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The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,923 ratings  ·  482 reviews

Within this extraordinary memoir, Radhanath Swami weaves a colorful tapestry of adventure, mysticism, and love. Readers follow Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide. The Journey Home is an intimate account of the steps to self-awareness and also a penetrating glimpse into the

Hardcover, 356 pages
Published January 21st 2010 by Mandala Publishing (first published 2008)
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Chandala Potdar Amazing book.I am touched by reading this book
Amazing book.I am touched by reading this book
Judy Lindow Because I'm interested in reading more by this author and learning more about Bhakti Yoga I will soon be reading The Journey Within: A Modern Guide to…moreBecause I'm interested in reading more by this author and learning more about Bhakti Yoga I will soon be reading The Journey Within: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Wisdom of Bhakti Yoga: Unleashing the Power of the Soul. Autobiography of a Yogi, a well known memoir, and has many parallels to this book; it is about another astonishing soul who brought meditation and Kriya yoga to the United states. Books I recently brought back from India that I plan to read include: Chasing Rhinos with the Swami, by Shyamasundar Das, Still Here, by Ram Das, The Sacred land of Braj Vrindavan, Bhagavid Gita as it is (not front to back, however), and Swar Yoga, by Swami Muktibodhananda. Sun, Moon, and Earth by Mas Vidal is very good for understanding more about yoga. (less)

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Dhiraj Sharma Nyaupane
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book somewhat grudgingly and after a tumultuous ride on a journey with the author, I came to this. It describes the author's confusion about whether God is personal or impersonal and how one day Srila Prabhupada removed his confusion. I had the same confusion regarding the nature of the divine and this removed my confusion as well. But unlike the author, I lean towards striving to attain the divine as impersonal through meditation. I will always remember this book for this ...more
Ashish Iyer
Journey of Radhanath Swami is inspiring and fascinating, thrilling and much for fulfillment. The quest for Bhakti and finding inner peace through a series of life’s experiences leading to finding of his Guru & Lord Krishna.
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Indiaphiles, religious people and lovers of a great story
I don't know how widely available this book is (published in 2008 in India by an Indian publisher), but I think it may explode in popularity! The author was a Jewish-American kid from the Chicago area that that was immersed in the hippy counter culture of the time. Then at the age of 19 decided to go on a quest to find spiritual and personal truth. The adventures that follow are NEARLY beyond belief! He flies to Europe with friends, hitchhikes from London hitchhikes through some of Europe's most ...more
Lisa Spinelli
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly amazing and inspiring story of the spiritual journey of Radanath Swami as he explores many spiritual traditions across Europe, through the Middle East and India to find his heart's calling as a Vaishnava monk. ...more
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very nicely written book that will motivate you and will make you witness the bittersweet realities of life.
It's a common story of a common man like you and me, incidents which we go through in our daily lives. We meet impostors, quacks, charlatans .. etc. Some of us become a part of this society of black heart people, some accept it as the only truth, and exceptionally few fight back. Those exceptional souls don't let anyone dilute their souls and corrupt their hearts.
Some of the incidents f
Madhu Gopal
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Real page turner. When is the movie coming out?
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
My first autobiography read. It was gifted by a spiritual uncle at the time I lost my mother, as an attempt to help settle me...

The book took many weeks to finish because of distractions and preoccupations but I did seek it out despite much mental and physical confusion. It offered a fluid and believable read. Radhanath Swami's journey from a 19 year old American Jew boy to become Srila Prabhupada's follower 2 years later was full of tough travels, conflicting experiences and much exploration. I
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Truly marvelous book. I had been a interested in the book reading since childhood, and have read various books but this book is just a different one. Extreme adventures (and yet true!! these are not the incidences from fictional life but rather a real living person’s story!!), the unshakable determination of Radhanath Swami to undergo anything and everything to reach his goal of life and the style of the writing of author is so simple and humorous that one never finds the book tiring but always ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was totally loving this book but then I got pregnant and stopped reading it when I was about 2/3 of the way finished (with the book, not the pregnancy). The reason is probably because it was pulling me in the direction of a more solitary spiritual journey and motherhood will be the opposite of that--just the wrong energy for the moment. Maybe I'll finish this book when my kid starts kindergarten. :) I still give the book 5 stars and I think it's going to be a great read for any serious student ...more
Hanuman Dass
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iskcon
Westerners especially those who have an Indian heritage can relate to the stories of great individuals like Radhanath Swami. He is a living saint, master and it has been my great fortune to have his darshan on two occasions.

This is an excellent book, and there is a wonderful insight into his meeting with Ram Dass and Neem Karoli Baba, my copy is covered with copius notes, and I have read this from cover to cover twice.
Adhiraj Didwania
Apr 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: need-not-possess
Over-exaggerated and over-blown. Radhanath indulges in shameless self-aggrandizement. His blind followers love this book as evident from the ratings and they couldn't be more deluded about an eccentric, egocentric, sanctimonious charlatan. This is more of a self-hagiography than an autobiography. ...more
Tatiana Kutsenko
A fascinatingnstory of an American young man who was searching for his spiritual path. The book is so well-written and inspiring that you feel blessed while reading it. It was very interesting to read about his meetings with such great people as Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama and others. It doesn't matter what religion you are in (or if you're not religious at all), the adventures and spiritual discoveries of this American Swami will not leave you indifferent. After this book I found a lot of inform ...more
Iryna Lomachynska
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book. It tells about a man travelling all the way from US to India to find his destiny. Learning different religions, meeting diverse people and facing lots of challenges and surprises. What I personally took from this book is that everything that is happening is happening for a reason and that the misfortunes that we are facing are always leading us to something good and beautiful, even we cannot understand it at the beginning.
Hoshi Bhad
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Anyone seriously or even casually looking for answers in life, this is the book. What should be "MY" role in this vast world, how can "I" help myself and others also, these questions were cleared when i read this book. Really a VERY GOOD one, positively inspiration and practical.

And definitely clears the concepts related to God and His-will, different religions.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
Although I know the Himalayas is full of mysteries, it was nice to know it from the pen of an American. We Indians, from childhood, hear so much about people having super natural powers living peacefully in the high mountain range of Himalayas, beyond the reach of common people. It was like getting one more evidence in favour of all the legends.
Kushagra Singh
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most enriching and fascinating books that I've read. I completed it in about 1.5 days. Radhanath Swami is a very elevated spiritual leader and reading about journey and his views about religion and God was enlightening. ...more
Abhishek Jain
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Radhanath Swami is an inspirational figure. His story is not just an exciting read, but also full of knowledge.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most amazing stories of the search for God I have ever read. The journey to India is just the initial part of the book. From there you get an inside look at the many spiritual traditions of that land, all through the eyes of the young Richard, who is a genuine seeker of the truth. In some parts of the world you only get the two options: follow what your church or religious organization says or turn to atheism. In India there is more of an intellectual component. The many facti ...more
Yana Repkin
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
A spiritual journey of an american teenager back in early 1970. Great first half of the book where he travels the world but second half of the book gets too slow, becomes a bit too exalted and starts to proselytize.
This book would be great for young people/teens because the author has a lot of "profound" revelations that most thinking educated adults would have already experience by the age of 27 (I hope).
This book made me remember the main commandment of George Carlin: "Thy shall keep thy reli
Abhishek Pareek
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book starts off as a simple writing but as the author pens down his experiences while travellimg in search of answers to his spiritual quest, it gets interesting.

Many incidences made my jaw drop. The meetings with various spiritual personalities are interesting, more interesting is the author's learnings from each of it. Author's focus on God is inspiring and so is his meeting his Guru. The account of travel through India is interesting
Denise Tarasuk
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a deep book that makes me think. The Journey Home is so well written and covers a young man life who has so many thoughts and questions. He travels, or should I say hitch hikes to India. During his travels he meets and studies with many guru’s and teachers. He is so grateful, kind, and respectful during his journey. This book is very deep and full of adventure. You can go on his journey with him. It may change your life.
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's just amazing to read it. The reader takes us along his journey helping us to realize the most amazing truths of the world, which all the age old intellectuals has assimilated in their soul journey.
I am flabbergasted to perceive my soul journey in his....
Eagerly waiting for his ahead books... :-)
Shabba Banks
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Journey Home is a beautiful story of a gripping spiritual journey. The author's account of his obstacle-filled road to spiritual understanding is so detailed and fascinating that parts of it seem farfetched. However, interwoven in this exciting story of exemplary resilience are gems of wisdom for anyone seeking spiritual development. Overall, this was a good read. ...more
Lisa Tener
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, spirituality
I so enjoyed this book. It reminded me of reading Siddhartha when I was in high school--like a light turned on inside. There is a certain vicarious bliss in reading of someone's spiritual journey. I remain inspired several weeks after completing this joy-filled and experience-filled gem of a book. ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
The writing was very weak at times, and at other times beautiful. I found myself on a roller coaster with this book. Sometimes disliking it, sometimes really enjoying it. Overall it is a beautiful story of his spiritual journey and there is something we can all relate to.
1st Arrow
I love this book. Bright, memorable, enlightening… Rare masterpiece of truly honest search for oneself by a sincere simple boy from Chicago suburbs who lately became a renowned guru. Strongly reccomend
Mind-blowing! Heart touching! Spiritually challenging!
Vikas Shinde
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of a young boy going through various dangerous situations, threats, tests, adventure, humor in order to at last find his way to his most cherished goal.....True Love
Jan 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: metaphysical
Too many of these types of books exist out there and this was all rehash.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
All attracting love.
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“A dog will recognize his master in whatever way he dresses. The master may dress in robes, suit and tie, or stand naked, but the dog will always recognize his master. If we cannot recognize God, our beloved master, when he comes in a different dress from another religion, then we are less than that dog.” 72 likes
“Man cannot be enlightened through any organization, creed, dogma, priest or ritual, nor through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through understanding the contents of his own mind, through observation, not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.” 57 likes
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