Baba Rampuri’s “Must Read Books List”
In response to numerous requests for a reading list, I have listed those books and authors I consider valuable, in various ways, for the Conscious Spiritual Mind, and as a background for the conversations that we have on this website and on social media. What follows is my Must Read Books List.
Traditional knowledge – post-modern themes
These are diverse books one would hardly expect to be on the same list, but they fit together in a grand story I am telling. The world has become a much smaller place in the 45 years I’ve spent in India after an upbringing in the West. The fact that the West has seen itself as the representative or agent of Indian culture meant little to traditional India. This has changed in a big way, today. How are we to interpret the culture of India? How may we obtain the ancient knowledge of India? The first step is to enquire “Who’s asking the question.”
Relevance today and the post-modern
So my list reflects this: traditional texts that stand out to me as having special relevance today, and modern texts reflecting diverse and often critical thing from around the world. There are a number of Western texts that are critical of Western agency of Indian knowledge. These are especially interesting in these times. And there are fine examples of literature East and West.
And there are interpreters
I consider these texts important for very different reasons, there are Indian scriptural texts for reference; under read, but academically revered modern thinkers from around the world whose ideas must be noted if we are to discuss Indian culture and spirituality with any sophistication; great literature that addresses our storytelling themes; both the Indian and Western interpreters of Indian culture and tradition, that I list, not because I agree with what is written, but because I think they are important points of view to understand; and there are a few books regarding non-Indian tradition. Besides the odd dictionary, there are few, if any, books I am listing to provide you with information, per se, as, in my mind, it’s the text, itself, that is my focus, not the information, per se, contained within it.
We will periodically add to the list.