Autobiography of a Yogi : Paramahansa Yogananda

Book Introduction:

Autobiography of a Yogi is one of the world’s most hailed spiritual masterpieces.

The book portrays the story of Paramahansa Yogananda — who is usually mentioned as the Father of Yoga in the West. This book has reached the souls and spirits of millions around the world. Interpreted into fifty languages, it has served as a representative for India’s time-honored science of Yoga. Including innumerable readers to the means for accomplishing God-realisation that are India’s novel and enduring present to human civilization.

This book steers the reader on a voyage into the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his rendezvous with spiritual figures of both worlds. Starting from his boyhood, his family life, to finding his guru and becoming a monk. Discovering his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation, this text provides the reader to observe the spiritual craving of the man. It makes the readers realize that craving over the years. It induces both his individual encounters and tales/meetings with elevated spiritual personalities. It also gives an association with nineteenth-century master Lahiri Mahasaya.

Autobiography of a Yogi is an initiation to the practices of kriya yoga. It emphasizes the value of Kriya Yoga and a life of self-esteem, patience, perseverance, pure food, and consistent workout.

Author Introduction:

Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda was born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh in Gorakhpur to a religious Bengali family. In 1920, Yogananda went to the United States as India’s ambassador to an International Congress of Religious Liberals. The same year he established the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to propagate his teachings globally. His teachings were of India’s old systems and philosophy of yoga and its culture of meditation. 

He was a chief disciple of the Bengali Yoga Guru Swami Shri Yukteshwar Giri. Yukteshwar Giri assigned him to spread the teachings of Yoga to the West. In this visit, he also proved the unity between Eastern and Western religions. His long-standing contribution to the yoga movement of Los Angeles led him to be called by experts as the “Father of Yoga in the West”.

Paramhansa Yogananda was the first Indian teacher to settle in America. He was the first Indian to be hosted by the White House by President Calvin Coolidge in the year 1927. This early acclaim led him to be called as “20th century’s first superstar guru”, by the Los Angeles Times. After arriving in Boston in the year 1920, he undertook a successful transcontinental speaking tour. He finally settled in Los Angeles in 1925. For the next two and a half decades, he endeavored to disseminate his influence worldwide. During this time, he also created a devout order and enlightened followers and went on teaching tours.

In 1924, he began on a speaking tour across the continents. Throughout this period, he dragged infinite superstar participants. These stars included singer Amelita Galli-Curci, musician Vladimir Rosing. He was also followed by Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the descendant of Mark Twain. Yogananda was the first Hindu guru of yoga to live a significant part of his life in America. Paramahansa Yogananda accessed Mahasamadhi in March 1952. His memorial is in Palo Alto, California.

Excerpts from the book:

The following excerpt is taken from the book, From Chapter 1 – My Parents and Early Life. We’ve added bold/italics to some quotes for importance.

Chapter 1 – My Parents and Early Life

“To their joy, he initiated your parents in the spiritual practice of KRIYA YOGA. Your father and I, as brother disciples, have been close friends since the memorable day of the vision. Lahiri Mahasaya took a definite interest in your own birth. Your life shall surely be linked with his own: the master’s blessing never fails.”

Lahiri Mahasaya left this world shortly after I had entered it. His picture, in an ornate frame, always graced our family altar in the various cities to which Father was transferred by his office. Many a morning and evening found Mother and me meditating before an improvised shrine, offering flowers dipped in fragrant sandalwood paste. With frankincense and myrrh as well as our united devotions, we honored the divinity which had found full expression in Lahiri Mahasaya.

 “Why come to view my bones and flesh when I am ever within range of your KUTASTHA (spiritual sight)?”

I was blessed about the age of eight with a wonderful healing through the photograph of Lahiri Mahasaya. This experience gave intensification to my love. While at our family estate in Ichapur, Bengal, I was stricken with Asiatic cholera. My life was despaired of; the doctors could do nothing. At my bedside, Mother frantically motioned me to look at Lahiri Mahasaya’s picture on the wall above my head.

“Bow to him mentally!” She knew I was too feeble even to lift my hands in salutation. “If you really show your devotion and inwardly kneel before him, your life will be spared!”

I gazed at his photograph and saw there a blinding light, enveloping my body and the entire room. My nausea and other uncontrollable symptoms disappeared; I was well. At once I felt strong enough to bend over and touch Mother’s feet in appreciation of her immeasurable faith in her guru. Mother pressed her head repeatedly against the little picture.

Link to get the book:

You can get your copy of ‘Autobiography of a Yogi‘’ By Paramhansa Yogananda from Here: and

Reviews of the book:

“As an eyewitness recountal of the extraordinary lives and powers of modern Hindu saints, the book has an importance both timely and timeless….His unusual life document is certainly one of the most revealing…of the spiritual wealth of India ever to be published in the West.”

— W. Y. Evans-Wentz, M.A., D.Litt., D.Sc., Renowned scholar and author of many books on Eastern religion

“I am grateful to you for granting me some insight into this fascinating world.”

— Thomas Mann, Nobel laureate

“Few books…have had greater impact on popular theology than Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.”

— Phyllis A. Tickle, Author, God-Talk in America

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