A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton

Review of A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton

Paul Brunton (21 October 1898 – 27 July 1981) wrote A Search in Secret India about his search for a Spiritual Guru, Yogi or guide in India. Paul Brunton was a theosophist, spiritualist and writer. He was educated at St. George’s College and got his doctorate in Philosophy from Mc.Kinley – Roosevelt College, USA. He fought the World War 1 in the Tank Corps. Post war, after a brief stint as a bookseller and journalist, he came to India in 1931 in search of a Guru or Master. This brought him in contact with many Yogi’s and the book is about that experience.

The book – Search in Secret India…

A Search in Secret India is about his search for a meaning to life. It was published in 1934. The book can be broadly divided into four sections. The first section deals with Brunton’s early encounter with Yoga in the UK. Following this is a section on the circumstances which increased his interest in the subject and the esoteric world of yoga and spiritualism.

The book then moves into the search, starting with an encounter with an Egyptian, Mahmoud Bey in Mumbai. This is followed by a meeting with Meher Baba, followed by many yogi’s, Guru’s, teachers and spiritual leaders. The book then touches his meetings with some of India’s most significant spiritual leaders – Shankaracharya of Kanchi – Paramacharya Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, Ramana Maharishi, Mahendranath Gupta – a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Vishuddhananda and Sahabji Maharaj.

Subsequently, there is the frustration and helplessness at having spent so much time and money without achieving anything.

Finally, there is deliverance. Brunton has presented his experience dramatically. He leaves the reader with a feeling that maybe, he was to find his solution in India.

Conclusion: For people wishing to understand the ancient Indian yoga and spiritual environment until the mid 1930’s, this book is a precious gift. Additionally, the faint colonial haughtier and old fashioned English would only add to the exotic appeal of the book. At the end, as one comes back to reality, there is a nagging feeling that India has lost a valuable heritage. 

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Visit India with open mindedness.You will be amazed the beauty of Indi with broadminded feelings.Plenty of rich, poor,average but at least no starvation in my opinion.Spirituality is keeping India stronger. Faith on God & find your own path when you visit.No expectations.No fixed time for dinner, lunch or visiting rest room.India is known for spirituality & you will be at peace when you visit India with that faith in mind,I was born in India 1941 & moved to United States with my young general surgeon husband & have visited Indi many times.Love of that land & beauty is spirituality & peace in the heart

Inspite of struggles,poverty & illness,spirituality of India is amazing.Yoga practice ,traditional way has it’s own charm.See the goodness in the heart of many average people.They are generous & caring.Some wealthy people are brutal,use the poor people for their own selfish reason.Believe me India is still beautiful place to visit & enjoy

[…] His works have had a major influence on the spread of Eastern mysticism to the West. In his book, A Search in Secret India, he outlines his search for a Guru or teacher and rejecting all for very rational reasons. Finally, […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x