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The book begins with his childhood family life, to finding his guru, to becoming a monk and establishing his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation. The book continues in 1920 when Yogananda accepts an invitation to speak in a religious congress in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He then travels across America lecturing and establishing his teachings in Los Angeles, California. In 1935 he returns to India for a yearlong visit. When he returns to America, he continues to establish his teachings, including writing this book. The book is an introduction to the methods of attaining God-realization and to the spiritual thought of the East, which had only been available to a few in 1946. The author claims that the writing of the book was prophesied long ago by the nineteenth-century master Lahiri Mahasaya (Paramguru of Yogananda) also known as the Yogiraj and Kashi baba. Before becoming a yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya's actual name was Shyama Charan Lahiri.