Best Theosophical Books

Theosophy Books - theosophical inspiration

Links to my book reviews of theosophical books and a selection of the most famous and inspirational books in the theosophical movement. Books by Annie Besant, W.Q. Judge, C.W. Leadbeater, Jiddu Krishnamurti, H.P. Blavatsky and more.

The best Blavatsky Books

The Best H.P. Blavatsky Books
Blavatsky's public life was spent doing two things: writing and organizing the Theosophical Society. This article introduces her books: The Secret Doctrine...

The Voice of the Silence, by H.P. Blavatsky: review
This is the version of The Voice of the Silence that I keep reading - and which I give to anyone who is interested. It doesn't only have Blavatsky's original...

The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy
It unites science and religion in a unique synthesis. Changed my life and my world view completely. Contains many of the themes of the modern New Age ...

Introduction to the Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky is at once notoriously difficult to read, and a century old best seller. On this page I will refer you to other pages...

The Key to Theosophy - H.P. Blavatsky

A reviewer on Amazon put it very well:

"This book is an excellent introduction to the views of Theosophy, which in many respects is not a religion or a philosophy; it is a helpful guide to distinguish and compare theosophy both to the world religions as they are practised and the "secret wisdom" that is also found in all world religions. As another reviewer remarked, the Glossary is a very helpful set of definitions for learning further about the theosophical perspective."

The Secret Doctrine Commentaries: the Unpublished 1889 Instructions
Some books are eagerly awaited by only a select group. This book is one of them. That doesn’t diminish their worth to their audience though: in this case theosophists who study The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky seriously. Blavatsky had...

Reflections on an Ageless Wisdom, Joy Mills
The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett is one of the books that is central to theosophical literature. I read, and reread it a lot, in the early years of my being involved with the Theosophical Society and it’s one of...

Karmic Visions - H. P. Blavatsky and W. Q. Judge on karma

One of the themes that the Theosophical Society helped popularize was the doctrine of Karma.

In this book W.Q. Judge and his teacher H.P. Blavatsky share their visions of how karma works out across lives. These stories are meant to inspire and instruct, but they are also thrilling reading.

Henk Spierenburg 'Blavatsky Commentaries'

Spierenburg was among the most knowledgeable theosophists of the late 20th century. His books make it easier to get an idea about Blavatsky's thought about Christianity, Vedanta, Astrology and Buddhism, among other things. He also collected the surviving Inner Group Teachings.

Books inspired by Blavatsky's Theosophy

Man The Measure Of All Things Commentary on The Secret Doctrine - Sri Madhava Ashish and Sri Krishna Prem
Deep, engaging and insightful interpretation of Blavatsky's 'The Secret Doctrine'. 'Man the measure of all things' is one of those books I've heard about...

Light on the Path - Mabel Collins
Meditative classic. Together with The Voice of the Silence and At The Feet of The Master this book is read, studied and meditated upon by theosophists world wide. Some people feel this book is the most fit for modern eyes because it is phrased as advice, not as a path one has to follow.

The essay on karma that's usually included is also a classic.

Reflections on an Ageless Wisdom: A Commentary on The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett is one of the books that is central to theosophical literature. I read, and reread it a lot, in the early years of my...

More 'modern' theosophy

At The Feet of The Master - Alcyone - said to be written by J. Krishnamurti
The third classic book for your bedside table (like The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path). This one was written for or by a young boy stepping on the spiritual path. The result is a book written in simple words with clear advice.

The authorship is controversial. The teachings certainly don't fit those of the adult Jiddu Krishnamurti in either style or content. But ever since it's publication this book has been very popular with theosophists - because it is simple, yet practical and deep.

The Web of Creation: Theosophy and Art, from Lauweriks to Mondriaan

I’m reviewing a Dutch book here today: Het Web der Schepping, Theosofie en Kunst in Nederland, van Lauweriks tot Mondriaan, by Marty Bax. I won’t be repeating that exercise often, however in this case it’s really worth it. There are...

The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra

The yoga sutras are two thousand year old spiritual classic. In India every spiritual teacher of any note has written a commentary on it. Ravi Ravindra is the latest of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s students to do the same. For that reason...

The Unfinished Autobiography by Alice A. Bailey

I’m not really into Alice Bailey’s work, nor into that of ‘The Tibetan’, but this autobiography is great. Funny, full of self knowledge and simply fascinating from the point of view of esoteric history. Alice Bailey was born and raised...

Point Loma Purple, The life and work of Katherine Tingley

I got this book off the author/publisher a few months ago. I let it lie sallow, as I’m not much into poetry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t understand poetry. I had a discussion once on the...

Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing - Stephen A Hoeller

From a reviewer on Amazon:

"This is a great modern introduction to Gnosticism. It covers Gnostic creation myth, rituals, teachers, Sophia (divine feminine wisdom), the Gnostic Jesus, Mandaens Manichaens Cathars, modern Gnostics and more. This is a basic overview for beginners, not for the advanced. If you know nothing of gnosticism, and are looking for a general overview, this is it. It is written very simply and clear. It also lists a good list of books for further study. Also includes a short dictionary of Gnostic terms. Details teachings and myths. There is no better introduction than this."

The Secret Teachings of All Ages - Manly P. Hall

Manly P. Hall was one of those who popularized theosophy in the 20th century. His work is still read inside and outside the TS - the many versions of this book available on Amazon are testimony to this.

Esoteric Christianity - Annie Besant

A still relevant interpretation of Christianity from an esoteric perspective. Much of what was written on the subject later was inspired by this work by Annie Besant. So why not go straight to the source? However, this is an edited Quest edition, so some of Besant's more controversial stuff is edited out. However, that does mean what is left is what is still relevant today.

The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism - Ravi Ravindra

The title speaks for itself - an excellent exploration of the Gospel of John from the perspective of universal mysticism. Ravi Ravindra too was a disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti.

The Chakras - C.W. Leadbeater - Including an Updated List of Chakra Balancing Colors, Gemstones, Fragrances and Foods

The classic book by C.W. Leadbeater - updated with information by Dr. Jane Maati Smith on colors, gems, fragrances and foods to help you balance your chakras.

Freedom from the Known, Jiddu Krishnamurti - J. Krishnamurti classic

Jiddu Krishnamurti is perhaps the most controversial teacher in theosophical history - but the controversial ones are usually the best (look at Blavatsky).

I could have picked any book out of 50 or so to represent his work here. Freedom from the Known does express the main theme of Krishnamurti's teachings: that our conditionings impact our lives way more than we can be conscious of. And that this should stop.

The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti - J. Krishnamurti

If Krishnamurti the teacher doesn't appeal to you - Krishnamurti the poetic mystic might.

In this book he shares his personal impressions of life. His style here is less confrontational and more meditative than in his published lectures (on which most books by him are based).

Human Regeneration

Radha Burnier in conversation with her audience about the central spiritual work of each person: to regenerate themselves.

Her fascination and life long study of Jiddu Krishnamurti shines through very deeply in this book.

Radha Burnier is the previous president of the Theosophical Society (headquarters in Adyar, India). She passed away in 2013. 

The Theosophical Enlightenment - Joscelyn Godwin

This is a scholarly exploration of theosophy in the 19th century. It's a classic among scholars and university professors interested in New Age and the esoteric traditions that preceded it. I've read it - I will refer back to it often - and it's an amazing work of scholarship and historical research.