Sadguru Muktanand Swami, was born to father Anandram and mother Radhabai, in the village of Amrapur, in the Amreli district of Gujarat, on Posh Sud 7th of Vikram Samvat year 1814 and he was nnamed as 'Mukunddas'.
Mukunddas was very different than other children. He never indulged in games or sports but meditated peacefully. He was more spiritually wise and learnt Vedas, scriptures and music from two teachers.
Mukunddas was intelligent and mastered music and scriptures very fast. At a very young age Mukunddas looked queer and on seeing his good habits the parents knew he was a different kid.
They also understood that he will not continue with them due to his affinity towards God. Soon they got him married so that he will remain busy in the family.
However, Mukunddas was stubborn to find God and he left house in search for a true Guru. Mukunddas attended Ramanand Swami's discourses for the first time in Sardhar.
Seeing Ramanand Swami he immediately knew that Ramanand Swami was the Guru who would lead him to God. He requested Ramanand Swami to accept him as his disciple. Ramanand Swami then initiated him as his disciple and named him as 'Muktanand'.
Muktanand Swami was the principal disciple of Ramanand Swami, who had mastered the eight folded yogic state. Ramanand Swami once disclosed in a sabha that he himself was a small time player of the hand-drum, however the real performer was yet to come.
He told Muktanand to settle in village Loej to open free food camp and serve all pilgrims there. He further informed him that one amongst these will be Purushottam Narayan. Thus Muktanand Swami awaited the arrival of Lord Purushottam Narayan.
Sukhanand Swami a fellow Sadhu of Muktanand Swami first saw Neelkanth Varni near a well in Loej. His aura and divine attributes impressed Sukhanand Swami who then took Neelkanth Varni to the hermitage where Ramanand Swami disciples stayed and introduced him to Muktanand Swami.
Muktanand Swami was impressed by the divine aura of Neelkanth Varni and even Neelkanth Varni felt great respect for Muktanand Swami as Muktanand Swami answered his questions on Jeev, Ishwar, Maya, Brahman and Parbrahman.
Muktanand Swami besides a saint, was also a good musician, singer and dancer. Swaminarayan named him as 'the mother of Satsang' because of his affectionate nature, tolerance and loving interaction.
He chose Muktanand Swami to represent the Swaminarayan Sampradaya at the Gathering of Vadodara. Muktanand Swami has many poetries to his credit.
He was instant composer of poems and Mukund Bavani is a collection of his devotional poetry. The collection of his works is names as 'Muktanand Kavya'.
The Aarti, Jay Sadguru Swami has been written by Muktanand Swami in praise of Shri Hari or Swaminarayan, which is sung in all Shri Swaminarayan Temples. There are also books written by him on several subjects.
Once in Surat, Muktanand Swami was giving discourses to the sadhus. There was a monkey sitting outside the window and was jumping up and down doing mischiefs.
Most of the sadhus got distracted by the monkey's act and time and agained looked at the monkey.
On this Muktanand Swami said - "Anyone who hasn't looked at the monkey please stand up !". It was surprising that only one sadhu, Gunatitanand Swami did not look at the monkey, who was engrossed in 'jap' by turning rosary with his face down.
Swami told Gunatitanand that the human mind is like a monkey that enjoys such mischief and even Swami himself looked at it once but you he did not look at it even once.
Gunatitanand Swami was very much focussed and would not get distracted by anything else. That teaches us one should develop the ability to concentrate by turning the mala or doing any task, while studying or sitting in an assembly.
2- Sundarji Suthar
Once, the minister of a king, Sundarji Suthar was deputed to organize the marriage party of the Prince of Kutch to Gondal.
As he arrived Gondal, he learnt that Shriji Maharaj was staying at a nearby village, Bandhia at the house of Mulu Khachar.
So Sundarji Suthar requested the king's guards to look after the marriage group and arrived at Mulu Khachar's house.
Maharaj asked him who was he ! Sundarji replied that he was his servant and would act as per the wishe of his master. On this Maharaj decided to test Sundarji's devotion and told him to renounce everything and be initiated into the sadhu-fold.
Soon Sundarji became a sadhu and as per directions of Maharaj went on to a pilgrimage to Kashi.
Shriji Maharaj said to Muktanand Swami that he has done a wonderful thing by converting the king's minister into a sadhu.
Muktanand Swami told him that the king may not be happy for this act and we will leave a bad impression. Maharaj immediately sent Mulji Brahmachari and called Sundarji Suthar back and instructed him to go back to the marriage.
When Sundarji attended the marriage party, the guests questioned his looks and thought it to be inauspicious. However, Sundarji convinced them that he had gone to seek the darshan of his family deity and get blessings for the wedding.
All were happy satisfied by his explanation. Inwardly, Sundarji Suthar, having complete faith in Maharaj, had done everything that Maharaj asked him to do.
3- Maharaj's will
Once Muktanand Swami and Brahmanand Swami were travelling through Gujarat and came across a jealous bawa, who tied them up to a pillar.
The bawa threatened them that he was going to cut off their ears and nose. As he was sharpening the knife, Brahmanand Swami told him that on doing it people will think they have done some wrong act.
Muktanand Swami explained, "Everything happens only by Maharaj's wish." With this thought, they awaited their fate. Meanwhile, a devote, Raghav Jat was passing by who saw the worried sadhus and asked the bawa what was he up to ! The bawa told him his plan.
Raghav Jat who was a very strong man, instructed him to release them immediately. The scared bawa freed them soon. Muktanand Swami and Brahmanand Swami remained firm in their belief that everything happens according to Maharaj's will.
4- Food with Ghee
Once Muktanand Swami, Aatmanand Swami and other saints went to Aabu to propogate religion, when they had to stay without food for continuous four days.
On the fifth day a Brahmin visited them and invited them to his house and prepare the 'thaal' for Bhagwan and have some Prasad in the form of Khichdi.
At that time Shreeji Maharaj had started a chapter (prakaran) for saints, such that they should not eat Ghee. So Muktanand Swami asked the Brahmin not to put Ghee in the Khichdi.
But the Brahmin had put some Ghee in the Khichdi offered to God and unknowingly mixed that Khichdi in the rest of the Khichdi.
When the saints were before the thaal, some of them smelt Ghee in the Khichdi and refused to eat it due to the Prakaran initiated by Maharaj.
Muktanad Swami felt very sorry for the Brahmin and saints, who were without food for four days. He requested the saints to eat the Khichdi and assured them that he will bear whatever punishment Maharaj gives him.
Later on, as Maharaj knew the incident, he praised and embraced Muktanand Swami for his care of the brahmin and the saints.
5- Music competition
Once a music group from Gwalior came to Gadhada and requested Bhagwan Swaminarayan to hold a competition between them and his saints.
He added that - if they won they should receive a reward. The request was accepted and Shreeji Maharaj got the area cleaned and spread kumkum on it.
He then told Muktanand Swami to perform some devotional songs. Muktanand Swami tied rattles to his feet and with a kartal (musical instrument) started dancing with great affection and devotion.
While singing and dancing he had drawn with his feet a picture of Bhagwan Swaminarayan seated on an elephant. The opponent group was astonished to see it and bowed to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and surrendered their ego.
Satguru Shri. Muktanand Swami Videoes
1- Satguru Shri. Muktanand Swami Mantra
2- Arti Composed by Sadguru Muktanand Swami
2- Meditation guided by Sadguru Shri. Muktanand Swami