It also describes, more clearly than any other mystical work I have ever read since, the author’s experiences with God, including the highest one possible;
Samadhi: Perfect bliss!
In chapter after chapter I found moving testimony to God’s living reality, not only in infinity, but in the hearts and lives of living human beings.
I read of how Yogananda’s prayers, even for little things, had been answered, and of how, by placing himself unreservedly in God’s hands, his unanticipated needs had been met without a single fail.
Until now, I had supposed that a life of meditation might give me, at best, a little peace of mind.
But here I discovered, all at once, that the fruit of the spiritual life is a love and bliss “beyond imagination of expectancy”!
Never Before Had I Encountered a Spirit So Clearly Truthful, So Filled
With Goodness And Joy!
Every page seemed radiant with light. As I read Autobiography of a Yogi, I alternated between tears and laughter: tears of pure joy; laughter of even greater joy!
For three days I scarcely ate or slept. When I walked it was almost tiptoe, as if in an ecstatic dream.
What this book described, finally, was the highest of sciences, Kriya Yoga, a technique that enables the seeker to advance rapidly on the spiritual path of meditation.
For, more than anything else, what this book gave me was the conviction that in Yogananda I had found my Guru, my spiritual teacher for all time to come.
Only a few days earlier I hadn’t even known this strange word, guru, yoga, or reincarnation, or karma, or almost any of the basic of Indian philosophy.
As soon as I finished reading Autobiography of a Yogi, my impulse was to jump onto the next California-bound bus. But I didn’t want to be impulsive, so I waited a whole day!
I took the next one available. Thereafter, for four days and four nights, my home was a succession of long-distance buses.
I arrived in Encinitas late that afternoon, too tired to proceed at once to the hermitage. I booked into a hotel and fairly collapsed onto my bed, sleeping around the clock.
The next morning I set out for the Self-Realization Fellowship hermitage, I rang the front doorbell.
Minutes later a gentle-looking, elderly lady appeared. Later I learned that this was Gyana Mata Master’s most advanced woman disciple.
“May I help you?” she inquired politely
“Is Paramhansa Yogananda in?”
No, I’m afraid he’s away for the weekend. Is there something I can do for you?”
“Well, yes. No. I mean, I wanted to see him.”
“He’s lecturing today at the Hollywood church.”
“You have a church there?” let my astonishment show. I’d always imagined Hollywood as containing only movie studios,
Then I continued…
“I want to join his work,” I explained. “I want to live here.”
“Have you studied his printed lessons?” she inquired?
“Lessons?” I echoed blankly. “I didn’t know he had lessons to be studied.” My position was getting murkier by the minute.
“There’s a full course of them. I’m afraid you couldn’t join,” she continued firmly, “until you’d completed the lot.”
“How long does that take?” My heart was sinking.
“About four years.”
This was out of the question!
Swallowing my disappointment, I inquired how I might get to the Hollywood church
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I immediately proceeded at once to 4860 Sunset Boulevard, the address of the church I was seeking.
A lady greeted me from behind a long table at the back of the room.
“May I help you?”
The situation was getting similar…
I explained my mission.
“Oh, I’m afraid you couldn’t possibly see him today. His time is completely filled.” I was growing more desperate by the minute. “When can I see him?”
She consulted a small book on the table before her.
Without turning her look away from the book she said; “His appointments are fully booked for the next two and a half months,”
Two and a half months!
First I’d been told I couldn’t join for four years. Now I was told I couldn’t even see him for. .
…“But I’ve come all the way from New York just for this!” I complained…
“Have you?” She smiled sympathetically. “How did you hear about him?”
“I read his autobiography a few days ago.”
“So recently! And you came . . . just . . . like that?” She cooled a little. “Usually people write first. Didn’t you write?”
Bleakly I confessed I hadn’t even thought of doing so.
“Well, I’m sorry, but you can’t see him for another two and a half months. In the meantime,” she continued, brightening a little, “you can study his lessons, and attend the services here.”
I was in turmoil.
I simply had to become a part of this wonderful way of life. It was where I belonged. It was my home.
Meanwhile I prayed mentally; “You must take me!” “You must! This means everything to me. It means my whole life!”
Finally it occurred to me—novel thought!—that perhaps I simply wasn’t ready, and that this was why the doors weren’t opening for me.