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 EzineArticles.com 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
plainly!

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!”

ramanapaul

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.

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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.

Why do Holy men ‘Suffer’?

Picture of naked Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra

“Weapons do not cleave this self (Atma), fire does not burn him; waters do not make him wet; nor does the wind make him dry; He is uncleavable, He cannot be burnt,  He can neither be wetted nor dried. He is eternal, all pervading, unchanging and immovable. He is the same forever”.

–(Bhagavad Gita 2-23/24)

 

When devotees see their Master at old age, they wonder how come such a holy soul ‘suffers’ like this. Actually it is our ignorance that makes us think this way. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi ‘’suffered’’ from cancer in the eyes of an ordinary man. But for them,’ it is like casting off worn out garments’. If ink or colour spills on a rich man’s shirt, he is least bothered; he simply wears a new shirt the next minute. But a poor man will react differently. Ramana and Ramakrishna were rich in spiritual wealth, we are poor spiritually. So we see it differently.

Following stories will illustrate this:

 

Story of Sadasiva Brahmendra—As told by Paramahamsa Yogananda

“On the way we stopped before a little shrine sacred to the memory of Sadasiva Brahman in whose eighteenth century life story miracles cluster thickly. A larger Sadasiva shrine in Nerur, created by the Raja of Pudukottai, is a pilgrimage spot that has witnessed many divine healings.

Many quaint stories of Sadasiva, a lovable and fully illumined master, are still current among South Indian villagers.  Immersed one day in Samadhi on a bank of the Kavery river, Sadasiva was seen to be carried away by a sudden flood. Weeks later he was found buried deep beneath a mound of earth near Kodumudi in Coimbatore District. As the villagers’ shovels struck his body, that saint rose and walked briskly away. (From ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

Picture of Sri Ramana Maharishi

Swami Sivananda adds……….

“More than one hundred and fifty years ago there lived a very famous Yogi-Jnani by name Sadasiva Brahmendra Saraswati in Nerur, near Karur, in the district of Trichinopoly, South India. He is the author of Brahma Sutra Vritti and Atma Vidya Vilas and various other books. He has performed innumerable miracles. One day Sadasiva Brahman who was  an Avadhoot  entered the zenana (tent) of a Muslim chief naked. The chief was quite enraged at the sage. He cut off one of his arms. Sadasiva Brahman walked away without uttering a word and without showing any sign of pain. The chief was greatly astonished at this strange condition of the sage. He thought that this man must be a Mahatma, a superhuman being. He repented much and followed the sage to apologize. Sadasiva did not even know that his arm was cut off. When the chief narrated to the sage what had happened in the camp, Sadasiva excused the chief and simply touched his maimed arm. Sadasiva Brahman had a fresh arm.

These incidents in the life of this sage should convince everyone that there is a sublime divine life independent of objects and the play of the mind and the senses. The sage was quite unconscious of the world. He did not feel a bit when his arm was cut off. He ought to have been absorbed in the Divine Consciousness and become one with the Divine. Ordinary people yell out even when there is a pin prick on their body. The above incidents in the life of Sadasiva Brahman amply prove the existence of God and a divine, eternal life, where all sorrows melt, all desires are satisfied and where one gets supreme bliss, peace and knowledge” (From the book GOD EXISTS by Swami Sivananda).

Picture of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

 

Story of Epictetus—As told by Swami Ramdas of Anandashram

There was a Greek philosopher. His name was Epictetus. He was a slave under the Roman Emperor and he was harshly punished by his master even for slight mistakes. He was almost every day beaten by his master. One day, for no fault of Epictetus, the master beat him so severely that his leg broke and he became lame. After some time, a friend of Epictetus, who lived far away, came to see him and finding him limping, asked him how he became lame. Then Epictetus gave a characteristic reply, “I am not lame, but my leg is lame”. His detachment from the body was so perfect that whatever happened to it, he never thought it had anything to do with his real Self.

(From Stories As Told By Swami Ramdas)