Swami Keshwanand, after whom the RAU has been renamed as Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner (SKRAU, Bikaner) vide Gazette notification No. F. 4 (2) vidhi/ 2/ 2009 dated June 09, 2009, was born at the village Magloona in Sikar district of present-day Rajasthan in the year 1883. His actual name was Birama. The famine of 1899 forced the 16-year-old Birama to leave the desert region and move to Punjab in search of livelihood. Driven by an ineffable spiritual quest, he became a sanyasi in 1904 and was inducted into the Udasin sec. He commenced his education at the Sadhu Ashram Fazilka. He learned the Hindi and Sanskrit languages and the Devanagari and Gurmukhi scripts at the Ashram. At the Kumbha Mela held at Prayag in 1905, Mahatma Hiranandji Avadhut conferred on Birama the new name “Swami Keshwanand”.
Swami Keshwanand, founded more than 300 schools, 50 hostels and innumerable libraries, social service centers and museums. In 1911, within a few years of his initiation into the Udasin Dasnami sect as a sanyasi, Swami Keshawanand started the “Vedant Pushp Vatika” library within the precincts of the Sadhu Ashram Fazilka.
It was Swami Keshwanand’s long time endeavour to eradicate social evils like untouchability, illiteracy, child marriage, alcohol abuse, moral dissipation etc. Swami Keshwanand’s deep understanding of the rural society of the desert region can be gleaned from his book “Maru Bhumi Seva Karya”. In this book, he has explained the peculiarities of the Desert region, identified the problems and suggested rational and feasible solutions.