“Autobiography of a Yogi” Changed My Life

Reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda at the age of forty-two was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. From the beginning chapter, I felt like I had finally come home. This was the life I had always wished was possible but never dreamed it could be! After finishing it, I sent away to Self-Realization Fellowship, the organization Yogananda founded in 1920, for the three-and-a-half years’ worth of bimonthly lessons on “right living” and follow Yogananda’s teachings today as part of my daily spiritual discipline.

autobiography-of-a-yogi-book-coverI just now finished listening to Chapter 23 in my car. I’ve listened to the audiobook version, read by Ben Kingsley, three times now and it never fails to thrill me. Everything in this book resonates in harmony with who I am and who I wish to become. I was already teaching spiritual classes by the time I encountered this book and was amazed at how much deeper it took me in my knowledge and practice.

Yogananda teaches that direct contact with God is possible through the application of scientific yoga principles. After practicing his techniques, which have been handed down for thousands of years by Indian saints, I have reached new heights of peace, happiness and alignment with what Yogananda’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, refers to as “that supreme intelligence which governs everything.”

May this wonderful book enrich your spiritual life as it has mine!

Click here to view all my posts about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship.

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21 Responses to ““Autobiography of a Yogi” Changed My Life”

  1. Col(retd) Subhash Bakshi Says:

    Autobiography of a Yogi changed my life too and Teachings of Pramhansa Yogananda ji has brought a miraculous change and many miracles in my life.
    Subhash Bakshi

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I am happy for you, Subhash. This path is not for everyone but for those who do walk it, it is a path filled with deep blessings.

  3. Lori Anne Yang Says:

    Phil, I sent this message today to my friends about this very book; The book, Autobiography of a Yogi, has illuminated the meaning of Biblical scripture for me like a light to read by in a darkened room. It has become my theological candle by which I read all scripture. Absolutely fantastic

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That’s great, Lori. Are you aware of Yogananda’s two-volume set, “The Second Coming of Christ?” That’s exactly what it does: illuminate Biblical scripture. You would love it!

  5. Ray Reinhard Says:

    Phil, I first picked up Autobiography of a Yogi when I was in my early 20s (I’m 55 now). I’ve read it many times since and never cease to be inspired by Yogananda’s single-minded devotion to God and his message that all religions are simply paths that lead to the same end: to blissfully merge one’s small consciousness with that of the Creator of the Universe (however one’s religion chooses to name or express this concept ). The stories of his encounters (some miraculous) with famous individuals are fascinating in and of themselves. They also prepare the reader to receive the book’s more profound teachings. This is definitely a book worth reading.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m glad Autobiography has been so meaning to you as well, Ray. I can only imagine what my reaction would have been had I read it when I was in my early 20s. I don’t know that I would have been ready for it. Better late than never!

  7. annie Says:

    ack! synchronicity again phil!

    when i lived in ca, i used to go to menlo park alot to work. one of the ananda retreat centres is there.

    plus, i used to go to east/west book store ALOT. the original location in menlo park was quite special to me. so special, that when they moved the store to mountain view, i started driving from my home to alameda at least once a month to go there.

    be well.

    thank you for being you.


  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Love the synchronicities, Annie! Glad you could experience that in California!

  9. Bill Says:

    I am not sure why I am here, at this site?
    I live in a home that Madame Amelita Galli-Curci lived in and my research of her tonight has brought me to Autobiography of a Yogi which I will try and check out of my library tomorrow and that has then led me here.

    Just saying “hello” I guess.


  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Welcome, Bill, for whatever reason you’re here. I’m glad you will be checking out “Autobiography of a Yogi.” Please visit again and let me know what you think of the book.

  11. Bill Says:

    Will Do. Thanks for the reply.

  12. John C. A. Manley | MetaphysicalSF.com Says:

    I was fortunate enough to find the AoY when I was 16. I had the same experience. I couldn’t believe the book was real. Everyday I would wake up and couldn’t believe it wasn’t a dream. All my crazy theories about life had been confirmed in stark simplicity and logic.

    I ended up living in one of the SRF ashrams for 2 1/2 years.

    Currently reading AoY again in Spanish (good way to learn another language) with the English copy close by.

  13. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That’s wonderful, John! Your experience first reading AoY sounds exactly like mine, although I was 42 instead of 16! Which ashram did you live in? Would love to talk to you more!

  14. John C. A. Manley | MetaphysicalSF.com Says:

    My grades sure suffered when I did start reading the AoY in high school. Yogananda wasn’t the best scholastic example. I graduated with 51-55% in most subjects except English, Drama and Religion (where I averaged 95%).

    Once I graduated I moved to Hidden Valley Ashram. Stayed for 9 months. Got injured and had to return to Canada for surgery. Stayed in Canada for 9 months, then went back to the ashram for another two years of training.

  15. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Ha! Yes, Yogananda was not the most disciplined college student, was he? Would love to hear about your experiences at Hidden Valley. Let’s talk soon!

  16. aaaummm Says:

    One of my favourite chapters has to be “The Cauliflower robbery.”

    “Your six cauliflowers will soon only be five.”

    Yogananda’s Vocabulary and skill with Language I always delight in and find simply incredible.

    “I dashed to my room, where I found that the thief, evidently one with a vegetable fixation, had left untouched my gold rings, watch and money, all lying openly on the blanket.”

    The book is a work of Divinity.

  17. Phil Bolsta Says:

    The cauliflower story is one of my favorites too, aaummm! I, too, marvel at Yogananda’s deftness with the English language, especially considering he didn’t learn English until he was an adult. Astonishing!

  18. Federico Says:

    I read the Autobiography of a Yogi many years ago and it changed my life. Yogananda’s teachings through Self-Realization Fellowship have greatly enriched all areas of my life. Too many persons only read that book once, such a profound teaching does warrant deeper study and research to fully understand what He has given the world.

  19. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Agreed, Federico. Reading or listening to “Autobiography” continues to enrich my life as well.


    If one is interested to look to God one must go through this book. This is translation of a Yogi’s direct experiences with Lord.
    Must for everyone who cherishes self-realization.

  21. Phil Bolsta Says:

    A lot of people would agree with you, Satya. It’s an incredible, life-changing book.

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