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:: Holy Saints

Birth Place : Village : Khan
Distt. : Dungarpur , Rajasthan State.
Father : Gadhavi Shambhudanji
Mother : Lalba Devi
Date of Birth : Vasant Panchami, the fifth day of the bright half of Maha, V.S. 1828.

At the foot hills of great mountain Mt Abu, there is one small village named Khan, in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan state. Gadhavi Shambhudanji and mother Lalbadevi gave birth to one of our Sampraday's great saints Brahmandand Swami. Once Ramanand Swami had graced this village during his religious tour and had thaal at the house of Shambudanji and started giving satsang discourses to the couple.. During this enlightening Satsang Mother Lalbadevi slipped into sleep due to her advance stage of pregnancy. All of a sudden a voice emerged from within Lalbadevi and prayed to Ramanand Swami, 'Oh Ramanand Swami ! Tell us about glory and greatness of Lord Purushottam.'

Everybody heard this deep and mysterious voice and were surprised to hear it come from within Lalba Devi. Swami, realised that the existence of a Mukta of Akshardham was in womb of Lalbadevi, and addressed him,

'Oh Great soul! You are to sing the glory and greatness of Purushottam Narayan on this earth.'

Then Swami addressed Shambhudanji about the birth of a great soul in his family and praised his fortune. Swami then left for his next destination. After some time, on the fifth day of the bright half of Maha in V.S. 1828, Lalbadevi gave birth to a boy baby. Divine brilliance and bliss were emitted from the new born. They named him Ladudan.

Once Ladudanji attended a marriage ceremony of the king of Udaipur. He was young in his age but due to his brilliance, his schooling was completed well before time. There in the royal court he sang a few poems in Gujarati language praising king and his virtues. Rana of Udaipur pleased at the poetic genius of the child and asked Shambhudanji to allow him to be taught Pingal (sceince of constructing poetry) to the child at the cost of the state. Thus, Ladudanji learnt pingal and Sanskrit scriptures from Ladhaji Rajput of Dhamadka. Ladudanji became a scholar in Pingal, poetry and scriptures.

Ladudanji earned fame and wealth by visitng stately courts of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur etc. The States and kings were greatly impressed by his poetic genius. He earned many prizes, gifts and honours.

In Dhamadka, he bathed daily in river the Saranganga. There on the river bank, he met a hermit who told him that he was a released soul and will meet his God under the shade of a Khijda tree.

On one occasion Ladudanji visited Bhuj where he had heard about Sahajanand Swami and his divine glory. He went to the residence of Sundarjibhai to do darshan of Lord Shri Hari.

As he entered, he saw Lord Shri Hari clad in white cloth and gracing a majestic seat. With great compassion and mercy, Shriji Maharaj was addressing Satsang of Bhuj. Tears rolled from the eyes of Ladudan as he glanced at Shriji Maharaj. He was overwhelmed with great surge of emotion. From his place, he offered Dandavat pranam and words 'Aaj ni Ghadi re, Dhanya, Aaj in Gahdi' rolled out from his mouth in form of a devotional song praising divine attributes of Shriji Maharaj. Shriji Maharaj rose from his seat, rushed forward and embraced him with great love.

Shriji Maharaj returned to Gadhada with poet Ladudanji. Ladudanji lived a majestic and royal life befitting a courtier. He was always clad in most precious attires and was adorning jewellery befitting royalty. Shriji Maharaj did not like such luxurious life style but instead of preaching directly he changed Ladudanji through the preaching of Laduba, Jivuba where he sent him to try and persuade them to enter marriage. Instead of giving them advise Laduba spoke words which touched Ladudanji's heart and realising who he was and the greatness of Shriji Maharaj he disowned all luxuries and submitted everything at the lotus feet of Shriji Maharaj. Thereafter, there were many instances and invitations from the princely states and kings to grace the court and receive the honour. But he never paid a heed to it.

On the way from Gadhpur to Siddhapur, there is one small village named Gerita. Shriji Maharaj graced Gerita and administrated Bhagwati Deeksha to Ladudanji by giving sainthood name 'Shrirangdasji.' After some time, Shri Maharaj renamed him as Brahmanand.

Like Muktanand Swami, Brahmanand Swami was an excellent poet. His skills and brilliance in temple building is evident in temples like Muli, Vadtal and Junagadh. He was true genius, practical and unique in every sense and very popular because of humour. For him, Shriji Maharaj was like an accomplice as well as his God. If Shriji Maharaj was lost in some thoughts, if he was serious, worried or displeased due to one reason or another, Brahmanand Swami came forward delighted Shriji Maharaj.

One example of Brahmanand Swami's brilliance at poetry can be seen when on one occasion he was sitting in an assembly. Shriji Maharja saw that Swami was dozing. Shriji always kept nuts with him and He threw a nut at the Swami. Brahmanand Swami opened his eyes and said 'I was not sleeping Maharaj, I was composing a poem.' Shriji Maharaj asked him to recite the lyric. Brahmanand Swami started the lyric instantly and audience repeated the lines one after another. He described the divine image of Shriji Maharaj and His exploits.

Besides the construction of great temples in Muli, Vadtal, Junagadh etc, Brahmanand Swami had written scriptures in Hindi and Gujarati. 'Brahmanand Kavya' is the collection of his works.

 
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