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The Beginning

Born on 8 February 1772, Brahmanand Swami was a living legend whose extraordinary life and works are still remembered today. He was not an ordinary poet who had become prominent merely because of talent and quick wit. But Brahmanand Swami was divine and whose birth had been prophesied by Ramanand Swami, “Sarvãvatãri Parabrahman Purushottam Nãrãyan ã brahmãndmã pragat thai saddharmanu sthãpan karshe tyãre anek dhãmonã avatãri ishvariya shaktio ane vibhutio pan temni sãthe ã lokmã pragat thashe. Ãvi j ek mahãn vibhuti tamãrã gãme bahu thodã samaymã pragat thashe.” – “When the supreme Parabrahman Purushottam Narayan manifests in this brahmand to establish dharma, many divine entities and powers from other abodes will manifest with him in this world. Such a great entity will be born shortly in your village.”

Three months after Ramanand Swami’s revelation, on a Saturday morning in the remote town of Khan, 45 km northwest of Mount Abu in Rajasthan, a magical moment was experienced by everyone in the vicinity. Even people from afar had travelled on camels and horses, drawn by an unknown, yet strong attraction, to witness a divine incident. Ramanand Swami’s prophecy was coming to life. A son was being born to the court poet, Shambhudanji, and his wife Laluba. The entire atmosphere was transformed. Everyone experienced unexplainable peace and divinity, feelings that were never experienced before. The newborn son was named Ladudanji.

Ladudanji mastered the skills of horse-riding, weaponry and yoga. Among other things, he grew fond of horses and excelled in being able to analyze the signs and qualities of different breeds. Simultaneously, he cradled a deep, inherent love for music. As a result, he began to study various instruments such as the mrudang, nagara and dholak.

By the age of 15, Ladudanji had travelled to Mount Abu, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. He possessed a unique attraction to the mysteries of nature. Many times he would go to Mount Abu and for days observe the wonders of the mountains, waterfalls and lakes. He would lose himself to the landscape and scenery. Worried by this repeated habit, his father was eager to engage Ladudanji in any type of activity in order to suppress his mind’s affinity towards spirituality and nature. After his primary education, Shambhudanji attempted to divert his son’s interests to farming. His efforts proved fruitless. Finally, a divine message conveyed to the family in their dreams encouraged Ladudanji’s father to send him to Kutch in order to study Pingal and other sciences. This decision proved to be a turning point in Ladudanji’s life. Later, Ladudanji would grow to be an unrivalled poet and a gem among Shriji Maharaj’s paramhansas. This was beyond anything that Shambhudanji had envisioned.

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