Before starting the present article, I would like to first thank Anuj and his team from Feedspot: Top 40 Hindu Blogs – https://blog.feedspot.com/hindu_blog/, to feature my blog as one of the top 40 Hindu blogs on the internet.
I have written 50 articles by now in this blog, few more articles were submitted to and published by some of the prestigious Indian spiritual magazines (Sreepeetam, Citizen, etc.), I translated a Telugu commentary on Rig Vedic Hymn – SUPARNA SUKTAM (by Master E.K) into English, I have started commenting on Lalita Sahasra Nama (111 names until now), which I envision to evolve into volume 1 soon (depending on time and her grace). Given this background, I can confidently talk and write about those works which influenced my way of life now. In this article, I want to express my gratitude, my understanding, my opinion and my love towards those works that changed the course of train of thoughts over the time. This is going to be a lengthy article with many books from different fields (the cover pic shows my collection. Yes, I need to arrange them in a neat form. Next time when I am home, I will.). Sit tight and enjoy.
1. Swami Vivekananda:
Every child starts their spiritual journey from where they left, in their past life. This is the assertion of the scriptures. But how their life turns depends on the interactions they have in this life and the choices they make with their “WILL” aspect. I started my journey with the works of Swami Vivevakananda.
(By Ramakrishna Mission Delhi – Ramakrishna Mission Delhi, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4366245)
The people from R.K.Math visited my school when I was in 7th std. They gave us free student kits, after a seminar, which consisted the books like “Youth arise awake”, “The four yogas”, etc. Well, in 7th std, what do you expect a student to do with such books? 90% of my friends put these books aside and went to playgrounds. But the seminar, somehow, intrigued me. I used to ask questions of of existence, the depth of dark skies at night, the veil of awareness/consciousness, etc., even when I was in kindergarten. This seminar kind of touched those topics, which I forgot to question, as any human should, with the societal pressure of “modern rat race studies”. So, I opened the books of the kit and started to read. Page by page, I was immersed deeply. tears of joy flew out of my eyes, and in order to catch them, I had to stop reading! I went home and shared my joy with parents.
I guess, my parents suggested me to visit their organization, which was 5km away from my home. That weekend, I took my bicycle and rode 5 km to Ramakrishna Mission, Hyderabad. I was wonder stuck with the vastness of the mission. I went straight to the bookstall. The people around suggested me to visit the meditation hall, but I am more into books and so I directly went to the bookstall. There began my urge to buy books, which continues till today!!! I have bought few booklets: Raja Yoga, Vivekananda speaks on himself, etc. The book “Raja Yoga” was my favorite and has thoroughly seeded my brain with ever increasing respect towards our ancient sciences. I also bought most of his slogans, in sticker form, and decorated my room! His every statement hits the mind with the whip of power and jolts the lazy mind into constructive action!
After that, I must have ready many books, contemplated, discussed with few of my friends and so on. This was my starting point to the journey that I am on right now. I did not read complete works of Vivekananda, but have glimpsed through most of his works. All my foundations in Indian spirituality are attributed to Swami Vivekananda’s works – specially his lectures on Raja Yoga and on Upanishads.
2. Paramahamsa Yogananda:
Vivekananda ruled my mind for two to three years. He prepared my mind for whats going to come in future. I was in 10th grade and I was struggling with board exams. I hate social studies and I never remember a thing from it. So, when ever it was time to study social, I used to escape by watching TV or something. One day, one of my neighbors gave a book to my mom – Autobiography of a Yogi, in Telugu. My mom started to read it and I was curious to know what is in it. From Vivekananda, I have already formed a nice opinion on Indian Yogis. But, I never heard of Paramahamsa Yogananda before and after looking at the book, somehow I felt I should read it. But as it was end of my class era and I had loads to prepare for exams, I asked my mom to read the book to me when ever I had to take a break from continuous school studies.
Each and every chapter of this book is filled with ever unfolding wisdom. I was re-reading it recently and the way I understand the same chapter is very different from the way I understood it in the past. AT any rate, this book laid a solid brick on the foundation of Vivekananda’s teaching. Yogananda’s autobiography is no ordinary book. Even Steve Jobs was so much influenced by it that he ordered his associate to distribute this book at his funeral (you may google this). Not only him, most of the world people came to know about Yoga/Yogis only through Vivekananda and Yogananda, initially. They were the right bridges to the East and the West.
Lets talk about this book for a while. It starts with his childhood and takes us through the journey of his self realization. The book rightly points our mistakes in every day life and guides an earnest aspirant as to how to be in household and find solace. Kriya Yoga is one of the strong aspects that reverberates through the pages of this book, through his masters – Yukteswar Giri and Lahiri Mahasaya. It speaks about a 2000 year old YOGI, named BABA ji, master to his masters, which will intrigue any kind of reader. The book speaks of two bodied saint, levitating saint, a saint who just eats sunlight (lady saint), and much more. The truth of this is left to inquirer. Even if someone reads this book in a casual way, it is for sure to make a great impression on their minds. On my mind, it made a changeless impression that ever germinates thoughts of love towards every being!
Other books of his, which I love:
- God talks with Arjuna: The Bhagawad Gita — This book was gifted to me by my physics professor at undergrad. This is a two volume book and is awesomely written. The style, the secret revealing nature, the mappings, the schema, everything is perfect. It is as if Krishna taught him Gita all over again and he recorded it with more detailed details. Yes, the English is tough, but language doe snot matter once the reader in attuned to the inner light via the desire to find the truth! This is the secret to read any book. More this later (at Aurobindo’s teachings).
- Second Coming of the Christ: This a parallel book to Gita, but on teachings of bible. His command on the bible and the inner teachings reveal a harmony between different world scriptures. Indeed Gita and Bible rule more than half of the world religions’ intriguing minds. So, he commented on these scriptures at right time and in right way! This book on bible will be a treat to those who wish to understand it, not from the lens of confused and contradictory mind, but from the pen of a truly realized world-saint, who belongs to no religion, but guides all!
- Man’s Eternal Quest: This is a book on very interesting topics like ghosts/spirits, fasting, love, being a smile millionaire, art of making friends, curing mental alcoholics, etc. The book explains, in detail, almost all our burning questions in present day – about our religion, human values and cultural misunderstandings. I recommend this to every one, specially youngsters, who wish to understand the Land of Bharat in its true sense (lifestyle including its meaning).
There are more of his books, but these four formed four pillars to the roof of my mind building which has never shaken. So, I though you, the reader, should know at least these four at first. You may dig deeper into his works. One place to look is the Kriya Yoga lessons offered by Yogodasatsang Society (est by him), which he designed personally, and they are self teaching lessons. Interested aspirants can contact them (https://yssofindia.org/meditation/Lessons-for-Home-Study-English).
3. Sri Ekkirala Krishnamacharya (Master.E.K):
My spiritual relationship with Vivekananda and Yogananda started in 7thstd and lasted till my final year undergraduate. I was so much involved with their teachings and the bond was strengthened so much that every small problem that I urge Yogananda to solve, he used to solve (well, I attribute the solution to him, for it is only after my request that a solution used to visit me). I though for my whole life I will be devoted to their teachings. But an interesting turn of events took place.
You see, I wanted to get initiated in Kriya Yoga from direct disciples of Yognanada. There is one, whom I trust (I don’t know why, but I do) who is in Orissa. He is Swami Sarvapriyananda. He is a disciple of high order, in the linage of Yukteswar Giri-Yogananda-Hahriharananda-etc. I even called and emailed him to convey my urge. I was in bachelors 2nd/3rd year then. He encouraged me to read more and always blessed me, but never affirmatively stated he would initiate me. May be he knew that I will be disciple of Master E.K in future.
It was the summers of 2013, that I went to my home in the beautiful coastal city of Vizag, escaping the hot winds of Thar and crazy tensions of final year (B.Tech), at Jaipur. I was well known in my batch for notoriously asking loopy questions in regard to science as well as that of life. Being brought up in a traditional family, I had a strong inclination towards our vedic wisdom. But, frankly speaking, no where (including the books I mentioned above) did I find the pond of source of wisdom in order to quench “my” thirst (the pond is different for different people). But, as we all know that God takes care of us when we fully surrender unto HIM, I was on the beaches of Vizag, gazing at the ripples of waters which kindled the ripples of thoughts in my mind. I was retrospecting the whole life (the 22 years that passed before) and thinking the age-old question, whence did we come from and where towards, are we rushing?! At a point of time, I just gave up and decided to just observe and see, as I was sure that I couldn’t proceed an inch more in that tornado of crazy thoughts. I guess, it was a week later, that my mother, who had already had an interaction with Sri Satyadev (she came to know about him through a mutual friend of theirs), suggested me to visit The World Teacher Trust, as she thought I would like it. As I was an egoistic intellectual, I used my so called apparent logic and thought that “There are so many spiritual organisations that pop up every now and then. Who has time and interest to visit all these?!”. Well, how would I know that I had a life changing dynamo just a few blocks away from my home! Few days passed by, but one day, after a second jolt from my mother, I visited the place finally!
I can never forget this moment in my life. I went with a skeptic mind. The moment I entered with my bare foot there, my clothed heart started to throb and wither all the useless camouflages it had till then. On the left hand side, were the books of Master E.K in a neatly arranged shelf. The titles “Pythagoras”, “Mandra Scripture”, “Spiritual Astrology”, “Science of Homeopathy” etc. caught my breath! Incidentally, I worked for 2 months as a summer intern on homeopathy, to find the scientific link (using quantum mechanics, etc.) to try to explain how it works (I can say that work is still in progress, may be I will visit in future again). Well, now I skipped my heart beat, for, I never saw any author authoring in such wide range of domains. And, the “FEEL” that I got, can not be put in words, for, I felt not the same again, thereafter!
With this background, let us go into the books authored by him, oh sorry – the books that were authored “through” him! (you will understand this statement if you read his life!) The list is huge, but I will categories into few basic sections and try to keep it simple:
Sources to know his life:
- Music of Soul: Documentary on his life (press the link for youtube redirection)
- His biography: https://worldteachertrust.org/_media/pdf/en/master_ek.pdf
Books on Health:
- Science of Homeopathy: His notes and lectures on Homeopathy. Very smoothly and gently teaches the root principles of Homeopathy and a healthy living.
- Organon: This is the basic rule-book written by Hahneman (founder of homeopathy) and Master E.K gave a beautiful commentary with sufficient explanations to it. Must read to all those who believe and wants to practice homeopathy
- Ayurveda: A small booklet which gives the basic tenets of Ayurvedic way of lifestyle.
Books on Scriptures:
- Lessons on Purusha Suktam: A lucid compilation of hi slectures, given at Geneva, on the vedic hymn – Purusha Sukta. I will be writing a series of articles on this in near future, stay tuned.
- Bhagavatam: This is a commentary in Telugu, on Bhagavatam. I feel this is a book that has unlimited source of wisdom. His commentary opens doors to those domains which one might not even thought of. The keys to wisdom that he propounds in these volumes (12 cantos out of which, he commented on 6 of them and the rest by his dear disciples) will be serious torch light for those who are serious in diving into the scriptural way of attaining GOD!
- Vishnu Sahasra Nama: This is a commentary on the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu, given in Mahabharata. It is unique in its style and presentation. Many stalwarts have commented on this 1000 names – From Sankaracharya to Chinmayananda, but this commentary is filled with esoteric wisdom. When we utter and meditate the meaning of the name, we will be showered with the hidden wisdom. This is my understanding!
- Three books on Gita: He has written three books on Gita, namely: Mandra Gita (Telugu), Mandra Scripture (English) and Shankharavam (telugu). Each book is unique in its own way. The Mandra books teach the concepts of Gita sublimely to our Buddhi, than our mind (Budhhi is above mind). The Shankharavam is a comprehensive treatise on Gita with every detail possible!
- Patanjali’s Yoga: Master E.K has given full set of lectures on Yoga of Patanjali which were compiled into Lessons on Yoga of Patanjali (English), Yoga Sutras (Telugu), etc. His lectures are always filled with humor and wit. I never saw someone explaining YOGA in such a butter-smooth way! He uncovers the very depths of the heart of Patanjali’s intention in writing his aphorisms and also links to different paths of Yoga – like Gita and shows a perfect harmonious way to practice YOGA in present day life!
- Novels: He authored few novels, based on life of Krishna and the TRUTHs that were revealed to him by his masters. These novels are a different class in their genre. One can see wisdom oozing out of every line, and yet, keeping the enthusiasm of the story line intact. Some of these novels are: Music of Soul, The World Teacher, The MAN Sacrifice, etc.
Books on Astrology:
- Spiritual Astrology: This is a magnum opus of astrological wisdom, though of finite pages in physical form. It is a book, that no one has ever written or read. I guarantee that every truth seeker will be wonder-struck at its comprehensive and elegant way of unveiling the ancient wisdom of LIGHTS. It has four parts in total: Basic and sound introduction to the basics, thorough details on zodiacal signs, basic concepts on astrological bullet-points (like karma, ascendants, etc) and finally details on planets (or deities). This book helps the reader to read between the lines of many other books and ancient scriptures.
- Wisdom of Heavens: This is a tool-book that summarizes basics of astrology and gives a link between different types of astrological sciences that we have. Its short and yet a powerful book, I would say. I had read it thrice to gain proper understanding!
- Goda Vaibhavam: His inner self uttering his revelation in form of beautiful poems. M=Not many know that Master E.K was a poet of very high caliber. He was considered equal to the then Viswanatha Satyanarayan, buy himself, who was one of the greatest poets of his time! Master’s poems play melodious music to the listener and pour sweet honey to the one who cherishes it! This work is one of his grand expressions.
- Wisdom of Pythagoras: First time have I seen a book on teachings of Pythagoras. As a student of science, I only knew of Pythagorean theorem. But this book reveals much more to his teachings. It shows how Pythagoras was one of the mystic saints of oldest orders and how he was initiated in India too! His teachings reverberate the secrets of Vedas, for sure! Its short book, yet one of the most engaging books!
- Suparna Suktam: This again is marvelous book – a commentary on a Rig Vedic hymn. I have translated this book from Telugu to English. I am right now correcting it and when done, will give WTT for publishing. It encompasses the whole Vedic theory and unveils many forgotten concepts of the past. Reading this work will give us a clue as to how to correctly interpret the vedic scriptures. After reading this, my understanding on vedic scriptures truly changed!
There are many more in the list of his works, that I read and cherished. But I am unable to recollect some and I do not want to overload you with such big list. It is enough to say that I read 90% of his literature and it is worth spending time! I will give you links to his online books and audio lectures available in youtube. if interested, do visit and enjoy!
- AudioLectures: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZc6gUXLSPcI0CvAytlJ3mg/playlists
- Online Books: https://worldteachertrust.org/en/web/publications/ek-overview-all
I took him as my master and I have been introduced to many authors since reading his works, through his works. The other books that influenced me will come shortly. I owe my spiritual understanding today, to Master E.K.
4. Dr. E. Vedavyasa:
He is younger brother of Master E.K. He joined Indian Gov as an IAS officer at the age of 21. Yet, due to the same background as that of Master.E.K, he too excelled in the wisdom of the ancients. Infact, he has many followers who consider him a guru, including me. His works are many, just like that of master.E.K and are also on similar lines, but of course, every master has their own ways of expression! Some of his works that I like most are:
(from: yoga brotherhood – youtube and internet)
- Hindusim in Space Age: This is a voluminous book but worth a read. It gives a thorough understanding of what Hinduism means. It explains cycles of Yugas, Ayurvedic sciences, idol worships and much more. It is the best stop for those who wish to understand what HINDUISM means in modern era!
- Science of Time: This is a book that goes back to Egyptian pyramids and the era of Chaldean book of numbers and takes us through the course of journey of how ancients perceived TIME as.
- Astronomical Dating of Mahabharatha War: This is the thesis for which he was awarded PhD degree. In this thesis, he proves, astronomically that Mahabharata war happened 5k years ago. The way he arrives at this conclusion is an interesting read!
- Vedic Sciences – What are they ?, Word of GOD , ‘Ayurveda’ – Wisdom of Longevity, Master CVV and his Electronic Yoga, Everything and Nothing, etc.
Thus, he too auothered many books in Telugu and English, which I have read and are in my collection. Those interested to read his works may contact: http://www.vedavyasabharati.org/index.html?page=publications/pb_cat
5. Sri Aurobindo:
He is a freedom fighter, poet, author of vast number of books and a saint of highest order. He really unveiled the vedic lore under a true light of intuition. His works have a sense of “evolution”. When one reads his earlier works and proceed to go chronologically, one can see how his state of evolution affected his writings. He is very thorough in his logic and intuitive suggestions. The philological keys and etymological keys that he used, reveal a lot more to the Vedas than that meets to a common man’s eye. Let us look into his works (that I am familiar with):
(Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=594200)
- Secret of The Veda and Philological studies on veda: This book starts with the way of Vedic sage revealing his realization to his/her student and goes on to explain different god-heads and their uniform connection with our psychological faculties. At the end of this book, one can find the number of ways he interprets the first hymn of Rig-Veda on Agni. It shows his capability to bring out oceans of wisdom from pot sized hymn!! This is the first place one should start, if they want to go on right tracks of understanding the ancient scriptures.
- SAVITRI – A grand Poem: It is approximately 25000 lined poem in English. he took the story of Savitri and Satyavan, from Mahabharata, and adapted to the state of his realization. This expressed in the form of this poem. As he evolved in his spiritual practices, the poem too evolved. It took him ~ 35-40 years to bring the poem into its current shape. The answer he gave for this lengthy duration was that he had to un-write what he wrote and to re-write again, according to the state of his evolution. He wanted to test how deep he could go in expressing his evolutionary state of spirit in literary form and the result is SAVITRI!
There are around 40 books that he penned and I have glimpsed through few like: Life Divine, Upanishads, Kalidasa, Future of Poetry, etc. Link to his online books is https://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/sriaurobindo/writings.php I urge the truth seeker to stop by his works and acquaint the way to read scriptures through his lens. He is one of the modern sages who showed the true path to scriptures!
6. Sir John Woodrooffe:
He is one of those authors who extensively brought into light, the way of TANTRA. The west came to know about Kundalini or Tantra, only because of his works. I love his works, for, he changed his lifestyle to the way of Indian and then tutelaged under proper guru before he commented/took to write on TANTRA. So, in absolute sense, he was a TRUE INDIAN. His works show that he is enlightened soul. He has authored many books on Tantra like:
(By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60580525)
- The Serpent Power
- Sarada Tilaka Tantra
- Principles of Tantra
- Shiva and Shakti
- Saundarya Lahari
but the serpent power stands as that pillar with which we can recognize his depth of love towards our culture and his deep understanding on the subject. When ever I have doubts on Tantric subjetcs, I refer his works. They are the only authentic source in present day world where the Tantra had been demeaned to a state of unnameable abuse!
She is a Russian mystic who came to India on a divine mission. Master E.K considers her one of the great spiritual masters. I too came that conclusion after getting in touch with her works and life. She is the founder of Theosophical Society, whose headquarters are at Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. I visited this place and it is filled with spiritual vibrations all over!! Only when you visit with open heart, can you realize this. Most of us know Annie Besant. She is master of Annie Besant. Master E.K, often suggests that the following two works of Blavatsky should be in every person’s library of scriptural books, for it holds grandest of the keys in its pages of wisdom. Those works are:
- The Secret Doctrine: https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd-hp.htm
- The Isis Unvieled: https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/isis/iu-hp.htm
Both these books are of 1500 pages each, made into two/three volumes each. Its a dense read and very hard to grasp, for the wisdom is scattered all over. But I was lucky to have read Master E.K’s works, for, they really help us understand the works of Blavatsky (and Alice Bailey). Indeed, these two works are very very necessary to completely unpack the wisdom of ancients, through the modern state of consciousness. Many misunderstandings will be gone after reading these works. These two volumes also link many of the world religions and their ancient sources of wisdom!
8. Alice. A. Bailey:
The works of Blavatsky and Alice A Bailey are linked through one Master, by name Master Djwal Khul (D.K). he telepathically conveyed the wisdom in the books of Blavatsky and Alice A Bailey. Master E.K often suggests us to read the books of Master D.K (Bailey and Blavatsky) for proper and all round understanding of what he is teaching. But, in fact, his teachings are very necessary to understand theirs. So I find it akin to the concept of feedback-circuit in electronics.
(By Kwakin1 – из личной коллекции, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10383604)
She has written around 24 books, under the guidance and direct teaching of Master D.K. and they reveal a plethora of unknown concepts to the modern day inquirer. Its a feast to those who are searching for spiritual food! You can find her works here:
Some of her books that I strongly recommend to read are:
- Consciousness of Atom
- A treatise on Cosmic Fire
- Esoteric Astrology
- Light of the soul
- From Bethlehem to Cavalry (Life of Jesus, the Christ)
- Ponder On This (A compilation from her teachings)
Unless you taste the wisdom in these books, I can not convey my feelings in this regard.
9. Swami Jnanananda:
When I was in Vizag, I also got acquainted with relatives of Swami Jnanananda. Through them I came to know about this amazing saint. You know what, he is not only a saint but a physicist. generally people dwell in mundane life and then go into ascetic life. But he did it reverse. When he was young, he escaped home into Himalayas. There he got enlightenment and authored: Purna Sutras, which are aphorisms for attaining bliss. His fellow students used to put their palms on his back for the heat that he used to generate through his yoga, in the caves of Himalayas – That was his caliber! he then came back, did his education, became a physicist, joined the lab of Chadwick (discoverer of neutron), wrote a thesis on “High Vacuua”, came to Andhra Pradesh an djoined Andhra University. he established India’s first of its kind laboratory there, which is now named “Swami Jnanananda Laboratories of Nuclear Research”.
(from the book Saint and Scientist)
A must read book in regard to his life and work is “Prof. Swami Jnanananda, The Saint and The Scientist ” compiled by DR. RAJU UMAPATHI DATLA and Edited by DR. KESHAV DEV SHARMA ” (http://www.saint-scientist.org/table-of-contents.html).
10. Stephen M. Phillips:
I can not believe that a person like Stephen Phillips exist among us in the present era. He was a physicist and to continue his search of LIGHT, he even came out of the physics field and ventured into his own research of the TRUTH. I got a chance, when I was in IIT-Madras, to interact with him, through emails. He is very empathetic and humble human being. I am blessed to have had his contact. Well, I am most impressed by the works which always have a rigor in Math. He once told me that MATH is the key through which GOD can be realized. I can see that he is onto something and may be he had been, but the way his works revolve around MATH and esoteric truths show an evolvement in his consciousness that no modern man is ready to accept or resonate with! His works can be found at: http://www.smphillips.mysite.com/. To understand his works, one needs a thorough intuitive mind with solid physics and math background. I am sure to follow his works as soon as I complete my PhD. In-fact, I wanted him to be my TEACHER, but he gently asked me to finish my PhD and on side to work on his works. But as you all know, the social life engulfs our every minute into distractions that always test our determination. I hope to venture into his line of work after PhD, for it is of near and dear to my heart!
There are many more to the above list, whose works I have read/gone through in my journey. Some of them are:
- Swami Chinmayananda
- Ekkirala Bharadwaja
- E. Schrodinger (What is life book)
- Alan Leo (Astrological books)
- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
- Ramana Maharshi (My mother took him as her GURU)
- Master C.V.V
- Swami Rama
I hope I have expressed my gratitude in the way of explaining my love and understanding towards the works of the world-guiding souls and masters! I wish my fellow truth seekers to find their sources of wisdom like I did! The above list is incomplete and I may have forgotten some, but their teachings and essence is one with me as myself!