Stories from the youth of Mukunda Lal Ghosh, later known to the world under his monastic name of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the bestselling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi. Even in his youth the greatness of this master of yoga was revealed. Complements beautifully Yogananda’s own autobiography.

The author, Swami Kriyananda, a direct and close disciple of Yogananda, writes: “In this book I have tried to depict Yogananda’s spirit; a spirit ardent with love for God, tender with sympathy for all men, forgiving, kindly, humorous, yet resolute and forceful when strength was needed.”

From the preface:

Paramhansa Yogananda was born in India in the last decade of the nineteenth century. His father, a high official in the Bengal-Nagpur railway, was in a position to offer his children worldly security and success. Mukunda’s heart, however, was set on another kind of security and another, higher, kind of success: final victory over ignorance through loving union with God. Spurning earthly comforts, he sought rigorous training under one of India’s greatest living gurus, Swami Sri Yukteswar, of Serampore, Bengal.

People often make the mistake of equating the spiritual life with dullness and prudery. These stories should help to dispel that illusion. Mukunda’s keen sense of humor and love of pranks often startled his more sedate neighbors out of their mental ruts. The personality that emerges from these episodes is joyous, compassionate, childlike yet fiercely determined, loyal, deeply in love with God, and capable of standing alone in his convictions against the very world.

These stories have been written from true episodes in the master’s life from approximately the ages of six to seventeen. Some of the accounts were related to me by his relatives; others, by childhood friends. But the greater number were told me by the master himself. I have taken no liberties with those accounts beyond adding superficial details for poetic emphasis, an occasionally combining separate episodes (too brief to stand alone) into a single story.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), who left his body in 2013, was a direct disciple of the great master, Paramhansa Yogananda, and an internationally known author, lecturer, and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

In 1968, Kriyananda founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community around the globe. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional communities in the world; over 1,000 people reside in Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe and Russia.

Ananda Village is also home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands of visitors annually visit for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. The nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, located on Ananda's first property, functions both as a retreat and as the site for Ananda's Institute of Alternative Living.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, Swami Kriyananda's more than 140 books cover a wide range of subjects emphasizing the need to live wisely by one's own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

A composer since 1964, Kriyananda wrote over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his later albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto, of Awareness Magazine wrote, "[His] words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times."

Through Crystal Clarity Publishers, his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 25 languages.

More about Swami Kriyananda, including photos and videos, is available at the
official Swami Kriyananda website.

 

Further reading:

Author’s Preface
A Letter to God
The Goldfish Tragedy
A Double Victory
The Living Kali
A True Devotee’s Zeal
God Is in Everything
“Ghosts” to the Rescue
The Warrior
The Youthful Guru
Krishna Comes!
The Wave and the Ocean
Forty-Eight Hours in Eternity
Divine Mother’s Motorcycle
“This Body Belongs to God”
About the Author

Paramhansa Yogananda was born in India in the last decade of the nineteenth century. His father, a high official in the Bengal-Nagpur railway, was in a position to offer his children worldly security and success. Mukunda’s heart, however, was set on another kind of security and another, higher, kind of success: final victory over ignorance through loving union with God. Spurning earthly comforts, he sought rigorous training under one of India’s greatest living gurus, Swami Sri Yukteswar, of Serampore, Bengal.

People often make the mistake of equating the spiritual life with dullness and prudery. These stories should help to dispel that illusion. Mukunda’s keen sense of humor and love of pranks often startled his more sedate neighbors out of their mental ruts. The personality that emerges from these episodes is joyous, compassionate, childlike yet fiercely determined, loyal, deeply in love with God, and capable of standing alone in his convictions against the very world.

These stories have been written from true episodes in the master’s life from approximately the ages of six to seventeen. Some of the accounts were related to me by his relatives; others, by childhood friends. But the greater number were told me by the master himself. I have taken no liberties with those accounts beyond adding superficial details for poetic emphasis, an occasionally combining separate episodes (too brief to stand alone) into a single story.