Can we reach state of self realization indulging in books? Journey towards self realization is an inward journey towards the spirit, soul atman existing in heart. Something that is indulged via contemplation (chintan), how could we study it through books literally?
Jnana wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita can never be assimilated literally.
When I started my spiritual pursuit of God six years of age I was totally perplexed with the vast paraphernalia of literature relating to spirituality available in open market. I was just not able to decide what to read and what not to read. I had absolute faith in teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita and also spiritual wisdom contained in Upanishads (independent spiritual treatises) but understanding them at an early age was difficult.
I wanted to indulge in spiritual books but which one?
Indulging in contemplation (chintan) all the time I finally realized that even though Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana did not exist in person, but they lived through their literature available in open market in plenty. Using my willpower, power of discrimination I selected good books relating to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana. My spiritual journey expedited multifold. The need for a spiritual master vanished overnight.
I practically duplicated path taken by Maharshi Ramana, mastering his art of self enquiry, indulging in Neti (not this, not this).
In the last about 150 years amongst 7 billion people existing world over only Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana succeeded in reaching state of self realization, god realization. I thought if I could understand both Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharshi Ramana, I could understand everything relating to self realization, god realization. My surmise was proved 100% right.