For those who are beginning to embark on the journey to self-discovery or for those who are already on the path, here are some time-tested books that I am recommending based on my research and on the recommendation of trusted people.

About these spiritual treasures

The message or content in these texts transcend the boundaries of religious beliefs. They instruct the seeker to go from mere belief in an ideal to actually realizing (or experiencing) it. They explore the existential truths of human existence such as the meaning of life, what happens to you after your death, who were do before you were born, what is your relationship between you (the limited being) and that which is unbound etc.

The best part of these texts is that they maintain an unbroken thread of knowledge and give us a unified picture of wisdom about discovering our true nature. They sometimes shake the very foundation upon which our conditioned mind is trapped in. For instance, Kena Upanishad boldly asserts the nature of supreme Reality in uncompromising statements such as, “That which cannot be perceived by the eye, but by which the eye is perceived. That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship.”

As rivers flow into the sea and in so doing lose name and form, so even the wise man, freed from name and form, attains the Supreme Being, the Self-luminous, the Infinite. He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman.

– Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.8-9   

To a novice reader, the content in the individual texts may at times appear fragmented, sometimes repetitive, difficult to absorb, other times paradoxical and even contradictory to what is mentioned on other texts or even in the same text in another chapter. But all confusion resolves if the information is put in the right context and understood in the light of bigger picture which is why a competent and compassionate teacher is required to resolve the doubts that swirl in the readers mind.

As one reader puts it, “There is a magic to this text that comes alive inside those warm places in the bottom of your stomach as you read it. The connectivity and the power of the self that this book teaches are invaluable to any person of any ethical, moral, or theological background.”

While there are hundreds of texts on self-discovery (Advaita Vedanta), here is a very short list I found very useful:

  1. Tattvabodha

  2. Vivekachudamani

  3. Bhagavad Gita

Other books on non-duality that I found very useful are:

  1. I Am That – by Nisargadatta Maharaj

  2. Who Am I – by Ramana Maharshi

  3. Aparokshanubhuti – by Sri Sankaracharya

  4. Drg-Drsya-Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Nature of the Seer and the Seen

The texts I have listed are much more than religious texts. They guide the aspirant to look within for the answers to life’s most existential questions that demand an answer.