Books

A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides

A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides, by Andrew Harvey

A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides takes a brief but deep look at the teachings of four exceptional individuals: Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and Ramakrishna.

Achievement of Love

Achievement of Love, by Muhammad Iqbal

Achievement of Love focuses on the spiritual dimensions of Islam and the role that love plays in the faith.

American Veda

American Veda, by Philip Goldberg

From Publisher’s Weekly: Spiritual coach and author Goldberg (Roadsigns) is a knowledgeable and sympathetic chronicler of the past 150 years or so of Indian spiritual ideas’ influence on American spirituality. Correctly starting with Emerson and American transcendentalism, Goldberg follows a trail that gets broader, more diverse, and more powerful until yoga is as American as […]

Gita

Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi, by Mohandas K. Gandhi

From publisher: This is the first volume in any language to include Gandhi’s Gita text and commentary together in their entirety. Presented to his disciples at prayer meetings over a nine-month period in 1926, Mahatma Gandhi’s commentaries on the Gita are regarded in India as among the most important of the century. In them Gandhi […]

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Nikhilananda

The Bhagavad Gita teaches that if a man performs his duties, surrendering the fruit to God and discarding all selfish motives, he gains purity of heart and achieves ultimate liberation.

Bhagavan Buddha and Our Heritage

Bhagavan Buddha and Our Heritage, by Swami Ranganathananda

What’s the relationship between Buddhism and Vedanta? This small booklet gives a surprisingly good answer.

Bhakti Schools of Vedanta

Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, by Swami Tapasyananda

This book presents the lives and philosophies of Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Madhva, Vallabha and Caitanya, all devotion-based thinkers who have left their mark on the world.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda

Bhakti Yoga is a real genuine search after the Lord, a search beginning, continuing, and ending in Love.

Vinaya

Bhikkhu’s Rules: A Guide for Laypeople, by Bhikkhu Ariyesako

Bhikkhu’s Rules shows how to put spiritual ideas into practice.

Book of Illumination

Book of Illumination, by Shaykh Ahmad Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah Al-Iskandari

This book tackles achieving inner illumination of the heart, which is close to the sense of “enlightenment” that has become common in English language discussions of spirituality and gnosis.

Brahma Sutras

Brahma Sutras According to Sankara, Translated by Swami Vireswarananda

The Brahma Sutras along with the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita form the Triple Canons of Vedanta. This is a very readable translation and commentary on the sutras.

Can One Be Scientific and Yet Spiritual?

Can One Be Scientific and Yet Spiritual, by Swami Budhananda

Can science and religion go together? Yes.

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative Prayer, by Thomas Merton

Contemplative Prayer shows how the practicing Christian can leverage Vedanta’s raja yoga without having to leave his or her native faith tradition.

Dhammapada

Dhammapada Annotated & Explained, SkyLight Illuminations Series

The Dhammapada is a daily inspiration for millions of Buddhists all over the world, containing much of the Buddha’s teachings. This edition makes it easily accessible to everyone.

Finding Grace at the Center

Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer, by M. Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating

Communion with God through meditation is not only a Vedanta practice, it also is a native Christian tradition that has been largely forgotten. This simple books explains Christian meditation.

Forest Recollections

Forest Recollections: Wandering Monks in Twentieth-Century Thailand, by Kamala Tiyavanich

A look at wandering Thai monks and how they practice meditation and non-attachment.

Forty Rules of Love

Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi, by Elif Shafak

A forty-year-old unhappily married woman takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. As she reads a new book about the mystic, Rumi, she realizes that his story mir­rors part of her own life and it helps set her free emotionally.

Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger tried writing about Vedanta as part of his book, Nine Stories. But perhaps his fullest attempt at communicating Vedanta via literature was with Franny and Zooey.

From Amma's Heart

From Amma’s Heart, by Swami Amritaswarupananda

A collection of thoughts from the “hugging saint” in her own words.

Gita for Everyday Living

Gita for Everyday Living, by Vedanta Kesari

A contemporary rephrasing and rearticulation of the Bhagavad Gita by the editors of the magazine, Vedanta Kesari.

Glimpses of Raja Yoga

Glimpses of Raja Yoga: An Introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, by Vimala Thakar

From the publisher: Indian sage Patanjali wrote his famous Yoga Sutras sometime around 250 B.C. and they are still widely regarded as the ultimate text on yoga practice. However, many modern practitioners find his aphorisms too inaccessible, and analysis has tended to obscure rather than reveal their meaning. Vimala Thakar cuts through the mystique by […]

Hadewijch

Hadewijch, by Paul Mommaers

This book takes a thorough look at Hadewijch, a 13th century Christian mystics and leader of a Netherlands beguine community, which is a group of people who live as monastics but do not take any formal vows.

How to Love

How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh

A short book on love from a Buddhist zen master.

Human Affection and Divine Love

Human Affection and Divine Love, by Swami Abhedananda

The book describes the evolution of love in various stage: animal, human and divine.

The Imitation of Christ

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas Kempis

One of the few books carried by Vedanta saint Swami Vivekananda, this classic Christian text has brought inspiration and instruction since its creation in the 1300s.

In the Footsteps of Gandhi

In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations With Spiritual Social Activists, by Catherine Ingram

From the publisher: “In the spring of 2003 there was a worldwide demonstration for nonviolence that was the largest in history. A growing number of people are studying the works of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other nonviolent leaders as the world collectively seeks to abandon the use of weapons in resolving conflict. At […]

Inspired Talks

Inspired Talks, by Swami Vivekananda

This book contains talks given by Swami Vivekananda during his stay at the Thousand Islands Park in New York. It is often used during the American Vedanta services.

Jnana-Yoga

Jnana-Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda

From publisher: By Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, the Path of Knowledge, describes the essence of Vedanta philosophy – the wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita in a modern scientific manner. Jnana-Yoga, along with Swami Vivekananda’s Karma-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, and Raja-Yoga, are considered classics and outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy. The Swami’s deep spiritual insight, […]

Journey from Many to One

Journey From Many to One – Essentials of Advaita Vedanta, by Swami Bhaskarananda

A simple and concise introduction to the essentials of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Easier than reading the Upanishads!

Karma-Yoga

Karma-Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda

From Amazon.com: This a set of lectures by Swami Vivekananda on the subject of Karma Yoga, one of the several yogic paths to enlightenment. Karma Yoga is a mental discipline which allows one to carry out one’s duties as a service to the entire world, as a path to enlightenment. By working in the real […]

Lessons from the Monk I Married

Lessons from the Monk I Married, by Katherine Jenkins

More than the improbable story of a girl who married a Buddhist monk, Lessons from the Monk I Married is an approachable guide to some of the spiritual questions we all confront.

Love is the Killer App

Love is the Killer App, by Tim Sanders

From Amazon.com: “Is love really all you need? Tim Sanders, director of Yahoo’s in-house think tank, believes love is the crucial element in the search for personal and professional success. In Love Is the Killer App he explains why. Sander’s advice is to be a “lovecat,” which despite the cutesy moniker is his sincere and […]

Me and Mine

Me and Mine, by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Bhuddadhasa was a Buddhist monk who shook up Thailand with his belief that all faiths ultimately lead to one. This book translates many of his essays.

Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart: From Whom God Hid Nothing, editied by David O’Neal

An introduction to the writings of one of the greatest medieval European mystics.

Mind According to Vedanta

Mind According to Vedanta, by Swami Satprakashananda

Learn all about the mind and it’s control with topics such as how to purify the mind and what dreaming says about us.

Mindfulness with Breathing

Mindfulness With Breathing: A Manual for Serious Beginners, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

A manual for Buddhist meditation as practiced by the Buddha himself.

On Learning and Knowledge

On Learning and Knowledge, by Jiddu Krishnamurti

From Amazon: “In this collection of talks and notes from his diaries, Krishnamurti identifies and explores the distinction between learning and knowledge. Knowledge is past and accumulated knowledge, he says, tends to enslave you to accepted norms and ways of thinking. Learning is always in the future, it’s a continually moving process where the moment […]

On Love and Happiness

On Love and Happiness, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Teilhard de Chardin probes the innermost dynamics of love and celebrates it as the most universal, tremendous, and mysterious of the cosmic forces.

peace is every step

Peace Is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Amazon.com review: Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing is deceptive in its subtlety. He’ll go on and on with stories about tree-hugging or metaphors involving raw potatoes; he’ll tell you how to eat mindfully, even how to breathe and walk; he’ll suggest looking closely at a flower and to see the sun as your heart. As the […]

Philosophical and Religious Lectures of Swami Vivekananda

Philosophical and Religious Lectures of Swami Vivekananda, edited by Swami Tapasyananda

For anyone who is still trying to understand Vedanta, this book makes a wonderful starting place. For anyone who already is an adept, this book unlocks nuances that often go unnoticed.

philosophy-argument-in-late-vedanta

Philosophy and Argument in Late Vedanta: Sri Harsa’s Khandanakhandakhadya, by Phyllis E. Granoff

This is not a book you will easily find, but for the philosophically-minded student of Vedanta it is worth the effort.

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda

The method of Raja Yoga has been called the soul of all the yogas. This book is a practical introduction to Raja Yoga.

The Rule of Saint Benedict

Rule of Saint Benedict, by Saint Benedict

St. Benedict’s rules of obedience, humility, and contemplation are not only prerequisites for many religious societies, they also provide an invaluable model for anyone desiring to live more simply.

Sannyasa Upanishads

Sannyasa Upanishads, translated by Swami Atmapriyananda

A look at some of the Upanishads that deal with the monastic ideal and practice.

Self-Knowledge of Sri Sankaracarya

Self-Knowledge of Sri Sankaracarya, Translated by Swami Nikhilananda

Self-Knowledge is an English translation of Atmabodha, a precious gem among the writings of Sankaracarya, perhaps the foremost philosopher of Advaita Vedanta.

Siddhartha

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

From the publisher: In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This […]

Sons of the Buddha

Sons of the Buddha, by Kamala Tiyavanich

A biography of three famous Thai Buddhist monks that all Vedantins can learn from.

Talks on the Gita

Talks on the Gita, by Vinoba Bhave

From the publisher: Of all the books by Vinoba Bhave, his talks on the Gita have been the best. An introduction to this book in his own words: “The Talks put the essence of the Gita into simple language and so bring it within the reach of the common man. They present the Gita from […]

Teachings of the Christian Mystics

Teachings of the Christian Mystics, edited by Andrew Harvey

Christian mysticism has a lot to teach the Vedantin, and this book serves as a fantastic introduction to that community of thought.

Teresa of Calcutta

Teresa of Calcutta: A Pencil in God’s Hand, by Franca Zambonini

Stories and interviews about the life of Mother Teresa.

Garden of Truth

The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam’s Mystical Tradition, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Nasr’s book is a wise and tantalizing overview of Sufism, the mystical arm of Islam and a cousin of Vedanta.

The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen, by Alan Watts

Perhaps the best book ever written about Zen for a Western reader.

Tiya - A Parrot's Journey Home

Tiya: A Parrot’s Journey Home, by Samarpan

This is a light and easy read about a parrot’s journey of self-discovery that also imparts Vedantic and Yogic philosophy.

Turning Toward the Heart

Turning Toward the Heart: Awakening to the Sufi Way, by Shaykh al-Tarqat Hazrat Azad Rasool

A little gem of a book that presents 40 questions and answers by a respected Sufi master. It will have you going “yes, yes, YES” even if unfamiliar with or antagonistic to Islam.

uddhava gita

Uddhava Gita, by Swami Ambikananda Saraswati

From the publisher: Widely read, The Bhagavad Gita is a classic of world spirituality while The essential companion to The Bhagavad Gita, The Uddhava Gita has remained overlooked. This new accessible and only English translation in print of The Uddhava Gita offers a previously unexplored path to understanding Hinduism and Krishna’s wisdom. Written centuries apart, […]

Upanishads

Upanishads, translated by Swami Nikhilananda

If there is foundational English translation of the Upanishads, this might be it.

Upanishads

Upanishads: Breath of the Eternal, by Swami Prabhavananda

An easy-read translation of the sacred Upanishads that skips the academic to hone right in on the essential message of the texts.

Vedanta: A Simple Introduction

Vedanta: A Simple Introduction, by Pravrajika Vrajaprana

We finally have an answer when someone wants an easy introduction to Vedanta.

The Way of Chuang Tzu

Way of Chuang Tzu, by Thomas Merton

An accessible introduction to the writings of the great Taoist, Chuang Tzu.

Way of Perfection

Way of Perfection, by Teresa of Avila

The Way of Perfection is a practical guide that lays out Saint Teresa of Avila’s advice for the attainment of spiritual perfection during this lifetime.

What the Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula

From the publisher: “This indispensable volume is a lucid and faithful account of the Buddha’s teachings. “For years,” says the Journal of the Buddhist Society, “the newcomer to Buddhism has lacked a simple and reliable introduction to the complexities of the subject. Dr. Rahula’s What the Buddha Taught fills the need as only could be […]

Why Forgive?

Why Forgive?, by Johann Christoph Arnold

From the publisher: “Having seen anger, resentment, and despair destroy far too many lives, the writer of this extraordinary book on forgiving dispenses with glib pronouncements and lets the often untidy experiences of ordinary people speak for themselves. In Why Forgive? the reader will meet men and women who have earned the right to talk […]

Wisdom of the Desert, by Thomas Merton

Catholic monk Thomas Merton translates some of his favorite parables from the Desert Fathers and the result is a book of bite-sized nuggets of spiritual wisdom.

Zen and the Birds of Appetite

Zen and the Birds of Appetite, by Thomas Merton

Zen and the Birds of Appetite is about Zen, but really it is about directly experiencing God by emptying ourselves of who we think we are.

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