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Autobiography of a Yogi Paperback – December 27, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,229 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In the original edition, coming from the period of Yogananda's life, one is more in contact with Yogananda himself. It is prior to his institutionalization that often follows many great personalities once they have passed on. While Yogananda founded centers and organizations, his concern was more with guiding individuals to direct communion with Divinity rather than with promoting any one church as opposed to another. This spirit is easier to grasp in the original edition of this great spiritual and yogic classic." --David Frawley, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies

About the Author

Paramhansa Yogananda (often misspelled 'Paramahansa' Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his 'spiritual campaigns'. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi", first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India - previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the 'jet-airplane' route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God," said Paramhansa Yogananda in the book "The Essence of Self-Realization". He further wrote that "Self- Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Yogi Press (December 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619491257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619491250
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like Gandhi, Yogananda writes humbly and includes his foibles and the pratfalls he takes as he journeys through life's lessons. In fact, unless you read elsewhere about his life you won't realize how much he understates his own accomplishments while he honors other spiritual seekers and teachers he encounters.
His stories of encounters with amazing saints of all regions and religions are spell-binding, and you may find yourself (like me) devouring the whole book on your first read -- just reveling in the wonders of these true spiritual seekers. On successive readings I delved deeper into the equally fascinating footnotes, learning about the exotic realms of Indian spirituality and its unexpected parallels with the original Christian teachings of Christ, St. John, and St. Paul.
In fact, the countless strata of insights and implications that surface with repeated readings of Autobiography of a Yogi argue for spending a few more dollars on the trade paperback rather than the mass market paperback edition, since you'll want to return numerous times over the years. The Self-Realization Fellowship editions are to be preferred over others. Yogananda himself started that organization (SRF), and the award-winning quality of SRF editing and printing shines through them - in contrast to bootlegged editions printed up by renegade outfits.
In all my reading in spirituality, yoga, and comparative religion, I have discovered no work that so completely fulfills Carl Jung's prophecy that yoga science (the whole science, not just the athletic postures) will offer you ''undreamed-of possibilities'' as Yogananda's autobiography.
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Format: Paperback
Twenty-five years after my first discovery of this transformative volume, I would like to supplement my original review with a few additional considerations for prospective readers.

Always averse to things religious (as being arbitrarily authoritarian) and spiritual (as being delusional), I was at an initial loss to explain why this book riveted my attention. Yoga was way too 'airy-fairy' for my hard-headed mind. Somehow I was won over within a few sentences, spellbound by a spiritual author who wrote humbly, declined to adopt the self-righteousness of many a preacher, and yet related astounding spiritual events and principles - dating back to his infancy.

I was impressed to hear deep respect for the paths of all truth-seekers: of Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems, Christians, Jews; of humanists and scientists, transcendentalists and missionaries. His accounts were so personable and reasonable, his interdisciplinary insights so compelling, that I found myself questioning all materialist prejudices and weighing seriously his other-worldly claims.

During the first few chapters, in the background of my mind, I was quietly weighing explanations for this book, this mind, this spirit: was he a liar? a lunatic? or can the world really hold such miracles of life and Spirit as he depicts here? With liars and lunatics I'd had way too much acquaintance and knew: this was written by neither of these. I confronted myself: must I not overthrow my narrow, long-entrenched scientist's view of world and life, origin and death, reality and truth?

Through college and graduate school I'd always craved to meet a real leader - one who embodied Truth, exuded wisdom, lived a Gandhi-like life - that might transform this modern world.
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By Monkey on April 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I would say that this has been one of the best "books" I've ever "read." I got the CD version, and I've had other books on cd that I've listened to in the car, but I was definitely not expecting a 15 disc set with a book of notes about certain parts of each chapter written by Yogananda. It took me nearly 2 weeks to listen to it in my car, but it was the only thing I listened to. Yogananda's spiritual journey is the most fantastic I've ever encountered. Anybody who's open minded to the mysteries of life and nature will benefit from this book. And the author doesn't masacre Sanskrit words and names with his light British accent, but in fact, seems to have an excellent understanding of translingual pronounciations.
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Format: Paperback
Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi" is undoubtedly the best book I have ever read. The first time that I read it, I was so mesmerized by it that I had a hard time to put down the book until I had finished reading it. Since then I have reread it a few times. The book, you may say, touched my very soul. After reading the book, I signed up with Self-Realization Fellowship, Yogananda's Los Angeles based spiritual organization, to receive the weekly Lessons that the great saint had left for us before he left his body. What those lessons have done for me, there are no words to express.
This book is also a great contribution to the cause of world peace and understanding among the people of different faiths and creeds; the abstract concept of world brotherhood becomes more real and immediate a concept after reading this book. I would recommend anyone who has not read this book -- no matter what his or her creed maybe -- to order a copy right away; this may be the best investment in one's life!
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