When asked about his birth, Maharaj usually replied that he was never born. Verified facts about his early life are unknown. There may be different versions of the past.
Sri Nisargadatta was born on April 17, 1897, to Shivrampant Kambli and Parvatibai, in Bombay. The day being the birthday of Lord Hanuman, the boy was named 'Maruti'. Maruti Shivrampant Kambli was brought up in Kandalgaon, a small village in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
Later, he moved back to Bombay. After different incidents in his life, he settled down in a small family apartment of Vanmali Bhavan building on 10th lane of Khetwadi area, maintaining one tiny street-front shop as an income-source for his family, mainly selling bidis – leaf-rolled cigarettes. Here, a small room had been created upstairs for him to receive disciples and visitors, and also for daily chanting, bhajans, meditation sessions and discourses.
Nisargadatta was strictly against forming ashrams around him. His teachings are spread through the few books written by his close disciples.