Vasudevanad Bramachari was born in Malpur village in the Sabarkantha district near Modasa. He was a Trivedi Brahmin by cast. He learn Sanskrit from Shastri Laxmiram at Nandol village. Once, the Shastriji took him to Jetalpur to get blessings from Lord Swaminarayan. From his special memory, he recognize the Lord and requested to stay with him forever. So, Lord Swaminarayan gave him diksha, and as a saint, gave him a new name, which was "Gopaland."
He stay with Mukundanand Bramachari. He start learning with Muktanand Swami. He was so clever, that Muktanand Swami told Lord Swaminarayan, "This small Bramachari is naturally brilliant. Whatever I teach him, he learns immediately and repeats it frequently." Lord Swaminarayan said, "He was a very big saint in his former life." Then he start learning from Sadaguru Nityanand Swami. He learn the Veds, Purans, the Bhagvat, and all the other religious books, and he became a master at all of them.
Once at the village Loya, Lord Swaminarayan ordered him to read and explain the Bhagvat to all the followers in the sabha. He was at a very young age an dwas also very short in height, so Lord Swaminarayan told him to stand up and read the Bhagvat. He read the katha standing up on his feet. The whole sabha was surprise by his speech. As sson as the katha was finish, Lord Swaminarayan stood up from his thrown and ordered him t sit down in his space. He gave him cloths, put chandan on his forehead, made a tilak, and then did aarti. He cleaned his feet with water. The Lord drank some of the water and then gave it to everybody. Then he told all his followers, "Today, I have chosen this Bramachari for my thrown. You all have to take diksha from him. When he comes to sabha, everybody has to stand up and beg on his feet for blessing. He himself is Lord Vasudev from Swetdip, so his name is now Brahmchari Vasudevanandji."
Lord Swaminarayan had given him a new name. The Brahmchari was small and very shy, so when the Lord praised him, he feeled it was to much. Saints were people who become sad when somebody praise them. He became sad and started crying after he reach his room.
Mulji Brahmchari told Lord Swaminarayan, "Vasudevanandji Brahmchari is crying and is not eating anything because you personally did his Puja, gave him your thrown, performed aarti, and washed his feet and drank the water." Lord Swaminarayan said, "He is very small in body, but very big in knowledge. Tell him to go meet Muktanand Swami."
Muktanand Swami preached to him, "Look Brahmchari, you personally don't like to look big, but Lord Swaminarayan is our Guru, father, and mother. If your parents become happy that way, then you should be happy too. If your parents like to dress you nicely and become happy, then you should also be happy. So, you have to smile because you are innocent." Vasudevanandji became understanding and happy.
Big Maharaja and Pandit had also became satsangis by Swamiji's speech. One day, Harishankar Brahmin, from Pratij village, came to meet Swamiji. He said, "After hearing your speech, I would like to pray to Lord Swaminarayan, but I believe in Lord Shiv. So, can I switch my religion?" Swamiji replied, "If Lord Shiv tells you to switch your God, then you switch him." Harishankar went home and Lord Shiv personally appeared and advised him, "Go and pray to Lord Swaminarayan. We all are praying to him. Go back to Vasudevanandji because he is a very holy saint." The next day, he went back to the Swami and became a Swaminarayan Satsangi.
At Kapadvanj, a taluka officer Madhavlal Shah, came to meet Swamiji. He was impressed by the Swamiji's speech and became a satsangi. Madhavlal wanted to see Lord Swaminarayan, so Swamiji blessed him, and later he saw Lord Swaminarayan at Jetalpur.
Swami Vasudevanandji didn't see any ladies for his whole life. He remained a bramachari. His blessings were always true. At Jetpur village Swamiji was preaching a holy book in subha. One joshi brahmin made a joke that Swaminarayan saints liked to eat too many ladus (a sweet). Swamiji said, "What a crazy man he is," and the brahmin really became crazy for the rest of his life.
Swamiji traveled to Ahmedabad, Velal, Pethapur, Shiyani, Kapadvanj, Jhalavad, Kutch, Halar, Harvad, and other villiage. He was living in Dharmakul Nivas in Kalupur Temple at Ahmedabad.
Once night Lord Swaminarayan blessed him and said, "Satanand Swami wrote Satsangi Jivan as Dharma Shastra, and we have the Vachanamrit as Yoga Shastra. You should write a book on the Bhakti Shastra." Vasudevanand Swami wrote the Satsangi Bhusan in Sanskrit. It is an excellant book of the life activities of Lord Swaminarayan. While writing the book, Swamiji sometimes stopped in between writing the stories. Other saints asked him why he had stopped writing, and he replied, "The Lord is helping me write these stories and I must stop to listen to him."
A knowledgeable Shastri, Kripashankarbhai of Dhanghra city, wrote the preface of this holly book. He said, "I believe that Lord Swaminarayan is the only God, but the Swamiji also seems like a God."
Vasudevanand Brahmachari went to Akshardham on Kartak Vad 13th, 1920 A.D. at Ahmedabad. We can pray our homeage at Narayan Ghat at the Sabarmati River.
Jay Shree Swaminarayan
INTERNATIONAL SWAMINARAYAN SATSANG ORGANIZATION
4 Louisa Place, Weehawken, New Jersey 07087, USA