Are you going through a moment in life in which you’re questioning everything and you’re looking for the best spiritual books to help you make sense of things? Does the day-to-day busyness of life seem pointless, like we’re ants scurrying around blissfully unaware of the bigger picture? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve set out (knowingly or unknowingly) on a spiritual journey. It’s a daunting place to be because you’re desperate to find something more, but you’re also not entirely sure if that ‘something’ exists.
So, to help you on your way, we’ve pulled together a list of the eight best spiritual books for spiritual awakening. We love every single one of them and promise they will help you better understand why you exist and what you’re meant to be doing in this crazy world we live in.
The best spiritual books
The Bhagavad Gita – Translated by Eknath Easwaran
We’re kicking off this list of the best spiritual books of all time with the ultimate guide to spiritual wisdom: The Bhagavad Gita. This classic book is actually a 700-verse Hindu scripture taken from a much longer epic called the Mahabharata. But don’t be put off by its religious background. The Gita has a powerful message that has nothing to do with religion and EVERYTHING to do with being a better version of yourself.
The book is a conversation between Krishna (the human form of God) and a warrior called Arjuna. It takes place just as Arjuna is about to be pulled into a battle with his not-so-nice cousins and he is torn about what to do. Should he fight the noble fight and kill his family in doing so, or should he lay down and be killed? In tackling this dilemma, Krishna gives Arjuna ultimate answers on how to win the only battle that matters – the one within you. And he does so by outlining everything anyone needs to know about life, death, work and the nature of the soul.
In short, the Bhagavad Gita is a guide on how to do what is right and find your way in life.
While many translations of this classic tale exist (it was originally written in Sanskrit), we’ve chosen the Ekhath Easwaran translation as it’s really easy to understand.
Paths to God by Ram Dass
Next on the list is an amazing book that tells you how you can get the most joy, peace and fulfillment from your life. What we really love about the book is how Ram Dass takes a very heavy topic and lightens it with lots of great anecdotes from his life. He also has a way with words and is able to (respectfully) poke fun at some of the wild and unrelatable tales that often feature in texts written many generations ago – making it clear that the spiritual journey doesn’t have to be heavy-going. It makes a lot of references to the Gita, so it’s worth reading the Gita first to get the most from this book. But trust us when we say that it’s worth reading both books. You’ll get SO much more from the Gita’s powerful message if you use Paths to God as a guide.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Outlining the tale of a young boy, from the hills of Andalusia, who ignores the advice of his father and leaves home to quite literally follow his dream of finding treasure in a foreign land, The Alchemist is a classic tale of self-discovery and figuring out your purpose in life. If you’re in this headspace right now, you’re likely to resonate with the plight of Santiago (the ‘young boy’) and his journey of self-discovery. The Alchemist is an easy read that isn’t particularly subtle in delivering its message, but it’s a pretty powerful message. Read it if you want a reminder about the importance of following your intuition, paying attention to the signs life gives you to let you know you’re on the right path, and fearlessly following your dreams.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
If we’re honest with you, the story of Siddhartha will probably remind you of The Alchemist – a lot. But unlike The Alchemist, which is a light parable that describes the journey of self-discovery in metaphors, Siddharta is more literal in its exploration of spiritual awakening. The novel charts the life of a young boy named Siddhartha and his lifelong search for enlightenment. And it’s a very relatable read in which Siddhartha faces dilemmas you have or will face during your own journey. It’s worth clearing up one point of confusion now: while the main character has the same name and life goal as the Buddha (who was known as Siddhartha Gautama before he reached enlightenment), he isn’t meant to be the Buddha. But we suspect Hesse chose to do this to make it clear that the journey of the Buddha is one that repeats itself throughout time and that we all go through in our own way when the time is right.
Why is God Laughing by Deepak Chopra
This easy-going novel is a modern-day take on spiritual awakening or enlightenment. It follows the story of an LA-based comic, Mickey Fellows, whose life is turned upside down when his father dies. Unlike the traditional hero in books about spiritual awakening, Mickey doesn’t seek out the meaning of life, it finds him in an unusual way and transforms life as he knows it. This is a book that’s all about shaking off fear to discover limitless opportunities in life.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements is often named as one of the best spiritual books of all time because it delivers a powerful message in a simple and easy-to-remember way. As the title suggests, this bestseller outlines four simple rules to live by. And Don Miguel Ruiz promises that if you apply these four rules to your daily life, you’ll eliminate unnecessary stress and suffering. We won’t spoil your experience by listing the four agreements here, but we will say that this is one book that will blow your mind. It’s a pretty quick read, but don’t rush it. Take the time to digest each agreement and reflect on how much of the drama, upset and misery in your life stems from not following these rules (spoiler: all of it comes from these rules). Once you truly appreciate that following these four agreements can transform any problem in your life, you’ll be itching to get started.
The Power of Acceptance by Annemarie Postma
It’s often said that control is an illusion that keeps you from realising your true potential and discovering the path you’re meant to walk in this life. This book explains why. The Power of Acceptance is a classic self-help type of book in that it delivers its message by outlining the stories of others, and sharing classic wisdom and the author’s interpretation of that wisdom. The one thing you’ll get from this book that you’ll struggle to find in others is a step-by-step guide to surrendering more in life. The idea is that when you stop fighting reality and make peace with your life as it is, you’ll find a sense of freedom and the answers you’re looking for.
The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer
What we love about this book is that it recognises that talk is cheap. We all know we should trust the universe and follow our intuition, but the reality is that it’s easier said than done. The Surrender Experiment addresses this by walking you through the story of what happened when one man did just that. As a piece of nonfiction, that man is the book’s author, Michael A. Singer, who outlines how one day he made the decision to live alone in the middle of the woods. It’s a decision that takes him on a remarkable journey that leads to the creation of a billion-dollar company and also getting into big trouble with the FBI. We won’t spoil the story for you, by telling you how it all ends, but we will say this is one book that will make you question how you’re currently living your life and if it’s time to try doing things differently.
So, those are the eight best spiritual books according to us. What do you think? Do you agree or did we miss an amazing read from the list? Let us know in the comments below.