(1618 - 1694 A. D.)
Shri Mehraj Thakur was born on the 26th of October 1618 (the fouteenth day of the dark half of Ashwin, the seventh month of the Hindu year Samvat 1675). His father, Keshav Thakur, was a Diwan in the state of Jamnagar. Mehraj's mother Smt. Dhanbai, was a pious lady. He was the fourth amongst their five sons.
At an early age, he was well versed in wordly knowledge and his father was dreaming of Mehraj following him in his footsteps. He was bold and aggressive and had good aptitude for spiritual knowledge. He came to listen to Shri Devchandra's discourses, in the company of his brother; Govardhan Thakur, at the early age of twelve. As he bowed before the master, Shri Devchandra saw in him a great visionary and recognized in him the great divine soul of Indravati, who was to carry on the work of awakening the souls, after Swami Devchandra. Mehraj Thakur wanted to have a glimpse of the Lord and his Lila, as described by Shri Devchandra. For that he started a life of penance but Shri Devchandra told him that all these hard practices were not essential as contemplation, training of the mind and service of mankind. "One should see the world as a stage and perform his duties as a seer without getting engrossed into it."
Shri Mehraj left Jamnagar and went to Dharol and accepted the post of a Diwan. He worked very efficiently and the king left everything to him. Suddenly, Shri Devchandra fell sick and he sent for Shri Mehraj. He wanted his work of awakening the souls -Jagani Lila- to be continued by Shri Mehraj. Shri Devchandra thought that his own son, was not fit for that work.
Shri Mehraj was with his Guru for three weeks. In this period, every aspect of spiritual, political, religious and social matters, were discussed and plan for the future was drawn up. After bestowing his powers and blessings on Mehraj, Shri Devchandra left his mortal and assigned his job of Jagni to Mehraj. Mehraj later disclosed that Lord's consort; Shyama; working through Devchandra, had made him Her instrument to perform the great task of taking the divine souls back to their abode - Paramdham.
While fulfilling this assigned job, Shri Mehraj - Lord Prannath - brought many changes into the Hindu society. While traveling throughout the country, he talked to many people in their language. That is the reason why there are six languages - Gujarati, Sindhi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi and also words of many other prevalent languages; in his works called Kuljam Swarup. Most of the books of Kuljam Swarup are in Hindi - Hindustani. The great thing about it is that all these languages are written in Devnagri - Hindi script. The Kuljam Swarup contains forteen books in 18758 verses which where compiled by his followers, as they were spoken by the Lord. Thus the Kuljam Swarup is the most authentic scripture of the world to Pranamis.
In his task of promulgating the faith, Mahamati Prannath travelled to every corner of India, and travelled, too, the Arab lands: Muscat, Basra, and to Bandar Abbas in Iran. In India he went to Junagarh, Thatthanagar, Naliya, Khambhaliya. In Surat he established the holy shrine of Shri Mahamangalpuri Dham.
Shri Prannath never stayed in one place for long. Inspite of the difficulties of traveling, he was moving around from place to place to awaken the divine souls. At that time, the Hindus were divided in the name of caste, creed, rituals etc. Exploitation of the poor, downtrodden and low castes was a common feature. Women were regarded as low species, not allowed to remarry even if they became widowed at an early age. Women were not allowed to read scriptures or to receive the sacred mantras. Sati or bride burning was in vogue. Mahamati Prannath, in his travels and discourses, tried to reform the Hindu society. He gave "Tartam Mantra" to the women. Some of them became preachers and started many centers for bringing awareness into the society.
During his travels, Mahamati met many saints and tried to unite them so that they could face the growing tyranny of the cruel Mughal King, Auragzeb. He attended many religious congregations like the Kumbh in Haridwar and tried to convince many Hindu saints that instead of praying to thousands of deities, we should pray to the Lord Supreme - the Adwait Brahman. In Haridwar, many saints and learned people were impressed by his philosophy. They realized that the time for the incarnation of "Vijayabhinand Budh Ji" had come which signified that satanic instincts of human beings will be ended and all will come under the folds of true religion - which is one and the only one and for all. In Haridwar, in the year Samvat 1735, the great Kumbha Mela took place, and there Mahamati Prannath introduced a number of people to Nijanand Sampraday. Followers of Shiva, of Shakti, and of Vishnu; the Four Sects, the Dasnam, ascetics, the followers of the six philosophies; all had realized the unparalleled wisdom of Mahamati Prannath, and proclaimed him to be the Vijayabhinand Nishkalank Budh and that day of that proclamation, an era began in his name, known as "Budh ji ka Saka".
In 1740 of the Hindu calendar, he met Maharaja Chhatrasal, the lion of the Bundela dynasty, and the flag of awakening was unfurled at last. Under the protection of Chhatrasal, the shrine of Padmavatipuri Dham was established, and it was during his eleven years in Panna, that Mahamati Prannath spoke the inspired message of the Tartam Vani or Kuljam Swarup, the sacred book which is the essence of all sacred books. The inspired Tartamya Vani or the integral knowledge came to him in jail in the state of Jamnagar, where he was made captive on a false charge. Throughout his life, he was reciting and giving this knowledge to his disciples, who were scribling it down. The collection of all these verses were split into fourteen books and later compiled into one great book, came to be known as "Kuljam Swarup", by his disciple, Shri Keshavdasji. He emphasized the oneness of the Muslim and Hindu faith and established a universal religion - a religion for all mankind and called it "Nijanand Dharma" or the blissful religion for the souls.
In the year 1751 of the Hindu calendar, on the fourth day of the dark half of Shravan, the fifth month, Mahamati Prannath completed his purpose in this world, and prepared to reside in the Highest Abode, "Paramdham". He passed down to Maharaja Chhatrasal the task of awakening the souls.