[Advaita-l] Readings for Beginners

Suresh Marur suresh.marur at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 02:44:46 CDT 2009



I will second Ramesh's thoughts. Some notes from my own experience.

I personally found Swami Dayanand Saraswati's books very useful in getting
the basic definitions right and get the foundations right.

I personally started with many books on Buddhism, Zen, books by Osho, Alan
Watts, and even contemporary new age books (Power of Now, etc.). Words like
soul, mind, world, God, consciousness etc. mean different things and each of
them use different contexts. So, unless we get the definitions right and the
right vedantic context for these words, things can appear contradictory and
tricky to resolve.

Books that I found particularly useful:

An Introduction to Vedanta
Purnamadah Purnamidam...
Vivekachudamani (his commentaries on selected 108 verses from the 500+
The Problem is You, The Solution is You
Emotional Maturity (a classic that I can read any number of times and gain
insights each time)
Value of Values

The CDs are very useful and I have used the time spent in traffic to very
good effect. It saves us from the chatter of FM radio and helps us use the
time very constructively. Lectures by Swamiji's disciple Swami
Paramarthananda on Upadesa Saram and also on the Bhagwat Gita are incredibly
good. They are both Vedantic scholars and are rooted in tradition. Once we
start hearing/reading, we get references to other texts and contexts that
interest us and get us started on a journey of searching...

Hope this helps.

- Suresh

On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy
<rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello Ananya,
> The best way is to attend classes under a proper teacher. But that may
> not be feasible for you.
> If you know Sanskrit, it is best to study the Sanskrit texts. Even if
> you don't know Sanskrit, it is advisable to put in some effort and
> learn it so that you can read the original texts.
> If you want material in English, perhaps the best contemporary source
> is Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. His
> introductory books as well as more detailed expositions of the Gita
> and some of the Upanishads are easily available. Even better, you can
> get CDs of his talks and listen to them. I am of the opinion that
> listening is better than reading, as tone and emphasis are better
> captured. What's more, Swamiji is an engaging & humorous speaker and
> follows a traditional methodology as well. His own studies were under
> traditional teachers including notably Swami Tarananda Giri at Kailas
> Ashram, Rishikesh.
> As you are in Kanpur, you may consider visiting Rishikesh when you
> have a few days leave.
> Ramesh
> 2009/10/20 ananya pareek <ananyapareek at gmail.com>
> >
> > Hello Everyone,
> >
> > (sorry for sending the mail with a wrong subject previously)
> >
> > I am very curious about the advaita philosophy and have just started. I
> > would be thankful to you if you could help me by telling me about some
> > reference books for starting with it.
> >
> >
> > Thanks and regards,
> >
> >
> > --
> > Ananya Pareek
> > Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering,
> > Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
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