Born Khushal Bhatt, he was born in the Sabarkantha District's, Todla Village of Bhiloda Taluka, Gujarat. Todla is surrounded by mountains. His father was an audichiya brahmin, Motiram Sharma and his mother was Kushaladevi Thakar. Gopalanand Swami pursued deep study and showed great interest of grammar, Indian philosophy of Nyaya and Vedanta. Gopalanand Swami was a scholar, with knowledge in Vyakaran (grammar), Nyaya, Mimasa, Astrology etc. Swaminarayan gave diksha (the becoming of a saint in which vows such as celibacy and renunciation of all personal possessions and of all worldly duties, including family ties are taken) to Gopalanand Swami in Vadodara, Gujarat. Swaminarayan held Gopalanand Swami in very high regard and he was very learned in Ashtang yoga. Gopalanand Swami died in 1850 in Vadtal.
Responsibility of the Swaminarayan Sampraday
When the Swaminarayan Bhagvan died (Vadtal, year 1830), he left responsibility of the Swaminarayan Sampraday and the Acharyas in his hands. Further, it is said that Swaminarayan had asked Brahmanand Swami to overlook the completion of the Junagadh Temple because he knew Brahmanand Swami had powers to bring a person back to life after death. He therefore instructed Gopalanand Swami not to inform Brahmanand Swami about his death till after the cremation of his mortal remains.