It was a dark beautiful night on Samvat 1837 Chaitra Sud Navmi. It was 10:10p.m., on this auspicious moment of time no other normal child was born, but Almighty God Supreme had taken birth. He was born in the house of Bhaktimata and Dharmadev in Chappaiya, a village in Northern India.
In Bhagwat Gita Lord Krishna says to Arjun "When dharma (righteousness) is suppressed and Adharma (non righteousness) prevails, I will take birth upon this earth to save mankind and obtain Moksha (salvation) and destroy all evil and also to establish Dharma (Practice of Religion in accordance with Veds and Purans), upon this earth and will incarnate in all four Yugas (epics of time) i.e. Satya, Treta, Dwarpa and Kali."
At the time of Lord Swaminarayan's birth, Bhaktimata was sound asleep and suddenly woke up and saw a child with divine light sleeping next to her. Bhaktimata's eyes were dazzled, she saw the Lord in midst of the rays of light. He had worn fine golden clothes, had a silver flute in his hands, and his head was dressed with a crown of feathers from a peacock. Bhaktimata was very surprised on having seen such a divine vision of the beloved God. With heartily emotions, Bhaktimata said, "Lord Shri Krishna himself has taken birth as my son".
Hearing her praises, Ghanshyam Maharaj happily said, "Mother, now you need not to worry. When the Demons and Evil people were terrorising you and the Saints on Earth you remembered me, and you had also done Taap (Meditation) in Vrindavan, which is when I gave you my darshan and had promised to be born as your son."
On seeing the bright lights, Dharmadev arrived and saw Purshottam Narayan as his son. He also remembered the promise given by Purshottam Narayan in Vrindavan and how he adhered to it. He thought to himself that, "Now the end of miseries is very near and soon happiness will spread everywhere."
Devas and Devis including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva came from Devlok to have darshan of Ghanshyam Maharaj. All the Devas and Devis were showering the home of Dharmadev and Bhaktimata with fresh fragrant and colourful petals. In Chhapaiya there was a sense of peace and purity in the air, broken only by the sweet singing of the birds, whilst the petals gently continued to carpet the ground. The people from Chhapaiya village and all surrounding villages came to celebrate the birth of Lord Purshottam Narayan. They all brought presents for Bhaktimata and Dharmadev and sang joyfully to celebrate the birth:
"Dharma ghera Anand bhayo, Jay bolo Ghanshyam ki..... Chapaiya me Lal bhayo, Jay bolo Ghanshyam ki..... Bhakta ke Bhagwan bhayo, Jay bolo Ghanshyam ki..... Hathi Ghoda Palkhi, Jay bolo Ghanshyam ki....."