Nityananda Institute


This annotated list includes books used in various study groups at Nityananda Institute, as well as others that we have enjoyed, on the following topics.

( Updated March 2, 2004 )

Nityananda Institute Kashmir Shaivism: Foundational Texts

Nityananda Institute Other Texts of Kashmir Shaivism

Nityananda Institute Kashmir Shaivism: Philosophy

Nityananda Institute Other Hindu Texts

Nityananda Institute Nityananda Institute Lineage Books

Nityananda Institute Vajrayana Buddhism (Primarily Nyingma)

Nityananda Institute Other Spiritual Traditions

Nityananda Institute Mystical Poetry

Nityananda Institute Sacred Art

Nityananda Institute Hatha Yoga

Kashmir Shaivism: Foundational Texts

Siva Sutras: The Yoga of Supreme Identity, translated by Jaideva Singh
Motilal Banarsidass, 1979
An early text that outlines the strategies for liberation. Commentary by Ksemaraja, a disciple of Abhinavagupta.

The Aphorisms of Siva, translated by Mark Dyczkowski
State University of New York, 1992
The Shiva Sutras with a commentary by Bhaskara.

The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Pulsation (Spanda Karikas), translated by Jaideva Singh
State University of New York, 1992
A commentary on the Siva Sutras. Focuses on the divine creative pulsation called spanda. Includes a discussion on mantra and the process of liberation.

The Stanzas on Vibration, translated by Mark Dyczkowski. Edited by H.P. Alper, The SUNY Series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir.
State University of New York, 1992
The Spanda Karikas with four commentaries.

The Yoga of Delight, Wonder and Astonishment: A Translation of the Vijnanabharaiva, translated by Jaideva Singh
State University of New York, 1991
A treasury of 112 different yoga practices from the ancient Tantras. These practices or, more accurately, moments of illumination, provide concrete examples of the upayas or strategies explained in the Siva Sutras.

Ksemaraja, The Doctrine of Recognition, translated by Jaideva Singh
State University of New York, 1990
A digest of the main principles of the Pratabhijna school of Kashmir Shaivism.
Focuses on the nature of the Absolute and the process of wordly manifestation.

Abhinavagupta, A Trident of Wisdom, translated by Jaideva Singh
State University of New York, 1998
A translation of the Paratrisika Vivarana, an extensive commentary on tantric sadhana.

Abhinavagupta's Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (Gitartha-Samgraha), translated by Boris Marjanovic
Indica Books, 2002
This commentary interprets the Bhagavad Gita according to the principles of Kashmir Shaivism. An excellent translation.

Other Texts of Kashmir Shaivism

Bailly, Constantina Rhodes. Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir: A Translation and Study of Utpaladeva's Shivastotravali.
State University of New York, 1987
Utpaladeva was a founder of the Pratabhijna school of Shaivism and is best known for his philosophical treatises. These songs reveal his own experiences on the spiritual path.

Hughes, John. Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism: The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo.
State University of New York, 1995
Swami Lakshmanjoo was the last master in the lineage of Abhinavagupta. This volume includes lectures as well as translations of two Shaiva texts with commentary.

Lakshman Jee, Swami. Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme
State University of New York, 1988
Compiled from lectures given in 1971-1972.

Kashmir Shaivism: Philosophy

Chetanananda, Swami. Dynamic Stillness-Part I: The Practice of Trika Yoga.
Rudra Press, 1990
An introduction to the three aspects of practice: the teacher, meditation, and extending the energy.

---. Dynamic Stillness-Part II: The Fulfillment of Trika Yoga
Rudra Press, 1991
An elaboration of the upayas or strategies for practice

Dyczkowski, Mark. The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of the Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism
State University of New York, 1987
An introduction to the texts and scriptures of Kashmir Shaivism with emphasis on the concept of spanda.

Mishra, Kamalakar. Kashmir Shaivism: The Central Philosophy of Tantrism
Rudra Press, 1993
An exploration of tantra using Abhinavagupta's Tantraloka as the focus..

Muller-Ortega, Paul E. The Triadic Heart of Siva: Kaula Tantrism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir.
State University of New York, 1989
A study of the symbol of the heart, a central element in the work of Abhinavagupta.

Sanderson, Alexis. "Saivism and the Tantric Traditions," in The World's Religions, ed., Steward Sutherland, Leslie Houlden, Peter Clarke, Friedhelm Hardy.
Routledge, Kegan, Poul, 1988.
Discusses the history and development of various Shaiva traditions.

Shankarananda, Swami. Consciousness Is Everything: The Yoga of Kashmir Shaivism.
Shaktipat Press, 2003.
An accessible overview of Shaiva philosophy.

Silburn, Lilian. Kundalini, the Energy of the Depths, translated by Jacques Gontier.
State University of New York, 1988
A discussion of kundalini, with excerpts from texts of the Kaula, Trika and Krama schools of Shaivism.

Other Hindu Texts

The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Juan Mascaro
Penguin Books, 1983
A clear translation of the foremost spiritual text in Hinduism. Its core teaching, according to Swami Chetanananda, is that "the highest action is to be established in our own essence."

Vasistha's Yoga, translated by Swami Venkatesananda
State University of New York, 1993
A Vedanta treatise which is characterized by a practical approach to spirituality.

Nityananda Institute Lineage Books

Chetanananda, Swami. The Breath of God
Sterling, 2001
A collection of short essays on many aspects of living a spiritual life.

---. Choose to Be Happy: The Craft and the Art of Living Beyond Anxiety
Rudra Press, 1996
Describes a process for continuously deepening our experience of happiness.

---. There Is No Other
Rudra Press, 2000
Simple, profound and practical ways to live a life of love, growth and integration.

---. Will I Be the Hero of My Own Life?
Rudra Press, 1995
A discussion of how to live an inspired life through spiritual work.

---. Open Heart, Open Mind: Practical Lessons in Loving Your Life
Sterling, 2001
An exploration of the nature of authentic love and advice about how to experience and live our lives from a position of genuine strength.

---. Songs from the Center of the Well
Rudra Press, 1984
A collection of short inspirational verse that speaks to the heart of living a conscious spiritual life.

Rudrananda, Swami. Spiritual Cannibalism
Rudra Press, 1987
A discussion of Rudi's experience of spiritual growth and the reality of spiritual work.

---. Rudi in His Own Words
Rudra Press, 1990
Explains how life's tensions and stress can be transformed into energy for spiritual growth.

---. Entering Infinity
Rudra Press, 1994
A collection of talks given by Rudi in the last year of his life.

Hatengdi, M. U. Nityananda: In Divine Presence
Rudra Press, 1984
Stories collected from devotees of Nityananda provide an intimate portrait of a life filled with the divine presence.

Nityananda, Bhagavan. The Sky of the Heart: Jewels of Wisdom from Nityananda
Rudra Press, 1996
A collection of sutras spoken by Nityananda and compiled by devotees in the early 1920's. These verses contain the essence of Nityananda's spiritual wisdom.

Vajrayana Buddhism (Primarily Nyingma)

Edou, Jerome. Machig Labdrön and the Foundations of Chöd
Snow Lion, 1996
A biography of Machig Labdrön and an overview of the origins of Chöd.

English, Elizabeth. Vajrayogini: Her Visualizations, Rituals and Forms
Wisdom, 2002
A comprehensive study of the Vajrayogini tantras.

Labdron, Machik. Machik's Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chöd, translated by Sarah Harding.
Snow Lion, 2003.
A collection of Machik's oral teachings to her disciples.

Khyentse, Dilgo. The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel
Shambala, 1999
Teachings on the practice of guru yoga.

Longchenpa. Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part One: Mind, translated by Herbert V. Guenther
Dharma Publishing, 1975
A guide to enlightenment by one of Tibet's most brilliant scholars and writers.

---. Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part Two: Meditation, translated by Herbert V. Guenther
Dharma Publishing, 1976

---. Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part Three: Wonderment , translated by Herbert V. Guenther
Dharma Publishing, 1976

Padmasambhava. Advice from the Lotus-Born
Rangjung Yeshe, 1994
A collection of oral teachings given by Padmasambhava to his close disciples. A companion volume to Dakini Teachings.

---. Dakini Teachings
Shambala, 1990
Padmasambhava's oral instructions on spiritual practice.

Penick, Douglas J. The Warrior Song of King Gesar.
Wisdom, 1996.
The epic story of one of Tibet's greatest kings.

Ray, Reginald A. Secrets of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet
Shambhala , 2001
An accessible and engaging introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism.

Rinpoche, Patrul. The Words of My Perfect Teacher, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group
Harper Collins, 1994
A popular introduction to the preliminaries of the Longchen Nyingthig tradition of Nyingma practice.

Sangpo, Khetsun. Tantric Practice in Nyingma
Snow Lion, 1986
A commentary on the same text that is presented in The Words of My Perfect Teacher, as well as other teachings.

Santideva. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, translated by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace
Snow Lion, 1997
A classic treatise and the most widely read text in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.

Trungpa, Chogyam. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
A landmark work on following the spiritual path.

Other Spiritual Traditions

Goldsmith, Joel. Living the Infinite Way
Devorss, 1995
Joel Goldsmith was an inspired 20th century spiritual healer and mystic, and Living the Infinite Way is a synthesis of his ideas.

Goldsmith, Joel. Practicing the Presence
Harper San Francisco, 1991
Teaches us that God is present within us, and that all we need to do is open ourselves to that Presence.

Tantra in Practice, edited by David Gordon White
Princeton University Press, 2000
Selections from texts representing a range of Tantric practice traditions from China, India, Japan, Nepal and Tibet, with introductions to each.

Mystical Poetry

Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi.
Harper San Francisco, 1997.

The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir. Translated by Robert Bly.
Beacon Press, 1993.

Lalla, Naked Song. Translated by Coleman Barks
Maypop, 1992.

Rumi, Jelaluddin. One-Handed Basket Weaving. Translated by Coleman Barks.
Maypop, 1991.

---. Open Secret. Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks.
Threshold Books, 1984.

---. Say I Am You. Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks.
Maypop, 1994.

---. Unseen Rain. Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks.
Shambhala, 2001.

Sacred Art

Baker, Ian A., and Thomas Laird. The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple: Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet
Thames and Hudson, 2000

Beer, Robert. Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs
Shambala, 1999

Bubriski, Kevin, and Keith Dowman. Power Places of Kathmandu: Hindu and Buddhist Holy Sites in the Sacred Valley of Nepal
Inner Traditions International, 1995

Dehejia, Vidya, Richard H. Davis, R. Nagaswamy and Karen Pechilis Prentiss. The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India.
University of Washington Press, 2003.

Khanna, Madhu, Yantra: The Tantric Symbol of Cosmic Unity
Thames and Hudson, 1997

Kossak, Steven M. and Jane Casey Singer. Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998

Landaw, Johnathan and Andy Weber. Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice
Snow Lion, 1997

Pal, Pratapaditya. Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure.
University of California Press, 2003.

Reynolds, Valrae, Janet Gyatso, Amy Heller and Dan Martin. From the Sacred Realm: Treasures of Tibetan Art from the Newark Museum
Prestel, 1999

Rhie, Marilyn M. and Robert Thurman. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet
Harry N. Abrams, 1996

Hatha Yoga

Coulter, H. David, and Timothy McCall. The Anatomy of Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners
Body & Breath, 2001

Desikachar, T.K.V. The Heart of Yoga
Inner Traditions, 1995

Kraftsow, Gary. Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
Penguin Compass, 1999

Mohan, A.G. Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind
Rudra Press, 1993

Pierce, Margaret D. and Martin G. Pierce Yoga for Your Life
Rudra Press, 1996

Schiffman, Eric. Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness
Pocket Books, 1996


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