The message of the Himalayas
Dr. Paul Brunton (1898-1981) was one of the twentieth century¶s greatest explorer of spiritual traditions of the East. Here, we are happily sharing with our readers, with a sense of deep gratitude and reverence for this sincere seeker of truth, the tribute that he has paid to Devatma Himalaya at the end of his sojourn for a few months in the stillness and solitude of Uttarakahnd in 1935 at the instance of his Divine Teaches, Ramana Maharishi. (Source: µA Hermit in the himalayas¶ with grateful acknowledgements to Shubha Publications, Delhi) - Editor
I have packed my bags and turned my eyes southward and prepared to leave this world of mellow skies and mantled ridges, to set forth once more, a homeless, wanderer. For the season will change, the cold increase daily, and a white rampart of snow will heap itself seven feet high all round my house and all but bury its exits and entrances during the late autumn and winter months. The white flakes will fall thickly upon this familiar scene before long and make the paths impassable. This little kingdom Tehri will hibernate in isolated grandeur and the Himalayan heights will once more be cut off from human access until the recurrence of spring. It pains me to remember that I shall soon have to walk into the society of noisy, fidgety, superficial men, whose voices will buzz like flies and be as meaningless to me. How shall I endure the constant cackle of the towns, the endless unnecessary talk? The silence of these mountains seems to have entered my bones: some effort will be required to break it once more. Alas! It must be done. The Overself¶s eloquent silence must yield to the intellect¶s babble. But I shall always be able to turn towards the memory of my Himalayan sojourn, which is ineffaceable, and to its divine fruit, which is ineffable. No journey is so profitable as when it is undertaken to find the place or the man who can yield us Truth. The chronicle will be incomplete if I did not sum up somehow the message of Nature, which I learned in the mountains, and the message of Himalayas¶ stillness to distracted mankind. So I add these few lines in the hope that the power of words may convey some hints of the Wordless Power, which was and is for me the supreme atmosphere of the Himalayas. Destiny, I know, sent me across the ocean to my Master; he silently sent me into the solitude of the Himalayas: and the Himalayas now send me back to the turmoil of the larger world I had forsaken. The circle is now complete. These three turning points make the perfect triangle. A long time must pass before I disappear into external retreat abandon the claims of social existence. again; before I forsake humanity and And when the day comes for me to prepare to begin a longer journey than that fromHimalayas I shall be ready. I know that the stillness here found will pass with me into the world of death and be-friend me in a region where riches must fail. Put into a small packet, the ultimate message of Himalayas is SILENCE, that silence which carries the breath of God in its hush. In that Silence mankind may find its proof of the existence of God, of the reality of a universal Power behind Nature, which is ever-present and ever working. To me life shall ever after be bigger and nobler because I have lived here. I think the final news which I shall bring away from these peaks is also extremely ancient ± that of God¶s reality. The higher Power is no mere article of belief to me, but a verity ± authentic, undeniable and supreme, even though It be so hidden. I think too that I have learned that the highest wisdom is to find and then surrender to this power. But to discover It we need to go into the Silence every day for a little while, retiring from the outer world to enter the inner world wherein It abides. God will not lower his mode of speech in order that unfamiliar mortals may comprehend. We must learn His language or go without His message. His language is nothing else than this stillness. And He is no more distant from us than our own selves. The corollary of this is that man need never mourn his possible extinction. The hope of immortality is the herald of its realization. In his profoundest moments he may feel and experience its truth. Although this thought has been uttered and echoed even by impercipient persons to the point of platitudinous boredom; it happens to be true. Man¶s body will pass as certainly as those pale mists, which glitter, on the somber peaks before me, but he shall keep the integrity of his own self, for it is divine. I know this, not because some bible or clergyman has told me so, but because I have entered the Silence. When I
sat in my mountain sanctuary, I felt myself being lifted at times out of my body and floating gently upwards into the air. I could see all the landscape around, all the familiar sights and scenes of forest, ridge ravine and snowy summit. I was not asleep and I was not dreaming, yet once, when a servant came to call me I was unable to move hand or limb although I heard him. I was incapable of speaking or moving, yet I was still alive. This convinced me that I shall survive more than a thousand arguments, for it showed one how it is possible for the mind, the inner man, to move in and out of the flesh at birth, sleep and death. The Divine Power has not deserted its creation, the universe. It is ever silently working. Let us remember and reremember that in these dark hours of world turmoil. Whatever happens to-day I am convinced that the onward history of man shall embody his highest hopes, merely because of this secret working of God. I have this faith, and everyone else may have it too who will go into the silence and listen to its soundless Voice. Let us then hold to Hope, when other things prove not worth holding to. The gods shall and must conquer. Himalayas taught me so. I would like, as a last line, to-rewrite the Psalmist¶s sentence and word it thus"Be still, and know that I am ± God"