Summer Reading of Autobiography of a Yogi

Throughout this summer I’ve been leisurely reading ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda.  As a regular yoga practitioner for over six years now I was especially keen on reading this book.  It’s a beautifully written essential text about the origins and history of yoga in India, and how it came to the west.  It is filled with inspirational tales of the life of Yogananda as well as sketches of the  lives of India’s most illustrious yoga masters, gurus, prophets and saints, exploring the unity of theological and philosophical beliefs of the east and west.


Here are some quotes that I found full of wisdom:

“The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.”


“In deep meditation, the first experience of Spirit is on the altar of the spine, and then in the brain.  The torrential bliss is overwhelming, but the yogi learns to control its outward manifestations.”


“Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions.  Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change.  The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.”



“Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire.”


“Thought is a force, even as electricity or gravitation.  The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God.  I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.”


“Forget the past.  The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames.  Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine.  Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”


“I have found that life persists in the midst of destruction.  Therefore there must be a higher law than that of destruction.  Only under that law would well-ordered society be intelligible and life worth living.”


“”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength,” Christ has proclaimed; “This is the first commandment.”


“Clear your mind of dogmatic theological debris; let in the fresh, healing waters of direct perception.  Attune yourself to the active inner Guidance; the Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life.  Though man’s ingenuity for getting himself in trouble appears to be endless, the Infinite Succor is no less resourceful.”


“I see humanity now as one vast plant, needing for its highest fulfillments only love, the natural blessings of the outdoors, and intelligent crossing and selection.  In the span of my own lifetime I have observed such wondrous progress in plant evolution that I look forward optimistically to the healthy, happy world as soon as its children are taught the principles of simple and rational living.  We must return to nature and nature’s God.”



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