Here are a list of spiritual books that we recommend to any interested reader. If you click on the book image it will take you directly to Amazon. If you buy any of the books listed below through the Amazon link from this page (by clicking on book photo), it contributes a small amount towards maintenance of the Adhyatmikta site.
The feature photo is an original manuscript page from the Govinda Rahashya handwritten by Baladeva Vidyabhusana.
The Life Divine is a magnum opus of adhyatma vidya. Even if someone may digest just one paragraph from this heavy and brilliant writing, it WILL act as a terrific boost for a seeker’s spiritual life and can completely transform his/her outlook.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a widely revered Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. A film on his life was also released in 1998: Spirit of Tibet: Journey to Enlightenment, The Life and World of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In this book, two great Tibetan Buddhist masters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries challenge us to critically examine our materialistic preoccupations and think carefully about how we want to spend the rest of our lives. At the same time, they provide practical guidance in following the Buddhist path, starting from the most basic motivation and culminating in the direct experience of reality beyond the reach of conceptual mind.
Modern spiritual master Sri M’s new book Shunya tells a spiritual story which may have an actual relevance to a great Yogi, about whom little in known except in whispers and stories passed down through people.
This was the book that made Ramana Maharishi famous across the world. Also contains various interesting experiences with yogis and mystics.
Probably these essays on the Gita by Sri Aurobindo are some of the most original re-thinking on the message of the Gita. Certainly an inspired book.
David Godman has dedicated his life to Arunachala. This book is an accurate account of Ramana Maharishi’s interactions with others. David clarifies many misconceptions that people have about Ramana’s views on different topics.
No book is dearer to seekers of the non-dualistic persuasion than this. Sri Ramana’s greatest teaching was in Silence. For those who, like us, are incapable of connecting to such a subtle and powerful medium, this book is the next best thing.
Where Sri Aurobindo reveals a spiritual reading of the core Vedic texts as he realized it through his tapashya; an angle that has not been tried before, or even if it had, it’s clearly lost in time. For those seekers with a philosophical and Vendantic mind, this book can open up new ways of resonating with the ancient metaphors of the Veda-s and realize why the Vedic descriptions are truly immortal.
This book explains in simple manner the methods, philosophy and practice of Integral Yoga as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. A good book for anyone who is unsure how to approach the writing of Sri Aurobindo.
Stella Kramrisch started her life as a trained ballet dancer growing up in Austria, until one day a copy of the Gita came to her and helped shape her future life-path. She learned Sanskrit, Indian philosophy, literature and anthropology and went onto become a leading figure on Hindu art. She was invited to teach at Kala Bhavana in Shantiniketan, from where she went on to a teaching post at Calcutta University. In Europe Kramrisch worked at the Courtauld Institute, London (1937-1940). Her book on Shiva is arguable one the greatest tomes written on the history and development and progression of Shiva worship since ancient times.
It’s a book that attained cult status over last two decades; biography of a great Aghori who lived in the heart of Mumbai city.
Beautiful English translation of the Shani Mahatyam. Additionally it contains an excellent essay on the therapeutic properties of powerful spiritual stories.v
Second part of the book on Aghora. Contains very useful details about sadhana.
This one needs no introduction. Written from the records of Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri’s diary, this is one of the GREATEST spiritual documents on the nuances of a Yogic life. Sri Shama Charan was not just a Yogi, he was truly Yogiraj – King among Yogis!
Sri M is a modern master who was born in a Muslim family but later got initiated into the Nath sampradaya by a disciple of the immortal Mahavatara Babaji. This is the autobiography of Sri M.
Everyone knows Swami Vivekananda. But very few are aware of the complexity of his life and his multi-dimensional genius.
Zen book of wisdom on various parables and stories useful for the seeker. Swami Om is a renowned spiritual master of this age.
This is another spiritual classic about the chief disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, and how each of their lives had a charmed interlinking, which when viewed in retrospect will make the reader appreciate the hand of fate in the lives of great spiritual beings who incarnate to spread the message of Sanatana Dharma.
The story begins in a small town in Bihar where a boy is born to poor parents, grows up as other children do, but develops a deep desire for spirituality. Eventually he leaves home and starts living in a cremation ground and thus starts his journey into the world of Aghora. Very well written and immensely readable novel on the perspective of a sadhaka of this rare and difficult path.
Ma Sarada was the spiritual consort of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. This is a beautiful book on the teachings of this lesser read saint.
Easy commentary on 8 major Upanishads.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati is a master from the Bihar school of Yoga. He delves into details of Kundalini both from a theoretical and a practical perspective.
Arthur Avalon was the pen name of Sir John George Woodroffe. While working as a judge at the Calcutta High Court he was initiated into Tantra sadhana and eventually played a significant role in bringing the philosophy of Shaktism into the English-speaking world.
Tirumantiram is an ancient classic from Tamil Nadu. Widely regarded as canonical in the Saiva traditions of South India, this is a pure spiritual goldmine.
Excellent book dealing with the Ten great Mahavidyas who can liberate a sincere seeker.
Scholarly book on the serpentine lanes through which the path of Yoga has passed since ancient times.
Tripura Rahasya or the mystery behind the three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming and deep sleep, is an ancient Sanskrit masterpiece of Advaita Vedanta, taught by the Lord of Avadhutas Sri Dattatreya to his disciple and 6th Avatra of Sri Vishnu, Lord Parashurama. It is also called the Haritayana Samhita after its author Haritayana, son of Harita. Ramana Maharishi recommended this text very highly to all seekers of non-duality. The author Pandit Rajmani Trigunait is the current head of the Himalayan Institute and a disciple of Swami Rama. He draws from his vast knowledge and experience to explain the nuances of this sublime text of spirituality.
Swami Laksman Joo was one of the greatest masters of Kashmiri Saivism. He explains the aphorisms of Shiva known universally as the Shiva Sutras.
Avahan takes the reader into a world of mysticism. Written by a renowned master of Tantra Sadhana, this one of the finest books exploring the mysteries and experiences of the occult world.
This is one of the most popular spiritual books, biography of Swami Rama, and his thrilling encounters and education with various Yogis and Siddhas.
The story of the immortal Babaji and 18 Siddhas. Maybe the only book that *may* have some authentic glimpses into the legends surrounding this immortal mahapurusha.
The book, first published in 1946, popularized the name of Kriya Yoga, Lahiri Mahasaya and Babaji. Still remains a favorite among sincere seekers. Specially the chapter on the science of Kriya yoga is a simple yet powerful exposition on this ancient method of Yoga.
Saint Jnaneshwara, poet-saint from 12th century, is regarded as an incarnation of the sound energy of Gita. His samadhi near Pune in Alandi is still a deeply revered pilgrim spot in Maharastra. Jnaneshwara had written the first non-Sanskrit commentary on the Bhagavad Gita known as Jnaneshwari; the text remains a tremendously powerful spiritual document. A regular reading of the Jnaneshwari can completely internalize a seeker’s outlook.
Amrutanubhav is a sublime text of pure Advaita Vedanta composed by Saint Jnaneshwara.
When Lord Rama was depressed and dejected about life, his Kula Guru Rshi Vasistha engaged him in a dialogue covering a wide range of spiritual topics seen from the perspective of a Divine monism eventually leading to Rama’s own self-realization. This dialogue is today widely revered as a supreme text of Vendanta philosophy.
Gaudapadacharya was a great Vedantin whose commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad remains a classic till date. Infact, the Madukya Upanishad itself was recovered with the karika of Gaudapada. The acharya believed that the ultimate reality is the pure consciousness, bereft of attributes and intentionality.
Panchadasi is a text containing short examples and a logical explanation of Advaita Vedanta composed by Sri Vidyaranya Swami, who helped in founding the Vijayanagara Empire. This is a text which monastic sadhus of adwaita sampradya regard very highly.
Swami Abhedananda was a brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda who had a great interest in spiritualism and occult. Based on the perspective of his own adhyatmik understanding, he wrote this book dealing with the art of occultism, spirit calling, and what happens to the soul after death.
About the saints of the Gaudiya sampradaya. Infact Vrndavana became popular in the spiritual map of India by the efforts of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is therefore natural that the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya has a deep connection to the this ancient city where Lord Krshna grew up.
Quote from this classic book on Mahavidyas: “Each is a particular Cosmic function and each leads to a special realization of the One Reality. The might of Kali, the sound-force of Tara, the beauty and bliss of Sundari, the vast vision of Bhuvaneshwari, the effulgent charm of Bhairavi, the striking force of the Chinnamasta, the silent inerness of Dhumavati, the paralyzing power of Bhagalamukhi, the expressive play of Matangi and the concord and harmony of Kamalatmika are the various characteristics, the distint manifestations of the Supreme Consciousness that has made this creation possible. The Tantra says that the supreme can be realised at these various points”
For anyone trying to understand the concept of Shiva and Shakti as used in the Shakta traditions, this is a terrific and sympathetic introduction by Sir John Woodroffe.
A very detailed book dealing with the Ten Great Cosmic Powers of the Divine Mother, their esoteric and exoteric aspects and finally how the philosophy of Mahavidya-s resonate with other great philosophies in the Indian tradition. Also contains interesting details of their iconography, mantra-s etc.
Chinnamasta is one of the most revered deities in the Hindu and Buddhist Tantric pantheon. This book explains the history and progression of Chinnamasta sadhana.
June McDaniel’s terrific account of Shakti Puja is Bengal, based on her extensive research and interaction with practitioners on the ground is a delightful introduction to a world of heterodox tantric practices.
Easily one of the greatest writings on Krsna by Osho.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari or Rajaji as he was popularly known was an independence activist, lawyer, writer and statesman. He served as the last Governor-General of India. His erudition and writing skills are well regarded by generations of readers. Here is a good translation of the Mahabharata by Rajaji.
Ramayana in English by Rajagopalachari .
An eighteen-year-old headed to Australia to realize his worldly dreams. With little money or support, he struggled to survive there. In two years by the age of twenty-six, he was a multimillionaire. Yet, worldly success was merely a station on a journey that began years ago. As an eight-year-old, he saw a vision of God in a dream, an experience that left him with a sense of deep joy and peace. The dream triggered off his desire that led him to the practice of astrology, intense meditation and tantra, yet God was nowhere in sight. Deeply frustrated, he dived into materialistic pursuits to distract himself from the restlessness within. After years of living the good life, he found he could no longer ignore the old restlessness; worldly pleasures just couldn’t fill the void within. He moved back to India and finally did what he had always yearned to do: renounce the world and become a monk. Very interesting biography of Om Swami.
Books Dealing with Practical Sadhana
Mantramahodadhi of Mahidhara is a medieval encyclopedia of various sadhanas composed by a great scholar and pundit who lived in Kashi. Till today this is regarded as one of the best books which provided almost every details that a sadhaka may need for any particular sadhana. This edition has English translation of the text done by a panel of experts.
Sanskrit version of the Mantramahodadhi same text published by Chaukhamba Publications.
Ganapati Atharvasirsa is arguably the most powerful stotra of the Ganapataya sect. There are innumerable sadhanas that can be done with this, but even a simple reading of the text with faith can bring about the benediction of Mahaganapati onto a seeker’s life.
Arun Kumar Sharma is widely respected Tantric Acharya who lived in the city of Kashi. This book provide rare and valuable insights into Tantra sadhana.
Sadhana padhyati related to Baglamukhi Mahavidya. She is the Power that can cause immobilization on anything, animate or inanimate.
Baglamukhi is also known as the Brahmastra Vidya for Her power to stop and destroy something is unparalleled. In this book details are provided with respect to why this word Brahmastra was used for this Mahavidya.
Arya Tara is the Buddhist name used for Mahavidya Tara.
Sarada Tilaka is an authoritative text on Tantric sadhanas used widely in various paramparas.
Sundarakanda of the Valmiki Ramayana captures the exploits of the great god Hanuman. Reading this text with devotion can alleviate many problems in life, particularly horoscope-related afflictions.
Hanuman is not only worshiped by Vaishanavas but even by those who are followers of other paths. This book details various mantras and rituals by which a sadhaka can obtain the blessings of Hanuman.
Durga Saptasati is perhaps one of the most canonical texts of Shakta sampradayas. People chant this with devotion in order to obtain blessings of the Goddess Durga. This book contain both the Sanskrit text and English translation with many commentaries.
Both Durga Saptasati and Bhagavad Gita combined in one book published by the Gita Press Gorakhpur. The Gita Press publication contains details of Chandipaath, vidhis etc, easily a very very useful text for all Shaktas.
Swami Lakshman Joo needs no introduction in the field of spirituality. This book deals with the methods used in the Kashmiri Tradition for reaching a non-dual state of consciousness.
Nice compendium of stotras, mantras, rituals and sadhana related details pertaining to the child form of Lord Bhairava known as Vatuka. This form is invoked primary for protection, but the grace of Vatuka can also accomplish even impossible tasks.
Spiritual stories from the Shiva Mahapurana.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan has done a nice translation of the Srimadbhagwatam. Reading the Bhagwatam with a concentrated mind can cause a tremendous purification of the seeker in this age.
Mahaniravan Tantra is a non-dualistic Tantra that become popular during the last few centuries. Contains some fantastic glimpses into the worldview of Tantra sadhana.
Mantrapushpam is a well known book containing a selection of the best stotras and mantras of Vedic era Hinduism. These slokas and stotras can be very useful for sadhana.
It is said in Kali Yuga only two texts are free from all curses and can be chanted by anyone for spiritual or materialistic benefits. The Chandi and Vishnu Sahasranama.
Breathing is linked to the mind. Consciously breathing can inform a Yogi about all things in his environment, past and present, etc. This knowledge was transmitted by Lord Shiva to Devi Parvati. Another classic from the Bihar School of Yoga.
Deals with the method of purifying the five elements which create the human body. Tattwashuddhi.
Tara Rahashya or secret of Tara deals with the methods and practices related to upasana of Tara Mahavidya. It is said one who obtains the grace of Tara becomes a poet, attains renown in society, never suffers from material difficulties and becomes liberated while alive.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is a teacher of the Bon Tibetan tradition. Bon religion was prevalent in Tibet even before Buddhism arrived there. The Luminous Mind – prakṛti-prabhāsvara-citta – is a concept used in Buddhism to refer to a high condition of the mind. This book contains a list of useful techniques and visualization that can help any sincere seeker.