Monthly Archives: August 2015

SADGURU BHUMANAND SWAMI

Bhumanand Swami was a sincere and devoted person. He was also a great poet and composed many kirtans about Bhakti. He was persuaded by a friend to go to Gadhada to find the Lord.

Before Bhumanand Swami became a saint, he was known as Rupjibhai. He lived in Vadhvan. For many years Rupjibhai had secretly wished to meet God, but that wish had not yet been fulfilled. Once one of his friends, Dhanbhai, said “Rupji, everyone knows of your devotion and your kirtans, but you know it is all worthless until you find God.” Dhanbhai knew of Rupji’s secret desire and he wanted to tease Rupji a little. “Do not misunderstand me Rupji but you are wasting your time singing infront of that picture! Why don’t you go see God Himself?” “Have you gone mad? Why do you say such things?” replied Rupjibhai. “Well it is true, if you want to see God then you have to go and meet Him yourself”. Rupjibhai hesitated, “Oh you make it sound so simple, as if God is in the next village!” Dhanbhai encouraged him further, “Very well, don’t listen to me. But I just thought that you may be interested in going to Gadhada, you might find Him there.”

Rupjibhai liked the idea and came to Gadhada. Making his way through the crowd, Rupjibhai tried to find his way to Dada Khachar’s Darbar. Alone and tired, he wondered if the Lord was really going to be present. Just then he saw the figure of Shreeji Maharaj on a horse. Rupjibhai followed the procession to Laxmi Vadi, where Maharaj called him and said, “Rupjibhai, how much longer will you hide in your small corner? Come out and let people know your greatness.” There on, Rupjibhai went on to become a saint and was ordained to be named Bhumanand Swami.

The mere sight of the Lord in Gadhada inspired Bhumanand Swami to write great kirtans, however, his verses always carried a tinge of loneliness. From this incident we can only imagine how great the beautiful Darshan of Shreeji Maharaj was, indeed it must have been a true divine sight! Swami wrote the well known thaal that is sung everyday, “Jamo thaal jivan jau vaari.”

SADGURU DEVANAND SWAMI

Devanand Swami was named Devidan at birth. His father was Jijibhai and his mother’s name was Bahenjiba of Barol. He was born on Kartik Sud Purnima Vikram Samvat 1859 (1803 AD). Right from an early age, Jijibhai taught good sanskars to his son. Devidan watched and accompanied his father perform his morning worship to Lord Shiva. Once, on instruction from his father, who had gone out of town, he performed worship and pleased Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva hinted to Devidan that Lord Purshottam Narayan will come to his village. Devidan was only five years old at the time. As Lord Shiva said, Maharaj was on His way back from Jetalpur while passing through the village of Barol. He was offered Thuli (wheat flake) and milk. Maharaj rolled up His sleeves and started eating as the villagers watched. Devidan stared at Maharaj, suddenly Maharaj started to lick the milk off His elbow with His tongue. The villagers were stunned to see this miracle. Suddenly Maharaj’s eye made contact with Devidan’s eyes and shock-waves ran through Devidan’ body. Devidan fell at Maharaj’s feet and asked if he could accompany Maharaj. With the consent of his parents, Maharaj took Devidan along with Him, and entrusted him to the care of Brahmanand Swami. Later on Maharaj initiated him and named Abheydanand Swami, though he became known as Devanand Swami.

Under Brahmanand Swami’s care he learnt Pingal Shastra and music. He attained the highest level within a short period of time. Soon he started playing and composing his own kirtans and singing them. His singing was very attractive; he had the ability to sing at different tunes and had a sweet voice. His kirtans concentrated on renunciation, reflection of the world in the correct perspective and inspiration for people to follow the path of righteousness. He took over the Mahant hood of Muli temple from Brahmanand Swami and ensured that the activities of the temple flourished. He left this world for Akshardham in Vikram Samvat 1910.

SADGURU SHUKANAND SWAMI

Shukanand Swami was the private secretary of Lord Swaminarayan from VS 1855 to 1925. He was one of the five sadhus who compiled and wrote the Vachanamrut.

Shukanand Swami (the private secretary of Lord Swaminarayan) from VS 1855 to 1925

At a very young age, Jagnath Bhutt was educated in Sanskrit and learnt other activities which were required as a Brahmin. He was obeying Naishtik Brahamchari (celibacy) rules. He regularly associated himself with holy Sadhus. One day, he came in touch with Swaminarayan Sadhus which were going to Durghpur (Gadhada) and decided to join them.

He stayed in Durghpur for some time under the guidance of Muktanand Swami as he was a very important Sadhu. Muktanand Swami gave Maha Diksha to Jagnath Bhutt under the guidance of Lord Swaminarayan. He was given the name of Shukanand Swami (Sukh Muni in short) and Muktanand Swami always kept Shukanand Swami near him. Because Shukanand was a very good writer who would not miss anything, Lord Swaminarayan appointed him to write personal and private letters. He was referred to as Lord’s right hand man.

Lord Swaminarayan once said, “this swami is my devote Sadhu and possesses great saintly values which are increasing over time, he has some saintly qualities as Muktanand Swami.” (Vachanamrit, Kariyani 3)
Lord Swaminarayan appreciated Shukanand Swami by saying that he likes three things in Dabhan:
A mango tree, now in Laxmiwadi
An ox which was used for transportation of sadhus

Shukanand Swami
One day, Shukanand Swami was writing letters which were dictated by Lord Swaminarayan at night. The oil in the lamp finished and it was getting dark. Shukanand Swami said, “Oh Lord, I cannot write any more as there is no light.” Lord Swaminarayan decided to show him His divine presence by glowing his right thumb of His leg. The glow was so intense that Shukanand Swami could hardly see. He felt the divine presence but could not write anything. He requested Lord Swaminarayan to reduce the light so he can continue writing the letters.

One day, Shukanand Swami was very ill and could not walk. He sent a message to Lord Swaminarayan that he cannot come today to write any letters. Lord Swaminarayan wanted to show him His divine powers so asked two people to bring him. Shukanand Swami asked what he can do for the Lord. Lord Swaminarayan looked at him and the illness disappeared. From that day on, he was never ill again except for one case.

When Lord Swaminarayan left this world, Shukanand Swami was always sad and felt the pain of separation from the Lord. He prayed to Lord Swaminarayan asking for some illness so that the pain of separation can be reduced. Lord Swaminarayan obliged and for 12 years he had slight pain.

Shukanand Swami spread satsang in Umreth town and towns around it after Lord Swaminarayan left this world.
He was one of the five sadhus who compiled and wrote the Vachanamrut.