India needs to be Indebted to Paul Brunton

Paul Brunton was a famous spiritual philosopher. He introduced Indian spiritual philosophy, culture and sages to the Westerners. So many people were inspired with his literature around the world. An example is Georg Feuerstein, a German indologist, who authored and translated over 30 books related to India like Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism etc. He said that, Paul Brunton books created interest in him on Indian spiritual traditions.

Childhood experience:

Paul Brunton was born in 1898 in London. His real name was R. Raphael. At the age of 16, while doing meditation he experienced some kind of ecstatic or overjoyed states. Though these experiences disappeared after few weeks, Brunton was always interested to find the reason for his experiences.

Early life:

In 1920 Brunton started his career as a partner in a bookshop. In early 1930’s he left the job and voyaged to India to find the sages and spiritual philosophy. In India, he interviewed hundreds of gurus, teachers, mystics, fakirs and magicians.

Spiritual teachers:

Brunton has three spiritual teachers. One of them is “Bhikkhu Ananda” also known as “Allan Bennett”, a British Buddhist. The second is an Indian, the name is not known but Paul Brunton mentioned his name as “Rajah”. And another person is an American painter named “Thurston”.

In India:

In his search to learn the path of enlightenment Brunton met Sri Ramana Maharshi, and while speaking to him, he got clarity about his early experiences caused during meditation. Brunton, later, mentioned that he did not find any sage like Ramana Maharshi and he was the first person to introduce Ramana Maharshi to the West.

Through the guidance and teaching of Ramana Maharshi he mastered in meditation and some other spiritual practices and philosophies. But he did not satisfy with that. So, he met V. Subramanya Iyer who is an expert in Vedanta at that period. With his guidance, Brunton studied the Hindu classical literature like Bhagavad Gita, Ashtavakra Samhita and Mandukya Upanishad. After some discussions with Iyer, Brunton started using English words like world mind in place of Indian philosophical names like Ishwara/god.

Last days:

Paul Brunton died on July 27th, 1981 in Switzerland. Thousands of pages from his notes were later published. His books were translated into 17 languages.

Books by Paul Brunton

  • A Search in Secret India – Brunton’s search in India for spirituality, first attempt to introduce the sights and sounds of India to the west. This is the book first introduced ‘Ramana Maharshi’ to the west.
  • A Message from Arunachala (1936) – A set of small essays of Paul Burton giving his reflections on various aspects of human conditions while practicing self-enquiry under the guidance of Ramana Maharshi.
  • The Maharshi and his Message – The sayings of Ramana Maharshi for the uncertainties of Paul Brunton.
  • A Hermit in the Himalayas (1936) – This book is about the practice of meditation by Paul Brunton in Himalayas, his travel and the religions holy place relating Himalayas.
  • Hidden teachings beyond Yoga (1941) – A philosophical explanation about enlightenment.

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