This audio edition, featuring Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley's masterful narration, contains the complete text of Paramahansa Yogananda's life story, an absorbing account of a singular search for Truth. Yogananda describes his experiences with modern-day saints and illuminated masters of India, and presents a definitive introduction to the whole science and philosophy of Yoga.
© and (P) 1996, 2000 Self-Realization Fellowship
"A superb audio translation....Extraordinary work." (Library Journal)
"Ben Kingsley's smooth, articulate performance makes the formal writing style accessible to the listener." (AudioFile)
Rye-and-Indian, baked daily.
I picked up Yogi for the same reason I've picked up numerous other books in the past year: 50+ years old, culturally iconic, touted by several reviewers, and philosophically challenging. Cherished by George Harrison and Steve Jobs with a "guru/grasshopper" storyline, and narrated by Ben Kingsley: what wouldn't there be to love? "A lot," it turns out.
Do you love prognostication and miracles in everyday life? Repeated references to sciences that prove the afterlife? If so, you have 18 hours of listening bliss before you. Predictions of disease, death and train delays; 20th century saints who don't eat or sleep; physically proven elements such as 'lifetrons'... on and on. I respect and understand these legends are a big part of Hindi faith, but at the end of the day this rhetoric does nothing for me.
Several times through the book there were numerous guru/grasshopper relationships that are outright abusive. Guru Sri casting cholera (!) on Mukunda to earn respect and loyalty, Mukunda's thin sister's needing to gain weight in order to have a happy marriage, believers jumping to their death off of cliffs in order to profess belief in their god: just stop. I hope the fellow reader has the ability to see through these dangers and falsehoods.
The frustrating part about this book is that there -are- pearls of wisdom buried within (pocket notes below); it's just that the sugar-to-sand ratio is so wildly poor. These scenes with the children's schools were pleasant. The chapter with Gandhi was great. I was unaware how intertwined Hinduism is with Christianity. Perhaps a good editor could strip this book down to 150 pages and turn this title into one that would truly bridge the east/west gap. Until that time, steer clear of any lead-based astrological bangles and take your credit elsewhere: 'The Untethered Soul', 'Way of the Peaceful Warrior', and the 'Tao Te Ching' are significantly more satisfying.
- Self observance produces seers; self-expression produces egotists
- Conflicts in the battlefield pale in comparison to the conflicts in man's mind
- "When the fruit is ripe, the flower falls"
- Spirituality is measured by state of bliss in meditation
- The ultimate goal is to overcome the illusion of the physical world ('maya'), and to overcome the fear of death
- For the faults of the many, judge not the whole: be the wise ant who siezes only sugar and leaves the sand behind
- "Do not do what you want, then you may do what you like."
- A man who has reformed himself will reform thousands.
- Utopia must spring in the private bosom before it can flower in civic virtue.
I'm Trying to see the world with my ears.
This is an absolutely fascinating book!. most beautifully written It offers a theory of the workings of the universe which unlike many others has been tested and proved right by many ancient seers and modern seekers of truth, Here many religious dogmas and new age "mysticisms" lose their grip on the open discriminative mind. Read and Think!!!
Thank You Paramahansa Yogananda...
I used to walk by this book on my mother's bookself and I never picked it up to read. I can't believe my parents read this book in the 60's because it was so far ahead of it's time. In the land of Gandhi, this author writes about his life and the intricate ceremonies, and insights of Hindus. I was blown away, and will continue to return to the book for the stories.
This is a great book... but unfortunately all the bliss disappears with the boring pretentious voice of Ben Kingsley. You would expect more reading skills of this professional actor.
Better to read the book !
It's a long book and there's no doubt that there are sections that can be quite draining. But the narrator is good, the quality of the book is good and the language Yogananda uses is inspiring. I feel very confident that it's a book that I'll listen to again and again and learn from it each time more and more.
This is a treasure of a book - beautifully written and wonderfully read. The insights and spiritual teachings are deep and timeless. I felt bereaved of a good friend when the book ended and will definetly listen to it again.
Cook, Steelworker, Sailor in Viet Nam. Retired after 4 decades as an RN. Share a birthday with Mark Twain and his love of "spinnin' a yarn"
OK so you want to better understand the thinking of the other side of the world. Not so long ago America welcomed these divergent ideas in a spirit of naive discovery and wonder. The Chattauqua lectures were happening on the east coast and Big Sur was a colony of artistic thinkers and lifestyle experiments. And P. Yogananda , having discovered the discipline/ritual/extacy of an enlightened life brought it to America and we loved it. This is the story of how one person developed to become a spiritual leader for millions. It makes sense to see his life unfold.
I found this to be a wonderful story of his experience. Not preachy, not pushy. just where he came from what he saw and how it affected him. How it changed his thinking. If you are a devout Christian or Catholic this will not sway your faith but it may expand your idea of what a saint is.
The story of the life of Paramahansa Yongananda is truly an incredible one. It creates a vivid picture of not only Indian culture and customs, but the basic tenets of Hinduism and yogic history. This is a must-read for anyone interested in learning the history of some of the world's greatest teachers, and draws strong connections between the lives of the many saints and gurus who have influenced modern spirituality.
I read this book years ago and loved it. When I first started listening to it the reader put me off though. It was like it took him some time to get into it. But actually considering the lenght of the book, I thought he was effective and convincing and did a good job after the strangely bland beginning. And the content of the book is very powerful to me.
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