An Idol of Devotion Shriji Maharaj had specially taken care of certain saints for their Sanskrit education at Dabhan. All these saints jointly begged and sat together for lunch. There was young Brahmin boy named Jagannath who would curiously witness all their activities. Jagannath would patiently listen also hear their Bhajans and would sometimes participate in it. Saints never touch money. They never hoard anything but books. They never loose their temper when beaten, insulted or abused. After always on seeing this, Jagannath would also feel to tread in their foot steps. He wanted to worship and thereby wanted to make his life a grand success. Day by day, this thought of becoming a Sadhu an a Scholar took hold upon him and, one day, getting an opportunity, ran away from his home. He was hardly sixteen or seventeen at that time.
The destination, for Jagannath, was already fixed. It was from where the saints had come. It was him who had sent those saints here. Shriji Maharaj was encamping at Gadhada at that time. Once Shriji Maharaj was seated on a wooden cot under a neem tree. The whole gathering of saints and followers sat before him. Suddenly, Maharaj said, “Shukdevji is coming, let's go to welcome him,” saying thus, Maharaj got up, and the whole gathering got up too. They all arrived near Radhavan. There Maharaj said to some saints, “I stop here, you go ahead and bring here Shukdevji,” Maharaj stayed there and others moved ahead.There they met a boy of Seventeen. He was Jagannath.
The saints wondered when they saw Jagannath instead of Shukdev. They waited for one who was Shukdev; but when, after a long waiting they could not meet and another man, they went to Maharaj with Jagannath. Maharaj inquired, “Did you get Shukdevji?” “No”, replied the saints. Then Maharaj smiled and said,” The person who has come with you is himself Shukdevji. Jagannath did not understand all this. He bowed down his head to Maharaj. Maharaj blessed him by putting his hand on Jagannath's head. He returned to Gadhada along with him. Maharaj kept Jagannath in company of celibate saints and gave him good education. Now Jagannath became a scholar.
Maharaj got him initiated by Muktanand and made him a Sadhu. Muktanand gave him a new name of Shukanand. Shukanand means Shukmuni, Shukdev. Maharaj said, “He is Shukdevji that is his name of his previous birth. Muktanand Swami might be knowing this”. Shukanand Swami was a great scholar. He had a wonderful command over Sanskrit language. Gujarati was his mother-tongue. So Maharaj kept him with him. Maharaj entrusted him the work of all correspondence on his behalf. Most of Maharaj used to say, “Shukmuni is my right hand. this Dabhani Sadhu has been very much useful to me.”
Shukmuni, the right hand of Maharaj, is a wonderful jewel of our Sampraday. Once Maharaj wanted him to write a letter. At that time Swami was too feverish
to stand up, but how can he disobey Maharaj. Two men lifted him up and took him to Maharaj. Maharaj smiled. It was the smile of such a divinity that fascinated the three worlds. That smile is called “Bhuvan-Mohan-Smit”, With this smile, Maharaj asked, “Where's the fever?” Hardly had Maharaj said these words when the fever disappeared. Shukmuni was quite normal. He sat straight with pen and paper, ready to write. From that day onward fever and disease never visited upon Shukanand. Now Swami was always healthy and without any disease.
When Shriji Maharaj left this world for heavenly abode-DHAM, Shukanand Swami thought, “This kind of body won't do. If the body doesn't fall ill, it will give birth to fascinate on MOHA. Therefore the body must fall ill and it should perish after undergoing hardships”. He prayed to Maharaj, “Maharaj, have mercy on me”. Maharaj appeared to him and said, “Tell me why have you called me?”
“Return my previous sickness - fever,” said Swami. “Alright as you please” said Maharaj. From that day onward, Shukdev Swami had fever. He suffered a lot for six months because of fever. But he was happy in it because the body was ailing and he was in great happiness. He died of that illness. Swami has written sixteen volumes. Seven of them are in Sanskrit. The remaining six are in Gujarati. The great immortal volume containing Maharaj's speeches, “VACHANAMRIT' would be prepared only by his great contribution. Shukmuni was one of them who firmly believed their happiness in the wish of Maharaj. Maharaj has written for Shukmuni in VACHANAMRIT. “This Shukmuni is a great Sadhu. The day when he joined me, I have always found him developing spiritually. He is totally coloured with spiritually - the colour which will never fade”. What more does a person required in life who has received such a marvellous certificate from Shriji Maharaj?