When Paramhansa Yogananda published his autobiography in 1946, he would never have imagined that Autobiography of a Yogi would be a source of inspiration to modern India’s greatest run machine and captain, Virat Kohli. The cricketer posted an Instagram image to showcase his love for the book writing that it is, ‘a must read for all those who are brave enough to let their thoughts and ideologies be challenged. The understanding and implementation of the knowledge in this book will change your whole perspective and life’. As Koli and team prepare for the four-match test series against Australia beginning today, we talk about some of the philosophical guidelines from the book that probably influence his captaincy.

You Get What You Want

Before books like The Secret and The Alchemist and movies like Om Shanti Om propagated the “the universe conspires to give you what you want” line, Yogananda preached the same message in his autobiography. It is probably the reason Steve Jobs, who was also a big fan of the book (it was the only book downloaded on Jobs’ iPad according to his biographer Walter Isaacson), learnt how to connect the dots and make Apple the world’s most valued company today. No wonder Kohli seems like destiny’s child these days.

Attaining Faith Through Dedication

If Kohli wished, he could have been satisfied with his talent alone. But he has forged a relationship with his fitness and vowed to improve his weak points in an effort to turn into one of the best cricket players of any generation. His abusive language and mannerisms have also been toned down to a considerable extent, while his hunger for excellence is infectious to say the least. All of which is to say that if you apply yourself to something whole-heartedly and follow up with dedication, no one can deny you the success you deserve, an important tenet that the book delves into.

The Meaning of Travel

It’s difficult to look at it this way, but Yogananda’s book is actually a pretty cool travelogue. From finding mysticism in Himalayas to getting around the length of India in places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mumbai, Kolkata and Kashmir to countries like the US and Mexico, Autobiography of a Yogi can also be read as a travel journal, with each destination offering an expansion of mind through experiences. Little wonder they say that most cricket games are won in the mind first.

The Importance of Science

Most people find it difficult to accept the more fantastical aspects of the autobiography such as levitation, resurrection and other hard-to-digest miracles that Yogananda writes about vividly. However, it is important to note that he has provided a scientific base for all his knowledge and experiences that the book touches upon. It is appalling that today we take many of our spiritual leaders at face value without questioning some of their most basic contradictions. This book is the biggest proof that spirituality and science can co-exist peacefully, in much the same way that Kohli balances his batting and captaincy.

Experiencing Spiritual Satisfaction

If you have ever given up on meditation because you can’t rein in your mind or get distracted in no time, this book will sort you out. After all, Kohli’s batting requires laser focus and divorce from distraction when he’s on the field. You, too, can achieve concentration levels that you never thought you were capable of if you try to follow some of Yogananda’s ways as described in the book. And if you’ve been looking for some spiritual enlightenment to go with your meditation, consider this book to be your Bible, one that many followers in the West have used to understand their own religion as well.

Like this article? Also read: 7 Books On Science That Are Very Readable

Cover Image Courtesy: Inndaily

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