Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Autobiography of a Yogi” as Want to Read:
Autobiography of a Yogi
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Autobiography of a Yogi

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  58,672 ratings  ·  2,911 reviews
This acclaimed autobiography presents a fascinating portrait of one of the great spiritual figures of our time. With engaging candor, eloquence, and wit, Paramahansa Yogananda narrates the inspiring chronicle of his life: the experiences of his remarkable childhood, encounters with many saints and sages during his youthful search throughout India for an illumined teacher, ...more
Paperback, 60th Anniversary, The Complete Edition, 448 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers (first published 1946)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Autobiography of a Yogi, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Garry Jenness Study some of todays physics and you will not ridicule "so many miracles".…moreStudy some of todays physics and you will not ridicule "so many miracles".(less)
Vikram CL Each soul has it's own purpose, based on his soul purpose he got attracted into spirituality and then became a monk. …moreEach soul has it's own purpose, based on his soul purpose he got attracted into spirituality and then became a monk. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,672 ratings  ·  2,911 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Autobiography of a Yogi
Alok Mishra
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretext: There are some self-satisfied people in the reviews section who thought it better to belittle this book. You crazy ones, do you even know what an autobiography means? It means sharing one's experiences, life-lessons, episodes and whatever you lived. Why are people craving for this one to be a book on Yoga, spirituality and then crying like wolves when they find it full of wonders and surprises. How can you experience what the author experienced? Are you close enough to give yourself up ...more
Shitikanth Kashyap
Nov 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
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
Ryan Hanry
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has become my favorite book and since reading it, I have been reading and fully immersed in other books by Yogananda. Everyone would benefit by reading this book with an open mind, no matter what religious or spiritual beliefs you have, or even if you have no belief at all. Everything is possible! I bought this book at special price from here:
P.J. Mazumdar
Jun 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Vivek V
The idiom 'Never Judge a Book By its Cover' truly suits this book. The author takes his readers on a journey, which has witty instances, insightful stories, and wisdom. Read the complete review here https://wp.me/p6rxcY-1R. ...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
James Morcan
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is another of my favorite books and one that greatly influenced my life as well.
I think the Yogis (and Yoginis!) of India hold a lot of secrets for humanity...ancient knowledge if you will...So I loved reading this particular book and learning some powerful insights...
As a footnote, this was Steve Jobs' favorite book and the only book he ever downloaded to his iPad...
Amit Mishra
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tell me anything better than this and I will read that quick! This was an amazing book, in fact, the most amazing one I have ever read. How the life moves and how we lean things in life are perfectly reflected in this great autobiography. You need to read this one of Yogananda ji to understand his life even better.
Sep 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Mike S
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: metaphysics
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
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sara Alaee
Autobiography of a Yogi is the autobiography of a spiritual leader, Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the most well-known Indian yogi-swamis of all times. The book begins with his childhood, in a Bengali family, to his various encounters with the famous spiritual masters of the time (his own guru being one of them), to finally becoming a monk, establishing Yoga centers throughout the world, and introducing Kriya Yoga teachings to the west for the first time. Kriya Yoga is an ancient Yoga system whic ...more
Jan 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Shivani Singh
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read it many times and it comes up to you naturally... you don't have to force yourself in reading this book. Paramhansa Yogananda Ji has written about his experiences at different stages of his life and it can certainly inspire people to be honest to their becoming and acknowledge the changes around. ...more
Christine Rondeau
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Debbie Zapata
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dar
I have seen this book for 40 years and wanted to read it, but somehow I never picked it up, even at the used book shops which often had dozens of copies displayed. Last year I finally bought a used copy and last month I began eagerly to read the life story of the man who brought Kriya Yoga to the attention of the Western world.

Unfortunately, my eagerness did not last long enough to get me past the two hundred page mark. I'm not sure why. I usually enjoy stories about a person becoming who they a
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Ashish Iyer
What a remarkable book.
The book is a journey in itself. Read only when you believe there is a divine power that works for us. It's a journey of a true sage and his aesthetic lifestyle which inspires you to develop a deeper level of understanding into purpose of human life.
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian
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
Brett C
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hinduism
This was a neat autobiographical account of Paramahansa Yogananda (born Mukunda Lal Ghosh). Overall this was a good introduction about various Hindu spiritual concepts like the methods of God-realization and other spiritual wisdoms.

I felt compelled to read this after learning this book inspired Yes frontman Jon Anderson to create the their 1974 concept album Tales From Topographic Oceans. Jon Anderson was inspired by the shastras: shruti, smriti, puranas, and the tantras. I remember reading thi
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Avdhesh Anand
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
This is a wonderful book... it will certainly change your life if you read it carefully and try to understand the life of Yogi ji rather than judging it.
Suzie Palmer
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Norman Moore
Nov 11, 2008 rated it liked it
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;
Mar 15, 2022 rated it liked it
As an autobiography, it was interesting. As a spiritual book, it was not.
RK Kuppala
Aug 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga, autobio
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
Jos-Madelaine Standing
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rahul Singh
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book... memories of a yogi that can stir all of us with an inspiration.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Autobiography of a Yogi 42 264 May 17, 2018 11:18AM  
kriya yoga 10 90 Oct 10, 2017 10:58PM  
Borrow "Autobiography of a Yogi" print book from book readers in your neighborhood 1 17 Sep 10, 2015 02:18AM  
Get a free copy of ebook 1 38 Jun 22, 2015 10:10AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali
  • Holy Science
  • Living with the Himalayan Masters
  • Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • The Art of Happiness
  • Wings of Fire: An Autobiography
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
  • The Upanishads
  • Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi's Autobiography
  • Be Here Now
  • A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
  • The book of spiritual poetry
  • A Primer on Samatha Meditation
  • I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The Secret (The Secret, #1)
  • The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1)
  • Sadhguru: More Than A Life
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস যোগানন্দ Pôromohôngsho Joganondo, Sanskrit: परमहंस योगानं‍द Paramahaṃsa Yogānaṃda), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মুকুন্দ 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 .

Related Articles

March is Women’s History Month, dedicated to the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.   Some...
288 likes · 70 comments
“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself......” 467 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…