Almighty God Supreme the incarnation of the Lord Shree Krishna, Narayan, and Lord Shree Swaminarayan came on this earth with his five hundred highly talented and ideal saints, brahmacharies and other devotees which included both males and females. They all came from the ultimate abode, namely, The Akshardham, the center part of the divine planet known as Goloka, within a very short stay (28-29yrs).
In the state of Gujarat in India, Lord Shree Swaminarayan was about to accomplish his divine mission. Under his Acharyaship he stopped all irregularities, immoralities, violence and evilness from the society.
Lord Swaminarayan re-established ‘Bhagwat Ekantic Dharma’, the oldest religion in the world was reformed and brought up-to-date at least in the state of Gujarat. Innumerable (many hundreds) of divine scriptures and poems were written by wise saints, great and big temples were being built by saints as well as by the Lord himself. For the sake of purity and concentration of the mind in worshipping the lord. as for equality, separate temples and assembly halls for male and females devotees were being built. The Lord thought of providing a male guru for male sadhus and a female guru for female sankhyayogis. Every one agreed with the Lord’s decision.
At this stage there were 2000 male saints and brahamacharis, 1400 sankhyayogis and 250,000 grahasthas (householders) devotees in the whole of Gujarat.
Elder saints, brahmacharies, sankhyayogis, leading householder devotees and the Lord Himself knew that to include a form of female guru after the Lord’s departure the next leadership must come from the grahastha or householders. The most suitable couple in everyone’s mind was from the holy family of Dharmadev, the Lord’s brother’s family.
To cater and manage the huge Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday as it was by now, the Lord divided the leadership in to two. Hence Lord Swaminarayan gave both males and females the right to free their minds and donate their hearts and soul from the bonds of material attachment by worshipping Lord Shree Swaminarayan and no one else.
Lord Swaminarayan drew an imaginary line between Dwarka in the east of India and Culcatta in the west. North of the line was to be known as the North diocese or division and south of the line known as the South diocese or division.
In the presence of leading saints, brahmacharies and householder devotees who gathered on Tuesday the 21st 1825 A.D (S.V. 1882 Kartik) in Vadtal, Lord Swaminarayan selected two members of Dharmdevs family.
The first one was Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj, the third son of his elder brother Rampratapji and appointed him as the Acharya of the northern division i.e. head of the Nar-Narayan desh. The headquarters were to be at Ahemdabad Nar-Narayan Dev Temple.
The second was to be Shree Raghuvirji Maharaj, the second son of Lord Swaminarayan’s younger brother Ichharamji and appointed him as the Acharya of the southern division i.e. head of Laxmi-Narayan desh. The headquarters were to be at Vadtal Laxmi-Narayan Dev Temple. More information can be found in Desh Vibhaglekh written by the Lord Himself. In the presence of this important gathering Lord Swaminarayan promised to reside specifically in the images installed by these Acharyas. Both Acharyas were now authorised to install the images of various deities in the temples and to initiate simple diksha to male householders and give bhagwati mahadiksha to sadhus/brahmacharis. Both Acharyas wives with the consent of their husbands are able to initiate simple diksha to female householders and give bhagwati mahadisksha to sakhyayogi female disciples.
Acharya Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Keshavprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Purushottamprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Vasudevprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Devendraprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Tejendraprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Raguvirjiprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Bhagwatprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Viharilaljiprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Laxmiprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Shripatiprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Anandprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Narendraprasadji Maharaj
Acharya Shree Ajendraprasadji Maharaj
His Holiness Acharya Shree 1008 Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj spiritual leader of Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday’s Ahemdabad Gadi
His Holiness Acharya Shree 1008 Shree Rakeshprasadji Maharaj spiritual leader of Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday’s Vadtal Gadi