A Hermit in the Himalayas Book Reviews


“...a friendship for one whom I regard as a spiritual prophet of our time....I personally find it easier to understand many intricate subtleties of our own Asiatic philosophies and spiritual techniques, including Yoga, when explained by Paul Brunton in his scientific, rational, modern and non-sectarian manner than when expounded in the ancient ways which are so remote from twentieth century understanding....I am convinced that Brunton is one of the chosen instruments to re-interpret the half-lost wisdom of the East to those caught up in the mechanical life of the West...”—From the Foreword by the late prime minister of Nepal, Mohan Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana

“...he has a really unusual gift for describing the majesty of the mountains, stark or snow-bound, under sun, moon and stars...his feeling and his vision are fresh.”—Daily Telegraph [London] Jan. 5, 1937

“The book is replete with calmness and serenity. It is a fortunately quiet book—no hair-raising adventures; no breath-taking climaxes with life and death...yet Brunton is far more satisfying in his description of this remote part of our globe than are the many chronicles of intrepid veteran mountain climbers. Every phase of the aspect of nature under the vast ranges and the high-flung summits of the Himalayas is described in words that convey the living picture...the entire gamut and interplay of the elements in all their moods, their austere solemnity and turbulent upheaval.
   “Paul Brunton, by the aid of some divine alchemy, is capable of transmuting into words some clearer understanding of what one experiences when the tough bubble of the human ego is burst and one merges into the boundless and timeless ecstasy of the Eternal. Herewith Brunton truly abides in the sanctuaries of the many Buddhas on the steep slopes and towering peaks of the Himalayas.
   “We defy anyone to classify A Hermit in the Himalayas. To many it will be a literary cocktail; to others a thought-clarifying and stimulating cup of Darjeeling tea, 'the nectar of the gods.' This reviewer is personally convinced that Paul Brunton, by the grace of a higher power, is one of the chosen instruments destined to interpret and hand on to the living present the half-forgotten wisdom of the ancient East.”—San Diego Free Press

“It is open and wholesome and simple, and its author lived in plain but adequate comfort...took pleasure in the beauty of nature...and had an enjoyable experience such as might arouse the envy of many more worldly folk. The introductory account of Mr. Brunton's pony-back journey up the mountainside has real charm. One of his most interesting chapters gives a practical-minded consideration to the probable future of Tibet.”—The New York Times

“His conclusions....are shrewd, they are intelligent, and they may well prove a link which has long been missing between East and West.”— Daily Sketch [London] Feb. 11, 1937

“He is a modern yogi, who has in him something of even the go-getter American spirit...there is in his book such a breath of fresh and invigorating air of the mountains and mountain scenes, and such a hankering after the things of the spirit that to read it is to enjoy by proxy the life of the mountain hermits for at least a short purifying and comforting time.”—The Madras Mail

“...his quest in metaphysical realms emerges seriously enough in these pages...there will be found wisdom easy of assimilation, and many attractive passages descriptive of Himalayan scenery. ...engrossing and entertaining...”—Birmingham Mail, Jan. 7, 1937

“Travel and philosophy are pleasingly mingled in Paul Brunton's latest book—a journal of a lonely vigil in the Himalayas undertaken in a search for spiritual enlightenment. ...it is all done so pleasantly and so readably that there is not a flagging moment in the book, and there is much of interest to be learned by its reading.”—Sheffield Telegraph [UK] Jan. 21, 1937

“...there are all the marks of one who is living to the full a life of gentle, bloodless adventure that might capture the imagination of any seeker of the truth...”—Psychic News [London]

“Paul Brunton, student of Yoga, retired to a solitary retreat in the Himalayas to meditate, and there produced the attractively-written book of reflections on life, A Hermit in the Himalayas.”—The Yorkshire Evening Press

“This is a book that is well worth reading.”—Cambridge Daily News

“There is humor and humanity, as well as philosophical reflection. Here is a book which cannot be pigeon-holed in any one category, and one that is decidedly worth reading.”—Western Morning News [Plymouth, UK]

“The Hermit in the Himalayas contains not only a great deal of the interesting descriptive matter for which his Search books were noted, but it abounds with acute observations on the spiritual implications of his Eastern Experiences.”—Prediction [London]

“...his period of quiet has produced a book that was definitely worth writing and is worth reading by all who delight to let the mind wander beyond the mundane things of life. ...this is a real contribution to literature. To find a shrewd analysis of the art and genius of Charlie Chaplin coming out of the bleak fastnesses of Tibet is surprising, but it is also refreshing.”—Nottingham Journal, Mar. 1937

“The broadness of Mr. Brunton's views and the tolerance of his outlook give an added charm to his writings. The lesson he sets out to learn is 'Be still, and know that I am God,' and although it is given to few of us to travel as he has traveled, and learn where he has learnt, yet he tries to bring to our homes the atmosphere of his own tree-clad heights, and few people will deny that he has succeeded.”—The Seeker [London] Oct., 1937

“The lucidity and simplicity of Mr. Brunton's narrative is in harmony with his subject and his book is a pleasure to read.”—The Times of India [Bombay]

“In an atmosphere made for contemplation's sober eye, the state of man is visualized and in profound language Paul Brunton gives his revelations of austere purity.”—The Ceylon Observer

“One rises, after studying these pages, with a feeling of having lived in the other-world atmosphere and the beatific solitude which have invested the Himalayas with supreme attraction for generations....one could wish for no better exposition of the way to the Higher Life.”—The Hindu, Nov. 15, 1936

“In A Hermit in the Himalayas, Paul Brunton describes in delightful detail his experiences of a visit that he paid this year to that sacred and mysterious region. He went there at the bidding of Sri Maharshi; the purpose...was just sitting still; and he got the injunction only two days before he left Ramanashram.”—Sunday Times [Madras] Nov. 8, 1936

“The greatest value of the book is in teaching us what the Hindu sages have always taught...the truth that the ideal should be harmony with Nature and not conquest of Nature, and that the glory of the finite is in the realization of the Infinite.”—Dharmarajya Illustrated Weekly [Delhi] Jan. 28, 1937

“His musings are shot through with sincerity and wisdom, and they reveal a true seeker after Truth wrestling with his soul in order to wring from it the peace that dwells at the centre of our being. His gentle humour, easy narrative and thousand and one felicities of expression make the book one which no lover of good literature can afford to ignore.”—Prabuddha Bharata [Calcutta] Sept., 1937

“Paul Brunton has a reputation for his sincerity and outspoken truth. This intrepid investigator into spiritual and psychic mysteries has been acclaimed by the London Daily Sketch as the man 'who knows more about yoga than any living Englishman.' As one who has read some of his previous volumes this Hermit in the Himalayas leaves a profound impression on me, and the author-hermit has really excelled himself here.”—Illustrated Weekly of India [Bombay] Nov. 22, 1936

“The book is rich in philosophic reflections on an amazingly varied range of subjects....Above all, his joy in meditation—the surging power and exhaustless inspiration which he derives from his practices in the lonely wilds—shines forth and illumines every page.”—East-West Magazine [Los Angeles]

“There is nothing, it seems, that gets one quite so into the spirit of mysticism—the spirit of dependence on and communion with a Higher Power—as reading a mystic's account of his own experiences.”—Christian Advocate [Chicago]

“In beautiful and luminous prose he recounts some fragmentary experiences of his journey and his stay in the lonely retreat where he enjoyed meditation....the colorful descriptions of the lovely, wild mountain country are interspersed with flights into the realm of mysticism and transcendent thought.”—Detroit News

“Mr. Brunton's sincerity throughout is unquestionable. His frank revelations of the art of Yoga and his practical applications of it to Western life are justifiable and even attractive.”—Boston Evening Transcript