“Abraham Lincoln [in a past life] had been a yogi in the Himalayas.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi

Abraham Lincoln was a yogi. No . . . there is no record that he assumed the headstand during Cabinet meetings. Nor did he meditate in the lotus pose before delivering the Gettysburg Address. Yet, in many aspects of his life—in little things he did, and in his reactions to situations—Lincoln behaved, quite naturally and unconsciously, just like a yogi.

Yoga is more than a series of physical postures. It is a philosophy, a way of life, a spiritual path. In fact, whether they know it or not, many people today who consider themselves “spiritual” follow a yogic way of life. And so did Lincoln.

Lincoln would have agreed, in his own way and to varying degrees, with certain points of view followed nowadays by spiritual people. He was, in some ways, a forerunner of the modern truth seeker.

This book was written to throw a spotlight on Lincoln’s many regular, and even daily, habits that demonstrate his affinity with the ancient spiritual science of yoga.

Richard Salva

Richard Salva is a 35-year expert on reincarnation and yoga philosophy, and has lectured in the United States and in Europe. He has appeared on television and NPR, Clear Channel, and CBS radio. He recently addressed the annual conference of the International Association for Past-Life Regression Research and Therapies. He is a longtime member and minister of Ananda Sangha.

Richard's books, published by Crystal Clarity Publishers, include The Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln (an in-depth historical study of reincarnation, based on a statement by Paramhansa Yogananda—that Abraham Lincoln had been an advanced Himalayan yogi in a past life, and that he was reborn as the great aviator, Charles Lindbergh) and Walking with William of Normandy (a pilgrimage guide to the Normandy sites of William the Conqueror, who was Yogananda in a past life).

Contents

Introduction

1.       Honest Abe
2.      Renunciation
3.      Connecting the Dots
4.      Heart and Soul
5.      Mind over Matter
6.      The Inner World
7.      The Yogi and Emancipation
8.      The Branch Paths of Yoga
9.      The Teachings of India
10.     Cave-Dwelling and Clothes
11.     Family Ties
12.     The Wandering Monk
13.     Whispers from the Past
14.     The Obsession
15.     Meditations

Notes
Bibliography

Abraham Lincoln was a yogi.
    No, there is no record that he assumed the headstand during Cabinet meetings. Nor did he meditate in the lotus pose before delivering the Gettysburg Address.
    Yet, in many aspects of his life—in little things he did, and in his reactions to situations—Lincoln behaved, quite naturally and unconsciously, just like a yogi.
    Yoga, you see, is more than a series of physical postures. It is a philosophy, a way of life, a spiritual path.
    In fact, whether they know it or not, many people today who consider themselves “spiritual” (but not necessarily “religious”) follow a yogic way of life.
    And so did Lincoln.
    Lincoln would have agreed, in his own way and to varying degrees, with a number of points of view propounded and followed nowadays by “spiritual” people.
    This book was written to throw a spotlight on Lincoln’s many regular, and even daily, habits that demonstrate his affinity with the ancient spiritual science of yoga.

    It’s interesting, by the way, that a great yoga master of modern times—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi—said that, in a former life, Lincoln had been a Himalayan yogi.
    This intriguing statement of Yogananda’s was the catalyst that prompted me to begin a ten-year study of Lincoln’s life and personal habits from the perspective of yoga. Could it be that the Great Emancipator was a yogi in a past life? If so, what evidence existed to show that this was true?
    As a lifelong yogi, I was ideally suited to carry on this research. I have practiced and taught yoga and meditation from an early age. I lived for five years as a yoga monk, and imbibed the teachings of yoga from a perspective of the daily practice of those teachings. I also lived for decades in a yoga community, and studied with a great yoga teacher, Swami Kriyananda, himself the direct disciple of the celebrated master of yoga mentioned earlier, Paramhansa Yogananda. This longtime immersion provided me with a pronounced ability to spot yogic traits and connections in Lincoln’s life and nature—based on similar experiences in my own life.
    In my research I focused especially on books written by those who had known Lincoln personally, some written soon after his passing. Books by people like William Herndon, who had been Lincoln’s law partner for seventeen years, working with him on a daily basis in their office in downtown Springfield, Illinois, and in the courthouse there. And Ward Hill Lamon, another legal colleague of Lincoln’s who was asked to join him in Washington, to act as the newly elected president’s bodyguard. Surely, I thought, these men would have noticed the little habits and mannerisms, signs and signals that would indicate to anyone with eyes to see, that this man had been a past-life yogi.
    In these pages you will find the many connections I uncovered—scores of little tie-ins that add up to a big picture—compelling historical evidence that strongly demonstrates that Lincoln could well have been a yogi in a former incarnation—and which shows that, through his daily habits, beliefs, and inclinations, America’s greatest president had been ahead of his time in an important way never considered before, of profound significance to millions; that he had been, in fact, a groundbreaker, a trailblazer . . . a forerunner of the modern truth seeker.

“Truth, it is frequently said, is stranger than fiction. Few books have made the case more persuasively than this one. About fifty years ago a great master of yoga declared that Abraham Lincoln had been an advanced yogi in a previous life. Richard Salva saw in this statement a mystery as fascinating as any our best novelists could dream up. In this book he delves into [Abraham Lincoln and the teachings of yoga], and unearths a remarkable array of similarities between them. Mr. Salva has produced a most unusual and thought-provoking book, and has succeeded admirably in his effort to present the material in such a way that the reader can draw his own conclusions.”

Swami Kriyananda, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, Founder of Ananda Worldwide, author of Demystifying Patanjali and Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography

“A fascinating account that weaves known history and higher consciousness to show us how the law of karma unfolds the story of life on mystic layers of transformation. The book has much wisdom and insight, encouraging us to take a deeper look at not only the world but our own individual lives and destinies.”

Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), Founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, author of Yoga and the Sacred Fire

“For anyone who accepts the idea of reincarnation, it should come as no surprise that a great soul such as Abraham Lincoln would have had a previous life of high spiritual attainment. Through the power of his righteousness, he uplifted and changed a nation. This book shows, in a convincing and delightful way, how he prepared himself for this world-changing “assignment.” The reader can readily see how the essential consciousness remains much the same from life to life and expresses itself in outlook and mannerisms. Anyone interested in a deeper level of history will find The Yoga of Abraham Lincoln an amazing read.”

Jyotish Novak, Spiritual Director of Ananda Worldwide, author of How to Meditate

“Using his many years experience as a student of yogi philosophy, the author demonstrates how Lincoln showed the beneficial lessons gained during his lifetime as a great Himalayan yogi. The Yoga of Abraham Lincoln is interesting not only as a book on reincarnation, karma, and what it takes to do something truly great in this world—but also on the core morality of yoga philosophy as applied to the modern world-scene.”

Lorne Dekun, Founder of Ananda Michigan

“Yoga is a universal science. So universal that men of insight and wisdom of all times and places discover its principles without ever knowing its name. Or live those principles, without announcing to the world what they are doing or why. Sometimes the better part of wisdom is to let actions speak for themselves. Add in the idea of reincarnation, and the threads of history weave together in fascinating, hitherto unsuspected patterns. This book reveals one such pattern. One of America’s greatest presidents was empowered by an ancient science from a culture seemingly far different from the USA. A fascinating read.”

Asha Praver, author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him, Loved & Protected, and Ask Asha

“Here is a unique and illuminating perspective on one of history’s most intriguing figures. It gives insight into the spiritual foundation that gave rise to his personal mission and gave him the strength and clarity to accomplish so much for humanity. It’s an inspiring glimpse into the inner world of an inspiring man.”

Gyandev McCord, International Director of Ananda Yoga, author of Spiritual Yoga

“Abraham Lincoln is one of the most beloved among all the presidents of the United States, and rightly so! But his greatness of spirit may come from one of his unusual and surprising past incarnations, one in which he lived as a Himalayan Yogi, devoted to a deep spiritual quest. It was a lifetime that carefully prepared him for the role he later played in freeing the slaves and leading a nation through a devastating civil war. You’ll enjoy reading the convincing reasons the author presents to support this claim made by the great yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda. Mr. Salva has carefully researched this information which will fascinate history lovers, yogis, and anyone else who reads it.”

Savitri Simpson, author of The Meaning of Dreaming

“I was interested, of course, in the evidence for Lincoln’s past-life immersion in the deeper teachings of yoga—of which there’s a bundle. But what really drew me in was the loving, clear skill with which Mr. Salva depicts Lincoln’s greatness. While reading this book, I felt I was in the presence of a great and wonderful soul. I thought, ‘This is a book I can return to for inspiration again and again.’”

George Beinhorn, author of The Joyful Athlete: The Wisdom of the Heart in Exercise & Sports Training