I was born in the last decade of the nineteenth century, and passed my first eight years at Gorakhpur.
I was resentfully conscious of not being able to walk or express myself freely.Prayerful surges arose within me as I realized my bodily impotence.Happier memories, too, crowd in on me: my mother’s caresses, and my first attempts at lisping phrase and toddling step.These early triumphs, usually forgotten quickly, are yet a natural basis of self-confidence. Many yogis are known to have retained their self-consciousness without interruption by the dramatic transition to and from “life” and “death.” If man be solely a body, its loss indeed places the final period to identity.Although odd, clear memories of infancy are not extremely rare.
During travels in numerous lands, I have listened to early recollections from the lips of veracious men and women.Content to remain afar from the multitude, he gave himself unreservedly and in tranquillity to that ideal life which Paramhansa Yogananda, his disciple, has now described for the ages. I find my earliest memories covering the anachronistic features of a previous incarnation.Clear recollections came to me of a distant life, a yogi 2 amidst the Himalayan snows.To its illustrious author, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing both in India and America, may every reader render due appreciation and gratitude.His unusual life-document is certainly one of the most revealing of the depths of the Hindu mind and heart, and of the spiritual wealth of India, ever to be published in the West.These glimpses of the past, by some dimensionless link, also afforded me a glimpse of the future.