Yogiraj Sadguru Shri Gopalanand Swami
Anadi Mahamukt Yogiraj Gopalanand Swami was a great Yogi Purush of Swaminarayan Sampraday. In spite of being such a gigantic persona, phenomenal scholar, best administrator, he still be and remain a disciple servant of Shri Hari. Shri Gopalanand Swami was born to his mother Shri Kushalba in the house of Motiram Thakar at village Todla on Monday, Maha Sud 8 Samvat 1837. In his childhood he was known as Khushal.
There have been number of miracles in the life of Gopalanand Swami since his childhood. It is a well known story that even the Lord Shamalji used to come in the form of a little child to play with him. In spite of so many efforts, a Mantrik (an expert of sorcery of Mantra-Shakti) could not find his idol of lord Vishnu because of the Yogic power of little Khushal and Khushal declined the haughtiness of Mantrik. Once, there was no rain in the Todala area and the people under the fear of the oncoming drought came to Khushal Bhatt for the solution. Through his meditation, Khushal Bhatt brought the rain along with prosperity in the region. Khushal Bhatt started teaching the Brahmin boys in Pathshala, while he experimented the stage of Samadhi(trance) to the students of Pathshala many times.
Once Shri Hari came to village Todla in appearance of a Vipra, Khushal Bhatt renouncing his wife, children and relatives and come to Jetalpur with Vipra, later he meet Shri Hari first time in his real divine appearance,
He then visited Bhavnagar, Vadodara and some other places under instructions of Shri Hari, at last became ‘Gopalanand Swami’ after taking Diksha from Shri Hari.
Swami stabilized the Satsang structure. Though in possession of the supreme divine power, he roamed around incessantly on the land remaining a messenger of the Lord. There are umpteen number of miraculous incidents about his Yogic power. Clairvoyance, omniscience, control over universe, instant Samadhi, removing evil notions by mere a sight or touch, sensing others resolves etc. Shriji Maharaj declared him as the leader of the sect because of overall superior qualities.
In the intellectual world, he is known for his creations of the commentary of Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. Amongst the Yoga scholars he was respected as Yogiraj. Though having tremendous spiritual powers, he never used such powers for himself. Yet being moved by the aggrieved devotees, one finds lightning of his benevolent miracles of his Yogic powers. He honoured to Sadguru Gunatitanand Swami a lot and He went to Junagadh Mandir every year for Satsang and stay about two months.
For about four and half decades, he has served the Satsang of our Swaminarayan Sampradaya. He remained the leader for about 22 years after Shri Hari left. Shri Gopalanand Swami spread, stabilized and strengthened the Sampraday with his incomparable devotion and dedication towards Shri Hari. He spent a life of 71 years, 3 months and 12 days, On Vaisakh Vad 5 Samvat 1908, He left us and went to the divine Abode Akshardham of Shri Hari. His funeral ceremony was performed in Gyan Baug, Vadtal.