Sri Sri Balananda Brahmachari Maharaj, one of the greatest yogi of India was born at Avantika, now Ujjani which is situated on the bank of Sipra in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Ujjani is historically renowned and also a place of Pilgrimage like Haridwar, Benaras etc. Mahakaleshwar, one of the twelve famous jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is situated in Ujjani and the famous Kumbha Mela takes place on the Bank of the Sipra river every twelve years. Sri Sri Balananda brahmachari maharaj left his home after getting his sacred thread only at the age of nine.Balanandaji’s early life, year or date of birth, all remains unconfirmed. Balanandaji’s father Banshilal was a very pious sarasvata Brahmin and a priest of Mahakaleshwar. A few months afterBalananda Maharajji’s departure from his house Banshilal passed away. None of his family members or any contemporaries are known to us, except his widowed mother the revered Narmada Devi. Narmada Devi came to Tapovan at Deoghar to meet his son Pitambar, the pre-monastic name of Balanandaji.
Pitamber became Balananda. Pitamber went to Hafeswar, for the darshan of the famous Shiva linga called Hafeswar Mahadev. Thereafter he crossed the Hangseshwar Tirtha, Deheri Sangam and then reached Shulopaniswar Mahadev Temple, where he completed different rituals. Following these visits Pitamber crossed piplad Ashram, Shukdev Tirtha, Koteswar and then he reached Sajat village to visit the famous Rudrakunda with the other monks. He stayed there with other wandering monks for 4 months, from Sukla Ekadasi of Ashwin to Purnima of Kartik for ending 2nd Chaturmatsha Brata. During the rainy season wandering monks usually doesn’t go anywhere, instead they spend their time for Tapasha (Sadhana, i.e. different ritual process for realization). After ending Chaturmatsha he went to Vimaleswar, where Pitamber saw the Arabian sea for the first time. Vimaleswar Tirtha was very dangerous for staying at night and only Pitamber stayed there alone, never having any sense of fear. Here, He met with another companion called Laxman. Together they crossed the Bhutnath Tirtha, Vrigu Tirtha, Kateswar, Nara Narayan Tirtha and then came to Gangonath, where the great soul, and one of the greatest Yogi Sri Sri Brahmananda Maharajji had his monastery. The most revered SaintBrahmanandaji had an ashram at Gangonath and it was at this place that Pitamber realized a eternal bonding with Brahmanandaji. Pitamber, at the age of ten plus had taken Naistik Brahmacharya diksha from Srimat Brahmanandaji and was renamed by his Guru as ‘Balananda’.
Sri Balananda Maharaj often told about two outstanding men during his stay at Narmada, one of them was the ‘Man of hidden Spiritual Power’ Brahmanandaji and other was Gourishankar Maharaj, the man who exuded Spiritual powers. Sri Brahmanandaji was 'The Master and Initiator' of Balanandaji and Sri Gourishankar was his 'The Master Teacher', both of whom we hold the highest regards for.