Why Everyone Should Read 'Autobiography Of A Yogi'
So as a writer you probably guessed I’m a reader. I’m a voracious reader and find so many different things fascinating. I read everything from the New Yorker religiously to Vanity Fair, to a lot of books in my sacred space I cover and teach, Mindfulness.
And I’ve read a little of all of the literary greats Elliot, Whitman, Steinbeck, Hemingway I dearly admire the greats in my space Jon Kabat Zinn. He’s a poet in the world of Mindfulness. There perhaps has not been another person before him who could so eloquently merry poetry with the science of Mindfulness resulting in several New York Times bestsellers. My favorite being - ‘Wherever You Go There You Are’
Some of my favorites - other awesome righters in this space are Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, Byron Katie, Gary Zoukav, Miguel Ruiz, Carolyne Myss,
So now to the subject at hand - Guruji. How I wish I had been alive before his passing to be a direct disciple and take in the profundity and magic.
I’ve studied and followed my share of Gurus. More on that in a future post, but as a seeker He is who I had been seeking.
Guru in Sanskrit means - teacher. And Guruji was the epitome of teacher. He had a way with words, his disciples, his teachings were taught with such fluidity versus rigidity that is pervasive with today’s teachers.
Now here’s what I find so sad about a lot of people who don’t make time to read and who are afraid of literature in general. There is so much knowledge and majesty in these books. Why would anyone every want to deprive themselves of such greatness?
Ok went off on a tangent getting to my point, but here it comes.
Autobiography Of A Yogi
It’s a journey into other worlds and planes that are described as heaven and synchronicities among sadhus and gurus throughout India. It’s a rich history dating back to the earliest religious texts, the Rig Veda. An undertaking at more than five hundred pages, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. There are things we just should out right do. And this book is one of those things.
It’s a story about a young boy growing up in India with an innate sense of knowing. There is more to him. He’s an existentialist at a young age and has a profound sense of knowing of something so much deeper in life. There is more than just the surface level and he knows this at a very young age.
It’s a prolific story.
He has visions of his mother dying and his own Guru he’d later recognize on the spot.
George Harrison - George while with the beatles had a few stints in India. They initially went to learn classical music from the greatest legend ever Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Ustaad in urdu means master. Harrison in particular took a liking to India and became a student of the sutras and yoga thereby finding none other than Paramhansa Yogananda. He speaks about his book incessantly after that and how ‘Autobiography Of A Yogi’ changed his life. He goes on to share in his documentary that he gave copies to friends and dozens of people. It was that meaningful to him.
Steve Jobs - Jobs also had a kinship to India and was drawn there in his early 20s seeking enlightenment. While enlightenment doesn’t come easy or at times not all he did manage to find the teachings very prolific and relied on Easter Philosophy, especially Zen Buddhism throughout the remainder of his life. He spent a lot of time in Japan and practiced Zen Buddhism. They say the clean lines and sleekness of Apple products comes from his love of Zen Buddhism which is revered for it’s refined simplicity. I digress. The point here is Jobs too admired and greatly respected the book. At his public memorial service after his passing the thousands who showed up to pay their respects were all given copies of the Autobiography Of A Yogi
and went on a
Me - In no way comparing myself to the two predecessors on this list, but add me to this cult.
I was so enamored with Guruji, His teachings and Grandeur I became a member of his fellowship.
And while not a direct disciple I am a disciple of sorts.
What I Learned -
The takeaway is this you’ll walk away moved, in awe, touched and spellbound. It’s a story we all should know a beautiful rich life filled with great lessons, meaning and insights. We are wiser for it. Guruji’s words are poetic beyond measure and grasp at the heart in ways it possibly has not before. It leaves you feeling. And that is what every great story is meant to do. Leaving you feeling some deeper sense of awareness. Waling away and feeling different. Seeing the world in a different way. Giving us perspective we’d not had before. And this is powerful in ways I cannot possibly express and do justice. You just have to read it for yourself. And while I shared more of my takeaway. What I was drawn to about it. Why I wanted to read it I didn’t want to give it away.
You’ll have a sense of something greater at work in all of our lives after reading this moving work.
Self-Realization Fellowship to learn more about the center Guruji founded.
Autobiography Of A Yogi - If you want to buy the book.
Videos of Paramhansa Yogananda
These are the Gurus before Yogananda Ji. He was a direct disciple of Sri Yukteswar Giri Ji.
Maha Avtar Babaji
Sri Yukteswar Giri - this is Guruji’s Guruji. He was a profound body of light and is said to have performed miracles on the banks of the Ganges and all across India. He was known as the Incarnation of Wisdom.
Paramhansa Yogananda - Guruji’s wikipedia page is extensive. His life, works, and accomplishments are thoroughly detailed. I was pleasantly surprised.