Paul Brunton, a writer, came to India in the early 1930s investigating various gurus, yogis, fakirs and spiritual teachers. A number of “remarkable experiences” led him to Tiruvannamalai and Arunachala, having heard about a particular sage, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
Arriving more a skeptic than a believer he has given the following account of the first impact the silence of Sri Bhagavan made upon his mind.
“It is an ancient theory of mine that one can take the inventory of a man’s soul from his eyes. But before those of the Maharshi I hesitate, puzzled and baffled….”I cannot turn my gaze away from him. My initial bewilderment, my perplexity at being totally ignored, slowly fade away as this strange fascination begins to grip me more firmly. But it is not till the second hour of this uncommon scene that I become aware of a silent, resistless change which is taking place within my mind. One by one the questions I prepared in the train with such meticulous accuracy drop away. For it does not now seem to matter whether they are asked or not and it does not matter whether I solve the problems with hitherto troubled me. I know only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me, that a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and that my thought-tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some rest.”
Ramana aged 21