Gopalanand Swami was born as Khushal Bhatt in Monday, Maha Sud 8, 1837 in a town called Todla (Idr area). At Gadhpur, Khusal Bhatt was given Bhagwati Diksha on Samvat 1864 Kartik Vad 8 and was given the name of Gopalanand Swami.
Khushal Bhatt was married, but was not attached. He was very intellectual thus helping him learn Sanskrit and acquiring religious knowledge. Later on, he moved to Dabhoi where he set up a school and taught young Brahmins. He heard from Kashiram and Murlidhar about Lord Swaminarayan and later he learned more about Lord Swaminarayan from Sharveshranand Swami. The more he learned about Lord Swaminarayan, the more knowledge he acquired. His students started having ‘Samadhi’. From his teaching, he became a prominent person in the community and people started paying him respect.
One day Lord Swaminarayan disguised himself as a normal Brahmin and went to Todla. He told Khushal Bhatt that if he wants to see the Lord Supreme, then follow me. Both came to the outskirts of Jetalpur and suddenly Lord Swaminarayan disappeared. Khusal Bhatt went into Jetalpur and met Lord Swaminarayan. He immediately decided to serve Him. Khushal Bhatt went with Lord Swaminarayan to Gadhpur. At Gadhpur, Khusal Bhatt was given Bhagwati Diksha on Samvat 1864 Kartik Vad 8 and was given the name of Gopalanand Swami.
Gopalanand Swami became a prominent sadhu of Swaminarayan sampraday. He mainly stayed in Vadodra. After Lord Swaminarayan left this world, he lived for another 22 years making sure the Swaminarayan sampraday was running properly. He died in Samvat 1908 Vaishakh Ved 5 at Vadtal. During his lifetime, he wrote 19 books in Sanskrit and 6 books in other languages. One of them was the Shikshapatri in Marathi.
One day Khushal Bhatt met a dumb child and removed his dumbness. The child started talking. (Before Khushal Bhatt was a swami)
In Samvat 1878 Fagan Sud 3, the installation of Narnarayan Dev in Ahmdabad was taking place. Gopalanand Swami was appointed to perform the Havan. Lord Swaminarayan said, “this Gopalanand Swami can change a stone into a Dev.”
In Sarangpur, the installation of Hanumanji was taking place on Samvat 1905 Aso Vad 5. Shukanand Swami and Gopalanand Swami did the Aarti to Hanumanji. Gopalanand Swami stood infront of Hanumanji and concentrated his powers into the murti and suddenly Hanumanji began to move. Gopalanand Swami drew the picture and Kanji Kadiya sculpted it. Gopalanand Swami also had a stick which has immense powers to ward off evil. This stick is still being used and is kept in Sarangpur Temple
When the Laxminarayan Temple was being built in Vadtal, Kashiabhai of Petlad was asking for tax on goods which were being used in the service of the Temple. Lord Swaminarayan sent Gopalanand Swami to meet Kashiabhai. Gopalanand Swami talked to Kashiabhai and persuaded him to stop charging them tax. Kashiabhai ordered a ‘marble stone’ which represented God to be brought from Vadtal mandir and kept in his house. Gopalanand Swami tried to explain to Kashiabhai that what he was doing was wrong but Kashiabhai did not listen. Kashiabhai became ill (could not excrete) and apologised to Gopalanand Swami for his wrongdoing and later became well
Hemraj Shah from Sundariyana town was a Vaishna doctor. He had four sons, their names were Vana Shah, Pooja Shah, Jetha Shah and Heera Shah. Vana Shah and Pooja Shah were Swaminarayan satsangis and Hemraj Shah did not like this. Vana Shah and Pooja Shah requested Gopalanand Swami to make his father a satsangi. In response, Gopalanand Swami told Vana Shah that he was ill and requested Hemraj Shah to see him. Hemraj Shah went to see Gopalanand Swami and could not feel his pulse but Gopalanand Swami was still alive. He realised that Gopalanand Swami was no ordinary person; he must be a powerful man. Hemraj Shah became a very good devotee. He was shunned from his community and was made outcast but he did not budge and kept on praying to Lord Swaminarayan
Chaitanyanand Swami was a well know Swami. People gave him gifts and he started accepting them. When he had a lot, he started passing them to Lord Swaminarayan. Once Gopalanand Swami came to see him. He sat on a cloth laid on the floor and Chaitanyanand Swami sat on a mattress. Gopalanand Swami started preaching about being non-attached to anything. Chaitanyanand Swami got the drift of what Gopalanand Swami was saying, he discarded the mattress and sat on the floor. Chaitanyanand Swami said “I was a Guru for 12 years and a Sadguru for 12 years but I am a sadhu from today because of your preaching
Lord Swaminarayan gave Vadtal Gadi to Raghivirji and Ahmdabad Gadi to Ayodhyaprasadji. Nityanand Swami was given the task to look after the Vadtal Temple and Brahmanad Swami was given the task to look after the Ahmdabad Temple. But all the religious control and mediator ship was given to Gopalanand Swami. Lord Swaminarayan instructed everyone to obey Gopalanand Swami
The collection and the research of the Vachnamrut was done by Muktanand, Nityanand, Shukanand and Brahmanand Swami but deep knowledge was parted by Gopalanand Swami
Krishnaram Shastri miscalculated the eclipse and predicted there wasn’t going to be an eclipse but the other scholors said that an eclipse will occur. There was a heated debate between Krishnaram Shastri and the scholors. Krishnaram Shastri went home and recalculated and found his miscalculation. This made him very sad and he stopped eating his food. His son found out about this and went to Gopalanand Swami. He told Gopalanand Swami the whole story. Gopalanand Swami called Krishnaram Shastri and scolded him for miscalculating the eclipse. Gopalanand Swami said, “I will have to change the motion and the movement of earth, sun and the moon, go to the courtyard and tell everyone there won’t be an eclipse.” Because of Gopalanand Swami’s words, there wasn’t an eclipse
In Rajkot Mandir there was a thorn tree (Bordri). When Gopalanand Swami was walking past the tree, the thorns of the tree got attached to Gopalanand Swami’s Pagh (hat). Gopalanand Swami said to the tree, “you are very foolish, I am a saint of the Lord and still you do this to me.” At that moment, all the thorns from the tree fell. The tree became thornless and still is to this present day