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Autobiography of a Yogi

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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, ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America. Also recorded here are his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank, the Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, and other celebrated spiritual personalities of East and West.

Autobiography of a Yogi is at once a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation. The author clearly explains the subtle but definite laws behind both the ordinary events of everyday life and the extraordinary events commonly termed miracles. His absorbing life story thus becomes the background for a penetrating and unforgettable look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence.

Considered a modern spiritual classic, the book has been translated into more than twenty languages and is widely used as a text and reference work in colleges and universities. A perennial bestseller since it was first published sixty years ago, Autobiography of a Yogi has found its way into the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

503 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1946

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About the author

Paramahansa Yogananda

549 books1,538 followers
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 .

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,073 reviews
Profile Image for Alok Mishra.
Author 23 books1,184 followers
June 21, 2019
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 to a world which is away of the confusions and connections that we have made today?

This book is a journey of Swami Paramhansa Yogananda Ji's life and his experiences. He writes about his beginnings, his Gurus, the wonders he saw and the wonders he experienced. Already transformed the lives of many, this book simply inspires one to begin to open for wonders in life - the wonders of joy. If you remain in your shell and not allow any miracle to happen, you will always be self-satisfied and in pain of your being. Life has become horrendous if we don't look for an out. At least reading this one will transport you to other dimensions for some time.

Post Script: I will only reply to sane comments.
Profile Image for Shitikanth Kashyap.
9 reviews568 followers
November 25, 2012
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 supposed to take these things on face value? Does Mukunda Ghosh mean us to take these miracles literally at all? If so, shouldn't I be seeking wisdom from someone less delusional? If not, are these stories supposed to have some hidden lessons? (I am yet to decipher any) Is the world as it is not beautiful and spiritually rich enough for him? Even if we leave the miracles out of the discussion for a moment, which is pretty difficult considering that they appear in the book at the rate of at least one per page, what IS the message that is hidden in this treasure of a book?

Before you berate me for being close-minded, I do understand that there is a wonderful world outside of science. I appreciate beauty and art and wonder. I would even appreciate spirituality, but I have to hear about it from a person who can be honest about it to himself and to me.
Profile Image for Ryan Hanry.
4 reviews11 followers
October 20, 2016
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:
Profile Image for P.J. Mazumdar.
Author 1 book19 followers
August 15, 2010
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 born. The claims keep getting more and more astonishing, beginning with minor miracles like controlling his kite as a child, to fantastical claims like Yogis who never eat, become invisible, fly through the air and do just about anything that Superman does, and much more! There's a photograph of Yogananda standing alone with a caption, "Yogananda standing with his master, who did not care to be photographed, so he made himself invisible." It requires a very strong gullibility to accept this. If anyone wants to become invisible or fly, they should go, not to a Yoga teacher, but to David Copperfield.

I am amazed that people in the West still seem to like this book. Many reviewers write about how they have learned about a 'different culture' and a 'different way of thinking' from this book, as if in India we are quite used to seeing our Yogis flying through the air and so on.

I must make it clear that I am not belittling the book in entirety, it has a childlike purity which makes it a compelling read. Yogananda's transparent sincerity, ability to laugh at himself and his genuine love for god and his thirst for spirituality is all too apparent, and his account of his spiritual quest is often touching and revelatory. This is what gives the book its charm and power. Some of the passages deserve to be counted among the most illuminating accounts of mystical experience ever. But all too often, his eagerness to discover god and people on the spiritual path strays into descriptions of fantastical and unbelievable anecdotes.

It would be quite natural for anyone who first comes into contact with Yoga through this book to develop a strong cynicism about Hinduism and its practises, including Yoga. But this is not Yoga at all. To learn about Yoga, I would recommend reading Swami Vivekananda and Ramkrishna Paramahansa, these were great teachers who also achieved relevatory experiences through Yoga but certainly never made such incredible claims. Yoga is not all about magic and fable that this book makes it out to be.

I am sorry if this review offends anyone who has found this book inspiring. I can understand people being inspired by Yogananda's profound love of God which is so transparent in this book, and which did not fail to move me, but I would like to make my own stand for reason in following the path of Yoga.

Profile Image for Rajat Ubhaykar.
Author 1 book1,640 followers
September 3, 2015
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 Paramahansa Yogananda is self-assuredly convincing and consistent. He woos the scientific man by defining the subtle laws at work behind the extraordinary events we term as miracles couched in scientific terms such as the theory of relativity.

It is a wonderful beginner's guide to Indian philosophy, not to deride the complexities of issues addressed in the book, but in the sense that it gently and lovingly guides the reader along the 'path', giving ample time for introspection, an essential prerequisite for true understanding.

Mainly written to 'sell' Eastern mysticism to the West without placing them on unfamiliar ground (he spent a solid chunk of his life in California), his ultimate goal is to point out how the religions of the world are talking about the same goddamn thing. He does this by coming up with Vedic interpretations of the Bible and drawing pretty convincing analogies with the Upanishadas and other major Hindu philosophical texts.

The book is certainly worth reading for a peek into world-views that aren't strictly scientific. And for those who don't take his theories to heart like I did, it can alternatively be read as an extremely imaginative and engrossing work of fiction. As for me, it left me deeply disturbed and yet strangely at peace.

Life-altering read. Check.

Profile Image for Amit Mishra.
233 reviews667 followers
April 11, 2017
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.
Profile Image for James Morcan.
Author 35 books1,233 followers
December 30, 2015
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...
Profile Image for Melani.
259 reviews
October 1, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Amethyst.
185 reviews339 followers
January 5, 2019
ریویو آپدیت شد ...

هیچ وقت فکرش رو نمیکردم روزی کتابی بخونم که سرتاسرش پر از برکت و نور و آگاهی باشه و برای عده ای خاص مفهومش در هاله ای از داستان و زندگی نامه ای زیبا به نمایش در بیاد و اگاهی نویسنده از هر کلمه ای به جان و دل و روح تزریق بشه و نیلوفر هزار برگ رو در درون تاج سر ادمی بشکفته و بزرگ ترش کنه ... خیلی زیباست که میشه از طریق کتاب ها چیزهایی رو خوند که آدمی رو از پایه و اساسش تغییر میده و اماده ی بیداری و سامادی/سامادهی میکنه . اگر اگاهی درونی بالایی دارید یا در حال بیدار شدن به حقیقت درون خویش هستید حتما این کتاب رو بخونید و اگر برای شما بی مفهوم و تخیلی و دروغی بود پس بار دیگر در سالهای اینده برگردید و بخوانیدش و ببینید چقدر رشد معنوی شما به فهم این کتاب و هضم داستان های شگفت انگیزش از زندگی یوگی های به اشراق رسیده ی هند کمک میکنه و ببینید که چقدر اگاهی شما بزرگ تر از قبل شده و تشنه ی مشرف شدن به حقیقت ذاتی خودتون هستید.

آپدیت ریویو ؛ کلیک کنید :

Profile Image for Mike S.
384 reviews35 followers
February 28, 2011
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 amazing man who can help you understand your own religion and spiritual experiences.

...I'm reading the book for the second time and this is by far the best spiritual book I've ever read. Yogananda is completely honest, clear and direct, and he met so many incredible people it's mind-blowing. India has an incredibly rich spiritual tradition. Also I learned that Hinduism is at it's heart monotheistic. I can't say enough good things about this book!
32 reviews23 followers
July 10, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Carol.
405 reviews
March 9, 2012
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 inspired to come to the States. He started his “Self-Realization Fellowship” in California, which supposedly teaches all the secret “Kriyas” that transformed Yogananda’s life.

That much is clearly factual (although the divinely inspired bit might be an exaggeration).

The rest of the biography? Lots and lots of miracles. Photos of invisible people. People who can split themselves into two or more and be at two places at the same time. Women who never eat. Ever. They absorb the cosmic energies. A resurrected man returns from the astral plains and tells Yogananda about the many planes of existence for those beings who rise from life to life.

And the list goes on.

I read this book, bit by bit, and the cover of my edition is long worn off. I have to admit it. I enjoyed this book. It’s fun to venture into this dense forest of truths, part-truths, fantasy and lies. I didn’t try to distinguish between these levels of truth and non-truth.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspect of Yogananda’s ideas is his interest in joining Christianity and yogi ideas. At the end of the book, he claims to have seen Christ, who spoke gentle and private words to him which he decides not to disclose... hmmm. Yogananda talks about Christ and Krishna in the same sentence, suggesting that all religions are really the same.

If you want an unusual read full of miracles, go for this book. Supposedly countless people have been transformed by this book.

I wasn’t but you might be!
Profile Image for Andrea.
92 reviews12 followers
November 21, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Sara Alaee.
168 reviews174 followers
July 15, 2015
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 which “Krishna gave millenniums ago to Arjuna; and was later known to Patanjali, and to Christ, St. John, St. Paul, and other disciples” and was later revived for use in modern times.
I liked this book for some personal reasons. However, if you don't believe in mysticism and magic, chances are you won't like this book that much. It’s a recommended read for anyone who’s interested in Indian philosophy, especially Yoga meditation.
297 reviews1 follower
January 22, 2008
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 the Bhagavad Gita.

Moreover, if one reads the book closely, Yogananda's teacher, Yukteshwar, asked him to write a biography of his teacher, Lahari Mahasya. As great a master of Kriya Yoga and astrology Yukteshwar was acknowledged in his day and after, so much more so, his teacher Lahiri Mahasya. Instead, Yogananda wrote an autobiography filled with grand tales.

Finally, Kriya Yoga is an ancient and authentic discipline that takes years to master, as its secrets are revealed slowly. I can only wonder at what Yogananda so easily imparted resembles the real thing.
Profile Image for Arupratan.
129 reviews122 followers
January 29, 2023
এই অ-পূ-উ-উ-র-বো বইটিকে নিয়ে আগের প্রোফাইলে একটা রিভিউ লিখেছিলাম। বন্ধু মুহাম্মদ গতকাল মেসেজ করে বললো : "আবার লেখোনা ক্যান?"। কিন্তু এই বই নিয়ে আরেকবার গুছিয়ে লেখা আমার পক্ষে সম্ভব নয়। শুধু সামান্য কয়েকটা কথা :

"আত্মজীবনী" লেখার নাম করে এইরকম এক্সপোর্ট কোয়ালিটির গাঁজাখুরি কাহিনি রচনা করবার মতো সাহস, কল্পনাশক্তি এবং আত্মবিশ্বাস— পৃথিবীতে ভীষণ অল্পসংখ্যক মানুষের মধ্যে দেখা যায়। ইনি সেই ভীষণ অল্পসংখ্যক মানুষদের একজন। গাঁজাগল্প লেখার সময় অন্যরা গরুকে গাছে ওঠায়, নিজেরা নিচে দাঁড়িয়ে থাকে। এই ভদ্রলোক গরুর জন্যে অপেক্ষা করেননি, নিজেই গাছে উঠে পড়েছেন।

গরু ল্যাজ তুলে পালিয়েছে!

Profile Image for Christine Rondeau.
4 reviews1 follower
November 21, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Avdhesh Anand.
38 reviews38 followers
July 11, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,780 reviews35 followers
September 1, 2016
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 are meant to be, and this book certainly starts off with that in mind. Yogananda shares his life story and how rebellious he was as a teenager, wanting more than anything to become one with God. He ran away from home more than once: trying to get to the Himalayan mountains to become a hermit sage one year, visiting many known saints and gurus looking for the one who would become his guide.

I could appreciate his efforts, but perhaps I am too independent-minded to relate properly to the guru/student philosophy and all it involves. I could never bow down to another person that way, and although I could acknowledge a guru's wisdom, I have thought for myself too long to turn my life over to anyone. But that is just my Western Self. I understand that in the Orient there is traditionally nothing wrong with the idea. Odd that I can read about the same concept in Zen Buddhism and it seems fine, but in this book I had a mental echo all the time saying 'no, that just would not do for me, I could never live like that'.

This feeling became stronger after Yogananda met his guru Sri Yukteswar and began to spend time with him. The man seemed cruel and too fond of using his mental talents on other people just to create lessons for Yogananda. I may be completely missing the point, as the author says many people did when dealing with his guru. But I was more repelled than fascinated at this point and after struggling through a few more chapters I decided I would give up. I might come back to the book later, but that is a very large 'might'.
53 reviews57 followers
July 12, 2020
I would love to read this book again and again because it just lets me be free of all the assumptions and ideas for a while... Recommended!
Profile Image for Nilanjana Haldar.
Author 1 book107 followers
March 3, 2023
If I could go back to the very beginning of my life, just to read one book, it would be "Autobiography of a Yogi," written by Paramahansa Yoganada, who I refer to as my Guruji ever since I read this book starting from November this year. This book undoubtedly changed my life. It made me acutely aware of what it is I am really doing in this world and revealed to me the truth that God resides in every single human and that by direct communion with him through regular, deep meditation, one discovers his presence not merely in oneself, and also in everyone else. Ever since I began reading this novel and living by it, following its words (the art of right thinking, the art of holding only kind thoughts for others and nothing else, not expecting anything from anyone), I have been able to banish lesser qualities that take residence within one's self. Additionally, with each passing day I experience the growing sense of bliss and love inside me (that isn't directed towards anybody in particular but seeks to extend towards all) since Guruji reminds me over and over again that God resides in all. Infact, I was caught by the traffic policeman (trust me, it was nothing! : ))) yesterday and had been able to plead him for release with kind, happy, cheerful words and it strangely melted his heart. Guruji also taught me that I have infinite power to create anything I want no matter what the world says, if only I remained determined and unshakable in my path. So, this book has marked a new chapter of my life altogether. 
Profile Image for Phil.
Author 9 books14 followers
November 26, 2012
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 teachings today as part of my daily spiritual discipline.

I’ve listened to the audiobook version, read by Ben Kingsley, three times now and it never fails to thrill me. Everything in this book resonates in harmony with who I am and who I wish to become. I was already teaching spiritual classes by the time I encountered this book and was amazed at how much deeper it took me in my knowledge and practice.

Yogananda teaches that direct contact with God is possible through the application of scientific yoga principles. After practicing his techniques, which have been handed down for thousands of years by Indian saints, I have reached new heights of peace, happiness and alignment with what Yogananda’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, refers to as “that supreme intelligence which governs everything.”

May this wonderful book enrich your spiritual life as it has mine!
Profile Image for Ashish Iyer.
761 reviews476 followers
November 27, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Irandokht.
14 reviews
June 16, 2022
این چه سمممممی بود؟؟؟ چرا اینو خوندم؟ چرا باید به این کتاب امتیاز بدن آخه؟ یعنی تو گودریدز هم تعداد کسایی که به پرواز کردن و غیب شدن آدمها و این کلاه برداری و دروغها باور دارن انقدر زیاده؟ 😫😫😫😫😫😫
یوگارو تبدیل به معجزات الهی و معنویات دینی کرده این یوگاناندادای کلاه بردار
گیتی خوشدل 🤒
Profile Image for Rahul Singh.
48 reviews7 followers
October 16, 2019
A wonderful book... memories of a yogi that can stir all of us with an inspiration.
Profile Image for Kathrina.
508 reviews127 followers
June 8, 2014
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 unpacked and hopelessly buried in one single narrative. Yoganandaji, through his visitation with the deceased Sri Yukteswar, explains the complexities of the causal, astral, and physical worlds, and the complicated hierarchical system of promotion that is apparently the fate of every living human being, and it is exhausting. I am happier in my agnostic ignorance. Somehow Sri Yukteswar got into a sweet internship with the Supreme Being, jumping out of the herd to assist in the astral greenroom for causal candidates. Without poking too much fun, I will accede that my cup is most likely not large enough to contain all the mind-stuff. I am empathetic with and also guardedly suspicious of the need to purchase lessons from SRF in order to learn the secrets of Kriya Yoga. It must be untainted, but must it also have a price?
But I better get a handle on this soon -- I'm traveling to India this December, following the path of Yoganandaji's enlightenment with tour guides from the SRF. Not a path I chose, but a path that has been placed before me, and I would be a fool to turn it down. Ranchi, Calcutta (Kolkata), Varanasi, Puri -- seen with my own eyes. This book has served well as travelogue. It remains to be seen what other uses I will make of it.
Profile Image for Brett C(urrently overseas again).
784 reviews165 followers
May 2, 2021
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 this in the CD jacket when I was in high school and now I'm finally getting around to reading it.

Some people will be disappointed and others will feel this is life-altering. Either way this a pretty cool book and I recommend it to anyone interested in Eastern philosophy, Eastern religions, and/or Indian/Hindu culture.

Interesting fact: he was a Bengali Hindu.
49 reviews47 followers
March 6, 2020
The book is an eye-opener and it tells the readers that miracles are very much possible if only you are willing to let them happen and observe... Yogi was a person who accomplished so many things but had boast about none.
Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,657 followers
July 12, 2008
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 experiences he has when he completely removes himself from the world. I have to say that I liked the first 2/3 of the book a lot better than the end when he comes to America. Also, I disagree with some of the methods of reaching one-ness with God. I don't think marriage and sex are as evil or as distracting as he says they are. I think that is some of that puritanical philosophy that must have snuck into Hinduism because it is not inherent in the culture or the religion.

Also, the Judeo-Christian idea of self-less service is left out when you focus on intense mediation. Yogananda refers a lot to Christ's teachings, but I think there is a bit of a disconnect between Christianity and his philosophy of meditation. I think meditation and "self-realization" and the access you gain to divinity cannot be complete without the idea of self-less service like Christ taught. I don't fully practice either so I cannot go further philosophically, but it seems to me that Yoga and "self-realization" is a part, albeit an essential one, of accessing divinity. I thought there was a lot of other christ-like allegories as well like his master's taking on of his disciple's sins and physical suffering for them.

I thought a lot of the mystical/magical/miracle stuff was interesting and cool. Not sure what percentage I believe, btu that's OK with me. I do think there is a lot to the universe and its laws that we do not understand and that can be manipulated if we could use more of our "energies". I am pretty open to it, but I am not going to go buy an astrology band. I have practiced yoga in the past though and know that there is a lot I need to learn about divinity and my body and the connection.
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