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In PB’s archive records are the following comments that Ramana Maharshi said to others who asked about PB as well as communications from Ramana directly to PB. Most of these were recorded in the 1930s.

Several times visitors asked Maharshi how Paul Brunton came to have the illumination described in A Search in Secret India, and why they could not get it after many years. Maharshi said P.B. practiced sadhana in former births to a highly advanced state, and consequently was ripe for fuller illumination.

Someone also asked whether P.B.’s work was merely journalistic or the result of genuine spirituality. Maharshi answered “What room can there be for doubt?”

When the financial secretary, Mysore Govt. came and asked “Is Paul Brunton’s Secret Path useful to Indians also?” Maharshi replied, “Yes, for all.” The enquirer then said, “The doctrine that body, senses, etc. are not I is common among us, but how to practice, to realise it?” Maharshi replied, “By the three-fold method mentioned in Brunton’s book.”

Sri Ramana Maharshi’s personal message to P.B. (sent by post to England): “Fear not! Thou art the Self! Be That! Mere mental figments are “far” and “near.” No room for doubt in the true Self, so need not worry whether the path is right or not. Fear and Doubt are only in the Path unknown. The Path itself will teach you right.”

One day Maharshi said to P.B. “You are saying the same thing in your books that I say, only you say it in a modern way.”

Q: “I want to ask a question. May I do so?”

M: “Yes, what question? You said you had read Paul Brunton’s Secret Path. Read it a thousand times. P.B. has expressed me correctly; then why do you not practice it? Turn to page 73 thereof and see if you do not find an answer in para 2 thereof to your question. More things are achieved by silence and more thoughts are conveyed by silence to a wider world; all disturbances by oral questions and answers while apparently benefiting the questioner and a few listeners in this hall, actually obstructs, retards and interrupts silent communication of thought-waves to the thousands of spiritual aspirants all over the world. Any sadakh therefore who comes to me for enquiry and elucidation would amply benefit himself and others by sitting before me silently and absolutely speechless. Those forces are the greatest and most effective which are invisible, for instance, the ether, the electric current, etc. Any enquiry you desire to make, give it to your mind or thought, you will readily find the answer in your own mind. The most effective help is with Silence.”

Here is the passage on page 73 in The Secret Path that Ramana referred to:

“Only in deep silence may we hear the voice of the soul; argument but beclouds it and too much speech stops its appearance. When you have caught your fish you may share it, but while you are angling for it, talk breaks the spell and frightens the fish away. If we could occupy ourselves less with the activities of the larynx and more with the activities of the deeper mind, we might arrive at something worth saying. Speech is an adjunct, not an obligation. To be is the prime duty of man.”

Maharshi said to Swami Siddheswarananda of the Ramakrishna Mission on the appearance of A Search in Secret India, “Is not Brunton a wonderful man? With such a short stay in India he has been able to enter into the very basis of our life. It must be due to samskaras.”

Kathirithambi of Colombo had a dream where Maharshi appeared to him and said, “When you have worldly or spiritual troubles practice a Yoga exercise, viz. slow the breath and bring the mind to heart,” which he described. Kathirithambi said that it is precisely what is given by P.B. in The Quest of the Overself.

“Yes, replied Maharshi. He is one of my ‘eyes.’ My shakti is working through him. Follow him closely.”

Q: “Why P.B. went in for such a low thing as snake charming in Egypt when he had higher knowledge?”

M: “It must be his prarabdha” (karma outworking in present birth.)

Q: Did not Paul Brunton see you in London? Was it only a dream?

M: Yes, he had the vision. Nevertheless he saw me in his own mind.

Q: But did he not see this concrete form?

M: Yes, but still it was in his mind.

Maharshi said: “Yes, Brunton must choose a lady suited to his temperament and likely to render help to his spiritual salvation. She must be such a woman as is likely to help him attain success, living a married life and yet attain salvation.” Then N. Iyer objected, “But he will be having sexual intercourse with his wife.” Maharshi replied, “What is the harm?” One of those present objected that P.B. would retrograde spiritually because of sex in marrying. Maharshi retorted, “He is bound to attain salvation. Once a man has set foot on this soil, he can never retrace it. Married life can never affect one if he controls his mind. It is mind that is the real cause of retrogression. People who think they have committed any sin believe so because they identify the body with Self.”

When in February 1939 the Sarvadikari arranged to post men to prevent the entry of Paul Brunton into the ashram, the Maharshi sternly forbade him. When the Sarvadikari insisted and declared that he would do so, then Maharshi replied, “In that case I shall myself go out of the ashram to meet him.”

Personal Answers from Ramana to P.B.—

  1. The life of action need NOT be renounced. Just meditate for an hour or two every day, then carry on with your duties. As a result, you will find that your attitude towards things, people, and events will gradually change. Also, the current of meditation will continue even while you are working. It is as though there were two ways of expressing the same idea, that is, in two languages. Thus, the idea expressed in meditation is similarly expressed in your activity.
  2. The Guru is not limited by space or time and can communicate telepathically and otherwise.
  3. A Guru is required (1st) to point out the way and (2nd) to give the power or impetus to enable the aspirant to dive into himself in meditation. A definite request must be made to him if one desires him to accept one as a disciple.
  4. You will be better able to serve humanity after you have found your Self, than now. Therefore, seek the Self first, before seeking to serve.
  5. As you get enlightenment, you will not think that it is Paul Brunton who is writing, because your consciousness will be centred in That which is beyond the little self of P.B.
  6. All thinking must cease before entering the state of Brahman. So long as you continue to have thoughts, even though they are about the Reality, so long you have not reached the highest state.
  7. During the vision described in Secret India, I (PB) got telepathically the words: “Henceforth cast aside the idea that it is P.B. who is serving humanity or helping others by lighting their darkness. Realize it is THAT which is working in you, using body, mind, and pen. Forget P.B; you have turned this life over to THAT, to Brahman. This is your diksha-initiation.”

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