A comprehensive overview of Paramahansa Yogananda’s enduring spiritual classic.
2021 marks the 75th anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, one of the world’s most acclaimed spiritual classics.
Welcome to the page dedicated to the life story of Paramahansa Yogananda. This book has touched the hearts and minds of millions around the globe. For over seven decades, this book has introduced countless readers to India’s ancient science of Yoga and to the scientific methods for attaining God-realization that are India’s unique and lasting contribution to world civilization.
Hailed as a masterpiece from its first appearance in print in 1946, the Autobiography has continuously been on spiritual bestseller lists and read by spiritual aspirants of various paths. The book was honoured in 1999 as one of “100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century.”
Due to continued and expanding interest, the book has been translated and published in 15 major Indian subcontinental languages and more than fifty languages worldwide.
Available in hardbound, paperback, audio and ebook formats.
Most inspiring passage
A student asked Paramahansaji: “Sir, what passage in Autobiography of a Yogi do you consider the most inspiring for the average man?” The Master reflected for a while, then said:
“These words of my guru, Sri Yukteswar: ‘Forget the past. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.'”
A unique author, a unique book, and a unique message
“One of the most significant trends of our time is the gradual emergence of a scientific understanding of the relationship between consciousness and matter....Doctors, as well as their patients, are now beginning to see how much our day-to-day health and well-being depends on our state of mind....Revealing the interrelatedness of body, mind, and soul, these researches have had a profound impact in the treatment of chronic pain, and have led to a view of pain that reveals the immense value of the “how-to-live” principles taught by Paramahansa Yogananda many years ago.
I love this book. A must read for all those who are brave enough to let their thoughts and ideologies be challenged. The understanding and implementation of the knowledge in this book will change your whole perspective and life. Believe in the divine and keep marching on doing good deeds 😇#onelove #begrateful #helponeanother
“(Paramahansa Yogananda’s) Autobiography of a Yogi has been an outstanding best seller for many years. His Self-Realization Fellowship Centres in various parts of the world are favourite retreats for sincerely seeking souls....I remember the impression he made on me when I met him [at the Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters] in greater Los Angeles in 1950....There was a sense of peace about him not quite of this world and a serenity beyond the kind we commonly look for in our daily quest. The reason for his popularity was obvious....
His success was more than glamour. He had a secret, the secret of Kriya Yoga (the yoga of universal action..."
"As an eyewitness recountal of the extraordinary lives and powers of modern Hindu saints, the book has an importance both timely and timeless....His unusual life document is certainly one of the most revealing…of the spiritual wealth of India ever to be published in the West."
"One of the most charmingly simple and self-revealing of life-stories…a veritable treasure-house of learning. The great personalities one meets in these pages…return to memory as friends endowed with rich spiritual wisdom, and one of the greatest of these is the God-intoxicated author himself."
"In (Yogananda's) celebrated Autobiography of a Yogi, he offers a stunning account of the 'cosmic consciousness' reached on the upper levels of yogic practice, and numerous interesting perspectives on human nature from the yogic and Vedantic points of view."
Stories of Close Disciples
The writing of Autobiography of a Yogi was a project that took many years of Paramahansaji’s time to complete. When I came to Mt. Washington in 1931, he had already begun work on it. Once when I was in his study attending to some secretarial duties for him I was privileged to see one of the first chapters he wrote — it was about “The Tiger Swami.” Gurudeva asked me to save it because it would be going into a book.
Midst “Oh’s” and “Ah’s” we could scarcely express our joy to behold at last the long-awaited account of his life among the great saints and sages of India — with which he had so often enthralled us during precious hours in his company. He opened to a few pages, saving for last the illustration of Mahavatar Babaji. Almost breathlessly we offered our reverence and absorbed the blessing we felt to be among the first to glimpse the likeness of our Param-Paramguru.
Guruji did most of the writing of that book in his study at the Hermitage. I remember there were times when he might dictate all night long, and other occasions when it would continue for the entire day or even longer. I was not involved with the secretarial duties like Daya Ma and Ananda Ma, who would sometimes take down his words in shorthand and at other times use the typewriter. My responsibility was mostly cooking their meals so that they could work uninterruptedly!
Translated into 53 world languages
The making of Autobiography of a Yogi
The writing of the work had been prophesied long ago. One of the seminal figures in the renaissance of yoga in modern times, the revered nineteenth-century master Sri Sri Lahiri Mahasaya, had foretold: “About fifty years after my passing, an account of my life will be written because of a deep interest in yoga that will arise in the West. The message of yoga will encircle the globe. It will aid in establishing the brotherhood of man: a unity based on humanity’s direct perception of the One Father.”
Many years later, Lahiri Mahasaya’s exalted disciple Swami Sri Sri Yukteswar related this prophecy to Sri Sri Yogananda.
A profound assurance
In the book’s final chapter, Paramahansa Yogananda writes:
“God is Love; His plan for creation can be rooted only in love. Does not that simple thought, rather than erudite reasonings, offer solace to the human heart? Every saint who has penetrated to the core of Reality has testified that a divine universal plan exists and that it is beautiful and full of joy.”
It is our hope that you will find your own soul opening to a deeper faith in the transcendent Truth of India’s sages. And that faith sustains you through trials, and in the pursuit of true happiness and fulfilment.