Once, when Maharaj was in the village of Mankuva, He sat with a pair of scissors in His hand and said, "All of you who are My devotees, come forward, I want to make you renunciants." Hearing this, all the satsangees present stood up to leave.
At that time Mulji and Krishnaji had gone to the farm. When they returned, one of the satsangees told them what Maharaj had done and how everyone had stood up. When they heard this, both of them immediately went to Maharaj, touched His feet, and said, "Maharaj, make us renunciants." Maharaj replied, "You will have difficulty getting food, you will be harassed by unruly baavaas, and you will have to tolerate the heat and the cold. Countless such adversities will come your way and you will become very disturbed. So, go, and double check with your minds [before taking this step]."
The two of them went to the side and began explaining to their minds, "Oh mind! If we do not worship God now, we will have to take births as donkeys, dogs, or other animals. Then who will feed and clothe us? Who will make our beds or massage our heads? So, this time around, if we follow God's commands and pass through it, we will never have to suffer again. What do you think?" Having convinced their minds in this way, they went back to Maharaj and said, "Maharaj, now even our minds are agreeing." As they said this, one of them began to loosen the knot of his outer clothing [to get ready to wear the robes of a renunciant] while the other one just tore off the garment saying that now what use is it to loosen the knot if it was not to be worn again?
Then Maharaj said, "You have become paramhansas so now follow my command and resume the lives of householders." The pair replied, "No, Maharaj, please keep us as paramhansas." But Maharaj was adamant so Mulji and Krishnaji agreed, put their garments back on and went home.
Krishnaji, however, did not truly share Mulji's firm belief in Swaminarayan Bhagwan's divine identity. When Mulji would discuss it, Krishnaji would say, "He is definitely an elevated person, but He cannot be called God." When Mulji replied, "This is the Supreme God of Akshardham that has incarnated," Krishnaji countered, "Well, then either you are a false devotee or Swaminarayan Bhagwan is not God. Because if He was God, how did you come back?" Then Mulji said, "He is definitely God, but there is a flaw in my devotion. So come with me [to Gadhada where Swaminarayan Bhagwan resided] and see for yourself."
The two of them went to Gadhada to see Maharaj. Krishnaji's belief that Swaminarayan Bhagwan is God then became strengthened and both of them made a decision not to go home. But since they had been gone for many days, their families sent letters to Maharaj requesting Him to send them home. Maharaj commanded them to go home, but when they left Gadhada, instead of going home, they took up jobs with a merchant in Vanthali for 60 rupees per year. Maharaj had told them to go home and their families thought they were with Maharaj. After twelve months passed, they returned to Maharaj, placed the money they had earned at His feet, and requested Him to allow them to stay. When Maharaj asked where they had been all this time, they replied that they had stayed in Vanthali after leaving Gadhada. Maharaj said, "People from your household have come here for you. So go back to your homes with them. If you do not go, you will be excommunicated from the group." Then, both asked their wives for permission to become renunciants but when the wives did not concede, they castrated themselves.
Then the women returned home and Mulji and Krishnaji went back to Maharaj. Maharaj excommunicated them from the fellowship. So they put on the saffron robes of a saint on their own and became paramhansas. They stayed a short distance from Maharaj and would do His darshan from afar.
In this way, they spent twelve months. When they came back to Gadhada to see Maharaj, He said to have them removed and not allow them back in. So they were removed and early in the morning, they sat on the bank of the Ghela river and sang devotional songs using the paraja melody. Maharaj was able to hear the songs so He told His attendant Bhaguji to stop them from singing because [due to the magnetic power of their devotion] His seat was being pulled toward them while He was sitting on it! Then Mulji and Krishnaji were sent all the way to the road to Gundaalaa near Hanumandhaar. The pair sat there and resumed their devotional songs. Again, Maharaj heard them and His seat began to move. When He again told Bhaguji, five or ten attendants were sent to send them even further. But this time, Mulji and Krishnaji said, "We will only act per the command of Maharaj. Otherwise, even if a hundred like you come, we are [strong] Kachchhis and we will not move. So go and find out from Maharaj what the command is for us?" The attendants went back and related what had happened. So Maharaj asked that the pair be called back. Then He called an assembly in Aksharbhuvan and proclaimed, "These two have been treated like dogs but they still have not lost their faith and trust in Me." Then Maharaj initiated and named them. Mulji became Ghanshyamanand Swami of Junagadh and Krishnaji became the head of the Amdavad temple, Sarvagnanand Swami. [ref. Swami Ni Vato 9/213]