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Autobiography of a Yogi

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  38,931 ratings  ·  1,860 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)
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Vikram CL Each soul has it's own purpose, based on his soul purpose he got attracted into spirituality and then became a monk.

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4.23  · 
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 ·  38,931 ratings  ·  1,860 reviews


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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
...more
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:
https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-...
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
...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
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
Melani
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.
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...
Vivek
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yss-srf, favorites
The idiom 'Never Judge a Book By its Cover' aptly suits this book whose cover gives it a notion of being a purely religious text. Sri Yoganandaje takes his readers on a journey, which is full of witty instances, true accounts, insightful fables, and priceless wisdom.

Though the book predominantly focusses on the timeless concept of spiritual evolution of a man, it surprisingly refers to numerous proven scientific concepts linked with spirituality. From eminent scientist J C Bose's theory of elec
...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
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
Carol
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
...more
Andrea
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
...more
DROPPING OUT
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
Phil
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...
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, soci
...more
Kathrina
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
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;
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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.
Mehrsa
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
...more
Lora Abrielle
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
'Lor
...more
Erik Graff
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comparative religion fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: biography
This was probably the first book Michael Miley ever gave me, possibly the first book I ever read upon his recommendation. Many others have followed, Michael having influenced my reading more than anyone else.
I had known of Michael in high school, known of him as a tough guy, not someone I'd willingly associate with. I met him shortly after graduation, him and his brother, Tom, in Hodges Park, between the Park Ridge, Illinois City Hall, The Community Church and Bob Rowe's Evening Pipe Shop.
The
...more
Maria
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
jack
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Tara
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.
Naliniprasad
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 "
...more
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.
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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
“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself......” 386 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.”
190 likes
More quotes…