of the objects of the manifestation of Lord Swaminarayan on this
earth was to expound the true form of upasana and establish ekantik
dharma. True upasana involves identification of one's self with
Akshar and, with that consciousness, worship of Lord Purushottam.
To identify one's self with Akshar, one must develop communion
with Akshar, that is - Gunatitanand Swami. Having attained the
Gunatit state one must pray to Lord Purushottam Narayan-Sahajanand
Swami, also known as Shriji Maharaj. This upasana requires the
correct cognition of Akshar and Purushottam who came on this earth
in the forms of Gunatitanand Swami and Shriji Maharaj.
However, the jivas fail to know the true nature of the Lord, manifest
in human form. They cannot recognise Him as divine. Hence the
paramhansas (great saints) of Shriji Maharaj explained His greatness
to the people. Amongst them, Gunatitanand Swami explained to them
by his ceaseless talks, day and night that Shriji Maharaj Himself
is the Supreme Godhead. By his saintliness, harmony with Para-Brahman
and forceful expression resounding his supreme faith, he propagated
in the sampraday the fact that Shriji Maharaj is the Supreme Lord.
In the same way, the disciples of Gunatitanand Swami, Pragji Bhakta,
and Jaga Bhakta, propagated that Gunatitanand Swami is Akshar.
Thus the doctrine of Akshar and Purushottam began to spread. None,
however, had the courage of installing the idols of Akshar and
Purushottam in the temples like those of other deities. For, there
was a section of people in the Sampraday which, with traditional
conservatism and obstinate beliefs, strongly opposed this true
doctrine and its supporters. And none would dare to swim against
this violent current of opposition.
For this reason some of the great saints who had digested this
supreme knowledge entertained subtle doubts in their minds whether
this knowledge would be ever idolised and whether the idols of
Maharaj and Swami would ever be installed in the temples. Many
of those saints were very great and powerful, and they even tried
to install these twin idols, but their efforts were foiled by
the aforesaid elements. They were, therefore, silently praying
to Shriji Maharaj and waiting for the advent of some powerful
person who would hold all the power and prowess of Shriji Maharaj
and accomplish this great task.