Sir Paul Brunton (died on July 27, 1981) Met Sri Ramana Maharishi

Paul Brunton visited Ramana Maharshi in the 1930s, he was perhaps the first Westerner to stay in the ashram for an extended period. Certainly he was the first to write about Ramana for Westerners, in his popular book A Search in Secret India. The publicity brought the attention of the world to Ramana’s powerful “Who am I?” exercise; his self-enquiry approach is widely used by today’s foremost spiritual teachers. In these excerpts, selected and adapted from his book, Brunton describes his outer – and extraordinary inner – experience of being with the great master.

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One day—sitting with Ramana Maharshi—Brunton had an experience which Steve Taylor names “an experience of genuine enlightenment which changed him forever”. Brunton describes it in the following way:

“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 worlds are created, the first state of matter. It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly alive.”
Brunton asked several questions, including “What is the way to God-realization?” and Maharshi said: “Vichara, asking yourself the ‘Who am I?’ inquiry into the nature of your Self.”

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