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A Search in Secret India is the story of Paul Brunton's journey around India, living among yogis, mystics, and gurus, some of whom he found convincing, others not. He finally finds the peace and tranquility which come with self-knowledge when he meets and studies with the great sage Sri Ramana Maharishi. A Search in Secret India is the story of Paul Brunton's journey around India, living among yogis, mystics, and gurus, some of whom he found convincing, others not. He finally finds the peace and tranquility which come with self-knowledge when he meets and studies with the great sage Sri Ramana Maharishi.


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A Search in Secret India is the story of Paul Brunton's journey around India, living among yogis, mystics, and gurus, some of whom he found convincing, others not. He finally finds the peace and tranquility which come with self-knowledge when he meets and studies with the great sage Sri Ramana Maharishi. A Search in Secret India is the story of Paul Brunton's journey around India, living among yogis, mystics, and gurus, some of whom he found convincing, others not. He finally finds the peace and tranquility which come with self-knowledge when he meets and studies with the great sage Sri Ramana Maharishi.

30 review for A Search In Secret India: The classic work on seeking a guru

  1. 4 out of 5

    Neelesh Marik

    The last chapter called 'Tablets of forgotten truth' is the crowning glory of this tale of exploration, standing out like a beacon of light in an otherwise pedestrian narrative. Just read that and get the full import. 'Men make formal and pretentious enquiry into the mystery and meaning of life, when all the while each bird perched upon a green bough, each child holding its fond mother's hand, has solved the riddle and carries the answer it its face. That life which brought you to birth, O Man ! The last chapter called 'Tablets of forgotten truth' is the crowning glory of this tale of exploration, standing out like a beacon of light in an otherwise pedestrian narrative. Just read that and get the full import. 'Men make formal and pretentious enquiry into the mystery and meaning of life, when all the while each bird perched upon a green bough, each child holding its fond mother's hand, has solved the riddle and carries the answer it its face. That life which brought you to birth, O Man ! is nobler and greater than your farthest thought; believe in its beneficent intention towards you and obey its subtle injunctions whispered to your heart in half-felt intuitions'. In case you are ever 'searching' for a guru, this book will offer a thoroughly refreshing perspective that goes beyond words.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Upton

    In 1992 or thereabouts when I first read it. The quiet honesty with which it is written and the older, slower, gentler style of writing from the 1930s sat in my heart and set my spiritual journey towards India. It was a directional light in my life when I was searching and ultimately it is responsible for my own 'Candles on The Ganges'. Yet reading it again in 2016 it didn't seem quite so special as I am now a different person-probably as a result of the journey to India that this book inspired In 1992 or thereabouts when I first read it. The quiet honesty with which it is written and the older, slower, gentler style of writing from the 1930s sat in my heart and set my spiritual journey towards India. It was a directional light in my life when I was searching and ultimately it is responsible for my own 'Candles on The Ganges'. Yet reading it again in 2016 it didn't seem quite so special as I am now a different person-probably as a result of the journey to India that this book inspired me to take. If you are lost this is one of the books I would recommend. P.S. In May 2018 I read 'My Father's Guru' by Jeffrey Masson who grew up with Dr. Paul Brunton as his personal spiritual adviser. This book is a warts and all expose of Paul Brunton and I recommend it as a warning that all of us, including Gurus, Godmen and Maharishes are human and have human faults. Take knowledge from wherever you may find it but don't make the mistake of worshipping another person. There is only one God and if you look hard enough you fill find him/her within yourself.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sampath

    Unputdownable!! A must read and must own book. I know I will read this book again. The author has shared his invaluable and spellbounding dialogues with Maharishis and Yogi's. Its a great service to a man kind that the author has shared his experience. Unputdownable!! A must read and must own book. I know I will read this book again. The author has shared his invaluable and spellbounding dialogues with Maharishis and Yogi's. Its a great service to a man kind that the author has shared his experience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yigal Zur

    Brunton was one of these who India took to her heart. this one of the great spiritual travel writing. his descriptions are vivid and great. one of the best of so many travel books on india

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sumangali Morhall

    For anyone seeking a spiritual teacher, or even anyone having found the right one, this story is incredibly moving. Brunton's erudite use of language, coupled with his ruthless inner and outer search, makes this a gripping read from start to finish. Following an inner call, he spends months travelling around India, interrogating yogis, pundits and fakirs – some genuine and some not so. His descriptions of the journey alone would make a beautiful travel journal. But his descriptions of inner expe For anyone seeking a spiritual teacher, or even anyone having found the right one, this story is incredibly moving. Brunton's erudite use of language, coupled with his ruthless inner and outer search, makes this a gripping read from start to finish. Following an inner call, he spends months travelling around India, interrogating yogis, pundits and fakirs – some genuine and some not so. His descriptions of the journey alone would make a beautiful travel journal. But his descriptions of inner experiences are breath-taking, especially those in the company of the great Ramana Maharshi. I can't believe I had not come across this book before now – it's amongst the very finest examples of this genre.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Priyanka

    I know a lot of people who have been totally blown over by this book. Considering the time and perspective from which it was written, it indeed is path breaking. However, for me, this was a reiteration of beliefs I already have. Raised a Hindu lot of the occurances that come across as facinating to a Westerner is a part of mythology we grow up learning and accepting. Things do change with eductaion and a bent for rational thinking.   I think it all boils down to our personal experiences. Certain a I know a lot of people who have been totally blown over by this book. Considering the time and perspective from which it was written, it indeed is path breaking. However, for me, this was a reiteration of beliefs I already have. Raised a Hindu lot of the occurances that come across as facinating to a Westerner is a part of mythology we grow up learning and accepting. Things do change with eductaion and a bent for rational thinking.   I think it all boils down to our personal experiences. Certain amount of introspection or some deep suffering sometimes becomes the key to unlocking the vast potential of the Universe to a skpetical mind. That has been my personal experience as well. I see the same happen to Paul Brunton. We know the truth in our heart, by no means can we provide a proof of its existence.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Krystn

    Here is a very readable tour of India during the early 1900s. Paul Brunton Ph.D. went on a quest to find real Yogis, holy men, in India and try to ascertain their legitimacy. Being a British intellectual with a scientific and philosophical education, he approached Yogis with skepticism and an open mind (quite unusual for the scientific minded). He describes in detail the Yogis dedicated to spiritual growth and gives brief reviews of those focused on magic and egotism. He spends the last quarter Here is a very readable tour of India during the early 1900s. Paul Brunton Ph.D. went on a quest to find real Yogis, holy men, in India and try to ascertain their legitimacy. Being a British intellectual with a scientific and philosophical education, he approached Yogis with skepticism and an open mind (quite unusual for the scientific minded). He describes in detail the Yogis dedicated to spiritual growth and gives brief reviews of those focused on magic and egotism. He spends the last quarter of the book describing his time with Ramana Maharishee at his small ashram in Tamil India. He was changed forever by the months spent with the Maharishee. During the period of his travel, Gandhi was gaining a huge following but Brunton avoided asides on the political movements except when revolutionary fervor produced violence in his vicinity. Altogether, this is a well written and honest account of travel in India.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary-lou

    This book had been recommended to me about thirty years ago by the father of a close friend, Mr Goss, and I had never sought it out until now. I am glad I didn't read this book until I was 'ready' for it. It is,in short, a classic on the search for spiritual meaning. It is set in India but this search is ultimately a search for Self which can occur in very many situations. At times Bruntons lack of understanding of the ways of another culture made me cringe especially when it is things that I th This book had been recommended to me about thirty years ago by the father of a close friend, Mr Goss, and I had never sought it out until now. I am glad I didn't read this book until I was 'ready' for it. It is,in short, a classic on the search for spiritual meaning. It is set in India but this search is ultimately a search for Self which can occur in very many situations. At times Bruntons lack of understanding of the ways of another culture made me cringe especially when it is things that I think even in 1934 were unforgivable. Eg: taking a photo of a yogi in meditation. It is also a good insight into just how much control, respect and power the English had in India at that time. He was very much writing from the perspective of a far superior being in his eyes any way BUT that doesn't change the fact that he got it in the end. It was a marvellous journey!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joli

    I loved that this author explored India the way I might. Wanting to find inspiration/insight but always having a skeptical eye. He went quite slowly, as far as explaining the spirituality of gurus. Then, at the end, he LEAPT to some high spirituality. I wish there had been a medium step to bridge the gap. Brunton has many books and I have just requested about 5 of them. I'll write about them as I read them. I loved that this author explored India the way I might. Wanting to find inspiration/insight but always having a skeptical eye. He went quite slowly, as far as explaining the spirituality of gurus. Then, at the end, he LEAPT to some high spirituality. I wish there had been a medium step to bridge the gap. Brunton has many books and I have just requested about 5 of them. I'll write about them as I read them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suba

    I like the writer's style of writing. It is more like a diary and the writer's experience is recorded vividly through his own words. Paul Brunton wrote about his journey to india to explore the secrets of the spiritual world. My prior knowledge in Hinduism and my own experience in India helped me to digest his words easily. Its worth reading if you are interested in yoga, spiritual and mystic. I like the writer's style of writing. It is more like a diary and the writer's experience is recorded vividly through his own words. Paul Brunton wrote about his journey to india to explore the secrets of the spiritual world. My prior knowledge in Hinduism and my own experience in India helped me to digest his words easily. Its worth reading if you are interested in yoga, spiritual and mystic.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    Wonderful. Tells about British authors strange experiences exploring India. Really makes you think...particuarly for ethnocentric Americans/Brits! I learned that the US/Western way of thinking is not exclusive(or necessarily best)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    An enjoyable travelogue. Though it may have widsom it wasn't obvious/densely enough packed for me to search for it. An enjoyable travelogue. Though it may have widsom it wasn't obvious/densely enough packed for me to search for it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Popa

    Excellent writing; this book presents the journey of an English journalist searching for the true meaning of life throughout the sacred lands of India. This "diary" reveals an insight into the mysteries of the yogis and their occult powers and thus, it can be a true inspiration for those who are seeking a spiritual growth. Excellent writing; this book presents the journey of an English journalist searching for the true meaning of life throughout the sacred lands of India. This "diary" reveals an insight into the mysteries of the yogis and their occult powers and thus, it can be a true inspiration for those who are seeking a spiritual growth.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    A Search in Secret India is a travelogue by Paul Brunton as he wondered through India in search of sages. In the process, he found a number of masters of body, mind, and both. However, he finds these individuals as rare nuggets in a sea of frauds. Brunton states up front that he won't waste time with any of the blatant frauds or suspected frauds, but he does devote space to a number of the more impressive ones. Impressive either by way of a large following or artfulness of technique. He also fin A Search in Secret India is a travelogue by Paul Brunton as he wondered through India in search of sages. In the process, he found a number of masters of body, mind, and both. However, he finds these individuals as rare nuggets in a sea of frauds. Brunton states up front that he won't waste time with any of the blatant frauds or suspected frauds, but he does devote space to a number of the more impressive ones. Impressive either by way of a large following or artfulness of technique. He also finds individuals he doesn't know what to make of. These individuals appear to have impressive otherworldly skills, but skills that he can neither reconcile with known scientific understanding nor uncover as hoaxes despite his best skeptical inquiry. Given Occam's Razor, he seems to be left suspecting that these are masters of illusion, but he maintains skepticism of his skepticism. A prime example of this is a Yogi who seems to be able to conjure any scent upon request. Brunton also runs across individuals who are able to do amazing things that are inconsistent with his knowledge of the world, but which his exhaustive investigations leave little room to dispute. For example, there is one yogi who can completely cease his respiration for a seemingly impossible length of time, and who resumed breathing not with a gasp but with a slow, calm series of breaths. As suggested above, this book is really an attempt to analyze India's spirituality through the lens of Western logical and scientific approaches. The author is a Brit and the book was first published in the 1930's. His worldview is consistent with that status. While Brunton would like to master his own mind, he is unwilling to let himself be duped. There is another side to this juxtaposition of East and West. The yogis and gurus with which Brunton comes into contact often have trouble grasping the Western mindset (there is one notable exception.) What these wise-men have difficulty understanding is why a people, like the British, devote so much time to mastering the external world (and with a great measure of success it must be added), but put so little effort into mastering or understanding the self. Most of the gurus appreciate that a Brit is taking an interest in the spiritual and yogic ways of India, but with their own skepticism. They find Westerners materially rich, but bankrupt of the mind. They find the Brits strong, but lacking the supple power that yoga introduces. After completing his travels, it seems the book is set to draw to an end. However, Brunton realizes that while there were a number of skilled individuals that he came across in his travels,there is one that stands out as someone he should not miss an opportunity to learn more from. Therefore, instead of getting on a steamer back to England, he returns to South India to a man called the Maharishee in order to find out if the guru will take him as a student. The last couple chapters describe his time under the Maharishee's tutelage as well as under one of the guru's most advanced students. The Maharishee is a sage the likes of which Brunton has not seen in all his travels. The guru has the humility to say that he cannot teach Brunton anything, but instead can only show him some things that he learned on his own journey. If there is a lesson for those who would like to follow in Brunton's footsteps, it seems to be that there is an inverse relationship between how easy a guru is to find(/how eager a guru is to talk to one) and the level of skill of that teacher. In almost all cases, Brunton had to take great initiative and steer off the beaten path to find the true masters. On the other hand, most of the individuals who were easily found, and eager to talk, were just con men. I recommend this book for those interested in development of the mind and body.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maria Carmo

    A marvellous book, taking us by the hand through an India which had all sorts of contradictions, but also the best and more excellent Human Beings expressing the Wisdom of Perenial Philosophy. The search for truth and for a suitable, credible Teacher takes Paul Brunton, a Western skeptic, to a journey of Self discovery in which he learns to distinguish betwwen simple fakirs and really Holy Men, culminating with his realisation that Ramana Maharishi is the One who deserves to be recognised as a H A marvellous book, taking us by the hand through an India which had all sorts of contradictions, but also the best and more excellent Human Beings expressing the Wisdom of Perenial Philosophy. The search for truth and for a suitable, credible Teacher takes Paul Brunton, a Western skeptic, to a journey of Self discovery in which he learns to distinguish betwwen simple fakirs and really Holy Men, culminating with his realisation that Ramana Maharishi is the One who deserves to be recognised as a Holy, Wise and transforming Guru - excatly because he respects his disciple's free will and discrimination. He often teaches through silence, but can also use sparce words in order to get to Brunton's Soul and leave an indelible mark of LOVE nad Faith in him. A wonderful, almost pictorial book. Absolutely a GOOD READ! Maria Carmo, Lisbon 18th. Augusr 2012.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lohit Namboodiri

    It is a biography of author's travel in India searching for sages/Yogis. The author beautifully describes his journey with a critical mindset. In this book, you will get introduced to Ramana Maharshi. The book has a lot of old English words which makes it a bit difficult to read. In technical terms, I can call this as a survey paper on different Yogis of India in early 20th Century. :P It is a biography of author's travel in India searching for sages/Yogis. The author beautifully describes his journey with a critical mindset. In this book, you will get introduced to Ramana Maharshi. The book has a lot of old English words which makes it a bit difficult to read. In technical terms, I can call this as a survey paper on different Yogis of India in early 20th Century. :P

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alina Lazarescu - Abboud

    I absolutely loved his encounter with Maharishi and the days spent with him. This pages emanate such a special energy. The rest of the book is interesting describing the author quest for true knowledge, for a true spiritual master in India.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lavanya

    I was in a book store happy about the fact that I had finally found a book i was long searching for(not this book). As I scanned thru the shelves randomly, I came across two or three books and this one in particular drew me such intense inquisitive feelings. I skimmed thru a few pages in random and decided to buy the book. As I returned home, I got a whatsapp message out of nowhere from a friend of mine with a picture of this book and a very profound paragraph from it. Mind you, no one including I was in a book store happy about the fact that I had finally found a book i was long searching for(not this book). As I scanned thru the shelves randomly, I came across two or three books and this one in particular drew me such intense inquisitive feelings. I skimmed thru a few pages in random and decided to buy the book. As I returned home, I got a whatsapp message out of nowhere from a friend of mine with a picture of this book and a very profound paragraph from it. Mind you, no one including me knew I was going to buy this book. Truly felt like a divine coincidence and I knew something was waiting for me in the book About this book: The first few pages were relatively very dry and I sensed that the author was a little too boring in elaborating smaller events in detail and I must admit I was compelled to skip a few paragraphs and lazily skim one or two pages too. I was a little too disappointed and was wondering if I had made a huge mistake of buying this book and i doubted my instinctive deep urge to buy the book at the book store In a matter of few minutes of skipping a few paras and reading thru, I completely lost myself to the book The author has literally shown his truest self in this book as every page there after felt like a journey with him. The chapters have been very neatly organised and there is very little room for unnecessary details in the book. Each chapter gives you that spiritual suspense and mysticism that the author encounters. To be able to pen down everything which is spiritual and yet not highlight his success in different searches and present to us readers as if he was just a mere observer of sorts indeed shows the spiritual maturity of the person and the professional maturity of a journalist/writer There are some places that made me very emotional but the fact was there was clearly nothing sad in his writings. The author had done an exemplary job of touching the soul of the reader The last few pages of the chapter reveals the self realisation journey of the author and he writes some profund messages which I would leave for the reader to probe and understand for themselves Mr. Paul Brunton acted like a mere messenger but in real , he was a blessed and a very spiritually evolved man. It makes a reader like me envy him for such spiritual thirst he possessed. FromThe journey of the thirsty and ready Spiritual student that he was to the master that he finally saw amidst true and fake yogis, magicians, real yogis and spiritualists and the guidance and affirmations he encountered in between was a treat to my soul’s journey as well Thank you is one gratitude I owe to Mr.PAUL BRUNTON . Great great great book 🙏

  19. 5 out of 5

    J.J. Michael

    Hidden wisdom This book was poorly written and sometimes hard to follow because the author didn’t separate dialogue and often jumped from on topic to another all in the same paragraph. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of fascinating spiritual knowledge. Some of the information jumps out at you and other you have to astute enough to see what it right in front of you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ajitabh Pandey

    Bruton has recorded his experiences while searching for a Guru (Holy Teacher) who can initiate him into Yoga. Its a marvolus account of how he travelled the whole country as a critical seaker and found some great Yogi's and spiritual teachers but could not accepet any of them as his Guru until he find Raman Maharshi. My own Guru Pt. Sriram Sharma Acharya, who is the founder of All World Gayatri Parivar used to say, "when you are going out in the market to but vegitables etc you check thoroughly Bruton has recorded his experiences while searching for a Guru (Holy Teacher) who can initiate him into Yoga. Its a marvolus account of how he travelled the whole country as a critical seaker and found some great Yogi's and spiritual teachers but could not accepet any of them as his Guru until he find Raman Maharshi. My own Guru Pt. Sriram Sharma Acharya, who is the founder of All World Gayatri Parivar used to say, "when you are going out in the market to but vegitables etc you check thoroughly for quality, so why can't you do the same when you go in search of a Guru". The best part I like about Brunton is the critical questions he asked various spiritual leaders in order to test whether they are actually spiritual or merely taking advantage of the people in the name of religion. This is a great book which presents mutiple faces of India at those times and I would highly recommend it to all spiritual seekers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    M

    I was recommended this books almost 20 years ago, when I had just started wetting my toes in the gigantic ocean of Hindu philosophy. Having read little on how early western philosophers had misinterpreted Hinduism, I decided to read the memoirs of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Rama, Yogananda et al instead. Certainly, I can pat my own back for doing that. This book written in astounding flowery prose of the past century, skims through Hindu spirituality through skeptical Western I was recommended this books almost 20 years ago, when I had just started wetting my toes in the gigantic ocean of Hindu philosophy. Having read little on how early western philosophers had misinterpreted Hinduism, I decided to read the memoirs of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Rama, Yogananda et al instead. Certainly, I can pat my own back for doing that. This book written in astounding flowery prose of the past century, skims through Hindu spirituality through skeptical Western eyes. The text, now and then, is accompanied with gist of British superiority over the oppressed natives, which I guess was a common thing in the early 1900's. Where other books on journeys of Indian gurus take you into an enchanting and mystical journey, this book falls flat on its face. It does brush past Ramana Maharishi's teachings, but there are better books one could refer to.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ainsley

    What a long journey this book was. The author went up and down India, into jungles, across desserts, all in search of a rishee. By the time he actually found the rishee, or Maharishee in this case, I was so tired of reading the book that I didn't even realize this was the big deal of the whole story! Additionally, each page was packed with such dense writing and descriptions that I had to read them over and over again sometimes. But I did learn a lot about India and about the extensive search on What a long journey this book was. The author went up and down India, into jungles, across desserts, all in search of a rishee. By the time he actually found the rishee, or Maharishee in this case, I was so tired of reading the book that I didn't even realize this was the big deal of the whole story! Additionally, each page was packed with such dense writing and descriptions that I had to read them over and over again sometimes. But I did learn a lot about India and about the extensive search one goes through, especially in 1937, so find a yogi. And for that alone - that the author showed me how exhausting and extensive such a search is - I have to give the book 3 stars. But if you're looking for light, quick reading, this might not be the best choice...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Manoj Chacko

    This is book that will take you back in time. Written in 1931 it give a westerners view of India and that too in the pre independence era. Its ever more fascinating to hear from a skeptic and see how he metamorphosed through the chapters and was eventually left impressed with the ancient knowledge of India. The British while ruling India had take away a lot of valuables but he laments that fact that they missed on some of the troves of knowledge that was not discovered!! Travel, it looks like is This is book that will take you back in time. Written in 1931 it give a westerners view of India and that too in the pre independence era. Its ever more fascinating to hear from a skeptic and see how he metamorphosed through the chapters and was eventually left impressed with the ancient knowledge of India. The British while ruling India had take away a lot of valuables but he laments that fact that they missed on some of the troves of knowledge that was not discovered!! Travel, it looks like is the key essence in seeking out knowledge and I believe even in this age of internet, wikkies and google the problem that existed then in terms of discerning the truth from the fake still remains the same!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Naliniprasad

    Read this book mentioned in a telugu biography of ramana maharshi.Paul brunton was one of the first westerners to give a first hand account of meeting the maharshi.He was drawn to the sage of arunachala just like the maharshi himself was drawn to the mountain shrine in his teenage.The book describes brunton's various encounters with Indian spiritual masters of the previous century.Must read book for any one interested in Spiritual masters of yester years. Read this book mentioned in a telugu biography of ramana maharshi.Paul brunton was one of the first westerners to give a first hand account of meeting the maharshi.He was drawn to the sage of arunachala just like the maharshi himself was drawn to the mountain shrine in his teenage.The book describes brunton's various encounters with Indian spiritual masters of the previous century.Must read book for any one interested in Spiritual masters of yester years.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vignesh

    I liked the way Paul Brunton has presented his journey through India in his search for a spiritual guru. I think the concept of self inquiry and looking inwards for answers are powerful concepts but unless I experience it myself I can never be sure. Still some of the ideas presented by the Maharshee are worth knowing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pankaj Pandey

    Loved it. For all logical readers who like to see proof of what eyes cant see. "If it cant be seen doesn't mean it doesn't exist" Everything needs to be explored (that's worth exploring) before rejecting. Paul Brunton's amazing trip and awakening in life packed into one masterpiece. Loved it. For all logical readers who like to see proof of what eyes cant see. "If it cant be seen doesn't mean it doesn't exist" Everything needs to be explored (that's worth exploring) before rejecting. Paul Brunton's amazing trip and awakening in life packed into one masterpiece.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bhashini

    Paul Brunton's account of his search for genuine spirituality in 1920s India was a delightful discovery for me. The writing is exquisite and the sincerity and determination with which he pursues his goal is both inspiring and moving. I can see myself coming back to it again and again. Paul Brunton's account of his search for genuine spirituality in 1920s India was a delightful discovery for me. The writing is exquisite and the sincerity and determination with which he pursues his goal is both inspiring and moving. I can see myself coming back to it again and again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Such a great spiritual travelogue on India, written before most of them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vidy

    Demystify India and what it really is! contemporary Indians have gotta read it.. and understand what their real legacy is, where there come from and why one should be proud of our history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bhavana Kilambi

    There are some moments in life when you fall short of words and all the language in the world does not suffice to describe how awe-inspiring and beautiful and exhilarating a state a book can leave you in. I was left in that state after reading this book. During a short visit to Ramana Ashram at Arunachalam last year, i stumbled upon a small book (excerpts from this same book "A Search in Secret India") in the Ashram gallery, which was an account of a British traveler to India who came in search There are some moments in life when you fall short of words and all the language in the world does not suffice to describe how awe-inspiring and beautiful and exhilarating a state a book can leave you in. I was left in that state after reading this book. During a short visit to Ramana Ashram at Arunachalam last year, i stumbled upon a small book (excerpts from this same book "A Search in Secret India") in the Ashram gallery, which was an account of a British traveler to India who came in search of a spiritual guru. I got back home and bought the full book. The author Paul Brunton is a British journalist and philosopher who has made an aim in life to tour various parts of the world and meet the holy saints and learn about the various spiritual teachings they had to offer. In this quest, he ends up touring India as well. He arrives in India when the country's freedom struggle was at its peak - the 1930's (Him being a British, I must also mention, I am amazed at his temerity to visit India during those times when the whites were not welcome at all). He meets several saints during his tour in India including a magician from Persia in Bombay, couple of yogis in Madras who have perfected the Yoga of Body and Mind control, Meher baba (whom he openly and blantantly criticizes), Lahari Mahasaya, Kanchi Paramacharya, Radha Soamis and many others but his quest ends when he meets Ramana maharishi at Arunachala. The deep inquisitiveness and scientific reasoning that he possesses (devoid of blind faith that the average Indian in those days and probably even today hold) makes his conversations with the saints truly intriguing. He asks very simple yet deep spiritual questions to them which connects with the reader (as most of us contemplate on such questions too). I must digress here and also mention that I felt truly proud of my country of housing such learned men with such in-depth spiritual experience who have conquered worldly desires, overcome vices and are at absolute peace with themselves. There is so much to learn in this country. This book also serves as a travelogue in the 1930's India and the way people lived in those days. Reading about these saints, their out-of-the world experiences and their spiritual teachings itself is such an awe-inducing thing but there is something even more wonderful than that - Looking back at all the little events that have happened to the author during his trip to India, they all seemed to have happened to align with something that has been pre-ordained for the author i.e they have all collectively enabled the author to continue in his quest to reach out to the learned men and find his true calling. He has never heard of the Mahasaya but he ends up meeting a fellow passenger on a train to Calcutta who happens to be a disciple of the Mahasaya who directs the author to him. He also meets Kanchi Paramcharya who directs him to Ramana Maharishi (when he had no plans whatsoever to visit Arunachalam). According to Ramana Maharishi himself -" Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is for one to be silent." Such a deep book definitely requires another read.

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