The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: soham3 on January 17, 2010, 08:09:30 PM

Title: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: soham3 on January 17, 2010, 08:09:30 PM
Paul Brunton who was ambassador or  apostle of Ramana to the West & world subsequently became against Ramana & his followers and made scathing attacks. And he sought gurus elsewhere in India & abroad.
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Chuck Cliff on January 17, 2010, 11:57:49 PM
Uh, Soham3, this is so short and cryptic, that I don't really understand what you are trying to say -- any references to this statement or can you make it more clear what you are trying to tell?
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 18, 2010, 09:13:16 AM
Brunton's story is somewhat like this:-

1. After visiting  Bhagavan Ramana, though he had some 'experience', he returned to his country and kept himself busy
in writing books.  In some of the books, he wrote about Bhagavan's
direct path, as if it were his own invention.  The Asrmam authorities
did not like this.  When he came next time, (after some years, I
presume), the Asramam authorities did not like his taking notes
in Bhagavan's presence.  He did not like this and stayed outside
for sometime and then returned back to his country or to other
countries, in search of some other guru!

2. He toured all over the world, and he found some peace in
Angor Vat in Cambodia, where there were some architectural
beauties of Hindu (Chozha) kings.  There were buddhist statues too.  Even here, he did not ultimately have his peace.

3.  We should thank Brunton only because he introduced Bhagavan
Ramana to the Western world and the western devotees started
pouring in.  But he himself did not benefit from Bhagavan's
teachings and worked out his liberation.

4. However, Sri Ramanasramam publishes some of his books, through permission from Rider and Co., the publishers for the

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 18, 2010, 10:48:48 AM
He did not criticize Bhagavan Ramana.  However, he had nothing
good to speak about Chinnaswami, (the Sarvadikari) and a few

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Chuck Cliff on January 18, 2010, 10:55:53 AM
"In some of the books, he wrote about Bhagavan's direct path, as if it were his own invention."  One could perhaps say the same thing about the American William Samuel (1924-1996) who no where mentions Ramana although it is almost certain that sat in in silence at the Ashram for a fortnight.  This is not of any real consequence

The valid question is "Did he criticize Ramana" [for anything] and, here, the answer is no -- so, back to the top, did Brunton attack Ramana?  Perhaps what was meant was that he was soured on Ashram administration (in which case, he would not be the first, or likely the last -- it seems to be part of some people's "sadhana" ;D)

Soham3, I see you have repeated the same statement again -- again, what are your references / quotes -- perhaps others would  / would not consider them "scathing"?

Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Nagaraj on January 18, 2010, 11:13:44 AM
Dear I,

Bhagawan always welcomed controversies, and he would become happy because, atleast by the propaganda of such controversies, some large amount of visitors would reduce and only the genuine ones who surpass such thorns - controversies would only remain. He said this when one of his close devotees turned against him and tried so many things to tarnish Ramana Maharshi who remained unperturbed all through.

The point to note is that, Ramana's popularity grew leaps and bounds. He was totally independent and aloof of what was happening around him, and quite predictably, He was beginning to get some funds, and since he was never allowed to remain alone, for even if he went to Skandashram or Virupaksha he was still not left alone.

The so called Ashram just started automatically even without his original consent. It just propped up like a plant! And then there were so many devotees who were too enthusiastic about how the Ashram has to be run lest really even thought what Bhagawan really wants. Each one had their own ideas, and eventually, interests were contradictory, and there were ego clashes between them.

Originally, before an Ashram came up, Palaniswamy was having full control of Ashram and its activities, but then when his conduct was really questionable, Chinnaswami took over, Bhagawan just remained a witness to all these!

But only thing is that Bhagawan did not allow any more changes after Chinnaswami took over because, if any one were given authority, it would create ego clashes between other devotees as to why they were not given that job.

Many devotees were really not happy with even Chinnaswami's handling things as well. Bhagawan just let things be as they are. Not that any of them were bad, but that Bhagawan put more focus on the egos of the devotees, and let things be as they are!

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 18, 2010, 11:24:07 AM
Bhagavan Ramana did not own up any of His teachings or books.
For the One without a second, where was the concepts of 'owner'
and the 'owned"?  But His devotees did not like these plagiarisms
and rightly so. 

Another example, the Vichara Mani Maala (in the Complete Works),
which is a condensation of an original Hindi work, was done by
Bhagavan Ramana only.  For long long years, it bore the name
of Arunachala Mudaliar, who first had wanted Him to write and He
wrote and Mudaliar simply owned it up!  After many years, the
Complete Works in Tamil contains Vichara Mani Maala under
Bhagavan's name!

When Perumal Swami wanted Him to write a poem of comparison
between Him and Skanda, Bhagavan Ramana wrote it.  Perumal
Swami owned it.  After many years, devotees knew that it was
Bhagavan's poem.  This poem became famous after the so-called-
commission enquriy done on Bhagavan, on the basis of Perumal
Swami's suit filed against Bhagavan, for the ownership of the

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 18, 2010, 01:47:05 PM
Dear srkudai,

Perumal Swami's life was a classic example as to how the undying
ego finally wins.  He was a great attendant to Bhagavan Ramana.
Later, he became somewhat embroiled in the infatuations to power
etc.,  There were many contenders to the Asramam manager-ship.
Brunton, Swami Niranjananada Swami, why even Kavyakanta
Ganapati Sastri and Perumal Swami.  They perhaps believed that
being a Manager or Sarvadikari, they could be 'close to Bhagavan'
and will have the chance of introducing themselves as Manager...
etc., to important foreign visitors and local Maharajahs.  Definitely finance was not the attraction.  Even Muruganar was  asked to take over, which he politely refused.  The final selection was shortlisted to Kavyakanta and Swami Niranjananda. Bhagavan did not give any 'opinion' in the matter.  Devotees selected Niranjananda Swami.  Even Kavyakanta had some heartburn in this issue.  But his faith in Bhagavan was unflinching.  He came out of the Asramam
for sometime.

Now, coming back to Perumal Swami's further deeds of ego, he
had earlier made a metal image of Bhagavan while they were in
the Hill.  He wanted the image to be taken as procession into the
streets of T'malai with people spitting on the image!  This was
not supported by townspeople and so he left it.  On another occasion, he got an Iyengar rowdy fully drunk, and made him speak all foul words at the gates of the Old Hall.  Bhagavan Ramana did not move, even though He was somewhat angry.  Then Annamalai
Swami came to the scene and gave that Iyengar a nice slap and
sent him out and he also cautioned Perumal Swami of such a treatment, if he did not behave well.  Finally, Perumal Swami had
given his savings to a person in T'mali and that person cheated him and overnight he became a pauper.  He became sick.  He was lying on a stone bench on the Chengam Road, asking for alms from people.  At that point of time, he came to Bhagavan Ramana and sought His forgiveness saying that he would surely go to hell.  Bhagavan said: " I can forgive you but I cannot forget you.  Even if you go to hell, I shall be there to support you."

Perumal Swami must have surely gone to hell.  But whether Bhagavan Ramana prayed to Arunachleswara, to leave him back to a better birth quickly, is not known.  Bhagavan Ramana surely might have done something to that effect.  Because, He never forsook anyone in life.  He Himself has said:  "I have come to grace people and not punish them.  If I start punishing living beings, even a crow would not fly over the Asramam."       

His avatara as Skanda, is one of grace and not punishment even
the villains. Skanda is said to have converted the demons into his
peacock and rooster so that they could always live beside him to
work out their way for liberation.

Now among the various contenders, destiny proved that Bhagavan's
brother was the best choice.  Muruganar had no issues.  So the family
trust might not have been created. Kavyakanta passed away earlier
than Bhagavan and his children, though spiritually oriented were not
eager for the trusteeship of the Asramam.  Perumal Swami, even if he had been good to Bhagavan througout his life, was a Sannyasi and thus there was no family tree after him.  Brunton himself had
not unflinching faith and his children were never heard about.
Whereas, in case of Niranajananda, he had a son, who had also
moved with Bhagavan right from his childhood years and hence
proper orientation was there.  His son was married and he in turn
had three male issues.  Hence, the family trust which was
finalized later, had no problems in later years.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Nagaraj on January 18, 2010, 02:31:06 PM
Dear I,

Perumal swami, came to Bhagawan and expressed all his guilt and said to Him that for all that he has done to Bhagawan, he is sure to go to hell, and then Bhagawan replied to him that He will also be there even in Hell. - He meaning the 'I' the eternal I is there everywhere! The Consciousness. Perfect Self.
Meaning, the 'I' which is eternal, Pefect Self is always present. be it one is a murderer or a great philanthropist, the Self remains unchanged. Whenever Bhagawan has told every devotee that He is there everywhere, or for that matter, his famous quote to one devotee who asked him tearfully that Bhagawan would leave them and go away very soon (beforehis death) for which Bhagawan said "Where can I go, I am here"

The 'I' which Bhagawan infers is not himself but the eternal 'I' which is the real Self of everyone. That Perfect Self itself is Ramana Maharshi.

The Self is ever there, the Self itself is Grace. Grace itself is Self.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionmentself-realization
Post by: soham3 on January 18, 2010, 09:38:01 PM
Paul Brunton says :-

(1) People at the asramam stooped to threats of physical violence against him.
(2) Ramana had attained a high psychological state but was unable to exercise any control over the asramam.
(3) There is no short-cut to kingdom of heaven.
(4) A person after having had attained Self-realization should not confine himself to Absolute but develop oneself so as to have control over forces of Nature. It is similar to Krishna's advice to Arjuna & Aurobindo's advice to his followers.
(5) A saint should be able to make the Divinity percolate to the lower levels of soul, heart, mind, body and world. Quantum of Consciousness in the surroundings & the world should be made to increase.
(6) Ramana had taken his famous " Who am I ? " from ancient sanskrit texts of upanishads.


Those disillusioned with advaita vedanta gravitated to Pondicherry. Names include Kavyakantha Vashishtha's disciple Kapali Sastri, Paul Brunton, some revolutionary poets, some telugu devotees of Ramana and others.
Kapali Sastri's contention was that even after becoming a jnani, person's individuality remains.
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Nagaraj on January 18, 2010, 11:05:00 PM
Dear I,

this also shall pass.............

as just another thought........

so long individuality/thoughts lasts, these shall continue....

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: Chuck Cliff on January 20, 2010, 03:30:18 PM
Thanks Soham3 for the details on Brunton (and for the extra material others have shared!) For the little they're worth, my comments on the 6 criticisms attributed to Brunton:

1. Probably/correct that somebody bad mouthed Brunton, but so what?
2. If "...psychological state but was unable..." was elided, this could be true enough -- Ramana didn't control the Ashram, devotees of anything in a normal/worldly way.
3. Correct, but then, did Ramana ever speak of "short-cuts"?  True, some folk have run with quotes out of context to give  credence to neo-advaita, God-realization by mail-order schemes -- you name it.
4. & 5. If this is Brunton's teaching, I don't understand what he's talking about and suspect he didn't either.
6.  Well, yes, and Jesus neither added or detracted from the Law --so, what to do but shrug ones shoulders?

The bottom line is that Ramana was not upset by all kinds of goings-on, so why should we bother?  If Brunton got himself into a lather and thought he was scathing in his attacks,  well that's his problem -- it's kind of like a mighty ant banging on the foot of a poor, helpless elephant.


Title: Re: Brunton's Disillusionment
Post by: soham3 on January 20, 2010, 10:05:13 PM
See the following quote :
" Shri Atmananda Menon was the third titan of twentieth century India along with Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi. In fact, the man credited with bringing Ramana Maharshi to the West, Paul Brunton, also spent time and wrote extensively on Atmananda. Frequently, Brunton sent people seeking a guru relationship directly to Menon."