The founder of the Trimandir is our beloved Gnani Purush Dada Bhagwan (November 8, 1908 – January 2, 1988), who was born as Ambalal Muljibhai (A.M.) Patel, affectionately known as Param Pujya Dadashri.
Born to a spiritually elevated mother in the village of Tarsali located in the Indian state of Gujarat, Param Pujya Dadashri was instilled with a profound understanding of non violence, empathy, generosity, and the benefit of spiritual penance, right from birth.
From an early age, Param Pujya Dadashri exhibited unique spiritual characteristics and, as He grew older, He maintained a devoted priority of spiritual purpose.
Even as He entered into married life, and later into a lifelong business partnership, He experienced no interest or satisfaction in worldly matters.
He remained one-pointedly focused on His search for eternal truth and Self Realization.
Manifestation of Gnan
In 1958, spontaneous Enlightenment (absolute manifestation of Self-knowledge) occurred suddenly within Param Pujya Dadashri.
While waiting for a commuter train in Surat, Gujarat, a one-hour experience of universal Self-knowledge happened to Him.
In the course of this awakening, Param Pujya Dadashri attained ultimate answers to lifelong spiritual questions such as:
- Who am I?
- Who is "The Doer" of all that happens in the universe?
- Is there a Creator God and, if so, where is He?
- What is the science of Karma?
Param Pujya Dadashri later explained that this awakening was the culmination of His sincere spiritual effort from numerous previous lives.
A.M. Patel, Gnani Purush and Dada Bhagwan
Param Pujya Dadashri explained that, as a result of His awakening, three distinct facets of the Self became clarified within.
At the gross level, A.M. Patel’s relative self (body-mind complex) remained.
At a subtler level was Gnani Purush (see Param Pujya Dadashri’s definition below).
Finally, at the subtlest level was what His followers referred to as “Dada Bhagwan,” an absolute divine embodiment.
Param Pujya Dadashri describes these three facets of the Self in the following interview:
For whom is “Dada Bhagwan” used?
Param Pujya Dadashri: It is used for Dada Bhagwan, not for Me. I am a Gnani Purush. Dada Bhagwan is within you too, but is not yet manifested, and here within Me, He is fully manifested and is ready to give results…
What is the real nature of Dada Bhagwan?
Param Pujya Dadashri: He is the One who has no attachment, ego, and intellect…
Why do you allow yourself to be addressed as Bhagwan (Godly divine embodiment)?
Param Pujya Dadashri: I, Myself, am not God. I too bow to Dada Bhagwan within Me. I (as Gnani Purush) am at the level of 356 degrees of spiritual achievement, whereas Dada Bhagwan is at 360 degrees. He is the Absolute. I lack four degrees, and therefore, I too bow down to Dada Bhagwan (within Me).
After Param Pujya Dadashri’s awakening, those close to Him observed an extraordinary presence within Him.
His nephew, who addressed Him as “Dada” (the traditional Gujarati term for “Revered Grandfather”) repeatedly proclaimed, “He has become a Bhagwan (divine embodiment)!”
Gradually these two terms of reverence were combined, and people began to address Him as “Dada Bhagwan” (grandfatherly divine embodiment).
From His awakening, Param Pujya Dadashri attained siddhis (supernatural abilities) to raise seekers to the level of His Own spiritual state. However, for four years, Param Pujya Dadashri remained silent about this, resting in the stillness of an ego-less inner state.
Finally, after repeated requests by those close to Him, He began to conduct satsangs (spiritual discourses) and Gnan Vidhi (ceremony of Self-knowledge).
Param Pujya Dadashri’s satsangs were impromptu – offered in any location, at any time of the day or night. Conducted primarily in a question-answer format, Param Pujya Dadashri’s satsang transcripts have been compiled into numerous topic-based books.
In the Gnan Vidhi ceremony, which Param Pujya Dadashri defined as an “experiment to separate the Self from the non-self,” He was consistently able to awaken His own spiritual state within seekers in merely two hours.
Until His samadhi maran (passing with spiritual awareness) in 1988, Param Pujya Dadashri traveled within India and abroad to conduct satsangs and Gnan Vidhi ceremonies.
Proclaiming that, “There must be no business in spirituality,” He traveled entirely at His own expense. To this day, no fee has ever been charged for Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan satsangs or Gnan Vidhi ceremonies worldwide.
To date, hundreds of thousands of seekers worldwide have attended Gnan Vidhi, and are experiencing Atma Gnan (Self Realization) through Param Pujya Dadashri’s grace.
Param Pujya Dadashri predicted that Akram Vignan would remain accessible through His successors for thousands of years. Before passing, He blessed Pujya Niruma and Pujya Deepakbhai with siddhis required to conduct Gnan Vidhi ceremonies.
Since then, both of them have continued Param Pujya Dadashri’s mission to awaken sincere seekers towards Self Realization and moksha (Liberation of the Soul from the cycle of birth and death).