I want to learn & study the Advaita Vedanta. So, which are the principle texts/scriptures of Advaita Vedanta? In other words which are the major text/scripture related to Advaita Vedanta.

I know that (Mukhya) Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita are the Prasthanatrayi of Vedanta and Adi Shankaracharya's commentries on them can be considered as the principle texts for Advaita. In addition to these I am looking for the important texts/scriptures that are related to Advaita Vedanta (e.g Vivekachudamani)

Note: Adi Shankaracharya was the founder/expounder of Advaita Vedanta, so I am specially looking for worthy texts/scriptures from Adi Shankaracharya that are related to Advaita (say core work or considered as very important for Advaita Vedanta). Though you can suggest others' texts also which are related to Advaita Vedanta.

Hence List the important texts/scriptures of (related to) Advaita Vedanta with a bit of description for each.

  • 2
    Advaita is not a separate philosophy but one which is propounded by the vedas. However, you may readtexts written by sages like Madhusudana Saraswati (who was a non-advaitin converted to advaita).
    – user1195
    May 11, 2016 at 13:28
  • 1
    Well Upanishads (Mandukya Upanishads), Brahma Sutras and Gita :)! However if you want something beyond these three, then you will get different recommendations from different users on this site! If you want an exhaustive list of all texts related to advaita, then I would suggest making an answer as a community wiki type so everyone can add their favorite advaita texts into it! Good q
    – Sai
    May 11, 2016 at 14:18
  • @moonstar2001 I've revised question
    – Pandya
    May 12, 2016 at 5:24
  • @Sai sanskritdocuments.org/sanskrit/by-category/…
    – Pandya
    May 13, 2016 at 3:31

5 Answers 5


One of the purest Advaitic texts is the Astavakra Samhita. This is the only book that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa kept in his room. Again, it is pure Advaita.

Another is the Pancadasi by Sri Vidyaranya Swami. He was the Sankaracharya of the Sringeri Math from 1377-1386. Considered one of the great commentators on Sankara and Advaita.

Another good Advaita text is the Vedantasara by Sadananda, 15th or 16th century if my memory serves me correctly.

Besides the Vivekachudamani you already mentioned, two other great works of Sankara are his Atmabodha and Saundarya-Lahari. Sankara had many minor works, two that are noteworthy include the Aparoksanubhuti and the Panchikaranam.

In modern times, Swami Vivekananda's work Jnana Yoga is an Advaita text, as well as numerous books of Ramana Maharishi's teachings. Anandamayi Ma's teachings contain Advaita teachings, but I don't remember a particular book about her as being a purely Advaita text per se.

Some modern good studies from an academic standpoint on Advaita include Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy by David Loy (a comparison of the non-dual philosophies of Adviata, Buddhism, Taoism, among others), Bhamati and Vivarana Schools of Advaita Vedanta: A Critical Approach by P.S. Roodurmun. Two books that have come to my recent attention are A Study of Advaita in Buddhism, Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism: The Advaita Tradition in Indian Philosophy by Chandradhar Sharma, and The Advaita Vedanta of Brahma-Siddhi by Surendranath Dasgupta.

The last book is a work on the Brahma-siddhi by Mandana Misra. He is one of the few advaita commentators prior to Shankara to have survived to the present day, the other being Gaudapada's Karika, Gaudapada's commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad.

  • Thanks for reply and good answer +1, Keep the list of Adi shankaracharya's worthy books at first in the answer
    – Pandya
    May 12, 2016 at 6:02
  • added a few more... May 12, 2016 at 6:20
  • btw, an interesting Advaita text, not Vedanta, but Greek, is The Six Enneads by Plotinus. May 12, 2016 at 13:50
  • Thanks. But I would prefer texts by Indian philosopher rather than western
    – Pandya
    May 12, 2016 at 13:54
  • 1
    @SwamiVishwananda Plotinus was a Neoplatonist. The Enneads are written from the perspective of Classical Theism, which maintains a strict separation between God and the world. Now there may some things in the Enneads that sound similar to Advaita, but I'm sure if you told him about Advaita he would vehemently disagree with it. Advaita is most similar to the philosophy of Parmenides, and Plotinus was a fierce critic of Parmenides. May 12, 2016 at 14:13

Apart from the works of Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada mentioned by Swami Vishwananda. I would like to say a few words. If you want to know about its philosophy like bird's view, there are many books available like The Great Equation, Enlightening Expositions: Philosophical Expositions of Sringeri Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal , Didactic Treatises: Essays penned by His Holiness Jagadguru Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal the 35th Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham and many. The complete list of Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada's works can be found here.

If you want to study deep into the technicality of Advaita Vedanta, first and foremost you must be well versed with Sanskrit (Ashtadhyayi etc). Second Vedanta Paribhasha is for a beginner as the name suggests, it gives introduction to the technicality of Advaita Vedanta. Usually traditional Advaita students consider it as a pre-requisite. The hindi lectures to Vedanta Paribhasha can be found here.

Sri Dakshinamoorty Stotram available in two volumes is a must book one must seriously read. It expounds the heart of Advaita very neatly. One of the famous Jivanmuktas of recent times Sri Ramana Maharshi's Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Tripura Rahasya are some of my favourites and both are excellent books.

Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati mahaswami of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham has written commentary on Viveka Choodamani which can be found here. Bhagavadgita and other texts with various Bhashyams can be found here. Bhagavadgita with Adi Sankaracharya's Bhashyam translated can be found here. Dr. Mani Dravid Sastrigal a learned and well demanded scholar in Advaita Vedanta, translation of parts of his lectures on Brahma Sutras is available at here, here and here which are equally intellectually appeasing and satisfying at the same time. Advaita Academy's Channel on Youtube is a wonderful resource which contains many lectures starting from basic Sanskrit to Prasthana Traya.

The list can go on, but I can say one thing, diving into the deep technicality of Vedanta gives you the real juice only if you can learn it under the guidance of a live teacher. Sringeri Sarada Peetham and Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham offer many works related to Advaita Vedanta. This Onedrive link contains some documents related to Advaita Vedanta. You can refer to the wiki page here for the list of gurus and works related to Advaita Vedanta.

  • Dear sir, Please update links of One Drive and Viveka Choodamani Bhasya of Kanchi Paramacharya . If possible provide PDF versions of Amazon Kindle books of Jagatguru Jan 11, 2021 at 13:16

I am surprised Ramana Maharshi's books were not mentioned here.
Ramana's "Who am I", "Forty verses on reality" and other books are the most concise and clear texts on Advaita.
Other books which Ramana himself recommended a lot are "Ribhu Gita" and "Yoga Vasishta"


In addition to the great list shared by @Student and @SwamiVishwananda, I would recommend Tattva Bodha by Adi Sankaracharya. It's more of a primer and introduction than an advanced text, but important nonetheless. IMHO, the Mandukya Upanishad with the accompanying Gaudapada Karika is the pinnacle of Advatic teaching.


Excellent answers have already been made. In the first part, I would suggest basic books for a reader. He may read any of these :

1)Journey from Many to One : Essentials of Advaita Vedanta by Swami Bhaskarananda

2)Introduction to Vedanta by Swami Dayananda 1

3)Vedanta for Beginners by Swami Sivananda 2

4)Basics of Vedanta by Rami Sivan 3

5)Introduction to Upanishads by Radhakrishnan 4

For an Advanced student of Vedanta I recommend the following Works :

1)The Method of Early Advaita Vedanta by Michael Comas : This is a unique work discussing the teachings of four of the great Advaita Acaryas : Gaudapada, Sankara, Suresvara and Padmapada. 5

2)Understanding Advaitha : It collects important notes for Advaitha. 6

3)Advaitha Vedanta A Bird Eye's View : It discusses Philosophy and basic Questions regarding Advaitha.7

4)Essence of Vedanta by Swami Sivananda 8

  • Ji I have two questions 1)What would you recommend a beginner sadhaka to Advaita read first, one of the books you mentioned above(introduction)/prasthanatrayi(with commentary by HH Adi Shankaracharya)/prakrana granthas? 2)Do you recommend learning Sanskrit side by side and reading scriptures in sanskrit only?Do english translations do justice to the material/do you recommend reading them in a language closer to devanagari script like hindi/marathi ??I would be really grateful if you could kindly advise me! Dec 13, 2022 at 17:49

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