Wednesday, May 29, 2013

91. Paul Brunton. Part Three


One day, while motoring, he saw a holy man and his disciple by the road. The holy man was meditating. He was dressed in a loin cloth only. Something in the man’s face attracted Brunton. He offered them a ride to the nearby village. The yogi’s name was Chandi Das, and according to the disciple, was gifted with exceptional powers. They had been wandering, village to village, now for two years.

At night, he interviewed the yogi. During the interview the conversation turned to time. The yogi asked Brunton if he was sure there was such a thing as time. Brunton implied, that there was present, past, and future, therefore, there was time, because, otherwise, past and future should be here at this time, but that was not our experience. The yogi countered that such was Brunton’s experience, not necessarily true. Puzzled, Brunton asked Chandi Das whether he could see future. The yogi replied “if I wished……yes.”

Then he uttered this sentence, which this mote has thought about for years.

Only in part. The lives of men do not move so smoothly that every detail is ordained for them.”

In the discussion about fate versus free will, this sentence carries great significance, because this pronouncement was uttered by somebody who knew what he was talking about.

The yogi told him many things about his future. Some of them had already come true by the time the book was written while others still waited the verdict of time ( see footnote )

One of the things, the yogi said, was that to achieve his goal; he must turn his car back to Bombay. He also said that he will get his wish before the next full moon. A sage awaited him, with whom he was tied by ancient ties. (These predictions came true).

Brunton followed the advice. After great mental conflict and ill health, he decided to cancel his berth in the ship, sailing next week to England, and returned to Maharishee in Arunachala.

Brunton asked Maharishee to become his master. Maharishee refused, and said, “You must find the master within you, within your own spiritual self.” He spent several weeks with Maharishee. Sometimes Maharishee would visit his hut. One day he told Brunton, “The same force which drew you to this place from Bombay, drew me to it from Madura (his hometown )”.

Brunton would get ineffable tranquility by sitting for a while in the neighborhood of Maharishee. Maharishee was not a yogi in the orthodox sense, he had never studied any system of yoga, and he had never practiced under a teacher.

One night, while sitting in the hall, Brunton got his first smadhi. It lasted for about two hours. He lost all consciousness of his surroundings. He felt rapture. He found himself outside the rim of world consciousness. Earth disappeared.  He found himself in the midst of blazing light………………………..

Brunton has described his experience in six pages of his book.

His friend, sitting next to him, told, “the Maharishee watched you closely all the time………” Brunton lost his power of speech for fifteen minutes.

Maharishee returned to his divan and looked intently at Brunton. Their eyes met. Their eyes were locked, across the room, for the next forty minutes. They did not exchange a word. His eyes, as always, had a strange luster.

Brunton reminded himself that never had he met any man with such remarkable eyes. In so for human eyes could mirror divine power, it was a fact that the sage’s did that.

Brunton was happy to achieve certitude. He was also happy that he did not sacrifice his rational way of thinking to blind credulity (also called faith or belief in religion)

What was the purpose of Maharishee’s life, which many Westerners would consider a waste?

This mote thinks his life served three purposes:

1. According to Brunton, people like Maharishee, ensure the continuity down history of a divine message from regions not easily accessible to us all. They make us believe in God

2. They tell us of a method to reach God, or one’s own self. They tell us  what self was and what were its characteristics, and why should one try to reach it. Why is such quest the noblest of all quests?

3. Maharishee, in his own invisible way, applied balm to the wounds of tortured souls, everyday. He imparted peace and tranquility upon them. Even his close disciple , Ramiah, had this power, as experienced by Brunton himself, in his hour of distress.

Remember in blog 89, Brunton stated, that not too long ago, he thought of God as a delusion. Let me quote from his book, “ a hermit in the Himalayas” published in 1937:

‘ I think the final news which I bring…………………….that of God’s reality. The highest power is no mere article of belief to me, but a verity…..authentic, undeniable and supreme………..’

‘ His language is nothing else than this stillness………….we must learn His language……………..’

‘ be still, and know that I am God’                                         

To be continued
Note. Chandi Das said that Brunton would not again meet a saint in Bengal, who Brunton was planning to meet, that he would leave India by the next  solstice, that he would become very sick as he left India, and that the would visit India three times in his life.

No comments: