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Mystic Tradition: Poetry and Philosophy


Bulleh Shah
Price: $15.00

A mystic in the Sufi tradition who lived in eighteenth century Punjab, Bulleh Shah was said to be a descendent of the prophet Muhammad and was therefore considered a member of the highest level of society. Bulleh Shah’s poems reveal his unquenchable love for his spiritual Master, Inayat Shah, who was a simple gardener. In his poems, Bulleh Shah uses the allegory of the romance of Heer and Ranja to symbolize the relationship of the Master and disciple, the Lord and the soul. Bulleh Shah was estranged from his Master for a certain period because of his arrogant behaviour, and the poems he wrote during that period convey his intense longing for the company of his Master. Bulleh Shah’s life and his poetry demonstrate the importance of pure love on the spiritual path, the futility of traditional religion and rituals, and the irrelevance of caste, class, and other man made divisions.
Dadu - The Compassionate Mystic
Price: $10.00

Dadu, a sixteenth century mystic who lived in Rajasthan during the reign of Akbar, the Mughal emperor, was a cotton carder by profession and Muslim by birth. He was called dayal, "the compassionate one", because he showed love and compassion to everyone, even to those who abused him. His poetry teaches that the human body is the door to salvation but that ego stands in the way of God realization; that our mind can be controlled through meditation; and that only from a perfect Guru can we learn the secret of this inner meditation practice. Through translations of more than 25 lengthy poems, the reader sees Dadu's use of strong images to contrast our over-involvement in the world with the fact that death is fast approaching and only the Lord's love will sustain us.
Dariya Sahib - Saint of Bihar
Price: $14.00

Dariya Sahib lived in Bihar, India, from 1674 to 1780 and was a tailor by profession. He left behind a large collection of spiritual writings, which clearly show that he was a saint of the highest order. Dariya, who was harassed by the priestly class throughout his life, speaks forcefully about the human condition, the uselessness of religious rites and rituals, the need for a living Master, the importance of true satsang, and love and devotion to Nam. Direct and powerful, his poetry is perhaps best known for its lyrical descriptions of the inner spiritual journey and the effect of spiritual experiences on the disciple. The book contains many poems which have not appeared in English previously.
Guru Nanak - His Mystic Teachings
Price: $14.00

Guru Nanak, a mystic saint of fifteenth century Punjab, India, was first in the line of the ten Gurus upon whose teachings the Sikh religion was founded. Nanak's poetry boldly declares the oneness and greatness of God, the futility of idol worship and rituals, the importance of devotion to the living Master, and union with the inner sound and light of the Shabd.  The book stresses the mystic content of Nanak's teachings: that Nambhakti (devotion to Name or Shabd) and Gurubhakti (devotion to Guru) are both necessary to travel the spiritual path to union with God. Nanak's hymns communicate the noble beauty and divinity attainable by all humanity, with the Guru's grace and guidance. Drawing from over 100 of Guru Nanak's poems, the book also includes a thorough discussion of the relationship of mysticism and ethics.
Guru Ravidas
Price: $10.00

Ravidas was a contemporary of Kabir in the fifteenth century, and was also from Banares. Ravidas criticized the ritualistic forms of worship practised in both Hinduism and Islam. He stressed the transience of life and the imminence of death, and the importance of true devotion to God by listening to the Name or Sound within, under the guidance of a Master. His poems are marked by bold, down to earth language and are infused with his true humility, love for God, and the pain of separation that he experienced. Over 25 poems that are included in this volume cover the basic mystic principles of Sant Mat, such as the necessity of a living Master, devotion to the Name, vegetarianism, and the law of karma.
Kabir - The Great Mystic
Price: $13.00

The life and teachings of this outspoken mystic of fifteenth-century India is discussed in relation to the teachings of Christ, the Radha Soami line of Masters, and other mystics of Persia and India. The spiritual content of many popular myths and miracle stories concerning Kabir, which are commonly circulated in India, are also revealed. The end of the book contains a separate section consisting of inspirational renderings of 60 of Kabir's poems.
Kabir - The Weaver of God's Name
Price: $19.00

This book is an exhaustive treatment of Kabir, the well-known fifteenth-century saint who lived in Banares, India, and was a weaver. Kabir boldly denounced the orthodox Hindu and Muslim ritual practices of his day, and consequently experienced harassment by the priestly classes. The poems have a sharp poignancy and directness and speak eloquently of the need for true inner worship of God through meditation on the Name, rather than by going to temples and performing rituals. Kabir stressed the necessity and benefit of the living Guru, the importance of conquering the mind and its perversions, and other fundamental mystic principles. Almost 200 poems and 64 groups of couplets are included in this volume.
Many Voices, One Song
Price: $11.00

Many Voices, One Song: the Poet Mystics of Maharashtra opens a window onto the lives and teachings of some of the many mystics who lived in Maharashtra, India, between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries and taught the universal path of inner devotion. The abundance of mystic poetry that emerged in those centuries reflects not only the humility and profound spiritual understanding of the mystics but also the receptive minds and hearts of the people of their time – their commitment to seek beyond the hardships of daily living, their courage to choose an unconventional way beyond the ritual practices of the day, their passion to know a deeper and higher reality.
Mira - The Divine Lover
Price: $10.00

India's most famous woman saint, Mira Bai was a princess in the sixteenth-century Rajput kingdom of Mewar, yet her Guru was Ravidas, a humble cobbler. Despite disapproval and persecution by the royal court, she continued with her devotion to him, ultimately attaining mystic union. She expressed her great longing and anguish in separation from her Beloved in hymns distinguished by their lyricism and emotional intensity. Mira's songs are still sung today throughout India.
Sant Charan Das
Price: $13.00

In the eighteenth century – a time in Delhi and throughout India that was marked by political turmoil and religious persecution – Sant Charandas explained in simple words the age-old principles of spirituality. His teachings emphasize the simple path of devotion, that the light of the Supreme Being is within everyone, and that the way to contact the Lord is also within. This book consists of a summary of the life and teachings of Sant Charandas, followed by a selection of his poetry. Translated for the first time in English from Hindi source material, the poetry is accompanied by Hindi transliteration for readers who are conversant in Hindi.


Sant Namdev
Price: $9.00

One of the earliest saints in the bhakti (devotion) tradition whose writings are available to us, Namdev lived in thirteenth century Maharashtra and was a tailor and calico printer. In his early life, Namdev observed Hindu rituals assiduously and worshipped idols, but eventually he met his Master, who taught him that the true worship must be practiced within oneself. Namdev taught the importance of meditation on Shabd and the uselessness of all rituals and pilgrimages. This volume presents a short section on his life and teachings, as well as translations of over 90 poems that sing of the grace of the Master and the bliss of dying while living. "While still living, I have learned to die, I have no fear now of death."
Sant Paltu
Price: $9.00

A spiritual master and teacher, Paltu was a grocer of northern India who lived from 1710 to 1780. This volume gives an account of Paltu's life and teachings, along with the translation of approximately 150 of his poems. He taught the universal mystic path of love, meditation on the inner Name, and devotion to the living spiritual Master. He was critical of orthodox religious practices and rituals, and for this he was ultimately burnt alive by the religious authorities. His eloquent poetry freely uses images drawn from his daily life and work, creating often paradoxical, beautifully crafted, and powerful works.
Sarmad
Price: $11.00

Sarmad, a seventeenth century Jewish saint, was born in Persia and travelled to India as a trader, ultimately finding spiritual realization. Sarmad taught that God cannot be confined to any particular religion. His poems express the ecstasy and bliss of union with the Lord through direct personal spiritual experience. His outspoken style and the boldness of his teachings led to his execution by the orthodoxy. The book contains an analysis of Sarmad's teachings, a sketch of his life, and a collection of his poetry exploring the commonalities with mystic teachings worldwide as found in Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, and other religions.
Shams-e Tabrizi
Price: $12.00

This new English translation from the original Persian text contains more than 500 passages from the recorded discourses of Shams-e Tabrizi's teachings as given to his chief disciple, Jalal al-Din Rumi. We get glimpses of Shams, Rumi's spiritual master, as he transformed Rumi into a God-intoxicated, God-realized human being. The context of Islam and the Sufi expression of inner devotion are underscoredin the Foreword. Brief commentaries on the prose give readers a sense of the many meanings contained in Shams' words as captured by his disciples, probably even including Rumi himself, nearly 800 years ago.
Sheikh Farid
Price: $11.00

Baba Farid (1173-1265) was the first well-known Sufi saint to have composed in the Punjabi language, and occupies a special place in the great worldwide Sufi tradition. This book deals with his life and teachings, which correspond to the teachings of the mystics of all other traditions.
Sultan Bahu
Price: $12.00

A Sufi mystic and contemporary of Bulleh Shah, Sultan Bahu lived during the seventeenth century and became one of the best loved Sufi Saints of northern India. Sultan Bahu wrote his major poetic works in the Punjabi language using the quatrain form (abiyat). His poetry, which has the flavour of Persian mystic poetry, dwells on spiritual realization, love for the Master (murshid), and denunciation of orthodox religion with its empty rituals and external observances. The book presents 200 poems in English translation, with the transliteration of the original Punjabi on the facing page.  The poetry section is preceded by a thorough account of Bahu's life and teaching.
The Teachings of Goswami Tulsidas
Price: $14.00

Goswami Tulsidas was an eminent Saint, poet and devotee whose famous work, the Ram-Charit-Manas, is considered one of the most distinguished works of Indian literature. In the sixteenth century, Tulsidas wrote in Hindi rather than Sanskrit and made accessible the same message of truth, devotion and God realization that all true saints convey. The Teachings of Goswami Tulsidas an enriched version of the original Hindi title Nam Bhakti: Goswami Tulsidas first published by RSSB in 1989, presents his life and teachings followed by poetry selections from several of his works.

Tukaram - The Ceaseless Song of Devotion
Price: $10.00

Tukaram is one of the most popular poet-saints of Maharashtra, India.  Born in Poona (Pune) in 1598 into a family of farmers and merchants, he endured a hard life, which included the deaths of all his family members from famine.   As he was spiritually inclined from childhood, this personal tragedy acted as a catalyst for his increased meditation and ultimate God-realization. In his poetry he speaks of being "drunk in the celestial melody" revealed to him through the grace of his Master. Of his own teaching he said, "I come to illumine the way to God and to distinguish the true from the false." This volume contains 94 of Tukaram's poems introduced by a short biographical sketch.
Tulsi Sahib - Saint of Hathras
Price: $7.00 CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK

Heir to the throne of Poona (Pune), Tulsi Sahib (1763-1843) renounced his royal heritage to seek mystic reality, moving to Hathras in northern India where he attracted a devoted following. This short monograph presents Tulsi's biography, followed by 49 melodic poems, and elaborates particularly on his relationship with Soami Ji of Agra. In his most well known composition, the Ghat Ramayan, which consists of his dialogues with orthodox Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs, he stresses the necessity of inner spiritual practice and the uselessness of pilgrimages and other external religious observances. In Ratan Sagar, he discusses the mystery of creation, karma, death, and the glory and importance of the perfect living Master.