Now in Hindi! Paramhansa Yogananda was the first yoga master of India whose mission was to live and teach in the West. In the 1920s, enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America to hear him speak. His initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting influence is greater still. This book, first published in 1946, helped launch, and continues to inspire, a spiritual revolution in the West.

Only rarely does a sage of Paramhansa Yogananda’s stature write a firsthand account of his life experiences. Followers of many religious traditions have come to recognize Autobiography of a Yogi as a masterpiece of spiritual literature. Yet, for all its depth, it is full of gentle humor, lively stories, and practical common sense. This is a verbatim reprinting of the original edition, now also including previously unreleased bonus materials. This is the only available edition that contains:

  • The original, unedited text, as written by Yogananda himself, free from posthumous changes introduced by others.
  • An appendix containing the final chapter, written five years after this edition was first published, presented free from all changes made after Yogananda’s death.
  • An all-new foreword and afterword, written by Swami Kriyananda, one of Yogananda’s best-known direct disciples.
The Autobiography of a Yogi - Swami Kriyananda comments on the book

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled 'Paramahansa' Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his 'spiritual campaigns'. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India - previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the 'jet-airplane' route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God," said Paramhansa Yogananda in the book "The Essence of Self-Realization". He further wrote that "Self- Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

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Introduction

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“In the original edition, published during Yogananda’s life, one is more in contact with Yogananda himself. While Yogananda founded centers and organizations, his concern was more with guiding individuals to direct communion with Divinity rather than with promoting any one church as opposed to another. This spirit is easier to grasp in the original edition of this great spiritual and yogic classic.”

David Frawley, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies

Autobiography of a Yogi is the story of a young Bengali Indian’s intense search for God. It describes a number of living saints he met on his journey, especially his own great guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. It also describes, more clearly than any other mystical work I have ever read since, the author’s experiences with God, including the highest one possible, samadhi: mystical union. In chapter after chapter I found moving testimony to God’s living reality, not only in infinity, but in the hearts and lives of living human beings. I read of how Yogananda’s prayers, even for little things, had been answered, and of how, by placing himself unreservedly in God’s hands, his unanticipated needs had been met unfailingly. I read of intense love for God such as I myself yearned to possess; of a relationship with Him more intimate, more dear than I had dared to imagine possible . . .

Autobiography of a Yogi remains the greatest book I have ever read. One perusal of it was enough to change my whole life.”

Swami Kriyananda, Founder of Ananda Sangha, spiritual teacher, composer, author of more than 90 books, including The New Path: My Life with Paramhansa Yogananda

“This renewed contact with the Yogisphere, its mental superiority to material reality, and its spiritual discipline, was very instructive for me, and I am grateful to you for granting me some insight into this fascinating world.”

Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize winner

“Amazing, true stories of saints and masters of India, blended with priceless superphysical information—much needed to balance the Western material efficiency with Eastern spiritual efficiency—come from the vigorous pen of Paramhansa Yogananda, whose teachings my husband and myself have had the pleasure of studying for twenty years.”

Amelita Galli-Curci, opera singer and direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda

“An unbelievable and magnificent spiritual adventure that is simply wrought with unparalleled divine love, wisdom, and inspiration. Yogananda tells each and every one of us that if we search diligently within for that ‘pearl of great price,’ we too will find the divine aspect of our being—that consciousness which is already there, waiting for us to awaken to its presence.”

John Laurence, minister and direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda

“‘Five Stars’ would be a poor symbol to represent Yogananda’s opus. This is a great book—comparable to any of the world’s scriptures in its ability to transform the reader’s consciousness. Imagine Christ, Buddha, or Krishna telling their life story in their own words. That’s what you get when you read Autobiography of a Yogi. With humor, wisdom, and heart, Yogananda relates the extraordinary events of his life. And yet, on a deeper level, those events serve as mere instruments for conveying sublime truths—truths expressed in such clear language that everyone can grasp them. I thank Crystal Clarity Publishers for making available the original version of this great work, and I give it my highest recommendation. If you are interested in spirituality, buy it now.”

Richard Salva, author of The Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln and Walking with William of Normandy: A Paramhansa Yogananda Pilgrimage Guide