Magniram was a brahmin by caste and belonged to the Dravid region (Southern India).
In his youth, he made up his mind to realise God and discarded his worldly relations leaving his home for the pilgrimage of religious shrines in search of God.
Having found a Brahmin scholar he stayed with him and learnt the scriptures and various disciplines of Hinduism. Magniram became a brilliant scholar. His brahmin Guru offered his daughter to make him his son-in-law to live with them. He offered his property and wealth all at the disposal of Magniram on the condition that he married her.
Mangiram refused to marry. He submitted that he intended to attain his God and was not interested in the worldly life. With this intention, he prayed to his Guru to show him the means to attain God. His Guru asked him to worship and meditate the Goddess of knowledge - Sharada who will show Magniram the path leading to Supreme God.
Magniram went to the forest and did Japa and penance for Goddess sharada. He earned the pleasure of the Goddess who giving him darshan blessed him divine majesty. And in ego of this great achievement he forgot his original need - the attainment of God. Thus he began using his super human majesty as he wished, wielded super human images and became worshipable among the frightened masses. He burnt lush green trees by his tantrums, used his powers to cause boulders and rocks to rocket across the sky like birds and started alighting any thing or place with viscous fire at the mere release of his breath. All these tuntums created an aura of fear among the mortals and people began his worship as God.
Magniram came to Kathiawar, displayed his super human powers and collected lofty gifts from the princely states and rich merchants. If anybody merely hesitated, he made them shiver like a leaf through his demonic display of super human majesty. Such scared individuals were surrendering to his power and were paying the money he desired. Thus, defeating everybody en-route he came to Porbandar and demanded five thousand rupees from the king, 'Either fulfil the demand or Porbandr shall be sunk in the bottom of the sea.'
Hearing this cause the Kind a great amount of distress. After careful thought he found a way for the permanent peace. The king replied,
'Oh great Siddha ! Not only five, but I will give you ten thousand rupees, but it is not a sign of majesty in giving burns to the small frogs like us. But we will believe you as a great entity, if you defeat Sahajanand Swami. Sahajanand Swami has made many greats like you to carry His foot wear. At present He is here in this region and is presently gracing the town of Mangrol. Your victory over Sahajanand would prove your super human power and are worthy of worship.'
These bitter words of the king became most indigestible for Magniram. It hurt his ego and pride - adding fuel to his existing fire. He kicked his cane-stick on the grounds with anger and screamed, 'I am going right now to Mangrol, and will return after my triumph' These words of ego and self esteem, thrown at the king the merely reinforced the faith he held in Shreeji Maharaj. The king of Porbandar was now sure of the permanent peace. Great lions were become like a goat in presence of Swaminarayan, then what was the capacity of that egoist Magniram.
Lord Shriji Maharaj was gracing a mammoth assembly in Mangrol, and was preaching subtle philosophy of religion, ultimate knowledge, detachment and devotion. Then with the shouts and screams, Magniram rushed into the Sabha and demanded Shriji Maharaj give ten thousand rupees, else the whole audience would be killed. Lord Shriji Maharaj looked at him with great compassion, and softly replied, 'We do not have money to give you, but you are free to exhibit your power as per your wish.'
Furious Magniram began his chants of mystic hymns, and used all the means in his hands and within his control. He tried his black-magic and other demonic skills to harm the people and saints in the Sabha. But none from the audience and others were affected the slightest. He continued by using all his weapons, but failed miserably. He was shocked by pitiable failure of his powerful weapons. This posed a serious insult and hurt his ego seriously. At midnight he invoked his Goddess (Devi) Sharada. Goddess Sharada gave him Darshan. He offered worship and prayed, 'Oh Mother ! I am all victorious throughout India on the strength of your powers. Great hermits and saints have surrendered to me. All the kings are scared of me. Nobody dares to look me in the eye. But this Sahajanand had insulted me and made my powers look pitiful. That Sahajanand has shamed me. Make me victorious or I will die.'
Devi looked upon Magniram with anger, 'Oh Fool ! Magniram ! Why and for what reason did you undergo great penance and meditation trance ? Why had you disowned your home and householdership ? Think back to the original cause. You have been treading a wrong path under your false ego of your super human capacity. Those so called powers will not give ultimate emancipation - Moksha. That is something even I am incapable. If you want Moksha, Surrender at the lotus like feet of Lord Sahajanand. He is God Incarnated. Cosmic Gods, deities and Goddesses worship and serve to Him. Such Omnipresent Supreme Lord graces this earth in His human form to emancipate infinite number of souls. Therefore, leave these humbug and surrender to Sahajanand.'
Saying this the Goddess disappeared. Magniram recalled his past, his home, his seclusion, his detachment, his search for God and his efforts to attain ultimate goal of his life. He recalled his pilgrimages, siddhis and his state up to the present status. He spent night in restlessness and agony, and came to the hermitage of Shri Hari early in the morning to sweep the court yard. He swept the courtyard and cleansed the utensils. Thereafter, he came to Shriji Maharaj, offered Dandvat-Pranam with a hearty prayer to forgive him and submitted himself to become a saint and follower of Shriji Maharaj. But Maharaj told him that he was still proud of his physical being, therefore can not be accepted amongst His saints. Magniram expressed his readiness do anything and everything. Then in response to that, Shriji Maharaj asked him to eraze his long hairlocks and place it on the path of the saints. Then Maharaj asked him to collect foot-wear of the saints and hold the bundle on the head while doing pradikshna of the assembly. This act that would crush his ego. Magniram did as per the commandment of Shriji Maharaj.
Shriji Maharaj pleased at his humbleness, compared his work with the act of a Adwait and gave Bhagwati Deekhsa renaming him Adwaitanand Swami.