Sat Yoga Introductory Reading List

Many people have asked for a list of books to read to go deeper on their spiritual journey, and in particular to shed more light on the concepts developed by Shunyamurti for our wisdom school teachings. In the past, he has hesitated to offer too many specific suggestions, other than to read the great sages like Sri Ramana, because everyone has a different educational background, different tolerances for reading difficulty, different interests, and different readiness to face particular aspects of reality.

Some people only want to read about nonduality and the direct path to Self-realization. Others want to know about the ego structure, trauma, mental disorders, and therapeutic techniques. Still others want to understand dreams. Some want to know about how different spiritual paths compare to one another. Some want to understand the nature of time, the truth about history, the meaning of current events, and the Omega Point, the singularity at the end of time. Some want to know the most recent approaches to nonduality in postmodern philosophy. Some want to enjoy devotional poetry. Some want to study zen koans. Some want to read about ashram life, the purpose of ascetic vows, and of course, many want to know more about meditation.

In order to try to satisfy everyone, Shunya has begun to go through our large research library here and choose books that he has found valuable at some point in his own journey, or as helpful educational supplements for the sangha. He has created ten sections to begin with, and specially selected this initial list of books to meet the needs of as many seekers as possible. The books in this list cover a broad range of topics as well as a range of difficulty from relatively easy and requiring no special background to those that are somewhat advanced and will interest people with some familiarity with philosophy, psychoanalysis, or science.

These books do not represent the views of Shunyamurti nor do they reflect the teachings of Sat Yoga. Shunya may disagree with much that is in them. But they are useful tools to help one formulate questions, to understand the deeper issues, to know how far human intelligence has gone in the investigation of certain matters, and how the many spiritual traditions have dealt with the major conundrums in ontology, epistemology, ethics, and other areas of reality. Shunya has said that he intends to continue adding titles to the list as he browses through the library and as he continues his own reading in preparation for new retreats. New sections may be added. Of course, the list could eventually include the entire library of thousands of books, and it is doubtful that such a large list would be useful.

Shunya also cautions that Self-realization is not a function of reading or of symbolic knowledge at all. Liberation from ego results from the elimination of sanskaras and vasanas—egoic tendencies and thoughts. So one is much better off using one’s free time to meditate than to read. The more time spent in samadhi, the sooner jivan mukti is achieved. Nonetheless, there is a place for study as well. The refinement of intelligence, the strengthening of focus and attention that reading produces, the deepening of understanding the relationship between relative truth and absolute Truth that philosophic analysis can provide, the recognition of the origin and healing of emotional issues and psychological conditions, can all contribute to raising the kundalini and bringing consciousness ever closer to the Supreme Real.

If you are not sure where to start, Shunya suggests you read the sages and saints of whatever traditions you are drawn to. But the patron sages of Sat Yoga are Ramana Maharshi, Ananda Mayi Ma, Satpurusa Mangatram, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and Sri Aurobindo—and their writings are easy to understand and immediately uplifting. You can read the same words over and over and they will always take you deeper. They are simple and profound. Shunyamurti continues to read them and teach from them to the sangha, because they express the pure Truth. But if you have a taste for more complex ideas and explorations of the many facets of our infinite reality, then the serious thinkers whose books appear on this list may open your mind to new horizons, new paradigms and possibilities that will inspire and empower you to ever higher trekking on the Mountain of God.

May these books serve to deepen your love for God, for the Supreme Real, the One Self. And may they instill compassion for the sufferings of every ego mind, and deeper understanding of the way to heal and transform your life and those of others.

May all you read enhance your own psychospiritual development on this great journey to Awakening, Illumination, and Liberation. In-joy!

Advaita Vedanta

Kashmir Shaivism

Sufism and Daoism

Ancient Egyptian and Greek Philosophy

Islamic, Jewish, and Israelite Mysticism

Tibetan Buddhism

Christian Mysticism and Nonduality

Zen and Postmodern Philosophy

Western Philosophy, Science, Psychoanalysis, Theology

Spinoza by Michael Della Rocca

Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning by Alexander Dugin

The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion without Religion by John Caputo

Interstices of the Sublime: Theology and Psychoanalytic Theory (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy) by Clayton Crockett

In Search of Divine Reality: Science as a Source of Inspiration by Lothar Schafer

Quantum Buddhism : Dancing in Emptiness – Reality Revealed at the Interface of Quantum Physics and Buddhist Philosophy by Graham Smetham

The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness: A Physical Basis for Immaterialism by Sam Avery

Lack & Transcendence: The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism by David Loy

The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich

Jacques Lacan by Sean Homer

Key Concepts of Lacanian Psychoanalysis by Dany Nobus

Deleuze: A Guide for the Perplexed by Claire Colebrook

Deleuze and Religion by Mary Bryden

Neurosis: The Logic of a Metaphysical Illness by Wolfgang Giegerich

Who is the Dreamer Who Dreams the Dream? By James Grotstein

Donald Davidson’s Philosophy of Language, by Bjorn Ramberg

Rediscovering God With Transcendental Argument : A Contemporary Interpretation of Monistic Kashmiri Saiva Philosophy by David Peter Lawrence

Karl-Otto Apel: Selected Essays : Towards a Transcendental Semiotics by Karl-Otto Apel

Collected Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges

Theory of the Subject, by Alain Badiou

Being and Event, by Alain Badiou

Logics of Worlds: Being and Event II, by Alain Badiou

Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation, by Peter Hallward

Aberrant Movements: The Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze

A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, by Deleuze and Guattari

The Philosophy of Existence, by Karl Jaspers

Way to Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, by Karl Jaspers

Basic Writings, by Martin Heidegger

On the Way to Language, by Heidegger

Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, by Alain Badiou

Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle

A Logical Journey: From Gödel to Philosophy

The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque



Monastic Life and New Monasticism

Postmodern Theology

Misc. Shaivite Schools

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for the books list. I am aware that reading is only a support, a support I still need, as from time to time I need some confirmation that I am not straying away, being sure in the same time that I do the right thing.
    God’s ways are really unknown, and life situations indefinitely diverse, so that sometimes not even your past experience can help to take a decision. And if I took the right decision in several situations, I can say that there is someone in me who took it and saved me. Someone who knew the whole truth, Someone who knows the entire game. I want to reach this Someone and stay there.

    With gratitude and love,
    Wishing you All -wonderful summer days,

  2. It was wonderful to review the material behind the reading list link.
    It is difficult to find words with which I could describe how valuable collection the reading list makes.

    I wish to thank you dear Shunya Murti so much,

    blessings to everyone in Sat Yoga Ashram,

    with love and blessings,
    Annu Palmu from Crete

    1. Dear Annu,
      Thank you for sharing. Your appreciation is deeply felt and received with gratitude and we will share your message of love, blessings and gratitude with Shunyamurti.
      Be well,

  3. Thank you so much for this great wealth of information from self-realized masters….. so helpful in my role as interfaith leader where it is my job to draw from the values and diversity of many different traditions which continue to contribute to the wholeness of the realized self. Namaste.

    1. Thank you Alvina,
      We are glad the list is proving helpful.
      All blessings to you.

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One whose consciousness has merged with Brahman, the Absolute, and thus has been liberated from all desire, fear, attachment, and material frames of reference. Thus, a Brahmachari naturally lives a life of celibacy, simplicity, and inner solitude.


Meditative meetings in which the highest teachings are shared. Shunyamurti also offers guidance during questions and answers to resolve the most difficult and delicate matters of the heart.


Information, energy, or nonlinear change that occurs as the effect of events that take place in the future and alter the past, which is perceived in the present as non-ordinary phenomena, synchronicities, unpredictable emergent properties or other notable explicate arisings. The source of such forces may also lie beyond chronological time, in higher dimensions of the Real.

The process of non-process:

Since awakening is instantaneous, along with the recognition that one was never really in the dream, but enjoying the creation of the dream, it must be understood that making awakening into a process can only be part of the dream, and has nothing to do with Awakening itself.

The Real:

When we speak of the Real, unless otherwise qualified, we mean the Supreme Real. The Supreme Real does not appear. Appearance is not Real. All that appears is empty of true existence. There are no real things. All that is phenomenal is temporary, dependent, and reducible to a wave function of consciousness. The world does not exist independent of consciousness. There is no matter or material world. All is made of consciousness. Pure consciousness is Presence. It is no-thing, non-objective, not in space or time. All that appears in Presence, or to Presence, is an emanation of Presence, but is not different from That. This is one meaning of nonduality.

The Real is also a term used in Lacanian psychoanalysis. What Lacan means by the Real is that aspect of phenomenal appearance which is overwhelming, traumatic, or impossible. We would call that Real One. It is a relative Real, not Absolute. We add that there is a Real Two, which consists of divine love. Love is not an appearance, but it changes appearance, through recognition of its Source, into a divine manifestation, a projection of God’s sublimely beautiful Mind as infinite fractal holographic cosmos. Real Three is the unchanging Absolute, beyond all conception or image.

Dharma and dharma:

When we use the term Dharma (capitalized), we refer to our dedication to living in accord with the timeless principles of impeccable integrity that keep us in harmony with Nature and our Supernatural Source.

When we use the term without capitalization, we refer to our acceptance of the community’s processes, protocols, and chain of command with the “Haji! Spirit” of going the “extra mile” and working overtime when necessary to make the impossible inevitable, as our unconditional act of surrender to Love.