Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins.com

On the ninth of August 1936 I was born in the town of Sri Dungargarh, at four in the morning: the time of Brahma, the god of creation, a time of complete stillness, calm, and peace. As the rays of the sun touch the earth, so the rays of knowledge come to the soul.

When Mother consulted the Brahmin who was the village astrologer about her dream, he said that I was the child of her unfulfilled wishes and that I would never have gold or jewels and that I would never reach my destination. Life for me would be an unending, continuous journey. Then, offering ghee

(melted butter) to the fire, the Brahmin named me Bhairav Dan, which means "gift of Shiva."
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