The Panchadasi by Vidyaranya Swami, with commentary by James Swartz.
Because reality isn’t what it seems to be, Vedanta exists. Animals don’t need scriptures on enlightenment. They don’t worry, because they accept reality as it is. Worry distinguishes us from every other living being; the ancient texts define human beings as “those that worry.” Aside from the natural worries of everyday life, some of us are bedeviled by an obvious conundrum: why, if reality is one – as is clear to any thinking person – does it appear to us as a duality, a division between the self and the world? This existential confusion compromises our ability to enjoy the freedom that is our birthright. Why and how non-dual reality appears as a duality – and what can be done about it – is the essence of Vedanta and the main theme of this wonderful fourteenth-century analysis of existence/consciousness by Vidyaranya Swami, Panchadasi, with commentary by James Swartz.