There comes a time when we start seeking deeper meaning in life. We are driven by a ceaseless inner quest to search for something which always remains elusive as a mirage. No matter how hard one tries to find it in one’s accomplishments or moments of pleasure, it always remains murky. If you are also feeling a somewhat similar urge where some weird invisible voice is knocking at the doors of your heart, yet you are not able to give a name, but which nonetheless is no longer strange, then just slow down for a moment and listen to the call of your soul. You are already into spirituality. The first step to the journey to seek ‘that something which always remains missing’ always begins in wonderment and the last step always ends in silence. Your mind may still have unending questions, the direction might still be misty but the call of your soul is unfaltering.
This is the time that you must check in with some timeless spiritual books. Some books inform and educate, but others give you a reason to live. The best written Indian spiritual books are so powerful that your life will never be the same once you read them. These are not scriptural books with deep metaphysical theories relevant for a cloistered audience of academic and high intellectual background. These are mostly first-hand experience-based accounts of what does it mean to try to know your true selves. These give you an insider’s account of how does it feel to put scriptural teachings into real-life situations. These are books on Himalayan Yogis, their lives and practices, their learning from their Himalayan Masters and Nature, their struggles with human limitations and their triumph into human possibilities. There are hardly fewer than ten books of this genre in the last century which had exerted a timeless influence. Some of these are Indian Spiritual Books written by the practising saints, others have emerged from casual seekers working as trained professional. But their influence is undeniable.
- Many Lives Many Masters: Written by an academically trained clinical psychiatrist Dr Brian Wiess, this is a real-life account of the recollections, albeit accidentally, of the previous life memories during a regression therapy session. But its message is so powerful that the reader is left gasping for reorientations of her assumptions about death, the purpose of life, how does the law of karma work in practical life, the role of bodiless Master Spirits in the spiritual journey of a soul. The prose is simple but penetratingly mesmerizing. This is the book for a sceptic rationalist, to begin with on the path of spirituality.
- The Journey Home: This is one of the latest books on Himalayan Yogis. This is a real-life story of an American boy who has not even heard of the name of India setting out on an elusive voyage to seek a deeper purpose in life. Crossing three continents on foot and surviving life-threatening assaults, he reaches India and trudges across the Himalayas living with Yogis, silently meditating along the shore of the Ganges before eventually meeting his Master. This book blends the practical aspects of devotion and Yoga. Craft is scholastic but the plot is tantalizing.
- Autobiography of a Yogi: All times spiritual classic anytime, anywhere; this is the best spiritual book. No list of the best books on spirituality would ever be complete without the inclusion of this masterpiece. This spiritual autobiography is one of the bestselling spiritual books even today, even though it was first published in the 1940s. There are only two kinds of spiritual seekers on the earth, the ones who have read it and the ones who haven’t. This is a story of the training of young Mukunda in the lineage of a highly effective meditation technique called Kriya Yoga under the supervision of Kriya Masters. Metamorphosed as Paramahansa Yogananda, the author moves to the United States on the dictate of his Guru and in his twilight years writes this insider’s account of how does the life of a Yogi progress in higher dimensions of consciousness. Certainly not be missed.
- Living with the Himalayan Masters: Written by Swami Rama who himself lived with his Master Bengali Baba into the Himalayas; this book reveals many esoteric and mystical aspects of the life of a Himalayan Yogi. Replete with miracles, breathtaking Yogic technologies, meeting with saints of extraordinary abilities, the book keeps the reader guessing in awe and suspense what is going to happen next. A thoroughly wonderful book to be read and preserved in a personal library.
- Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: This book written by Sri M is among the latest books on Himalayan Yogis and Masters. Born in Kerala in another faith, Sri M takes us on a splendid journey from the Southern Indian peninsula to the Himalayas, meeting many saints, trying various spiritual ways, searching for his Guru in excitement and despair, finally meeting him most astonishingly. This book on Himalayan Yogis is no less than a spiritual thriller.
- If Truth Be Told: This latest Indian spiritual book is written by someone young, who touched pinnacles in establishing his own global business from a high-end corporate job, but who voluntarily quit the business to become a monk as Om Swami. This is his autobiography, a story of his transformation from a technocrat to a monk. This is also one of the latest books on spirituality.
- Old Path White Clouds: Based on historical research, this is a story of Buddha, his life, his enlightenment, his mission to save mankind from suffering, told by an academician, scholar and monk Thich Nhat Hanh. It offers great insights into the stages of meditation, different layers of the human body, mind, perception, mental formations and the role of moral balance on the path of enlightenment. The prose is simple but the flow is ceaseless.
The Himalayan Master and the Sixth Sense: Pardon me the discourtesy of including my own book in this list. But the overwhelming response of the audience and their comparative references of this latest book on Himalayan Yogis to some of the above mentioned Indian spiritual books give me some degree of confidence that this choice is not biased. This is my own true story of an accidental meeting with a Naga Master, meditation with his given Beej Mantra and the subsequent unravelling of the sixth sense. It was just the beginning of a journey that would span almost two decades meeting with many saints, observing my own mind in meditation before entering into the pristine silence.