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#1 JustARandomPanda

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

Ok.

I am looking for a good introductory/overview type book on Vedanta in particular but other Indian spiritual traditions as well.

Some background:

1. I like to see the different angles and POVs that all the world's traditions have in passing on techniques/philosophies, etc of "ultimate reality" (for want of a better word).

2. My personal bias is that all these assorted world traditions are all fingers pointing to the same moon.

3. I am a huge fan of Bill Bodri, Ven. Master Nan Huai-Chin, Ven. Master Hsuan Hua and Yogiraj Gurunath Siddanath (I'm not really sure which Indian spiritual tradition Gurunath is from but I sure do like him and his teachings!)

4. I have always vehemently disagreed with Vajrahidaya's insistence that Buddhism is the "best" spiritual tradition ever discovered, taught, etc whatever else you wanna call it. Let me put it this way - a student/practitioner may have erroneous ideas about 'reality' - Tao/Brahman/Ein Sof/Absolute/One/Dependent Origination or whatever the heck else you wanna call it) but that doesn't mean we should lay blame to the word, tradition, etc.

5. Bill Bodri says Vedanta is essentially modern-day Zen. When I talked to Bodri (yes, I actually did get to talk to him personally) he advised against studying Zen first as the teachings/suttas/etc are from hundreds and hundreds of years ago from a society that was very different from modern societies and furthermore are in ancient, obscure writing that's difficult even for native Chinese to understand (ie all written in archaic Chinese).

Vedanta he said on the other hand has many books written by gurus/living masters who wrote in English, and know and understand how to deal with the mental baggage and unconscious blindnesses modern students carry around.

Bodri says to study and understand Vedanta first and only after a thorough grounding in Vedanta THEN go back and study Zen and you'll finally understand what the old Zen masters were getting at.

So here I am...looking for a good intro book to Vedanta philosophy and practices but other Indian spiritual traditions are welcome too. :)

#2 Simple_Jack

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

Ok.

I am looking for a good introductory/overview type book on Vedanta in particular but other Indian spiritual traditions as well.

Some background:

1. I like to see the different angles and POVs that all the world's traditions have in passing on techniques/philosophies, etc of "ultimate reality" (for want of a better word).

2. My personal bias is that all these assorted world traditions are all fingers pointing to the same moon.

3. I am a huge fan of Bill Bodri, Ven. Master Nan Huai-Chin, Ven. Master Hsuan Hua and Yogiraj Gurunath Siddanath (I'm not really sure which Indian spiritual tradition Gurunath is from but I sure do like him and his teachings!)

4. I have always vehemently disagreed with Vajrahidaya's insistence that Buddhism is the "best" spiritual tradition ever discovered, taught, etc whatever else you wanna call it. Let me put it this way - a student/practitioner may have erroneous ideas about 'reality' - Tao/Brahman/Ein Sof/Absolute/One/Dependent Origination or whatever the heck else you wanna call it) but that doesn't mean we should lay blame to the word, tradition, etc.

5. Bill Bodri says Vedanta is essentially modern-day Zen. When I talked to Bodri (yes, I actually did get to talk to him personally) he advised against studying Zen first as the teachings/suttas/etc are from hundreds and hundreds of years ago from a society that was very different from modern societies and furthermore are in ancient, obscure writing that's difficult even for native Chinese to understand (ie all written in archaic Chinese).

Vedanta he said on the other hand has many books written by gurus/living masters who wrote in English, and know and understand how to deal with the mental baggage and unconscious blindnesses modern students carry around.

Bodri says to study and understand Vedanta first and only after a thorough grounding in Vedanta THEN go back and study Zen and you'll finally understand what the old Zen masters were getting at.


So here I am...looking for a good intro book to Vedanta philosophy and practices but other Indian spiritual traditions are welcome too. Posted Image


I recommend starting out with I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. You can read that for free from this site http://www.sankaracharya.org/. That site is alright to out start out with, I think.

Bodri says to study and understand Vedanta first and only after a thorough grounding in Vedanta THEN go back and study Zen and you'll finally understand what the old Zen masters were getting at.


I mean no disrespect to Bill Bodri, but instead of starting out with Zen: I'd get a grounding in Theravada/Hinayana Buddhism first, before going onto Zen.

When this exists, that exists;

with the arising of this, that arises.

When this does not exist, that does not exist;

with the cessation of this, that ceases. ~ Shakyamuni Buddha


#3 Birch

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:12 PM

I like this one http://books.google....tkC&redir_esc=y

Which I have BTW if you want it. (Or anyone else)

Well, I think I have it - unless it got chucked on one of my 'words are useless' rampages ;-)

Edited by -K-, 01 April 2012 - 02:12 PM.

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#4 JustARandomPanda

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

I mean no disrespect to Bill Bodri, but instead of starting out with Zen: I'd get a grounding in Theravada/Hinayana Buddhism first, before going onto Zen.


I have read many Buddhist sutras and suttas. My interest in Zen is that it seemed very 'hands-on' oriented.

#5 3bob

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:04 PM

An excellent study/inspiration on Chhandogya Upanishad

http://www.swami-kri...g/chhand_0.html

Om

#6 dwai

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

Ok.

I am looking for a good introductory/overview type book on Vedanta in particular but other Indian spiritual traditions as well.

Some background:

1. I like to see the different angles and POVs that all the world's traditions have in passing on techniques/philosophies, etc of "ultimate reality" (for want of a better word).

2. My personal bias is that all these assorted world traditions are all fingers pointing to the same moon.

3. I am a huge fan of Bill Bodri, Ven. Master Nan Huai-Chin, Ven. Master Hsuan Hua and Yogiraj Gurunath Siddanath (I'm not really sure which Indian spiritual tradition Gurunath is from but I sure do like him and his teachings!)

4. I have always vehemently disagreed with Vajrahidaya's insistence that Buddhism is the "best" spiritual tradition ever discovered, taught, etc whatever else you wanna call it. Let me put it this way - a student/practitioner may have erroneous ideas about 'reality' - Tao/Brahman/Ein Sof/Absolute/One/Dependent Origination or whatever the heck else you wanna call it) but that doesn't mean we should lay blame to the word, tradition, etc.

5. Bill Bodri says Vedanta is essentially modern-day Zen. When I talked to Bodri (yes, I actually did get to talk to him personally) he advised against studying Zen first as the teachings/suttas/etc are from hundreds and hundreds of years ago from a society that was very different from modern societies and furthermore are in ancient, obscure writing that's difficult even for native Chinese to understand (ie all written in archaic Chinese).

Vedanta he said on the other hand has many books written by gurus/living masters who wrote in English, and know and understand how to deal with the mental baggage and unconscious blindnesses modern students carry around.

Bodri says to study and understand Vedanta first and only after a thorough grounding in Vedanta THEN go back and study Zen and you'll finally understand what the old Zen masters were getting at.

So here I am...looking for a good intro book to Vedanta philosophy and practices but other Indian spiritual traditions are welcome too. :)


Read This book....an absolute must read --

http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/0875730914

You will build a structured framework with which to approach vedanta as well as madhyamika with this book...

Couple that with this book --

http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/8124600864

I own both and find them far more enlightening that most others i have read...

Edited by dwai, 02 April 2012 - 03:25 PM.

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#7 steve

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:22 AM

So here I am...looking for a good intro book to Vedanta philosophy and practices but other Indian spiritual traditions are welcome too. :)

One of the best books I've read in a long time is The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.
Clear, concise, very well written. More practical, less philosophical.
Here is a website about the book and author - http://www.untethere....com/index.html
Steve

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When I look outside and see that I am everything,that is love.
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#8 multiarms

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

For a modern Western take on non-duality (Advaita Vedanta), check out Leo Hartong - "Awakening to the Dream". You could read it in one day, but its quite nice --

http://www.amazon.co...34258087&sr=8-1

For more traditional take on Advaita, check out Dennis Waite. This book took a while for me to digest, lots of sanskrit involved and large passages from scripture or quoted from Indian sages, but very thorough --

http://www.amazon.co...34258141&sr=1-2

He also has a website with free stuff and excellent "links" section --

http://www.advaita.org.uk/

Hope that helps. I don't know much of anything about the other schools of Vedanta, sorry.

#9 goldenfox

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:32 AM

Id highly recommend anything at the Online Library of Yoganiketan: www.yoganiketan.net

Especially the Gita commentaries and anything by Lahiri Mahasaya. But really all of it is good, just a question of how much you can absorb because it tends to cover Vedanta from an experiential perspective. Not just philosophy but how it actually relates to practice of Yoga and the states revealed from that.


#10 zerostao

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:32 AM

An excellent study/inspiration on Chhandogya Upanishad

http://www.swami-kri...g/chhand_0.html

Om


i am wondering if TTB has a section like twinner's and marblehead's TTC, only this section would be on the upanishads?
or maybe a thread of the upanishads? Serene Blue, what do you think?
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#11 gatito

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:10 AM

I'd suggest that you might find Atma Darshan and Atma Nirvriti by Sri Atmananda (Sri Krishna Menon) an interesting read.

It would be a good idea to read it in conjunction with The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta by John Levy.

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#12 amoyaan

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:33 PM

I highly recommend 'How to attain enlightenment' by James Swartz. It's a naff title perhaps, but it's an amazing book and a powerful distillation of authentic vedanta by a Westerner (in his own words a 'redneck from Montana') who was a disciple of Swami Chinmayanda. His website is www.shiningworld.com Anyone else heard of him?

#13 Ish

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:00 PM

http://www.scribd.co...in-Secret-India

Very interesting read

#14 Boy

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

...

Edited by Boy, 12 December 2012 - 08:03 PM.


#15 GrandmasterP

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:29 AM

If you wish to critically engage with Vedanta rather than wallow in fanboy musings as so many do who simply must have something to believe in prior to whatever engagement with life they might attempt, then I'd suggest the Vedanta and the West series, this one's a good entry point....
http://www.amazon.co...55138726&sr=1-2

Enjoy.

Edited by GrandmasterP, 10 December 2012 - 03:30 AM.

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#16 Simple_Jack

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

I have read many Buddhist sutras and suttas. My interest in Zen is that it seemed very 'hands-on' oriented.

I also meant on an experiential level, as Theravada can be very 'hands-on' oriented also


Read This book....an absolute must read --

http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/0875730914

You will build a structured framework with which to approach vedanta as well as madhyamika with this book...

Couple that with this book --

http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/8124600864

I own both and find them far more enlightening that most others i have read...

To SereneBlue or anyone else reading this:

It's best to read Hindu and Buddhist philosophical systems, separately; from the POV of their own traditions.

When this exists, that exists;

with the arising of this, that arises.

When this does not exist, that does not exist;

with the cessation of this, that ceases. ~ Shakyamuni Buddha





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