One of my favorite books has been Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, published in 1946. It is available as an audio book as well, which means I can sometimes listen to it while working. While the planning stages of my work requires a great deal of rational thought, the execution is often very intuitive. This means that I can play opera or listen to an audio book as I spend the long hours it takes to finish my works. This book tells great stories from Yogananda’s life, and just listening to it is a tangible spiritual experience.
Yogananda’s book has since been translated into twenty-eight languages. In 1999, it was designated one of the “100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century”. Autobiography of a Yogi is the most popular of Yogananda’s books. It has sold more than four million copies and counting. Autobiography of a Yogi describes Yogananda’s spiritual search for enlightenment. The Autobiography has been an inspiration for many people including Steve Jobs (1955-2011), Co-Founder, former Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. In the book Steve Jobs: A Biography the authors writes that in preparation for a trip, Mr. Jobs downloaded onto his iPad2, the Autobiography of a Yogi, “the guide to meditation and spirituality that he had first read as a teenager, then re-read in India and had read once a year ever since.”
Yogananda also wrote music and some of it was arranged and played by Brother Premamoy, a Serbian devotee and monk of the Self Realization Fellowship Order. Below is one work, The Land Beyond My Dreams:
There are many photographs of Yogananda as an adult but images are rare of him in his youth. I did this portrait of him in pastel as a fine art edition. It shows him as the young man that reveals himself in the book. It can be seen in the Andrea Smith Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. The address is below:
Andrea Smith Galleries
336 Hwy 179 Sedona AZ 86336
Their website is here: Andrea Smith Gallery Home.
My page is here: Kurt Wenner