Above all the abodes is a place where all of God’s (Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s) servants reside. Above all these servants presides this satsangi (Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami). I vow in the name of God and His devotees that this is the absolute truth.
(Lord Swaminarayan,Vachanamrut Gadhada Last Section 21)
Lord Shree Swaminarayan had said, “Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami is the supreme head of the entire Sampraday and superior to all. I Myself will work through him and will remain present and perceptible in the Satsang forever.” It was apparent to all, that these blessed words of Lord Shree Swaminarayan were the absolute truth.
||Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami
Bhaga Doshi lived in Botad. A Jain ascetic constantly harassed Bhaga Doshi. He used to say, “God cannot exist in Kali-yug. You have been deceived into believing such hypocrisy.” Once, Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami came to Botad. Bhaga Doshi went to welcome him from the outskirts of the village and explained his predicament. Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami consoled him. Just as Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami entered the village boundary, he met that Jain ascetic Nemivijayji.
The ascetic asked Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami, “Who are you?” Swami replied, “I am the God; the controller of the entire universe.” Again, Nemivijayji asked, “Then who is Shree Swaminarayan?” Swamishree replied, “He is my God.” With his merciful gaze, Swami looked towards Nemivijayji. He immediately fell into a trance (samadhi) and dropped to the floor.
In the trance, he saw Lord Shree Swaminarayan and Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami presiding on a divine Gadi surrounded by an aura of great lustre. He also had the darshan of the twenty-four Jain prophets (tirthankars), who were standing before the Lord, humbly worshipping and praying to Him. From there, Nemivijayji was taken to Yampuri where he experienced overwhelming pain and suffering. As a result of the pain, his body started to be thrown around on the floor. His disciple munis began to pray to Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami, “It is our mistake, forgive us.”
Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami awakened Nemivijayji from the trance. He immediately bowed in obeisance and said, “Oh Swami! What you say is indeed the truth. You are God, and your God is Lord Shree Swaminarayan. I had witnessed this in the trance. Forgive me for my errors.” Merciful Swamishree showed compassion towards him and forgave him.
(Shree Swaminarayan Bhagvat, Skanda 3 Adhyay 3)
The ability to entrance souls just as Lord Shree Swaminarayan did, and in that trance to give them the darshan of Lord Shree Swaminarayan sitting on a divine throne, can only exist in him who gives darshan on behalf of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. Only they can accomplish such great feats.
According to the command of Purna Purushottam Lord Shree Swaminarayan, everyone; ascetics and gruhasths alike, remained obedient to Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami’s wishes.
Extracted from the scripture, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, translated by Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj. Chapter 24 – Shree Gopalanand Swami - The Heir of Shreeji