Asaram Bapu ji was born as Asumal on April 14, 1941 in an affluent family in Sindh, Pakistan; Asumal was the second amongst four children of Thaumal Sirumalani, a businessman. His mother, Mangiba, always told him to pray to Lord Krishna which is a routine he follows till date. Asumal would listen to stories of Ramayana, Bhagavatha and other scriptures from his mother. In childhood every holy person who met Asumal predicted that Asumal would be a renowned yogi.
During the Partition in 1947, the family fled from Pakistan to Ahmadabad, India. Asumal was popular and always liked by all for his kindness & generosity. The teachers used to praise Asumal for being cheerful, pure-hearted and intelligent. Teachers used to call him Hansmukh bhai as he always kept smiling.At the age of 10 after his father’s demise, he was more determined to understand and know the existence of life and the mystery behind it. He always yearned for spiritual knowledge.
Asumal's growing detachment to the world worried his family. His family fixed a date of his marriage but he ran away from his home eight days before the day of marriage. His family started searching for him and found him in Ashok Ashram in Bharuch and took him back home.He got married though he wanted to spend his life unfolding the mystery of life and walk in the divine path. He found a soul mate in Lakshmi Devi, who understood his quest. He left home in 1968 and wandered to all the pilgrim spots in India, searching for God. He told Lakshmi Devi he would be back after self realization.
Asumal then went to Vrindavan, the land of Lord Krishna. Here he was inspired to go to the ashram of the Guru, Swami Sri Lilashahji Maharaj. Asumal had to wait for 40 days to get even a glimpse of the Guru. He with devotion waited and served the Ashram and started doing dyaan at the back of the river Narmada. A local saint Shri Lalji Maharaj understood his depth of spiritual thought devotion and made arrangements for Asumal to stay in Datt Kutir of Ram Niwas (Lalji Maharaj's Ashram). Asumal started the 40 day Anushthan here. Near Naintial he met his Guru Shri Lilashahji Maharaj who guided him and answered his doubts and put him on the destined path. Shri Lilashahji Maharaj accepted him as his disciple
He stayed there for 70days. His spiritual quest was now a raging fire, which could only be quenched by complete realization. He attained enlightenment on October 7, 1964. And Asaram was born which is a blessing to the world at large. Pujjya Lila Shahji Maharaj instructed Asaram ji to serve the humanity by staying as a householder.
Asram Babu meditated in the caves of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India, in various places like Disa, Naareshwar Dhaam, and Himalayas and so on. Asaram Bapu finally went back to Ahmadabad in 1971. In 1972, he built a small cottage on the banks of Sabarmati, and spread his positive aura around, the fragrance of divinity through out the place which helped many, healed many and brought happiness to all who came and took his blessings.
There are 200 Ashram’s workings under the guidance of Asaram Bapu ji. These ashrams organize spiritual and social activities on a regular basis.During his discourses, Asaram Bapu ji encourages devotees to meditate on the mantra Om Namah Bhagvate Vasudevay. "This reverential chanting soothes”, he says. Apart from holding Satsangs and discourses, Asaram Bapu ji is actively involved in distributing free medicines and food in calamity-stricken areas. Asaram Bapu ji also believes that it’s very important to revive our culture and tradition, take the best out of it. After all, ours is a spiritual land, we must not lose the Spiritual essence, the fragrance with which the whole world associates India. Asaram Babu ji says, ‘Do not be attached with the objects which you are seeing. Be a witness to all the happenings around you and always abide in the blissful Atman and be happy’.
Asaram Bapu has taken it upon himself to propagate de-addiction. For this he has even brought out a booklet ‘Nashe Se Savdhan’ and held camps all over India even for Prisoners. People have got addiction free and have gone to spiritual path after Bapu ji showed them the right path to attain peace and inner self happiness. Many people have gained through Bapuji’s preaching’s and healing methods which bring cheerfulness into life with inner peace happiness growing and glowing. Bapu ji conveys the highest spiritual truth in the simplest language, which reaches the common man and there is transmission of divine positive energy.
Asaram Bapuji’s wife manages the women's section of the Ashram and his daughter also pitches in. About 150 women of all ages live there and have benefited from the various scheme and missions which provide education and welfare of women. Irrespective of caste, creed and culture to look after fellow human beings is Ashram’s motto.
The main ashram in Ahmadabad, India, hosts an Ayurvedic clinic, Gaushala and sadhana hall which is special as there is the Maun mandir -temple of silence. Regular camps to educate women and make them aware of their rights are organized. There are over 1200 Sri Yoga Vedanta Seva Samiti's established by the guidance of Bapu ji around the world. Bal Sanskar Kendra or BSK for short are sessions and camps conducted for all-round and comprehensive development of children/students.
In 1993, at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Asaram Bapu ji was elected as a committee member of the Assembly of Global Religions. At a programme in Ajmer, Bapu ji was felicitated by the khidmatgar of the world famous dargah of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.