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Autobiography of a Yogi

Written by: Paramahansa Yogananda
Narrated by: Ben Kingsley
Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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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

What the critics say

"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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One of the best books of all time

Yes this is one of the best books of all time. Not because it was so well written by yogaNanda and not because I love Yoga, but because it has a gripping tale which is a remarkably true one, about an incredible life of an incredible soul.

This hypnotic tale combined mysticism with astrology and Yoga teachings and well it is very serious in parts it also has lots of comedic parts and also basically tells how the universe works through the teachings of many of Yoga’s masters.

It may answer many of your questions to the mysteries of life and the universe. It did mine and now I can’t wait to read his other books as well.

I was so sorry when it was over as I don’t know if he could match the magic in his other books but I’m sure I will learn much.

Some of the material goes into so much detail that I am going to go over the paperback version as well because it is too difficult to entirely assimilate when somebody is reading it quickly as such material is very deep.

That is more in the latter part of the book when his guru, after he has passed from this plane, teaches him the mysteries of the universe. Earlier when he was alive the guru teaches him about astrology and I will need to go over that in the paper back as well but otherwise with Ben Kingsley The narrator it was a pleasure listening to this book daily and I couldn’t stop until it was done.

Years ago I started the paper back and it was so long I couldn’t finish it even though it was great so this audiobook was a godsend and in 10 days while listening to it driving an hour a day I was done!

And now that I have it to keep I will probably listen to it once a year at least!

Sometimes we are asked if we could choose one famous person we would like to meet in our lifetime and sit down and have a conversation with them he wouldn’t be.

Mine would probably be yogaNanda

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A gem among books.

the most beautiful book in every aspect, it has the teaching we all need today.

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amazing book is a must to read

this is an amazing book to read and will be a life changing experience.
for liberation

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Life Changing

This is one book that has dramatically modified my view of the meaning of life. It is provides details of fantastical and frankly unbelievable accounts of magical feats accomplished by some of the world’s most accomplished yogi masters. However, the matter-of-fact approach taken in documenting these first hand accounts along with the deep dive taken in explaining (albeit on a cursory level) the physics behind some of these feats, make me want to believe the unbelievable. The description of life after death and the astral and causal planes of existence was incredibly articulate and actually seemed logical which actually challenges my long held belief that there is no life after death. I suggest that this should be required reading for anyone that has spent even a fleeting moment wondering what the true meaning of life is. ENJOY!

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best spiritual book ever

This book is just amazing, Because of it I am going to be initiated in Kriya Yoga Meditation,

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Impacts your view on life and its purpose

This is an extraordinary story of a yogi, who was spiritually advanced enough to witness extraordinary sights. When one starts reading the book, one may feel that the things mentioned are simply outrageous. But you must remember the context of Yogi's observations. He was no ordinary man, and hence was predisposed to experiencing spirituality and meeting other saints. Read the book completely, it will open your eyes to a new view of the world.

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Classic Book, Inspired a generation.

I have the paperback but wanted the audio for road trips. Something I can listen to again and again. Never can get enough enlightenment ;-)

#Audible1 #Audible1 #Audible1 #Audible1

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A great listen!

I had attempted to read this book many times over the years but always lost my resolve early on. This audible version made the life of Yogananda easy to absorb. Narrated by none other then Sir Ben Kingsley, who earned an academy award for his portrayal of Ghandi. It was the perfect fit. #audible1

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Fantastic Narration!

I've read and re-read the ebook and thought how nice it would be to listen to the stories on audio. This is the only book I've enjoyed reading repeatedly! The audio narration is fantastic and helpful for learning some of the pronunciations of names. I will put good use to the audio version! thank you!

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Learning from the life of a master

It's amazing to hear the real stories of an enlightened yogi and what is possible for us.

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  • D
  • 2004-12-27

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.

99 of 106 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jenny
  • 2005-12-28

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.

53 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Scott Mueller
  • 2004-11-18

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.

57 of 64 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter A.
  • 2004-11-30

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.

46 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Valera
  • 2005-03-09

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.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • brenty
  • 2012-10-12

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. :)

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2007-12-12

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!

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ivo
  • 2005-03-07

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...

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • scubadiva
  • 2007-02-18

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dillon
  • 2008-06-14

Autobiograpgy of a Yogi; follow to change

Well its my favorite book and was life changing for me. So when I took this audiobook with me on a six month spiritual journey to survive in the mountains of jamaica it was irreplaceable. I seemed like everytime i turned it on i heard what i needed or beyond.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful