Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Dharma Dispatch Reading List to Kickstart Your 2019

An ongoing reading list categorized broadly by subject for any reader interested to derive a wholesome picture of various aspects of India right from the ancient times.

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At the outset, I extend my heartfelt new year wishes to all readers of The Dharma Dispatch. Let’s get down to business now.


What would the world be without books? Let’s put this another way. Countless studies done roughly since the beginning of this millennium invariably point to the same finding: the proverbial reading habit has plummeted woefully. Couple this with the millennial generation fed on and addicted to mind-numbing and creativity-killing gadgets, we might soon live in a world bereft of books. And so, for those who still care to read books (I am always partial to real, physical books), here is a selection of my recommendations categorized by subject.

I haven’t maintained any order or preference in making this list. Every single book mentioned in this list has come entirely from memory. Any lapses are mine.

Note: This list is an ongoing effort. It will be updated regularly. If you’re a subscriber of The Dharma Dispatch, you will receive a notification each time this list is updated.

Happy reading!


Indian History

The History and Culture of the Indian People (in 11 Volumes): Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan: General Editor: R.C. Majumdar

Chandragupta Maurya and his Times: Radhakumud Mookerji

The Gupta Empire: Radhakumud Mookerji

Rajatarangini: Kalhana

The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians: Eliot and Dawson

Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: Col. James Todd

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar, A Contribution to the History of India: Robert Sewell

Never to be Forgotten Empire: Suryanarain Row

Mackenzie Manuscripts: Edited by T.V. Mahalingam

History of Aurangzib (in 5 volumes): Jadunath Sarkar

A Short History of South India: K.A. Nilakantha Sastri

Imperial Gurjaras: K M Munshi

Sources of Karnataka History: S. Srikanta Sastry

Rise of the Maratha Power: Mahadev Govind Ranade

History of the Freedom Movement in India (in 3 Volumes): R.C. Majumdar

The Tragic Story of the Partition: H.V. Sheshadri

The Lost River: On The Trails of Saraswati: Michel Danino (suggested by Hari Ravikumar)

Indian Philosophy

A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy: Chandradhar Sharma

Outlines of Indian Philosophy: Mysore Hiriyanna

Essentials of Indian Philosophy: Mysore Hiriyanna

Vedanta or the Science of Reality: K.A. Krishnaswamy Iyer

History of Indian Philosophy (in 5 volumes): Surendranath Dasgupta

Be as you are: The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi: Published by Penguin

Indian Culture

The Cultural Heritage of India (in nine volumes): Ramakrishna Ashram

Foundations of Indian Culture (in two volumes): G.C. Pandey

The Fundamental Unity of India: Radhakumud Mookerji

India in Kalidasa: Bhagavat Saran Upadhyaya

The Arthashastra of Kautilya: R.P. Kangle

The Complete Works: Swami Vivekananda

Essays in National Idealism: Ananda K Coomaraswamy

Trade and Trade Routes in Ancient India: Motichandra

The World of Courtesans: Motichandra

Suvarnadvipa, Ancient Indian Colonies in the Far East: R C Majumdar

Rama and Ayodhya: Meenakshi Jain

Indian Arts and Literature

Ramayana: Valmiki

Mahabharata: Veda Vyasa

Meghadoota: Kalidasa

Kumarasambhava: Kalidasa

Raghuvamsha: Kalidasa

Kadambari: Banabhatta

Mudrarakshasa: Vishakhadatta

Madhuravijayam: Gangadevi

Mrucchakatika: Shudraka

Panchatantra: Vishnusharma

Niti Shataka and Vairagya Shataka: Bhartruhari

Natyashastra: Bharatamuni

Art Experience: Mysore Hiriyanna

Introduction to Indian Art: Ananda K Coomaraswamy

The Transformation of Nature in Art: Ananda K Coomaraswamy

The Hindu Temple (in two volumes): Stella Kramrisch

Indian Architecture (in two volumes): Percy Brown (suggested by Hari Ravikumar)

Indian Sculpture: Stella Kramrisch

Hindu Achievements in Exact Science: Benoy Kumar Sarkar (suggested by Hari Ravikumar)

The History of Sanskrit Poetics: Pandurang Vaman Kane

Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardhana: English translation by Dr. K Krishnamoorthy

On the Meaning of the Mahabharata: Vishnu Sitaram Sukhtankar

Spiritual Heritage of Thyagaraja: V. Raghavan

Nation, Society and Education

History of the Dharmashastras (in six volumes): Pandurang Vaman Kane

India: The Land of Kalpasutras: Ram Gopal

Manusmriti: Translated by Ganganath Jha (suggested by Hari Ravikumar)

Karpasa in Prehistoric India: A Chronological and Cultural Clue: K D Sethna

Legal and Constitutional History of India: Rama Jois

A Case for India: Will Durant

Nature of the Indian Society: Dharampal

India in the Eighteenth Century: Dharampal

Transition from an Indigenous to the Colonial System: Dharampal

A Beautiful Tree: Dharampal

Annam Bahukurvita: Dr. J.K. Bajaj and M.D. Srinivas

Hindu Polity: K P Jayaswal

Essentials of Hindutva: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

The Indian War of Independence, 1857: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

India’s Rebirth: Sri Aurobindo

Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist: Radha Kumud Mookerji

Travels in India (in two volumes): Jean Baptiste Tavernier

The Untouchables: Who Were They? And Why They Became Untouchables: B.R. Ambedkar

Who were the Shudras? B.R. Ambedkar

Warfare in Ancient India: Organizational & Operational Dimensions: Uma Prasad Thapliyal

Military History of India: Uma Prasad Thapliyal

Festivals, Sports and Pastimes of Ancient India: V. Raghavan

Islam and Muslim Rule in India

The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians: Eliot and Dawson

The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India: Sita Ram Goel

Jizyah and the Spread of Islam: Harsh Narain

Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam: Koenraad Elst

The Mughal Harem: K S Lal

Indian Muslims: Who are they: K S Lal

Theory and Practice of the Muslim State in India: K S Lal

The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India: K S Lal

Muslim Slave System in Medieval India: K S Lal

Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them (in two volumes): Sita Ram Goel

Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Upto 1206 A.D: Ram Gopal Misra

Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders: Sita Ram Goel

Jihad: The Islamic Doctrine of Permanent War: Suhas Majumdar

The Quranic Concept of War: Brig S K Malik

Masir-i-Alamgiri of Aurangzeb: Saqi Mustad Khan, translated by Jadunath Sarkar

The World of Fatwas: Arun Shourie

The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India: Sita Ram Goel

A Short History of Muslim Rule in India: Ishwari Prasad (suggested by Hari Ravikumar)

Understanding Islam through Hadis: Ram Swarup

Among the Believers: V S Naipaul

Beyond Belief: V S Naipaul

Thoughts on Pakistan: B.R. Ambedkar

Christianity in India

Harvesting our Souls: Arun Shourie

Missionaries in India: Arun Shourie

History of Hindu-Christian Encounters: Sita Ram Goel

Catholic Ashrams: Sanyasins or Swindlers? Sita Ram Goel

Hindu View of Christianity and Islam: Ram Swarup

Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible: Koenraad Elst

What Every Hindu Should Know about Christianity: Kalavai Venkat

The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple: Ishwar Sharan

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice: Christopher Hitchens

Contemporary Issues and Miscellaneous

The Calcutta Quran Petition: Compiled and edited by Sita Ram Goel

Genesis and Growth of Nehruism: Sita Ram Goel

How I became a Hindu: Sita Ram Goel

How I became a Hindu: David Frawley

Arise Arjuna: Hinduism Resurgent in a New Century: David Frawley

Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud: Arun Shourie

Courts and Their Judgments: Arun Shourie

Perversion of India’s Political Parlance: Sita Ram Goel

Freedom of Expression: Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy: Compiled and Edited by Sita Ram Goel

Decolonising the Hindu Mind: Koenraad Elst

The Saffron Swastika (in two volumes): Koenraad Elst

Hindu Society Under Siege: Sita Ram Goel

Hinduism and the Clash of Civilisations: David Frawley

Nationalism and Distortions in Indian History: N S Rajaram

NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds – Anti-Nation Industry: Radha Rajan and others

Breaking India: Aravindan Neelakandan and Rajiv Malhotra

What do you think of this list? If you wish to leave any suggestion or recommendation, please write me an email.

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Sandeep Balakrishna
Writer, author, and translator. Author of the bestselling "Tipu Sultan: The Tyrant of Mysore," "The Madurai Sultanate: A Concise History," and "Seventy Years of Secularism." English translator of Dr. S L Bhyrappa's blockbuster Kannada novel, "Aavarana".