3 Inspiring Books for a Spiritual Life
Books have a strange way of coming into our lives. Often we might be looking for something and we catch sight of a book, open a page and the solution to a problem pops out of the page! It also happens that we walk into a room and book just calls out us and that will be the very book we need at that point in life. Have you ever experienced it?
Books on selling, on character building, self-help, financial management, and even mystery stories have all come to my hand when I most needed them and I have learnt a lot from them. Books can inspire us to achieve success in life both in our professional life as well as spiritual life. It is very important to pause and reflect on the direction we are going. Books can help to resolve issues, point out the strengths and weaknesses in the strategy we are using and they can plain inspire us to take action.
If I had to choose among all of the books that can inspire a person to live a spiritual life I would choose the following:
The Theosophic Life – Annie Besant
This little book was originally published in The Theosophist in March 1909. By putting Annie Besant's suggestion into practice my whole life changed miraculously. The following paragraph became a reality once I started following its suggestion:
...so wise is the Good Law, the circumstances round you are the very best that the wisdom of an archangel could plan for your growth and unfolding. The peace that that knowledge brings to life it is impossible to describe. All fretting vanishes, all worrying ceases to be, anxiety for something different no longer gnaws at the heart. A complete, absolute, perfect content comes down upon the soul, and in that content the lesson of the trying environment has been learned, and it will gradually modify itself.
I wrote a Hub, Just Be: Accepting Life As It Is, so that it would help others as well.
The book Theosophic Life has two chapters, 'Reincarnation' and 'Karma: A Continuing Creation'. From the chapter on 'Karma' Annie Besant describes what is the Theosophic Life:
The Theosophic Life must be a life of service. Unless we are serving, we have no right to live. We live by the constant sacrifice of other lives on every side, and we must pay it back; otherwise, to use an ancient phrase, we are but thieves and do not repay the gift. Service is the great illuminator. The more we serve the wiser we become, for we learn wisdom not by studying but by living.
Such a simple message and so profound in effect. I used always try to control the direction of my life and used to fall sick and get depressed. After applying the above principles I am happier and have more courage to face my circumstances.
- The Theosophic Life | The Theosophical Society International Headquarters, Adyar
You can also check out the Publications page and buy other books online.
At the Feet of the Master
At the Feet of the Master – Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti)
This is one of three Theosophical classics invaluable to aspirants on the Spiritual Path, the other two being The Voice of the Silence, and Light on the Path.
It was written down by J. Krishnamurti (Alcyone) in 1909 and contains the teachings given by his Master to prepare him for his future work. Its extreme simplicity has touched thousands of hearts. It has four chapters:
- Good Conduct
The chapter Good Conduct is further divided into more headings:
- Self-control as to the Mind
- Self-control in Action
The book has practical suggestions for each of these qualifications and it is easy to keep in mind in the course of our daily life. Many things we might consider unimportant is not so in the spiritual life. For example in the chapter Discrimination Alcyone writes:
When your body wishes something, stop and think whether you really wish it.
Here attention is drawn to the fact that we have to be aware that we are not the body, but something else within us who actually can exercise control over it. We should also learn to distinguish between the more important from the less important because in our lives we can get carried away doing something that in the long run is not so important.
This little book has helped me apply spiritual teachings in daily life and hence has changed my perspective of the world. It helps to focus on the real issues, be relaxed and deal with them one by one and achieve success gradually.
The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
This book is one of my favourites. It came to me when I most needed it. I was bed-ridden with a weak back and could not read for more than ten minutes at a time. Winnie-the-Pooh and his habit of eating honey at five to eleven helped me realize that it is important to be in the now and do what needs to be done. I learned about the Pooh Way and have been practicing it ever since. Here is a quote from the book:
When you work with Wu Wei , you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole...Wu Wei doesn't try. It doesn't think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn't appear to do much of anything. But Things Get Done.
Wu Wei is an important concept of Taoism (Daoism), that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. (Wikipedia)
How much more profondly simple can it get?
Life is a mysterious thing. We get help from different media such as television programmes, movies, people we meet, and of course books. Nowadays, it might be something we come across while browsing on the internet or some application that makes our life easier. We are changed forever when we come across something that we need at that moment to help us move on to the next step. Books certainly change lives!!