Part 2 of 5 Ways to Grow Your Spiritual Library
Last week we discussed the five ways you can expand your spiritual library: Web content, PDFs, podcasts, eBooks, and printed books. Today we will highlight one of the most important sections on our website, the Dharma for Awakening series. We are working on making all of this content available in all five options.
- Bhagavad Gita for Awakening—The endless spiritual treasures of this essential scripture have been mined by saints, scholars, and devotees throughout the ages. Through a unique combination of exhaustive study and scholarship, and insight and wisdom gleaned from personal experience, Abbot George Burke’s commentary offers new gems that will enrich all true seekers.
- Upanishads for Awakening—Sanatana Dharma in its primal form is to be found in the Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitaryeya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, and Svetashvatara Upanishads. These eleven texts (upanishad means “teaching”–literally “that which was heard when sitting near”) are attached to the Vedas, the ancient hymns of the Indian sages, and also knows as Vedanta, the End of the Vedas. The following texts provide useful commentaries on these important scriptures. By Abbot George Burke
- Dhammapada for Awakening—The Dhammapada is not a transcription of a single talk by Gautama the Buddha. Rather, it is a collection of his words on the most important subjects for those seeking Nirvana. It was compiled only three months after his passing away by his enlightened disciples (arhats), who gave it the name Dhammapada, which means “Portions of the Dharma” or “The Way of Dharma.” The Dhammapada is a distillation of forty-five years of teaching. This commentary is the completion of a years-long project, and students of practical spiritual life will find it an invaluable aid to their practice. By Abbot George Burke
- Tao Teh King for Awakening—Lao Tse was born in the Hunan province around 604 B.C., and eventually became historian and librarian of the Emperor’s royal library at the Court of Chow. Loving solitude, he was rarely seen, but he met the great Confucius at least once, inspiring him to say about Lao Tse: “This day I have seen a dragon. Birds have wings to fly with, fish have fins to swim with, wild beasts have feet to run with. For feet there are traps, for fins nets, for wings arrows. But who knows how dragons surmount wind and clouds into heaven?” Those who know and comprehend the teachings of Lao Tse know how–and do. This commentary on Lao Tse’s Tao Teh King is extremely useful for students of dharma. By Abbot George Burke
- Light on the Path for Awakening—In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, an Englishwoman named Mabel Collins was inspired to record teachings on the beginnings of the spiritual quest in a small book called Light On The Path. She did not consider herself the author but only the transmitter. Therefore she insisted that the title page say: “Written down by M. C.” In the following commentary we will be carefully analyzing her inspired transcription, for those who would make the Great journey must know both the path and how to travel upon it. By Abbot George Burke
- The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening — The Gospel of Thomas shows a different side of the teachings of Jesus, which was the religion learned by Jesus from his Essene family and during his “lost years” in India, then brought by him back to the “West,” to Israel. This commentary by Abbot George Burke makes clear this remarkable writing, which has only been available for a little more than a century since it was discovered.
- The Catechism of Enlightenment —Shankara outlines in a section titled “A Method Of Enlightening A Disciple” from the Upadeshasahasri–A Thousand Teachings–how the aspirants should receive the first instructions in the inquiry as to the nature of the Self. It begins “We shall now explain a method of teaching the means to liberation for the benefit of those aspirants after liberation who are desirous and are possessed of faith.” The texts cited certainly need comment–as Shankara assumed those who used his text would do. This commentary by Swami Nirmalananda Giri (Abbot George Burke) provides that commentary.
- Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy—One of the best summations of this subject, by Raghavan Iyer.
- A Brief Sanskrit Glossary—A great aid for students of Eastern thought, this glossary illumines the many sanskrit terms found in the scriptures and commentaries found on this site.
Yoga: Science of the Absolute: A Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In the soon-to-be-released Yoga: Science of the Absolute, Abbot George Burke draws on the age-long tradition regarding Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, including the commentaries of Vyasa and Shankara, the most highly regarded writers on Indian philosophy and practice, as well as I. K. Taimni and other authoritative commentators, and adds his own ideas based on half a century of study and practice. Serious students of yoga will find this an essential addition to their spiritual studies.
Available soon as an ebook and paperback on Amazon and other online distributors, as well as free for reading and PDF download at OCOY.org.