Autobiography of a Yogi is one of the 20th century's best-loved
spiritual classics. This book is the original edition first
published in 1946. It details the life of Paramahansa Yogananda -
one of India's Spiritual guru's, who is often referred to
particularly in the West as, the Father of Yoga. Yogananda
chronicles his life's journey and his many encounters with
spiritual luminaries such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore,
Therese Neumann, and many more. On meeting Gandhi Yogananda
observed - "The tiny 100-pound saint radiated physical, mental, and
spiritual health. His soft brown eyes shone with intelligence,
sincerity, and discrimination; this statesman has matched wits and
emerged the victor in a thousand legal, social, and political
battles. No other leader in the world has attained the secure niche
in the hearts of his people that Gandhi occupies for India's
millions. The result is wondrous, and profoundly inspiring." In
1935 Yogananda travelled to Bavaria to meet Therese Neumann, the
famous Catholic Mystic who was also a stigmatic. It is said that
Neumann survived without food or water and her only intake was one
consecrated sacred Host a day. At his meeting with Neumann,
Yogananda asked - "Don't you eat anything?" I wanted to hear the
answer from her own lips. "No, except a consecrated rice-flour
wafer, once every morning at six o'clock." "How large is the
wafer?" "It is paper-thin, the size of a small coin." She added, "I
take it for sacramental reasons; if it is unconsecrated, I am
unable to swallow it." "Certainly you could not have lived on that,
for twelve whole years?" "I live by God's light." How simple her
reply, how Einsteinian! "I see you realize that energy flows to
your body from the ether, sun, and air." A swift smile broke over
her face. "I am so happy to know you understand how I live." "Your
sacred life is a daily demonstration of the truth uttered by
Christ: 'Man shall not live by bread, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'" In his foreword, Walter
Evans-Wentz, the co-editor and translator of The Tibetan Book of
the Dead observe; "The value of Yogananda's autobiography is
greatly enhanced by the fact that it is one of the few books in
English about the wise men of India which has been written, not by
a journalist or foreigner, but by one of their own race and
training - in short, a book about yogis by a yogi. As an eyewitness
account of the extraordinary lives and powers of modern Hindu
saints, the book has importance both timely and timeless. To its
illustrious author, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing both in
India and America, may every reader render due appreciation and
gratitude. His unusual life-document is certainly one of the most
revealing of the depths of the Hindu mind and heart, and of the
spiritual wealth of India, ever to be published in the West.
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