Ramakrishna Vedanta Association of Thailand

Recommended Books

Books

There are many books that can help you grow your spirituality. Here are a few we recommend. American Vedanta also has a good list of books that you might want to browse.

  • Bhagavan Buddha and Our Heritage, by Swami Ranganathananda
  • Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Nikhilananda
    The Bhagavad Gita, an important Hindu scripture, is one of the outstanding religious classics in the world, and this translation by Swami Nikhilananda has been called “the first really readable, authoritative translation.”The Bhagavad Gita is unique among religious texts in its emphasis on the discharge of everyday duties, irrespective of their nature, as an effective discipline for the realization of God. The Gita teaches that if a man performs his duties, surrendering the fruit to God and discarding all selfish motives, he gains purity of heart and achieves ultimate liberation. It is knowledge of God that gives man the strength to face calmly and cheerfully the duties of life. The Gita shows the way to spiritualize life and illumine even its drab and gray phases with the radiance of the Spirit. It lays down practical spiritual disciplines which can be followed by all, irrespective of faith and creed.Special features of this 404 page edition are an introduction to the philosophy of The Gita and a summary of The Mahabharata. Also, each numbered verse of the text is followed by an explanation of the significant words and a paragraph of commentary based on the interpretation of Sankaracharya, the great philosopher and mystic of eighth century India. -from the publisherYou also might be interested in Swami Nikhilananda’s most awesome translation of the Upanishads.
  • Me and Mine, by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa
    Bhuddadhasa was an important Theravadin Buddhist monk who founded Wat Suan Mokkh in Thailand in 1932. Known as an innovative reinterpreter of Buddhist doctrine and Thai folk beliefs, Buddhadasa fostered a reformation in conventional religious perceptions in his home country, Thailand, as well as abroad. Although he was a formally ordained ascetic, or “monk,” having at the age of twenty years submitted to mandatory government religious controls, Buddhadasa developed a personal view that rejected specific religious identification and considered all faiths as principally one.
  • Peace Is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh
    Amazon.com review: Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing is deceptive in its subtlety. He’ll go on and on with stories about tree-hugging or metaphors involving raw potatoes; he’ll tell you how to eat mindfully, even how to breathe and walk; he’ll suggest looking closely at a flower and to see the sun as your heart. As the Zen teacher Richard Baker commented, however, Nhat Hanh is “a cross between a cloud, a snail, and piece of heavy machinery.” Sooner or later, it begins to sink in that Nhat Hanh is conveying a depth of psychology and a world outlook that require nothing less than a complete paradigm shift. Through his cute stories and compassionate admonitions, he gradually builds up to his philosophy of interbeing, the notion that none of us is separately, but rather that we inter-are. The ramifications are explosive. How can we mindlessly and selfishly pursue our individual ends, when we are inextricably bound up with everyone and everything else? We see an enemy not as focus of anger but as a human with a complex history, who could be us if we had the same history. Suffice it to say, that after reading Peace Is Every Step, you’ll never look at a plastic bag the same way again, and you may even develop a penchant for hugging trees. –Brian Bruya
  • Sons of the Buddha, by Kamala Tiyavanich
    Sons of the Buddha chronicles the lives of three of Thailand’s most prominent Twentieth-centry Buddhist monks, Ajahn Buddhadasa (1906-93), Ajahn Panya (b. 1911), and Ajahn Jumnien (b. 1936). Each would effect changes in moral attitudes and Dharma practices, restore Buddhism’s social dimension, bridge the divide separating laypeople and monastics, and champion an openmindedness toward other religions. In these delightful stories, full of local color, we see what it was that led these monastics to become so fearless and influential.Vedanta stresses that all paths lead to the same ultimate goal, and these monks demonstrate it through experiences and spiritual practices that are Buddhist in character but also very much Vedantic.