Book Review: Autobiography of a Yogi

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“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda is a classic spiritual book which has greatly influenced me. I am deeply grateful of my brother, Reggie Gavini, for letting me know about this legendary Yoga Master.

In 1920, he introduced the philosophy and practice of Yoga in the US where he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship. The book, published in 1946, had been talked about when Steve Jobs died because it was found out that it was the only e-book he had in his ipad. Steve reread it once a year since his teenage years (info from Wikipedia).

His other books are “Man’s Eternal Quest, “Divine Romance” and many others. One of the teachings I learned from him when he said that man’s most terrible sickness is ignorance. From it, we become judgmental, intolerant and bigoted. Conflicts and wars continue to rise when we refuse to broaden our understanding of the world we live in. That’s why we need to be open and search for the truth especially if we feel we have doubts hidden at the back of our minds on what we presently believe. Meditation can cause us to know deeper and larger truths as our intuition is developed. On the other hand as I see it, simply by listening to every people we encounter along the way or by enhancing ourselves through research and reading materials, then we have taken the first step in healing ourselves.

Overall, Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings are timeless and universally applicable to any person belonging to any religion or even to those who just believe in the existence of God. In fact, one of his major teachings is the importance of meditation where man can have a direct personal experience with God.

What about you? Is there any book which greatly influenced you?

(photo courtesy of wikimedia)

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