The ashram strives to make as much material free of charge online, but our resources are limited. Many of these publications are available online, in the ashram’s physical bookstore, or orderable via our online bookstore in India. They are all available at the ashram’s library if you visit, and may be available at your local library or bookstore.
Here are collection of texts that may interest you.
A) Classical Texts of Advaita Vedanta
- Ashtavakra Gita. An ancient dialogue between two great sages – Astavakra and his disciple, King Janaka – about Advaita Vedanta. An audio book recording can be listened to here, or can be read here.
- Advaita Bodha Deepika (The Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge). An ancient book based on the commentaries of Shankara to Vedantasutras.
- Dattatreya, Avadhuta Gita (The Song of the Ever-Free).
- Dattatreya, Tripura Rahasya (The Mystery Beyond the Trinity). Tripura Rahasya was considered by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi as one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita philosophy. It actually recommends awareness of the awareness. It was described as a nondual marriage between Advaita and Tantra.
- Krishnananda, Swami, Panchadasi. Commentaries in a classical text about satcitananda. Krishnananda was a disciple of Swami Sivananda.
- Shankara, Adi, The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Viveka-Chudamani). A classical treatise about discrimination between what is Real – the Self – and what is not. Probably the most famous of the books attributed to Shankara.
- Shankara, Adi, The Knowledge of the Self (Atmabodha). “An important contribution to the solution of many of man’s most urgent problems and distresses,” says Ananda K. Coomaraswamy.
- Yoga Vasishta Sara: The Essense of Yoga Vasishta. The Brihat (Great) Yoga Vasishta is a work of about 32,000 Sanskrit couplets traditionally attributed to Valmiki, the author of Srimad Ramayana. It is a dialogue between Sage Vasishta and Sri Rama, during which Advaita (the doctrine of nonduality) in its pure form as ajativada (the theory of non-origination, that the world is just a illusion) is expounded.
- Ramana Maharshi used to refer to Yoga Vasishta frequently and even incorporated six couplets from it in his Supplement to Forty Verses (verses 21 to 27). A condensation of this work was made (by an unknown author) into about 230 couplets, divided into 10 chapters, as this book, Yoga Vasishta Sara.
B) Works of Ramana Maharshi and His Disciples about Advaita Vedanta, the Self-Inquiry Method, and His Perspective about Reality
- Brunton, Paul, A Search in Secret India. The book lucidly narrates the author’s acquaintance with, impressions of, and relation to Maharshi, who so influenced him. The three chapters — IX, XVI, and XVII — relating to Maharshi were reprinted by Ramanasramam in a booklet entitled “The Maharshi and His Message.”
- Cohen, S.S., Guru Ramana: Memories and Notes. General ideas and topics of Advaita, including surrender, maya, free will, Liberation, etc. This book contains some of Cohen’s reminiscences – the memories of a man who remained with Ramana for 14 years – as well as the notes he took down during his long residence at Ramanashram. The last part of the book consists of his diary.
- Cohen, S.S., Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Commentaries and interesting personal notes about the teachings of Ramana. Topics: Destiny and free will, visions, brahmacharya, the world, God, the Self as Reality, Heart and mind, etc.
- Godman, David, Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. A very systematic book about Ramana’s perspectives. He starts each chapter explaining the significance of the terms used by Ramana and Ramana’s general vision and after that he exemplifies this with quotes. The topics are: the Self, Self-awareness, Self-inquiry, surrender, meditation, concentration, samadhi , Creation theories and the reality of the world, the nature of God, etc.
- Maharshi, Ramana, Who Am I? This work, composed by Bhagavan in the mid-1920s, is the work that originated with answers written in the sand in 1901.
- Maharshi, Ramana, Self-Enquiry ( Vichara Sangraham). This text consists of 40 questions and answers explaining the attitude needed for revealing the Supreme Self. We can find here different analogies used by Ramana for explaining the Ultimate nature of Reality and how individuality appears.
- Maharshi, Ramana. Forty Verses on Reality. This text presents a synthesis of Ramana’s teaching of nonduality and practice of inquiry and was written at the request of his disciple Muruganar, who wanted a brief summary of Ramana’s teaching. Ramana wrote the verses as they came to him, and Muruganar arranged them in a particular order. 40 verses fit a classical Hindu poetic form. Later, Ramana wrote 40 additional verses, and the original 40 verses were put into a supplement to the 40 verses.
- Maharshi, Ramana. Maharshi’s Gospel. Answers of Ramana to questions put to him by his devotees. The answers are structured around the essential themes of Ramana: Bhakti and Jnana , mind control, silence and solitude, atman. Ego’s existence is not illusory because it is an instrument, a function in the dynamism of creation. What is illusory is the position of the ego as the Supreme Doer.
- Maharshi, Ramana. Talks With Ramana Maharshi. This classic book of conversations recorded over the period 1935 – 1939 can be a continuous source of inspiration. Ramana often went behind the words that constitute a question to correct the questioner even on the matter of questioning. It is a comprehensive book of about 700 pages.
- Maharshi, Ramana. Know the Ramana Way. A Q&A about the nature of the mind, ego, etc.
- Osborne, Arthur. Be Still, It’s the Wind That Sings. Topics: Ramana, Advaita, and Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc.
- Osborne, Arthur. Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge. A biography of Bhagavan and a classic.
- Osborne, Arthur. The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words. A compilation of the answers of Ramana when he spoke through words instead of silence, grouped in essential topics.
C) Other Teachers of Advaita Vedanta
There are two many to list here – the ashram’s physical library, accessible when you visit, hosts a large number of contemporary teachers and those influenced by Bhagavan. A simple google search will show you how profound Baghavan’s effect has been.
Quote from Bhagavan
Swami was sitting alone in the Virupaksha cave. Ramaswamy Iyer gives an account of his meeting with Swami, in his diary: ‘My soul was stirred; and I appealed to him ‘Sir, Jesus and other great souls came into the world to redeem sinners. Is there no hope for me?’ The Swami said (in English):-‘THERE IS HOPE, YES. THERE IS HOPE’