Notable Comments and Reviews

What makes the Autobiography of a Yogi an enduring spiritual classic?

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    Comments on Autobiography of a Yogi

    "As an eyewitness recountal of the extraordinary lives and powers of modern Hindu saints, the book has an importance both timely and timeless....His unusual life document is certainly one of the most revealing…of the spiritual wealth of India ever to be published in the West."

    — W. Y. Evans-Wentz, M.A., D.Litt., D.Sc.,

    renowned scholar and author of many books on Eastern religion

    "I am grateful to you for granting me some insight into this fascinating world."

    — Thomas Mann, Nobel laureate

    "Few books…have had greater impact on popular theology than Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi."

    — Phyllis A. Tickle,

    Author, God-Talk in America

    "In [Yogananda's] celebrated Autobiography of a Yogi, he offers a stunning account of the 'cosmic consciousness' reached on the upper levels of yogic practice, and numerous interesting perspectives on human nature from the yogic and Vedantic points of view."

    — Robert S. Ellwood, Ph.D.,

    Chairman, School of Religion, University of Southern California

    "Autobiography of a Yogi is justifiably celebrated as one of the most entertaining and enlightening spiritual books ever written."

    — Tom Butler-Bowdon,

    Author, 50 Spiritual Classics: Timeless Wisdom from 50 Great Books of Inner Discovery, Enlightenment & Purpose

    "One of the most charmingly simple and self-revealing of life-stories…a veritable treasure-house of learning. The great personalities one meets in these pages…return to memory as friends endowed with rich spiritual wisdom, and one of the greatest of these is the God-intoxicated author himself."

    — Dr. Anna von Helmholtz-Phelan,

    Professor of English, University of Minnesota

    "Decade after decade, Autobiography of a Yogi has been one of our best-selling books. While other books come and go, it sustains because critical inquiry over time has shown that it opens the way poignantly and sublimely to spiritual fulfillment."

    — Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles

    "I keep stacks of Autobiography of a Yogi around the house, and I give it out constantly to people. When people need 'regrooving,' I say read this, because it cuts to the heart of every religion."

    — George Harrison

    "You would be hard-pressed to find anyone on the spiritual path whose life has not been influenced by this profound work of literature. It started me in a path of yoga, meditation, and self-exploration that has continued until this day."

    — Jack Canfield,

    co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series

    "Autobiography of a Yogi is regarded as an Upanishad of the new age....It has satisfied the spiritual thirst of hundreds of thousands of truth-seekers throughout the world. We in India have watched with wonder and fascination the phenomenal spread of the popularity of this book about India's saints and philosophy. We have felt great satisfaction and pride that the immortal nectar of India's Sanatana Dharma, the eternal laws of truth, has been stored in the golden chalice of Autobiography of a Yogi."

    — Dr. Ashutosh Das, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt.,

    Professor, Calcutta University

    "There are many books in Western tongues that expound Indian philosophy and particularly Yoga, but none other reveals to us with such candor the experiences of one who embodies and lives these principles."

    — Dr. Kurt F. Leidecker,

    Professor of Philosophy, University of Virginia

    "I met Paramahansa Yogananda on two occasions in the 1930s as a boy....Twenty years later someone gave me Autobiography of a Yogi....The moment I started reading that book, it did something to me that I can't describe. I have read many books on yoga, by yogis; but I was never impressed as with this book. It has some magic in it."

    Ravi Shankar,

    Indian classical musician

    "The book I most wish I'd written is the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, because then I would have had all of the fabulous experiences he described growing up in India in the early part of the century. Who would not want to have known genuine gurus and living saints?"

    — Andrew Weil, M.D.,

    Health expert and author, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health

    "For those interested in learning about Eastern philosophy and meditation techniques....a book that enriched my life immeasurably, and remains the favorite of many thousands, [is] Autobiography of a Yogi....[Paramahansa Yogananda] was a prolific writer and an intensely devotional monastic and his autobiography is one of the most compelling books available today."

    — Cate Tuttle,

    San Diego Union-Tribune

    Reviews from U.S. Press

    "A rare account."

    — The New York Times

    "A fascinating and clearly annotated study."

    — Newsweek

    "In a very readable style…Yogananda presents a convincing case for yoga, and those who 'came to scoff' may remain 'to pray.' "

    — San Francisco Chronicle

    "Sheer revelation…should help the human race to understand itself better…autobiography at its very best…breathtaking…told with delightful wit and compelling sincerity…as fascinating as any novel."

    — News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

    "Among the thousands of books that are published each year, there are those that entertain, those that instruct, those that edify. A reader can consider himself fortunate if he finds one that does all three. Autobiography of a Yogi is rarer still — it is a book that opens windows of the mind and spirit."

    — India Journal

    "Whatever your own religious beliefs, you'll find Autobiography of a Yogi a joyous affirmation of the power of the human soul."

    — West Coast Review of Books

    "…cannot but impress and interest the Western reader."

    — Saturday Review

    "There has been nothing before, written in English or in any other European language, like this presentation of Yoga."

    — Columbia University Press

    "Rewarding....a life filled with spiritual adventure."

    — United Press

    "At last, a non-contradictory and intuitively satisfying picture of the universe, from worlds whirling in space to the slightest detail of human life."

    — Runner's World

    "Engrossing, inspiring; a 'literarity'!"

    — Grandy's Syndicated Book Reviews

    World Press

    "A truly astounding book."

    Naturheil-Praxis, Germany

    "…a wisdom so deep that one feels spellbound, permanently moved."

    — Haagsche Post, Holland

    "The reader of our present times will seldom find such a beautiful, deep, and truthful book as Autobiography of a Yogi....Full of knowledge and rich in personal experiences...."

    — La Paz, Bolivia

    "The contents of this book are unusual…particularly to the contemporary Christian whose comfortable habit is to relegate miracles to past centuries....The philosophical passages are extremely interesting. Yogananda is on a spiritual plane above religious differences....The book is well worth reading."

    — China Weekly Review, Shanghai

    "…a monumental work."

    — Sheffield Telegraph, England

    "One of the deepest and most important messages of this century."

    — Neue Telta Zeitung, Austria

    "Whether Yogananda talks about deathless saints and miraculous healings or whether he transmits Indian wisdom and yoga science, the reader is enthralled."

    — Die Weltwoche, Zurich, Switzerland

    "Pages that will enthrall the reader, because they appeal to the aspiration and longing that slumber in the heart of every man."

    — Il Tempo del Lunedì, Rome

    "It is a book that can be called inspired."

    — Eleftheria, Greece

    "We must credit this important biography with the power to bring about a spiritual revolution."

    — Schleswig-Holsteinische Tagespost, Germany

    "The autobiography of this sage makes captivating reading."

    — The Times of India

    Reviews for Audiobook Edition — Read by Sir Ben Kingsley

    "A superb audio translation....Yogananda's masterly storytelling epitomizes the Indian oral tradition with its wit, charm, and compassionate wisdom....This extraordinary work will greatly enrich any library....Kingsley [gives a] magnificent narration."

    — Library Journal

    "Ben Kingsley, who won worldwide recognition and an Academy Award for his performance in the title role of Gandhi, has a compelling voice....His subtle dramatization brings out...the charm of the many colorful anecdotes interwoven throughout the book. In his sensitive interpretation, this fascinating chronicle comes vividly to life....Most highly recommended!"

    — Leading Edge Review

    "First published in 1946 and later expanded by the author, this is one of the more important texts in the world's spiritual literature because it conveys the essence of spiritual life. Kingsley is the perfect choice for this material....Even if you've read this [book] before, it's possible you've never really heard what it's saying....These words sound fresh and new because they're spoken. Kingsley is focused; the words are mesmerizing."

    — The Santa Fe Sun

    "An engrossing and rewarding version that permits listeners to open their hearts and spirit by resting their eyes. A rich personal experience."

    — The Book Reader

    "Superbly narrated....Kingsley's distinctive voice brings Yogananda's extraordinary and colorful story to life with wit, grace, and elegance."

    — Napra Review

    "Americans keep searching for spiritual experiences....Paramahansa Yogananda shows a way that is compatible with all the world's religions."

    — Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, North Carolina

    "Yogananda's autobiography has long been regarded as a spiritual classic....British actor Ben Kingsley's voice embellishes this audio edition…[and] is excellent in enlivening the yogi's account."

    — Midwest Book Review

    "[Kingsley's] compelling reading takes the listener on an extraordinary journey into a life of unmistakable greatness."

    — The Billings Gazette

    "Readers familiar with the yogi's eloquence and wit will delight in Kingsley's sensitive and subtle dramatization of Yogananda's life story…There exist few parallels for the Autobiography's sheer authenticity, guaranteed to penetrate you regardless of your religious beliefs."

    — Branches

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