Among spiritual books, there are a few that stand out above the crowd as time-honored beacons of wisdom. One of the greatest of them, without a doubt, is Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. The first person to bring the proper science of Yoga to the West, Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship, whose centers dot the United States. Yogananda’s gift to the West is Kriya Yoga, a meditation technique designed to awaken the meditator to their inner divinity. Taught to him by his own gurus—Swami Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Mahavatar Babaji—Kriya Yoga is an ancient Indian technique holding the core wisdom of India’s vast spiritual heritage.
From the book:
Autobiography of a Yogi is at once a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation. This acclaimed autobiography presents a fascinating portrait of one of the great spiritual figures of our time. With engaging candor, eloquence, and wit, Paramahansa Yogananda tells the inspiring chronicle of his life: the experiences of his remarkable childhood, encounter with many saints and sages during his youthful search throughout India for an illumined teacher, ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America.
Also recorded here are his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank, the Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, and other celebrated spiritual personalities of East and West. The author clearly explains the subtle but definite laws behind both the ordinary events of everyday life and the extraordinary events commonly termed miracles. His absorbing life story becomes the background for a penetrating and unforgettable look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence. Selected as “One of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century,” Autobiography of a Yogi has been translated into 20 languages, and is regarded worldwide as a classic of religious literature. Several million copies have been sold, and it continues to appear on best-seller lists after more than sixty consecutive years in print. Profoundly inspiring, it is at the same time vastly entertaining, warmly humorous and filled with extraordinary personages.
The book is an incredible document of Yogananda’s upbringing, enlightenment under his guru Swami Sri Yukteswar, and his mission to the West. Highest possible recommendation.