Paul Brunton – by Annie Cahn Fung


Post No 1773; Date 4th April 2015

uploaded from London at 7-44 am


Paul Brunton – by Annie Cahn Fung

Santhanam Nagarajan

The book under review, ‘Paul Brunton’ is written by Annie Cahn Fung. It is a thesis of seven long years presented by the author to the Department of Religious Anthropology, University of Paris, Sorbonne.

Written in a lucid style the book covers all aspects of the great life of Paul Brunton, the mystic writer (1898-1981). It consists of two parts, Prelude to a Quest and The Quest for Truth.

The research led the research scholar to Switzerland, India and The United States.  Brunton died in Switzerland in 1981 and he spent many years in India where he met very many great souls. Brunton’s friends and students founded Wisdom’s Goldenrod center for Phillosophic Study in US and Anne Cahn Fung has collected all important information about Brunton, here.


Paul Brunton’s real name was Raphael Hurst. He was born in London on November 27, 1898. He came to India in 1930 and met the great Sankaracharya of Kanchi mutt and the sage of Thiruvannamalai Ramana Maharishi. In 1931, during his second stay at Thiruvannamalai he encountered many mystical experiences taking him to a new sprititual hight. Due to some unexpected financial and professional reasons he was forced to return back to London.

His second visit to India was in 1935. He stayed in Thiruvannamalai and published his famous book, ‘A message from Arunachala’. He spent four months in the heart of Himalayas.

He passed the winter, 1937-1938 in London and then returned to India for the third time in 1939.

The author explains in detail the various incidents that led Brunton to many cities of the world and the mystical experiences he encountered therein.


His friendship with Maharaja of Mysore is very interesting. It is in Mysore he met the learned guru, Sri Subrahmanya Iyer, The guruji of Maharajah of Mysore.

His day to day discussions with Mr Iyer gave him a fresh insight in all of his research. Under Iyer’s influence, Brunton had written the book, ‘The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga’.

Due to some ‘deplorable situation’ in Ramanashramam, he had to return back to Mysore from Thiruvannamalai and he never saw Ramana maharishi again.

But his faith in Ramana’s teachings was unshattered. After spending many months in the company of Sri Iyer, he retruned to London.

The first part of the book explains all these in detail and the second part explains the intricate perception, space and time, casuality, karma, evolution, mind and brain, symbolism of numbers, inner divinity etc.

Brunton’s view of the “Hinduized” West will make us an interesting reading.

message from arunachala

The author concludes the book with two chapters titled, ‘Brunton’s work’ and ‘The man who bridged the East and West’.

The book is very interesting as it covers many hitherto untold happenings in Paul Brunton’s life.

We heard all about Brunton’s active years in India. But after that we are not aware of any thing about his exclusive last years.

The book gives all about Paul Brunton, and I recommend very strongly all Ramana devotees and Brunton admirers to read this book.

search in secret india

Words fail me in congratulating the author who took a very rare subject for her thesis.

After reading this book, I am sure, the reader will be ‘reborn’ again knowing many secrets of life.

I suggest the author Annie to write more about Brunton’s life and his views on Vedanta as her seven long years’ research will certainly reveal more interesting information.

notebooks of Paul


How Paul Brunton was directed to go to Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi – Part II

kanchi kudisai

Written by S NAGARAJAN

Article No.1767;  Dated 2April 2015.

Uploaded at London time 5-55 (GMT 4-55)

This is in continuation of the first part of the article published in earlier.

Paul Brunton came to Madras (now named as Chennai) in January 1931. He met the great author          Mr K.S.Venkataramani. It was Mr Venkataramani who took Paul Brunton to the great sage of Kanchi, His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swami.
After the interview at Chingleput, Paul Brunton returned to Madras.

That night he saw the great sage in his vision.

He has narrated his experience in his own words:

“My astounded gaze meets the face and form of His Holiness Shri Shankara. It is clearly and unmistakably visible. He does not appear to be some ethereal ghost, but rather a solid human being. There is a mysterious luminosity around the figure which separates it from the surrounding darkness.
Surely the vision is an impossible one? Have I not left him at Chingleput? I close my
eyes tightly in an effort to test the matter. There is no difference and I still see him quite

Let it suffice that I receive the sense of a benign and friendly presence. I open my eyes
and regard the kindly figure in the loose yellow robe.

The face alters, for the lips smile and seem to say: “Be humble and then you shall find
what you seek!”


Ramana Maharishi, Yogananda, Paul Brunton

The vision disappears as mysteriously as it has come. It leaves one feeling exalted, happy and unperturbed by its super-normal nature. Shall I dismiss it as a dream? What matters it?”

Paul Brunton went to Thiruvannamalai and met Maharishi Ramana. He was attracted by Bhagavan Ramana. He stayed there. He started asking various questions.

It was at Thiruvannamalai he understood the mysteries of the Holy Hill Thiruvannamalai.

On the twenty third of January 1936 he asked very many questions to Bhagavan Ramana.

Mr Brunton asked Bhagavan if the Hill here is hollow.

Maharishi : The puranas ( Hindu sacred scriptures) says so. When it is said that the Heart is a cavity; penetration into it proves it to be an expanse of light. Similarly the Hill is one of light. The caves etc. are covered up by that Light.

Brunton: Are there caves inside?

Maharishi: In vision I have seen caves, cities with streets etc., and a whole world in it.

Brunton: Are there Siddhas (Holymen of highest order) too in it?

Maharishi: All the Siddhas are reputed to be there.

Brunton: Are there only Siddhas or others also?

Maharishi: Just like this world.

Brunton: Siddhas are said to be in the Himalayas.

Maharishi: Kailas is on the Himalayas; it is the abode of Siva. Whereas this Hill is Siva Himself. All the para-phernalia of His abode must also be where He Himself is.

Brunton: Does Bhagavan believe that the Hill is hollow, etc.?

Maharishi: Everything depends on the viewpoint of the individual. You yourself have seen hermitages, etc., on this Hill in a vision. You have described such in your book.

Brunton: Yes. It was on the surface of the Hill. The vision was within me.

Maharishi: That is exactly so. Everything is within one’s Self. To see the world, there must be a spectator. There could be no world without the Self. The Self is all comprising. In fact Self is all. There is nothing besides the Self.

Brunton: What is the mystery of this Hill?

Maharishi: Just as you have said in Secret Egypt, “The mystery of the pyramid is the mystery of the Self, so also the mystery of this Hill is the mystery of the Self.”

Brunton understood the mystery of the Holy Hill Arunachala. He introduced Bhagavan Ramana to the west in his book ‘A search in secret India’ published in 1935.

He had spent several months at Ramanasramam. His next book The Secret path outlined the Maharishi’s “Who Am I” technique of self enquiry.


How Paul Brunton was directed to go to Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi – Part I

paul brunton

Post No.1764; Date 1 April 2015

Santhanam Nagarajan

Uploaded at London Time 8-39 am

Paul Brunton was a British philosopher, mystic, and traveler. He was born in London in 1898. He dedicated his entire life to an inward and spiritual quest. He specialized in research into the subject of Yoga and traveled widely throughout India, Tibet, Japan, China, and Egypt.

He came to Chengleput, a small city near Chennai to meet the great sage of Kanchi, His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swami.

Brunton asked the sage,” What is the most practical course for me to take?”

Paramacharya, as he is being called, replied thus: “Go on with your travels. When you have finished them, think of the various Yogis and holy men you have met; then pick out the one who makes most appeal to you. Return to him and he will surely bestow the initiation upon you.”

When Brunton asked him whether he could turn to him for assistance the great sage of Kanchi replied: “I am head at the head of a public institution a man whose time no longer belongs to himself! My activities demand almost all my time. For years I have spent only three hours in sleep each night. How can I take personal pupils? You must find a master who devotes his time in them.”

Then Brunton asked him for guidance to find out a master.

The great sage recommended him to go to Maharishi Ramana.

He told him:” Promise me that you will not leave South India before you have met the maharishi.”

The sage assured him:” Do not be anxious. You shall discover that which you seek.”

He met the great sage Ramana. His experiences with Maharishi Ramana inspired him and he has written a book, ‘A Message from Arunachala’.

In our next article we will read about the strange dream of Paul Brunton.