Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
One of the most accessible and the most popular among Nietzsche’s works, Thus Spake Zarathustra remains special due to many reasons. Many of his prominent ideas such as the death of the god, the superman, and the eternal recurrence find lucid expression in this book. Moreover, this book represents Nietzsche’s boldest attempt to find a literary form appropriate to his revolutionary ideas, and his distinction as a poet is best demonstrated here. One can disagree with some of Nietzsche’s ideas, but I can’t imagine someone remaining unimpressed by the sheer beauty of his language and ideas.
2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This is apparently a children’s book. But the protagonist of the novella, the little prince, in the course of his travel, makes several profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature, which make it an equally enjoyable work for all. On our way to adulthood, we ignore and forget many important things in life, including our sense of curiosity and innocence. The book gives us a rare opportunity to look at the world one more time through the innocent eyes and revive our childhood.
3. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Many philosophers from the East and the West have defined death as the final awakening. They believe that the best way to understand life is through the understanding of death. This rare book by the Tibetan master provides a comprehensive teaching of Tibetan Buddhism, with special focus on the importance of comprehending the process of dying and death. Though the book revolves around several issues of Buddhism such as impermanence, compassion, evolution, karma, and the nature of mind, its focuses on the practices before, during, and after death, and the spiritual help of the dying.
(Published in Navyaata, Shrawan 2067)