Best Spirituality Book for Depression: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhausa Yogananda
Autobiography of a Yogi is a classic–and for good reason. It’s a litany of amazement, of spiritual gurus at their best. (And what a life this Yogananda dude has had to have interacted with so many of them.)
Can this book help me overcome depression?
Yes, particularly if you find it comforting to hear true stories about miraculous occurences and enlightened individuals.
Does it address depression specifically?
What does it say that can help?
Autobiography of a Yogi follows the life of the author, who relates story after story of miracles he witnessed firsthand, as well as those experienced by other yogis and holy men he has known.
A practitioner of Kriya Yoga, Paramhausa Yogananda’s spiritual ideas are similar to those we now call New Thought/ New Age. He states that the mind is the source of our experience, and therefore we can control our life experiences as well as the physical world through the mind.
A few theological takeaways:
- All matter is energy and is part of the divine consciousness, including non-living matter.
- Discusses an instrument called the “Bose Cresograph, which “. . . has the enormity of ten million magnifications, ” as opposed to the microscope, which magnifies by a few thousand times.
- Cresograph charts show that plants have a sensitive nervous system and a varied emotional life.
- Inventor Bose: “Bose instruments have demonstrated that metals, such as steel used in scissors and machinery, are subject to fatigue, and regain efficiency by periodic rest. The life-pulse in metals is seriously harmed or even extinguished through the application of electric currents or heavy pressure.”
- On Kriya Yoga: “The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life enemy to resolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers . . . which correspond to the 12 astral signs of the zodiac . . .” This is effective because “. . .the ancient yogic technique convert the breath into mind.” Instead of trying not to think, yogis convert their physical bodies to control mind directly.
To what degree do you think this book can help me overcome depression?
Depression effectiveness rating: 4 on a scale of 1-10
Where can I find it?
Diets don’t work? I disagree.
Find out how I lost my extra 20 pregnancy pounds–after all four of my pregnancies.
More mystical reading choices: