In Autobiography of a Yogi, author Paramahansa Yogananda details his life (1893–1952) as he journeys through his spiritual growth, eventually becoming a prominent yogi, or person who practices yoga. Yogananda tells us early on in the book that he knew from childhood he was searching "for the face of [his] destined guru" (Ch. 5). His autobiography takes us from his childhood to his influential adulthood.
Yogananda was born on January 5th, 1893, to a Bengali family in Gorakhpur, India, and named Mukunda Lal Gosh. Even as a young child, Mukunda longed to study religion in the Himalayas and seemed to be born already having a devoted love for God. Once in high school, he ran away from home to the Himalayas with his friend Amar. Two years upon arriving in the Himalayas, he met his destined guru Sri Yukteswar. Under the tutelage of Yuketeswa, Munkunda learned more and more about Kriya Yoga, all the while experiencing supernatural events that marked his spiritual growth. As his spirituality continued to develop, he was made a swami and given the new name Yogananda. The honorary title Paramahansa was given to him later on.
As Yogananda, he accomplished many great achievements, including founding a yoga school for boys in Ranchi, India, traveling to America to teach Kriya Yoga spiritual precepts, becoming dubbed a prophet and a saint, and even founding the worldwide Self-Realization Fellowship, an organization aimed at fulfilling spiritual and humanitarian works. The Self-Realization Fellowship is still active today and located in all major cities around the world.