Spiritual Travel

A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton

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Information:312 pages, paperback



They say: Paul Brunton was one of the twentieth century's greatest explorers, of the spiritual traditions of the East. He was also a journalist with a healthy regard for critical impartiality and for commonsense. These characteristics, together with a rich inner life, made him a superb writer on the spirituality of the Orient. A Search in Secret India is one of the great classics of spiritual travel writing Paul Brunton was one of the twentieth century's greatest explorers, of the spiritual traditions of the East. He was also a journalist with a healthy regard for critical impartiality and for commonsense. These characteristics, together with a rich inner life, made him a superb writer on the spirituality of the Orient.

A Search in Secret India is one of the great classics of spiritual travel writing. With a keen eye for detail combined with a generosity of view, Paul Brunton describes taking a circular journey round India: living amongst yogis, mystics and gurus, seeking the one who would give him the peace and tranquillity that come with self-knowledge.

His vividly told search ends at Arunachala, with Sri Ramana Maharshi: 'the indigo sky is strewn with stars, which cluster in countless thousands close over our heads. The rising moon is a thin crescent disc of silver light. On our left the evening fireflies are making the compound grove radiant, and above them the plumed heads of tall palms stand out in black silhouette against the sky. My adventure in, self-metamorphosis is over...' With a keen eye for detail combined with a generosity of view, Paul Brunton describes taking a circular journey round India: living amongst yogis, mystics and gurus, seeking the one who would give him the peace and tranquillity that come with self-knowledge.

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5 out of 5 By
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This timeless classic was well worth republication. It is an excellent account of a search for personal discovery. The late Paul Brunton was a great authority on Eastern spirituality and is credited with the introduction to a number of Indian teachers to the West. This book is an account of Brunton's search throughout India for the spiritual master who would bring him peace and harmony. The work is achieved through colourful writing that reads like a novel. Fine descriptions and atmospheric backgrounds bring the story to life. What we are given is not only a flavour of what certain spiritual teachers promote, but also a taste of the physical and cultural environment of the Indian subcontinent. Before beginning to read it is important to note that the author did find a conclusion to the 'adventure in self-metamorphosis'. In Sri Ramana Marharshi, Brunton's journey ended indicating that such a search need never be fruitless. Brunton, however, was not to be easily convinced. With the critical mind of his journalistic training, the author managed to test out the preachings of the masters he met. That his experience was positive because of that says a great deal about the culture he encountered. This book is over 300 pages long, is written in a succinct journalistic style, and uses a good deal of speech. It can be read by anyone who has an interest in Eastern spirituality, whether they be academically focused or attracted to it for personal satisfaction. It can be read by anyone of any age, who, like Brunton has that desire to seek the truth with no prejudice to stand in the way.
4 out of 5 By
I read "A Search in Secret India" in 1996 while staying at the Sri Ramana Ashram in Tiruvanamalai India. I was recuperating from dysentery and sat in my room for 3 days living on water and raw garlic while reading this book (along with a classic 'Ramana book').
Brunton's style was captivating. He takes you on the search with him and was quite ruthless in his accessments of so-called saints and sages. I remember his summary of the Indian sage Meher Baba quite well. (As some of you may know, Meher Baba liked to say: "Don't worry, be happy." Later this was made famous by Bobby McFerrin's song of the same name). Brunton seemed to feel that Meher Baba was a fraud of sorts, or at least pretending to be "Self-Realized", whatever that means.

Brunton, from England, brought a powerful earnestness for truth to his seeking which brings the book alive. It is a classic, in the way of Autobiography of a Yogi, in that he captures a time period alight with the immense power of India's rich spiritual traditions.

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