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
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.