Wave Playing With Young Yogananda

  • I am a young child, walking on the beach with a couple of friends. It's not a warm day--the sun is hidden above a grey blanket of fog. I approach the water with the intention of swimming. The waves are breaking right on the shore, eight feet high and brown with churned-up sand. With a strange absence of fear, I am pummeled by the mass of water and thrown back up the sandy slope. I'm unsure of how to pass the barrier and lament to my companions. A dark-skinned boy, about my own age and height, approaches us from down the beach. His immense brown eyes gaze at us steadily as he speaks, telling us he knows how to deal with the waves. I recognize those eyes, and the child's Indian accent confirms it: he is Paramahansa Yogananda in a child's body. He demonstrates his suggested technique by kneeling in the sand with his face to the ground and his back to the breaking waves. The wall of water swells behind him before arching down over his tiny body. When the tumult clears, he is nowhere to be seen. Soon he appears on the beach again and joins us as we try his method. As the wave breaks over me, I feel the sand beneath me turn to liquid and then I am in the cold sea.

  • Sitting atop a plant encrusted sand dune with Yoganandaji. We talk sparingly, mostly sitting in friendly silence and gazing out on the ocean.