Skip to the content

The boy named Mukunda from Amreli was expert in singing and playing musical instrument. When he started the recital of the Ramayana, none would have thought of the night being over. Such was the musical power in his voice. Whenever he went for the reciting or KATHA, he would never miss the opportunity to visit any sadhu of that village or town. He was very eager to have Darshan of sadhus when he was on tour for KATHA-KIRTANA. So he left his home in search for a suitable GURU. He even went to a person who suggested him a sadhu who performed miracles. He served him reverently. Yet he got neither knowledge nor God.

Roaming thus, this boy Mukund once stayed in the monastery {hermitage} of a certain hermit. there Then once came Ramanand Swami All of a sudden Mukund heard the speach of that Swami. He saw Ramanand swami's routine, and his associated sadhus. Mukund was now sure that there was the swami {Ramananda Swami} whom he was searching for. Mukund bowed down his head at the feet of Swami and prayed, “ Please take me with you” Swami said “You may come if your monastery's hermit permits you.” But the hermit was not ready to allow Mukund to go. Why will he allow such a libertine from his hand?

Mukund planned out a trick. The hermit had given Mukund the charge of giving alms, food etc. to any saint who come to the monastery. The hermit had strictly warned to give as much little as possible. But Mukund started giving more. The hermit could not tolerate this. He was angry with Mukund and said; “get out” Now Mukund wanted only that. He at once left the monestry. Ramananda Swami accepted him as his disciple and Ramananda Swami initiated him as Muktananda.

This Muktananda is the same Swami Muktananda, chief of Swaminarayana Sampradaya, whom Shriji Maharaja called “ The mother of the satsanga” Swami was a great scholar of sanskrit. He was also a poet. As the time passed, he became the chief disciple of Ramanand Swami. Ramananda Swami's Ashrama was situated at Loj in Mangrol of Saurashtra. Muktananda Swami was staying there with other fifty associates. Once there appeared a young celibate in that village. On seeing his brilliant face {halo} a sadhu brought him to Muktanandji. Swami could easily know that he was a great YOGI. This young celibate was Nilkantha Varni. he came to this place after seven years strict penance and wandering through the whole country. He met many saints on way. He saw numerous temples, monasteries and Ashramas, yet mind was never at peace. But here, on seeing Muktananda and his associate saints, his mind was at rest.

This Nilkantha was none other than Shriji Maharaja. Ramananda Swami initiated him and gave the names of Sahajananda Swami and Narayanamuni. Within twelve months he was in the charge of the chief of Swaminarayana Sampradaya. After a month, Ramananda Swami expired. Muktananda Swami was older by twenty three years than Shriji Maharaja. Moreover Muktananda Swami was the chief disciple of Ramananda Swami. Still he considered with all pleasure, Shriji Maharaja as his master {GURU}. He remained his obedient pupil till his death. This is not a small renunciation.

Shriji Maharaja, too, respected Muktananda Swami. He considered Muktananda Swami as his senior. On seeing Shriji Maharaja several persons went into trance with a more touch of his stick. Muktananda Swami heard this; Even great ascetic do not have this trance.What have you started this trance ? How can we believe it ? Maharaja kept mum. But Ramananda Swami, by giving him direct Darshana said to Muktananda Swami; “we were only a tubor-player. The real actor is Sahajananda.” Thus Muktananda Swami's delusion was removed. He recognised the “PURUSHOTTAM NARAYANA” form of Shriji Maharaja. He made an Aartiof Shriji Maharaja. He composed an `Aarti' song of Maharaja entitled “JAY SADGURU SWAMI” which is sung in every temple.

Muktananda Swami was a great sage and a great scholar too. He has written several volumes in sanskrit. The Sampradaya was severely criticised by the malicious. They charged that Sampradaya was against the VEDAS. Such malicious persons were found only in big cities. Therefore ShrijiMaharaja specially sent Muktananda Swami to Amdavad, Baroda and Surat. There Swami impressed the people by his thought speech and behaviour. He, thus, popularised the SATSANG widely. Swami took a leading part in the scriptural discussion organised by the Maharaja of Baroda, and, the malicious people were defeated.

Muktananda had a sister before he became a Sannyasi. Her name was Dhanbai. Dhanbai loved her brother very much. Muktananda also loved her so much. Dhanbai due to her sisterly love towards her brother tried her utmost to bring back her brother Muktananda from Sannyasa. But Muktananda was very much craved for God's Darahana. So he pushed back his sister's earnest desire. Many years thus lapsed. Dhanbai came to know that her brother had become a great powerful sage. So she desired to listen to her brother's words of advice. She came to Gadhada and requested Maharaja; “ I am very much eager to hear the words of advice from my brother's mouth.Please arrange by anyway, the meeting with my brother. Shower so much mercy on me.”

Maharaja was the ocean of mercy. He said to Swami; Swami ! give a word or two as a form of advice to your sister. “Maharaja! How is it possible ? you yourself have commanded us never to have any dialogue with a lady.” said Muktananda Swami. “ Although as principle is concerned it is alright, but you are a great celibate, self-controlled and a great sage. And still if you think it improper, keep a curtain before you and your sister and have a dialogue. Are you not going to obey my command ?” replied Maharaja. Swami said; “ Maharaja ! please forgive me. Once there is an exception to the principle, where's the use of the principle ? I am ready to obey you. But taking into consideration the welfare of other sadhus and the Sampradaya, I wish to obey your second command.” Maharaja Surprisingly said; “Which second command you are referring to ? I have given only one command.”

“ Maharaja ! your second command means your permanent command. You have commanded us that even if you command, a sage should never budge from his duty,” replied Muktananda humbly. “ Oh ! it is so ? Then what shall we do ? I have already promised Dhanbai that you should preach her. “ said Maharaja. Swami thought a whole and said, “ If you permit, we may do one thing. I will not preach merely Dhanbai, but I may compose some songs {PADAS}useful to the whole community of women. You will give those songs to Dhanbai.

Maharaja liked this idea. Swami composed four songs useful to women who are in search of their welfare. Maharaja gave them to Dhanbai. These songs are very popular among the Satsangis of our Sampradaya. The following is the prose rendering of some four lines of one of his songs. “O sister ! listen to the method to please God. God has enmity towards pride and self-respect. However a man might be powerful but once pride enters into him, believe by all means, that his life is ruined like sweet milk mixed with venom. What is the use, then to try over spilt milk ?

Muktananda Swami's poetry is as pure as the water of Gangotri. Poems like PURUSHOTTAM VIVAH composed by him are currently sung at the time of marrige ceremony, in place of PHATANA { song containing abusive language} usually sung on such marriage occasions. Once, Shriji Maharaja in an open court, commanded Swamiji; “Swami ! go on composing poems till the body lives.” Swami joined both his hands and bowed down his head to Maharaja. He obeyed Maharaja's command. He went on writing poems even though, later his body became too weak to hold a pen, yet he obeyed Maharaja's command. Muktananda's disposition was cool and quiet. His speech was so humble and gentle that even an enemy would never think of using bitter words against him. Shriji Maharaja once told the saints, “ Passion, anger, greed, respect, pride, all these are devils. They harass all except three persons. Who are those lucky three ? They are myself, the second is Muktananda Swami and the third is Gopalananda Swami” said Maharaja. How great a saint he must be whom maharaja puts along with him ! Muktananda Swami was not merely saint of our Sampradaya but he was one of the greatest saint of our country.

You have read many articles on the life of Muktananda Swami before. He was the torchbearer of the Sampradaya.