Hermit in the Himalayas: The Journal of a Lonely Exile

Hermit in the Himalayas: The Journal of a Lonely Exile

Paul Brunton was born in London in 1898 and died in Switzerland as recently as 1981.
Paul Brunton (October 21, 1898 – July 27, 1981) was probably born as Hermann Hirsch of German Jewish origin. Later he changed his name to Raphael Hurst, and then Brunton Paul and finally Paul Brunton. He was a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru. He left a journalistic career to live among yogis, mystics, and holy men, and studied Eastern and Western esoteric teachings. Dedicating his life to an inward and spiritual quest, Brunton felt charged to communicate his experiences about what he had learned in the East to others. His works had a major influence on the spread of Eastern yoga and mysticism to the West. Taking pains to express his thoughts in layperson’s terms, Brunton was able to present what he had learned from the Orient and from ancient tradition as a living wisdom. His writings express his view that meditation and the inward quest are not exclusively for monks and hermits, but will also support those living normal, active lives in the Western world.

If Brunton can not be credited with introducing Yoga to the West because of the existence of other previous luminaries such as Blavatsky, Vivekananda and Yogananda, at least he holds a preeminent position in bringing to the West the best the Orient has to offer: the doctrine of Mentalism. No other writer but Brunton has declared Mentalism to be the esoteric doctrine of the Orient. Brunton is also the only writer to differentiate Oriental Mentalism from Berkeley’s
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Books by PB
http://paulbrunton.org/pb.php
• A Search in Secret India
• The Secret Path
• A Search in Secret Egypt
• A Message from Arunachala
• A Hermit in the Himalayas
• The Quest of the Overself
• The Inner Reality
• Indian Philosophy and Modern Culture
• The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga
• The Wisdom of the Overself
• The Spiritual Crisis of Man
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Hermit in the Himalayas: The Journal of a Lonely Exile
Paperback, 188 pages
Published June 1st 1984 by Red Wheel Weiser (first published 1937)
Paul Brunton was born in London in 1898 and died in Switzerland as recently as 1981.
Paul Brunton (October 21, 1898 – July 27, 1981) was probably born as Hermann Hirsch of German Jewish origin. Later he changed his name to Raphael Hurst, and then Brunton Paul and finally Paul Brunton. He was a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru. He left a journalistic career to live among yogis, mystics, and holy men, and studied Eastern and Western esoteric teachings. Dedicating his life to an inward and spiritual quest, Brunton felt charged to communicate his experiences about what he had learned in the East to others. His works had a major influence on the spread of Eastern yoga and mysticism to the West. Taking pains to express his thoughts in layperson’s terms, Brunton was able to present what he had learned from the Orient and from ancient tradition as a living wisdom. His writings express his view that meditation and the inward quest are not exclusively for monks and hermits, but will also support those living normal, active lives in the Western world.


If Brunton can not be credited with introducing Yoga to the West because of the existence of other previous luminaries such as Blavatsky, Vivekananda and Yogananda, at least he holds a preeminent position in bringing to the West the best the Orient has to offer: the doctrine of Mentalism. No other writer but Brunton has declared Mentalism to be the esoteric doctrine of the Orient. Brunton is also the only writer to differentiate Oriental Mentalism from Berkeley’s
This book is part travelogue through what is still a fairly remore region of the world and part spiritual experience. The book was originally published in 1938, at a time when few outsiders ventured as far as Mount Kailas.
Author: Paul Brunton
Publishers: Rider Books
Pages: 188
http://www.amazon.com/Hermit-Himalayas-Paul-Brunton/dp/B0007G3U9U
‘’ One of the great classics of spiritual literature brought back into print Paul Brunton was one of a very small number of his generation to travel so extensively throughout India and Tibet at a time when very few were doing so with such insight and discernment. His journalistic skills produced magnificent descriptions of the snowy peaks and high-desert landscapes of the Himalayan region but it was the lessons he learned from the holy men he met on his journey that transformed him into one of the great interpreters of the East. In this magnificent classic he explains that we all need ‘oases of calm in a world of storm’, no matter what era we are living in, and that to retreat from our everyday lives for a while is not weakness but strength. By taking the trouble to discover the deep silence within us we will find the benefits of being linked to an ‘infinite power, an infinite wisdom, an infinite goodness’. A Hermit In The Himalayas is a fascinating blend of travel narrative and profound spiritual experience. As we accompany the author on his journey through the vast Himalayas ranges towards Mount Kailas in Tibet, he also shows us an even more remarkable – and timeless – inner path which will help us cope with the ups and downs of our contemporary world.’’
This book is in continuation with earlier book from Paul Brunton – ‘A Search in Secret India’, where Brunton travels around the country looking for a spiritual master. Having found one and learned from him, he sets off to isolation, now to practice.


‘A Hermit in the Himalayas’ describes Brunton’s days living in a secluded place in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, away from rest of the world trying to meditate and learn to calm the mind. The book is mostly written like journal of his days of living in the mountains besides his reflection and attempts to meditate. He is not completely isolated from the world though, but has a servant to help him in his everyday activities, receives his letters regularly and responds to them and has some uninvited visitors, in all of which he finds things to write about, besides focusing on keeping his mind calm.
It would be difficult for the reader to perceive how one could write much sitting in a place isolated, but as one starts reading, it is evident that Brunton has enough to catch the attention. Read this as a continuation to ‘A Search in Secret India’
A truly absorbing, beautiful little book that takes you into the very heart of the tranquility of the Himalayas at a time before the conquest of Everest.

This is Paul Brunton’s journel of his time in search of stillness; the inner silence of a higher state meditation. It is a book full of insight and wisdom as he pens his daily musings on life and Nature with beautiful, vivid descriptions of a time spent surrounded by breathtaking beauty.
He is a philospher talking of many things, travel, politics, religion, a chapter in which he replies to his correspondence and, in answer to a man on the brink of suicide, a letter so uplifting and full of compassion that it touched my heart. Another on silent movies and Charlie Chaplin, that lovable funny character of the silent era.

’’ “The mysterious manner in which this growing sense of unity commingles with a sense of utter goodness is worth noting. It arises by no effort of mine; rather does it come to me out of I know not where. Harmony appears gradually and flows through my whole being like music. An infinite tenderness takes possession of me, smoothing away the harsh cynicism which a reiterated experience of human ingratitude and human treachery has driven deeply into my temperament. I feel the fundamental benignity of Nature despite the apparent manifestation of ferocity. Like the sounds of every instrument in an orchestra that is in tune, all things and all people seem to drop into the sweet relationship that subsists within the Great Mother’s own heart.” ‘’


This book was first published in 1937, Paul Brunton was a British journalist who later took a turning for spiritual philosophy. In India he came in contact with various spiritual leaders, saints, mystics and yogis of that time mainly Ramana Maharishi, Kanchipuram Shankracharya & Meher Baba among others.

Paul Brunton wanted to visit Tibet, Mount Kailash in particular (as he says) not as a ‘trader nor geographer’ but for a ‘higher purpose’. He was denied permission by the authorities in command and he decided to carry on his quest in Tehri Garhwal, in comparative solitude among the majestic Himalayas.
Though largely solitary his Himalayan sojourn was occasionally interrupted by visits from persons of his acquaintance, one of them the Prince Mussooree Shum Shere Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal (who has written the foreword for this book) with whom Brunton roams around the hilly terrain and also pens down some thrilling anecdotes told by the Prince. Another time he was visited by Swami Pranavananda with whom Brunton shares an immensely spiritual experience. There is one chapter wholly dedicated to Charlie Chaplin whose genius is held in high regards by Brunton.
Throughout the narrative Brunton’s reverence for the Himalayas is evident, if you too have seen the lofty, rugged sentinel you’d know how the Himalayas inspire awe in us mortals. The search for innerself or as Brunton says ‘overself’ is eternal for the humankind and so as such this book is relevant even now…

Aacharya Shambu Nambudirippad Doing Serene Havan

My Noon Train at Kozhikode

Kozhikode Railway Station


Whenever I happen to have a train for my journies, first I would always board ”The Night Train at Deoli” by Ruskin bond.

Such a short story it is, but as enchanting as a Lilly flower under a shadowy bough.

Now my ‘Mid Day Train” Ernad Express travelled whole of the way from Nagercoil to pick me up from Kozhikode.
And now stopped for a while at ”Payyoli” .

USHA P T


The place is famous as the native village – town of the fastest woman of India Smt.P.T.Usha.

The train is not so crowded.
Yet all seats have occupants. Yesterday the atmosphere was filled with rain drops, now the noon is fled lit with the bright sun.

1.30 pm
Vatakara(PIN Code : 673101)
STD 0496, vehicle previously KL-18
A coastal Municipal town of Kozhikode District of Kerala, ”The God’s own Country”.

The long snake like train is now at Vadakara.
The erstwhile ‘Kadathanaadu’ of Madras Presidency during Britishraj, Vadakara is known as the birth place of Thacholi Othenan, the legendary hero of the Vadakkanpattu(ballads of North Malabar).

kalaripayattu


The martial art form Kalarippayattu has a lot of exponents in Vatakara with the memories of a rich tradtion.

kalaripayattu


In 1934 Mahatma Gandhi visited Vatakara as part of a fund raising trip to North Malabar.

Mahathma


These days those local vendors are not seen in the train who sold ”Arichakkara” a tasty snack prepared from coconut.

1.44 pm
Mahe
The linear compartments in linear trails passing through ”Mahe” – ”Mayyazhi”, which is the Canvas of Shri M.Mukundan, who never had leniency to linear ways of Life in his earliest and medieval literary works.

Journeys are always exciting and exhilarating, as the flair and fragrance of the environment in and around changes so fast.

1.55 pm.
Thalassery.
As ”ooru” in Tamil nadu, and petty in dakshin states, ”ssery” is a common suffix for the place names in Kerala.
The British established their presence in Kerala in 1682, when they obtained permission from the Vadakkilamkur Prince of Kolattunad to settle at Thalassery. In the following years, the British presence in the state of Kerala strengthened.
Centuries of water flooded under the ”Moidu Bridge” but Thalassery still keep its Aristocratic Status.

A marking difference within a span of ten years as a train traveler, I feel, is the interference of Mobile cell Phones.
A passenger has to be a passenger.
It is his duty to be in the role assigned. Instead of enjoying the the journey, just like me, who is now fast fingering on a qwerty key pad, each passenger except a very few are not here in the train, though their physical bodies move from station to station…
2.05 now reaching Kannur with a minute halt at Edakkad Railway station.
da means middle and kadu means forest.
Thus the malayalm derivative “Edakkad” is an
adaptation of its original Sanskrit name. Edakkad also
was historically referred to as Prashnamargapuram (town of Prashnamargam treatise in horary astrology) . This honorary name evolved due to the seminal horary astrological treatise called Prashna Margam being written by Panakkattu Namboodiri(1624-1694 AD) around 1649 A.D at the Lord Narasimha temple (Edakkadappan temple) in this panchayat.

temple


The author’s first disciple, according to tradition, was a poet known as Kukaniyal, his real name was Sankaran kaniyar who belonged to the Kaniyar community who lived in his family house(Kaniyan Kandiyil) also situated in Edakkad.

Writing about Edakkad and the geographical north east may test the patience of non interested..

Some time later, any how I may remember the place again in my web logs…

….and I feel a beaconing from nature(!) and a short stop for the pen.

Till I appear again from my home PC, bye, & take care….