Premanand Swami was born to Hindu (Brahmin) parents in the town of Dora Bharuch in 1784 and named Hathiram on birth. His parents abandoned him at a young age. A Muslim family raised him, his foster father was Dosatai.
Dosatai wanted Hathiram to learn music. For this reason Dosatai sent Hathiram to Vadodara. His liaison with the Swaminarayan began when Swaminarayan arranged a musical concert, which Dosatai and Hathiram both attended. Attracted to Swaminarayan; thereafter Hathiram stayed with him. When given diksha, he was named Nijbodhanand Swami. His name was later changed to Premanand, due to his extreme love he showed, Swaminarayan praised Premanand Swami as an idol of love.
Premanand Swami was known for his poetic and musical talent. Premanand Swami composed the words of the Chesta Pad, which is sung and recited daily at all Swaminarayan Temples. He also wrote the Premanand Kavya. Swaminarayan also often referred to him as "Premsakhi."Gopalanand Swami requested Premanand Swami to compile the Chesta Pad, which vividly describes Swaminarayan's daily routine and habits. Premanand Swami compiled the Vandu Pad, prior to Swaminarayan's death, for the purpose of meditation. The Vandu Pad describes the beauty and appearance of Swaminarayan.