Original Name : Mulji Sharma
Birth Date : 28 September 1784 (Aso Sud Punam, Ashadhi Vikram Samvat 1841)
Birth Place : Bhadra village, Maratha Empire (present-day Gujarat, India)
Died : 11 October 1867 (aged 83)
Died Place : Gondal, British India (present-day Gujarat, India)
Gunatitanand Swami was born as Mulji Sharma in the town of Bhadra in Gujarat. His father was Bholanath and his mother was Sakarba. From his childhood, he had the ability to see what Bhagwan Swaminarayan was doing in Chhapaiya, in North India with his inner eyes.
In Samvat Year 1865, after receiving the divine vision and inspiration of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Gunatitanand Swami left worldly attachments behind and renounced his home instantly. He was initiated as a saint by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the Samvat Year 1866 during the Dabhan ceremonial sacrifice.
He was then given the unique name Gunatitanand Swami. Gunatitanand Swami possessed all of the saintly virtues. He lived a very simple but highly spiritual life, full of service. Bhagwan Swaminarayan was highly pleased with him because of his ever readiness to serve the sick saints, thus setting an ideal example for others. Later on, he was appointed as the head of the Junagadh Temple in Samvat Year 1841 by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Even then, he would render services to the temple, such as sweeping and assisting in construction. Bhagwan Swaminarayan advised all the sadhus and satsangis to come to Junagadh for one month every year so they could learn from the teachings of Gunatitanand Swami.
After Bhagwan Swaminarayan left His mortal body, Gunatitanand Swami continued to give most valuable support to the holy fellowship for the next 37 years. He remained the head of Junagadh Temple for 40 years, 4 months and 4 days.
Gunatitanand Swami used to preach for hours on deeply philosophical topics, but did so in such a simple, practical and lucid manner that all were spellbound by his speech. His talks caused a change of heart in even wicked people and caused all to live spiritual lives. By his blessings, disturbing worldly desires were subjugated. Even the senses of taste and passion were controlled immediately. Muslims like Junagadh’s Nawab and his minister, Bahauddin, listened to the sermon of Gunatitanand Swami. Manavadar’s Nawab constructed a temple in his town and invited Gunatitanand Swami to its inauguration.
Gunatitanand Swami was a foremost saint who propagated ‘Sarvopari Upasana’ of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the philosophy Bhagwan Swaminarayan is the cause of all past and future incarnations.
The book ‘Swami ni Vato’ (Tales of wisdom), a set of quotes and preachings by Gunatitanand Swami is an eternal remembrance of his, and inspires and guides many on the path of salvation even today. Balmukunddasji Swami, the main disciple and spiritual successor of Gunatitanand Swami wrote the original set of talks, which were comprised of five total chapters.
At the age of 82, Gunatitanand Swami left his physical body at Gondal in Samvat Year 1923 independently, sitting in “Padmasan” pose, after announcing his departure in advance.