In the Swaminarayan family of Babarbhai Patel and Surajben in the village of Karamsad, a pious son was born and given the name Nathabhai. For his kind and straightforward nature, he was also known as Saaraabhai. Yogi Bapa revealed that Nathabhai was the incarnation of Swaroopanand Swami.[1] At a young age, he received initiation[2] from Krishnaji Ada. In meditation at the age of 17, he had a divine vision of Lord Swaminarayan.

After excelling in his studies, Dr. Nathabhai authored three books. When he was 35 years old, his first wife passed away, leaving behind a son named Chunibhai. Dr. Nathabhai thus remarried Diwaliben of Nadiad. They soon became the proud parents of Kamlaben (also called Maniben). The family stayed in Karamsad and Dr. Nathabhai ran a private dispensary (a clinic that also supplies medicine to its patients) in Borsad.

On the full-moon day of every month, Dr. Nathabhai religiously visited the Vadtal temple and prayed before the image of Harikrishna Maharaj. During the enshrining ceremony of this image which was designed to Lord Swaminarayan's actual measurements, Lord Swaminarayan gave the blessings that through the special image, He would answer devotees' prayers. When Nathabhai prayed, an inner-voice told him, "Go to Bochasan." The following fortnight, with a rosary in his hand and standing on one leg, he intensely prayed once more. Again, the image commanded him to go to Bochasan. Convinced of the vibrations he received, he headed for Bochasan, where Shastriji Maharaj was constructing the first Akshar-Purushottam temple.[3] At the time, as if he was specifically waiting for Dr. Nathabhai, Shastriji Maharaj sat on the porch entrance of the temple. Dr. Nathabhai realized his spiritual quest had hit a milestone when Shastriji Maharaj omnisciently called him by his name. He began regularly visiting the Bochasan temple and donated a great deal for Shastriji Maharaj's cause of establishing Akshar-Purushottam temples. For the Sarangpur temple, Dr. Nathabhai financed the central moortis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. (The Sarangpur temple was the second Akshar-Purushottam temple, inaugurated in May 1916.)

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