Jayprakash Narayan was born on 11 October 1902 in the village of Sitabdiara in Saran district of Bihar, India. He came from a Kayastha family.He was the fourth child of Harsu Dayal Srivastava and Phul Rani Devi. His father Harsu Dayal was a junior official in the Canal Department of the State government and was often touring the region. When Narayan was 9 years old, he left his village to enroll in 7th class of the collegiate school at Patna. While in school, Jayaprakash read magazines like Saraswati, Prabha and Pratap, books like Bharat-Bharati, and poems by Maithilsharan Gupta and Bharatendu Harishchandra which described the courage and valour of the Rajput kings. Jayaprakash also read the Bhagwad Gita. His essay, "The present state of Hindi in Bihar" won a best essay award. He excelled in school and by 1918 completed school and undertook the 'State Public Matriculation Examination' and won a District merit scholarship to Patna college.In October 1920, Narayan was married to Braj Kishore Prasad's daughter Prabhavati devi, a freedom fighter in her own right. At the time of marriage, Jayaprakash was 18 years and Prabhavati was 14 years of age, which was a normal age for marriage in that period. After their wedding, since Narayan was working in Patna and it was difficult for his wife to stay with him, on the invitation of Gandhi, Prabhavati became an inmate at the Ashram of Gandhi. Jayaprakash, along with some friends, went to listen to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad speak about the Non-co-operation movement launched by Gandhi against the passing of the rowlatt Act of 1919. The Maulana was a brilliant orator and his call to give up English education was "like leaves before a storm: Jayaprakash was swept away and momentarily lifted up to the skies. That brief experience of soaring up with the winds of a great idea left imprints on his inner being”. Jayaprakash took the Maulana’s words to heart and left Patna College with just 20 days remaining for his examinations. He joined the Bihar Vidyapeeth, a college run by the Congress.