March 27, 2021
Good evening everyone!
Going further into the exploration of books.
Books on Ramana Maharshi’s teachings have impacted me tremendously. There’s a large volume of books published by the ashram and over the years, whenever I would visit the ashram store I would pick up one or two books to read and they were my constant companions on this journey, on this beautiful journey.
While they are too many to enumerate, the books which are my favourite are Talks with Ramana Maharshi which perhaps is the most popular also, Day by Day with Bhagavan and Letters. These are books which really give a pulse of the goings on at the ashram and life around Ramana Maharshi. You feel transported as if you are really there as part of what is happening. I tremendously, I can’t even use the word enjoyed reading them as enjoyment is not the really the right feelings which gets stirred up, but it was such a privilege to get a sense of being around then. That I would highly recommend both these, Letters as well as Day by Day with Bhagavan.
Two which impacted me deeply which allow one to sink one’s teeth into the teaching as it were, were by Muruganar and the first is Guru Vachaka Kovai and the second is Padamalai. For someone who is into some serious reading and has delved deeply into Bhagavan’s life, teachings, these are real tributes.
All these books I have mentioned are not thin by any means, so they require some commitment when one picks them up to read them. But, they are not heavy reading in that sense, somehow when the language becomes familiar you just float on this vast ocean that is Bhagavan and the teaching. They become companions.
One book which is relatively thin which impacted me tremendously from the ashram book store was Conscious Immortality and this is a book I would recommend to everyone, anyone and everyone who is familiar with Nisargadatta Maharaj’s works, Ramesh Balsekar’s works, Sidhha Rameshwar Maharaj’s work, it is another gem of a book.
The other slim book yet extremely powerful is Advaita Bodha Deepika , you would love that too.
As I am speaking about these books, I am reminded of the ashram bookstore, going through the shelves, it evokes so many feelings. I picked up many books also on Arunachala. picture books, books on the holy mountain and Girivalam around the mountain. So, if you are drawn to the holy mountain and want to know more about it, what is the significance? Where in the Shiv Puranas Arunachala is mentioned, the Girivalam is mentioned. There’s a lot of material on that too and in fact Ramana Maharshi said, ‘you should go around the mountain as if you are in your 8th or 9th month of pregnancy.’ That slowly, that measured.
Though I must confess I do it in quite a trot, waking up at 4am and perhaps finishing it in all of three and a half hours I guess. But I can picture doing a slow Girivalam in those days when the town was hardly built up around the mountain. It must have been so special. There was perhaps a natural path all around the mountain. Now, of course we have the outside one which is on the road and one is the inner path which is no longer allowed to be walked upon.
So, there are many books on Arunachala.
Yes, that pretty much sums it up. I am sure there are many who have read all the books so I have perhaps missed on some important ones. But these are what appealed to me, came my way and I am quite sure they would enrich your lives too.
And, yes, I don’t know if I mentioned this before but we were keen on publishing a biography of Ramana Maharshi and that is when I requested Alan Jacobs who was a passionate devotee of Bhagavan. I requested him to write it. So, the book Sri Ramana Maharshi – The Supreme Guru was published by us. It is concise, to the point and a very light read. So, that many more may get acquainted with this great master.