Gathering of Vadodara

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The Gathering of Vadodara (or Vadodrani Sabha) was a pivotal moment for the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It took place in 1820 and is recorded in the holy book Satsangi Jeevan, compiled by Shatanand Swami.[1]

Precursor to the event[edit]

Swaminarayan was residing in Vadtal. A satsangi from Vadodara, Nathbhakta met Swaminarayan and requested him to send a sadhu to quell the scholars there who were stating the Swaminarayan Sampraday was not Vedic.[1]

Swaminarayan chose Muktanand Swami and told him to go to Vadodara. Muktanand Swami, initially reluctant, went with 250 other sadhus.[1]

The Event[edit]

The King of Vadodara, Sayaji Rao II, on hearing of Muktanand Swami’s arrival, he sent out a welcoming party. He organised a Dharma Sabha and appointed a respected scholar, Bhau Purani as the Chairman of the gathering.

On the morning of the sabha (gathering), Muktanand Swami made his way to Vitthalnathji Temple, the location of the sabha. There were thousands of people at the sabha; the scholars sat on one side and Muktanand Swami faced them on the opposite side. [1]

Five very learned scholars sat at the front of the sabha and were very well respected:

  1. Ram Chandra Vaid
  2. Hari Chandra Vaid
  3. Shobharam Shastri
  4. Narupanth Nana
  5. Chinman Rao

These five scholars asked Muktanand Swami one question each.

First Question[edit]

Narupanth Nana: “How can one achieve moksha from this Kaliyug that we live in?” [1]

Second Question[edit]

Hari Chandra Vaid: “Say we believe Moksha can be attained by having gnaan, the shastras say God does not take Avatar in Kaliyug”[1]

Third Question[edit]

Ram Chandra Vaid: “Say we believe God takes avtar in Kaliyug, shastras say the God is called ‘Triyug’ therefore God only takes avatar in the first 3 yugs. Explain?”[1]

Fourth Question[edit]

Shobharam Shastri: “Say we accept Lord Swaminarayan is God, where then does he fit into the 10 & 24 avatars for God?”[1]

Fifth Question[edit]

Chinman Rao: "Say we believe Lord Swaminarayan is Almighty God Supreme. Other avatars performed great acts proving themselves as God – what did Lord Swaminarayan do?"[1]

  • Ram built a bridge over the ocean to reach Lanka
  • Krishna lifted the entire Govardhan Mountain by his small finger


Muktanand Swami satisfactorily answered all questions and after he answered the fifth question, Bhau Purani announced that Muktanand Swami was victorious in this Gathering of Vadodara. It was here that Bhau Purani used the famous words: Swaminarayano Vijaytetram (victory to Swaminarayan).[1]