This important biography of othe 20th century's first superstar guruo (Los Angeles Times) is long-overdue. Ninety-seven years after his arrival in the United States, and sixty-five years after his death, Paramahansa Yogananda remains the best known and most beloved of all the Indian spiritual teachers who came to the West. His influence is unsurpassed, because of the durability of his teachings and the institutions he created or inspired (more than 600 centers worldwide; 200 in the US), and mainly because of his landmark memoir, Autobiography of a Yogi. That text has sold millions of copies since its publication in 1946, but there are huge gaps in the story it tells. Yogananda spent more than 30 of his 59 years in America, yet that period takes up less than 10 percent of his book. Huge chunks of his life-challenges, controversies, relationships, formative experiences-are unknown to even his most ardent devotees. This book fills those gaps.
It is hard to image today's $27 billion yoga industry without Yogananda. Yet, surprisingly, there has never been a bona fide biography of him-only tributes penned by disciples. Those are useful sources, but not genuine biographies. With this book, readers will finally have a complete and compelling account of Yogananda's remarkable life, in all its detail, nuance, and complex humanity.