Shree Brahmanand Swami, whose Brahmabol still echoes in Shree Swaminarayan Sampradaya and the religious history of Gujarati literature, was a great saint of Shree Swaminarayan Sampradaya. Brahmanand Swami has unique importance as a saint-poet in Gujarati literature as well as Indian literature.
Swami was born to the mother Laluba in the family of Ladudanji in village Khan of Rajasthan on Maha Sud 5, Samvat 1828. In his childhood he was known as Ladudan. By nature he was very brilliant and intelligent child. At the age of just 15 years he showed his poetic powers in the Darbar of Maharaj of Udepur amongst so many poets. Rana was very pleased with him and sent him to study Pingal-Shastra in Kachchh.
In a very short period. Ladudanji learnt different 24 arts of vocal and instrumental music and writing. Master of 24 arts out of total 64 arts, he was praised by all in the Raj-Darbar. Once Ladudanji came to Bhavnagar to take the test of the Lord Swaminarayan, but the moment he had Darshan of Lord Swaminarayan, he left the worldly life and became a permanent pilgrim of the spiritual journey. Once Laduba tried to give Jivuba the taste of worldly life but on the contrary love towards the Lord prevailed in him completely and his life was saffronized. He became Shree Rangdas.
Shree Rangdas filled his art and skill with compassion of God. He created so many poems on the various subjects like Gyan (Knowledge), Karma (Action) and Dhyan (Meditation). Shree Hari did not find the name ‘Shree Rangdas’ in his poems and, therefore, he was again renamed as ‘Brahmanand’. His poetic powers flourished in full with the support of permanence. Even the British officers and other non-satsangi people remained greatly influenced by him.
Brahmanand Swami was not only the master of words; he was also the master of sculpture. Structures of Swaminarayan temples of Vadtal, Muli and Junagadh bears witness to it. His great sense of humour was also unique. Even his presence could cause laughter among the people. Either on the occasion of Sabha or on any special occasion, he could convince Shree Hari through his affection and laughter.
His poetic creations have been collected and published in two volumes entitled Brahmanand Kavya Volume-I and Volume-II. The nectar like rain of his poems sprinkles on the readers. His best metrical literary creation is ‘Chhanda-Ratnavali’. His padas have found place in ‘Asharam Bhajanavali’. He has intermingled Gyan (Knowledge) and Vairagya (Renunciation) in his worship of Gopis equally. Brahmanand Swami served the Sampradaya as well as literature continuously for 60 years and at last passed away to Akshardhaam in Muli on Jeth Sud 10 in Samvat 1888.