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Date Posted: 09:29
Author: nojdw - 6 Oct 2001
Subject: Re: David Frawley on the Autobiograpy of a Yogi
In reply to: Anonymous - 5 Oct 2001 's message, "Re: David Frawley on the Autobiograpy of a Yogi" on 09:27

Excerpt from SRF's 1995 open letter to the membership.


Another charge of Ananda’s is that SRF has significantly revised the text of our
guru’s Autobiography of a Yogi, and made certain additions
purportedly after Paramahansaji’s mahasamadhi and without his express

Again, the accusations are not supported by the actual facts. Two questions must
be addressed regarding these allegations: whether the
revisions or additions were made at Paramahansaji’s behest; and if not, whether
they were really "significant" or merely involved what a publisher
would normally do in the way of editorial adjustments (e.g., the addition of
footnotes, photos, captions, front and back matter, etc.) in
subsequent editions of a book that has remained continually in print for many

~ We would like to clarify that in 1994, Donald Walters brought out a book
called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained. Library Journal
reviewed this book in their September 1994 issue, saying in part: "Walters has
eloquently rendered a Rubaiyat commentary expanding his guru’s
metaphysical approach. This is a complete rewriting and restructuring of
Yogananda’s much briefer serialized version that originally appeared in
the 1937-44 issues of Inner Culture magazine. Due to Walters’ constant
paraphrasing, even in the glossaries, the reader may prefer Yogananda’s
final edition, Wine of the Mystic (Library Journal, July 1994), published by
Self-Realization Fellowship. The latter’s historical notes upon Rubaiyat
translations are superior...Walters’ rendition may be acceptable to those not
familiar with Yogananda’s own edition."

"Tell me truly, Paramahansaji, has it been worth it?" This laconic question was
put to me one evening by Dr. Lloyd Kennell, a leader of the temple
in San Diego. I understood him to mean: "Have you been happy in America? What
about the falsehoods circulated by misguided people who are
anxious to prevent the spread of yoga? What about the disillusionments, the
heartaches, the center leaders who could not lead, the students who
could not be taught?" "Blessed is the man whom the Lord doth Test!" / I
answered. "He has remembered, now and then, to put a burden on me.
" I thought, then, of all the faithful ones. of the love and devotion and
understanding that illumines the heart of America. With slow emphasis I
went on: "But my answer is yes, a thousand times yes! It has been worthwhile,
more than ever I dreamed .... "

Autobiography of a Yogi
Foreseeing the vital role that Autobiography of a Yogi would play as his
messenger to future generations of spiritual seekers, Paramahansaji spoke
of it as a book that was destined to change the lives of millions. It was in
response to requests from readers that the guru himself endeavored to
clarify and rephrase, in editions after the first, certain passages that he felt
had not been fully understood.

Three editions of Paramahansaji’s autobiography appeared during his lifetime. In
the third edition, published in 1951, he made significant changes
revising the text thoroughly, deleting material, amplifying various points, and
adding a new final chapter, "The Years 1940-1951" (one of the
longest in the book). Some further revisions made by him after the third edition
could not be incorporated until the publication of the seventh
edition, which was released in 1956. As explained in a Publisher’s Note to that
edition, these changes had not been made earlier because for some
years the typesetting and printing of the book had been done by a New York
publishing house, which did not wish to go to the expense of
re-typesetting the pertinent pages. After SRF was able to take over all aspects
of publication, it was then possible to incorporate the remainder of
Paramahansaji’s revisions.

All of the changes, deletions, and additions between 1946 and 1956 were made at
Paramahansaji’s request. Other minor editorial revisions were
made some time later, according to guidance given by him before his passing to
his longtime editor, Tara Mata, who had worked closely with him
for over 25 years.

Because he was aware that this work would become a living scripture, he
instructed his editors to add in the way of footnotes, pictures, captions,
etc. whatever might be necessary in order to keep the book up to date

Ananda has alluded to over 100 new "mentions" of SRF since the first edition.
Comparing the current (twelfth) edition released in 1981 to the first
edition, published in 1946, one will find approximately 50 not 100 additional
references to SRF, and virtually all of these were added by
Paramahansaji himself; 43 in the new final chapter alone. The few references
added by SRF appear in photo captions, the list of illustrations,
Publisher’s Notes, the Forest Lawn testimonial (which obviously could not have
been included in the first edition), etc.

As for Ananda’s objection to SRF’s removing 14 lines from the "Samadhi" poem in
Autobiography of a Yogi, the guru himself approved Tara Mata’s
editing this poem for the Autobiography to make room in the book for the
additional material he wanted added in editions after the first. He
confirmed this authorization while reviewing his manuscripts in 1949. (Note:
Readers who prefer the longer version may still enjoy it in the Lessons
and other SRF publications currently in print, such as Songs of the Soul and
Whispers from Eternity [First Version]).

Ananda has raised questions about changes in the Autobiography relating to three
other subjects: the rights to Paramahansaji’s writings, World
Brotherhood Colonies, and the giving of Kriya Yoga. In each case, the changes
were made to reflect our Guru’s stated intentions.


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