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Expand your spiritual knowledge by downloading from our large collection of free PDF ebooks, or by purchasing paperbacks of each title. Discover more about original Christianity and original Yoga, about living the Yoga Life, and understanding the teachings of the world’s great spiritual traditions in our Dharma for Awakening collection.

Each book provides an insightful journey and will broaden your understanding. While the articles and blog posts on OCOY.org provides a spiritual foundation, each ebook builds on that foundation to grow your spiritual knowledge.

Note: we will be adding the ability to purchase and download ePub ebooks of some of these titles for reading on the digital app and device of your choice.

Books by Swami Nirmalananda Giri (Abbot George Burke) and other spiritual authors

eBooks about Yoga and Meditation

Soham Yoga: The Yoga of the Self — A complete guide in the theory and practice of meditation on the mantra “Soham.” Including:

• What great teachers say about this practice, such as Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, Gajanana Maharaj, Swami Muktananda, Kabir, Sankara, and many others, • Pointers for success in meditation, • The Foundations of Yoga, • Breath and Sound in Meditation

Light of Soham–The Life and Teachings of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik—At the beginning of the twentieth century, a young crippled boy in North India met a spiritual teacher in the Nath tradition of the great teachers Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath, who imparted to him the precious knowledge of yoga meditation. The boy began to apply himself to this meditation practice and became a very unusual saint indeed.

The Inspired Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj–A Practical Commentary on Leading an Effectual Spiritual Life—Swami Nirmalananda’s commentary on the teachings of Sri Gajanana Maharaj, who was a unique spiritual teacher from India whose instructions on the practice of Soham Yoga has helped many.

★★★★★ “This is the kind of book to keep by your meditation space that you can simply pick up, read a paragraph or two from it before you begin your Sadhana to remind you of the immeasurable importance of it, and then begin meditating.” –Dylan Grant

The Inspired Wisdom of Lalla YogeshwariLalla Yogeshwari, also known as Lalleshwari or Lad Ded (Mother Lalla), was a great fourteenth-century yogini of Kashmir. She created a form of mystic poetry called Vatsun or Vakhs (from the Sanskrit Vak, which means Speech) that were the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language. They were first written down in the twentieth century, until then having been memorized and spoken or sung only. Swami Nirmalananda’s commentary of these Vakhs mines the treasures of Lalleshwari’s mystic poems and presents his reflections in an easily intelligible fashion for those wishing to put these priceless teachings on the path of yogic self-transformation into practice.

How to Be a Yogi—This is not a book about the technique of Yoga, but about that without which the successful practice of yoga is impossible: the Yoga Life. Yoga is not just a practice or a philosophy; it is an entire way of life. Without this understanding and without commitment to the Yoga Life there is simply no need to give yoga a second thought. And by yoga I mean the quest for liberation of the spirit, for Yoga is an eternal science intended to reveal and manifest the Eternal.

Yoga Science of the Absolute: A Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali–In this commentary, Swami Nirmalananda draws on the age-long tradition regarding this essential text, 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.

The Benefits of Brahmacharya A Collection of Writings About the Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Continence

In this volume, Swami Nirmalananda has collected valuable writings from a number of authorities on the various beneficial aspects of self-control related to sexuality: Swami Sivananda and Swami Chidananda of Rishikesh, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Gandhi, Swami Jagadishwarananda, Dr. Edwin Flatto, Dr. Raymond Bernard, as well as his own articles on the subject.

This unique collection of articles provides important information and perspectives on how brahmacharya contributes to the well-being of all levels of our lives – physical, psychological, and social/moral – and as an indispensable foundation for progress on the liberating path of Yoga. And most importantly, the aspirant will discover practical recommendations for achieving success in brahmacharya.

Yoga of the Sacraments—A yoga is anything that joins or unites. In this sense the Christian sacramental system is perhaps the only real yoga indigenous to the West. Its purpose is the uniting of human consciousness with Divine Consciousness.

Abbot George Burke presents this illuminating analysis of the Christian Sacraments from the Yogi’s perspective.

Jesus and India

The Christ of India—Abbot George Burke presents the growing evidence that Jesus spent much of his “Lost Years” in India and Tibet, and reveals the philosophical unity of Jesus’ teachings with the Eternal Way of Truth known in India as Sanatana Dharma. The history of Saint Thomas Christianity from the times of Jesus and Saint Thomas to the present day is also outlined.

Unknown Life of Jesus Christ—By Nicholas Notovich. The English translation of Notovich’s French translation of a Tibetan-language manuscript regarding the life of Jesus in India, which he found in a monastery of Ladakh where Jesus had actually lived.

The Unknown Lives of Jesus and Mary—A unique compilation of ancient records and mystical revelations, which includes historical records of the lives of Jesus Christ and his Mother Mary that have been accepted and used by the Church since apostolic times. Abbot George Burke’s illuminating and scholarly commentary adds a further dimension and relevance, and will guide you to a deeper understanding.

The Dharma for Awakening Series

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. 301 pages.

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. Students of practical spiritual life will find it an invaluable aid to their practice.

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.

Gospel of Thomas for Awakening—While the rest of the Apostles dispersed to various areas of the Mediterranean world, the apostle Thomas travelled to India, where growing evidence shows that Jesus spent his Lost Years, and which had been the source of the wisdom which he had brought to the “West.” In The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening, Abbot George shines the “Light of the East” on the sometimes enigmatic sayings of Jesus recorded by his apostle Saint Thomas, revealing their unique and rich practical nature for modern day seekers for spiritual life.

Tao Teh King 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 invaluable for students of dharma.

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.

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on Levi Dowling’s Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, containing much useful information for the spiritual aspirant.

Mystical Christianity

May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation? – Discover the real and surprising history of reincarnation and Christianity.

It often thought that belief in reincarnation and Christianity are incompatible. But is this really true?  The answer may surprise you. This historical study of reincarnation in both Judaism and Christianity cites many authorities of both traditions, including many Christian saints and Fathers of the Church, as well as both Old and New Testaments.

Robe of Light –An Esoteric Christian Cosmology

In Robe of Light: An Esoteric Christian Cosmology Swami Nirmalananda explores the whys and wherefores of the mystery of creation. From the emanation of the worlds from the very Being of God, to the evolution of the souls to their ultimate destiny as perfected Sons of God, the ideal progression of creation is described.

Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)

Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Religion–Swami Nirmalananda has edited for the modern reader a book originally printed nearly one hundred years ago in Varanasi, India, for use as a textbook by students of Benares Hindu University. Its original title was Sanatana Dharma, An Advanced Text Book of Hindu Religion and Ethics.

In Sanatana Dharma: The Eternal Religion you will discover: basic Hindu religious ideas, general Hindu religious customs and rites, ethical teachings, and the wisdom of the Manu Smriti.

The World’s Eternal Religion–for those who want to take their study of Sanatana Dharma to the next level, Swami Nirmalananda has edited for the modern reader The World’s Eternal Religion published by the Sri Bharat Dharma Mahamandal in 1920 (the year Yoganandaji came to America) with an Introduction written by Swami Dayananda.

The Bhagavad Gita—The Song of God: A new translation of the most important spiritual classic which India has produced.

The clarity of this translation by Swami Nirmalananda makes for easy reading, while the rich content makes this the ideal “study” Gita.

The Devi Mahatmyam for Yogis–Swami Nirmalananda’s commentary on the symbolism embodied in the Devi Mahatmyam, The Glorification of the Goddess. It is the depiction of the evolution and freeing of the individual spirit-soul or atman from the Cosmic Delusion by that very Cosmic Delusion Itself.

All Is One: A Commentary On Sri Vaiyai R. Subramanian’s Ellam Ondre

If you want moksha, read and practice the instructions in Ellam Ondre. (Ramana Maharshi)

Abbot George Burke’s insightful commentary brings even further light to Ellam Ondre’s refreshing perspective on what Unity signifies, and the path to its realization. It is a timely and important contribution to Advaitic literature that explains Unity as the fruit of yoga sadhana, rather than mere wishful thinking or some vague intellectual gymnastic, as is so commonly taught by the modern “Advaita gurus.” 

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.  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.

More on Inner Life

Satsang with the Abbot: Questions & Answers about Life, Spiritual Liberty, and the Pursuit of Ultimate Happiness, a collection of over 350 questions and answers which Abbot George has answered over the years. 

In Abbot George’s replies to these questions the reader will discover common sense, helpful information, and a guiding light for their journey through and beyond the forest of cliches, contradictions, and confusion of yoga, Hinduism, Christianity, and metaphysical thought.

Spiritual Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet—The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well known, as are the ethical aspects. But the spiritual advantages should be studied by anyone involved in meditation, yoga, or any type of spiritual practice. Learn how diet affects not only the body, but the mind, the will, higher perceptions, and conscious evolution, all of which are so important for an effective spiritual life.

The next section, Christian Vegetarianism, continues with a consideration of the esoteric side of diet, as well as the vegetarian roots of early Christianity, as well as in the Old and New Testaments.

Foundations of Yoga: Ten Important Principles Every Meditator Should Know—An in-depth explanation of the important foundation principles of Patanjali’s Yoga: Yama & Niyama. They are often called the Ten Commandments of Yoga, but they have nothing to do with the ideas of sin and virtue or good and evil.

Rather they are determined by a thoroughly practical, pragmatic basis: that which strengthens and facilitates our yoga practice should be observed and that which weakens or hinders it should be avoided.

Demons and Dunces: An in-depth analysis of evil spirits, what they are, and what could bring about encounters with evil spirits. But most importanly,  what we can do to keep ourselves out of their influence.

Autobiography of a Yogi—by Paramhansa Yogananda. This is the classic of yoga, meditation and spiritual life written by Yogananda, who introduced yoga meditation and the goal of self realization to the American people, and whose writings reveal the underlying unity of original Christianity and original Yoga.

The Second Coming of Christ—by Paramhansa Yogananda. We are now posting on this website a most valuable–indeed invaluable–writing of the great Master Paramhansa Yogananda: The Second Coming of Christ, his commentary on passages from the four Gospels.

In 1979 the Amrita Foundation of Dallas Texas printed a three-volume set of the magazine articles that had been edited. That text is being posted here.

Philosophy of Gorakhnath—by Akshay Kumar Banerjea. In this book Bannerjea has presented the primal tradition of Yoga–especially the philosophy–in a full and flawless manner. It was first published by the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, India, which is the main center of the Nath Yogi sampradaya, and thereby carries the highest authority. [This file is large, over 20mb, so allow time for it to download or show up in your browser.]

Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy—Ancient Indian thinkers stressed six darshanas, which are sometimes called the six schools of philosophy. The Sad-darshanas are the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. This is one of the best summations of this subject, by Raghavan Iyer.

Practical Spirituality

How to Read the Tarot—Swami Nirmalananda (Abbot George Burke) shares a unique way of doing divination with the Tarot (his instructions refer to the Rider-Waite deck of Tarot cards), as well as explaining the meanings of each card, together with learning to use intuition in interpreting the cards.

Psychic Defense for Yogis—Do yogis need psychic defense? Most certainly. Learn from Swami Nirmalananda (Abbot George Burke) what we mean by “psychic,” “psychic attack” and “psychic defense,” as well as symptoms of psychic attack. Learn how to defend and strenthen yourself, as well as bless with Soham Theurgy.

Magnetic Therapy: Healing in Your Hands—Swami Nirmalananda (Abbot George Burke) learned a number of techniques of magnetic (pranic) healing from teachers who had used it to great effect in helping others. This illustrated book shows how you can use the natural bio-magnetic currents of your body to effect healing in yourself and others.

About Monastic Life

Swami Sivananda

Here are three valuable books by Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh on aspects of the life of the spirit.

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