Shreeji Maharaj is Supreme God, Purna Purushottam, then may I assume infinite forms and perform pujan of the infinite muktas simultaneously. As soon as I repeated this in my mind, I saw infinite forms of myself and I simultaneously performed pujan of all. At that time, Ramanand Swami explained to me, ‘Sahajanand Swami is God, the cause of all of the avatars, and we are his devoted servants.’ So beautiful was Akshardham! So resplendent was Maharaj! Indescribable..” The entire assembly was spellbound by Shitaldas’ words. As he was narrating his experience, many other devotees also went into samadhi and had similar experiences. Convinced of Shreeji Maharaj’s greatness, Shitaldas decided to take sadhu diksha from Maharaj. On that same day, Shreeji Maharaj initiated him and named him Vyapkanand Swami.


Once during his travels, Vyapkanand Swami decided to rest in an ancient mandir of Vasukinag, near the village of Thangad. Enticing stone statues of dancing women were positioned inside the dome of this mandir. As Vyapkanand Swami walked in, he caught a glimpse of these statues. They caught his attention. He felt that the statues were actually dancing. Realizing that he had become enchanted by their appearance, he said a prayer and quickly cleared his thoughts. He understood the validity of Shreeji Maharaj’s rule forbidding sadhus from looking at pictures or statues of women. From this incident, Vyapkanand Swami realized the importance of obeying even the smallest of Shreeji Maharaj’s niyams.


Once, Vyapkanand Swami visited Daha Khachar’s home in Botad. As Vyapkanand Swami entered he heard the grief-stricken cries. There was something wrong. Someone informed Swami that Daha Khachar’s horse had died and was unable to bear the loss; he was weeping as if he had lost his son. Vyapkanand Swami felt sorry for him. He took some water in his palm, and chanting the Swaminarayan mantra, sprinkled it over the dead horse. Then, he took the soul of a mosquito and transferred it into the dead horse. Immediately, the horse came back to life. Hamir Khachar was overjoyed and fell at Vyapkanand Swami’s feet in gratitude. Vyapkanand Swami later went to meet Shreeji Maharaj in Zinzavadar. However instead of greeting Vyapkanand Swami, Shreeji Maharaj sarcastically told Khimbai, “Our God has arrived, so prepare a sumptuous thal for him.” Khimbai was confused. She asked, “Maharaj, who can be your God?” “Vyapkanand Swami is our God,” revealed Maharaj teasingly. Dismayed by Maharaj’s words, Vyapkanand Swami pleaded, “Maharaj! I am your servant. Please don’t call me your God.” “You bring the dead back to life. That is why I am calling you God,” Maharaj responded.

“I felt sorry for Daha Khachar,” clarified Vyapkanand Swami, “and so I took a soul from one body and placed it into another. Please forgive me if I have made a mistake.” Maharaj then explained, “We have not come on this earth to bring the dead back to life. We have come teach everyone the true knowledge of Atma and Paramatma. We want to remove everyone’s ignorance and take them to Akshardham.” Maharaj continued, “It was due to my will that the horse came to life, but what will happen when a king’s son dies and you are unable to revive him? The king will have you killed! So, from now on, stick to imparting wisdom, not performing miracles.” Overcome with remorse, Vyapkanand Swami begged Maharaj’s forgiveness. Soon after, Vyapkanand Swami left for Gadhada with Maharaj’s permission.