In 1920, this extraordinary spiritual Master from India came to live and teach in the West, to share his wisdom and the scientific techniques for attaining direct, personal contact with God. His gentleness, grace, humility and eloquence soon won the hearts of thousands of followers.
Babaji, a Himalayan master had foreseen Paramahansa Yogananda’s birth and his chief disciple, Lahiri Mahasaya, told Yogananda’s mother, “Little mother, thy son will be a great yogi. As a spiritual engine he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.”
When he was 17, he met his master, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, who he had often seen during meditation. In his book, “Autobiography of a Yogi,” he described their meeting as: 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.
When Yogananda appeared before his first western audience, he remained speechless for 10 minutes. He sent a silent prayer to his Master, after which he heard his Master’s voice say, “You can! Speak!” Yogananda’s thoughts immediately fell into place and his speech was very well received.
During his world tour, Paramahansa Yogananda was able to verify much of the information he needed for his forthcoming autobiography. “Autobiography of a Yogi” was published in 1946 and has frequently appeared on best seller lists.
Supreme Master Ching Hai had this to say about the book. “There is a story in the book of Paramahansa Yogananda. Have you read that book, “The Autobiography of a Yogi”? If you haven't, you should read it. It is very good for you, to remind you of the spiritual, great Self, to urge you toward noble ideas, make you re-awaken to your real Self and want to find out more about your Greatness. This is a very good book.”