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Autobiography of a Yogi

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  22,036 ratings  ·  955 reviews
Autobiography of a Yogi was written by Yogananda (1/5/1893–3/7/52) in 1946. It introduced many Westerners to meditation & yoga. The book describes his search for a guru & encounters with figures such as Therese Neumann, Sri Anandamoyi Ma, Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir C.V. Raman & Luther Burbank, to whom it's dedicated. A preface was written by Walt ...more
Paperback, 710 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1946)
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Rajat Ubhaykar
Written with supreme confidence, there is an exceptional clarity of thought that runs throughout this book which will appeal to a man who's kept his mind open to possibilities beyond the realm of the usual. Anyway, the text of the book is peppered with miracles that will sound bizarre and will blow your mind wide open. There is also a chapter which describes 'life' after death (the progression of the soul)in vivid detail. All this will be difficult to digest for the man of science, but Paramahan ...more
Shitikanth Kashyap
After painfully wading through fifty odd pages of what I consider to be lies or, at best, delusions of a (typical Bengali :P) megalomaniac, I decided to put this book down. I don't know what else I was expecting from a book of this genre. It was a mistake to pick it up in the first place.

I absolutely fail to understand how learned, intelligent people can like this book so much. People apparating in and out of thin air! Someone willing himself out of photographs! Are you fucking kidding me! Am I
Of all the books by and about spiritual leaders that I have read, this is the one I come back to again and again. Paramhansa Yogananda does not come from ego or judgment when he writes about his spiritual experience. He is not above feeling emotions such as grief and joy, nor does he believe that emotions are something to be surmounted or tamed. This is the only "saint" I have ever been able to digest and trust.
P.J. Mazumdar
This is not Yoga!!

The first prerequisite for Yoga is to have Vidya, or an intellectual base arrived at by reasoning, though in the final culmination Vidya is left behind. Yoga is an intelligent search for the truth. It doesnt depend on fanciful fables and claims.

And Yogananda really does stretch our credulity!! It starts with him remembering himself as a fetus when he knew all languages and finally selected the one he was hearing as his mother tongue and his first memories right after he was bor
I know this is a "classic" of "spiritual literature, but I wonder how many people so caught up in it realized the times in which Yogananda lived and wrote. The "spirituality" he brought to America was merely a continuation of the sanitized and de-racinated version "Sanatana Dharma" (AKA "Hinduism") brought to America by Swami Vivekananda, that it bore very little resemblance to what happened (and still happens) in India, and that it was also a further development of Emersonian enchantment with t ...more
If you were brought up Christian but had a lot of problems with the way the church, priests, pope etc. acted, or if you had a lot of frustration with the numerous holes and contradictions in the Bible, as I did, this book will be a breath of fresh air. Yogananda has several books where he talks about what Christ says and meant as portrayed in the Bible, where unfortunately he is often misquoted or poorly translated, if the quotes aren't outright fabrications. This is a great introduction to an a ...more
What a crazy book!

I’ve read lots of yoga books. The type I usually pick are about the various forms of yoga that are taught in North America these days. A couple of them deal with the spiritual side of yoga as well as the physical.

Most of these books are great sources of information and thought.

This biography? I’m not so sure, even though it has a huge fan following.

The closest word I can come up with to describe this autobiography is fantasy. Yogananda was a yogi in India who was divinely inspi
Nov 21, 2008 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in religion/spirituality
After reading this I feel cheated by my American public school upbringing. Why are we so sheltered from Eastern religions? There is so much more out there - so many more experiences of God than the very limited and narrow interpreation of God in this culture. This book is really an eye-opener - I highly recommend it.
Christine Rondeau
This book as supposedly changed lives... I'm not sure that it did anything for me. I thought that it dragged on enormously and felt like a very large pamphlet.
Norman Moore
I'm going to go against the grain here and say that although I see Yogananda as an important figure, and someone who constantly strived, spritiually speaking - his mix of western occultism, Theosophy and New-Age-ism is just that.

Quote fromt he autobiography: "..around the six spinal centers which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution;
Madelaine Standing
Fantastic!!! Listening to this e-book on Audible reminds me of every reason why I had decided to become a yoga teacher six years ago!! Must Read for those interested in eastern theology, with a desire to abandon dogmatic viewpoints on life, and finally those ready to jump into the great abyss of the unknown...resting within.
Suzie Palmer
More just a book 'Autobiography of a Yogi' transformed my heart and mind like an indelible spiritual experience... it certainly expanded my view of life forever!
Here's what i wrote in my autobiography:

'My mind wondrously expanded during the process of reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. The life experiences of this profound being, together with so many other profound saintly beings, fulfilled a previously unquenchable yearning in my heart.

From here, I felt vipassana medita
RK Kuppala
Imagine a story or script, if you will, built around a scientific theory or some invention to cater to the tastes of Hollywood audience. All the grandeur, graphics etc., Some arrant trash gets passed for knowledge so convincingly.

'Autobiography of a Yogi' is exactly that, the only difference being the subject, it is the 'mystic world of hinduism' at it's best, written specifically for the scientifically superstitious Western junta!

It is not the content that I have problems with. I do not think
Nov 26, 2012 Phil rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Phil by: Alan Pritz
Reading "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda at the age of forty-two was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. From the beginning chapter, I felt like I had finally come home. This was the life I had always wished was possible but never dreamed it could be! After finishing it, I sent away to Self-Realization Fellowship, the organization Yogananda founded in 1920, for the three-and-a-half years’ worth of bi-monthly lessons on “right living” and follow Yogananda’s teac ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Devan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hippies
Shelves: theology
In her memoir of her father, Margaret Salinger notes that had it not been for Autobiography of a Yogi, she would never have been born. Her father, J.D. Salinger, had already begun his reclusive lifestyle. He wanted to divorce himself from the duties of domesticity and family life in order to achieve a higher spiritual consciousness. However, Paramhansa Yogananda 's book revealed to him that -in his understanding - salvation can also come to those who live a family life yet still practice his sci ...more
so far this book is fucking fascinating. it's doubly fascinating to me because paramhansa's brother is bishnu gosh, bikram's guru.

this book is super dense but filled with amazing stories of growing up in india being surrounded by mystics and saints who would perform miracles left and right. it's amazing to me that there could be a place where spirituality is so widely accepted and celebrated. it gives me hope that that aspect of humanity can begin to be a part of our lives in the west, where we
Yogananda confided with Tagore and Gandhi and many other world great names. It's a beautiful auto-biography, recalling childhood,amazing stories of India,a troubled school-learning (the Humanities, and English...),and above all: the Master Teachings.

Yogananda brought Kriya Yoga to the USA and wrote many books; some on parallels between Christianity and Yoga.One of the key points of the book: his love for his Master Yuketswar.

A must-read book, especially in these days when Gandhi-inspired, socia
This is a first hand account of an enlightened person on a specific spirtiual path. Yogananda came to the US in 1920 and stayed until his death in 1952 to spread the teachings of Kriya Yoga, which is a practical approach to spritiuality. It gives the goal and the practices that support living the spiritual life. I am biased since this is the spiritual lineage under which I study. I have it in my car so I can read during meals or when I am waiting.
If I have ever been dragged to a book kicking and screaming, it was first The Holy Bible: King James Version, then Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and finally, though I demonstrably handled it with more maturity, Autobiography of a Yogi. I do not rate this book five stars, but rather all the stars, from one to five, in that it is both a piece of genius and metaphysical dreck, all paradoxically at the same time. The mysteries of the human consciousness are both specifically unpacke ...more
My name is Maria, and I read this book the first time in English, even though I was not really good in speaking or understanding English. But somehow I knew I had to explore this book, knowing nothing about yogis or gurus or indian culture. So I had a glossary and the book at the same time, teaching myself the language while reading this awsome story and amazing information. ALL MY LIFE ì HAVE a thirst for knowledge, and wisdom for the love of life. This book is the only book you really need in ...more
He's a truly amazing writer, but his tales get much less novel and impressive as the book progresses. Also, deciphering his pseudo-scientific basis for Miracles led me to conclude that Yogananda is little more than a (sacred) scam. Despite how far-fetched this book is, the innovative narrative and writing style alone merit two stars.
Lora Abrielle
Yogananda is truly inspiring, and I am not a 'disciple.' I simply recognize truth when I feel it. He lived a profound life, as he chose to diligently focus on high aspects of being. In this book, he talks about this life as a projection in the following way:
"One day I entered a cinema house to view a newsreel of the European battlefields. The First World War was still being waged in the West; the newsreel presented the carnage with such realism that I left the theater with a troubled heart.
I enjoyed reading this book. It is filled with insight and wisdom and a little bit of magic. I did not read this book in search of answers or direction. I already feel pretty centered in my life and I feel that I have a good relationship with the Divine (as Yogananda calls it). But Yogananda tells some beautiful stories about faith and being
centered. It is beautiful to read about someone who devotes their entire life to God and meditation. It is also beautiful to read about the amazing experien
by Paramahansa Yogananda. This is the man's life story of his spiritual journey in India and America. This is Yoga with a big Y. He begins his life always knowing and searching for a higher power. His run-ins with many saints and the miracles they perform seem magical. The skeptic in me always held a splash of incredulity of some of the tales: saints with two bodies, resurrections, saint who could live without food or water, levitation, curing disease, etc. At the same time, these stories are in ...more
I am only now learning how deeply Hinduism influenced Thoreau. In one of his letter he actually writes, "To some extent, and at rare intervals, even I am a yogi." So having just finished rereading Walden, I wanted to find out what he might have meant by being a yogi. A couple of synchronistic events lead to me this book, which is, they say, a spiritual classic. Maybe it is, but I sure found myself rolling my eyes a lot and heard myself utter more than a few incredulous oh brothers. And yet, and ...more
A friend told me about the chapter on resurrection and said I should read it. After sitting on my book shelf for years, I had never really even picked up the book before and I am not entirely sure of how it came to be in my collection. I read the chapter and have since been lost in the pleasure of the remaining pages. The book reinforces my understanding of communing with God through the heart with gratitude and within the present.
Karl Groll
The following quotes are taken from Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda. Locations are provided from the Kindle edition published by Public Domain Books in 2006, ASIN: B002RKR1BC


If man be solely a body, its loss indeed places the final period to identity. But if prophets down the millenniums spake with truth, man is essentially of incorporeal nature. The persistent core of human egoity is only temporarily allied with sense perception. 69-71


"The one who pursues a goal of evenm
One assignment I really enjoyed as part of a yoga certification process was to write a small paper on the biography of a famous yogi. At first even narrowing down the search was a task in and of itself! Several hours were spent in meditation and searching while my own heart looked for the connection to one that I felt a special reverence for who not only lived a “yogi” life, but who shared real life situations and adventures that might prove invaluable for the yogi today. The choice was made for ...more
Started reading this book four years back.It took me a long time to finish mainly due to the language style used.The narrative appeared dry and monotonous at the beginning.Kept on reading it when ever I saw this book mentioned in print or in movies.Read it at a stretch and finished it last week.It was gratifying.
Paramahansa Yogananda gives us a first hand account of the practice of "kriyayoga" ,it's proponents and preachers.I was really taken aback when I started reading about the ancient yogi "
This is my second time through this book. I love it.

I read this book because Paramahansa Yogananda refers to it often in "Essence of the Bhagavad Gita". I picked that book up because I have reread the "Bhagavad Gita" a few times since my teens and have always loved it. Also, the "Bhagavad Gita" was on my mind in January because I read some letters by C.S. Lewis in which he expressed that in his opinion either Hinduism or Christianity were the true religion and he had his reasons for believing Ch
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  • The Yoga Sutras
  • Light on Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • The Holy Science
  • Living with the Himalayan Masters
  • Raja-Yoga
  • I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda, As Remembered by His Disciple, Swami Kriyananda
  • Play of Consciousness: A Spiritual Autobiography
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
  • Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
  • Yoga Mala: The Seminal Treatise and Guide from the Living Master of Ashtanga Yoga
  • The Upanishads
  • Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
  • A Search in Secret India
  • Be Here Now
  • The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice
Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস যোগাননদ Pôromohôngsho Joganondo, Sanskrit: परमहंस योगानंद Paramahaṃsa Yogānaṃda), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মুকুনদ লাল ঘোষ Mukundo Lal Ghosh), was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a Yogi . ...more
More about Paramahansa Yogananda...
Man's Eternal Quest: The Collected Talks and Essays: 1 (Collected Talks & Essays) The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life The Bhagavad Gita: Royal Science of God-Realization The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels Metaphysical Meditations

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“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself......” 254 likes
“You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may learn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito;
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk in water and live in fire;
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.”
More quotes…