We have available with us, in important point of view, 142 Bethakjies with spiritual background belonging to:
a. Shri Mahaprabhuji
b. Shri Gusaiji,
c. Shri Hariraiji and other acharyas.
We have also Bethakji of Goswami Acharyas of later period.
There is a fundamental difference between a Bethakji and a Gaadiji. When we go on our travels, we witness places which are mostly known as Shri Bethakjies only. But there are many spots which are known as Shri Gaadijies.
Those places have come to be known as Shri Bethakjies, where either Shri Mahaprabhuji or any one of the members of his dynasty had stayed and recited Vedas or Gita or any Puranas like Ramayana.
But only these places where these saintly persons had stayed for some reason but did not recite vedas etc., or where they were installed sentimentally, are called Gaadijies.
We understand that Shri Mahaprabhuji had recited Bhagvata as "Parayana" (when a purana is read with an intention of completing it at one particular place, it is called as Parayanas) and also did the "Parayana" of vedas and Puranas like Valmiki Ramayanas and these places have come to be known as "Bethakjies".
The writing period of the history of Bethakjies must be somewhere between Vikram Samvat 1664 to 1669.
If there are handwritten manuscripts about the history of Bethakjies composed during the existence of these Acharyas, we do not find any trace of it so far. We are made to believe that the fourth son of Shri Gusaiji i.e., Shri Gokulnathji had talked before devoted Vaishnavas during night time about the stories of 84 Vaishnavas of Shri Mahaprabhuji and about 252 disciples of Shri Gusaiji-during the nightly speeches, he had also narrated the nijavartas and gharuvartas by way of explaining the form and history of Shri Mahaprabhuji. Hence we have assumed that the history of Bethakjies of Shri Mahaprabhuji and Shri Gusaiji also brought out by him only. We do not find the name of any author who had composed the history of the other Baithakjies of later period Acharyas. In a way the benefit of the authorship of these works goes to Shri Gokulnathji alone.
All these places were well known even during the period of Shri Mahaprabhuji. This information can be gained from the Vartas of 84 and 252 Vaishnavas. When we read the Varta (episode) of Purushottama Dasa, We will come to know that he had visited Champaranya - the birth place of Shri Mahaprabhuji. In the episode of Bhagvandas of Hazipur, Bihar - it is mentioned that he had a glimpse of Shri Mahaprabhuji appear before the Vaishnava who had visited this particular Bethakji from Kasi. We come across to know about the presence of a Bethakji of Shri Mahaprabhuji in the Palace premises of Maharaja Krishna Deva Raya from a book called "Bhava Sindhu". In this way the existence of the various Baithakjies of Shri Mahaprabhuji must have been in the knowledge of the close vaishnavas, during their life time.
Therefore we can say with certainty that Bethakjies were famous even in those days. Even the history behind their establishment is known. These stories about Baithakjies are not imagination. They are produced or brought into existence by divine bliss. There is proof that Shri Mahaprabhuji had visited all these places and did "Bhagvata Parayana" there and established the divine histories. It is not colored by the imagination of men.