Sri Vaishnava : Recommended Books

Recommended Books

Epics | Vedanta | Bhagavad Gita | Divya Prabandham | Misc

Listed below are books available for purchase through Amazon Books, the Web's largest, most popular, and most successful online bookstore. This list includes some books available from South Asia Books and Motilal Banarssidass through Amazon. You can buy these books online by clicking the relevant links from this page. If you buy a book using these links, a very small percentage of the profit goes to me, which I use to pay for the upkeep of this site.

I will eventually add a list of books that are available at other bookstores, including those in India.

The Epics


by C. Rajagopalachari, Auromere: 1992. [~$8.00]
If this is unavailable, try this edition.
Comment: The simplest and best retellings of the epics.
A must have classic, especially for families with children.


by C. Rajagopalachari, Auromere: 1979. [~$8.00]
Comment: The simplest and best retellings of the epics.
A must have classic, especially for families with children.

The Mahabharata : An English Version Based on Selected Verses

by C.V. Narasimhan (Editor), Columbia University Press: 1997. [~$17.50]
Originally published in 1965.
Comment: This translation is perhaps the most authentic one that is easily available, since it is based on actual verses culled from the epic.

The Epic Beautiful : An English Verse Rendering of the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana of Valmiki

by Srinivasa Iyengar. [$12.50]
Comment: A rendering of the Sundara Kanda in Victorian English, by a traditional scholar of the epic.

Vedanta: Upanishads and Commentaries

Vedanta Sutras (Sacred Books of the East Series)

by George Thibaut, South Asia Books: 1988. [$28.00]
Comment: Contains translations of Sankara's and Ramanuja's commentaries on the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana. Ramanuja's commentary is known as the Sribhashya. Thibaut's analytical introduction is particularly insightful. This is the standard translation of both of these commentaries.

Advaita and Visistadvaita

by S.M. Srinivasa Chari, South Asia Books: reprinted 1998. [$26.00]
Comment: This is an outstanding analysis of the philosophical dispute between the Visishtadvaita and Advaita schools of Vedanta. The author bases his work on Vedanta Desika's Satadushani ("100 objections"), which he studied in the traditional manner from several scholars in India.

Fundamentals of Visistadvaita Vedanta : A study based on Vedanta Desika's Tattva Mukta Kalapa

by S.M. Srinivasa Chari, Motilal Banarsidass: 1988. [$32.50]
Comment: An authentic work, invaluable for deeper study of Visishtadvaita fundamentals.

Vaisnavism: Its Philosophy, Theology and Religious Discipline

by S.M. Srinivasa Chari, Motilal Banarsidass: 1994. [$32.00]
Comment: An reasonably comprehensive introduction to Vaishnavism. A very good book for those new to the tradition.

Upanisads (World's Classics)

Patrick Olivelle (Translator), Oxford University Press: 1996. [~$7.00]
Comment: A nice, clean translation of the Upanishads. Gives the reader a good gist of the subjects. However, the author makes atrocious and untenable conclusions in his analytical introduction; in addition his translation does not rely on the traditional commentaries enough.

Advaita Vedanta : A Philosophical Reconstruction

Eliot Deutsch, Univ of Hawaii: 1969. [~$9.00]
Comment: One of the best introductions to the Advaita school of philosophy. To understand Visishtadvaita, one must also understand Advaita.

Bhagavad Gita

Ramanuja Gita Bhashya: (Ramanuja's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita)

Swami Adidevananda (Translator), Vedanta Press: 1992. [~$12.00]
Comment: This work of Sri Ramanuja reads like a running poem, with careful insights explaining the intent of Krishna. A wonderful work and translation.

Divya Prabandham

The Tamil Veda: Pillan's Interpretation of the Tiruvaymoli

by John Carman and Vasudha Narayanan, University of Chicago Press: 1989. [$24.00]
Comment: A good overview of the first commentary on Nammalvar's divine poem, and the problems in its interpretation.

Seeing Through Texts: Doing Theology Among the Srivaisnavas of South India

by Francis X. Clooney, SUNY Press: 1996. [~$20.00]
Comment: An outstanding work that was felicitated at the American Academy of Religion's annual conference. Quotes extensively from the Tiruvaymoli commentaries of the early acharyas and presents a great overview of Nammalvar's thoughts. Here is a semi-autobiographical sketch of the author.

The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual

by Vasudha Narayanan, Univ. of South Carolina Press: 1994. [~$43.00, hard]
Comment: A unique work that describes the use of Tiruvaymoli in daily and ritual life among various groups of Sri Vaishnavas. Fundamental to see how Nammalvar's poem is the living spirit of this religious community.


The Srivaisnava Theological Dispute: Vedantadesika and Manavala Mamuni

by Patricia Y. Mumme, South Asia Books: 1988. [$25.00]
Comment: The best explanation of the Tengalai and Vadagalai doctrinal differences, and the genesis of the dispute.

Narada's Way of Divine Love: The Bhakti Sutras

Swami Prabhavananda (Translator), Vedanta Press: 1996. [~$7.50]
Comment: An inspiring work describing the path of devotion to God.

Rules and Regulations of Brahmanical Asceticism:

Yatidharmasamuccaya of Yadava Prakasa
Patrick Olivelle (Editor), SUNY Series in Religion: 1994. [~$15.00]
Also available in hardcover.
Comment: A technical work for specialists, describing the rules for a Sri Vaishnava renunciate.

Pancaratra Samhitas and Early Vaisnava Theology

by Mitsunori Matsubara, Motilal Banarsidass: 1994. [$22.50]
Comment: A great explanation of the origin of many Pancaratra doctrines, particularly self-surrender.

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Mani Varadarajan
Last modified: Wed Mar 3 17:39:55 PST