I read Autobiography of a Yogi in 1975 and my life changed forever.
On the book cover, Yogananda’s eyes looked deeply into my soul. In turn I could see deeply into His. His eyes communicated Truth and Love like I’d never before experienced. His eyes were windows into a pool of Wisdom beyond time and place. For years, I sat and looked into those eyes. I do so still. Beyond the cover, the words on the pages spoke to my heart. I’d already stopped attending the Protestant church of my childhood because the literal words of the Bible no longer served me and the God who punished with unspeakable violence, the God of fear and retribution, was not my God. Still, I longed for my connection to Jesus, the man of love in action whose works and words inspired me. What to do? Where was my spiritual home? I was lost. Imagine my reaction, then, when this man from India, this Yogi, spoke lovingly of the Bible as a metaphor and who loved Jesus as a Master Teacher! Yogananda’s own teacher said, “Genesis [the first book of the Bible] is deeply symbolic and cannot be grasped by a literal interpretation.” Until I read these words, a literal interpretation was the only one I knew. Yogananda’s respect for the Bible alongside his respect for other sacred texts opened my eyes… -- Rev. Linda M.