Good evening everyone!
We’re 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 there are too many to enumerate, the books which are my favourite are Talks with Sri 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 enjoyed reading them. ‘Enjoyed’ is not quite the right word, as there is such a sacredness and reverence to these books.
Two more books which impacted me deeply, which allow one to sink one’s teeth into the teaching as it were, are by Muruganar. The first is Guru Vachaka Kovai and the second is Padamalai. For someone who is into serious reading and has delved deeply into Bhagavan’s life and 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 yet impacted me tremendously is Conscious Immortality and this is a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone who is familiar with Nisargadatta Maharaj’s works, Ramesh Balsekar’s works, Sidhharameshwar Maharaj’s works. It is another gem of a book. Many parts of this book can be found in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, but this extract along with the other content unique to this book, is truly special.
The other slim yet extremely powerful book 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 bookshelves there over the last 20 years… it evokes so many feelings. I also picked up many books on Arunachala. Some picture books, and others with more information on Its significance. So, if you are drawn to the holy mountain and want to know more about It, the significance of the circumambulation around the mountain, and all other aspects, there’s a lot of material in terms of books. The significance of Arunachala and Girivalam is even mentioned in the Shiv Puranas. It reminds me of what Ramana Maharshi said, ‘You should go around the mountain like a woman in her 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 or so. 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.
Yes, that pretty much sums it up. I am sure I have missed out on some important books but these are what came to mind 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, to write one. So, the book Sri Ramana Maharshi – The Supreme Guru was published by us. It is concise, to the point and a very light read. The purpose of bringing this out was to make it available on mainstream platforms, so that many more may get acquainted with this great master.