‘If you don’t like my words, you are at liberty to leave at any time,’ Master assured me. ‘I want nothing from you but your own improvement. Stay only if you feel benefited.’
Autobiography of a Yogi is an autobiography written by Paramahansa Yogananda (January 5, 1893–March 7, 1952) in 1946, in which he discusses his life story, and which introduced many Westerners to meditation and yoga.
In the book, Yogananda described many saints and people who claimed to be miracle workers, but his relationship with his guru “Sri Yukteswar” was unique. The relationship between Sri Yukteswar and Yogananda explains the eternal bond between guru and disciple and made the practicing of yoga more than just a “hippie activity” or just another “gym class”.
‘I am hard on those who come for my training,’ he admitted to me. ‘That is my way; take it or leave it. I will never compromise. But you will be much kinder to your disciples; that is your way. I try to purify only in the fires of severity, searing beyond the average toleration. The gentle approach of love is also transfiguring. The inflexible and the yielding methods are equally effective if applied with wisdom. You will go to foreign lands, where blunt assaults on the ego are not appreciated. A teacher could not spread India’s message in the West without an ample fund of accommodative patience and forbearance.’ I refuse to state the amount of truth I later came to find in Master’s words!