‘A Search In Secret India’: Account & Chapter by Chapter Audio Rendition
…It is a quest for that India which is only secret because it is so sacred…The most sacred things a country keeps secret… And it is the same in India. The most sacred part of India is the most secret. Now secret things require much searching for. Those who seek with their whole heart and with the real determination to find will, at last, discover the secret.” This was part of the foreword written by Sir Francis Young Husband, to the first edition of the book that gave the West its first formal introduction into the world of Indian mysticism, yoga, spirituality & such; and turned out to be a huge spiritual classic, selling a “quarter million copies” & being translated into multiple languages. It does justice to the tone of expectation set by the book itself; & sets the same air of heightened fascination & delightful anticipation both, by the spiritually inclined, or otherwise curious audience.
‘A Search In Secret India’, first published in 1934, was written by well known British journalist; theosophist; & spiritualist, Raphael Hurst, who wrote under the pen name of Paul Brunton.
It was a culmination of his dogged thirst to examine the rugged interiors of India, in search of true spiritual genius, at a time when modern rational & scientific temper was making a mark over the western world; India was still under British rule, & most of the West had no thought about what that country could have to offer to the world, except the overriding image of ‘poverty’, & ‘backwardness’.
Paul Brunton had always been intrigued by India; what he kept hearing about it, from time to time, only whetted his desire to be in that vast, mysterious land. But this was no mere emotional journey, guided merely by passion. He was extremely proud of his scientific education, & dispassionate scientifically conditioned thought process. It was research, & journey undertaken with the deep desire to uncover the truth, critically; neutrally. This is exactly the approach he demonstrated throughout this odyssey, following in fact, a policy of rejection rather than selection when it came to putting his stamp of approval on any of the hundreds of mystics, yogis, or holy men he met. This allowed him to also understand what a land of spiritual & religious contrast & contradictions Indian soil was! Easy, naive belief, bafflingly unquestioned superstition; religious fastidiousness & dogma; & spiritual foolery & exploitation abound along with true holy messiahs & unheard of treasure chests of ultimate spiritual knowledge & truths. Not surprising! That is often the way of nature, the most invaluable sparkling gems are usually always hidden by design amidst, & found side by side with rocks of little value.
To Paul Brunton’s book also goes the credit of not just setting off the continuous wave of foreign footprints into India in search of salvation, but also to reintroduce & remind many modern Indians of the spiritual greatness of their own country. Although this book was not what introduced me personally, to the spiritual strength of the country I was born in, & lived in, for most of my life till now, it remains one of my most beloved spiritual classics. Perhaps, this might be, because it also made known to the world the great reclusive, untainted, beacon of pure light, who Paul Brunton’s destiny ended up confirming as his ‘Guru’, & who, my destiny had also already guided to rever as Guru, even before I’d read this book- a Guru who had already shed his physical form & become liberated, much before my current birth.
The audio rendition of the chapters of ‘A Search in Secret India’, beginning with Chapter I, is my humble, not perfect, but spontaneously inspired attempt, dedicated to the continuous, inexpressible grace I feel from my Guru on my life path; as well as, the overwhelming emotion I experience on reading Paul Brunton’s discovery of spiritual India, & of this Guru of Gurus…
Please click on the link to listen to this week’s audio rendition of this great spiritual classic. The journey has only begun. I hope you thoroughly enjoy it.