100 books like Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā

By Swami Dayananda Saraswati,

Here are 100 books that Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā fans have personally recommended if you like Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

We cannot understand what yoga is without studying The Yoga Sutras. The Sutras are the first documented text of yoga that describes how the mind works and how it gets in our way of seeing clearly. The Sutras tell us how to alter our thought patterns so we connect to the moment, see what’s really happening, and suffer less. They are the manual for the study and practice of yoga — ancient but still useful, concentrated, and meditative. They are a resource I come back to again and again and feel like an advice column from somewhere celestial. I’m partial to this translation because it was used in my teacher training, and after reading others, I find it the most down-to-earth while still honoring the tradition.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new edition of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the purest form, with the original Sanskrit and with translation, transliteration, and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of…


Book cover of The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

Stephen Cope is a master at using real-life examples to show how yoga can be embodied. The Wisdom of Yoga follows five friends facing struggles with work and relationships and how they use yoga philosophy to change their perspectives and approaches. Cope is magnificent at explaining Eastern thought to Westerners. His book is easy to read and allows us to look at our own lives as we witness the journeys of others.  

By Stephen Cope,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wisdom of Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For modern spiritual seekers and yoga students alike, here is an irreverent yet profound guide to the most sophisticated teachings of the yoga wisdom tradition–now brought to contemporary life by a celebrated author, psychotherapist, and leading American yoga instructor.

While many Westerners still think of yoga as an invigorating series of postures and breathing exercises, these physical practices are only part of a vast and ancient spiritual science. For more than three millennia, yoga sages systematically explored the essential questions of our human existence: What are the root causes of suffering, and how can we achieve freedom and happiness? What…


Book cover of Embrace Yoga's Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

Susanna Barkataki is a teacher, inclusivity promoter, and yoga culture advocate with an active social media presence who compassionately and playfully nudges the West to honor the original tradition of yoga. Her book takes many of her teachings and presents them in one place. Her wisdom is essential for anyone who wants to understand what yoga is beyond the physical practice. For Westerners, her book is a generous offering and necessary to ensure we are being reverent with the practice of yoga and not appropriating it.

By Susanna Barkataki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Embrace Yoga's Roots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you want to be on the cutting edge of the future of yoga?

If you desire an authentic yoga practice embracing ancient yogic philosophy and traditions but don’t know how to embody that knowledge with integrity in today’s modern yoga culture, Embrace Yoga’s Roots is your guide to honor and not appropriate yoga.

"When we mistake yoga for a workout routine, reduce it to physical fitness or even do some of the deeper aspects of yoga without an eye to the whole system of liberation it offers, we rob ourselves and each other of the potential of this practice,"…


Book cover of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World

Courtney Seiberling Author Of YOGA's YAMAS and NIYAMAS: 10 Principles for Peace & Purpose

From my list on the philosophy behind yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

The physical practice of yoga transformed my relationship to my body, but the philosophy of yoga changed my life. When I began to study the Sutras, my mind became calmer; I had a greater capacity to listen and be patient in my relationships, and my quality of life improved. As I studied philosophy more, my perspective shifted from lack and blame to abundance and self-awareness. Knowing there is more to yoga than just the physical practice, I find it important to honor the tradition the way it was intended: as a whole system for the mind, body, and spirit to reduce the suffering of all beings.

Courtney's book list on the philosophy behind yoga

Courtney Seiberling Why did Courtney love this book?

Michelle Cassandra Johnson knows yoga is both a personal practice to ease suffering and one that calls on us to lessen the suffering of others. She connects the philosophy to social justice so well, it’s as though she sat alongside the original scholars of the Sutras. Her book is packed with quiet wisdom, prompts, meditations, reflection, and so much heart. It’s both a workbook and a philosophy text, a resource, and an awakening. If you can study the book with her, do. She has many online offerings. Her presence is comforting, affirming, bold, and her book reflects these qualities.

By Michelle Cassandra Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skill in Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THIS IS THE 2nd and LATEST EDITION OF SKILL IN ACTION.
Transform your yoga practice into a force for creating social change with this concise, eloquent guide to social justice tools and skills.

Skill in Action asks you to explore the deeply transformational practice of yoga as a way to become an agent of social change and work toward a just world. Through yoga practices and philosophy, this book explores liberation for ourselves and others, while asking us to engage in our own agency--whether that manifests as activism, volunteer work, or changing our relationships with others and ourselves. To provide…


Book cover of Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage and Compassion

Dianne Bondy Author Of Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body

From my list on revolutionize yoga by how you practice and teach.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author, movement coach, and yoga teacher. I've been practicing yoga on and off for about 48 years. I was introduced to yoga by my mom through a really old book called Be Young with Yoga at 3 years old. Yoga has been a part of my entire existence in one way or another. I have had the honour and privilege to study with yoga teachers and educators for the past 30+ years and it has been life-changing. I have been a yoga teacher and movement coach for 30+ years, I have watched yoga make sad people feel better, injured people get strong, and shy people become leaders in their communities around equity and diversity. 

Dianne's book list on revolutionize yoga by how you practice and teach

Dianne Bondy Why did Dianne love this book?

I love this book so much I wish I wrote it. It speaks to creating equity not only in yoga spaces but out in the world. This book features quite a few yoga rebels that are changing the game and are my friends and colleagues. Yoga Revolution teaches the world how to apply yoga philosophy to help the world be a better place for all of us. It is about healing our communities. Rebels are about the revolution; knowing the rules so you can break them. Breaking the rules that need to be broken.

By Jivana Heyman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yoga Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is time to address the dissonance between the often superficial way yoga is currently being practiced and the depth of yoga’s ancient universal spiritual teachings. In this clarion call to action, Jivana Heyman offers a blueprint for cultivating a practice based in the ancient wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras in service of those experiencing exclusion and oppression.

Heyman illuminates the yogic mandate of seva—or acts of service that see, care for, and uplift those around us—as a way to serve the world without losing your way. Through pose sequences, practice prompts such as “Embracing Failure,”…


Book cover of The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India's Universal Science of God-Realization

Jennie Lee Author Of True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

From my list on yoga philosophy for those who want to dig deeper.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a long-time student and teacher of yoga, I have read extensively on the philosophy and practice of this ancient science. After 25 years, I still discover daily, new benefits as I deepen my understanding of this tradition’s peace-bringing principles. Because I have found so much personal wellbeing through yoga, I made a career as a yoga therapist, coaching others in the yogic practices which help us establish inner peace, balance, and joy. Hundreds of clients have given me feedback in the benefits they too have received by integrating these teachings. Through the embodiment of yoga philosophy, we can truly transform our consciousness and reunite body, soul, and spirit.

Jennie's book list on yoga philosophy for those who want to dig deeper

Jennie Lee Why did Jennie love this book?

The Bhagavad Gita is the most complete text of yoga philosophy. It can however be difficult to understand, as it is presented through an allegorical battle, which represents the inner battle of every human life between the ego and the soul. This version makes the essential teachings clear and very relatable and has helped me in my understanding of my own identity. I refer to this text often when helping my students connect to their divine nature as well as their human personality self.

By Paramahansa Yogananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With penetrating insight, Paramahansa Yogananda sheds a clarifying light on the deeper meaning of the Bhagavad Gita's symbology, and the true intent of India's timeless and universal scripture. He shows how the warriors doing battle on the field of Kurukshetra represent the negative tendencies of the human ego pitted against the divine qualities of the soul, and how the science of Yoga can help us achieve the joy of material and spiritual victory on the battlefield of daily life. An inspiring and concise introduction to the spiritual truths of India's most beloved scripture, these selections from Yogananda's critically acclaimed two-volume…


Book cover of The Bhagavad Gītā

Stephen H. Phillips Author Of Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy

From my list on yoga philosophy and psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a professional sanskritist and academic, I have travelled to India well more than twenty times, for fellowships, conferences, and (fortunately) months of study with a traditional Sanskrit pundit, the great N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya. But my first trip was when I was twenty, dropping out of college and travelling from a kibbutz in Israel to India (overland no less, after a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul in 1971) where I was graciously admitted into a yoga-ashram school. There I began learning Sanskrit as well as various yoga techniques. I stayed that time for two years. “All life is yoga,” says Sri Aurobindo, and I have long wished my life to be that since “yoga” is for me practically a synonym for “right living.”

Stephen's book list on yoga philosophy and psychology

Stephen H. Phillips Why did Stephen love this book?

Bhagavad Gītā. This is an indispensable primary source for yoga philosophy and practice, and there are many translations: by Edgerton, Easwaran Eknath, Van Buitenen, Sargeant, A. Mahadeva Sastri, H. Maheshwari, Mascaro, and others.

Unfortunately, the Gītā has been used for political ends, but I daresay it transcends politics. It continues the traditions of meditation of older Upanishads—jñāna-yoga, the “yoga of knowledge”—and introduces karma-yoga, the “yoga of action,” with principles that can be applied in practically every endeavor of life. No longer does practice require seclusion. Although the context is a battle, Krishna, the yoga teacher, urges ahiṃsā, “non-injury,” and other yogic values that can be put into play in practically anything that you do. Bhakti-yoga, the “yoga of devotion and love,” is a third broad type of practice laid out in the Gītā. Eliade disparages bhakti as yoga for the masses but surely it…

By Winthrop Sargeant (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bhagavad Gītā as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An interlinear edition of the spiritual classic that provides devanagari, transliterated Sanskrit, and English versions of the Gītā.


Book cover of The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Study Guide

Daniel Simpson Author Of The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices

From my list on the truth of yoga.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been studying yoga in various forms since my first trip to India in the 1990s. I began as a curious tourist, attending the world's biggest human gathering (the Kumbh Mela). After working as a foreign correspondent—initially for Reuters then The New York Times—I returned to university, earning a master's degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation. I've since taught courses at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on yoga teacher trainings, and via my website. The Truth of Yoga is the book I wish I'd found when I started exploring.

Daniel's book list on the truth of yoga

Daniel Simpson Why did Daniel love this book?

Perhaps the most relevant traditional text to a modern practitioner, presenting yoga as a way to act wisely in everyday life. Its teachings are accessibly conveyed by an accurate translation, interspersed with commentary that breaks up the text into manageable sections. Although its title means “God’s song,” it describes the divine in a variety of ways, from the fruits of meditation to loving kindness. Sutton’s clear explanations allow for a range of interpretations. 

By Nicholas Sutton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bhagavad Gita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This short course sets out a detailed study of the text, philosophy, and contemporary significance of the teachings found within the Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita, which was spoken perhaps five thousand years ago and whose written form has been extant for over two thousand years, has continued to inspire new generations of seekers in the East and West for centuries.  Gandhi in the East and Thoreau, Emerson, Einstein, and others in the West found within its pages deep wisdom, comfort, and contemporary applications to their lives and times.  

The Gita ranks with the Bible, Dhammapada, Dao De Jing, Qu’ran,…


Book cover of Bhagavad Gita

Swami Saradananda Author Of Sitting Comfortably: Preparing the Mind and Body for Peaceful Meditation

From my list on serious yogis and meditators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in New York, live in London, have an Indian name, and a Polish grandmother. I’ve lived and worked worldwide, running yoga centers in New York, London, New Delhi, and the Himalayas; I’ve also worked as a spice merchant, magazine editor, and pilgrimage leader. My incentive in writing is to inspire people to practise yoga and meditation – and my books tend to be practical as well as theoretical. In addition to teaching and writing, I’ve spent extensive time doing personal practice in the Himalayas, and I hold an MA degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London.

Swami's book list on serious yogis and meditators

Swami Saradananda Why did Swami love this book?

I purchased my original copy of this text many years ago; it has been my constant companion ever since. I’ve since learned that the Bhagavad Gita was the one book that Thoreau had with him during his time at Walden Pond – and this was back in the 19th Century.

Written prior to the commercialization of yoga, Sivananda's translation of the Gita is pure and traditional. He caters to serious yoga practitioners; the text is not watered down nor does it push any sectarian agenda. The comments are filled with deep insights from a person who is widely acknowledged to have been one of India's great spiritual teachers of the 20th century.

By Swami Sivananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bhagavad Gita as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Bhagavadgita is one phase of the Tripod of Indian philosophy and culture, the other two phases being the Upanishads and the Brahmasutras. While the Upanishads lay the foundation of the loftiest reach possible for humanity and the Brahmasutras logically elucidate the intricate issues involved in the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita blends together the Transcendent and the Immanent features of the Ultimate Reality, bringing together into an integrated whole knowledge and action, the inner and the outer, the individual and the society, man and God, all which are portrayed as facets of a Universal Operation, presenting entire life and all life…


Book cover of The Holy Science

Jennie Lee Author Of True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

From my list on yoga philosophy for those who want to dig deeper.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a long-time student and teacher of yoga, I have read extensively on the philosophy and practice of this ancient science. After 25 years, I still discover daily, new benefits as I deepen my understanding of this tradition’s peace-bringing principles. Because I have found so much personal wellbeing through yoga, I made a career as a yoga therapist, coaching others in the yogic practices which help us establish inner peace, balance, and joy. Hundreds of clients have given me feedback in the benefits they too have received by integrating these teachings. Through the embodiment of yoga philosophy, we can truly transform our consciousness and reunite body, soul, and spirit.

Jennie's book list on yoga philosophy for those who want to dig deeper

Jennie Lee Why did Jennie love this book?

For the serious student of yoga philosophy, this tiny book packs a mountain of wisdom as it establishes the inherent unity between the religious teachings of east and west. I particularly appreciated the explanation of the ‘mean-nesses of the heart’ which impede our spiritual progress. I find it is important to be aware of the obstacles that present themselves on the spiritual path so that I can prepare to overcome them and become a more compassionate and service-oriented person. For those interested in science, he also includes a great explanation of the ‘yugas’ or cycles of human existence.

By Sri Yukteswar Giri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Holy Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This extraordinary treatise explores parallel passages from the Bible and the Hindu scriptures to reveal the essential unity of all religions. Swami Sri Yukteswar is renowned as the revered guru of the great pioneer of yoga in the West, Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi). In this remarkable work - composed in the year 1894 at the request of the great Indian sage, Mahavatar Babaji - Sri Yukteswar outlines the universal path that every human being must travel to enlightenment. He also explains the vast recurring cycles of history - the yugas that mark the upward ascent of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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