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Publisher's Summary

When Autobiography of a Yogi first appeared in 1946, it was acclaimed as a landmark work in its field. The New York Times hailed it as "a rare account". Newsweek pronounced it "fascinating". The San Francisco Chronicle declared, "Yogananda presents a convincing case for yoga, and those who 'came to scoff' may remain 'to pray." Today it is still one of the most widely read and respected books ever published on the wisdom of the East.

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.

©1981, 1998, 2007 Self-Realization Fellowship (P)1996, 2000 Self-Realization Fellowship

Critic Reviews

"A superb audio translation....Extraordinary work." (Library Journal)
"Ben Kingsley's smooth, articulate performance makes the formal writing style accessible to the listener." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 12-27-04

Spiritually Uplifting -- and entertaining!

Many have read this book, and have come away inspired to follow the path established by its author, P. Yogananda. Others have simply been left with a fascinating story about a man who came to America in 1920 with nothing, and by the time that he left his body, had met with the President of the United States and future governor of California and established a religious path which is still standing to this very day.

Regardless of the vantage point you may be coming from, this is a delightful read, and an excellent introduction to Eastern religious thought -- the way it had been originally taught -- before it was watered down by charlatans simply looking to cash in on the "latest fad."

The audio version is an absolute delight, and Ben Kingsley's reading is inspired. This is not a man "going through the motions" to collect a paycheck. Every single word is thoughtfully and smoothly enunciated, making this a pleasure to listen to. Thus, I would highly recommend this to even those who have already read the print version.

Finally, let me recommend the following: don't listen to this while jogging, driving in heavy traffic, or while otherwise distracted. Set some time aside and listen intently.

83 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

A must read for anyone who is interested in spiritual teachings and religion of the east. Entertaining story of Paramahansa Yogananda's life with his guru and teaching of Kriya Yoga. If you are inspired by the teachings of Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, you will be very interested in this book. I am now inspired to go to the Self Realization Fellowship in NYC and be initiated in Kriya Yoga myself.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jenny
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 12-28-05

An elegant discourse on Why?

I downloaded this book out of curiosity; I wasn't looking for enlightenment or truth. And with a length of nearly 18 hours, I didn't expect to listen to the whole thing. But I did, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't say it transformed my life or that I agree with what the writer believes in, but it has brought me to a deeper appreciation of another way of "right living", another way of looking at and valuing the things in our lives. It also opens a window into a certain period of time, the religious life in India from the later 1800's to early part of our century which is very fascinating to behold. Kingsley's voice is gorgeous and infuses elegance into every word and phrase. I must say, whenever road rage struck me, listening to a bit of this audiobook was always very soothing.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the finest books on Spirituality ever

It doesn't matter what your religious understanding is - you will be uplifted and spiritually enriched by the depth of experience, love and humility of this author.

Learn the truly great gift Jesus left for us, far beyond that understood from the Christian scriptures. Understand the true meaning of "In the image of God".

You will never see your religious training in the same light again.

41 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Valera
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 03-09-05

Fascinating in many ways

Yogananda talks about his life with great clarity using a writing style specific to the age at which he describes himself at each point of the book. The book fascinated me with the richness of India's social and spiritual traditions, which I wasn't previously aware of. The author is examplary in his dedication to pursuit of spiritual truth, which acts as an affirming beacon to modern spiritual seekers. Many details of yogic wisdom are explained, often in conjunction with author's life experiences. The stories about Indian masters are fascinating and often had me sitting in the car after I finished driving.

Overall, a great combination of a biography, a novel, a cultural text and a book of wisdom and spirituality all in one. I've read many spiritual books and highly recommend this one for its particular taste. Narration is superb also, one of the best I've heard.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • brenty
  • United States
  • 10-12-12

Too rich for my mind...

I hate to say anything bad about this book. In fact, I can't. It was charming and insightful. Yet somehow -- in spite of the warm, inviting performance and presence of Ben Kingsley, and the inspiring and playful narrative -- this book just didn't grab me, and it was difficult to get through.

I will have to revisit this again in the future. Perhaps with age and experience I will grow to appreciate it more next time. :)

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • ASHLAND, OR, USA
  • 12-12-07

Another Oscar for Kingsley

Others here have given appropriate praise for this timeless gem of a book.

I will instead tell you about how well it is read. Ben Kingsley gives Yogananda's words an uncanny richness and colour. In several years of Audible membership I've never been so moved by the narrator. I enjoyed Kingsley so much, I rented Ghandi [on DVD] and watched it for the 1st time in 25 years [it won about a dozen Oscars!]...from it I learned he is half Indian...which helps explain how justly he treats all the yoga terminology, all the place names, all of Yogananda's Indian terms.

Search Kingsley's name and you'll see, he has read very few books, unfortunately! He no doubt was honored to read this one, as he never misses a step.

I've read this 4 times now, it keeps getting better! And finally, thankfully, it has brought me to my own regular meditation practice. Stop reading about it and go get it!

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ivo
  • Tempe, AZ, USA
  • 03-07-05

Unparalleled !!!

This book was the end of my search for a spiritual path. 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, of which the author himself was one. Here many religious dogmas and new age "mysticisms" lose their grip on the open discriminative mind. Read and Think!!!

Thank You Paramahansa Yogananda...

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

Of all the books I have ever read or listened to, this is the most beautifully written (and narrated!), AND the most life-changing. The prose is exquisite, the author saintly in his wisdom and open heart, and the message of spiritual values, beliefs, conviction, acceptance and insight, life-changing. I had never really thought of yoga beyond a workout, but this book has changed my perspective and understanding beyond recognition; my eyes have been opened to a spirituality that, within itself, contains all others and gives meaning to life - now THAT'S what the world needs! Cannot recommend it enough.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A well read classic

It is unfortunate that the previous reviewer would choose to lower the average rating with a joke. It is hard to read this book and not feel anything. Yogananda was a generous soul who dedicated his life to helping bring a valuable and universal teaching to all of us. Ben Kingsley gives the book a beautiful and sensitive reading. Many times I forget that it is not Yogananda himself speaking. This audiobook is highly recommended to any open minded person of any spiritual belief.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Cousins
  • 06-05-16

Humbling, Entertaining and Instructive

An enjoyable book detailing Paramahansa Yogananda's life and the trials, frustrations and wisdom that was revealed to him from the likes of Sri Yukteswar and Babaji. His stories are entertaining, amusing and carry great teaching. The narrative by Sir Ben Kingsley is perfect for this book and is beautifully read by him.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Miles
  • 09-22-16

Wonderful

This is a classic! Anyone interested in spiritual development this book is a must. Ben Kingsley, who narrates the book is brilliant.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • derek sleater
  • 03-11-16

Amazing

Would you consider the audio edition of Autobiography of a Yogi to be better than the print version?

Yes, the narration brings it to a whole new level, you can tell Ben was really enjoying this.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really enjoyed this book, it made me look at like in an entirely different way, fans of the secret would enjoy listening to this.

Any additional comments?

It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did I am grateful I stayed with it.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • MARK EVANS
  • 06-13-18

A must read for all

A must read for all who are looking for self- realization. From beginning to end, the book grips you into understand the inner and outer struggles of the mind

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Louis Raubenheimer
  • 12-13-17

A masterful account of a most beautiful life

What a wonderful tale. A must read for anyone with an interest in spirituality, eastern religion or India, its people and its colourful history. I feel nearer to God having listened to it and it has inspired me to continue my own spiritual growth with ever more dedication and discipline. Quite magical

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • PK
  • 07-07-17

must read

something should every human should read in their life time. I ha e read this book many years before but listening to it now have a different life to it. the narrative voice was very apt and cultivating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • m e n k
  • 06-11-17

Facinating.

I initally thought this book was a bit full on and so dipped in and out of it over a few months. But now having completed it I would give it 10 stars. It gave me a better understanding of our spiritual connection God and makes several references to Jesus Christ. As a Christian it opened my mind to understanding some of the questions I had about my faith.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-15

A golden insight into the spiritual world

An wonderful account of how the teachings of the world's religions fuse and interconnect into a singular spiritual message and truth

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Teenie
  • 10-08-16

The best book I've ever read or listened to

An amazingly inspiring and beautifully uplifting book. I am going to have to listen to it again straight away. Answered so many questions that I've have regarding religion for many years. Up until listening to this autobiography I called myself an atheist.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rohan
  • 07-29-18

best book ever

This amazing book changed my life and gave my spiritual pursuits a big push. well narrated by Ben Kingsley.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • meredith
  • 06-29-15

Superb Insight Into Indian Life and Spirituality

This is a magical classic, the only autobiography of a prominent real yogi ,I know of in existence, who was acknowledged by both East and West in the 1930s.
It is often placed on university reading lists for Asian Studies,
it is well worth the read for the fascinating story alone.
Narration is superb. Enjoy!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen
  • 12-04-16

highly recommend, calming voice, excellent book

I loved the audio, as I found the book hard to read so I was very pleased I could finally understand this historic preservation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mario
  • 08-12-16

Entertaining story, thought provoking theories

This is a great book! Sir Ben Kingsley does an amazing job of narrating the the life of Yogananda.
The story itself is very very interesting and the lessons convey are interwoven into the story of Yogananda's life but also explicitly told in other parts.

Some areas did become a bit dull at times but this was few and far beyond in this 12hr + book.

Would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Aurélien
  • 06-01-16

Life changing book

This book is paradigm shifting.
Yogananda's life is inspiring.
Thanks to this book, I have started learning kriya yoga.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-18

Not good

Not sure what all the hype about this book. I found him to be very egocentric and attached. Skip this and read the Gita.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaushik
  • 08-13-18

Mixed reaction

A book with deep rooted Indian philosophy and mysticism, as experienced in life. well written by a yogi.

Disappointed by the narration - expected much more from someone of stature like Ben Kingsley. It was difficult to endure scores of mispronunciations!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-18

Exciting read, many interesting concepts

I enjoyed the read.

I was eager to get into it when I had read that Steve Jobs had left a copy to all of those who attended his funeral.

It is one that requires some level of spiritual understanding, otherwise it might be a bit much.

I enjoyed his experiences and opinions about life and the Dharma.

Love and light to all

Jamie

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-18

dry

dry d d d d d d d d d d d r r y so c very

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  • Symon Peters
  • 05-11-18

A beautiful rendition

Inspiring work and an uplifting collection of tails from a true saints life here on Earth. Beautifully read. A blessing to all who look for greater meaning to their life here and beyond.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-19-18

This is a must read for anyone looking for connect

Great life story told by a yogi with everything that comes from experience of a yogi. amazing perspective, beautiful tool to help yourself reconnect