Param Pujya Dadashri was born on November 7, 1908 in the town of Tarsadi, Gujarat, India. As a child, he exhibited special qualities. His thinking was mature and wise beyond his age. His unique traits were partly due to his own personality and partly due to his mother's noble nurturing.
Zaverba, his virtuous mother, instilled in him the values of non-violence, empathy, and nobility from his early childhood. One day after school, he got into a fight and ended up beating up a boy. Later at home, while nursing his wounds Zaverba compassionately told him: “Be beaten, but do not beat anyone! Just think how much that poor boy must be suffering, and how hurt his mother would feel!”
Once when he complained about the bed bugs biting him, she told him, 'My dear, they bite me too but these poor bugs don't come with containers to carry away extra food with them. They eat their share and go away'.
From one of His mathematics assignments at school, He discovered God. While explaining this incident, Param Pujya Dadashri used to mention, "Our mathematics exercise was to find the lowest common number in all the given numbers (Lowest Common Multiple). It was from this exercise that I immediately discovered God. These living beings are all 'numbers'! God is indivisible and is present in them all. He exists as the common indivisible factor. God is in every living being, whether visible or invisible."
His kanthi (sacred thread worn around the neck) broke when He was twelve years old. Refusing to go with His mother to their current guru for a new one, He told her, "Guru means someone who gives you the light. I do not want to wear the kanthi of someone who cannot directly give me the light."
He had an obliging nature; He readily put others before himself and He was always ready to help. Instead of playing with His friends, He would go to a nearby Ashram and give service to the Ascetics who lived there. Pleased with his service, one ascetic said to him, "Son, God will take you to ultimate liberation (moksha)!" Immediately, Ambalal exclaimed, "If God is going to give me moksha, then I don't want it, because that would make Him my superior. If God gives me liberation, then He can also take it back! Liberation means there is no one above or below you." He was thirteen at the time.