Dr. J. Glenn Friesen

Jung, Ramana Maharshi and Eastern Meditation


C.G. Jung

Lectures on Jung and Eastern Mysticism

Jung and Ramana
Part 1
Part 2

Paul Brunton and Ramana Maharshi

Lectures on Jung and Western Myticism

1. Jung and the Philosophy of Totality: Individualism or Individuation?

2. Theosophy and Gnosticism: Jung and Franz von Baader

3. The Relation of Jung's Psychology to Meister Eckhart and Jakob Boehme


Other links:

Ramana Maharshi
Frederik van Eeden
Herman Dooyeweerd
D.H.Th. Vollenhoven
Franz von Baader
Abraham Kuyper

Linked Glossary

© J. Glenn Friesen
( 2005-2008)

C.G. Jung

Ramana Maharshi


by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen

© 2005

Revised notes from lectures given at the C.G. Jung Institute, Küsnacht (May 4-5, 2004)

Part 1 of Lectures

Download in .pdf format


These lectures present some comparisons between Jung and the Hindu sage Ramana Maharshi regarding the nature and purpose of meditation. You can see their pictures here.

We cannot jump immediately to reading what Jung says about meditation. For what he says is related to many different influences. We will therefore circle around the topic. Jungians are of course familiar with this method of circumambulation, circling around ideas.

We will first examine Jung’s view of the Self, and then compare it to Ramana. The ideas will seem similar. Then I will show differences, and how Jung in fact criticized Ramana. Then I will show how these differences can perhaps be overcome, especially using Jung’s lectures on Kundalini yoga. Through all of this, our views of what constitutes eastern meditation may change, and so may our views of what Jung’s psychology means for us.

Along the way I am going to spend some time looking at several other people. These include the Englishman Paul Brunton, who made Ramana Maharshi well-known to the Western world. And Heinrich Zimmer, who was part of the Eranos group, who wrote about Indian philosophy and who also translated some of Ramana’s teachings into German. Here is a chart showing the relationships among some of these people. We will return to this chart.

Jung and Mysticism

To understand Jung’s views on meditation, we need to ask, Was Jung a mystic? My short answer is, yes of course Jung was a mystic. His work makes no sense otherwise. But what kind of mysticism was it? In a 1959 interview on the BBC program "Face to Face," John Freeman asked Jung whether he believed in God. Jung's answer was, “I do not need to believe in God; I know.” Here is the excerpt from the interview:

Freeman: And did he make you attend church regularly?
Jung: Always, that was quite natural. Everybody went to the church on Sunday.
Freeman: And did you believe in God?
Jung: Oh, yes.
Freeman: Do you now believe in God.
Jung: Yes. Now? …[long pause] Difficult to answer. I know. I needn't… I don't need to believe. I know.

You may be interested in hearing this interview. An audio clip of this excerpt is available on the website of the Jung Society of Atlanta.

After giving the BBC interview, Jung received letters from many people who had heard the radio broadcast. Jung then clarified his views in a letter to The Listener, January 21, 1960 [1A]. In some ways his clarification raises even more issues. Jung wrote:

Sir - So many letters I have received have emphasized my statement about 'knowing' (of God) [in Face to Face, The Listener, October 29]. My opinion about knowledge of God is an unconventional way of thinking, and I quite understand if it should be suggested that I am no Christian. Yet I think of myself as a Christian since I am entirely based upon Christian concepts. I only try to escape their internal contradictions by introducing a more modest attitude, which takes into consideration the immense darkness of the human mind. The Christian idea proves its vitality by a continuous evolution, just like Buddhism. Our time certainly demands some new thought in this respect, as we cannot continue to think in an antique or medieval way, when we enter the sphere of religious experience.
I did not say in the broadcast, "There is a God." I said "I do not need to believe in God; I know." Which does not mean: I do know a certain God (Zeus, Jahwe, Allah, the Trinitarian God, etc.) but rather: I do know that I am obviously confronted with a factor unknown in itself, which I call 'God' in consensu omnium [consent of everyone] "'quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditur"). ["What has been believed always, everywhere, and by all"] I remember Him, I evoke Him, whenever I use His name overcome by anger or by fear, whenever I involuntarily say: "Oh God!"
That happens when I meet somebody or something stronger than myself. It is an apt name given to all overpowering emotions in my own psychical system subduing my conscious will and usurping control over myself. This is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans, and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse. I accordance with tradition I call the power of fate in this positive as well as negative aspect, and inasmuch as its origin is beyond my control, 'god', a 'personal god', since my fate means very much myself, particularly when it approaches me in the form of conscience as a vox Dei, with which I can even converse and argue. (We do and, at the same time, we know that we do. One is subject as well as object.)
Yet I should consider it an intellectual immorality to indulge in the belief that my view of a god is the universal, metaphysical Being of the confessions or 'philosophies'. I do neither commit the impertinence of a hypostasis, nor of an arrogant qualification such as: 'God can only be good.' Only my experience can be good or evil, but I know that the superior will is based upon a foundation which transcends human imagination. Since I know of my collision with a superior will in my own psychical system, I know of God, and if I should venture the illegitimate hypostasis of my image, I would say, of a God beyond good and evil, just as much dwelling in myself as everywhere else: Deus est circulus cuius centrum est ubique, cuis circumferentia vero nusquam. [God is a circle whose center is everywhere, but whose circumference is nowhere]
Yours, etc.,
Carl Gustav Jung

The last quotation ("God is a circle") is from a 12th century treatise, Liber XXIV Philosophorum. It is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (an Egyptian sage supposedly before the time of Moses; scholars dispute that dating). The quotation is also cited by Giordano Bruno, Nicholas of Cusa, and by Pascal.[1]

Jung’s mysticism was perhaps not orthodox. But Jung did acknowledge to some people that he was a mystic. In 1937, the year before Jung went to India, he told Paul Brunton that he was a mystic, but that he could not publicly admit this. Jung said he had to keep his mystical experiences to himself in order to preserve his scientific reputation [2].

Now in many places, Jung refers to his work as "empirical." And in a sense they are empirical since his mysticism is an experienced mysticism. Jung’s mysticism is related to the experience of the Self. But many of Jung’s statements go far beyond what we normally consider empiricism [3]. In some places Jung admits this. In a letter of 1934 (a date several years earlier than his conversation with Brunton), Jung wrote:

I don't want to addle anybody's brains with my subjective conjectures. Beyond that I have had experiences which are, so to speak, "ineffable," "secret" because they can never be told properly and because nobody can understand them (I don't know whether I have even approximately understood them myself), "dangerous" because 99% of humanity would declare I was mad if they heard such things from me, "catastrophic" because the prejudices aroused by their telling might block other people's way to a living and wondrous mystery, "taboo" because they are an aduto [holy precinct] protected by deisidaimonia [fear of the gods] as faithfully described by Goethe… [4]

For other views on Jung's mysticism, see the book by Aniela Jaffe: Was Jung a Mystic? (Daimon Verlag, 1989).

And Jeffrey Raff, a Jungian therapist who wishes to restore Jung's spiritual side says this:

A student, colleague, and friend of Dr. Jung, von Franz seemed to us to hold the key to a deeper understanding of Jung's theories. We spoke frequently of the written tradition versus the oral tradition of Jungian psychology, for there were major differences between the Jung of the Collected Works and the Jung as von Franz presented him. Von Franz spoke of a Jung who was a spiritual teacher, who knew full well that the inner work was of paramount importance.[5]

But what kind of mysticism is this? There are mysticisms that say our world is an illusion, or that say that we should escape and retreat from the world.. There is ascetic monasticism, and the extreme acosmism of some mystics. Or there is the kind of mysticism that advocates a state of trance in which all our awareness of the world disappears and is replaced by a kind of "pure consciousness." Or there are mysticisms that affirm the world, and that seek to transform the world from out of our own transcendent Selfhood.

God, Self and Ego

Jung uses the word ‘Self’ to refer to our selfhood in its totality, both conscious and unconscious, and (something that is often forgotten), both personal and impersonal. The Self is different from our ego, but it includes and transcends our ego [6]. I therefore have used the word ‘transpersonal’ for this impersonal Selfhood. Sometimes Jung refers to the Self as the "God-image" within us:

Jung says that the Self is not just a subjective image, but "objective psyche." Now it is confusing that Jung refers to our selfhood as psyche. We tend to think of psyche as being individual. Jung means by 'objective psyche' that the Self is a being with reality of its own, transcendent to us as individuals; it is transpersonal, the "God-image" within us [7]. The self is that out of which we come. Jung says, “It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself.” [8]

But Jung also says that the Self is also our goal, to which we return. The Self is the Pleroma from which we came and to which we return. [9] The goal of humanity is to make a connection between our ego and Self, which is non-ego. This is the process of individuation.

The Self is outside of time; that is why it can direct us in dreams, by the compensation of opposites (enantiadromia), and in synchronistic events.

Jung speaks of the necessity to get beyond our intellect and to break through to a "knowledge of the knower"–the Self. He says that this passion to know the Self is indistinguishable from the driving force of religion. Jung refers to these experiences of the non-ego as "mystical" [10]. He says that in Zen, the experience of satori is interpreted as the breakthrough into a non-ego-like Self [11]. Jung refers to the experience of mystics like Eckhart and John of Ruysbroeck, and their openness to other, non-ego influences.

The Upanishads

Jung's first use of the term 'Self' appears in 1921 [almost 30 years before BBC interview] in his book Psychological Types. He there also refers to the Brahmanic conception of self as uniting symbol in the Upanishads (paragraphs 331-357). Jung later said in his Terry Lectures (1938/40) that he chose the term ‘Self’ in accordance with Eastern ideas, and the Upanishads in particular.

I have chosen the term 'self' to designate the totality of man, the sum total of his conscious and unconscious contents. I have chosen this term in accordance with Eastern philosophy, which for centuries has occupied itself with the problems that arise when even the gods cease to incarnate. The philosophy of the Upanishads corresponds to a psychology that long ago recognized the relativity of the gods. This is not to be confused with a stupid error like atheism. [12]

Now the Upanishads are the final part of the Hindu Vedas, their holy Scriptures. The Upanishads were written roughly around the 6th century BCE. That is the time that the philosopher Karl Jaspers referred to as "the axial age." It is also about the time of the prophet Isaiah, the time of the Buddha (also in India), and of Confucius.

The Upanishads are concerned with the attempt to find the unity of our existence. They say that this unity is found in the Self or atman.

Western Dualism

Now to understand what the Upanishads mean by the Self, and what Jung means by the Self, we need to look briefly at dualism in western philosophy. In western thought we tend to identify our thinking as our real selfhood. We call it the rational soul. Then we devalue the other functions like body and sensations. This is the philosophy of Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” Here is a diagram:

In this view, our true being is rational. This over-emphasis on the rational has a corresponding devaluation of the body. This rationalism is sometimes linked to patriarchal views of religion. Or to modernism.

Or we can make the reverse mistake and devalue the rational in favour of the body, the earth. This is the mistake of romanticism and of some kinds of feminism today. It just reverses the dualism. It doesn’t solve it.

Jung agrees that our self is not to be identified with concepts. Jung says that our conscious knowledge is fragmentary; it splits up our knowledge into simple units [13]. Jung says that the word “concept” comes from the Latin concipiere, “to take something by grasping it thoroughly” [14]. He says that this type of [conceptual] consciousness cannot produce more than a partial and partisan truth; it is not capable of psychic wholeness [15]. When our consciousness gets so conceptually one-sided, it gets out of touch with our primordial images and a breakdown occurs [16].

Now does this mean that Jung’s view of the selfhood is romantic? Has he substituted an irrationalistic emphasis on feeling in contrast to such abstraction? Certainly some Jungians have interpreted Jung in this romantic way, emphasizing "the mothers," the anima, all interpreted in terms of feeling. And this is the basis for Ken Wilber’s criticism of some Jungians. In reacting to rationalism, some Jungians have emphasized the pre-rational. Wilber calls this the ‘pre/trans fallacy,’ the confusing of the pre-personal with the transpersonal.

But Jung also contrasts a one-sided conceptual consciousness with the intuitive, the unexpected, the all-embracing, completely illuminating answer [17]. And that kind of consciousness seems to be more than just feeling. And Jung also has a view of the Selfhood as a radical unity. To understand this, we need to look at the Hindu view of the Self, which Jung acknowledges as the basis for his own idea of the Self.

The Hindu view of the Self

Both of the western forms of dualism–rationalism and romanticism–identify our selfhood with something that is temporal. So in the west, we wrongly identify our self with something temporal.

The Hindu view is that the Self (atman) is beyond time and individuality. It is also not to be identified with any of our functions, such as thought or emotion. And Hinduism also says that the Self should not be confused with our individual ego, or what Hinduism calls the ahamkara (the I-maker). Our ego includes not only our body and sensations, but also our mind and rationality. Instead, there is a radical unity, beyond all of our functions. Here is a diagram, illustrating the relation of the Self or atman to the temporal functions of the body:

Hindus refer to the Self as supreme consciousness, as Brahman. Now, there is a debate in Hinduism to what extent the Self or atman is distinct from God or Brahman. There is also a debate, which we will look at later, as to whether Hindus regard the external world as real, or whether it is illusion. What is important to emphasize is that the Self is a radical unity, beyond time and individuality.

Ramana Maharshi refers to the Self as the “cave of the heart”[18]. This beautiful image comes from the Hindu Scriptures. We may compare it to the Biblical idea of our heart as our true center. See Proverbs 4:23, “Out of the heart are the issues of life.” The reference to "heart" should not be misunderstood as referring only to our emotions. It is our center. It is interesting that the Catholic image of the sacred heart of Jesus is still revered by many Indians who are familiar with it.

Jung says, "What we call the unconscious is an exact replica of the Indian concept of super- or supreme consciousness.” [19] He also says that Indian philosophy is the interpretation given to the precise condition of the non-ego. So this meaning of the unconscious, as the non-ego, is that of the Self to which we move. In this sense, the archetypes pull us towards our true Self.

The problem is, as we shall see, that Jung also speaks of the unconscious with reference to the individual ego. The unconscious in this sense is that from which we come. In this sense, archetypes are primordial, archaic images. There is an ambiguity in Jung's use of the term 'unconscious.' And in the diagram above, Jung refers to the unconscious both at the bottom of the diagram as well as at the level of the Self, above time.

The story of Ramana Maharshi

Ramana's story is interesting. I am summarizing it from the biographies I have listed in the Bibliography. When Ramana was 16 years old, he had a sudden fear of death. To try to overcome this fear, he enacted his death; convinced that his Self would survive death. He did a kind of thought experiment where he pretended to be dead. He lay down on his bed and imitated the rigid position of a corpse. He held his breath, and kept his lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape. He says that he realized that, even if his body died, his Self would survive. He said, "I am not my body. My self, or I is something else." And, he said, "I am not my thoughts. He believed that his self or “I’ was something very real and in fact the only real thing in that state. He felt that he became absorbed in this self or ‘I’; this feeling never left him after that. After this, his ‘self’ was the focus of his attention. It is said that he gained enlightenment at this time, and obtained a unity with supreme consciousness.

Ramana then ran away from home, using a few rupees that had been intended for his brother’s school tuition fees. Ramana ran to the holy mountain of Arunachala, of which he had heard from an uncle. He stayed at the temple there, where he spent many months in a trance without moving or talking; he didn’t even know when he was being bitten by swarms of insects. He was looked after by certain devout individuals. Later he went to meditate in the caves of the holy mountain Arunachala.

After almost 20 years, a community or ashram came to be organized around Ramana. He said that he was not a guru; the only guru was within one's own Self. His teaching to everyone who came was the same:

1. Find the Self experientially in the “cave of your heart,” the center of your being.
2. Give up your ego, because the Self is beyond your ego.
3. Ask “Who am I?” “Who is the one who is thinking, willing, acting?”

To every question that he was asked, Ramana would respond, "Who is it that is asking the question? Find out, and your question will vanish." [20] In every deed, every act of will, every thought, ask yourself the essential question: "Who is thinking, willing, acting?" The "I" is the actor behind the action, the thinker behind the thought, the one who wills behind the act of willing. The "I" is that which sees, but cannot itself be seen–, the unseen seer. .The "I" is that which thinks but cannot be thought of– the unthought thinker.

Ramana called this the "Teaching of Self-Enquiry." An example of this kind of dialogue is as follows:

Disciple: How is one to realize the Self?
Ramana: Whose Self? Find out.
Disciple: Mine, but who am I?
Ramana: Find out yourself.
Disciple: I don’t know how.
Ramana: Just think over the question. Who is it that says, “I don’t know? Who is the ‘I’ in your statement? What is not known?” [21]

Ramana says that the self is not the body, senses, life. Many conclude that it must be the mind. Yet we are not our thoughts. It is we who entertain our thoughts. Are we then to conclude that our thoughts are objects with which the Self, the subject, is sporting? But even this subject seems to be a thought. We should first eliminate objective thoughts. What is then left? What is left is the residuary subject, this stem, or root thought ‘I’ which is called "personality." But finally this root thought must also be eliminated:

The final service of the intellect is to eliminate itself, saying “I too am only the instrument of the subject and am not the subject itself." [22]

The pure self is not sensed by the intellect. Realization of this Self is pure bliss-consciousness-existence (Saccidananda) and it can be understood only by actual experience.

The Hindu idea of the Self or atman is therefore that it is the center of our being. It is more than body, mind, and emotions.

There is a Hindu doctrine of the body as five sheaths, rather like layers of an onion that can be peeled away to find the true center, the heart or self. In the course of this peeling process, there are several different bodies: the gross physical body, the subtle body and the causal body. The true self is beyond time and space. Deutsch has interpreted these levels as the different consciousness that we have as we place different emphases on different aspects of our lives. Deutsch says that the analysis of the five sheaths

…shows that there is no discontinuity of consciousness, that there is but one consciousness, namely, that associated with Atman, which appears in different states because of various upadhis or mis-identifications of self with one or more aspects of phenomenal selfhood.[23]

I like that interpretation. The sheaths are not actually different bodies, but result from our misidentifications with temporal aspects.

The Self or atman is what remains after the subtraction of the five sheaths. It is the "witness," it is absolute knowledge. The Self is the unseen seer, the unthought thinker. It is not the object of either perception or thought.

Jung’s References to the Self

Jung refers to the self in ways that are very similar to Ramana's teaching of Self-Enquiry. Jung says:

An Indian guru can explain everything and you can imitate everything. But do you know who is applying the yoga? In other words, do you know who you are and how you are constituted? ["Yoga and the West," Published in 1936] [24]


We must needs revise our somewhat old-fashioned prejudice that man is nothing but his consciousness. This naïve assumption must be confronted at once with the critical question: Whose consciousness? ? [From “Psychology and religion: the History and Psychology of a Natural Symbol,” (1937)] [25]


A rare philosophic passion is needed to compel the attempt to get beyond intellect and break through to a “knowledge of the knower.” Such a passion is practically indistinguishable from the driving force of religion; consequently this whole problem belongs to the religious transformation process, which is incommensurable with intellect. [beyond our concepts] [Foreword to DT Suzuki’s Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1939)] [26]

And in the same Foreword to DT Suzuki, Jung says, “Find him who seeks.”

Now these statements by Jung sound sound surprisingly like Ramana. Is it possible that Jung knew of Ramana? It is not only possible, it is certain. Jung was aware of Ramana and of Ramana’s teachings. He obtained this knowledge from Paul Brunton and from Heinrich Zimmer. Let us look at Brunton and Zimmer.

Jung and Paul Brunton (See chart of relationships)

Paul Brunton was an English writer on Yoga and related subjects. Brunton kept details of his own past as something of a mystery. We know that Brunton’s original name was Raphael Hurst. He was a bookseller and journalist. Brunton wrote under various pseudonyms, including Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte. He changed his name when he visited India and decided to write on spiritual matters. At first he chose the pen name Brunton Paul. He later changed this to Paul Brunton.

Brunton was the one who made Ramana well-known to the western world. Brunton met Ramana in 1931 [6 years before his meeting with Jung], and in 1934, he published a book about his meeting with Ramana. The book was called A Search in Secret India (London: Rider & Co., 1934). Even Indian writers refer to Brunton’s works. For example, Yogananda visited Ramana in 1935 after reading Brunton’s books. He met Brunton at Ramana's ashram, and he praised Brunton's writing [27]. There are several reference to Brunton’s book by Ramana. Ramana expressly says that Brunton's book is useful for Indians [27A].

I have already referred to Jung's meeting with Brunton in 1937. In 1937, Jung met Brunton, together with V. Subrahmanya Iyer, who represented India at the International Congress of Philosophy at the Sorbonne. Jung invited Iyer and Brunton to Küsnacht, where they discussed problems of Indian philosophy. It was at this meeting that Jung told Brunton that he was a mystic but that he could not acknowledge this because he had to protect his scientific reputation.

Jung and Zimmer (See chart of relationships)

Jung was also made aware of Ramana through the Indologist Heinrich Zimmer. Jung met Zimmer in the 1930’s when Zimmer was Professor of Sanskrit at Heidelberg. Zimmer attended some of the meetings at Eranos. Most importantly, Zimmer translated some of Ramana's writings into German, in a book entitled Der Weg zum Selbst [the Way to the Self]. The book was published in 1954, and Jung wrote an introduction to it [28]. In 1946, the book came to the attention of Ramana Maharshi. Dr. B.K. Roy reviewed Zimmer's book and advised Ramana it was only a translation [28A].

Jung's Introduction to Zimmer's book is included in Jung's Collected Works as "The Holy Men of India." (CW volume 9). The introduction makes it clear that Jung had read the translated ideas of Ramana.

Zimmer urged Jung to visit Ramana on his trip to India. Zimmer was greatly disappointed when Jung did not do so. Clarke speculates why Jung did not see Ramana:

It may be that Jung, in order to maintain his stance of independence, felt it necessary to avoid a man who, by repute, may well have been able to penetrate his defences, for just as he had since his boyhood refused to bend his knee to the Christian way of faith, so with regard to Eastern spirituality his attitude remained one of guarded objectivity. He could not, as he expressed it, “accept from others what I could not attain on my own, or make any borrowings from the East, but must shape my life out of myself'.” [29]

Zimmer himself never travelled to India. Jung’s failure to meet Ramana greatly disappointed Zimmer. Jung says:

Heinrich Zimmer had been interested for years in the Maharshi of Tiruvannamalai, and the first question he asked on my return from India [in 1939] concerned this latest holy and wise man from southern India. (CW 9, p.576).

In a letter to Gualthernus H. Mees, a Dutch sociologist whom Jung had met in India, and who was a disciple of Ramana, Jung comments on Zimmer's book:

Concerning Zimmer's book I must say that I had no hand in its publication except that I took it in hand to be published by my Swiss publisher. Thus I was fully unaware of how the text came into existence or what its defects are. I had to leave the entire responsibility to my friend Zimmer who was a great admirer of the Maharshi. [30]

Jung’s introduction to Zimmer’s book is still referred to today. Parts of it have been reprinted as an introduction to Ramana’s teachings. The book The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi (Boston: Shambhala, 1988), includes excerpts of Jung's introduction. But it leaves out many passages expressing criticism of Ramana.

Jung's introduction to Zimmer's book is reproduced in the Collected Works as "Holy Men of India." [31] In his introduction, Jung says that Ramana's thoughts are "certainly beautiful to read" ("Holy Men" para. 955). He compares Ramana's method to that of Western mysticism, where there is a shift from the ego to the self:

The goal of Eastern religious practice is the same as that of Western mysticism: the shifting of the center of gravity from the ego to the self, from man to God. This means that the ego disappears in the self, and man in God. It is evident that Shri Ramana has either really been more or less absorbed by the self, or has at least struggled earnestly all his life to extinguish his ego in it.("Holy Men" para. 958).

Jung refers to Ramana's ideas about the self:

The Maharshi also calls the atman the 'ego-ego'--significantly enough, for the self is indeed experienced as the subject of the subject, as the true source and controller of the ego, whose (mistaken) strivings are continually directed towards appropriating the very autonomy which is intimated to it by the self. This conflict is not unknown to the Westerner: for him it is the relationship of man to God ("Holy Men" para. 955-56).

Jung says that Ramana equates Self and God, and that although this may seem shocking to Europeans, in fact psychology cannot distinguish them:

The equation self=God is shocking to the Europeans. As Shri Ramana's statements and many others show, it is a specifically Eastern insight, to which psychology has nothing further to say except that it is not within its competence to differentiate between the two. Psychology can only establish that the empiricism of the 'self' exhibits a religious symptomatology, just as does that category of assertions associated with the term 'God'. ("Holy Men" para. 957).

Now these quotations make it seem like Jung and Ramana's ideas about the self are very similar. But devotees of Ramana will be surprised to learn that these excerpts from the introduction by Jung do not tell the whole story. In fact, Jung was very critical of Ramana. Jung disagreed with what he saw as the message of Ramana. Jung says that Ramana is by no means unique:

For the fact is, I doubt his [Ramana’s] uniqueness; he is of a type which always was and will be. Therefore it was not necessary to seek him out. I saw him all over India, in the pictures of Ramakrishna, in Ramakrishna’s disciples, in Buddhist monks, in innumerable other figures of the daily Indian scene, and the words of his wisdom are the sous-entendu of India’s spiritual life.("Holy Men" para. 952).


But in India he is merely the whitest spot on a white surface (whose whiteness is mentioned only because there are so many surfaces that are just as black. ("Holy Men" para. 952).

Jung says that this longing for complete simplicity can be found in any Upanishad or any discourse of the Buddha. The goal of that kind of spirituality is the extinction and dissolution of the ego: "the ego struggles for its own abolition, drowning the world of multiplicity in the All and All-Oneness of Universal Being.” Ramana was just chiming in with this melody of extinction. And the consequence of this kind of spirituality is “the depreciation and abolition of the physical and psychic man (the living body and ahamkara) in favour of the pneumatic man.”

Jung disagrees with this acosmic kind of spirituality. He says that without the ego or ahamkara, there is nothing to register what is happening. He is not interested in this kind of spirituality:

The man who is only wise and only holy interests me about as much as the skeleton of a rare saurian” [lizard, dinosaur] ("Holy Men" para. 953).

Unadulterated wisdom and unadulterated holiness, I fear are seen to best advantage in literature, where their reputation remains undisputed.("Holy Men" para. 954).

Jung says that he ran into a disciple of Ramana in Trivandrum [actually it was a disciple of Ramakrishna]. Jung says this disciple was an unassuming little man,a primary school teacher, with innumerable children to feed. But he goes on to say,

Be that as it may, in this modest, kindly, devout, and childlike spirit I encountered a man who had absorbed the wisdom of the Maharshi with utter devotion, and at the same time had surpassed his master because, notwithstanding his cleverness and holiness, he had “eaten” the world. ("Holy Men" para. 953).

Jung refers to this disciple as "an example of how wisdom, holiness and humanity can dwell together in harmony, richly, pleasantly, sweetly, peacefully, and patiently, without limiting one another…"

In his letter to Mees, Jung refers to this man, Raman Pillai, who was living so harmoniously in the world. Jung says,

I'm sorry that I was under the impression when we met in Trivandrum that you introduced your friend Raman Pillai [referred to in intro to Holy Men of India] as a remote pupil of Shri Ramana. This however doesn't matter very much, since the basic coincidence of most of the Indian teaching is so overwhelmingly great that it means little whether the author is called Ramakrishna or Vivekananda or Shri Aurobindo, etc.

Jung seems to be saying "If you have seen one Indian holy man, you have seen them all." That kind of arrogant generalization shows a distressing lack of knowledge on Jung's part, and reveals an impatience in him that is not at all in keeping with the psychological method of investigation, of circling around a theme without coming to any preconceived judgments about what it might mean.

In his introduction to Zimmer's book, Jung refers to a contradiction between the Hindu longing to escape the earth for the cosmic Self, and the desire to be a part of the earth:

The insane contradiction, on the other hand, between existence beyond Maya in the cosmic Self and that amiable human weakness which fruitfully sinks many roots into the black earth, repeating for all eternity the weaving and rending of the veil as the ageless melody of India—this contradiction fascinates me; for how else can one perceive the light without the shadow? ("Holy Men" para. 953).

Jung says that the Indian lacks the epistemological standpoint; he is still pre-Kantian, with no psychology:

To the Indian it is clear that the self as the originating ground of the psyche is not different from God, and that, so far as a man is in the self, he is not only contained in God but actually is God. Shri Ramana is quite explicit on this point. No doubt this equation, too, is an 'interpretation." ("Holy Men" para. 957).

Jung says that Ramana's desire to escape the ego is self-contradictory, because without the Maharshi’s personal ego, there would be no Shri Ramana at all.("Holy Men" para. 959). There must be a balance between the goal of self as final goal (entelechy of the self) and the ego.

The entelechy of the self consists in a succession of endless compromises, ego and self laboriously keeping the scales balanced if all is to go well. ("Holy Men" para. 959).

Jung believes that Ramakrishna had a more tolerant attitude towards the world:

Whereas Shri Ramana displays a 'sympathetic' tolerance towards the worldly callings of his disciples, while yet exalting the extinction of the ego as the real goal of spiritual exertion, Ramakrishna shows a rather more hesitant attitude in this respect. He says: 'So long as ego-seeking exists, neither knowledge (jñana) nor liberation (mukti) is possible, and to births and deaths there is no end. All the same, he has to admit the fatal tenacity of ahamkara (the 'I-maker'):; "Very few can get rid of the sense of "I" through Samadhi “We may discriminate a thousand times, but the sense of "I" is bound to return again and again” “If this sense of "I" will not leave, then let it stay on as the servant of God." ("Holy Men" para. 958).

Jung quotes Angelus Silesius:

I know that without me
God can no moment live;
Were I to die, then he
No longer could survive ("Holy Men" para. 959).

Jung disagrees with the practice of meditation divorced from temporal life: "reflection as an end in itself is nothing but a limitation if it cannot stand firm in the turmoil of chaotic extremes…" ("Holy Men" para. 961).

Brunton’s Criticisms of Ramana

Now it is interesting that Brunton had very similar criticisms of Ramana. Excerpts of Brunton’s book A Search in Secret India are still published and distributed by Ramana's ashram. What the ashram does not say is that Brunton had a profound disagreement. Brunton says that there were threats of violence against him. In fact, he says he felt forced to leave the ashram. He says he left “abruptly" [32].

Brunton says that he did not see Ramana at all in the 12 years before Ramanaˆa’s death, even though he passed within a few miles of the ashram.[33] In a book written in 1941, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, Brunton refers to “threats of physical violence” and "malicious lying ignorance." He speaks of being “harshly separated by the ill-will of certain men.” He speaks of “hate” and “low manners”, which he attributes to jealousy over his success. [34] The main problems were:

1. In March, 1939, Brunton arrived at Tiruvannamalai, where he stayed at Ramana's ashram, not for the expected three months, but for three weeks. Brunton describes the situation at the ashram as:

... a highly deplorable situation in the Ramana ashram which represents the culminating crisis of a degeneration which has been going on and worsening during the last three years. [35]

And he complains that Ramana was not exercising any control over the ashram:

But during my last two visits to India it had become painfully evident that the institution known as the Ashram which had grown around him during the past few years, and over which his ascetic indifference to the world rendered him temperamentally disinclined to exercise the slightest control, could only greatly hinder and not help my own struggles to attain the highest goal, so I had no alternative but to bid it an abrupt and final farewell (Hidden Teaching, p. 18)

2. It is clear that there were disagreements between Brunton and Ramana's brother, who was in charge of the ashram. Masson says that Brunton had given interviews in the Indian papers about Ramana which the brother had not found satisfactory [35A]. Were these disagreements even earlier than 1939? Brunton had not been at the ashram since early 1936. In September, 1936, Ramana was asked about "some disagreeable statements by a man well known to Maharshi." Ramana replied,

I permit him to do so. I have permitted him already. Let him do so even more. Let others follow suit. Only let them leave me alone. If because of these reports no one comes to me, I shall consider it a great service done to me. Moreover, if he cares to publish books containing scandals of me, and if he makes moneyu by their sale, it is really good. Such books will sell even more quickly and in larger numbes than the othes […] He is doing me a very good turn. [36B].

Now Brunton is not specifically identified here. But the dates fit with Brunton leaving for the Himalayas "in exile."

3. A legal action had been commenced for control of the ashram. Some people said that Brunton was involved. Brunton felt he had to deny this allegation [36].

4. Brunton complained that Ramana didn’t impart to him the guidance that he was seeking (Hidden Teaching, p. 15). Now what did Brunton want? He certainly had Ramana's instruction of the method of self-enquiry. It seems that perhaps he wanted the magical powers or siddhis associated with yoga. Examples are the power of telepathy or of foreseeing the future. We know that Brunton was interested in such powers. And he refers to the "higher mysteries of yoga." It seems he wanted some kind of initiation from Ramana. But Ramana never initiated anyone. And although such powers may arise in the course of enlightenment, the Hindu traditions state that it is a mistake to seek these powers in themselves. Interestingly enough, Brunton himself was criticized by his own followers for not following through on his promises. Brunton told his own young disciple Jeffrey Masson about his powers. Masson says that Brunton always carried a magic wand or glass rod. Masson was disappointed that he did not get these powers. [37] (For the relation between Masson and Brunton see chart of relationships).

4. Brunton says that meditation apart from experience is “inevitably empty” (Hidden Teaching, p. 19). The illuminations gained by yoga or by trance states are always temporary ones. Although a trance may produce a feeling of exaltation, this feeling goes away and one must repeat the experience daily. He cites the Hindu philosopher/sage Aurobindo:

Trance is a way of escape–the body is made quiet, the physical mind is in a state of torpor, the inner consciousness is left free to go on with its experience. The disadvantage is that trance becomes indispensable and that the problem of the waking consciousness is not solved, it remains imperfect. (Hidden Teaching, p. 27).

Brunton refers to the “sheer shrivelled complacency” of some of Ramana's followers, and their “hidden superiority complex.” He refers to this mystical attitude as a “holier than thou attitude,” and an assumption that total knowledge had been reached when in fact it was only a partial knowledge (Hidden Teaching, p. 16). He says that without the healthy opposition of active participation in the world’s affairs, they [mystics] have no means of knowing whether they were living in a realm of sterilized self-hallucination or not (Hidden Teaching, p. 19).

5. Brunton had ethical disagreements with Ramana. For Brunton, it was not sufficient for a realized person to meditate. Interaction and involvement with the outside world is necessary. He felt that Ramana took no stand on issues like the coming war. Brunton seems particularly upset by an incident when news was brought to the ashram that Italian planes had gunned undefended citizens on the streets of Ethiopia (the Italians invaded Ethiopia in October, 1935). Brunton reports that Ramana said:

The sage who knows the truth that the Self is indestructible will remain unaffected even if five million people are killed in his presence. Remember the advice of Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield when disheartened by the thought of the impending slaughter of relatives on the opposing side [38]

Now I believe that Brunton's criticism of Ramana is correct, at least with respect to ethics. Ken Wilber also says that, however realized Ramana was, he had ethical shortcomings [39]. I see the problem as an inconsistency in Ramana's teachings between different views of the self. On the one hand, the self is seen as static and unmoving, uninvolved in the world. On the other hand, there is the view of the self as dynamic and participating in the world. Brunton says that the field of human activity is meant to be not in the trance-world, but in the external world, this “time-fronted and space-backed world.”

6. Brunton's previous experiences of yoga and meditation. In Hidden Teaching, Brunton says that he still regards Ramana as “the most eminent South Indian yogi.” But he also says something quite surprising: that he had known about meditation and yoga before he came to Ramana's ashram, and that his experience with Ramana was no new experience. He makes the “confession” that when he first came to India, he was no novice in the practice of yoga. Even as a teenager

…the ineffable exstasis of mystical trance had become a daily occurrence in the calendar of life, the abnormal mental phenomena which attend the earlier experience of yoga was commonplace and familiar, whilst the dry labours of meditation had disappeared into effortless ease (Hidden Teaching, p. 23).

Brunton claims that he not only had practiced yoga, but that he had experienced the abnormal phenomena, or siddhis. He refers to the experience of being seemingly extended in space, an incorporeal being.

What I omitted to state and now reveal was that it was no new experience because many years before I had met the saintly yogi of Arunachala, I had enjoyed precisely similar ecstasies, inward repose and luminous intuitions during self-training in meditation (Hidden Teaching, p. 25).

Brunton says that Ramana only confirmed his earlier experiences:

When later, I came across translations of Indian books on mysticism, I found to my astonishment that the archaic accents of their phraseology formed familiar descriptions of my own central and cardinal experiences…(Hidden Teaching, p. 23).

This last statement is almost exactly what Ramana claimed for himself–that his experience was direct, and that the later books that he read were only "analysing and naming what I had felt intuitively without analysis or name." [40]

Is Brunton being honest here? Or has he invented this story of previous experience in view of his disenchantment with Ramana? Surprisingly, the independent record seems to show that Brunton may be telling the truth. There is evidence that Brunton had had earlier experiences. A 1931 report of his first meeting with Ramana reports Brunton (then known as Hurst) as telling Ramana that he had earlier experienced moments of bliss.[41]

Brunton says that his experiences with Ramana brought back these earlier experiences. This may be true, but what Brunton says about his first book, A Search in Secret India, must give cause for great concern insofar as it relates to the record of Ramana. Brunton says that he used the story of Ramana as a “peg” on which to hang his own theories of meditation:

It will therefore be clear to perspicacious readers that I used his name and attainments as a convenient peg upon which to hang an account of what meditation meant to me. The principal reason for this procedure was that it constituted a convenient literary device to secure the attention and hold the interest of western readers, who would naturally give more serious consideration to such a report of the “conversion” of a seemingly hard headed critically-minded Western journalist to yoga (Hidden Teaching, p. 25)

7. God as an illusion. Brunton also criticizes Ramana’s view that even God is an illusion:

The final declaration which really put me, as a Western enquirer, off Advaita came later: it was that God too was an illusion, quite unreal. Had they not left it at that but taken the trouble to explain how and why this all was so, I might have been convinced from the start. But no one did. I had to wait until I met V. Subrahmanya Iyer for the answer.[42]

This is a rather strange criticism, and reflects a rather naïve view of Vedanta. Brunton’s own later teaching moves from a personal to an impersonal Absolute.

8. Finally, Brunton seems to criticize Ramana for a lack of originality. He says, "some years after I met Maharshi I discovered in an old Sanskrit text the same Who Am I method." [43]

Go to Part 2 of these lectures.


[1] Roberts Avens, in his article "Western Romanticism and the East" gives early sources for this phrase. He refers to Liber XXIV philosophorum, Proposition II; Clemens Baumker, "Das pseudo-hermetische Buch der vierundzwanzig Meister [ . . . ]," Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete der Philosophie und ihrer Geschichte. Festgabe zum 70. Geburtstag Georg Freiherm von Herding (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder. 1913), p. 31.

This treatise of Hermes Trismegistus [thrice greatest] was translated into Latin by Ficino in 1463. His definition of God and the cosmos as: "Deus est sphaera infinita cuijus centrum est ubique nusquam circumferentiae" (God is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere but whose circumference is nowhere) was fundamentally identical to that of the Neo-Platonists but he stressed man's innate divine nature even more. In the Pimander, supposedly written by Trismegistus, it is stated, "He who knows himself goes toward himself...You are light and life, like God the Father of whom man is born."

And Giordano Bruno wrote: "We can assert with certainty that the universe is all centre, or that the centre of the universe is everywhere and its circumference is nowhere." Frances Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964) , p. 247.

Pascal used the following words:” God is a circle; His centre is everywhere, His circumference is nowhere."

The source for Cusanus (Nicholas of Cusa) is: De docta ignorantia, II, cap.2: "God is like an infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

[1A] Cited by E.A. Bennet: What Jung really said (New York: Schocken Books, 1966, rev. 1983), . pp.: 167-8

[2] Paul Brunton: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), vol. 8: Reflections on my Life and Writings, p. 214.

[3] Wulff comments,"Strictly speaking, Jung is not a phenomenologist. Some of his central concepts, such as the collective unconscious or the self, go far beyond phenomenological investigation." David M. Wulff: Psychology of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Views (New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1991), p. 461. Chapman believes that there are three different theories of religious experience in Jung's work: the empirical, the phenomenological, and the metaphysical. Harley Chapman: Jung’s Three Theories of Religious Experience (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1988).

[4] Letter from C.G. Jung to Bernard Baur-Celio Jan 30, 1934, C.G. Jung: Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler (Princeton, 1973), Vol. 1, pp. 140, 141.

[5] Jeffrey Raff, Jung and the Alchemical Imagination (Nicholas-Hays, Inc, 2000), p. 1. Cited by Ray Harris, "Revisioning Individuation: Bringing Jung into the integral Fold," online at

[6] C.G. Jung: Foreword to “Introduction to Zen Buddhism”, Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978), p. 142, para. 885. As Wilber says, any “self” of which we are conscious is absolutely, unequivocally and most definitely not our Self. Ken Wilber: The Marriage of Sense and Soul (New York: Broadway Books, 1999), p. 327.

[7] Or as we might say in more orthodox language, our Selfhood as created in the image of God. The world in its diversity is created from the unity of God. Similarly, we, as the image of God, must develop and individuate fully from the unity of our Selfhood into the diversity of the world.

[8] C.G. Jung, “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass” (1940), Collected Works, Vol. 11, p. 259, para. 391.”

[9] C.G. Jung: The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C.G. Jung, ed. Sonu Shamdasani, (Princeton, 1996), p. 28. Jung speaks of some people who "are not yet born." "They are in the world only on parole and are soon to be returned to the pleroma where they stared originally." Jung speaks of the need to fulfill our goal, our entelechia.

[10] C.G. Jung: Foreword to “Introduction to Zen Buddhism”, Psychology and the East (Princeton, 1978), p. 143, para. 887.

[11] C.G. Jung: “Psychology and Religion: The History and Psychology of a Natural Symbol”, Collected Works, Vol. 11, p. 82, para. 140. Note: This is a westernized view of Zen, since Zen does not have a view of Selfhood. See James Heisig: Philosophers of Nothingness (University of Hawaii Press, 2001).

[12] C.G. Jung: “Psychology and Religion: The History and Psychology of a Natural Symbol”, Collected Works, Vol. 11, p. 82, para. 140.

[13] C.G. Jung: “Foreword to “Introduction to Zen Buddhism”, Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978), p. 152, para. 900.

[14] C.G. Jung: “What India Can Teach Us”, first published in 1939 and reproduced in J. J. Clarke, C.G. Jung on the East (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 57-60. Jung’s idea of the “grasping” nature of concepts is very similar to Heidegger's idea.

[15] C.G. Jung: “Foreword to “Introduction to Zen Buddhism,” Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978), p. 156.

[16] C.G. Jung: “Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower,” Psychology and the East (Princeton, 1978), p. 15, para. 15.

[17] C.G. Jung: “Foreword to Introduction to Zen Buddhism,” Psychology and the East (Princeton, 1978), p. 552.

[18] Ramana seems to have obtained the idea of the "cave of the heart" from the Vivekacudamani, which he translated into Tamil. The phrase is also used in the Ramana Gita, p. 18. Ch. II, v.2. A statue has been erected at the samadhi, the memorial for Ramana; the following verse [sloka] from the Ramana Gita is engraved on it:

In the midst of the cave of the heart,
in form of the I, in form of the Self,
unique and solitary,
Brahman’s glory shines
directly from Himself on Himself.
Penetrate deep within,
your thought piercing to its source,
your mind having plunged into itself,
with breath and sense held close in the depths,
your whole self fixed in yourself,
and there, simply BE!

[19] Letter from C.G. Jung to V. Subrahmanya Iyer( in English) Jan 9, 1939 Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler (Princeton, 1973), p.255

[20] See Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, (Tiruvannamalai: Ramanasramam, 1994, first published 1955), p. 162, para 197.

[21] Ramana Maharshi: "Self-Enquiry," Maharshi’s Gospel (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1939), 45.

[22] Cited by Narasimha Swami: Self-Realization: The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993, originally published 1931), p. 202.

[23] Elliot Deutsch: Advaita Vedanta, A Philosophical Reconstruction (Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1968), p. 175. Also cited by Ken Wilber: The Spectrum of Consciousness (Quest, 1977), p. 166.

[24] C.G. Jung: “Yoga and the West” (1936), Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978), p. 82, para. 869.

[25] C.G. Jung: “Psychology and religion: the History and Psychology of a Natural Symbol”: (1937), Collected Works (Princeton, 1969), vol. 11, p. 82, para. 140.

[26] C.G. Jung: Foreword to “Introduction to Zen Buddhism,” Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978),138-157, p. 147, para. 892.

[27] C. Richard Wright: “The Spread of Self Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat-Sanga) over the Earth” [www.ananda.it/it/yogananda/india1935/india19.html]. The visit is also described in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, pp. 101-103, para. 106-108. There was a discussion about the nature of the Self. It is interesting that Ramana refers to the Self as one’s Being, and then refers to the Biblical definition of God in Exodus: “I am that I am.” Ramana also says that if we search for the source of the ego, then Bliss is revealed.

[27A] Ramana Maharshi: Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, p. 121 para. 138.

[28] Heinrich Zimmer: Der Weg Zum Selbst: Lehre und Leben des indischen heiligen Shri Ramana Maharshi aus Tiruvannamalei (Zurich: Rascher, 1954).

[28A] Devaraja Mudaliar: Day by Day with Bhagavan (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramansramam, 1995), pp. 168, 285.

[29] J. J. Clarke: C.G. Jung on the East (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 8 [citation from Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 275].

[30] Letter from C.G. Jung to Gualthernus H. Mees, Sept. 15, 1947. C.G. Jung: Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler (Princeton, 1973), Vol. I, p. 477. There is a record of Mees's visit to Ramana in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, p. 120, par. 136. Mees visited for several days in January, 1936.

[31] C.G. Jung: “Holy Men of India,” Psychology and the East, (Princeton, 1978), 176-186, p. 179, para. 955.

[32] Paul Brunton: Essential Readings, ed. Joscelyn Godwyn (HarperCollins, 1991), p. 24. George Feuerstein’s view that Brunton's break with Ramana was only after publication of The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is clearly wrong. See “Paul Brunton: From Journalist to Gentle Sage.”

[33] Paul Brunton: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), Vol. 8, s. 6:233.

[34] Paul Brunton: The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga (London: Rider & co., 1969, first published 1941), pp. 16-18.

[35] Letter from Brunton to Iyer; copy in Brunton Archive. Cited by Annie Cahn Fung: “Paul Brunton: A Bridge Between India and the West,” Doctoral thesis, Sorbonne, 1992). Online at [http://wisdomsgoldenrod.org/publications/]. Brunton also refers to the fact that Ramana was unable to exercise the slightest control over the administration of the ashram. See also Hidden Teaching, p. 18.

[35A] Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson: My Father’s Guru: A Journey through Spirituality and Disillusion (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1993), p. 25.

[35B] Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, (Tiruvannamalai: Ramanasramam, 1994, first published 1955), p. 204 par. 250.

[36] Paul Brunton: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), vol. 10: 2:462. There was a lawsuit against the ashram with respect to ownership of the property upon which it was built. Ramana was even examined in that lawsuit. He said that he did not start the ashram, but that his followers set themselves up around him.

[36B] Talks, 204; paragraph 250 (Sept. 7, 1936).

[37] Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson: My Father’s Guru: A Journey through Spirituality and Disillusion (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1993)

.[38] Paul Brunton: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), vol. 10,”The Orient”, s.2:441.

[39] Wilber says,

"I don't think we could say that Ramana was an exemplary representative of an integral view; but his own Self-realization–or the recognition of the always-already truth of the Witness and its ever-present ground in One Taste–was unsurpassed." Ken Wilber: One Taste (Boston, Shambhala, 1999), p. 201.

[40] Arthur Osborne: Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge, (Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1997, first published 1970), p. 24.

[41] The Maharshi, September/October 1997. The Article was first published in September 1931 monthly magazine called PEACE, the journal of Swami Omkar's Shanti Ashrama in Andhra Pradesh. It was later reprinted in the April, 1966 issue of the Mountain Path. Online at [http://www.arunachala.org/NewsLetters/1997/sep_oct.html].

[42] Paul Brunton: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), Vol. 10, s. 2:366. But he also criticizes Iyer’s view as rejecting the mystical, and relying only on the intellect for the quest. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, p.127 reproduces a dialogue between Ramana and Brunton. Ramana tells Brunton that the Scriptures speak of the gods because they would not understand the bare truth of the Self. Brunton complains that Ramana always speaks from the highest viewpoint. Yet in The Hidden Teaching, Brunton himself distinguishes between two viewpoints or standpoints: the immediate (common) and the ultimate (philosophic).

[43] Paul Brunton The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, NY: Larson, 1984), vol. 8: Reflections on my Life and Writings, p.212:.

Go to Part 2 of these lectures.

Revised Aug 22/06