Paramahansa Yogananda Popular Books

Paramahansa Yogananda Biography & Facts

Paramahansa Yogananda (born Mukunda Lal Ghosh; January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952) was an Indian Hindu monk, yogi and guru who introduced millions to meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India – the only one he created to disseminate his teachings. A chief disciple of the yoga guru Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, he was sent by his lineage to spread the teachings of yoga to the West. He immigrated to America at the age of 27 to prove the unity between Eastern and Western religions and to preach a balance between Western material growth and Indian spirituality. His long-standing influence in the American yoga movement, and especially the yoga culture of Los Angeles, led him to be considered by yoga experts as the "Father of Yoga in the West". He lived his last 32 years in America.Yogananda was the first major Indian teacher to settle in America, and the first prominent Indian to be hosted in the White House (by President Calvin Coolidge in 1927); his early acclaim led to him being dubbed "the 20th century's first superstar guru" by the Los Angeles Times. Arriving in Boston in 1920, he embarked on a successful transcontinental speaking tour before settling in Los Angeles in 1925. For the next two and a half decades, he gained local fame and expanded his influence worldwide: he created a monastic order and trained disciples, went on teaching tours, bought properties for his organization in various California locales, and initiated thousands into Kriya Yoga. By 1952, SRF had over 100 centers in both India and the United States. As of 2012, they had groups in nearly every major American city. His "plain living and high thinking" principles attracted people from all backgrounds among his followers.He published his Autobiography of a Yogi in 1946 to critical and commercial acclaim. It has sold over four million copies, with Harper San Francisco listing it as one of the "100 best spiritual books of the 20th Century". Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs ordered 500 copies of the book, for each guest at his memorial to be given a copy. The book has been regularly reprinted and is known as "the book that changed the lives of millions". A documentary about his life commissioned by SRF, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, was released in 2014. He remains a leading figure in Western spirituality. A biographer of Yogananda, Phillip Goldberg, considers him "the best known and most beloved of all Indian spiritual teachers who have come to the West". Biography Youth and discipleship Yogananda was born Mukunda Lal Ghosh in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India to a Hindu Bengali Kayastha family. He was the fourth of the eight children, and second of the four sons, of Bhagabati Charan Ghosh, the vice president of Bengal-Nagpur Railway, and Gyanprabha Devi. According to his younger brother Sananda, Mukunda's awareness and experience of the spiritual were far beyond the ordinary even from his earliest years. The nature of his father's job caused the family to move several times during Mukunda's childhood, including to Lahore, Bareilly, and Kolkata. According to Autobiography of a Yogi, he was eleven years old when his mother died, just before the marriage of his eldest brother Ananta; she left behind a sacred amulet for Mukunda, given to her by a holy man, who told her that Mukunda was to possess it for some years, after which it would vanish into the ether from which it came. Throughout his childhood, his father would fund train passes for his many sight-seeing trips to distant cities and pilgrimage spots, which he would often take with friends. In his youth he sought out many of India's Hindu sages and saints, including the Soham "Tiger" Swami, Gandha Baba, and Mahendranath Gupta, hoping to find an illumined teacher to guide him in his spiritual quest.After finishing high school, Mukunda formally left home and joined a Mahamandal Hermitage in Varanasi; however, he soon became dissatisfied with its insistence on organizational work instead of meditation and God-perception. He began praying for guidance; in 1910, his seeking after various teachers mostly ended when, at the age of 17, he met his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri; at that time his well-guarded amulet mysteriously vanished, having served its spiritual purpose. In his autobiography, he describes his first meeting with Sri Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for many lifetimes: "We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!" He would go on to train under Sri Yukteswar as his disciple for the next ten years (1910–1920) at his hermitages in Serampore and Puri. Later on Sri Yukteswar informed Mukunda that he had been sent to him by the great guru of their lineage, Mahavatar Babaji, for a special world purpose of yoga dissemination.After passing his Intermediate Examination in Arts from the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, in 1915, he graduated with a degree similar to a current-day Bachelor of Arts or B.A. (at the time referred to as an A.B.) from Serampore College, the college having two entities, one as a constituent college of the Senate of Serampore College (University) and the other as an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta. This allowed him to spend time at Yukteswar's ashram in Serampore. In July 1915, several weeks after graduating from college, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami order; Sri Yukteswar allowed him to choose his own name: Swami Yogananda Giri. In 1917, Yogananda founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal that combined modern educational techniques with yoga training and spiritual ideals. A year later, the school relocated to Ranchi. One of the school's first group of pupils was his youngest brother, Bishnu Charan Ghosh, who learned yoga asanas there and in turn taught asanas to Bikram Choudhury. This school would later become the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, the Indian branch of Yogananda's American organization, Self-Realization Fellowship. Teaching in America In his autobiography, Yogananda writes that he received a vision one day in 1920 while meditating at his Ranchi school: faces of a multitude of Americans passed before his mind's eye, intimating to him that he would soon go to America. After giving charge of the school over to its faculty (and eventually to his childhood friend Swami Satyananda), he left for Calcutta. On the following day, he received an invitation from the American Unitarian Association to serve as India's delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening .... Discover the Paramahansa Yogananda popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Paramahansa Yogananda books.

Best Seller Paramahansa Yogananda Books of 2023

  • Autobiography of a Yogi synopsis, comments

    Autobiography of a Yogi

    Paramahansa Yogananda

    Autobiography of a Yogi introduces the reader to the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his encounters with spiritual figures of both the East and West. The book begins with his chi...

  • Autobiography of a Yogi synopsis, comments

    Autobiography of a Yogi

    Paramahansa Yogananda

    The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple–guru relationship. My own path led me to a Christlike sage ...

  • Kriya Yoga for Self-Discovery synopsis, comments

    Kriya Yoga for Self-Discovery

    Keith G. Lowenstein & Andrea J. Lett

    Explains the basic techniques of the practice, detailing proper posture, breathwork exercises (pranayama), bandhas, thirdeye gazing, and the use of mantra Presents advanced, yet ...

  • American Veda synopsis, comments

    American Veda

    Philip Goldberg

    A fascinating look at India’s remarkable impact on Western culture, this eyeopening popular history shows how the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mindbody methods of Yoga hav...

  • Paramahansa Yogananda synopsis, comments

    Paramahansa Yogananda

    Roy Eugene Davis

    It is rare that a direct disciple of a master of yoga shares an intimate account of that relationship and describes the psychological and spiritual transformations that can occur. ...

  • Finding God through Yoga synopsis, comments

    Finding God through Yoga

    David J. Neumann

    Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952), a Hindu missionary to the United States, wrote one of the world's most highly acclaimed spiritual classics, Autobiography of a Yogi, which was fi...

  • Works of Paramahansa Yogananda synopsis, comments

    Works of Paramahansa Yogananda

    Paramahansa Yogananda

    A saint named Mahavatar Babaji lived in the Himalayas. One day, Jesus Christ appeared to him and told Babaji to send someone to the west to remind his people that the goal of life ...

  • The Inner Light synopsis, comments

    The Inner Light

    Susan Shumsky

    The hidden meanings of the Beatles’ most esoteric lyrics and sounds are revealed by a rare insider who spent two decades with the man who made “meditation,” “mantra,” and “yoga” ho...

  • Biografia di uno Yogi synopsis, comments

    Biografia di uno Yogi

    Anya P. Foxen

    “Biografia di uno Yogi di Anya P. Foxen, offre una vera e propria svolta nello studio dello yoga e della spiritualità indiana dei nostri giorni. […] La Foxen documenta e analizza i...

  • Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda synopsis, comments

    Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda

    Paramahansa Yogananda

    This collection of sayings, anecdotes, and words of wisdom are Paramahansa Yogananda’s candid and loving responses to those who came to him for counsel. The brief vignettes in Sayi...

  • Biography of a Yogi synopsis, comments

    Biography of a Yogi

    Anya P. Foxen

    With over four million copies in print, Paramahansa Yogananda's autobiography has served as a gateway into yoga and alternative spirituality for North American practitioners since ...

  • Just Breathe synopsis, comments

    Just Breathe

    Dan Brule

    Hailed by Tony Robbins as the “definitive breathwork handbook,” Just Breathe will teach you how to harness your breath to reduce stress, increase productivity, balance your health,...