BORN in 1893 in Gorakhpur, India, Yogananda was deeply devoted to spirituality from a young age.
As a child, he experienced moments of divine communion and had visions that foreshadowed his future as a spiritual leader. Throughout his youth, he travelled extensively in his quest to find a guru who could guide him on the path to enlightenment.
His perseverance led him to Swami Sri Yukteswar, who became his beloved guru and mentor.
Under Sri Yukteswar’s guidance, Yogananda deepened his understanding of yoga and meditation, and embarked on a life dedicated to spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga, a powerful spiritual technique.
Yogananda’s autobiography delves into the challenges he faced in his mission, including resistance from traditional religious institutions and societal expectations.
Despite these obstacles, he founded the Self-Realisation Fellowship, an organisation dedicated to disseminating spiritual teachings and practices worldwide.
The book also showcases the profound impact Yogananda had on those he encountered. From sharing wisdom with Mahatma Gandhi to befriending renowned physicist Nikola Tesla, Yogananda’s interactions with prominent figures of his time highlight the universality of his teachings and the profound influence he had on the world.
Beyond his encounters with influential individuals, Yogananda’s autobiography serves as a testament to the transformative power of spiritual practice.
Throughout his life, he experienced numerous miracles and divine interventions that affirmed his faith in the interconnectedness of all beings and the inherent divinity within each of us.
In addition to his personal narrative, Yogananda provides readers with practical guidance on how to cultivate a spiritual life. He shares insights on yoga, meditation and the importance of balancing spiritual and material pursuits.
Published in 1946, Yogananda’s autobiography remains a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and enlighten readers around the world.
It invites individuals of all backgrounds to embark on their own spiritual journey, encouraging them to seek truth, deepen their connection with the divine, and radiate love and compassion to all beings.
It has been in print for seventy years and translated into over fifty languages by Self-Realisation Fellowship.
It has been highly acclaimed as a spiritual classic including being designated by Philip Zaleski, while he was under the auspices of HarperCollins Publishers, as one of the “100 most important spiritual books of the 20th Century.”
Today, reading Autobiography of a Yogi has become an unofficial prerequisite for prospective students of the Self-Realisation Fellowship’s “Lessons for Home Study,” a set of lessons, reflections, and assignments that one may read and apply before being initiated into Kriya Yoga.
This book is indeed a gem for anyone wishing to know about yoga and Indian religious philosophies. A spiritual treasure!