This book has been a long time in the making, beginning, perhaps, with Chatur-mukhi Brahma, the first created being. At the very least, it dates back to the predecessor acharyas in the Gaudiya Sampradaya, who predicted that Vaishnava dharma would come West. More, the seeds of this work were planted by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966, when Charles Barnett (later Achyutananda Das) met his guru and committed to his mission and teaching. The book has been unfolding ever since.
I have been following its manifestation since the early 1980s, when in an earlier incarnation it was simply a manuscript called “I’m Not God, You’re Not God: The Autobiography of an American Yogi.” At that time, it was at least twice the size of the book I now hold in my hands, and, at the bidding of a Hollywood advisor, contained assorted mini-dramas, a murder, the life of a Bengali counterpart, and, of course, the compulsory sexual escapade — as well as Gaudiya siddhanta and the history of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The final product, which we see today, is much condensed, truer to life, more to the point, and a pleasure to read.