C.K. Ramaswamy (Ramu) was born in Chettipalayam, near Coimbatore, in South India. His father, Sri Kalyanasundaram, was a landowner, village leader, Tamil scholar, and acclaimed poet. His mother, Srimati Velammai, was a devout woman who prayed to conceive a child endowed with divine virtues and found her prayers answered. From the time he was a child, he showed great spiritual sensitivity and an inclination towards difficult yogic practices.