What are your spiritual “bibles” – those books you consider your most precious treasures of spiritual wisdom and enlightenment?
Here is my own list of 10 best spiritual books. Though I have read throughout more than 20 years of spiritual life hundreds of books, the following list has “survived” all changes and developments. These masterpieces have remained for me the ultimate reminders of Truth.
Naturally, this is a personal list. These books are the ones that have led me confidently and wisely to return to my spiritual home. I’m sure, however, that you’ll find within this list some of your greatest inspirations of self-transcendence.
So, starting from 10 to 1, here are my ten ultimate books:
“Initiation” by Elisabeth Haich – The astonishing and dramatic story of the different lives of Haich’s soul, the most illuminating one being her life as an Egyptian initiate who nearly becomes fully enlightened and then “falls” from grace.
“Tantra: The Supreme Understanding” by Osho – A brilliant and stimulating exploration into the ancient Tantric texts of Tilopa, revealing the secret of Mahamudra, the ultimate understanding. This was, by the way, a cause of major breakthrough in my own awakening as a young seeker – especially the last chapter!
Poems of Rumi – All of them! The embodiment of surrender and devotion, Rumi cared very little about “non-duality”. As the perfect lover of Truth, he embodies most beautifully the duality of oneness and separation. Thank you, Rumi, for teaching us how to love both God and life!
Bhagavad Gita – This “song of God” will surely echo in humanity until the end of times. Krishna’s appearance before Arjuna as the dual manifestation of a friend and a God is still the perfect teaching for non-attached action in the world. Every sentence there can be made into a whole discourse.
“Symposium”, “Phadrus” and “Phaedon” by Plato – Few know, unfortunately, that Plato and Socrates were enlightened masters of high caliber. The first two books are by far my favorite when it comes to the Tantric teachings of how to use sexual attraction, eroticism, beauty and love in order to reach God.
“Freedom from the known” by Jiddu Krishnamurti (also Krishnamurti biography by Pupul Jayakar and Krishnamurti diaries) – “Freedom from the known” rocked my world when I was 21 years old, groping in the dark for spiritual understanding. The biography mentioned contains unbelievable hidden talks of K’ with his closest students. And his diaries are the perfect combination of poetry and wisdom, teaching us more than anything else how to listen ourselves.
I AM THAT by Nisargadata Maharaj – Nisargadata excelled in answering the most striking and eloquent statements of enlightenment. Every sentence is a treasure, a complete mantra. The structure of a flowing dialogue with different people creates an endless shocking effect due to the bright clarity of answers given.
The New Testament and the Gospel of Thomas – The New Testament, when read deeply as a transformative text and not as a religious text, holds within it a tremendous power to release one from the bondage of ignorance. A more concise and striking expression of Jesus’ direct teachings is found in the Gospel of Thomas. Jesus was always simple in his approach, but precisely this simplicity makes every sentence an overwhelming experience.
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda – The fact that it is Number 2 makes it clear: what Yogananda managed to do in this piece of poetic description of the lives of the great saints of India is unmatched. His autobiography colors the journey of enlightenment with such heroic colors, and his love of God shimmers out of every page.
Yoga Vasishta – This is my ultimate enlightenment bible. The most complete teaching of the highest attainment. In my mind, no Yogic text has reached this depth. Hundreds of pages along which the wise Vasishta illumnates prince Rama’s mind – and as a consequence, our mind too. Warning: this is not a beginner’s introduction!