Hundreds of influential leaders in business, politics, and popular culture were introduced to Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi at the 2011 memorial service of Steve Jobs, by express wish of the late business visionary and founder of Apple Computer, who passed away on October 5, 2011.
In a video interview posted online in September 2013, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff related this and other stories to share what he saw as Mr. Jobs’ deep, though sometimes hidden, spirituality. A summary of the interview reported on CNET news includes the following excerpt:
“Benioff told his story of attending the memorial service following Jobs’ death, where the attendees were handed a small brown box on their way out. ‘This is going to be good,’ he thought. ‘I knew that this was a decision he made, and whatever it was, it was the last thing he wanted us all to think about.’
“The box contained a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi. It was a spiritual book that inspired Jobs throughout his life. The book, first published in 1946, espouses ‘self-realization’ and the practice of Kriya Yoga meditation.
“According to [Walter] Isaacson’s biography, ‘Jobs first read it as a teenager, then reread it in India and had read it once a year ever since.’ In 1974, Jobs traveled to India, seeking some spiritual enlightenment. ‘He had the incredible realization that his intuition was his greatest gift, and he needed to look at the world from the inside out,’ Benioff said.”