[Book Summary] Autobiography of a Yogi: The Inspiring Journey of a Spiritual Seeker

 Have you ever been curious about the life of a yogi? How do they formulate spiritual philosophies to guide their followers, and how do these teachings benefit everyday people like us?

Paramhansa Yogananda's autobiography, written in 1946, is a transformative book that outlines his journey towards spiritual enlightenment and the development of his spiritual philosophies that are followed by millions of people worldwide.

Yogananda believed that this book would serve as his messenger to change the lives of millions of people after his passing. His autobiography is a fascinating read that takes readers on a journey through his life, including encounters with spiritual figures from both eastern and western cultures.

[Book Summary] Autobiography of a Yogi: The Inspiring Journey of a Spiritual Seeker

To make this book more accessible, it has been divided into seven parts. The first part describes Yogananda's family and early life, while the second part delves into the significant people he met on his travels. The third part discusses reincarnation, followed by a section on Yogananda's spiritual journey, the role of fear, and the power of divine will.

The final section, and arguably the most crucial part of the book, delves into Yogananda's spiritual teachings in great detail. It is recommended that readers take the time to read this section carefully and thoughtfully. Overall, Yogananda's autobiography is an insightful and thought-provoking book that sheds light on the life of a yogi and the spiritual philosophies he developed.

Part 1: Yogananda's Family and History

Paramhans Yogananda's life was deeply rooted in the spiritual traditions of India. He was born in Gorakhpur, India in 1893, to a Bengali Hindu family. His father was a scholar who had memorized several secret texts, including the Bhagavad Gita. In Indian culture, the guru-shishya relationship is highly valued, based on knowledge and spirituality, and Yogananda's family was completely immersed in this tradition.

Yogananda himself was believed to be an enlightened spirit who had manifested himself in many forms during his childhood. At the age of two, he saw himself in his previous life as a young yogi on Mount Kailash in Tibet. When he was four or five years old, he spoke about his past life experiences, which drew attention from those around him.

Yogananda's parents were deeply connected to their guru, Lahiri Mahasay, and as he grew older, he continued to seek out guidance from saints and gurus in his community. When Yogananda was 11 years old, he had visions that his mother was about to die. Shortly after, she passed away, and Yogananda felt compelled to go to the Himalayas in search of spiritual guidance.

At the age of 17, Yogananda met his guru, Shri Yukteshwar Giri, whom he had seen in visions several times before they actually met. When they finally saw each other in the market of Banaras, they felt an unconditional love for each other. Shri Yukteshwar taught Yogananda many lessons that were difficult to learn, but beneficial in the long run. Although sometimes it was difficult to understand what his guru was saying, Yogananda embraced those moments because of the strong teacher-disciple connection he had with his past lives.

Shri Yukteshwar taught Yogananda many principles of Kriya-Yoga, a yogic practice aimed at achieving enlightenment by uniting the mind, body, and soul through meditation and breath. Yogananda devoted himself to mastering this practice and studying with his guru.

Despite his spiritual pursuits, Yogananda also maintained a practical approach to life, balancing his studies and spiritual practices. Shri Yukteshwar emphasized the importance of enjoying all aspects of life, including the opportunities for enlightenment that can be found in the material world.

In 1915, after receiving a degree from Serampore College, Yogananda took a vow of ascetic life on Shri Yukteshwar's orders and became known as Swami Yogananda Giri. He went on to share his spiritual knowledge with the world by opening a school in West Bengal in 1917, where students could learn yoga and traditional Indian spirituality.

Yogananda's teachings also gained a following in America after his first visit there in 1920, and the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) was established in Los Angeles to promote his ideas. Yogananda later spent the rest of his life in America, where he met many famous people and even introduced Mahatma Gandhi to Kriya Yoga during a visit to India.

Part 2: Their association with the Dalalu people

Yogananda's teachings and writings also gained popularity, especially his book "Autobiography of a Yogi", which has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide. This book is considered a spiritual classic and has inspired many people on their spiritual journeys.

Yogananda passed away on March 7, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, during a speech he was giving. His legacy continues through his teachings and the organizations he founded, including the Self-Realization Fellowship, which has centers around the world dedicated to promoting his teachings and practices. Yogananda's contribution to bringing the teachings of yoga and meditation to the West has been significant and continues to inspire people to this day.

Part 3: Reincarnation

Here the Guru is talking about the concept of reincarnation. He has not used any term, but has easily explained this idea to the readers through some special examples, and has told that this thing is a fact. Most people who hear the concept of reincarnation for the first time dismiss it, or misunderstand it. As you must have heard from people, that if he comes back to this world, he will become a bird.

But Yogananda points out that rebirth is part of an evolutionary progression, therefore, to become a bird would be a devolution. Sometimes humans keep coming in the form of animals, but till then they do not learn the necessary lessons of the animal world.

Coming back to earth, inside a body, is an important concept in yoga philosophy, and it deals with karma, which is based on a Biblical concept of "you reap what you sow". Yogananda's explanation of the concept is excellent. They help their readers to understand why they are born on this earth, what is their true goal and how they can achieve it.

Most of the time, Yogananda's efforts to transcend mortal concerns involved the management of discomfort or unpleasant sensations. As he tried not to complain during the long fast, and learned how to meditate without paying attention to the mosquitoes and other insects that bite him. Yogananda was of great help in learning to focus on God, rather than on his own needs, in moments of anxiety.

He realized that rising high doesn't mean negating the world completely, it's about balancing your enlightened mind with responsibility and attention to concern.

Part 4: His Learnings Through the Spiritual Journey

This section, which is the most essential portion of the book, explains his spiritual journey's learnings.

Self realization

The belief is that God is omnipresent in all things, including our physical body, thoughts, and innermost being. It is unnecessary to pray for the discovery of God's presence as He is not only present around us, but within us. We are intrinsically connected to Him, and our spiritual journey is about deepening our understanding and awareness of this divine connection.

Live a happy life

Displaying kindness and offering genuine guidance that brings joy to others is a trait of greatness. It's wrong to harm someone's soul by using sarcastic remarks, expressions or suggestions.

He used to advise people to be content with what they have. Spending unnecessarily will only lead to restlessness. Confront your fears and they will no longer disturb you. Let go of the past as it's beyond your control. Don't worry about the future as it's beyond your reach. Focus on the present and take charge of it. This is the path of the wise.

A simple love is self-centered, driven by one's own desires and gratification. Divine love, however, is boundless, unconditional, and unchanging.

Being on purpose and being purposeful

As we deepen our understanding, we realize that all forms in nature are connected by a unified plan. Human consciousness is linked to the body and breath, while our consciousness during sleep is associated with a temporary separation from them. In the superconscious state, we are free from the illusion that our existence depends solely on our body and breath.

Taking responsibility for our thoughts is key to creating positive change in our lives, and no one else can do it for us.

To be in service

Some individuals resort to belittling others in an attempt to advance themselves. However, every human being possesses a spark of the omnipotent consciousness of God. This spark can make you aware that whatever you focus your powerful mind on with great intensity, will soon come to you. The more a person has self-realization, the more they can impact the universe through their subtle vibrations.

You possess a magnetic force in your heart that attracts true friends to you. This magnetism stems from selflessness and prioritizing the needs of others. When you learn to live for others, they will live for you in return. Always keep in mind that you do not belong to anyone, and no one belongs to you.

Consider the prospect of one day suddenly departing from this world and make acquaintance with God. Stay composed, stay sober, and always remain in control of yourself. You will soon discover how simple it is to fall into this state of being.

Law of success

Harnessing the power of the soul involves tapping into the innermost core of our being to access a source of wisdom and strength beyond the limitations of our physical selves. This can lead to a greater sense of inner peace, clarity of mind, and a deeper connection to our purpose and the world around us.

When we focus our attention on our inner world, we can identify and overcome any negative patterns of thought and behavior that may be holding us back from achieving our goals. By harnessing the power of our soul, we can cultivate a positive mindset, build resilience in the face of adversity, and manifest our deepest desires.

By practicing mindfulness, meditation, positive affirmations, and other spiritual practices, we can create a state of balance and harmony within ourselves that radiates outwards to influence the world around us. This can lead to improved physical health, increased abundance and prosperity, and a greater sense of joy and fulfillment in our lives.

Power of thought

The key to achieving success and avoiding failure lies in the power of your thoughts. If you consistently focus on negative thoughts, even occasional positive thoughts will not be enough to attract success.

On the other hand, if you consistently focus on positive thoughts and have a mindset of success, you will be able to find your way to success, even if you are currently facing challenges or setbacks. Therefore, it is important to cultivate a positive mindset and train your thoughts to align with your goals and aspirations.


Mechanical will refers to the automatic or habitual actions that we do without consciously thinking about them. For example, brushing your teeth in the morning is often done automatically without much conscious effort. However, it is important to develop and strengthen your conscious will in order to achieve your goals and overcome obstacles.

This requires discipline, persistence, and the ability to stay focused on your goals even in the face of difficulties. With conscious will power, you can push past limitations, overcome obstacles, and achieve success in all areas of life. It is important to remember that success is not just about positive thinking, but also about taking consistent action towards your goals.

You can control destiny

Your mind is a powerful tool that has the ability to shape your reality. By focusing on positive and constructive thoughts, you can create a positive and successful life for yourself. However, it's not just about positive thinking - it's also important to use your willpower and persistence to turn those thoughts into action and results.

When you have a clear and positive goal in mind, you can use your willpower to overcome any obstacles and achieve what you want. But it's important to make sure that your goals align with your true values and desires, and that you are not just pursuing them for the sake of external validation or societal expectations. When you are truly committed to your goal and believe in its worth, your willpower becomes an unstoppable force for success.

Part 5: Fear drains life energy

Fear can be a major hindrance to our progress and success. It can cause us to doubt ourselves and our abilities, and prevent us from taking risks and pursuing our goals. However, it is important to remember that fear is a natural emotion, and it is possible to overcome it.

One effective way to overcome fear is to focus our consciousness on something greater than ourselves, such as God or a higher power. When we have faith and trust in this greater power, we can feel more secure and confident in ourselves and our abilities. This can help us to overcome our fears and move forward towards our goals with courage and determination.

In addition to focusing on a higher power, it can also be helpful to face our fears head-on, rather than avoiding or denying them. By acknowledging our fears and taking steps to address them, we can build our resilience and develop the courage and confidence to overcome them. With practice and perseverance, we can cultivate a dynamic will power that allows us to achieve our goals and live a fulfilling life.

Failures should instill determination

Failure can actually serve as a catalyst for your willpower and contribute to your personal and spiritual development. Whenever you encounter a setback, it provides you with an opportunity to examine every aspect of the situation, allowing you to identify and correct any errors that may have occurred. This will prevent you from making the same mistakes in the future and ultimately help you grow as a person.

Need for introspection

Self-analysis is the second key to progress. It acts as a mirror that reflects the hidden parts of your mind. By analyzing your failures, you can identify your good and bad tendencies and work on eliminating your shortcomings. It helps you to understand yourself better, who you want to be, and what is stopping you from reaching your potential.

Creative power of initiative

Initiative or taking initiative is an inherent creative potential that exists within each individual, a spark that originates from the infinite Creator. It possesses the ability to empower individuals to generate unique creations that have never been produced before. It instills inspiration to revolutionize existing processes and methods.

By comprehending the influence of initiative, one can realize that achieving the seemingly impossible is achievable, as it enables the creation of something novel from the ground up.

See the Image of God in All Humans

Many individuals make explanations for their faults while passing judgement on others. We must modify this mindset by forgiving others and recognising and correcting our own failings.

Thought habits control everyone's life

Success will come sooner or later, depending on one's habits. They are not spontaneous insights or amazing thoughts, but rather your daily mental patterns that rule your life. Your thinking patterns act as mind magnets, attracting you to specific things, people, and circumstances.

Profits and possibilities are attracted by good thought habits. Negative thinking patterns draw you to flashy individuals and an unpleasant atmosphere.

Part 6: The Power of Divine Will

Divine Will has no bounds; it operates via all types of law, known and unseen, natural and miraculous. It has the power to change your fortunes, resurrect the dead, convert mountains into oceans, and establish a new solar system.

From the ocean of abundance

The source of all power, spiritual and material, is rooted in will power. To access this never-ending abundance, one must remove limited and poverty thoughts from their mind and maintain an abundance consciousness. Even in times of uncertainty, one must hold onto courage and trust that when they do their best, the universe will conspire in their favor.

Meditation is a tool to cultivate this confidence and abundance consciousness. If you want to learn more about how spiritual philosophies can help you achieve success, check out our summary of "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" linked below.

Read More : The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Method of meditation

When we are constantly busy, our minds become stressed, causing us to disconnect from our higher consciousness. This is where meditation comes in. It allows us to release negative emotions, which can be uncomfortable, but ultimately helps us to heal, eliminate our fears, and let go of limiting beliefs.

With the power of meditation and focus, we can tap into the infinite potential of our minds and achieve our desired outcomes, while shutting out fear. Successful people recognize the importance of deep concentration and dive into their own minds to find the right solutions. By learning how to remove distractions and focus on what truly matters, we can attract what we want and manifest our goals.

Success is measured by happiness

Having a clear understanding of what success means to you is crucial in achieving your goals. Success is not just about having wealth and good health, it also involves having good relationships with others and inner peace.

Money and material possessions can come and go, but inner peace and positive relationships with others are priceless. When you have inner peace, you have a sense of calmness and tranquility that helps you navigate life's challenges with ease. And when you have positive relationships with others, you have a support system that helps you grow and thrive.

Therefore, when setting your goals, consider how they align with your values and contribute to your overall sense of success. Strive to achieve not only material and physical success, but also emotional and spiritual fulfillment.

Keep God's Power With Your Efforts

By using what you already possess for creative purposes, you can attract even more abundance into your life. Stay on your path with unwavering determination, utilizing all the virtues at your disposal to achieve success. Align yourself with the creative power of your spirit, and you will tap into the infinite intelligence that can offer guidance and solutions to all your problems.

Releated Post: 10 precious thoughts from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita

Part 7: Energy is a creative force we can harness

Life is sustained by energy, the force that propels planets and fuels our daily routines. Energy is a formidable resource, one that we can harness for our benefit. On this planet, everything moves towards a goal, whether consciously or not. Without a regular meditation practice, we risk becoming slaves to our subconscious mind.

However, those who cultivate mental mastery unlock their infinite potential to effect change. Through meditation, we learn to appreciate the beauty in every circumstance, and we radiate joy, love, and positivity to all those around us.

Sum Up of Autobiography of a Yogi

The Autobiography of a Yogi is a spiritual classic that offers a unique perspective on the teachings and practices of yoga and meditation. The book provides insights into the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his journey towards self-realization. It highlights the importance of spirituality in one's life and the transformative power of meditation.

The book concludes with a message of hope and inspiration, encouraging readers to embark on their own spiritual journey and seek a deeper understanding of their purpose in life. It emphasizes the need to develop a strong connection with the divine and to recognize the inherent goodness in all beings.

Overall, the Autobiography of a Yogi is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and guide people towards a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Thank you for your feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed the summary. I hope that incorporating the lessons from this book into your life will enable you to live a more fulfilling life.

Hemant Singh

Hello friends, my name is Hemant Singh. I am the writer and founder of this blog, talking about education, I am a student of BBA. I love learning information related to technology and teaching it to others. Through this website, I share information about News, Educational Post.

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