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The Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

My spiritual quest began, much like The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Cambell. My life was going along swimmingly, or so I thought, until my world came crashing down with the breakdown of my ten-year marriage. Once I realized that my marriage was not the norm and how we treated each other was toxic. 

Ummm, scary that all I did was perpetuate my parent’s relationship in the creation of my own – yikes. Once my therapist pointed this out and I began to realize being on my own was the only way to go, that’s when my “Hero’s Journey” began….

My whole world also imploded, as I was made redundant in my job and would lose the house…

That’s when my journey into *spirituality, yoga, and meditation began. What you need to know is that I’m a self-claimed learnaholic. I’m definitely addicted to it. So once I jumped into my new journey, I was reading, meditating, and going to any workshop I could get my hands on, from attending workshops at The Omega Institute to spending the weekend at Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love workshop and then venturing into going to channeling workshops with Abraham-Hicks, and Paul Selig, I Am The Word.

It was about this time a friend recommended I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I remember picking it up and trying to read it, and I just couldn’t get into it. So I put it down. 

Then it was years later when I came out and was in a 12-year relationship with an amazing woman that sadly ended. And dealing with that sadness, my new therapist recommended this book – Autobiography of a Yogi. Then I went to my shelf, found the book, and continued my spiritual journey.

I must admit the first 30 pages or so, it was a bit hard for me to get into it. Then, all of a sudden, I picked up the book one day, and I just couldn’t put it down reading about this wild kismet journey of his life. The story where he meets his guru and all the amazing healers and unique teachers he encountered. It was a wonderful, inspiring, and fascinating journey. After reading it, I simply wanted to go to India and have a unique journey myself. Hmmmmm.

Well, I hope this has inspired you to read more about this book. I promise that if you’re interested in discovering more about the spiritual path.

*Note About Spirituality vs. Religion: Spirituality is different from religion. Spirituality is a deep belief that we are incredibly connected to each other by something much greater than us. As opposed to religion, John Randolph Price (Practical Spirituality) says it best: “…religion is a man-made institutionalized system of attitudes and beliefs about God that sometimes fosters a sense of separation.”
Note About Belief in God or a Higher Power: Know that in this book, he mentions God many, many times. So if you have an issue with that or don’t believe in a Higher Power, this book may not be a good fit.

A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!

Quick Summary

The Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda is a spiritual classic that has impacted millions of readers since its publication in 1946. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore the deeper meaning of life and discover the secrets of the spiritual path.

In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda shares his journey from a normal childhood in India to becoming a yogi and spiritual master. Along the way, he meets many great saints and spiritual teachers, including his own guru, Sri Yukteswar. The book is filled with interesting stories and anecdotes, providing a wealth of knowledge about the spiritual practices of India.

Who Ought to Read this Book and Why: 

This book is for you if you’re interested in spirituality, personal growth, or the deeper meaning of life. It’s a spiritual classic that has inspired millions of readers worldwide and explores the teachings of India, including meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices. There are many inspiring stories and anecdotes that will give you a valuable model for living a purposeful life, including insights into the nature of the mind, soul, and consciousness. It’s a great read for anyone seeking personal growth or curious about the teachings of great spiritual masters. Whether you are new to spirituality or have been practicing for years, this book is a valuable resource that will help you deepen your understanding of the spiritual path.

Things You Will Discover:

Here are five impactful things you will learn from this book:

The Power Of Meditation: Yogananda emphasizes the importance of meditation in spiritual growth. He explains how regular meditation can help calm the mind and bring inner peace.

The Nature Of The Soul: The book introduces the concept of the soul and explains how it is distinct from the body and mind. Yogananda explains that the soul is a divine spark, and its true home is in God.

The Role Of Karma: Yogananda explains how the law of karma operates in our lives and how we can use it to our advantage. He explains how our actions create our destiny and how we can overcome negative karma by living a life of truth and right action.

The Science Of Kriya Yoga: It’s a powerful technique for spiritual growth that Yogananda teaches. He explains how this technique can be used to awaken the divine consciousness within us and achieve inner peace.

The Teachings Of Great Spiritual Masters: Throughout the book, Yogananda shares stories and teachings from many great spiritual masters, including Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Babaji. These teachings provide valuable insights into the nature of God and the spiritual path.

The Importance Of Faith: Yogananda emphasizes the importance of faith in the spiritual path. He explains how faith can help us overcome doubt and fear and how it can lead us closer to God.

The Power Of Affirmations: Yogananda explains how positive affirmations can transform our lives. He provides many examples of how people have used affirmations to heal themselves and achieve their goals.

The Nature Of Cosmic Consciousness: The book introduces the concept of cosmic consciousness, a state of awareness in which we perceive the unity of all things. Yogananda explains how this state can be achieved through meditation and other spiritual practices.

The Secrets Of The Afterlife: Yogananda shares many stories of people who have had near-death experiences and explains what happens to the soul after death. He provides a compelling vision of the afterlife that is both comforting and inspiring.

The Importance Of Service: Service to others is essential to the spiritual path. Yogananda explains how serving others can help us overcome selfishness and develop compassion and how it can lead us closer to God.
Some Extraordinary Stories: (There are many, and here are a few notable ones without too much away.)

  1. How He Met His Guru, Sri Yukteswar – An amazing story that definitely illustrates the incredible power of being dedicated to the spiritual path.
  2. The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar – This was one of the most extraordinary stories in the book. Get the book to read this story!
  3. Meeting Mahatma Gandhi – This fascinating story illustrates the power of spiritual leadership.


“Only the shallow man loses responsiveness to the woes of others’ lives, as he sinks into narrow suffering of this own.”

Union of Food vs. God:
“People, in general, are more fond of Jala Yoga (union with food) than of Dhyana Yoga (Union with God).”

How to Open Your Heart:
“Bricks and mortar sing us no audible tune; the heart opens only to the human chant of being.”

It’s Not Just About Meditation.
“He was reminding me to love God more than meditation. ‘Do not mistake the technique for the Goal.”

All Things Reflected:
“My Master asked me to meditate whenever I saw an expanse of water. Here its placidity reminds us of the vast calmness of God. As all things can be reflected in waters, so the whole universe is mirrored in the lake of the Cosmic Mind.”

What Pure Love Is:
“Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human hearts is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.”

Beyond the Physical Plane?
“… there are subtler laws that rule the hidden spiritual planes and the inner realm of consciousness; these principles are knowable through the science of yoga. It is not the physicist but the Delf-realized master who comprehends the true nature of matter.”

Spiritual Advancement:
Nothing matters but your steady daily spiritual advancement; for that, use Kriya Yoga.”

Being Slow to Anger:
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Finding Your Guru:
“The Himalayas in India and Tibet have no monopoly on saints. What one does not trouble to find within will not be discovered by transporting the body higher and yon. As soon as the devotee is willing to go even to the ends of the earth for spiritual enlightenment, his guru appears nearby.”

It’s About A Healthy Body & Mind:
“The Hindu scriptures teach that an imperative duty of man is to keep his body in good condition; otherwise, his mind is unable to remain fixed in devotional concentration.” 

Yoga – The Science of Mind Control:
“Yoga is a method for restraining the natural turbulence of thoughts, which otherwise impartially prevents all men, of all lands, from glimpsing their true nature of Spirit. Like the healing light of the sun, yoga is beneficial equally to men of the East and to men of the West. The thoughts of most persons are restless and capricious; a manifest need exists for yoga: the science of mind control.”

About the Author – Paramahansa Yogananda:

Paramahansa Yogananda was born in India in 1893 and became a spiritual leader who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship. He later traveled to the United States, where he established the Self-Realization Fellowship and became a pioneer in bringing yoga and meditation to the West. Yogananda’s teachings emphasized the importance of meditation and self-realization, and he sought to unite all religions with a common goal of spiritual growth. He passed away in 1952, but his teachings continue to inspire millions around the world.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

Other Books About Writing I’d Recommend: 

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection by Michael Singer

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

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The Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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