Autobiography of a Yogi

Tracey Kelley
Autobiography of a Yogi

Autobiography of a Yogi, in print since 1946, has been extremely influential on the growth and direction of yoga. More than 200 colleges use it in courses, and it has been ranked as one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th century. It has been translated into 18 different languages.

About the Book

The autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda relates his life story, telling of his search for truth, his understanding of the science and philosophy of yoga, and his beliefs in the unifying aspects of East and West religions. He also discusses his meetings with many of the great figures of the times, including Therese Neumann, Sri Anadamoyi Ma, Lahiri Mahasaya, Mohandas Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir C.V. Raman, and Luther Burback.

Paramahansa Yogananda was born on January 5, 1893. His name was Mukunda Lal Ghosh. In 1910, he became a disciple of the Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. In 1915, he graduated from Calcutta University, then took formal vows to become a monk of the Swami Order. It was at this time that he took the name Yogananda: "yoga," meaning divine union, and "ananda," meaning bliss.

Yogananda became a delegate for India in 1920, and traveled to Boston to give a lecture to an international congress of religious leaders. He stayed in America after that, and founded the Self-Realization Fellowship, lecturing and teaching up and down the East coast. In 1924, he began traveling across the country on "spiritual campaigns," during which he would stop to lecture. He spoke at New York's Carnegie Hall and sold out Los Angeles' Philharmonic Auditorium. In 1935, he returned to India and Europe and spent some time traveling and teaching there before withdrawing in order to write.

Do not be misled: the book is not merely a chronicle of Yogananada's life. It includes many of his beliefs and notes on the spiritual science of yoga. Autobiography of a Yogi was published for the first time in 1946. Shortly before his death in 1952, a revised edition of his autobiography was published, which includes an updated last chapter. Most current editions also have an additional 20 pages of photographs.

Where to Find It

Depending on how you like to read (or listen), you can find Autobiography of a Yogi in almost any format.

  • Crystal Clarity offers the entire text online, free to anyone.
  • Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, and Powell's City of Books all offer new trade paper editions, ranging in price from $7 and up.
  • ABE Books, a used and out of print online bookstore, carries hardcovers in all conditions, ranging from easily affordable to over $4,000 for a copy signed by Paramahansa Yogananda himself.
  • Audible.com offers a complete and unabridged audiobook version. It is nearly 18 hours long and is read by Ben Kingsley.

Other Books by Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogananda wrote many books, some of which were published posthumously. Please note that the list below is not complete, and many of the books in the list may not be in print at this time.

  • Attributes of Success (Original Writings)
  • Cosmic Chants
  • God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
  • How You Can Talk With God
  • In the Sanctuary of the Soul: A Guide to Effective Prayer
  • Inner Peace: How To Be Calmly Active and Actively Calm
  • Journey to Self Realization
  • Living Fearlessly: Bringing Out Your Inner Soul Strength
  • Man's Eternal Quest
  • Metaphysical Meditations
  • Psychological Charts
  • Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Science of Religion
  • Scientific Healing Affirmations
  • The Second Coming of Christ
  • Sermon on the Mount
  • Songs of the Soul
  • Spiritual Diary
  • Super Advanced Course Number 1, Lessons 1 to 12
  • To Be Victorious in Life
  • Two Frogs in Trouble (Based on a Fable Told by Paramahansa Yoganada)
  • Where There Is Light
  • Whispers from Eternity
  • Why God Permits Evil
  • Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A Spiritual Interpretation
  • A World in Transition: Finding Spiritual Security in Times of Change

Apply Yoga Philosophies to Your Practice

Consider the benefits of moving beyond the physical aspects of yoga. By studying the ancient teachers and gurus, you'll deepen your personal relationship with yoga, expand your education, and have the means to explore all the possibilities of mindful practice.

Autobiography of a Yogi