Stage One – Ordinary World

Young Kashinath Mishra’s world was not ordinary by our standards.  The India of the late 19th Century was a land of faith, of mystic tradition.  Four months prior to Kashinath’s birth, his mother Sampattidevi had a dream in which she had a vision of Lord Krishna:
 “A very great being is going to be born to you,” he said.  Don’t misunderstand him.  Don’t mistake him for an ordinary person.  Take great care of him” (THIOF, p.12).

Of course the prophetic dream here parallels Mary’s visitation by the angel Gabriel –

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…  (Luke, Chapter I, Verses 26 – 32, King James Version)

As well as the Brahmins’ interpretation of the prenatal dream of Lord Buddha (Gautama)’s mother:

 "Be not anxious, great king!" said the Brahmins; "a child has planted itself in the womb of your queen, and it is a male child and not a female. You will have a son. And he, if he continue to live the household life, will become a Universal Monarch; but if he leave the household life and retire from the world, he will become a Buddha, and roll back the clouds of sin and folly of this world." (Jataka, introduction, p. 50)

Kashinath was born into a family that was very religious, but not unique by its own cultural standards.