Autobiography of a Yogi Paperback
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 604 pages, b&w photographs
- Publisher: Self-Realization Fellowship,U.S.
- Publication Date: 15/10/2004
- Category: Other non-Christian religions
- ISBN: 9780876120798
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by latefordinner
What tripe. I put this down a couple of years ago, I couldn't finish it. Who is this written for? An eight year old? Written in a tedious, simplistic, and pendantic style like childrens Bible stories or perhaps fables for the feeble minded. What am I missing here? I've read the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, I've read spiritual biographies. This has lots of good reviews, maybe I should try again.
Review by Tobias.Bruell
The text is mainly a collection of miracles the the author claims have happened in his, his guru's, or his guru's guru's life. "Miracle" here means something of the type: divine healing, teleportation, a person not appearing on a photo taken, materialisation of food and other things, telepathy, predicting the future, non-eating for extended periods of time, transfer of diseases, or resurrection. The text also contains more mundane episodes from the authors life and even a few glimpses of his teaching. However, the real meat of his teaching (called "Kriya Yoga") is only made available to those who are willing to enter the institution founded by the author; this is often not a good sign.Regardless of whether one believes all the stories of miracles or not, the whole text is very sensationalistic. Also, I found the exaggerated reverence of the author for his guru often very annoying. At other times it just seems odd when, for example, on p. 123, ch. 12, the author says that his guru is snoring and then glorifies it by saying that snoring is a sign of complete relaxation.Both the author and his guru seem to be wealthy, because they were born into rich families. At times I had the feeling that the author is a bit dismissive of people who were less fortunate, e.g., p. 213, ch. 20, where the author ask his uncle "could you possibly spare me your servant".Needless to say, the book is very esoteric, which culminates in the end were the author describes life after death and his worldview (highlight, p. 459-460, ch. 43, "[...] on different astral planets [...] war take[s] place with lifetronic bombs or mental mantric vibratory rays.").The good things that I can say about the book are that1.) it is entertaining,2.) it provides a view into a different culture, and3.) the scientific approach is in principle approved of, e.g., p. 369, ch. 35, were it is said that Kriya Yoga is like mathematics: "Burn to ashes all books on mathematics; the logically minded will always rediscover such truths." Maybe the real miracle of the book is how the author was able to reconcile the scientific principle and the esoteric parts of his teaching in his own mind.
Review by IonaS
First, I´ll admit that I didn´t manage to read this 2-volume book to the end. And life is too short to complete long books that one finds boring.While I have full respect for Yogananda, I just didn´t find this book interesting, though it was extremely well-written (at least in Danish translation). The author tells us at length of his encounters with various yogis in his youth, who were highly developed, and could bi-locate (be in two places at once), etc etc, and of various other experiences. He also pontificates about India´s scientific prowess.At the back of each volume there are interesting photos of the author and his family, and various gurus of his acquaintance, including his own guru, Sri Yukteswar, etc,If you are extremely interested in yogis, India, or want to know all details of Yogananda´s life, you may find this book fascinating. Otherwise, you may find it as boring as I did. I cannot really recommend it, though I cannot exclude the possibility that parts of the book I didn´t get round to contain fascinating bits of information.