Autobiography of a Yogi is an autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda (January 5, 1893–March 7, 1952) first published in 1946.
Paramahansa Yogananda (born Mukunda Lal Ghosh; January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952) was an Indian monk, yogi and guru who lived his last 32 years in America. He introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India. A chief disciple of the Bengali yoga guru Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, he was sent by his lineage to spread the teachings of yoga to the West, to prove the unity between Eastern and Western religions and to preach a balance between Western material growth and Indian spirituality.
His long-standing influence in the American yoga movement, and especially the yoga culture of Los Angeles, led him to be considered by yoga experts as the “Father of Yoga in the West.”
Yogananda was the first major Indian teacher to settle in America, and the first prominent Indian to be hosted in the White House (by President Calvin Coolidge in 1927); his early acclaim led to him being dubbed “the 20th century’s first superstar guru,” by the Los Angeles Times. Arriving in Boston in 1920, he embarked on a successful transcontinental speaking tour before settling in Los Angeles in 1925. For the next two and a half decades, he gained local fame as well as expanded his influence worldwide: he created a monastic order and trained disciples, went on teaching-tours, bought properties for his organization in various California locales, and initiated thousands into Kriya Yoga. By 1952, SRF had over 100 centers in both India and the US; today, they have groups in nearly every major American city.
His “plain living and high thinking” principles attracted people from all backgrounds among his followers.
Translated by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, M.A., D.Litt., D.Sc., Jesus College, Oxford; Author of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
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