Jegat Maha Guru Gnanavallal Paranjothi Mahan was born on May 2, 1903 at 8.30 pm in a small village in Kansapuram, part of Virudhunagar district, Srivillputhur in Tamil Nadu.Raised in a poor family, much of Mahan’s life was poverty-ridden. On Nov 11, 1911, at about 11 am, Mahan who was a young boy of 8, noticed a crowd in the village school. Driven by curiosity, he went inside the school and enquired from one of the onlookers about what was going on there. The person told him that the school was having a function to celebrate the coronation of the Emperor in London. The function was organized as a mark of respect to the Emperor.
Mahan then asked him, why it was necessary to have such a huge celebration to respect the Emperor. The onlooker replied to him that the Emperor was the “administrator and the saviour of the people,” and hence the need to respect and bow down to him. Mahan, who had got more curious by now, asked him, “Will the Emperor not bow down to anybody?” The man said, “ Yes he will.... to God.” Instantly Mahan asked him, “Can we see God ?” The man smiled and said, “Yes. You can see God.”