Chapter 28 - Kashi, Reborn and Rediscovered
"Please do not go into the water. Let us bathe by dipping our buckets."
I was addressing the young Ranchi students who were accompanying me on an eight-mile hike to a neighboring
hill. The pond before us was inviting, but a distaste for it had arisen in my mind. The group around me
followed my example of dipping buckets, but a few lads yielded to the temptation of the cool waters. No
sooner had they dived than large water snakes wiggled around them. The boys came out of the pond with comical
We enjoyed a picnic lunch after we reached our destination. I sat under a tree, surrounded by a group of
students. Finding me in an inspirational mood, they plied me with questions.
"Please tell me, sir," one youth inquired, "if I shall always stay with you in the path of
"Ah, no," I replied, "you will be forcibly taken away to your home, and later you will marry."
Incredulous, he made a vehement protest. "Only if I am dead can I be carried home." But in a few months,
his parents arrived to take him away, in spite of his tearful resistance; some years later, he did marry.
After answering many questions, I was addressed by a lad named Kashi. He was about twelve years old, a
brilliant student, and beloved by all.
"Sir," he said, "what will be my fate?"
"You shall soon be dead." The reply came from my lips with an irresistible force.
This unexpected disclosure shocked and grieved me as well as everyone present. Silently rebuking myself as
an enfant terrible, I refused to answer further questions.
On our return to the school, Kashi came to my room.
"If I die, will you find me when I am reborn, and bring me again to the spiritual path?" He sobbed.
I felt constrained to refuse this difficult occult responsibility. But for weeks afterward, Kashi pressed
me doggedly. Seeing him unnerved to the breaking point, I finally consoled him.
"Yes," I promised. "If the Heavenly Father lends His aid, I will try to find you."
During the summer vacation, I started on a short trip. Regretting that I could not take Kashi with me, I
called him to my room before leaving, and carefully instructed him to remain, against all persuasion, in the
spiritual vibrations of the school. Somehow I felt that if he did not go home, he might avoid the impending
No sooner had I left than Kashi's father arrived in Ranchi. For fifteen days he tried to break the will of
his son, explaining that if Kashi would go to Calcutta for only four days to see his mother, he could then
return. Kashi persistently refused. The father finally said he would take the boy away with the help of the
police. The threat disturbed Kashi, who was unwilling to be the cause of any unfavorable publicity to the
school. He saw no choice but to go.
I returned to Ranchi a few days later. When I heard how Kashi had been removed, I entrained at once for
Calcutta. There I engaged a horse cab. Very strangely, as the vehicle passed beyond the Howrah bridge over
the Ganges, I beheld Kashi's father and other relatives in mourning clothes. Shouting to my driver to stop, I
rushed out and glared at the unfortunate father.
"Mr. Murderer," I cried somewhat unreasonably, "you have killed my boy!"
The father had already realized the wrong he had done in forcibly bringing Kashi to Calcutta. During the
few days the boy had been there, he had eaten contaminated food, contracted cholera, and passed on.
My love for Kashi, and the pledge to find him after death, night and day haunted me. No matter where I
went, his face loomed up before me. I began a memorable search for him, even as long ago I had searched for
my lost mother.
I felt that inasmuch as God had given me the faculty of reason, I must utilize it and tax my powers to the
utmost in order to discover the subtle laws by which I could know the boy's astral whereabouts. He was a soul
vibrating with unfulfilled desires, I realizeda mass of light floating somewhere amidst millions of luminous
souls in the astral regions. How was I to tune in with him, among so many vibrating lights of other
Using a secret yoga technique, I broadcasted my love to Kashi's soul through the
microphone of the spiritual eye, the inner point between the eyebrows. With the antenna of upraised hands and
fingers, I often turned myself round and round, trying to locate the direction in which he had been reborn as
an embryo. I hoped to receive response from him in the concentration-tuned radio of my heart.1
I intuitively felt that Kashi would soon return to the earth, and that if I kept unceasingly broadcasting
my call to him, his soul would reply. I knew that the slightest impulse sent by Kashi would be felt in my
fingers, hands, arms, spine, and nerves.
With undiminished zeal, I practiced the yoga method steadily for about six months after Kashi's death.
Walking with a few friends one morning in the crowded Bowbazar section of Calcutta, I lifted my hands in the
usual manner. For the first time, there was response. I thrilled to detect electrical impulses trickling down
my fingers and palms. These currents translated themselves into one overpowering thought from a deep recess
of my consciousness: "I am Kashi; I am Kashi; come to me!"
The thought became almost audible as I concentrated on my heart radio. In the
characteristic, slightly hoarse whisper of Kashi,2 I heard his summons
again and again. I seized the arm of one of my companions, Prokash Das, 3
and smiled at him joyfully.
"It looks as though I have located Kashi!"
I began to turn round and round, to the undisguised amusement of my friends and the passing throng. The
electrical impulses tingled through my fingers only when I faced toward a near-by path, aptly named
"Serpentine Lane." The astral currents disappeared when I turned in other directions.
"Ah," I exclaimed, "Kashi's soul must be living in the womb of some mother whose home is in this
My companions and I approached closer to Serpentine Lane; the vibrations in my upraised hands grew
stronger, more pronounced. As if by a magnet, I was pulled toward the right side of the road. Reaching the
entrance of a certain house, I was astounded to find myself transfixed. I knocked at the door in a state of
intense excitement, holding my very breath. I felt that the successful end had come for my long, arduous, and
certainly unusual quest!
The door was opened by a servant, who told me her master was at home. He descended the stairway from the
second floor and smiled at me inquiringly. I hardly knew how to frame my question, at once pertinent and
"Please tell me, sir, if you and your wife have been expecting a child for about six months?"
"Yes, it is so." Seeing that I was a swami, a renunciate attired in the traditional orange cloth, he added
politely, "Pray inform me how you know my affairs."
When he heard about Kashi and the promise I had given, the astonished man believed my story.
"A male child of fair complexion will be born to you," I told him. "He will have a broad face, with a
cowlick atop his forehead. His disposition will be notably spiritual." I felt certain that the coming child
would bear these resemblances to Kashi.
Later I visited the child, whose parents had given him his old name of Kashi. Even in infancy he was
strikingly similar in appearance to my dear Ranchi student. The child showed me an instantaneous affection;
the attraction of the past awoke with redoubled intensity.
Years later the teen-age boy wrote me, during my stay in America. He explained his deep longing to follow
the path of a renunciate. I directed him to a Himalayan master who, to this day, guides the reborn Kashi.
Chapter1 - My Parents and Early Life
Chapter2 - My Mother's Death and the Mystic Amulet
Chapter3 - The Saint With Two Bodies
Chapter4 - My Interrupted Flight Toward the Himalayas
Chapter5 - A "Perfume Saint" Displays His Wonders
Chapter6 - The Tiger Swami
Chapter7 - The Levitating Saint
Chapter8 - India's Great Scientist, J.C. Bose
Chapter9 - The Blissful Devotee and His Cosmic Romance
Chapter10 - I Meet My Master, Sri Yukteswar
Chapter11 - Two Penniless Boys in Brindaban
Chapter12 - Years in My Master's Hermitage
Chapter13 - The Sleepless Saint
Chapter14 - An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness
Chapter15 - The Cauliflower Robbery
Chapter16 - Outwitting the Stars
Chapter17 - Sasi and the Three Sapphires
Chapter18 - A Mohammedan Wonder-Worker
Chapter19 - My Master, in Calcutta, Appears in Serampore
Chapter20 - We Do Not Visit Kashmir
Chapter21 - We Visit Kashmir
Chapter22 - The Heart of a Stone Image
Chapter23 - I Receive My University Degree
Chapter24 - I Become a Monk of the Swami Order
Chapter25 - Brother Ananta and Sister Nalini
Chapter26 - The Science of Kriya Yoga
Chapter27 - Founding a Yoga School in Ranchi
Chapter28 - Kashi, Reborn and Rediscovered
Chapter29 - Rabindranath Tagore and I Compare Schools
Chapter30 - The Law of Miracles
Chapter31 - An Interview with the Sacred Mother
Chapter32 - Rama is Raised From the Dead
Chapter33 - Babaji, the Yogi-Christ of Modern India
Chapter34 - Materializing a Palace in the Himalaya
Chapter35 - The Christlike Life of Lahiri Mahasaya
Chapter36 - Babaji's Interest in the West
Chapter37 - I Go to America
Chapter38 - Luther Burbank -- A Saint Amidst the Roses
Chapter39 - Therese Neumann, the Catholic Stigmatist
Chapter40 - I Return to India
Chapter41 - An Idyll in South India
Chapter42 - Last Days With My Guru
Chapter43 - The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar
Chapter44 - With Mahatma Gandhi in Wardha
Chapter45 - The Bengali "Joy-Permeated" Mother
Chapter46 - The Woman Yogi Who Never Eats
Chapter47 - I Return to the West
Chapter48 - At Encinitas in California
Chapter49 - The Years - 1940 - 1951