Autobiography of a Yogi - My learnings

Notes & learnings from "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Shri Santosh Budhiaji gifted me Autobiography of a Yogi on 11th April 2016 when I visited his Kolkata home.  But I didn't read it, as I didn't like reading stories. Neither was I aware of the spiritual importance of this book, nor had I read about Sri Sri Paramhansa Yogananda earlier. I was happy reading my non-fiction books, and then trying to implement useful tips from that book in my life. I also compared the newfound knowledge with my past learning and check whether there is any contradiction on the same or not. This helped me absorb the teachings deep within my soul. And I guess that's the best way to read. 

At first, "Autobiography of a Yogi" seemed filled with implausible miracles, and for three years, it lulled me to sleep whenever I tried reading it in bed. It dawned on me that it demanded a more reverent approach—sitting upright with full focus. Yet, this posture did little to alleviate the challenge of its complex vocabulary, often sending me to search for meanings & definitions on my phone, disrupting my reading flow.

This is not a book; it's an ocean of knowledge and it fills the gaps within your soul automatically.
And one can absorb the "Autobiography of a Yogi" as much as his / her consciousness permits. 

My vocabulary enriched, as I discovered new words in each chapter, I never learnt so many unfamiliar words even while preparing for Common Admission Test (CAT) during my MBA preparations in 1997-98. Finally in February 2020, I registered myself for the YSS lessons program at YSS stall in Kolkata Book Fair. This book is so profound that I wanted to read it repeatedly, but I was unable to do so for last few months. Hence, I decided to write this post, to crystallize my learnings from this book. While I am writing this in Jan 2022, I still need to read it again, just the way Steve Jobs read it repeatedly. Below are some of the learnings I have implemented in my life and working on the other learnings. 

Chapter 1 -My Parents and Early Life
Never use the power of words for doing harm - Necromancy, ideally the explosive vibratory power in speech should be wisely directed to free one's life from difficulties.
Chapter 5 - A "Perfume Saint" Displays His Wonders
I have learnt to be more patient after my legal cases related to our family property, and I need to be patient in case of my current dilemma related to my future career post pandemic. This was reinforced with this quote in the book.  
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven" - Solomon
Honest introspection pulverizes the stoutest ego. And true self-analysis operates to produce seers. So, I think I am gradually converting into am a seer, as I have been able to correctly predict the course of pandemic and their waves, and have fourth and fifth wave waiting to happen.
Chapter 12 - Years in My Master's Hermitage - 
a) Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you. (whether its covid-19 infection or any uncertainty in life)
b) Attachment is blinding, it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire.
c) Good and positive suggestions should instruct the sensitive ears of children. Their early ideas long remain sharply etched.
Chapter 19 - My Master, in Calcutta, Appears in Serampore
"Kriya Yoga calms the dualistic turmoil by a divine inner certainty" 
Chapter 22 - The Heart of a Stone Image
Deep, Sincere and Long meditations are key to finding God, as Guruji's sacred experience at Dakshineshwar Temple after meditating for five hours and the healing of his brother-in-law.
Chapter 23 - I Receive My University Degree
Swami Yukteshwar said - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you"  
Chapter 26 - The Science of Kriya Yoga
I read the term Kriya Yoga several times in this book and was curious to know more about it and learn it. Initially it was difficult for me to believe on these: - 
"Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened. The life force, which is ordinarily absorbed in maintaining heart action, must be freed for higher activities by a method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath" 
But now that I have been initiated into Kriya Yoga at Dwarahat Ashram in Oct 2022, I can certainly feel the rapid changes happening within my body, appearance and posture. 
Chapter 44 - With Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha
Gandhiji's ideals and vows - Sacrificing material as well as selfish motive and private goals. Fearlessness and non-killing to fulfill Ahimsa - The avoidance of harm to any living creature in thought or deed. Celibacy pledge after birth of their four sons.

This book is an ideal gift for anyone who sincerely wants the progress and well wishes for the recipient. Apart from enriching your vocabulary, it improves your writing and expressing skills, to present ideas in a precise and concise format. A lot of English Literature students crib about the Shakespeare curriculum in their education, which is obsolete now. The language is not used anymore in modern times. Instead, "Autobiography of a Yogi" should be introduced as a part of course curriculum course curriculum by all Education boards, as it also revives the ancient healthcare and mind control tips too.

    • Related Articles

    • 7) The Power of Aum: Unlocking the Secrets of the Holy Ghost Vibration

      In this booklet we will try to delve deeper into the word AUM which means sure, faithful. Aum of the Vedas, or Hum of the Tibetans, Amin of the Moslems, Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians. Cosmic Sound of Aum that is heard in ...
    • "How-to-Live" series booklets - Workshops by Guruspeak

      How to Live Set - 13 Booklets "How-to-Live" series are a set of thirteen booklets with interesting topics with titles as below: - By Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda How to Find a Way to Victory How to Cultivate Divine Love Remoulding Your Life Focusing ...
    • Developing Dynamic Will - Notes and Review

      Contents: - Developing Dynamic Will Overcoming Malignant Moods Developing Personality Eliminating the Static of Fear from the Mind Radio Rule No 1 - The physical body should be under the control of your mind, and not vice versa. Your physical body ...
    • 4) Improving Concentration and Focus: The Scientific Keys to Success

      Success comes from one pointed focus at one point in time. Most of us live in a near state of constant distraction. Thanks to our electronic gadgets & connected devices (with internet) - smart phones, tablets, digital watches, laptops, the multiple ...
    • A Comprehensive Comparison of Spiritual Association and Meditation Apps

      As we chase the time, the money, and the fame, we pay the price in stress. It eats away at our minds and bodies, draining our energy and joy. And in this age of endless information, we walk on a path littered with stress. It trips us up, slows us ...