The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Subramanian.R on August 22, 2013, 02:49:32 PM

Title: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 22, 2013, 02:49:32 PM

Last night, without getting sleep, I was going through the above book of Paul Brunton.  This is from the three chapters of
his bigger book A Search in Secret India.  I went through this booklet and found that Brunton had really been enamored of
Sri Bhagavan's greatness and His jnana bodham.  Had he remained like Chadwick, sticking to Maharshi, without roaming all
over the places in the world, he would have attained great spiritual progress and even realized the Self.  Destiny played a role
that he had to be only a writer of books and some of them are writings of Sri Bhagavan plagiarized by him, which earned him
bad name from devotees of Sri Bhagavan.  But his darsan of Sri Bhagavan shows that he had great yearning for a Guru and
was ready to follow him and make use of his presence for his spiritual development.

*

I give some excerpts from the booklet The Maharshi and His Message:

Brunton along with one Sadhu by name Subramanya arrive at Tiruvannamalai Station.

At length I learn that we are approaching the Maharshi's hermitage.  We turn aside from the road and move down a rough
path which brings us to a thick grove of coconut and mango trees. We cross this until he path suddenly comes to an abrupt
termination before an unlocked gate.  The driver of the cart descends, pushes the gate open, and then drives us into a large
unpaved courtyard.  I stretch out my cramped limbs, descend to the ground, and look around. 

The cloistered domain of the Maharshi is hemmed in at the front by closely growing trees and a thickly clustered garden.
It is screened at the back and side by hedgerows of shrub and cactus, while away to the west stretches the scrub jungle
and what appears to be a dense forest.  It is most picturesquely placed on a lower spur of the Hill.  Secluded and apart,
it seems a fitting spot for those who wish to pursue profound themes of meditation.

...........

'We shall now enter into the Hall of Maharshi,' announces the holy man of the yellow robe, bidding me to follow him.  I pause
outside the uncovered stone verandah and remove my shoes. I gather up the little pile of fruits which I have brought as an
offering, and pass into an open doorway.

Twenty faces flash their eyes open upon us.  Their owners are squatting in half circles on a dark grey floor paved with
Cuddappah slabs.  They are grouped at a respectful distance from the corner which lies farthest to the right hand of the door.
Apparently everyone has been facing this corner just prior to our entry.  I glance for a moment and perceive a seated figure
upon a long white divan, but it suffices to tell me that here indeed is the Maharshi. 

My guide approaches the divan, prostrates himself prone on the floor, and buries his eyes under folded hands.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 23, 2013, 10:39:15 AM

continues....

The divan is but a few paces away from a broad high window in the end wall.  The light falls clearly upon the Maharshi and
I can take in very detail of His profile, for He is seated gazing rigidly through the window in the precise direction whence we
have come this morning.  His head does not move, so, thinking to catch His eye and greet Him as I offer the fruits, I move
quietly over to the window, place the gift before Him and retreat a pace or two.

A small iron brazier stands before His couch. It is filled with burning charcoal, and a pleasant odor tells me that some aromatic
powder has been thrown on the glowing embers.  Close by is an incense burner filled with joss sticks. Threads of bluish grey
smoke arise and afloat in the air, but the pungent perfume is quite different. 

I fold a thin cotton blanket upon the floor and sit down, gazing expectantly at the silent figure in such a rigid attitude upon
the couch.  The Maharshi's body is almost nude, except a thin, narrow loin cloth, but that is common enough  in these parts.
His skin is slightly copper colored, quite fair in comparison with that of the average South Indian. I judge Him to be a tall man;
His age is somewhere in the early fifties. His head, which is covered with closely cropped grey hair, is well formed. The high
and broad expanse of forehead gives intellectual distinction to His personality.  His features are more European than Indian.
Such is my first impression.

The couch is covered with white cushion and the Maharshi's feet rest upon a magnificently marked tiger skin.

Pin drop silence prevails throughout the long Hall.  The Sage remains perfectly still, motionless, quite undisturbed at our
arrival.  A swarthy disciple sits on the floor at the other side of the divan.  He breaks into quietude by beginning a pull a
rope which works a punkah fan made of plaited khaki.  The fan is fixed to a wooden beam and suspended immediately above
the Sage's head.  I listen to its rhythmic purring, while I look full into the eyes of the seated figure in the hope of catching
His notice. They are dark brown, medium sized and wide open.

If He is aware of my presence, He betrays no hint, gives no sign.  His body is supernaturally quiet, as steady as a statue.
Not once does He catch my gaze for His eyes continue to look into remote space, and infinitely remote it seems.  I find this
scene strangely reminiscent.  Where have I seen its like?  I rummage through the portrait gallery of memory and find the
picture of the Sage Who Never Speaks, the recluse whom I visited in his isolated cottage near Madras, that man whose body
seemed cut from stone, so motionless it was.  There is a curious similarity in this unfamiliar stillness of body which I now behold
in the Maharshi.

It is an ancient theory of mine, that one can take the inventory of a man's soul from His eyes.  But before those of the
Maharshi I hesitate, puzzled and baffled.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                               
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 24, 2013, 11:12:54 AM

continues...

The minutes creep by with unutterable slowness.  First they mount up to half-hour by the hermitage clock which hangs
on a wall.  This too passes by and becomes a whole hour.  Yet no one dares to speak.  I reach a point of visual concentration
where I have forgotten the existence of all save this silent figure on the couch.  My offering of fruit remains unregarded on the
small carved table which stands before Him.

My guide has given me no warning that his Master will receive me as I had been received by the Sage Who Never Speaks.
It has come upon me abruptly, this strange reception characterized by complete indifference.   The first thought which would
come into the mind of any European, 'Is this man merely posing for he benefit of His devotee?' crosses my mind once or twice,
but I soon rule it out.  He is certainly in a trance condition, though my guide has not informed me that his Master indulges in
trances.  The next thought which occupies the mind, 'Is this state of mystical contemplation nothing more than meaningless
vacancy?' has a longer sway, but I let it go for the simple reason that I cannot answer it. 

There is something in this man which holds my attention as steel filings are held by a magnet.  I cannot turn my gaze away
from Him.  My initial bewilderment, my perplexity at being totally ignored, slowly fade away as this strange fascination begins
to grip me more firmly.  But it is not till the second hour of the uncommon scene that I become aware of a silent, resistless
change which is taking place within my mind . One by  one, the questions which I prepared in the train, with such meticulous
accuracy drop away.  For it does not now seem to matter whether they are asked or not, and it does not matter whether I
solve the problems which have hitherto troubled me.  I know only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me.
That a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and that my thought tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some
rest.

How small those questions which I have asked myself with such frequency?  How petty grows the panorama of the last years!
I perceive with sudden clarity that intellect creates its own problems and then makes itself miserable trying to solve them.
This indeed is a novel concept to enter the mind of one who has hitherto placed such a high value upon intellect.

I surrender myself to the steadily deepening sense of restfulness until two hours have passed.  The passage of time now
provokes no irritation because I feel that the chains of mind made problems are being broken and thrown away.  And then,
little by little, a new question takes the field of consciousness.

''Does this man, the Maharshi, emanate perfume of spiritual peace as the flower emanates fragrance from its petals?"

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
                     
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 25, 2013, 11:15:41 AM

continues.....

I do not consider myself a competent person to apprehend spirituality, but I have personal reactions to other people.
The dawning suspicion that the mysterious peace which has arisen within me must be attributed to the geographical
situation in which I am now placed, is my reaction to the personality of Maharshi.  I begin to wonder whether, by some
radioactivity of the soul, some unknown telepathic process, the stillness which invades the troubled waters of my own
soul really comes from Him.  Yet He remains completely impassive, completely unaware of my very existence, it seems.

Comes the first cripple. Someone approaches me and whispers in my ear: 'Did you wish to question the Maharshi?'

He may have lost patience, this quondam guide of mine.  More likely, he imagines that I, a restless European, have
reached the limit of my own patience.  Alas, my inquisitive friend!  Truly I came to question your master, but now, -- I,
who am at peace with all the world and myself, why should I trouble my head with questions?  I feel that the ship of my
soul is beginning to slip its moorings.  A wonderful sea waits to be crossed. Yet you would draw me back to the noisy
port of this world, just when I am about to start a great adventure!

But the spell is broken. As if this infelicitous intrusion is a signal, figures rise from the floor and begin to move about the
Hall, voices float up to my hearing, and wonder of wonders -- the dark brown eyes of the Maharshi flicker once or twice.
Then the head turns, the face moves slowly, very slowly, and bends downward at an angle.  A few more  moments  and it
has brought me into the ambit of its vision. For the first time, the Sage's mysterious gaze is directed upon me. It is plain
that He has now awakened from His long trance.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 26, 2013, 11:33:58 AM

continues....

The intruder, thinking perhaps that my lack of response is a sign that I have not heard Him, repeats His question aloud.
But in those lustrous eyes which are gently staring at me, I read another question, albeit unspoken:

'Can it be -- is it possible -- that you are still tormented  with distracting doubts when you have now glimpsed the deep
mental peace which you -- and all men  - may attain?'

The peace overwhelms me.  I turn to the guide and answer:

'No.  There is nothing I care and to ask now.  Another time.....'

I feel now that some explanation of my visit is required of me, not by the Maharshi Himself but the little crowd which has
begun to talk so animatedly. I knew from the accounts of my guide that only a handful of these people are resident disciples,
and that the others are visitors from the country around.  Strangely enough, at this point my guide himself arises and makes
the required introduction.  He speaks energetically in Tamizh, using a wealth of gesture while he explains matters to the assembled
company.  I fear that the explanation is mixing a little fable with his facts, for it draws cries of wonder.

The midday meal is over.  The sun unmercifully raises the afternoon temperature to a degree I have never before experienced.
But then, we are now in a latitude not far from the Equator.  For once I am grateful that India is favored with a climate which
does not foster activity, because most of the people have disappeared into the shady groves to take a siesta.  I can, therefore
approach the Maharshi in the way I prefer, without undue notice or fuss.

I enter the large Hall and sit down near Him.  He half reclines upon some white cushions placed on the divan.  An attendant pulls
steadily at the cord which operates the punkah fan.  The soft burr of the rope and the gentle swish of the fan as it moves \
through the sultry air sound pleasantly in my ears.

The Maharshi holds a folded manuscript book in His hands,  He is writing something with extreme slowness.  A few minutes
after my entry, He puts the book aside and calls a disciple.  A few words pass between them in Tamizh and the man tells me
that his Master wishes to reiterate His regrets at my inability to partake their food.  He explains that they live a simple life
and never having catered for Europeans before do not know what the latter eat.  I thank the Maharshi, and say that I shall
be glad to share their unspiced dishes with them.  For the rest, I shall procure some food from the township.  I add that I regard
the question of diet as being far less important than the quest which has brought me to his hermitage.

The Sage listens intently, His face calms,  imperturbable and non committal.


'It is a good object', he comments at length.

This encourages me to enlarge upon the same theme.

'Master, I have studied our Western philosophies and sciences, lived and worked among the people of our crowded cities,
tasted their pleasures and allowed myself to be caught up into their ambitions.  Yet I have also gone into solitary places
and wandered there amid the loneliness of deep thought.  I have questioned the sages of the West. Now I have turned
my face towards the East.  I seek more light.'

The Maharshi nods His head as if to say, 'Yes, I quite understand.'               

'I have heard many opinions, listened to many theories.  Intellectual proofs of one belief or another pile up all around
me. I am tired of them, sceptical of anything which cannot be proved by personal experience.  Forgive me for saying so,
but I am not religious.  Is there anything beyond man's material existence?  If so, how can I realize it for myself?'

The three or four devotees who are gathered around us stare in surprise.  Have I offended the subtle etiquette of
the hermitage by speaking so brusquely and boldly to their Master?  I do not know. Perhaps I do not care. The accumulated
weight of many years' desire has unexpectedly escaped my control and passed beyond my lips..  If the Maharshi is the right
kind of man, surely He will understand and brush aside mere lapses from convention. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 27, 2013, 02:43:17 PM


continues....

He makes no verbal reply but appears to have dropped into some train of thought.  Because there is nothing else to do
and because my tongue has been loosened, I address Him for the third time:

'The wise men of the West, our scientists are greatly honored for their cleverness.  Yet they have confessed that they
can throw but little light upon the hidden truth behind life.  It is said that there are some in your land who can give what
our Western sages fail to reveal.  Is this so?  Can you assist me to experience enlightenment?  Or is the search itself
a mere delusion?'

I have now reached my conversational objective and decide to await the Maharshi's response.  He continues to stare
thoughtfully at me.  Perhaps He is pondering over my questions.  Ten minutes pass in silence.

At last His lips open and He says gently:

'You say I.  'I want to know.' Tell me who is that I?'

What does He mean?  He has now cut across the services of the interpreter and speaks direct to me in English. 
Bewilderment creeps across my brain.

'I am afraid I do not understand your question,' I reply blankly.

'Is it not clear?  Think again!'

I puzzle over His words once more.  An idea suddenly flashes into my head.  I point a finger to myself and mention
my name.

'And do you know him?'

'All my life!' I smile back at Him.

'But that is only your body!  Again I ask, 'Who are you?"

I cannot find a ready answer to this extraordinary query.

The Maharshi continues:

'Know first that I and then you shall know the Truth.'

My mind hazes again.  I am deeply puzzled. This bewilderment finds verbal expression.  But the Maharshi has evidently
reached the limit of His English, for he turns to the interpreter and the answer is slowly translated to me.

'There is only one thing to be done.  Look into your own self. Do this in the right way and you shall find answer to all
your problems.'

It is a strange rejoinder.  But I ask Him:

'What must one do?  What method can I pursue?'

'Through deep reflection on the nature of one's self and through constant meditation, the light can be found.'

'I have frequently given myself up to meditation upon the truth, but I see no signs of progress.'

'How do you know that no progress has been made?  It is not easy to perceive one's progress in the spiritual realm.'

'Is help of a Master necessary?'

'It might be.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

       

   
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 28, 2013, 01:53:49 PM

continues....

'Can a Master help a man to look into his own self in the way you suggest?'

'He can give the man all that he needs for this quest.  Such a thing can however be perceived only through personal experience.'

'How long will it take to get some enlightenment with a Master's help?'

'It all depends on the maturity of the seeker's mind.  The gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while much time is needed
to set fire to the coal.'

I receive a queer feeling that the Sage dislikes to discuss the subject of Masters and their methods.  Yet, my mental pertinacity
is strong enough to over ride this feeling, and I address a further question on the matter to Him.  He turns a stolid face
toward the window, gazes out at the expanse of hilly landscape beyond and vouchsafes no answer.  I take the hint and drop
the subject.

'Will the Maharshi express an opinion about the future of the world, for we are living in critical times?'

'Why should you trouble yourself about the future?' demands the Sage.  'You do not even properly know about the present!
Take care of the present; the future will then take care of itself.'

Another rebuff !  But I do not yield so easily on this occasion, for I come from a world where the tragedies of life press far
more heavily on people than they do in this peaceful jungle retreat. 

'Will not the world soon enter a new era of friendliness and mutual help, or will it go down into chaos and war?'  I persist.

The Maharshi does not seem at all pleased, but nevertheless He makes a reply.

'There is One who governs the world, and it is His look out to look after the world.  He who has given life to the world
knows how to look after it also.   He bears the burden of this world, not you.'

'Yet, if one looks around the world with unprejudiced eyes, it is difficult to see where this benevolent regard comes in.'
I object.

The  Sage appears to be still less pleased. Yet His answer comes:

'As you are, so is the world.  Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world?
This is a question that seekers after the truth need not consider.  People waste their energies over all such questions.
First, find out the truth behind yourself.  Then you will be in a better position to understand the truth behind the world,
of which yourself is a part.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

           
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 29, 2013, 01:33:02 PM

continues....

There is an abrupt pause.  An attendant approaches and lights another incense stick  The Maharshi watches the blue smoke
curl its way upwards and then picks up His manuscript book.  He unfolds its pages and begins to work again, thus dismissing
me from the field of His attention.

This renewed indifference of His plays like cold water upon my self esteem.  I sit around for another quarter of an hour,
but I can see that He is in no mood to answer my questions.  Feeling that our conversation is really at an end, I rise from
the tiled floor, place my hands together in farewell, and leave Him.

*

In the next sub-chapter Brunton describes his visit to the Big Temple and various shrines and also visiting the shops
around the Temple.

*

Fireflies whirl about the hermitage garden, drawing strange patterns of light on the background of darkness, as we drive
in the palm-fringed courtyard.  And when I enter the long hall and drop to a seat on the floor, the sublime silence appears
to have reached this place and pervaded the air.

The assembled company squats in rows around the Hall, but among them there is no noise or talk.   Upon the corner couch
sits the Maharshi, His feet folded beneath Him, His hands resting unconcernedly upon His knees.  His figure strikes me anew
as being simple, modest; yet withal it is dignified and and impressive.   His head is nobly poised, like the head of some
Homeric sage.  His eyes gaze immovably towards  the far end of the Hall.  That strange steadiness of sight is as puzzling
as ever.  Has he been merely watching through the window the last ray of light fade out of the sky, or is He so wrapped in some     
dreamlike abstraction as to see naught of this material world at all?

The usual cloud of incense floats among the rafters of the roof.  I settle down and try to fix my eyes on the Maharshi, but
after a while feel a delicate urge to close them.  It is not long before I fall into a half sleep, lulled by the intangible peace
which, in the Sage's proximity, begins to penetrate me more deeply.  Ultimately there comes a gap in my consciousness and
then I experience a vivid dream.

I seems that I become a little boy of five.  I stand on a rough path which winds up and around the sacred Hill of Arunachala,
and hold the Maharshi's hand;  but now He is a great towering figure at my side, for He seems to have grown to a giant's
size.  He leads me away from the hermitage and, despite the impenetrable darkness of night, guides me along the path,
which we both slowly walk together.  After a while, the stars and the moon conspire to bestow a faint light upon our surroundings.
I notice that the Maharshi carefully guides me around the fissures in the rocky soil and between monstrous boulders that are
shakily parched.  The Hill is steep and our ascent is slow.  Hidden in narrow clefts between the rocks and boulders or sheltered
by clusters of low bushes, tiny hermitages and inhabited caves come into view.  As we pass by, the inhabitants emerge to greet
us and, although their forms take on a ghostly appearance in the starlight, I recognize that they are yogis of varying kinds. 
We never stop for them, but continue to walk until the top of the peak is reached.  We halt at last, my heart throbbing with a
strange anticipation of some momentous event about to befall me.

The Maharshi turns and looks down into my face. I, in turn, gaze expectantly up at Him.  I become aware of a mysterious
change taking place with great rapidity in my heart and mind.  The old motives which have lured me on begin to desert me.
The urgent desires which have sent my feet hither and thither vanish with incredible swiftness.  The dislikes, misunderstandings,
coldness and selfishness which have marked my dealings with many of my fellows collapse into the abyss of nothingness.
An untellable peace falls upon me and I know that there is nothing further that I shall ask from life.

Suddenly the Maharshi bids me turn my gaze away to the bottom of the Hill.  I obediently do so and to my astonishment discover
the Western hemisphere of our globe lies stretched out far below.  It is crowded with millions of people; I can vaguely discern
them as masses of forms, but the night's darkness still enshrouds them.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 30, 2013, 11:27:28 AM

continues....

The Sage's voice comes to my ears, His words slowly uttered:

'When you go back there, you shall have this peace, which you now feel, but its price will be that you shall
henceforth cast aside the idea that you are the body, or this brain.  When this peace flow into you, thern you
shall have to forget your own self, for you will have turned your life over to That.'

And the Maharshi places one hand of a thread of silver light in my hand. 

I awaken from that extraordinarily  vivid dream with the sense of its penetrating sublimity yet upon me. Immediately,
the Maharshi's eyes meet mine.  His face is now turned in my direction, and He is looking fixedly into my eyes.

What lies behind that dream?  For the desires and bitterness of personal life fade for a while into oblivion.  That condition
of lofty indifference to self and profound pity for my fellows, which I have dreamed into being, does not take its departure
even though I am now awake.  It is a strange experience.

But if the dream has any verity in it, then the thing will not last. It is not yet for me.

How long have I been sunk in dream?  For everyone in the Hall now begins to rise and to prepare for sleep.  I must perforce
follow their example.

It is too stuffy to sleep in that long, sparsely ventilated Hall, so I choose the courtyard.  A tall, grey bearded disciple
brings me a lantern and advices me to keep it burning throughout the night.  There is possibility of unwelcome visitors
such as snakes and even cheetahs.  But they are likely to keep clear of a light.

The earth is baked hard, and I possess no mattress, with the result I do not feel asleep for some hours.  But no matter --
I have enough to think over, for I feel that in the Maharshi I have met the most mysterious personality whom life has
yet brought within the orbit of my experience.

The Sage seems to carry something of great moment to me.  Yet, I cannot easily determine its precise nature.  It is
intangible, imponderable, perhaps spiritual.  Each time I think of Him tonight, each time I remember the vivid dream,
a peculiar sensation pierces me and causes my heart to throb with vague but lofty expectations.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
   
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 31, 2013, 11:15:06 AM

continues....

During the ensuing days, I endeavor to get into closer contact with the Maharshi, but fail.  There are three reasons for
this failure.  The first arises naturally out of His own reserved nature, His obvious dislike for argument and discussion,
His stolid indifference to one's beliefs and opinions.  It becomes perfectly obvious that the Sage has no wish to convert
anyone to His own ideas, whatever they may be, and no desire to add a single person to His following.

The second cause is certainly a strange one, but nevertheless exists.  Since the evening of hat particular dream, I feel a
great awe whenever I enter His Presence.  The questions which would otherwise have come chatteringly from my lips are
hushed, because it seems almost a sacrilege to regard Him as a person with whom one can talk and argue on equal plane,
so far as common humanity is concerned.

The third cause of my failure is simple enough.  Almost always there are several other persons present in the Hall and I feel
disinclined to bring out my private thoughts in their presence.  After all, I am a stranger to them and a foreigner in this district.
That I voice a different language, to some of them is a fact of little import, but that I possess a cynical, sceptical outlook
unstirred by religious emotion is a fact of much import when I attempt to give utterance to that outlook. I have no desire to
hurt their pious susceptibilities, but I have no desire to discuss matters from an angle which makes little appeal to me.
So, to some extent, this thing makes me tongue tied.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 01, 2013, 01:35:37 PM

continues.....

It is not easy to find a smooth way across all the three barriers.  Several times I am on the point of putting a question
to the Maharshi, but one of the three factors intervenes to cause my failure.

My proposed week end quickly passes and I extend it to another week. The week passes and I extend it to a fortnight.

The last day of my visit arrives and yet I am not closer to Him.

............

I hasten to the Hall and sit down conveniently near the divan.  The Maharshi turns His face immediately, His mouth relaxing
into a pleasant greeting.  Straightaway, I feel at ease and begin to question Him:

'The yogis say that one must renounce this world and go off into secluded jungles or mountains, if one wishes to find Truth.
Such things can hardly be done in the West.  Our lives are so different.  Do you agree with Yogis?

The Maharshi answers (after the question translated):

'The life of action need not be renounced.  If you will meditate for an hour or two every day, you can then carry on with
your duties.  If you meditate on the right manner, then the current of mind induced will continue to flow even in the midst
of our work. It is as though there were two ways of expressing the same idea.  The same line you take in meditation will be
expressed in your activities.'

'What will be the result of doing that?'

'As you go on you will find that your attitude towards people, events and objects will gradually change.  Your actions will tend
to follow your meditation of their own accord.'

'Then you do not agree with the yogis?' I  try to pin Him down.

But the Maharshi eludes a direct answer.

'A man should surrender the personal selfishness which binds him to this world.  Giving up the false belief is true renunciation.'

'How is it possible to become self less while leading a life of worldly activity?'

'There is no conflict between work and wisdom.'

'Do you mean that one can continue all the old activities in one's profession, for instance, and at the same time get enlightenment?'

'Why not?  But in that case, one will not think that it is the old personality which is doing the work, because one's consciousness
will gradually become transferred until it is centered in That which is beyond the little self.'

'If a person is engaged in work, there will be little time left for him to meditate.'

The Maharshi seems quite unperturbed at my poser.

'Setting apart time, for meditation is only for the merest spiritual novices,' He replies.  'A man who is advancing will begin to
enjoy the deepest beatitude, whether he is at work or not.  While his hands are in society, he keeps his head cool in solitude.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 02, 2013, 11:45:04 AM

continues.....

'Then you do not teach the way of Yoga?'

'The Yogi tries to drive his mind to the goal, as a cowherd drives a bull with a stick, but on this path the seeker coaxes the
bull by holding out a handful of grass.'

'How is that done?'

'You have to ask yourself the question, Who am I?.  This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something
within you which is behind the mind. Solve that great problem, and you will solve all other problems thereby.'

There is a pause as I try to digest His answer.  From the square framed and barred hole in the wall, which does duty as
a window, as it does in so many Indian buildings, I obtain a fine view of the lower slopes of the sacred Hill.  Its strange
outline is bathed in the early morning sunlight.

The Maharshi addresses again:

'Will it be clear if it is put in this way?  All human beings are ever wanting happiness, untainted with sorrow.  They want to
grasp happiness which will not come to an end.  The instinct is a true one.  But have you ever been struck by the fact that
they love their own selves most?'

'Well?'

'Now relate that to the fact that they are ever desirous of attaining happiness through one means or another, through drink
or through religion, and you are provided with a clue to the real nature of man.'

'I fail to see...'

The tone of His voice becomes higher.

'Man's real nature is happiness. Happiness is inborn in the true Self.  His search for happiness is an unconscious search
for his true Self.  The true Self is imperishable, therefore when a man finds it, he finds a  happiness which does not come
to an end.'

'But the world is so unhappy.'

'Yes, but that is because the world is ignorant of its true Self.  All men, without exception, are consciously or unconsciously
seeking for it.'

'Even the wicked, the brutal and the criminal?' I ask.

'Even they sin because they are trying to find the Self's happiness in every sin, which they commit.  This striving  is instinctive
in man, but they do not know that they are really seeking their true selves, and so they try these wicked ways first as a means
to happiness.  Of course, they are wrong ways, for  man's acts are reflected back to him.'

'So we shall feel lasting happiness when we know this true Self?'

The Maharshi nods His head.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,.
             
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 03, 2013, 10:49:37 AM

continues....

A slanting ray of sunshine falls through the unglazed window upon the Maharshi's face.  There is serenity in that unruffled brow,
there is contentment around that firm mouth, there is a shine-like peace in those lustrous eyes. His unlined countenance does
not belie His revelatory words.

What does the Maharshi mean by these apparently simple sentences?  The interpreter has conveyed their outward meaning
to me in English, yes, but there is a deeper purport which he cannot convey. I know that I must discover it myself.  The Sage
seems to speak, not as a philosopher, not as a pundit trying to explain His own doctrine, but rather out of the depth of His
own heart. Are these words the marks of His own fortunate experience?

'What exactly is this Self of which you speak? If what you say is true, then must be another self in man.'

His lips curve in smile for a moment. 

'Can a man be possessed of two identities, two selves?' He makes answer  'To understand this matter, it is first necessary
for a man to analyze himself.  Because it has long been his habit to think as others think, he has never faced his 'I' in the true
manner.  He has not a correct picture of himself;  he has too long identified himself with the body and the brain.  Therefore, I
tell you to pursue this inquiry, Who am I?'

He pauses to let these words soak into me.  I listen eagerly to His next sentences.

'You ask me to describe this true Self to you.  What can be said? It is That out of which the sense of personal 'I' arises.
And into which it shall have to disappear.'

'Disappear?' I echo back.  'How can one lose the feeling of one's own personality?'

'The first and foremost of all thoughts, the primeval thought in the mind of every man is the thought of 'I'.  It is only after the
birth of this thought that any other thoughts can arise at all.  It is only after the first personal pronoun 'I' has arisen in the mind
that the personal pronoun 'you' can make its appearance. If you could mentally follow the 'I' thread until it leads you back to its
source, you would discover that, just as it is the thought to appear, so is it the last to disappear.  This is a matter which can
be experienced.'

'You mean that it is perfectly possible to conduct such a mental investigation into oneself?'

'Assuredly !  It is possible to go inwards until the last thought 'I' gradually vanishes. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
 
         
             
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 04, 2013, 02:41:53 PM

continues.....

'What is left?' I query.  'Will a man then become quite unconscious or will he become an idiot?'

'Not so!  On the contrary, he will attain that consciousness which is immortal, and he will become truly wise, when he has
awakened to his true Self, which is the real nature of man.'

'But surely he sense of 'I' must also pertain to that?' I persist.

'The sense of 'I' pertains to the person, the body and the brain,' replies the Maharshi calmly.  'When a man knows his true
Self for the first time, something else arises from the depths of his being and takes possession of him. That something
is behind the mind.  It is infinite, divine, eternal.  Some people call it the kingdom of heaven, others call it the soul, still others
name it Nirvana, and we Hindus call it liberation.  You may give it what name you wish.  When this happens, a man has not
really lost himself.  Rather he has found himself.'

As the last word fall from the interpreter's lips, there flashes across my mind those memorable words which were uttered
by a wandering Teacher in Galilee, words which have puzzled so many good persons:  WHOSOEVER SHALL SEEK TO SAVE
HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT;  AND WHOSOEVER SHALL LOSE HIS LIFE SHALL PRESERVE IT. 

How strangely similar are the two sentences?  Yet the Indian Sage has arrived at the thought in his own non-Christian way,
through a psychological path which seems exceedingly difficult and appears unfamiliar. 

The Maharshi spoke again, His words breaking into my thoughts.

'Unless and until a man embarks upon this quest of the true Self, doubt and uncertainty will follow his footsteps throughout
life. The greatest kings and statesmen try to rule others, when in their heart of hearts they know that they cannot rule themselves.
Yet, the greatest power is at the command of the man who has penetrated into his inmost depth.  There are men of giant
intellects who spend their lives gathering knowledge about many things.  Ask these men if they have solved the mystery of man,
if they have conquered themselves, and they will hang their heads in shame. What is the use of knowing about everything else
when you do not yet know who you are?  Men avoid this inquiry into the true Self, but what else is there so worthy to be
undertaken?'

'That is such a difficult, superhuman task,' I comment.

The Sage gives an almost imperceptible shrug of His shoulders.

'The question of its possibility is a matter of one's own experience.  The difficulty is less real than you think.'

'For us, who are active, practical Westerners, such introspection....?' I begin doubtfully and leave my sentence trailing in
mid air.

The Maharshi bends down to light a fresh joss stick, which will replace one whose red spark is dying out. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 05, 2013, 03:11:27 PM

continues....

"The realization of truth is the same for both Indians and Europeans.  Admittedly the way to it may be harder for those
who are engrossed in worldly life, but even then one can and must conquer.  The current induced during meditation, can be
kept up by habit, practicing to do so.  Then one can perform his work and activities in that very current itself;  there will be
no break.  Thus, too there will be no difference between meditation and external activities.  If you meditate on this question
Who am I?, if you begin to perceive that neither the body nor the brain nor the desires are really you, then the very attitude
of inquiry will eventually draw the answer to you out of the depths of your own being; it will come to you of its own accord
as a deep realization.'

Again I ponder His words.

'Know the real Self', he continues, 'and then the truth will shine forth within your heart like sunshine.  The mind will become
untroubled and real happiness will flood it; for happiness and the true Self are identical.  You will have no more doubts once
you attain this Self awareness.'

He turns His head and fixes His gaze at the far end of the Hall.  I know that He has reached His conventional limit.  Thus
ends our last talk and I congratulate myself myself that I have drawn Him out of the shell of taciturnity before my departure.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 06, 2013, 01:56:19 PM

continues.....

I leave Him and wander away to  quiet spot in the jungle where I spend most of the day among my notes and books.
When dusk falls I return to the Hall, for within an hour or two a pony-carriage or a bullock-cart will arrive to bear me
away from the hermitage.

Burning incense makes the air odorous.  The Maharshi has been half reclining under the weaving punkah as I enter but
He soon sits up and assumes His favorite attitude.  He sits with legs crossed, the right foot placed on the left thigh and
the left foot merely folded beneath the right thigh.  I remember being shown a similar position by Brama, the Yogi who
lives near Madras, who called it 'the comfortable posture'.  It is really a half Buddha posture, and quite easy to do.  The
Maharshi, as is His wont, holds His chin with His right hand and rests the elbow on a knee.  Next He gazes attentively at me
but remains quite silent.  On the floor beside Him I notice his gourd shell, water jug, and His bamboo staff.  They are only
His sole earthly possessions, apart from the strip of loin cloth.  What a mute commentary on our Western spirit of acquisitiveness !

His eyes, always shining, steadily become more glazed and fixed. His body sets into a rigid pose.  His head trembles slightly
and then comes to rest. A few minutes and I can plainly see that he has re-entered the trance like condition in which He was
when I first came here and met Him.  How strange that our parting shall repeat our meeting! Someone brings His face close to
mine and wishpers in my ear, 'The Maharshi has gone into holy trance. It is useless now to talk.'

A hush falls upon the little company. The minutes slowly pass but the silence only deepens. I am not religious but I can no
more resist the feeling of increasing awe which begins to grip my mind than a been can resist the flower in all its luscious bloom.
The Hall is becoming pervaded with a subtle, intangible and indefinable power which affects me deeply.  I feel, without doubt,
and without hesitation, that the center of this mysterious power is no other than the Maharshi Himself.             
       

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 07, 2013, 11:27:29 AM

continues.....

His eyes shine with astonishing brilliance.  Strange sensations begin to arise in me.   Those lustrous orbs seem to be peering into
the inmost recess of my soul.  In a peculiar way, I feel aware of everything He can see in my heart.  His mysterious glance penetrates
my thoughts, my emotions, and my desires;  I am helpless before it.  At first this concerting gaze troubles me; I become vaguely
uneasy.  I feel that He has perceived pages that belong to a past which I have forgotten.  He knows it all, I am certain. I am powerless
to escape; somehow, I do not want to, either.  Some curious intimation of future benefit forces me to endure that pitiless gaze.

And so He continues to catch the feeble quality of my soul, for a while, to perceive my motley past, to sense the mixed emotions which
have drawn me this way and that.  But I feel that He understands also what mind-devastating quest has impelled me to leave the
common way and seek out such men as He.
 
There comes a perceptible change in the telepathic current which plays between us, the while my eyes blink frequently but His
remain without the least tremor.  I become aware that He is definitely linking my own mind with His.  That He is provoking my heart
into that state of starry calm which He seems perpetually to enjoy.  In this extraordinary peace, I find a sense of exaltation and
lightness.  Time seems to stand still.  My heart is released from its burden of care. Never again, I feel shall the bitterness of
anger and the melancholy of unsatisfied desire afflict me. I realize deeply that the profound instinct which is innate in the race,
which bids man look up, which encourages Him to hope on and which sustains Him when life has darkened, is a true instinct, for
the essence of of being is good. In this beautiful, entranced silence, when the clock  stands still and the sorrows and errors
of the past seem like trivialities, my mind is being submerged in that of the Maharshi and wisdom is now at its perihelion. What
is this man's gaze but a thaumaturgic wand, which evokes a hidden world of unexpected splendor before my profane eyes?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 08, 2013, 11:50:22 AM

continues.....

I have sometimes asked myself why these disciples have been staying around the Sage for years, with few conversations,
fewer comforts and no external activities to attract them.  Now I begin to understand --  not by thought, but by lightning
like illumination -- that through all those years they have been receiving a deep and silent reward.

Hitherto, everyone in the Hall, has been hushed to a deathlike stillness.  At length, someone quietly rises and passes out.
He is followed by another, and then another, until all have gone. 

I am alone with the Maharshi !  Never before has this happened.  His eyes begin to change;  they narrow down to pin points.
The effect is curiously like the 'stopping down' in the focus of a camera lens.  There comes a tremendous increase in the intense
gleam which shines between the lids, now almost closed.  Suddenly, my body seems to disappear, and we are both out in
space!

It is a crucial moment. I hesitate.  -- and decide to break this enchanter's spell. Decision brings power and once again I am
back in the flash, back in the Hall. 

No word passes from Him to me. I collect my faculties, look at the clock, and rise quietly.  The hour of departure has arrived.

I bow my head in farewell.   The Sage silently acknowledges the gesture. I utter a few words of thanks. Again He silently
nods His head.

I linger reluctantly at the threshold.  Outside, I hear the tinkle of a bell.  The bullock cart has arrived.  Once more, I raise
my hands, palms touching.

And so we part.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
 
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 09, 2013, 01:51:50 PM
In a Jungle Hermitage:

There are moments unforgettable which mark themselves in golden figures upon the calendar of our years.  Such a moment
come me now, as I walk into the Hall of the Maharshi.

He sits as usual upon the magnificent tiger skin which covers the center of His divan.  The joss sticks burn slowly away on a
little table near Him, spreading the penetrating fragrance of incense around the Hall.  Not today is He remote from men and
wrapped up in some trance-like spiritual absorption as on that strange occasion, when I first visited Him.  His eyes are clearly
open to this world and glance at me comprehendingly as I bow, and His mouth is stretched in a kindly smile of welcome.

Squatting at a respectful distance, from their Master, are a few disciples; otherwise, the long Hall is bare.  One of them pulls
the punkah fan which flaps lazily through the heavy air.

In my heart I know that I come as one seeking to take up the position of a disciple, and there will be no rest for my mind, until
I hear the Maharshi's decision.  It is true that I live in a great hope of being accepted, for tat which sent me scurrying out of
Bombay to this place came as an absolute command, a decisive and authoritative injunction from a super normal region.  In a
few words I dispose of the preliminary explanations, and then put my request briefly and bluntly to the Maharshi.

He continues to smile at me, but says nothing.

I repeat my question with some emphasis.

There is another protracted pause, but at length He answers me, disdaining to call for services of an interpreter and expressing
Himself directly, in English.

'What is all this talk of Masters and disciples?  All these differences exist only from the disciple's standpoint.  To the one who
has realized the true Self there is neither Master nor disciple.  Such a one regards all people with equal eye.'

I am slightly conscious of an initial rebuff and though I press my request in the other ways, the Maharshi refuses to yield on
the point. But in the end He says:

'You must find the Master within you, within your own spiritual Self. You must regard his body in the same way that he himself
regards it; the body is not his true Self.'

It begins to voice itself in my thoughts that the Maharshi is not to be drawn into giving me a direct affirmative response, and
that the answer I seek must be found in some other way, doubtless in the subtle, obscure manner, at which He hints.  So
I let the matter drop and our talk then turns to the outward and material side of my visit.

I spend the afternoon making some arrangements for a protracted stay.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

             
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 10, 2013, 12:28:39 PM
continues....

The ensuing  weeks absorb me into a strange, unwonted life.  My days are spent in the Hall of the Maharshi, where I slowly
pick up the unrelated fragments of His wisdom and the faint clues to the answer I seek.  M nights continue as heretofore,
in torturing sleeplessness, with my body stretched out on a blanket laid on the hard earthen floor of a hastily built hut.

This humble abode stands about three hundred feet away from the hermitage.  Its thick walls are composed of thinly plastered
earth,  but the roof is solidly tiled to withstand the monsoon rains.  The ground around it is virgin bush, somewhat thickly overgrown,
being in fact the fringe of the jungle which stretches away to the west.  The rugged landscape reveals Nature in all her own wild
uncultivated grandeur.  Cactus hedges are scattered numerously  and irregularly around, the spines of these prickly plants looking
like coarse needles. Beyond them, the jungle drops a curtain of bush and stunted trees upon the land.  To the north, rises the gaunt
figure of the mountain, a mass of metallic tinted rocks and brown soil.  To the south lies a long pool, whose placid water has attracted
me to the spot, and whose banks are bordered with clumps of trees holding families of grey and brown monkeys.

Each day is a duplicate of the one before. I rise early in the morning and watch the jungle dawn, turn from grey to green and then
to gold.  Next comes a plunge into the water and a swift swim up and down the pool, making as much as nose as I possibly
can so as to scare away the lurking snakes.  Then, dressing, shaving, and the only luxury I can secure in this place, --  three cups
of deliciously refreshing tea. 

'Master, the pot of tea water is ready', says Rajoo, my hired boy. From an initial total ignorance of the English language, he has
acquired that much, and more, under my occasional tuition.  As a servant, he is a gem, for he will scour up and down a little
township with optimistic determination in quest of the strange articles and food for which his Western employer speculatively
sends him, or he will hover outside the Maharshi's Hall in discreet silence during meditation hours, should he happen to come
along for orders at such times.  But as a cook, he is unable to comprehend Western taste, which seems a queer distorted thing
to him.  After a few painful experiments, I myself take charge of the more serious culinary arrangements, reducing my labor b
reducing solid meals to a single one each day.  Tea, taken thrice daily, becomes both my solitary earthly joy and the mainstay
of my energy.  Rajoo stands in sunshine and watches with wonderment my addiction to the glorious golden brew.  His body
shines in hard yellow light like polished ebony, for he is a true son of the black Dravidian, the primal inhabitants of India.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                                     
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 11, 2013, 12:53:11 PM
continues.......

......................
......................

From time to time, the Maharshi unexpectedly visits me at the hut after finishing His own lunch.  I seize the opportunity to
plague Him with further questions, which  He patiently answers in terse epigrammatic phrases, clipped so short as rarely
to constitute complete sentences.   But once, when I propound some fresh problems, He makes no answer. Instead, He
gazes out towards the jungle covered Hill which stretch to the horizon and remains motionless.  Many minutes pass but
His still His eyes are fixed, His Presence remote. I am quite unable to discern whether His attention is being given to some
invisible psychic being in the distance or whether it is being turned on some inward preoccupation.  At first I wonder whether
He has heard me, but in the terse silence, which ensues, and which I feel unable or willing to break, a force greater than
my rationalistic mind commences to awe me until it ends by overwhelming me.

The realization forces itself through my wonderment that all my questions are moves in an endless game, the play of thoughts                               
which possess no limit to their extent.  That somewhere within me there is a well of certitude which can provide me all the
waters of truth I require and that it will be better to cease my questioning and attempt to realize the tremendous potencies
of my own spiritual nature.  So I remain silent and wait.

On another visit He finds me in a pessimistic mood.  He tells me of the glorious goal which waits for the man who takes the
way He has shown.

'But, Maharshi, this path is full of difficulties and I am so conscious of my own weakness.' I plead.

'That is the surest way to handicap oneself', He answers unmoved, 'this burdening of one's mind with fear of failure
and the thought of one's failings.'

'Ye     'Yet, if it is true.....?' I persist.

'It is not true.  The greatest error of a man is to think that he is weak by nature, evil by nature.  Every man is divine and
strong in his real nature.  What are weak and evil are his habits, his desires and thoughts, but not himself.'

His words come as an invigorating tonic.  They refresh and inspire me.  From another man's lips, from lesser and feebler
soul, I would refuse to accept them at such worth and would persist in refuting them.  But an inward monitor assures me
that the Sage speaks out of the depth of a great and authentic spiritual experience, and not as some theorizing philosopher
mounted on thin stilts of speculation.                 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 12, 2013, 01:50:27 PM

continues...

Another time, when we are discussing the West, I make the retort:

'It is easy for you to attain and keep spiritual serenity in this jungle retreat, where there is nothing to disturb or distract you.'

'When the goal is reached, when you know the Knower, there is  no difference between living in a house in London and living
in the solitude of a jungle,' comes the calm rejoinder.

And once I criticize the Indians for their neglect of material development.  To my surprise the Maharshi frankly admits this
accusation.

'It is true.  We are a backward race.  But we are people with few wants.  Our society needs improving, but we are contented
with much fewer things than your people.  So be backward is not to mean that we are less happy/'

How has the Maharshi arrived at the strange power and stranger outlook which He possesses?  Bit by bit, from His own
reluctant lips and from those of His disciples, I piece together a fragmentary pattern of His life story.


...........
..............
..............

Day after day, brings its fresh indications of the greatness of this man.  Among the strangely diversified company of human
beings who pass through the hermitage, a pariah stumbles into the Hall in some great agony of soul or circumstances and
pours out his tribulation at the Maharshi's feet.  The Sage does not reply, for His silence and reserve are habitual. One can
easily count up the number of words He uses in a single day.  Instead, He gazes quietly at the suffering man, whose cries
gradually diminish until he leaves the Hall two hours later a more serene and strong man. 

I am learning to see that this is the Maharshi's way of helping others, this unobtrusive, silent and steady outpouring of
healing vibrations into troubled souls, this mysterious telepathic process for which science will one day be required to account.           

A cultured Brahmin, college bred. arrives with his questions.  One can never be certain whether the Sage will make verbal
response or not, for often He is eloquent enough without opening His lips.  But today He is in a communicative mood and a few
of His terse phrases, packed with profound meanings, as they usually are, open many vistas of thought for the visitor.

A large group of visitors and devotees are in the Hall when someone arrives with the news of a certain man, whose criminal
reputation is a byword in the little township, is dead.  Immediately, there is some discussion about him and, as is the wont of
human nature, various people engaged in recalling some of his crimes, and the more dastardly phases of his character.  When
the hubhub has subsided and the discussion appears to have ended, the Maharshi opens His mouth for the first time and
quietly observes:

'Yes. But he kept himself very clean, for he bathed two or three times a day!'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 13, 2013, 11:15:50 AM

continues.....

A peasant and his family have traveled over some hundred miles to pay silent homage to the Sage.   He is totally illiterate,
knows little beyond his daily work, his religious rites and ancestral superstitions. He has heard from someone that there is
a god in human  form living at the foot of the Hill of the Holy Beacon.  He sits on the floor quietly after having prostrated himself
three times.  He firmly believes that some blessing of spirit or fortune will come to him as a result of this journey.  His wife moves
gracefully to his side and drops to the floor. She is clothed in a purple robe which flows from head to ankles and is then tucked
into her waist.  Her sleek and smooth hair is glossy with scented oil.  Her daughter accompanies her.  She is a pretty girl whose
ankle rings click in consort as she steps into the Hall.  As she follows the charming custom of wearing a white flower behind her
ear.

The little family stay for a few hours, hardly speaking, and gaze in reverence at the Maharshi.  It is clear that  His mere presence
provides them with spiritual assurance, emotional felicity and,most paradoxical of all, renewed faith in their creed.  For the Sage
treats all creeds alike, regards them all as significant and sincere expressions of a great experience, and honors Jesus no less
than Krishna.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 14, 2013, 10:49:26 AM


continues....

On my left squats an old man of seventy five.  A quid of betel is comfortably tucked in his cheek, a Sanskrit book lies between
his hands, and his heavy lidded eyes stare meditatively at the bold print.  He is a Brahmin who was a station master, near Madras,
for many years.  He retired from the railway service at sixty and soon after his wife died.  He took opportunity thus presented of
realizing some long deferred aspirations. For fourteen years he traveled about the country on pilgrimage to the Sages, saints and
yogis, trying to find one whose teachings and personality were sufficiently appealing to him.  He had circled India thrice, but no
master had been discoverable.  He had set up a very individual standard apparently.  When we met and compared notes he
lamented his failure.  His rugged honest face, carved by notes he lamented his failure.  His rugged honest face, carved by wrinkles
into dark furrows, appealed to me.  He was not an intellectual man, but simply and quite intuitive.  Being considerably younger than
he, I felt incumbent on me to give the old man some good advice !  His surprising response was a request to become his master !
"Your master is not far off.' I told him and conducted him straight to the Maharshi. It id not take a long time to agree with me
and become an enthusiastic devotee of the Sage.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 15, 2013, 11:38:33 AM
continues.....

Another man in the hall is bespectacled, silken clad and prosperous looking.  He is a judge who has taken advantage of
a law vacation to pay a visit to the Maharshi.  He is a keen disciple and strong admirer and never fails to come at least once
a year.  This cultured, refined and highly educated gentleman squats democratically among a group of Tamizhs who are poor,
naked to the waist and smeared with oil,  so that their bodies glisten like varnished ebony.  That which brings them together
destroys the insufferable snobbishness of caste -- and produces unity, is that which caused Princes and Rajahs to come from
afar, in ancient times to consult the forest Rishis -- the deep recognition that true wisdom is worth the sacrifice of superficial
differences.

A young woman with a gaily attired child enters and prostrates herself in veneration before the Sage.  Some profound philosophy
and problems of life are being discussed, so she sits in silence, not venturing to take part in intellectual conversation.  Learning
is not regarded as an ornament for Hindu women and she knows little outside the purlieus of culinary and domestic matters.
But she knows when she is in the presence of of undeniable greatness.

With the descent of dusk, comes the time for a general group meditation in the Hall.  Not infrequently, the Maharshi will signal
the time by entering, so gently as occasionally to be unnoticed, the trance like abstraction wherein He locks His senses against
the world outside. During these daily meditations in the potent neighborhood of the Sage, I have learnt how to carry my thoughts
inward to an ever deepening point.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 16, 2013, 01:46:12 PM

continues....

It is impossible to be in frequent contact with Him (Maharshi) without becoming lit up inwardly, as it were, mentally illumined
by a sparkling ray from His spiritual orb.  Again and again, I become conscious that He is drawing my mind into His own
atmosphere during these periods of quiet repose.  And it is at such times, that one begins to understand why the silences
of this man are more significant than His utterances.  His quiet unhurried poise veils a dynamic attainment, which can powerfully
affect a person without the medium of audible speech or visible action.  There are moments when I feel this power of His so
greatly that I know He has only to issue the most disturbing command and I will readily obey it.  But the Maharshi is the last
person in the world to place His followers in the chains of servile obedience, and allows everyone the utmost freedom of actions.
In this respect He is quite refreshingly different from most of the teachers and yogis I have met in India.

My meditations take the line He had indicated during my first visit, when He had tantalized me by the vagueness which seemed
to surround many of His answers.  I have begun to look into my own Self.

Who am I?

Am I this body of flesh, blood, and bone?

Am I the mind, the thoughts, and the feelings which distinguish me from every other person?

One has hitherto naturally and unquestioningly accepted the affirmative answers to these questions but the Maharshi has
warned not to take them for granted.  Yet He has refused to formulate any systematic teaching.   The gist of His message is:

'Pursue the inquiry 'Who am I" relentlessly. Analyze your entire personality. Try to find out where the I-thought begins.
Go on with your meditations.  Keep turning your attention within.  One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition
will mysteriously arise.  Follow the intuition, let your thinking stop, and it will eventually  lead you to the goal.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   
         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 17, 2013, 10:28:13 AM

continues....

I struggle daily with my thoughts and cut my way slowly into the inner recess of the mind.  In the helpful proximity of the Maharshi,
my meditations and self soliloquies become increasingly less tiring and more effective. A strong expectancy and sense of being'
guided inspire my constantly repeated efforts.  there are strange hours when I am clearly conscious of the unseen power of
the Sage being powerfully impacted on my mentality, with the result that I penetrate a little deeper still in the shrouded borderland
of being which surrounds the human mind.

The close of every evening sees the emptying of the Hall as the Sage, His disciples and visitors adjourn for supper to the dining
room.  As I do not care for their food, and will not trouble to prepare my own, I usually remain alone and await their return. 
However, there is one item of the hermitage diet which I find attractive and palatable, and that is curds.  The Maharshi, having discovered my fondness for it, usually ask the cooks to bring me a cupful of drink each night.

About half an hour of their return, the inmates of the hermitage, together with those visitors who have remained, wrap themselves
up in sheets or thin cotton blankets and retire to sleep on the tiled floor of the Hall.  The Sage Himself uses His divan as a bed.
Before He finally covers Himself with the white sheets His faithful attendant thoroughly massages His limbs with oil.

I take up a glazed iron lantern when leaving the Hall and set out on my lonely walk to the hut.  Countless fireflies move among
flowers and plants and trees in the garden compound.  Once, when I am or or three hours later than usual and midnight
approaching, I observe these strange insects put of their weird lights. Often they are just as numerous among the thick growth
of bush and cactus through which I have later to pass.  One has to be careful not to tread on scorpions or snakes in the dark.
Sometimes the current of meditation has seized me so profoundly that I am unable and unwilling  to stop it, so that I pay little
heed to the narrow path of lighted ground upon which I walk. And so I retire to my modest hut, close the tightly fitting heavy
door, and draw the shutters over glassless windows to keep out unwelcome animal intruders.  My last glimpse  is of a thicket
of palm trees which stands on one side of my clearing in the bush, the silver moonlight coming in streams over their interlaced
feathery tops.

****

Arunachala Siva.     
                               
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 18, 2013, 01:52:33 PM
Tablets of Forgotten Truth:

My pen would wander on into some account of the scenic life around me, and into further record of many talks with the Maharshi,
but it is now time to draw the chronicle to a close.

I study Him intently and gradually come to see in Him the child of a remote Past, when the discovery of spiritual truth was reckoned
of no less value than is the discovery of a gold mine today. It dawns upon me with increasing force, that, in this quiet and obscure
corner of South India, I have been led to one of the last of India's spiritual supermen.   The serene figure of this living Sage brings
the legendary figures of his country's ancient rishis nearer to me. One senses that the most wonderful part of this man is withheld.
His deepest soul, which one instinctively recognizes as being loaded with rich wisdom, eludes one. At times, He still remains
curiously aloof, and at other times the kindly benediction of His interior grace binds me to Him with hoops of steel.

I learn to submit to the enigma of His personality, and to accept Him as I find Him. But if humanly speaking, He is well insulated
against outside contacts, whoever discovers the requisite Ariadne's thread can walk the inner path leading to spiritual contact
with Him. And I like Him greatly because He is so simple and modest, when an atmosphere of authentic greatness lies so palpably
around Him.  Because He makes no claims to occult powers and heirophantic knowledge to impress  the mystery loving nature of
His countrymen, and because He is so totally without any traces of pretension that He strongly resists every effort to canonize Him
during His lifetime.

It seems to me that the presence of men like the Maharshi ensures the continuity down history of a divine message from regions
not easily accessible to us all.  It seems to me, further, that one must accept the fact that a Sage comes to REVEAL SOMETHING to
us, NOT TO ARGUE ANYTHING WITH US.   At any rate, His teachings make a strong appeal to me, for His personal attitude and
practical method, when understood, are quite scientific  in their way.  He brings in no supernatural power and demands no blind
religious faith.  The sublime spirituality of the Maharshi's atmosphere and the rational self questioning of His philosophy find
but a faint echo in yonder temple.  Even the word 'God' is rarely on His lips.  He avoids dark and debatable waters of wizardry,
in which so many promising voyages have ended in shipwreck. He simply puts forward a way of self analysis, which can be
practiced irrespective of any ancient or modern theories and beliefs which one may hold, a way that will finally lead man to
true self understanding.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 19, 2013, 01:52:44 PM

continues....

I follow this process of self divestment in the effort to arrive as pure integral being.  Again and again, I am aware that the
Maharshi's mind is imparting something to my own, though no words may be passing between us.  The shadow of impending
departure hangs over my efforts, yet I spin out my stay until bad heath takes a renewed hand in the game and accelerates an
irrevocable decision to go.  Indeed, out of deep inner urgency which drew me here, has come enough will power to overthrow the
plaints of a tired sick body and a weary brain and to enable me to maintain residence in this hot static air.  But Nature will not
be defeated for long and before a long physical breakdown becomes threateningly imminent. Spiritually my life is nearing its
peak, but -- strange paradox! -- physically it is slipping downwards to a point lower than it has hitherto touched.  For a few hours
before the arrival of the culminating experience of my contact with the Maharshi, I start to shiver violently and perspire with
abnormal profuseness  -- intimations of coming fever.

I return hastily from an exploration of some usually veiled sanctuaries of the great temple and enter the hall when the evening
meditation period has run out of half its life.  I slip quietly to the floor and straightaway assume my regular meditation posture.
In a few seconds I compose myself and bring all wandering thoughts to a strong center.  An intense interiorization of consciousness
comes with the closing of eyes.

The Maharshi's seated form floats in a vivid manner  before my mind's eyes.  Following His frequently repeated instruction, I
endeavor to pierce through the mental picture into that which is formless, His real being and inner nature, His soul.  to my
surprise the effort meets with almost instantaneous success and the picture disappears again, leaving me with nothing more than
a strongly felt sense of His intimate presence.

The mental questionings which have marked most of my earlier meditations have lately begun to cease.  I have repeatedly
interrogated my consciousness of physical, emotional and mental sensations in turn, but, dissatisfied in the quest of the Self,
have eventually left them all.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 20, 2013, 01:53:48 PM

Continues....

I have then applied the attention of consciousness to its own center, striving to become aware of its place of origin.  Now comes
the supreme moment.  In that concentration of stillness, the mind withdrawn into itself, one's familiar world begins to fade off
into shadowy vagueness.  One is apparently environed for a while by sheer nothingness, having arrived at a kind of mental blank
wall.  And one has to be as intense as possible to maintain one's fixed attention. But how hard to leave the lazy dalliance of our
surface life and draw the mind to a pin-point of concentration !

Tonight, I flash swiftly to this point, with barely a skirmish against the continuous sequence of thoughts which usually play the
prelude to its arrival.  Some new and powerful force comes into dynamic action within my inner world and bears me inwards
with resistless speed.  The first great battle is over, almost without a stroke, and a pleasurable, happy, easeful feeling succeeds
its high tension.

In the next stage I stand apart from the intellect, conscious that it is thinking, but warned by an intuitive voice that it is merely
an instrument.  I watch these thoughts, with a weird detachment.  The power to think, which has hitherto been a matter for
merely ordinary pride, now becomes a thing from which to escape, for I perceive with startling clarity that I have been its unconscious
captive.  There follows the sudden desire to stand outside the intellect and just BE.  I want to dive into a place deeper than thought.
I want to know what it will feel like to deliver myself from the constant bondage of brain, but to do so with all my attention awake
and alert

It is strange enough to be able to stand aside and watch the very action of the brain as though it were someone else's and
to see how thoughts take their rise and then die. But it is stranger still to realize intuitively that one is about to penetrate into
the mysteries which hide in the innermost recess of man's soul.   I feel like some Columbus about to land on an uncharted
continent.  A perfectly controlled and subdued anticipation quietly thrills me.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 21, 2013, 01:54:46 PM


continues...

But how to divorce oneself from the age old tyranny of thoughts?  I remember that the Maharshi has never suggested that
I should attempt to force the stoppage of thinking.  'Trace the thought to its place of origin', is His reiterated counsel, 'watch
for the real Self to reveal itself, and then your thoughts will die of their own accord.'  So feeling, that I have found the birthplace
of thinking, I let go of the powerfully positive attitude which has brought my attention to this point, and surrender myself
to complete passivity, yet still keeping an intently watchful as a snake of its prey.

This poised condition reigns until I discover the correctness of the Sage's prophecy.  The waves of thought naturally begin to
diminish.  The workings of logical rational sense drops towards zero point.  The strangest sensation I have experienced till now
grips me.  Time seems to reel dizzily as the antennae of my rapidly growing intuition begin to reach out into the unknown.  The
reports of my bodily senses are no longer heard, felt, remembered. I know that at any moment I shall be standing OUTSIDE
things, on the very edge of the world's secret.

Finally it happens. Thought extinguished like a snuffed candle. The intellect withdraws into its real ground, that is, consciousness
working unhindered by thoughts.  I perceive what I have suspected for sometime, and what the Maharshi has confidently affirmed,
that the mind takes its rise in a transcendental source.  The brain has passed into a state of complete suspension as it does in deep
sleep, yet there is not the slightest loss of consciousness.  I remain perfectly calm and fully aware of who I am and what is
occurring.  Yet my sense of awareness has been drawn out of the narrow confines of the separate personality.  It has turned into
something sublimely all embracing.  Self still exists, but it is a changed, radiant Self. For something that is far superior to the unimportant
personality which WAS I, some deeper, diviner being rises into consciousness and BECOMES ME.  With it arrives an amazing new
sense of absolute freedom, for thought is like a loom-shuttle which is always going to and fro, and to be freed from its tyrranical
motion is to step out of the prison into open air.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 22, 2013, 01:22:46 PM

continues....

I find myself outside the rim of world consciousness.  The planet, which has so far harbored me, disappears.  I am in the
midst of an ocean of blazing light.  The latter, I feel rather than think, is the primeval stuff out of which the worlds are
created, the first state of matter.  It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly ALIVE.

I touch, as in a flash, the meaning of this mysterious universal drama which is being enacted in space, and then return to
the primal point of being. I, the new I, rest in the lap of the holy bliss.  I have drunk the Platonic Cup of Lethe, so that
yesterday's bitter memories and tomorrow's anxious cares have disappeared completely.  I have attained a divine liberty
and an almost indescribable felicity.  My arms embrace all creation, with profound sympathy, for I understand in the deeper
possible way, that to know all is merely to pardon all, but to love all.  My heart is remolded in rapture.

How shall I record these experiences through which I next pass, when they are too delicate for the touch of my pen?  Yet
the starry truths which I learn may be translated into the language of earth, and will not be a  vain one. So I seek, all too
roughly, to bring back some memorials of the wonderful archaic world which stretches out, untracted and unpathed, behind
the human mind.

***

Man is grandly related, and a greater Being suckled him than his mother.  In his wiser moments he may come to know this.

Once, in the far days of his own past, man took an oath of lofty allegiance and walked, turbaned in divine grandeur with gods.
It today the busy world calls to him with imperious demand and he gives himself up to it, there are those who have not forgotten
his oath and he shall be reminded of it at the appropriate hour.

There is that in man which belongs to an imperishable race. He neglects his true Self almost completely, but his neglect  can
never affect or alter its shining greatness.  He may forget it and entirely go to sleep in the senses, yet on the day when it
stretches forth its hand and touches him, he shall remember who he is and recover his soul.

Man does not put true value upon himself because he has lost the divine sense.  Therefore, he runs after another man's
opinion, when he could find complete certitude more surely, in the spiritually authoritative center of his own being.  The Sphinx
surveys no earthly landscape. Its unflinching gaze is always directed inwards, and the secret of its inscrutable smile is Self
Knowledge.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 23, 2013, 10:41:52 AM

continues.....

He who looks within himself and perceives only discontent, frailty and darkness and fear, need not curl his lip in mocking doubt.
Let him look deeper and longer, deeper and longer, until he presently becomes aware of faint token of breath-like indications which
appear when the heart is still.  Let him heed them well, for they will take life and grow into high thoughts that will cross the
threshold of his mind like wandering angels, and these again shall become forerunners of a voice which will come later --
the voice of a hidden, recondite and mysterious being who inhabits his center, who is own ancient Self.

The divine nature reveals itself anew in every human life, but if a man walks indifferently by, then the revelation is as seed on
stony ground.  No one is excluded from this divine consciousness; it is man who excludes himself.  Men make formal and pretentious
inquiry into the meaning and mystery 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 in its face.  That Life, which brought you birth, O Man, is nobler and
greater than you farthest thought.  Believe in its beneficent intention towards you and obey its subtle injunctions whispered to
your heart in half - felt intuitions.

The man who thinks he may live as freely as his unconsidered desires prompt him and yet not carry the burden of an eventual
reckoning, is binding his life to a hollow dream.  Whoever sins against his fellows or against himself pronounces his own sentence
thereby.  He may hide his sins from the sight of others, but he cannot hide them from the all recording eyes of the god.  Justice
still rules the world with inexorable weight, although its operations are often unseen and though it is not always to be found in
stone built courts of law.  Whoever escapes from paying the legal penalties of earth can never escape from paying the just
penalties which gods impose. Nemesis -- remorseless and implacable -- holds such a man in jeopardy every hour.   

continues....

Arunachala Siva.
                         
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 24, 2013, 02:24:07 PM

continues....

Those who have been held under the bitter waters of sorrow, those who have moved through shadowed years in the mist of
tears, will be somewhat readier to receive the truth, which life is ever silently voicing.  If they can perceive nothing else, they
can perceive the tragic transience which attends the smiles of fortune.  Those who refuse to be deluded by their brighter hours
will not suffer so greatly from their darker ones.  There is no life that is not made up of the warp of pleasure and the woof of
suffering.  Therefore, no man can afford to walk with proud and pontifical air.  He who does so takes his perambulation at a grave
peril.  For humility is the only befitting robe to wear in the presence of the unseen gods, who may remove in a few days what has
been acquired during many years.  The fate of all things moves in cycles and only the thoughtless observer can fail to note this
fact. Even in the universe, it may be seen that every perihelion is succeeded by an aphelion.  So in the life and fortunes of man,
the flood of prosperity may be succeeded by the ebb of privation, health may be a fickle guest, while love may come only to wander
again.  But when the night of protracted agony dies, the dawn of new found wisdom glimmers.  The last lesson of these things
is that the eternal refuge in man, unnoticed and unsought as it may be, must come from what it was once, -- his solace, or
disappointment and suffering will periodically conspire to drive him in upon it.  No man is so lucky that the gods permit him to avoid
these two great tutors of the race.

A man may feel safe, protected secure, only when he discovers that the radiant wings of sublimity enfold him.  While he persists
in remaining unillumined, his best inventions shall become his worst impediments, and everything that draws him closer to the
material frame of things shall become another knot he must later untie.  For he is inseparably allied to his ancient past, he stands
always in the presence of his inner divinity and cannot shake it off.  Let him, then, not remain unwitting of this fact but deliver himself,
his worldly cares and secret burdens, into the beautiful care of his better self (Self)  and it shall not fail him. Let him do this, if he
would live with gracious peace and die with fearless dignity.

He who has once seen his real Self will never again hate another.  There is no sin greater than hatred, no sorrow worse than
the legacy of lands splashed with blood, which it inevitably bestows, no result more certain than that it will recoil on those who
send it forth.  Though  none can hope to pass beyond their sight, the gods themselves stand unseen as silent witnesses of man's
lawful handiwork.  A moaning word lies in woe all around them, yet sublime peace is close at hand for all.  Weary men, tried by
sorrow and torn by doubts, stumble and grope their way through the darkened streets of life, yet a great light beats down upon
the paving stones before them.  Hate will pass from the world only when man learns to see faces of his fellows, not merely by the
ordinary light of the day, but by the transfiguring light of their divine possibilities.  When he can regard them with the reverence
they deserve as the faces of beings in whose hearts dwells an element akin to that Power which men name God.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 25, 2013, 10:57:16 AM


continues....

All that is truly grand in Nature and inspiringly beautiful in the arts speaks to man of himself.  Where the priest has failed
his people the illumined artist takes up his forgotten message and procures hints of the soul for them.  Whoever can recall
rare moments when beauty made him a dweller amid the eternities should, whenever the world tires him, turn memory into
a spur and seek out the sanctuary within. Thither he should wander for a little peace, a flush of strength and glimmer of light,
confident that the moment he succeeds in touching his true Selfhood he will draw infinite support and find perfect compensation.
Scholars may burrow like moles among the growing piles of modern books and ancient manuscripts which line the walls of the house
of learning but they can learn no deeper secret than this, no higher truth than the supreme truth that the man's very Self is
divine.  The wistful hopes of man may wane as the years pass, but the hope of undying life, the hope of perfect love, and the hope of assured happiness, shall ultimately find a certain fulfillment; for they constitute prophetic instincts of an ineluctable destiny which
can in no way be avoided.

The world looks to ancient prophets for its finest thoughts and cringes before dusty eras for its noblest ethics.  But when a man
receives the august revelation of his own starry nature he is overwhelmed.  All that is worthy in thought and feeling now comes
unsought to his feet.  Inside the cloistral quiet of his mind arise visions not less sacred than those of Hebrew and Arab seers
who reminded their race of its divine source.  By this same auroral light Buddha understood and brought news of Nirvana to men.
And such is the all embracing love which his understanding awakens, that Mary Magdalene wept out her soiled life at the feet
of Jesus.

No dust can ever settle on the grave grandeur of these ancient truths, though they have lain in time since the early days of our
race.  No people has ever existed but has also received imitations of this deepest life which is open to man.  Whoever is ready
to accept them must not only apprehend these truths with his intelligence, until they sparkle among his thoughts like the
stars among the asteroids but must appropriate them with his heart until they inspire him in divine action.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 26, 2013, 11:29:07 AM

continues....

I return to this mundane sphere impelled by a force which I cannot resist.  By slow unhurried stages, I become aware of my
surroundings. I discover that I am still sitting in the Hall of the Maharshi and that is apparently deserted.  My eyes catch sight
of the hermitage clock and I realize that the inmates must be in the dining room at their evening meal.  And then I become aware
of someone on my left. It is the seventy five year old former station master, who is squatting close beside me on the floor with
his gaze turned  benevolently on me.

'You have been in a spiritual trance for nearly two hours,'  he informs me.  His face, seemed with years and lined with old cares,
breaks into smiles, as though he rejoices in my own happiness.

I endeavor to make some reply, but discover to my astonishment that my power of speech has gone.  Not for almost fifteen
minutes do I recover. Meanwhile, the old man supplements the further statement.

'The Maharshi watched you closely all the time. I believe His thoughts guided you.'

When the Sage returns to the Hall, those who follow Him take up their position for the short interval which precedes the
final retirement for the night.  He raises Himself up on the divan and crosses His legs; then, resting an elbow on the right
thigh, He holds His chin within the upright hand, two fingers covering His cheek.  Our eyes meet across the intervening space
and He continues to look intently at me.

And when the attendant lowers the wicks of the Hall's lamps, following the customary nightly practice, I am struck once again
by the strange lustre in the Maharshi's calm eyes.  They glow like twin stars through the half darkness I remind myself that never
have I met in any man eyes as remarkable as those of this last descendant of India's Rishis.  In so far as the human eyes, can
mirror divine power, it is a fact that the Sage's do that.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
     
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 27, 2013, 10:18:54 AM


continues....

The heavily scented incense smoke rises in soft spirals the while I watch those eyes that never flicker.  During the forty
minutes which pass so strangely, I say nothing to Him and He says nothing to me.  What use are the words?  We now
understand each other better without them, for in this profound silence, our mind approach a beautiful harmony and in this
optic telepathy I receive a clear unuttered message. Now that I have caught a wonderful and memorable glimpse of the
Maharshi's view point on life, my own inner life has begun to mingle with His.

I fight the oncoming fever, during the two days which follow and manage to keep it at bay.

The old man approaches my hut in the afternoon. 

'Your stay among us draws to an end, my brother,' says he regretfully.  'But you will surely return to us one day?'

'Most surely !' I echo confidently.

When he leaves me I stand at the door and look up at the Hill of Holy Beacon -- Arunachala, the Sacred Red Mountain,
as the people of the countryside prefer to call it.


contd.,

Arunacahala Siva.       
Title: Re: The Maharshi and His Message: Paul Brunton:
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 28, 2013, 11:09:47 AM

continues....

It has become the colorful background of all my experience.  Always I have but to raise my eyes from whatever I am doing,
whether eating, walking, talking or meditating, and there is its strange flat headed shape confronting me in the open or
through a window.  It is somehow inescapable in this place, but the strange spell it throws over me is more inescapable still.
I begin to wonder whether this queer, solitary peak, has enchanted me.  There is a local tradition that it is entirely hollow and that
in its interior dwell several great spiritual beings who are invisible to mortal gaze, but I disdain the story as a childish legend.  And
yet, this lonely Hill holds me in a powerful thrall, despite the fact, that I have seen others, infinitely more attractive.  This rugged
piece of Nature, with its red laterite boulders tumbled about in disorderly masses and glowing like dull fire, in the sunlight,
possesses a strong personality which emanates a palpable awe creating influence. 

With the fall of dusk, I take my farewells of everyone except the Maharshi.  I feel quietly content because my battle of spiritual
certitude has been won, and because I have won it without sacrificing my dearly held rationalism for a blind credulity.  Yet when
the Maharshi comes to the courtyard with me a little later, my contentment suddenly deserts me.  This man has strangely
conquered me and it deeply affects my feelings to leave Him.  He has grappled me to His own soul with unseen hooks which
are harder than steel, although He has sought me only to restore a man to Himself, to set him free and not to enslave him.
He has taken me into the benign presence of my spiritual Self, and helped me, dull Westerner that I am, to translate a meaningless
term into a living and blissful experience.

I linger over parting, unable to express my profound emotions which move me.  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 sliver 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 silhouettes
against the sky. 

My adventure in self metamorphosis is over, but the turning axle of time, will bring me back to this place, I know.  I raise my
palms and close them together in the customary salutation and then mutters a brief good bye.  The Sage smiles and looks at me
fixedly, but says not a word.

One last look towards the Maharshi, one last glimpse by dim lantern light of a tall copper skinned figure with lustrous eyes,
another farewell gesture on my part, a slight wave of his light hand in response, and we part.

I climb into the waiting bullock cart, the driver swishes his whip, the obedient creatures turn out of the courtyard into the
rough pate and then trot briskly away into the jasmine scented tropic night.

Concluded.


Arunachala Siva.