“May Thy Love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion. And may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts.”
Autobiography of a Yogi is the first hand account of the life experiences of Paramhansa Yogananda. It is known as one of the best-selling spiritual classics of all time, read by millions of people all over the world, and recognized universally by varying religious traditions as a beautiful depiction of the spiritual path.
It is a treasured collection of stories, humor, and practical and scientific explanations of the great yoga wisdom of the East. Start reading now online for free.
Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that quickly accelerates one’s spiritual growth — though ancient, it was first made widely known by Yogananda in his autobiography.
“Kriya,” he wrote, “is the easiest, most effective, and most scientific avenue of approach to the Infinite. In contrast to the slow, uncertain ‘bullock cart’ theological path to God, Kriya may justly be called the ‘airplane’ route.”
Kriya is more than a simple technique. It can be learned from Ananda Sangha and other groups and in fact represents an entire way of life.
With Kriya Yoga, Paramhansa Yogananda taught three other techniques of yoga and meditation:
“The Science of Kriya Yoga,” read by Swami Kriyananda:
Autobiography of a Yogi was dedicated by Yogananda to Burbank, his close friend, whom he called an “American saint.” Once addressing Yogananda of his kriya yoga practice, Burbank said, “I practice the technique devoutly.”
Yogananda asked Henry Ford to be a sponsor of his first world brotherhood colony. Yogananda deeply respected and emphasized the spiritual business practice of Ford Motors’ innovative five-day work week.
When George went to India to study sitar with Ravi Shankar he was given Autobiography of a Yogi. He felt that Yogananda was one of the great spiritual teachers of his life. Yogananda and his line of gurus appear on the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album.
Read the Autobiography of a Yogi every year. 500 copies of Yogananda’s autobiography were given out at his memorial in honor of his respect for this spiritual gift to the world.
Yogananda visited Gandhi at Wardha. Gandhi received kriya yoga initiation from him and learned his yogic energization exercises.
A photograph was taken of “Swami Yogananda’s Los Angeles Class.”
Yogananda visited Mount Vernon with his students and gave a talk. A photograph was taken showing him leaving a wreath at Washington’s grave. His words to the audience included the following:
“As Washington performed his duty he never forgot the Giver of all gifts. That is what inspired me in his life. In India he always inspired me with this thought. His love for Truth was greater than love of party politics.
“I believe that though patriotism is necessary, it should not exclude Spiritual Truth because patriotism which excludes international well-being is built on loose stones. But patriotism which is firmly built on the everlasting source of Truth, that patriotism which loves Truth and Truth Alone, that nation is based on such patriotism as Washington possessed… and the great good that he did to the world and to America is ever awake with us.
“He is ever living in the minds of the world, and we must always be inspired by his example… for he inspired not only thousands, hundreds of thousands, but millions.”
Yogananda established the Self-Realization Temple in Long Beach, California.
Paramhansa Yogananda was trained for his mission in the West by his Guru Swami Sri Yukteswar of Serampore, India.
Born in Bengal, India, to a pious brahmin family, Lahiri Mahasaya was the one who made the ancient science of Kriya Yoga available not just to those who had renounced the world, but to all sincere souls.
Babaji simply means “revered father.” Though the great master’s birth name and date are unknown, his subtle spiritual influence is felt throughout the world.
“Babaji,” Yogananda said, “is in constant communion with Christ; together they send out vibrations of redemption, and have planned the spiritual technique of salvation for this age.”