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Om swastiastu.

I'm an ex-muslim who has been agnostic for about 10 years. I live in Indonesia (not in Bali though). I’ve read Bhagavad Gita (translated by Eknath Easwaran) and the Katha Upanishad (translated and explained by the same author). I love the philosophy in Hinduism. I started mantram meditation too.

I don’t believe in superstition, and I’ve always thought that devas and such are analogies and metaphors used by the sages(?) to get their message across to other people. And that’s one of the reason I love Hinduism, so many things are abstract. It doesn’t shove up “rigid” doctrines into you. Just wisdoms and philosophy to guide you to a better life (and death)

I’ve been a monist, I believe that everyone and everything comes from a single entity. But I can accept the duality in Hinduism too. So I welcomed the concept of Atman.

There are sooo many things I still understand about Hinduism though. Does anyone know any resource (preferably in English, or Indonesian) that I can read?

TL;DR: What are some resources (preferably in English or Indonesian) to learn about philosophy and practices of Hinduism for a beginner with a monist inclination. I can accept duality too.

marked as duplicate by Bhargav Rao, The Destroyer Jan 28 '18 at 9:31

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As you have been a monist (or a non-dualist), Advaita (non-dualism) Vedanta philosophy school is best suitable for you. Advaita Vedanta is one of the six orthodox philosophical schools of Hindus. It is the most sophisticated branch of Hindu philosophy and the most popular one around the world among intellectuals. The reason behind its popularity is its unique approach. It never tells you to have faith! Instead, it tells you to follow your logic! That is the most exciting part. Vedanta means the end part of the Vedas or the conclusion of the Vedas. The core teachings of the Vedas are explained in Advaita Vedanta. That is why it is also known as the heart of Hinduism.

List of books:

  1. Advaita Vedanta: a philosophical reconstruction by Eliot Deutsch. He was the professor emeritus in the University of Hawaii on Indian Philosophy. If you want to read just one book, read this. Advaita Vedanta: a philosophical reconstruction

  2. The essence of Advaita Vedanta by Brian Hodgkinson. It is more detailed and explains lots of Indian philosophical concepts in a traditional Indian way and also from western philosophers perspectives (mainly Plato, Kant and Wittgenstein). It is one of the most brilliant and unique expositions on Advaita Vedanta. The essence of Vedanta: the ancient wisdom of Indian Philosophy

  3. Introduction to Vedanta by Swami Dayananda. It is a beautiful introduction to the subject. It shows us how this ancient knowledge is relevant for our inner well being in this modern world. Introduction to Vedanta

One of the best translation and commentary on all principal Upanishads is "The Principal Upanishads by Prof. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was 2nd President of India as well as Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at the University of Oxford. The Principal Upanishads

Hope it will help you. Best of luck!

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