A one-of-a-kind book written by an Indian spiritual master, Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi deals with philosophies and anecdotes related to God, universe, spirit or in simple words you, me and us. How we subconsciously mingle spiritualism with religion is absurd. It’s an autobiography of a man reaching self-realization and spreading his knowledge beyond the Indian borders into the western realms. I read this book just to try a different genre and it definitely was worth a read.
It gives you philosophy and the scientific reason behind it. This book narrates the rich history of spiritually enlightened beings our land had birthed and without any malice or sugarcoat tells you various miracles performed by them. Autobiography of a Yogi has content which can leave you quizzical because certain happenings are so powerful that it almost becomes unrealistic to believe but I won’t debate on its authenticity. It’s a book to be read with an open mind.
Yogananda Ji was born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh in a financially balanced home. His spiritual inclination was rooted deep since a young age and he had to face his parental pressure for schooling. After graduation, he adorned the path of spirituality and upon the order of his Guru, Sri Yukteshwar Ji he headed to America. Paramahansa Yogananda describes how east and west can benefit and learn from each other. The book is set in 1915-1940 where he describes his meetings with JC Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi and eminent American speakers at various conferences to name a few. There is a well-elucidated mention about Sri Lahiri Mahasaya and Babaji.
Lahiri Mahasaya was the guru of Sri Yukteshwar and Babaji is considered to be the Mahavir who had initiated Lahiri Mahasaya on his spiritual journey. There is mention of how these enlightened beings have guided and prepared Yogananda to spread this age-old spiritual science beyond Indian borders. Paramahansa has not only mentioned about various Indian saints but also appreciated the spiritual prowess of western saints. He has drawn a clear relation between our scriptures and Christian ideologies.
Many times you will stumble upon the mention of Jesus and words like crucifying and Christlike. Sri Yukteshwar Ji explained The Bible to Yogananda and had introduced him to the impeccable viewpoint of his and drawn the similarities between the oriental and the occidental wisdom. This book is an exceptional work on the relation between science and spirituality. It has a beautiful chapter where the author explains how his Guru saw the universe post-death.
It deals with questions which we all ask but which have no clear answers. It is a suave effort to answer those questions. This book has also been endorsed by Steve Jobs and I must thank Virat Kohli for the recommendation, and it is definitely a must read from my side, too!
About the Author:
Anupam Singh (BDS, PU Campus)