Ancient Sacred Texts Containing Principles of the Religion of the Sun

Elements of the Religion of the Sun can be found in many ancient texts. The texts below are those we feel are the most relevant and accessible for modern day spiritual seekers.

Many of the principles, wisdom, practices, and knowledge of the Religion of the Sun can be found contained within the sacred texts listed on this page (although we’ll keep adding more as we find them).

Wherever possible we have listed versions of the texts which are available to read or download freely online. In most cases this is possible, but there are some texts listed which are not freely available. Texts not available online can often be purchased quite inexpensively however as eBooks.

We’ve split up the list into two sections, the first being those more easily accessible to pick up and read and get into, and the second section containing references to and principles of the ancient religion of the sun within them, but can be more obscure/difficult to understand and quite long.

Recommended Reading

Texts from Taoism

The Tao Te Ching

An image from the book the Secret of the Golden Flower

The Tao Te Ching contains the spiritual guidance of Lao Tzu, a Chinese sage is believed to have lived from 604 to 531 BC. It is said to contain explanations of the divine source, the source of all creation and the person who has attained it. It is not however, as many believe, a book about non-action.

Translated by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English (pdf with illustrations)
Translated by Lionel Giles (html)

The Hua Hu Ching

The Hua Hu Ching is a collection of verses, widely attributed to Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching. It is said to have been passed down through oral traditions, from generation to generation of Taoist priests. It contains lots of practical guidance on how to live in accordance with the Tao (the principle that is the basis of creation).

The first 20 verses as translated by Brian Walker are available for free on iTunes. Unfortunately the full book is not available freely online, but it’s highly recommended as it contains such amazing practical guidance.

Texts from Hinduism

The Bhagavad Gita

A depiction of Indra and the Gods giving boons to Krishna (with the halo) and Arjuna (with the bow)

The Bhagavad Gita is made up of 700 sanskrit verses and comprises one part of the much longer Mahabarata. It is predominantly comprised of Krishna counseling Arjuna, where he explains the importance of living life well through right action, love and non-attachment to physical outcomes in the pursuit of liberation.

As something to note when reading it, the Gita mentions celibacy as a way to reach enlightenment. There is evidence to suggest that this was a later addition to the text, and it is at odds with the message contained in older Hindu texts and the texts of other spiritual traditions.

Translation by Shri Purohit Swami (pdf) – this is a more modern translation
Translation by Edwin Arnold (html) Translation by Swami Swarupananda (html) – these are older translations.

Texts from Gnostic Christianity

The Four Gospels

Jesus and the Disciples at the last supper

Possibly surprising to many, the majority of the teachings of Jesus were not actually included in the bible. Many of the texts that do contain his words were excluded from the bible and labelled blasphemous by the orthodoxy. The four gospels are examples of Jesus’ teachings which have been retained. They are said however, to have been altered over time, so when reading please keep in mind that they may no longer be in their original form. The gospels are useful in that they relate the Christic drama Jesus underwent in the events of his life, which are said to symbolically represent stages on the path to enlightenment.

American Standard version, King James version
American Standard version, King James version
American Standard version, King James version
American Standard version, King James version

Gospels That Were Not Included in the Bible

The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)

There are many gospels that did not get included in the bible. The Gospel of Mary is one of them. This gospel was discovered as part of the Berlin Codex, found in Akhmim in Egypt and dated to the late 4th or early 5th century AD. It explains the role Mary played as one of Jesus’ closest disciples, and how — due to her gender and the prevailing social attitudes — she had trouble being accepted.

Read the Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)

The Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas was first translated in the early 2000s after being discovered in the 1970s in Egypt. It contains an alternate perspective to the four gospels of the Bible, depicting Judas not as a betrayer, but as Jesus’ most advanced disciple, who was given the difficult role of handing Jesus over to the authorities. Interestingly, this perspective was explained in an almost identical way approximately fifty years before the translation of the Gospel of Judas in the book The Flight of the Feathered Serpent.

Read the Gospel of Judas

The Flight of the Feathered Serpent by Armando Cosani

Published in the 1950s, The Flight of the Feathered Serpent portrays one of the world’s greatest dramas — the handing over of Jesus to the authorities by Judas — in a different way and sheds more light on ancient Gnostic Christian texts, particularly with the recent discovery and translation of the Gospel of Judas.

For more information please visit the official website for The Flight of the Feathered Serpent.

Texts from The Nag Hammadi Library

Pages from the Gospel of Thomas in the Nag Hammadi Library

These texts were banned by the early Church and kept out of the Bible, although containing many teachings of Jesus and the Disciples. There are many other works that form part of the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of texts discovered buried in a jar by an Egyptian farmer in 1945. Below are what we consider to be the most important and useful texts of the Nag Hammadi Library, that relate most closely to aspects of the Religion of the Sun.

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles is an allegorical story about Jesus and the Disciples. It talks about the importance of persistence and endurance in spiritual development, and explains how Jesus’ teachings are like a precious pearl more valuable than any worldly goods.

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

The (First) Apocalypse of James

The Apocalypse of James is a short text that narrates a conversation between James and Jesus where they discuss the challenges and difficulties that can be faced in the process of spiritual development.

The (First) Apocalypse of James

Teachings of Silvanus

The Teachings of Silvanus explore allegorically a number of different inner states that we are likely to experience in reaction to the events and relationships of life — such as anger and jealousy — and speak of how they work within us.

Teachings of Silvanus

Authoritative Teaching

Authoritative Teaching explains how the spiritual part of us, the consciousness, is caught up in the things of the physical world. It also talks about how this spiritual aspect can come out of matter and return to a heavenly state.

Authoritative Teaching

The Wisdom of Jesus Christ

This is quite an advanced text where Jesus explains to his disciples — women and men alike — the process of a human soul coming into existence, being saved and returning to a divine state.

The Wisdom of Jesus Christ

The Acts of Thomas

The Acts of Thomas is perhaps most well known for a story within it known as the Hymn of the Pearl. This hymn explains allegorically the trials a person must go through in the physical world in order to learn, extract consciousness from the egos and return to a heavenly state. The descriptions of the Being in this text closely resemble those which can be found in some Hindu texts, and the book describes Thomas’ mission into India to spread Jesus’ teachings.

The Acts of Thomas

The Book of Thomas the Contender

The Book of Thomas the Contender contains Jesus’ words about lust and the human condition. It begins with the famous quote “For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all.”. Interestingly, this quote is very similar to the one said to be inscribed on the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and which some attribute to Pythagoras: “Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and God.”

The Book of Thomas the Contender ~ pdf, html

The Dialogue of the Savior

The Dialogue of the Savior is quite an advanced text that portrays the guru-disciple type relationship the Disciples had with Jesus. It contains some really amazing spiritual guidance.

The Dialogue of the Savior

The Gospel of Phillip

The Gospel of Phillip discusses spiritual alchemy from an esoteric Christian perspective, where it is known allegorically as the “bridal chamber”.

The Gospel of Phillip

The Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas is a compilation of 114 saying of Jesus that contain teachings on many aspects of spiritual development. It begins: “These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke”.

Patterson & Meyer translation (html), Lambdin translation (html), Patterson & Robinson translation (html)

The Odes of Solomon

The Odes of Solomon are a collection of 42 hymns written in first person that describe the experiences a person is said to go through on the journey to spiritual awakening and enlightenment. They may or may not actually have been written by King Solomon. This text was studied by the Disciples of Jesus (as found in the Pistis Sophia).

The Odes of Solomon

Texts from around the Area and Time of Jesus

Historian Josephus Flavius Interviews Banus

A portrait of Josephus Flavius, the historian who interviewed Banus

Josephus Flavius was a famous historian who lived in the first century AD. In this text Josephus interviews a wise man known as Banus over a period of three years. Although the translator refers to Banus as an Essene, Josephus states that he was neither Pharisee, Sadducee, or Essene.

“When I was about sixteen years old I had a mind to make a trial of the several sects that were among us. There are three of these, that of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the third that of the Essenes, as we have frequently told you. I thought that being acquainted with them all I could choose the best. So I consigned myself to hardship, and underwent great difficulties, and went through them all. Nor did I content myself with the trying of these three only, for when I was informed that one whose name was Banus lived in the desert, and used no other clothing than what grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own accord, and bathed himself in cold water frequently, both night and day, to purify himself, I imitated him in those things, and continued with him three years.”
~ Josephus Flavius

Banus was a recluse who lived an ascetic life in the desert, which Josephus imitated in order to learn from him. This interview contains clear explanations of spiritual laws and principles and how they relate to every day life.

Translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely

The Essene Gospel of Peace

These texts appear to have been written by Essenes who converted to Jesus’ teachings, and were possibly referred to as Sampseans, who worshiped the sun. In these texts, Jesus speaks about not only our Heavenly Father as he does in the bible, but also of our Earthly Mother. The text contains a number of “communions”, spiritual practices which focus on a connection with divinity through natural principles.

Translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely:

Book One(html)
Book Two (html)
Book Three (html)
Book Four (html)

Please note, this text contains some dietary and health recommendations that may not be direct teachings from Jesus and which we do not necessarily agree with. Rather than being a complete teaching of Jesus, his sayings may have been used to create this gospel, but other additions may have been included.

Hermetic Texts

The Vision of Hermes

A depiction of Hermes Trismegistus

In this text, the secrets of immortality and the process of creation are revealed to Hermes in a vision or out-of-body experience. Hermes Trismegistus is associated with the Egyptian god Thoth, and this text is believed to be of Egyptian origin and to have been written prior to the birth of Christianity.

Read The Vision of Hermes here (This link leads to a translation taken from The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall. It begins about half way down the page and is a more accessible translation than an earlier one by Dr. Everard, written in 1650).

The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet is a short hermetic alchemical text, which describes the process of inner transformation that takes place in the practice of alchemy.

The Emerald Tablet (html)

More Advanced Reading

Texts from Taoism

The Secret of the Golden Flower

The Secret of the Golden Flower is an advanced ancient Taoist text that talks about the process and practice of spiritual alchemy.

Translated by Richard Wilhelm (pdf)

Texts from Hinduism

The Mahabarata

The Mahabarata is a very famous Hindu text, which discusses the conflicts between light and darkness that form part of the process of reaching enlightenment. Because the Mahabarata is so long, you may get more value reading more shorter works than reading this book from cover to cover. For example, the Bhagavad Gita is a very accessible spiritual text which makes up a small part of the Mahabarata.

Here is the most complete version of the Mahabarata available in the English Language.

Please note: We are yet to read the entirety of this book — it contains almost two million words! — and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

The Ramayana

The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu epic which explains allegorically what it is to be an ideal person and to walk a “righteous” path — the path to enlightenment. These principles are explained through the story of divine prince Rama (an avatar of the god Vishnu) and his struggles to rescue his wife Sita from a demon king who has kidnapped her.

Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith (multiple formats)
Translated by C. Rajagopalachari (pdf)

Please note: We are yet to read the entirety of this book and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

Texts from Gnostic Christianity

Pistis Sophia

The Pistis Sophia is an advanced text which contains guidance from the secret conversations that Jesus had with his Disciples — both male and female — after his resurrection. It narrates the story of the consciousness and its descent into matter, only to be saved again by the Christ and returned to its heavenly state. As part of this text Jesus describes what can be found in other dimensions of existence, and explains the process of reincarnation as a “circuit of lives” that one’s soul goes through.

Translated by G.R.S. Mead (html)

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation is an advanced text that shares a series of incredible visions experienced by John on the island of Patmos in the Aegean.

American standard version, King James version (html)

Texts from Ancient Egyptian Sources

The Pyramid Texts

Inscriptions from the Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Pyramid Texts is an advanced work which refers to stages in the process of spiritual awakening. These texts may be the oldest known spiritual texts in the world, and are the oldest known texts in Egypt. They were carved into the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids at Saqqara.

Pyramid Texts (html with photos and translation)

The Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Egyptian Book of the Dead is another advanced Egyptian text which describes the processes involved in death and the afterlife.

It can be found here: (pdf)

Please note: We are yet to read the entirety of this book and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

Practices from Ancient Sacred Texts

As we have read through these sacred texts we have extracted a number of spiritual practices that we have featured in articles in our practices section. If you would also like to learn about practising spiritual exercises from ancient texts, please visit our page listing practices by spiritual tradition.

Note: This page is an ongoing work in progress. As we continue to explore the Religion of the Sun and come across new resources we will add them to their relevant sections. If you come across any credible resources related to the topics on this website that you would like to share, please send them to us through our contact page.


  • Thank you, this is an incredibly comprehensive list. I look forward to reading many if not all!

    I have started reading the Wisdom of Jesus Christ…it looks quite compelling.

    Thanks again.

  • Thanks soo much for sharing great ancient books with us.

    please can you kindly make available THE MASTER BOOK OF PSALMS BY JEAN KENT pdf.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi A.B., 

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the resource.

 On this page we share ancient sacred texts that contain the principles, wisdom, practices, and knowledge of the Religion of the Sun. It doesn’t appear that this text would be suitable to add here, but thanks for the suggestion.

  • Thanks for compiling this list – I recently misplaced my kindle and am now ordering these titles as real books. There’s nothing like reading texts by candlelight for a dose of inspiration!

  • Thank you so much for giving such wonderful access to this fantasic information very generous and helpful thanks again Carmel

  • Thankyou olga and all that have contributed to these wonderful resources.
    As mentioned, it is amazing how vast and powerful the teachings of the spiritual sun really are!

    I just like to add that reading these ancient texts seem timeless in their wisdom, especially when reading the more hidden teachings from the great master jesus.

  • What a fantastic resource! Thanks for putting it together.

    I was wondering if anybody had researched work by Eliphas Levi? or if it is relevant at all?

  • So much wisdom to discover, thanks Olga. I really appreciate all the hard work that you guys are doing.

    I love the Gospel of Peace, book 1, from the Essence.

  • Wow, I didn’t notice the section on the Ancient Egypt here before. Just a few months ago, I came across Robert Bauval’s site, and thought I definitely had to read some of his book someday. It seems to me like he must have a great intuition, discovering so many things with what seems to me like a guidance from above. He certainly has angered a lot of “traditional” egyptologists, some of whom can become very aggressive just when hearing his name. 😀

    • For now this may be only scratching the surface. We’ll be adding things to this page as research continues. There are really so many great thinkers and researchers out there and discoveries from the past that can be extremely useful to explore the spirituality of the sun throughout its many phases, ancient sites, cultures, myths and religions.

      Hopefully this resource can be a starting point for further research that shows just how vast and influential the spirituality of the sun really is.

  • Thanks for all of these reading suggestions. Many I’m familiar with, but many I am not so much. So really looking forward to expand my library 🙂

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