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05-24-2009, 01:05 PM
Please tell us about your favorite books on spirituality.
I am reading a fascinating and popular short book called "Easy Journey to Other Planets" by Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada. This book provides a spiritual perspective on the planets around us that you don't often hear about anywhere except in the ancient Vedic texts. Prabhupada describes many of the planets that Yogis can go to due to their practice and meditation.
"Easy Journey to Other Planets" points out the limitations that scientists have in their research until they can understand the spiritual world. It starts out talking about how scientists study antimatter as though it follows the laws of physical matter but they don't realize that antimatter is from the spiritual realm.
Prabhupada says that travel to the moon is best done spiritually and not through "material toys" that will never sustain us on the moon well enough. Prabhupada even says that the moon is actually in another spiritual realm and that people are actually living there for great lengths of time!
You can order this book from the Dharmacentral bookstore (http://www.dharmacentral.com/dharmastore/dharmacentral_bookstore.php). Just go to the section link on Yoga Philosophy and Practice and then select the meditation section of books underneath that and you'll see it.
09-11-2009, 05:11 AM
I recently completed "Hinduism" by Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (Dr. David Frawley). This book provides a thorough treatise on a wide range of subjects related to Sanatana Dharma (The Eternal Tradition).
The book is written from the perspective of someone who, though born in the west is well versed and articulate in the spiritual and intellectual philosiphies of Sanatana Dharma.
The book explores what it means to be a Dharmi in the modern world and what the present and future holds for a world that is inexorably moving towards a realization of the universal truths that are Sanatana Dharma.
This book can also be credited for dispelling in a decisive manner a great many of the misconceptions and outright untruths that have been widely repeated concerning Sanatana Dharma.
The only caveat I might offer regarding this book is that it does not appear to have been well proofread and it does contain some basic grammatical errors. However these errors do not detract from a full understanding of the basic message or of the concepts and ideals underlying that message.
This book serves its purpose in a manner that is a credit to the literary body of work furthering a wider understanding of Sanatana Dharma. I recommend it to anyone who is seeking such an understanding.
Braja Bhushan das
08-16-2010, 08:30 PM
Srimad Bhagavad Gita with the Gloss of Sridhara Swami, translated by Swami Vireswarananda
This is a Bhagavad Gita with high quality English translation, accompanied by a commentary by Sridhara Swami, the famous medieval saint who comments word by word every verse with a lot of devotion despite formally belonging to Sankara school. It is a new way to see how our acaryas commented the scriptures, especially if you are used to lengthy commentaries by modern day gurus. Sridhara Swami´s authenticity has been corroborated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself so this commentary is certainly of great use to Gaudiya Vaishnava sadhakas.
This Bhagavad Gita had a great impact on me, because it comments the verses word by word, often giving its synonyms so that the reader understands perfectly what Krishna wants to convey. I learned a lot from Prabhupada´s Gita, but there were still many places which I simply did not comprehend or was quite unsure about. Sridhara Swami´s commentary clarified many things or misconceptions which I had, and prepared me for studying other works of our acaryas, where it is customary to offer commentaries following the word for word style. If you want to study our acaryas' books in original, this Gita would be, in my opinion, a great preparation. And lastly, the translation is excellent and it has helped me a lot in the process of learning sanskrit.
You can get it here: http://www.exoticindia.es/book/details/IDG598/ or if you want a second edition which includes also the original sanskrit commentary, see http://www.exoticindia.es/book/details/IDK748/.
Braja Bhushan das
08-17-2010, 08:40 AM
Nectar of Discrimination: A Treatise on the Three Modes of Material Nature by Kundali Dasa
An excellent ISKCON book which analyses the three gunas as described in Bhagavadgita and Bhagavatam. It gives the gunas its deserved importance and teaches you how it is essential to know how they work and adjust your life accordingly. In my opinion a must read for all those starting on the path of bhakti.
I was lucky enough to read it at the beginning of my devotional "career" because it helped me learn to discriminate between sat and asat, between matter and spirit, and made me aware of how to make my lifestyle more sattvic. Equipped with this knowledge I have been able to better understand behaviour of people around me. It has given me a necessary self-confidence and reduced the chances of me getting exploited by others.
Unfortunately, I am not sure whether the book can still be acquired but you may ask around at this link: http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/kbo/mon0000013230.shtml
10-27-2010, 08:06 AM
I have just finished reading a translation of the Ramayana that is fantastic! The full title is "The Ramayana: A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic" by Ramesh Menon. It is 697 pages in length, counting the appendix and glossary. The ISBN is 0-86547-695-0, and interestingly enough it was first published by Writer's Club Press in Lincoln, NE. The edition I have is published by North Point Press. I ordered it from Amazon.
This translation is just great! Not only is it very easy to read, it is so well written that the images it invokes in the mind's eye are almost life-like. No, greater than life-like -- this is Lord Rama we're talking about! You feel like you are really there, witnessing the story first hand. If anything, it could be longer. I didn't want to be finished, but I couldn't stop turning pages. I would definitely recommend it to everyone, and I will definitely be reading the author's other works.
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