Resource Library
Foundation Teachings

Our Resource Library provides materials for interest, inspiration and study in the wisdom of vedanta.

These Foundation Resources are for those who are earlier on in their exploratory journey and looking for preliminary spiritual insights into the spiritual context of vedanta.

Written pieces
The written pieces are transcribed extracts from talks Derek has given and other writings he  has done.

Audio recordings
The audio recordings are all from satsang sessions delivered by Derek in various locations over recent years. 

Vedanta texts
The traditional texts listed are the recommended works for this foundation level of exploration.

Also available are the Awakening Resources and Realisation Resources addressing deeper aspects of spiritual development.


Written Pieces

These short articles describe inspiring and illuminating aspects of the Vedanta teaching. They are for the seeker in you who is motivated to investigate the spiritual nature of yourself and this experience of life and world.

Vedanta -a timeless spiritual teaching

Vedanta is the stunning spiritual teaching originating in the Upanishads, the philosophical component of the Vedas, amongst the most ancient spiritual texts in the world. For 4000 years these thrilling insights have been developed by intelligent enquiring minds into what stands today as one of the principal pillars of spiritual wisdom that we have available, capable of reliably guiding enquiring minds on the exhilarating exploration of awakening and Self-realisation. This is a living and timeless vitality applicable here and now as much as it was in ancient India.

Vedanta is profound and continuously relevant like this because it is not a religion, dependent on cultural frameworks, but a direct investigation into the nature of reality itself, the nature of consciousness and your own existence. Who or what am I? What is this world? What is God? These are the principal questions Vedanta addresses. A fruitful place to start looking for answers is the mesmerising awe, wonder and power of nature.

Consider how majestic and striking this moment is. Whatever may be happening in the drama of daily life, the context within which it is occurring is breathtaking. You live in the Milky Way galaxy. All the lights you see in the sky at night are mostly stars within this one galaxy containing around 200 billion stars. It is vast. If you travelled at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, it would take you 100,000 years to cross. In the observable universe, that which can be detected by science, there are thought to be two trillion other galaxies. Beyond that, the far reaches of space are now proposed to continue without end and forever. This is infinity and is a fairly modern conclusion. Vedanta has declared infinity as the nature of existence for four thousand years. And then consider the properties of our own immediate experience: consciousness, mind, senses, intelligence, passion, love. This moment is extraordinary. The grandeur and power of our place within it is stunning.

Yet, here we are living a life of 100 years not knowing our origin or our destiny and facing all the instincts, desires, hopes, fears, successes and failures that the human condition brings. How to make sense of this? How to respond? Everyone is addressing this in their own way, doing their best, all according to their own individual karma. In some, a powerful urge arises to look deeply into the mystery, to seek meaning, to reach into the mystical and to come to know God. This we call the spiritual path. It has many routes and roads; it can be a confusing and eclectic marketplace. It is what has drawn many of us to churches, temples, ashrams, holy mountains, wilderness and the many spiritual and inspiring places in the world. It is what draws us to teachers and traditions and alternative pursuits of all types that look into the subtle, the mysterious, the magical and the mystical. All is valid, all is meaningful at different times in our personal evolution. Within this marketplace of possibilities exist a handful of very well-trodden and mature paths, steeped in experience and deep heritage of spiritual practice. Vedanta is such a path. Not something obscure, transient or ungrounded but a stable enquiry into the thrilling mystery of what this is, what I am, what I can become and the nature of reality. The result is a profound appreciation and alignment with what we come to call divinity. Dry philosophy or a confusion of ideas cannot capture this powerful feeling shining forth as the permeation and radiance of everything. Passion, clear vision and intelligent spiritual insight definitely can. Vedanta is a path for that.
Extract oracle article 0524

Why is there suffering?

Q: If all is one and everything is God, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?”
A: It is how nature is. Suffering is inherent in existence and it is the common experience of all. Pleasure and pain are one of the dynamics we experience in this world. Just as there is light and dark and beginning and end, so there is pleasure and pain. This has always been humanities’ experience and no one is exempt from it. It’s not a mistake, it’s inherent in nature. You ask why, as does everybody at times. We cannot answer the question conclusively in a way that would satisfy you, because we do not have the big picture. This is such an important point. For you and for all, life is an experience amidst the unknown. You want things to be a certain way, to conform to your values but why should they? Why should your values and expectations be the measure of the universe. The fabric of nature is vast, it is not an experience subject to your design. Across the whole of the cosmos from atoms to stars, birds and bees, mountains and human beings, the forces of creation, preservation and destruction are the web of nature. God is explained by some as those very forces. Instinctively you want to gravitate towards preservation but instability, pain, disease and death is a biological given at times, storm, volcano, hurricane and flood will happen at times and anxiety, doubt and fear move within human experience at times. You must adapt to it, not it to you. You could ask why isn’t nature configured differently so that it runs smoothly, without hazard? It’s because this isn’t heaven, or at least, not your conception of what heaven should be. If the nature of the cosmos does not fit with your vision of it, then who is at fault, the universe or you? The ignorant rail against these things, complain and become indignant about the unfairness of God. The wise accept it as the drama of the world, look to their own actions, respond as needed and move forward quickly. Suffering is a teacher and a motivator for change, it gives impetus to your life; it is a cause from which positive growth is an effect. This life is a place for living out your karma, and suffering is a component of that in certain moments. You don’t have to understand all its details.

Q: But some suffering just seems cruel and deeply unjust, it is hard to accept that is also part of the Beloved.
A: It is true that cruelty seems to be the character of some suffering and where you come across it either within others or in yourself, flood it with your kindness and compassion, your positive and loving thoughts, act spontaneously to aid and help. We are not passive, we are active, we can respond effectively and generously. But also know that suffering is a consequence of actions, even if the causes are unknown or inexplicable to you. Suffering points out the nature of things, that there is impermanence and unpredictability, that there is selfishness and restlessness in the human mind, that there is obstacle and hardship to endure and overcome. Seeing these things spurs you on to transcend selfishness in yourself, to adopt generosity of spirit and reach out towards greater and greater spiritual discovery.

Q: So, God is the pain, hardship, suffering then, as well as the pleasure, joy and beauty?
A: Ultimately yes but thinking that too literally will confuse you and is not the way to know it. Notice how strongly the motivation is in you to align with positive and loving forces. Those forces are stronger, more massive and more eternal than apparent suffering. The suffering is temporary, the eternal is not. Alignment with the light is the course to follow. The more you do that, the more you free yourself. Throughout human history people have characterised the problem of suffering as the battle between good and evil, or selfishness and selflessness, there is nothing new about it. You cannot change that in the world without but you can change it in yourself. The little mind of the person in you is not God, the Being in which that little mind moves, is. For the purposes of sadhana that is the way to understand it.
Extract Ashrama issue 23 ‘Devotion’

What is the Self?

The Self is the illuminating power of awareness, it is consciousness, that which for you illuminates and projects everything. It is this power which is the essence of your existence. And it is a rich and tantalising existence, a great theatre of stimulation and event. Your characteristics are the play of the moment, full of ideas, thoughts, habits, desires, memories of the past, your destiny, your heritage, your legacy. A dramatic and passionate package of thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are unique to you. This individuality of expression is present in everyone. The Self is the power of consciousness that is illuminating those things and is within those things and is enabling those things to be known. This isn’t a separate component it is the actual energy of existence. The things themselves are the objects of experience. The Self is the knowing of those experiences. Just like on this bright morning the sun shines on this empty chair beside me, illuminating the chair with light, so the Self, the light of awareness, shines upon your good side, your bad side, your ups and your downs and illuminates all the details and events of your life, not as light but as awareness and it is a pure awareness, an unstained awareness. These activities, your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings and your actions, have no bearing at all on the power of that illuminating grace, they don’t affect it, in just the same way that the slightly stained and torn covering on this chair, has no impact at all upon the Sun’s cascading light falling upon it. The sun doesn’t have an opinion about the state of the chair, it’s not responding differently, it just floods it with its illuminating power. Just so the illumination of awareness, the vitality of intelligence, the shining light of consciousness is enabling, fuelling all the component parts of your inner life to exist and to function. This itself is the purity and continuity of your existence. Without it you could not function or even be, it is your actual existence. I hope that is obvious to you.

This power, this wonderful light of Being, this grace of awareness, is unassailable. It’s deathless and indisputable, like the sunlight. The sunlight is never not there, even though it’s night time or even if you live in Iceland and you don’t see the sun for a few months. It’s there but something has come between the emanation of the light and the receiver of the light, some quirk of planetary orbit. But the sun is always shining on everything, including that planetary orbit. Awareness is like that, constant intimacy.

Let’s be direct about this and not philosophise. Your own immediate, obvious sense of existing, of being alive, irrespective of thought that itself is consciousness and that is Self. You don’t have to find this as something new. You already feel ‘I am, I exist’. It’s a natural feeling but, because we don’t really examine where that may have come from, these things aren’t seen, but that which is producing the feeling ‘I exist’ is consciousness. It’s familiar to you. It’s the very intimacy of Being. And don’t be confused by the different descriptive words, consciousness, awareness, Being, existence, they are all synonyms, they all point at one ineffable power. The events, experiences, thoughts, feelings, all the bits and pieces that go on in your life, do not impact upon that power, just like the rain is not interfering with the sunlight. This is enormous, this is sensational, this is divine and this is the Self. It’s pretty exciting, huh?Extract Glastonbury 170715

Should I be emptying my mind?

The meditative state empty of thought is a positive accomplishment but it is not the only thing to attain. Emptiness is stillness, calmness, absence of things. We’re not relying on that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that state, certainly not, the opposite is true, it’s vital, a beautiful nourishing and very important state to develop. But in addition to that positive void, we are promoting insight. This is not attained in emptiness but in the richness of intelligence and vision, in the active mind where you are studying the jnana, thinking about it, reflecting on it and seeing its meaning. Insight is a beautiful word, the sight within, implying a fresher, brighter and more capable knowing than just reactive thinking itself. If you’re lost in the routine mechanics of thought, the churn of voices, it’s tedious, tense, confusing and frustrating. This is of course the common state. The meditator seeks respite from all of that and wants to have stillness of mind. Meditation on emptiness for that reason alone is meaningful and beneficial. All very well but in Vedanta we do not stop at that objective. We seek transformative insight, we seek knowledge, we seek jnana, we seek wisdom.

It is ignorance of who you are and what this life experience is that is the very root of frustration, dissatisfaction and the sense of lack, which prompts spiritual practice in the first place. We seek insight to overcome the ignorance. Clear perceiving is its nature, knowledge is its nature, the irradiation of doubts is its nature. ‘Perceiving’ is a great word because it’s describing a blend between knowing and feeling, a blended state, a seeing-knowing is what I mean by perceiving. Insight is an upgrade for the mind because insight is that penetrating light that reveals the truth of your reality to you, the meditation is then the experience of that truth. So, you’re trying for two things, the quiet and the calm emptiness and the clarity of vision. They are companion states. That is what is being taught here. The intellectual perceiving is the power of knowing, the meditative shine is the feeling of that knowing, its informed flavour.

If you listen to the guidance I give for the Vichara meditation you will realise its message, that your reality is prior to the thoughts, prior to the body, prior to the events. That leads you into the position of stillness but my words ‘you are prior to’ are not only facilitating that stillness, they are revealing an intelligence as well. Not just a leading into the peace but a knowing of the nature of that peace and how it is what you actually are. This is the revelation of Vedanta and this is my experience. When I give you the guidance I am describing my experience as well as repeating the teaching of Vedanta. It’s the knowing itself which removes the barriers of the mind’s confusion, which have been at the very heart of the ignorance state, the limited state.

Your clarity is not then dependent on a meditative condition, it is present in every state. Prior to that attainment if you rely on the peaceful state for your sanctuary and refuge, when you come out then once again you experience the world and yourself in frustration and confusion, believing in the small identity of your mind and ignorant of your true nature. You may have taken refuge in emptiness but you have not developed the insight that frees your mind from its confinements. Ignorance is essentially the culprit that causes us to have the sense of separateness in life. Once you have made progress in insight and are beginning to see through that false identity, then the emptiness state itself grows in stature and meaning as the radiance of the real, rather than a temporary distraction from the unreal.
Extract Glastonbury 040316

What is the ultimate practice?

The seeker approached the teacher and said – “What is the ultimate spiritual practice that will change me? Please give it to me.”

The teacher replied. “To answer your question, you must understand what you mean by the term ‘spiritual’. Is it not pertaining to the spirit? So, you must first know what spirit is? You have heard so many contrasting viewpoints that your mind is uncertain and confused. We must remove the confusion. Spirit is the all-pervading essence underlying all things. It is the continuity of enduring beauty that radiates throughout all life; and that we call God. Your question then is how to get closer to God. To meet this impulse all kinds of spiritual practices have evolved and are available to you – puja, worship, ritual, prayer, initiation, yoga, pilgrimage, darshan and philosophy. All of these things are effective and meaningful in their own way and all of them are good. They purify the mind, open the scope of your intelligence and sooth the heart. But what is the ultimate spiritual practice, what is the triumphant practice amidst all of these options? That is your question. It is Being, not doing but Being. The problem is you have to know what that really means and then develop the capacity in you to assimilate that ability.

Spirit is pervading everything, God is pervading everything, every moment, every instant. Spirit is present in all things. God is present in all things, so the ultimate practice is not seeing spirituality as a special event, or doing a specific technique, but seeing the very fabric of this moment, as itself spiritual and then living that authentically in openness, creativity and freedom. This is Being.

In this life, there is a desire to answer four profound questions, “Who am I?”, “What is this world?”, “What is God?”, “What is my meaning?” This instinct to investigate those things has arisen in this life and is present in you. It deserves to have energy attached to it and to be pursued. It deserves to be encouraged and not resisted. So, the ultimate spiritual practice is not to avoid that instinct but to honour it, address it and plunge into its atmosphere of exploration as the ground and purpose of your life. Your means for doing so will draw from all of the ways available, the study, the techniques, the associations, investigation, dedication, awakening and change. You will purify your mind and uncloud your intellect through these holy methods. Then progressively the curtains will draw back and vision will become available to your mind. It is not something dramatic as if a spotlight has suddenly been turned on, it is a developing illumination showing you ever more subtle detail in the thrill of the moment, detail that was previously hidden. But hidden by what? By ignorance, by habit and by consuming actions. Each day is full of actions, duties, responsibilities, attractions, thoughts, feelings and events. It will always be like this. Most people become so distracted in this theatre of life that they become lost in a sea of actions and their consequences. Purposeful action is, of course important in the world, but all actions are passing. None of them endure. None of them have permanence of meaning. It is all event; all theatre. To engage in actions is the human condition, it is natural and is part of your destiny. But to be distracted by actions and fully absorbed in them is missing the point. There is another instinct moving in you, an instinct for God, allow its pulse, let it grow in stature, let it become big and follow it throughout your life. That following itself into the heart of Being is the ultimate practice.”

The seeker had listened carefully, was thoughtful for one minute and then responded “But my teacher that does not satisfy. Give me an immediate spiritual practice. That I can do now, that can change me now.”

The teacher replied, “I cannot improve on what I have already said to you. It is the wisdom of the realised. Just move your life in that direction with persistence and devote to it patiently. It is a whole-life project, not a short-term event. The ultimate practice is not a short-term event or a particular thing, it is the long-term dedication, you could call it a sacrifice.

A spiritual life is a deconstruction of all those issues and resistances which you have brought from the past. By all means take your immediate actions, that is sensible, pursue your puja, your ritual, your prayer, your pilgrimage, your darshan your meditation and your yoga, all of those things are the spiritual tapestry. But I say to you, that over and above this the entirety of your day, every single moment of relationship, work, movement and encounter is itself the living spirit. Coming to see that is the ultimate practice. So live authentically, respond to everything that arises, give nourishment to your intelligence, and pursue your enquiry on and on in these days. Make this the framework of your life. That is my answer to your question. If you need me to put that more plainly in a simple form of words, then I say this – point yourself toward the heart of Being and just keep going, on and on, just keep going.”
Extract Community satsang 280310

The divine breathes in you

You’re here this morning because the divine breathes in you. You’re here this morning because the divine hears in you. You’re here this morning because the divine moves and shapes in you. You’re here this morning because the divine touches and acts in you. And you’re here this morning to see through and resolve that which thinks in you. For it is that which thinks in you, which confuses and suppresses the divine, which breaths in you due to one principle obstacle, ignorance.

This is the default human condition; we do not know our reality and we have to do spiritual enquiry to find out. When the practitioners engage in spiritual life, they want refinement, they want to know the presence of God. The practitioners then try to discover the divine within the terms of the mind’s expectations, seeking for it as an object. This is bound to fail. The divine is not something to find as a thought, or an idea, or something to have and something to get. It cannot be found that way. It cannot be had that way, for it is not something to have. The divine is something to ‘be’, not something to ‘have’. That which thinks in you does not understand that. That which thinks in you is stubborn and self-important, unknowingly expressing its own arrogance to assert all its memories, habits, desires, to defend its way of seeing the world. That activity is noise, concealing the face of that which breathes in you. Sadhana is overcoming those tendencies of that which thinks in you.

How mysterious it is that all our value is placed on our assumptions and thoughts. How assertive that which thinks in you becomes, how proud, how needy, how desirous. That which thinks in you goes round and round and round in circles, seeking satisfaction on its terms. This approach to seeking satisfaction for that which thinks in you does not easily end. It persists, with new angles, new facts, new hopes until the teacher or some mysterious intuition within, points at the breakthrough, bringing about the capacity for subtlety.

That which breathes in you is of a different order, it is subtle, it is gentle, it is empty of noise. You have become accustomed to that which is not subtle, not gentle and not silent. Yet all the time, that which is subtle lives in you, as the divine breathing in you. This is the discovery of spiritual awakening. I can understand the divine in my thoughts but I cannot know the divine in that way. To know the divine, to feel and experience that radiance, I must ‘be’ the divine and not stand as a looker from the outside. This reveals a key truth that that which we call the divine comes from inside, not an external power but an internal revealing of the subtle radiance of Being.

‘I am that which I seek’. This fantastic sentence is absolutely true. Unravelling its meaning and allowing it to become solidly real, is Vedanta sadhana. You are motivated to pursue this sadhana as an invitation, we may call it a grace where that which breathes in you, attracts that which thinks in you. Even though there may seem to be a struggle between the two, for recognition it is not actually two sided. It’s only that which thinks in you which is struggling. That which lives in you, that which breathes in you, that which loves in you, that which is the creative beauty in you and the art of pure expression, that which is the joy in you, has nothing to gain or nothing to prove. It is calm, assured and patient, content to be real, faithful to itself and patient, awaiting its invitation to rise up and express through your senses.

That which thinks in you is a veil over this divinity. The veil can be thick but never mind, for in the company of the wise, we know what the properties of this amazing life are in terms of spiritual evolution and we know what sadhana is. We know that, for you, this whole life is for that purpose and the intelligence and potent heritage of Vedanta stands ready to assist and respond to that divinity which calls in you. In those times, when that which thinks in you is so loud and prominent, when the habits are so strong and repetitive that you lose your way, your ground, your perspective and your vision, the single most important tactic is to retain vigilance. Keep true to your conviction, be aware of what is happening and stay faithful and strong. Otherwise, that which thinks in you will win and what will its prize be? Why the continuation of itself, the ongoing propagation of ignorance and the web of distractions that make up all the dissatisfaction and noise. All through that, that truth which breathes in you, that which hears in you, that which touches and acts in you, waits unnoticed.

The divinity within you is real, sadhana is a true and reliable means to uncover its presence. You know in your heart, perhaps not in your mind but in your heart, that this life you are having is for that. We’re here together as a community of spiritual explorers, teacher and student, for that reason and that purpose. We will continue to be here for that.

Extract Godney 151213


How do I dive deeper into myself?

Whenever you dive, you dive into something, usually water but it’s a substance, you need to define your substance before you can dive. So, for diving deep into spiritual experience let’s identify the substance and give that substance some names. Let’s start off with a simple word – peace. Let’s call it that for a minute. You feel some peace, it’s pleasant, you desire more of the peace; in other words, to dive deeper into it. “How do you do that?” is your question. The profound answer is this, you lose the relationship of watching it and examining it.

What is that that is wanting to dive deep? It’s something that’s watching, something that’s hungry for the peace. Something that wants to travel into the peace and have a journey to satisfy itself. That something prevents the peace from deepening. To travel into it means that you are something different from the peace itself, something swimming into an ocean of peace, like a surfer on a board surfing the wave. The whole ocean is not discernible for the surfer who is on the surf-board, only the wave is. To dive deep into the ocean you must jump off the board and swim. To dive deep into the peace you must lose the person who is looking for it and wanting to have it, you must instead make space for it to rise unimpeded and replace the one looking for it. That’s the profound answer.

A more straightforward answer is, “allow it”. The word “allowing” is really powerful, it’s the methodology of how you go deep. Think on the word “allowing”. It’s a very important word, “to allow”. There’s a sense of giving up in allowing, a cessation of something. Commonly, the condition is that when we want something, we want to see it, have it, get it, touch it, possess it, manage it, investigate it. So, there’s two, the substance itself and the one looking for the substance, the investigator and the thing we want to investigate. Can you see how this prevents immersion in depth? Allowing is a very subtle and beautiful word that describes something else which isn’t the act of getting at all, it’s the act of surrendering into that allowing.

The other thing to recognise is “softness.” Unintentionally you may be looking for strong effects, or something big. There may be big effects but I promise you that the discovery is not in a big effect. The discovery is in the sweetening of that which is quite ordinary and already there. So, the peace sweetens. It doesn’t flash with lights colours and visions, it sweetens. In that sweetening and that allowing is the nature of my first answer to you, “delete that which is looking at it” that’s how you go deep. It is subtle and it has a softness, a gentleness to it and the word “allowing” really does articulate that.
Extract Ash Hay satsang 080215

Audio Recordings from public events 

Studying Vedanta

What a stimulating thrill it is to undertake and pursue the sadhana of spiritual awakening and Self-realisation through Vedanta. In so doing you are participating in a 5000 year old spiritual heritage. This influence can be felt in the authenticity of the teachings, the inspiration you feel from them and the practice you now undertake.

How to practice the sadhana of Vedanta

One of the great understandings in Vedanta is the method of practice. First you hear the teachings, secondly you ponder upon them, thirdly you meditate and see their truth reflected in your world experience.

I have followed this method myself and have observed it underway in others. I can attest that it is effective but that effectiveness doesn’t start from nowhere. Vedanta assumes there is a certain receptivity in the mind and heart already in place, a capacity to be calm, open and concentrated. This comes about through overcoming the otherwise competing tendencies of selfish desire, attachments, instability and distracting noise in the mind. This refinement is addressed through preliminary sadhanas such as yoga, meditation and similar pursuits, so that a reasonable maturity and inner balance is established.

I have my own additional contribution to make in defining sadhana, which I call 2 tracks. This specifies two complimentary methods to put in place side by side. The first track is karma by which I mean all of the active spiritual practices that are available to us such as, chanting, rituals, service to others, meditation, devotion, prayer, good actions, positive living etc. The second track is jnana. This is the active investigation of the reality, using the mind’s own intelligence to discriminate into the real. It is this knowledge which is the conquering factor. It is this in combination with refining the mind through the karma practices that transforms experience.

Levels of Practice
Vedantarama organises its teaching resources and outputs into 3 progressive sections:

Introductory and Foundation
These respond to your curiosity, provide accessible food for the questing heart and offer an opportunity to explore the spiritual meaning of life in the foothills of Vedanta.

Spiritual Awakening
This is focused material elucidating the principal insights and observations that bring alive the spiritual nature of life, answer questions such as what am I, what is this world and what is divinity.

These are for more experienced people who have completed their phase of exploration, have some established spiritual security and now wish to commit to a dedicated mature sadhana into the nature of their own experience of reality.

These are in addition to the three and are the highest most advanced teachings. Seemingly simple, they convey Advaita alone and are for those with already realised insight who now wish for confirmation of their vision and support for the most subtle, final doubts. These teachings are not on the website.

Traditional Vedanta Texts 
Alongside Vedantarama’s own resources, satsang and the opportunity to engage with the teacher, there are a wide range of materials in the heritage of Vedanta for stimulating and guiding personal study. In the authentic world-wide tradition these are identified as:

The Prasthana Trayi ( The 3 foundations)
The three works that constitute the foundation texts of Vedanta.

1. The Upanishads – The original source of Vedanta and its ground 1500 BCE.

2. The Bhagavad Gita – A rich narrative telling a profound story of suffering and realisation 500 BCE.

3. The Brahma Sutras – A collection of philosophical works debating detailed points on reality 200 BCE.

Prakarana Grantha (The written texts)
These are the varied works and commentaries that lay out the Vedanta philosophy and its spiritual guidance in organised and detailed ways. They are necessary for understanding the original texts and their profound but sometimes obscure content. There are many of these texts and around a dozen which are prominent and popular.

What to read
Each of the pages in this resource library gives specific advice on what to read at each level of practice.
The Upanishads are stunning, mighty in their status and magnificent in their impact. They are however eclectic, unorganised, repetitive and even contradictory in parts. Put all that aside, plunge into their character and symbolism and be inspired by their soaring mysticism.
The Bhagavad Gita is a beautiful narrative, coherent, easy to read, understandable and applicable to life. It is a world renowned text for living a spiritual life. It is God centred, featuring karma, love, service, devotion, raja and jnana. A text to lift your heart, support your mind and stimulate spiritual living.
The Brahma Sutras are deep philosophical works, very intellectual and academic in nature. They are for focused and persistent scholarly study and need not be part of most people’s sadhana.

Anyone can read any of these texts  at any time but there are questions of relevance to take into account. To make real progress in jnana I have made recommendations on each page of the texts to study. Most texts are available both online through a simple search, as well as in book form. In this way the seeker  can progress in the assimilation of Vedanta from the introductory to the advanced.

Beginners Practice Book

For those who are stepping out on this path of discovery Sphurana a book written by Derek is available.

Reading list for further study

Working with the Vedanta texts

The following are recommendations for reading at the Foundation level.

Atma Bodha: (Self-knowledge)
67 verses which lay out the primary knowledge of Vedanta. The version by Swami Nikhilananda is an accessible translation and is recommended because it has a long and excellent introduction which outlines the entire Vedanta philosophy in plain English.

Upadesa Saram: One of Sri Ramana Maharishi’s primary texts. This version is my own simple translation. A series of 10 audio recordings on the detail of this text is available to members.

The Bhagavad Gita: The version by Easwaran is best as an introduction for its poetic and simple language, an easy and beautiful read.

The Upanishads: The version by Easwaran is very good for introduction and foundation. The specific upanishads to be studied first are:

Kena – The innermost Self. Who makes my mind think? The Self is ear of the ear, the eye of the eye.
Mundaka – The Self is deathless and imperishable. Two golden birds.  An arrow of devotion to the heart.
Isa – God as the Lord of love is present in all.

Further teachings

Advaita Vedanta  for members

Vedantarama offers two organised and progressive, specific programmes of jnana sadhana to its members:

  • Vedanta Prakriya – These 12 teachings are for spiritual awakening.
  • Advaita Prakriya – These 12 teachings are the higher advanced insights of Self-Realisation.

Members’ Community : Membership of Vedantarama is available. A place of belonging for like-minded people. Here the Vedanta teachings can be undertaken in full measure within everyday life, in what Derek calls the new monastic

Advaita Vedanta

Advaita Vedanta