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Books by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)
eBooks about Yoga and Meditation
- 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
- Soham Yoga: The Yoga of the Self — PDF
- Soham Yoga: The Yoga of the Self — in print and as a Kindle ebook
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.
Gajanan Murlidhar Gupte, later known as Gajanana Maharaj, led an unassuming life, to all appearances a normal unmarried man of contemporary society. Crediting his personal transformation to the practice of the Soham mantra, he freely shared this practice with a small number of disciples, whom he simply called his friends. Strictly avoiding the trap of gurudom, he insisted that his friends be self-reliant and not be dependent on him for their spiritual progress. Yet he was uniquely able to assist them in their inner development.
Gajanana Maharaj taught the ajapa-japa of the Soham mantra with the breath. In Light of Soham his teachings for success in Soham sadhana and spiritual life in general have been collected from the writings of himself and his disciples. An appendix by Abbot George Burke on the method of Soham Yoga gives detailed instruction on how to practice this method of meditation.
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. Download this 81 page ebook.
Yoga of the Sacraments—An illuminating analysis of the Christian Sacraments from the Yogi’s perspective.
Jesus and India
The Christ of India—There is a strong connection between Jesus and India, both historically and philosophically. And his disciple, Saint Thomas, who was the apostle of India, built upon the foundation of that connection. The result is that unique form of Christianity known as Saint Thomas Christianity.
In 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. Written by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri). Also available in print and as Amazon ebook.
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. 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.
- Dhammapada For Awakening—PDF
- Dhammapada For Awakening—epub format
- Available at Amazon in print or Kindle format
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.
- Gospel of Thomas for Awakening-PDF
- Now available in print! Visit Amazon to buy in print or Kindle format
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.
More on Inner Life
Satsang with the Abbot: Questions & Answers about Life, Spiritual Liberty, and the Pursuit of Ultimate Happiness, a new collection of over 350 questions and answers which Abbot George has answered over the years.
The questions in this book range from the most sublime to the most practical. “How can I attain samadhi?” “I am married with children. How can I lead a spiritual life?” “What is Self-realization?”
Among these 350+ questions and answers, you will find these topics:
- karma, reincarnation, and spiritual evolution
- avatars, angels, devas, spirits, ghosts and demons
- death and the after-life, astral travel, astrology
- esoteric view of Jesus and Christianity, the “Lost Years,” and modern yogis who saw Jesus
- effective meditation methods, how to deal with the mind, vegetarianism, and practical spirituality
- stories of Babaji, Yogananda and his disciples, Anandamayi Ma, Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples, and modern saints of India
- the spiritual principles (dharma) that unite the inner traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and the world’s religions
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.
- Available at Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.
- Also available here as a free PDF: Satsang with the Abbot: Questions & Answers about Life, Spiritual Liberty, and the Pursuit of Ultimate Happiness
May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation? – Discover the real and surprising history of reincarnation and Christianity.
A growing number of people are open to the subject of past lives, and the belief in rebirth–reincarnation, metempsychosis, or transmigration is becoming commonplace. But it often thought that belief in reincarnation and Christianity are incompatible.
But is this really true? May a Christian believe in reincarnation? 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.
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.
The Spiritual Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet explains in detail about 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 an insightful exploration of vegetarianism in the Old and New Testaments.
- Spiritual Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet—PDF
- Spiritual Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet—FREE Amazon Kindle version
Foundations of Yoga—An in-depth explanation of the important foundation principles of Patanjali’s Yoga: Yama & Niyama. Yama and Niyama 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 as dictated by some cosmic potentate.
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.
It is not a matter of being good or bad, but of being wise or foolish. Each one of these Five Don’ts (Yama) and Five Do’s (Niyama) is a supporting, liberating foundation of Yoga.
- Foundations of Yoga: Ten Important Principles Every Meditator Should Know—PDF
- Foundations of Yoga: Ten Important Principles Every Meditator Should Know—FREE Amazon Kindle version
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 Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri) provides that commentary.
Demons and Dunces: Evil Spirits, what they are, and how to deal with them.
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.
At his first speech given in America at the Congress of Religious Liberals in 1920, the Master announced that he would be giving weekly classes in Boston that would consist of three parts: 1) a half-hour exposition of the Bhagavad Gita, 2) a half-hour exposition of the Gospels, and 3) a half-hour discourse demonstrating their fundamental unity. In the thirty-nine years after that first speech, he never deviated from his intention, and often stated that his purpose in coming to America was to present Original Yoga and Original Christianity.
After establishing a magazine, he began publishing a series of articles on the Gita and another series on the Gospels, which latter even then he called The Second Coming of Christ. Toward the end of his life he wanted them collected and printed in a book, but found that a tremendous amount of editing was needed, so that was not done. 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.
Much later, Self-Realization Fellowship published a two-volume edition of The Second Coming of Christ, that had been greatly augmented by the addition of much material on the Gospels that had been gathered from many of the Master’s other talks and writings. It was compiled and also extensively edited by Mrinalini Mata, the present President of SRF and has a value all its own.
We hope that interested readers will give this spiritual masterwork the careful study it certainly merits since it presents for the first time in the two-thousand-year history of Christianity the complete authentic teachings of Jesus.
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—One of the best summations of this subject, by Raghavan Iyer.
Here are three valuable books by Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh on aspects of the life of the spirit.