This year I had quite a lot of time to dig deeper into some great titles that I always wanted to read. To my surprise, very often I got blown away from all the richness I found in these old scriptures.
And yeah, you might say that the old scriptures are sometimes hard to read, and they are. But these books I found are very open for just anyone to read.
So, don’t worry, I’ll be sure that I put down the name of the author as well. As it’s also very important that the book has been interpreted in a way that a wide audience finds it understandable.
You’ll probably see your classics here, but even if you have read a certain book it might be good to read another person’s interpretation.
Well, these books are mostly translated by people who know their stuff, rather than random translators. So, they do know their trade. And if not, very often you’ll feel it when there was no heart in it.
Let’s have a look at my 5 favorite philosophy books of the past year!
#5 Ribhu Gita – Translated by Krishnamurti N.R.
In the last place, I’ve put the Ribhu Gita. Mainly because it’s from the Advaita teachings, which I haven’t been really schooled in. Therefore some concepts were quite foreign to me, but in general, it’s saying the same thing as all the other books.
Students from Ramana and Papaji have probably read the book already as Ramana recommended the book immensely. And it’s not hard to see why, as it’s all about the non-duality and the place within you where nothing exists anymore.
Alright, if you are new to this, the Ribhu Gita might not be the best thing to read. Read another one to start with and work your way up to Advaita concepts and philosophy.
Let’s take a look at the next book.
my Favourite quote in the Ribhu gita
Alright, I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but just to give you an idea what the Ribhu Gita is about, it would be good to give you one of my favourite quotes that I found very inspiring for my own practice:
“One is solely responsible for one’s own liberation or bondage, since the choice of destroying the restless mind or allowing it to roam at large rests with that one only. Therefore, one should conquer the restless mind by steady abidance in the pure thought-free Alert-Awerness-Self only. This steady abidance is moksha.” (Ch.38, v.7)
#4 The Upanishads – Eknath Easwaran
The Upanishads is a must-read if you are into mantras. Not that it’s a book filled with them, but there are quite some that originated from this book. The Asatoma-mantra for example, and also the Purnamidam-mantra. Both great ones, and within this book, you’ll learn more about the background.
The reason why this book didn’t make it higher on the list is because of the fact that it exists out of different books. It’s like the bible where different sages tell their story. But then within Hindu traditions. This on its own doesn’t make a difference, of course, the thing just is that some chapters were quite clear and others left me completely confused.
I had many aha-moments, but they were also filled with Uhmmm-moments.
Eknath Easwaran is the book I’ve chosen for you to must read. I’ve got two versions, but the other one isn’t that great. Not that I didn’t like that one, but it uses completely different terms that weren’t always resonating with me.
It was written in an older English and the version of Eknath is a bit more modern.
I’m not a native English speaker so when they start using fancy terms I don’t completely comprehend what they are talking about. And the translation of Eknath is almost like it’s written for everyone!
my favourite quote in the Upanishads
All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
This became one of my favourite mantras. And it’s a great one once you fully understand it. If it takes you a while, I’d like to recommend you this YouTube video which gives you a great explanation on this manta.
#3 Bhagavad Gita – Eknath Easwaran
Yes, I know, Eknath twice in a row! But that’s just how good his translations are!
We all know the Bhagavad Gita and we’ve all read one or two parts of it, even without knowing.
The Bhagavad Gita has a lot of wisdom and I think it’s one of the most interesting religious scriptures that I’ve ever read.
I’m not going to give too many spoilers of course, but I had many eye-openers while reading that book. The only reason that I didn’t put it higher is because of the next books being even more of an eye-opener.
However, the Bhagavad Gita is a must-read as a spiritual seeker.
my favourite quote in the bhagavad gita
Happened for the good.
Whatever is happening
is happening for the good.
Whatever will happen
Will also happen for the good.
Alright, recently I sent this quote to a friend of mine as it helped me in some setbacks I had in my life. It didn’t really help in. At all even, he kind of resented me for sending this. So, it’s a nice quote and it will be great if you fully understand it, but just be aware that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel any emotion you are feeling. Keep it in the back of the mind while you reflect on things.
#2 Tree of Yoga – B.K.S. Iyengar
This one is for yogis. Well, it can be for everyone of course, but it’s mainly focused on the yogic philosophy.
It gives you an idea on how to take the yoga sutras into your heart and express them into your daily life.
This book mainly was a good start for my yoga practice, so I’m glad I’ve read it again after 6 years. Because even know it still offers me great insight on how to practice off the mat my yoga.
And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about stepping off your mat and taking your yoga practise back into your daily life.
That’s what the tree of yoga has to offer for you. And that’s why it’s also so different from other books that I’ve ever read.
#1 Ashtavakra Gita: Path to Liberation – Tushar Gundev
And then, last but not least, the Ashtavakra Gita!
It just made the top of my list because it’s so short you can read it in a day!
Alright that’s not completely true!
However, it’s a Gita that’s quite short and that makes it very approachable. As there is not so much filler in the book.
It’s all very clear.
After reading the first page I already was fully aware of what it’s all about!
I really believe this book is something you have to read when you are on a spiritual path. It doesn’t even matter what your practice is. This Gita is spot-on from page one till page 101. Which is the last one if you weren’t aware.
I’m not going to talk a lot about it, but it will blow your mind. Almost literally!
My favourite quote in the ashtavakra gita
Turn your attention to forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, simplicity, truth.
It’s one of the first verses in the Ashtavakra Gita, but probably the most powerful thing written in the whole book. This is basically what it’s all about. When you master all of these, you let go of your suffering and you are free.
And that’s it again about some really amazing books for you to read. I know I didn’t mention a lot about the content of the books, but what’s the fun about that? I’m not going to spoil the books for you!
These are really master pieces and you just need to read them yourself to fully grasp what they are all about.
After reading my view on them a little, please let me know which one has your preference! And if you’ve already read them all, which one would you recommend?!