It is a great honor for me to write the experiences of Paramhansa Yogananda.
I was born into a family where my grandfather, Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, and my grandmother, Gyanaprova Ghosh, both became disciples of the great guru Lahiri Mahasaya of Varanasi. That was the turning point of this family. Paramhansa Yogananda, our beloved Guruji, was born and was blessed by Lahiri Mahasaya, and gradually he grew up to become a great figure in the spiritual world.
I am the happiest man not only because I am Guruji’s nephew, but because I was born in Guruji’s home at 4 Garpar Road, Calcutta, and I have been living here for 74 years. Just imagine what a blessing it is to be born in Guruji’s family and to live in the same house where Guruji lived and was enlightened.
I am also happy as I was born with the blessings of Guruji. It so happened I had an elder brother who died when he was only eleven months old. When my mother was carrying me, Guruji was leaving for America in 1920. My mother asked his blessings so that this time the child would live.
Guruji blessed my mother and said, “Don’t worry. You will have another male child and this time he will live.” He also gave my mother a small bangle (armlet) for me which was made of gold, silver, and copper and asked my mother to have me wear the bangle after my birth. I was born only two months after Guruji left for America. When he came back to India 15 years later in 1935, he inquired about me.
“Where is Hare Krishna?” My parents showed me to him. Guruji caught hold of me and asked me, “Where is that bangle I gave to your mother for you?” I showed him the bangle, which I was wearing on my right arm. Guruji himself took away the bangle from my arm and gave it back to my mother and said, “This boy does not require this any more. He is quite safe.” So you see how I was born with his blessings.
I grew up in the spiritual environment of our house as many yogis and saints like Sri Yukteswarji, Sri Kebalanandaji (Guruji’s Sanskrit teacher), Sri Bhupendra Nath Sanyal (Sanyal Mahasaya), and many others used to come to meet with my grandfather from time to time. As I was a calm and quiet boy, my life was transformed to be religious minded. I remember when I was five or six years old, I heard about Guruji for the first time from my grandfather and my mother. They used to tell me many stories about Guruji and I was at once attracted to him.
My mother, Parul Lata Ghosh, was religious minded. She was a lean and thin lady but very active, and looked after the household work efficiently all through her life. Her love for children and all the relatives was unique. I always respected her sweet nature and behaviour. She was very popular amongst all the relatives of our family, young or old.