At the beginning of this small publishing house for great wisdom literature stood the spoken word, the Advaita teachings passed on by OM in oral tradition.
After his awakening in 1990, OM started giving darshan in the early nineties. His darshans attracted more and more people in search of truth, coming from different parts of Germany and also of neighboring countries. Not all of them could be present at all darshans in person, so the need arose for audio recordings, transcriptions and other written material that could also serve to disseminate the teachings. In addition to audiotapes and transcriptions, several smaller writings were produced and, above all, the advaitaJournal, a comprehensive journal which was edited by a project group consisting mainly of students. Its focus was on topical articles and interviews of living Advaita teachers, as well as important traditional Advaita texts annotated in a contemporary manner.
In 1998, OM’s first book, “The Birth of the Lion,” was published by Alf Lüchow Publishing House. Further books were planned and it became clear that for the dissemination of OM’s teachings it made sense to have a publishing house of one’s own, which should also publish other particularly precious pearls of wisdom literature that had not yet been published or were no longer published. Thus, under OM’s direction, a few months after the turn of the millennium, in May 2000, the advaitaMedia publishing house was founded. This happened without ignoring the fact that a small publishing house with such a special offer and such a high demand would only address a small selected readership and that its survivability in the modern media landscape was by no means assured. In addition, although there was a large pool of expertise, potential and voluntary commitment to produce, locate, possibly translate books from another language and prepare them for publication, there was rather little insight into the book trade industry and commercial matters such as marketing. It was therefore a great stroke of luck that the small publishing house, which was still in diapers, so to speak, was offered a cooperation with the renowned Joachim Kamphausen Verlag, where it operated under the label “advaitaMedia in the J. Kamphausen Verlag” until advaitaMedia was able to stand on its own feet after a few years.
In the meantime, advaitaMedia had published several important works, such as for example first a new edition of “Nan Yar? ” “Who Am I? “, by Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian sage and Advaita teacher; a new edition of Ouspensky/Gurdjieff “The Fourth Way”; a new edition and foreign language translations of “The Birth of the Lion”; other books by OM: “Auge in Auge mit dir selbst” (Eye to Eye with Yourself; not yet available in English); “Donnerschlag und Tempelstille – Unterweisungen eines modernen Zen Lehrers für jeden Tag des Jahres” (Thunderclap and Temple Stillness – Teachings of a Modern Zen Teacher for Every Day of the Year; not yet available in English); and more recently OM’s great textbook of the spiritual path: “Intelligence of Awakening – Navigating the Wisdom Path” published by Gateways Books & Tapes, followed by “Spirituelle Meisterschaft” (Spiritual Mastery: not yet available in English) and some smaller works, furthermore translations from the Russian: Sumiran, “Dialoge im Sein”(Dialogs in Being), the American: Adyashanti, “Das Wichtigste.” (The Most Important Thing) and the French: Arnaud Desjardins, “Immer gegenwärtiger Frieden” (Ever Present Peace).
For the distribution of the books an online store “Die spirituelle Buchhandlung” had been established and in the monastery Gut Saunstorf a real small bookshop sells the books of advaitaMedia and other spiritual publishers. At external events such as darshans or talks by OM, there are book tables on site.
In the more than 20 years of its existence advaitaMedia has grown into a quite successful publishing house – on the one hand. It has made essential works of wisdom literature accessible or reaccessible to people interested in wisdom. It has given the students of OM manifold possibilities, even without physical presence in Darshan, to be in direct contact with the wisdom teachings conveyed by OM through the spoken word on audio or the written word, it has opened a possible gate of approach for people to whom the wisdom teachings in their radical opposition to the omnipresent material world view are still foreign. And goes on doing all this, of course.
The success unfortunately – as predictable – does not extend to the economic-material level, since by the concentration on the pure wisdom teaching, for which only a small circle is open, and the renouncement of esoteric trivial literature, which attracts an already substantially larger number of people, the sales figures are relatively small. It was painful that the advaitaJournal could no longer be published because the production costs and the sales revenue were too far apart, although the journal had its fixed circle of readers, only unfortunately too small to cover the costs.
This means that advaitaMedia, despite its successful work, continues to rely on voluntary work and the financial support of people who are equally concerned about the cause of this publishing house. There is the possibility to take over a sponsorship for the production costs of a certain book or to contribute to the creation of a paid job by a possibly even regular donation.
AdvaitaMedia is not a purely commercial enterprise, but to an essential part also a project supported by the community of people striving for truth and wisdom in the broadest sense.
Your own self is your ultimate teacher (Sadguru). The outer teacher (guru) is merely a milestone.
It is only your inner teacher, that will walk you to the goal, for he is the goal.