Poem by Paramhansa Yogananda
Inner Culture, May 1935
After four and ten years, when I behold Thee, My India,
I shall roll in the dust at Thy Feet,
And I shall behold the scenes where childhood laughed, wept, and dreamed.
And I shall weep for the familiar flowers of faces that are plucked from the vase of my gaze,
And I shall stand, as of yore, with folded hands under the temple of sheoli leaves,
Where the tree willingly dropped blossoms on the altar of the grass,
Where my tears commingled with the fragrant, devoted dew
To wash the feet of Thy Light.
And I shall go places where I was not allowed to go before
Because I was a little boy.
And I shall touch the sod where the faded footprints of my beloved Gurus and parents sleep,
And I shall see the dear faces made sad by my forgetfulness and the despair of never seeing me again.
They will gleam with the joy of seeing me come to life once more.
I shall return to those places where I wept for God and
Waited long for Him, expectant, doubt-filled, sorrow-filled,
Anguish-filled, despair-filled, only to laugh and wildly dance
In ecstasy of unexpected meetings, when I least anticipated His Presence.
Ah, those dreams, beloved dreams, forgotten, darling dreams,
I shall dream again in the sweet company of India.
India and I played, wept, and laughed together.
India and I will play, laugh, weep, pray, and dance in ecstasy together again.
I shall behold every little, dark, forgotten niche
Where memory will rekindle the light of faded candles of experiences,
And I shall behold the same sky and moon,
And embrace the same breeze laden with the fragrant living God
Blossomed into Being in the garden of devotion of the great Masters.
And if I see India once more,
I shall blush to hear again from Her Lips
Of my first love, of my love for the Most Beloved of all.