The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga Book Reviews

 

“The practice of meditation, the encouragement of the mystical vision and ecstasy, the separation of the seeker from the life of the world can never, he claims, lead to a true understanding of the universe. It may answer the question 'Who am I?' but not the more important question 'What am I?'—the proper search of the philosophy contained in certain ancient books of India which have only comparatively recently become available for Western students. From this he passes to an interpretation of the Hindu doctrine of Maya, the essential theme of the present work. Dr. Brunton is writing primarily for the plain man, to whom this concept of the world as idea may well seem revolutionary and incredible, and has evidently been at great pains to state and argue his thesis with the least possible ambiguity in nontechnical language.”—The Times Literary Supplement [London]

“This last book's extraordinary interest carries one without flagging through the whole of its 350 pages. If one regrets its size and price it is because they will make it inaccessible to many people who would be most likely to welcome the educational revolution it involves. He makes, in the light of modern science and psychology, a searching analysis of consciousness and of the world which is revealed to us through our five senses, nerves and brain. 'Know thyself' is the theme of his book; and psychoanalysis has shown how complicated and revolutionary a revelation this knowing is. The important turn given by Dr. Brunton to the idealistic doctrine of the mental character of all experience is that the mental discipline in which he seeks to engage us is related at every point to the act of living. Of course this new conception is new only to the West; Dr. Brunton is 'outlining the quintessence of Hindu philosophy.'”— B.B.C. "The Listener" [London]

“In this volume he undertakes to go beyond religion, mysticism, and yoga all of which he regards as paths to truth, and approach the final goal of 'philosophical discernment' of ultimate truth. Not that this ultimate truth ever can be uttered. Its supra-mystical quality transcends that possibility. But the 'road that leads to such sublime realization may be mapped out for the ardent seeker.' This has been well begun in the present volume and will be completed in the next [The Wisdom of the Overself]. This is a good book to be read by those wish to know how the Oriental mystic pursues his search for truth...”—The Journal of Religion [USA]

“The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is the result of long experience in theoretical observation of Indian Yoga and in its actual practice, and his previous works must be regarded as descriptions or expressions of the stages through which he has traveled in reaching a higher altitude. Dr. Brunton has certainly deserved gratitude and has done excellent service in this volume by courageously presenting the matured judgment of an expert in Hindu Yoga at the risk of inevitable misunderstanding, as he tells us. By his frankly critical but constructive and not unfriendly analysis he has cleared up many obscurities and helped greatly in exposing the false and fantastic notions about Yoga so prevalent in the West. If it [the world] would realize the admirable principles so skillfully and earnestly put forward here and put them into practice, we should indeed begin to see the promised land.”—The Theosophical Forum [California]

“Here are the fruits of rich experience and a rare and sympathetic insight into the hitherto obscure wisdom of the Orient, phrased in a scientific way to suit the present time and needs. 'You have studied and carried Yoga to the Western people, now study and carry the best that India has to give—our higher philosophy!' These words were said to Dr. Paul Brunton by that 'King-sage,' the late Maharaja of Mysore, who was himself a student of this philosophical school.
   “The author here gives us the first fruits of his initiation. There are profound thoughts of pure philosophy explained in plain language and no previous acquaintance with either Indian doctrines or Western technical philosophy is required of the reader. But in spite of this and the fact that the teaching is based on an appeal to reason and is almost always linked with science, its pages make hard reading. Sustained and concentrated attention and keen thinking are required to digest the metaphysical problems involved.
   “The book throws a floodlight on age-old problems—on the comparative reliability of faith, intuition, and reason; the individual scope of fate and freewill; the nature of experience obtained through our senses...and the idealistic doctrine that all experience is first and last a mental experience is unfolded in all its bold implications. A novel analysis of the philosophic meaning of the present world crisis concludes this volume which could have been written only by a man like Dr. Brunton, who is a mixture of mystic, scientist, philosopher, and a man of action.
   “Dr. Brunton's abnormally sane outlook must be acclaimed today, and the issue of his second volume [The Wisdom of the Overself], which is bound to contain further revelations equally arresting and true will be eagerly awaited.”—The Illustrated Weekly of India [Bombay]

“One has to acknowledge that many a student will be greatly indebted to Dr. Brunton for his assiduous work....should be carefully read and studied by everyone interested in the subject.” —The Seeker [London]

“In this book dealing with the three degrees of Yoga, Dr. Brunton has explained the profoundest thoughts of pure philosophy in plain and understandable everyday language, so that no previous acquaintance with either Indian doctrines or Western philosophy is required of the reader.”—The Book Window [London]

“This is the most mature of Paul Brunton's books and should reach a more deeply philosophic audience, as well as his previous circle of readers interested in the Overself. He claims to have come to the point of development where 'mysticism is not enough'—facing the limitations of mystic practices, and approaching his purpose through channels paralleling those which Einstein in the West have taken in mathematics—truths relating to space and time, to relativity. Brunton's function is to stimulate, to awaken consciousness of these problems in readers who would hesitate before the imponderables of Patanjali, Einstein, the sages of the East.”—Kirkus Reviews

"This latest book of Mr. Brunton is by far his most stimulating and thought-rousing work."—Inner Culture [Los Angeles]

“This book, the sincere keynote of which is the search for Truth, may not easily be digested by the average reader; but for that reason it is a wonderful exercise in concentration and in stretching the understanding. ...the author writes of the 'Philosophy' of life, which, as he points out, is one of the three steps to Truth. His representation is mental and impersonal; but for that reason, dynamic. ...it is a much needed book which has come at a crucial time in the world, for the truth presented is a solution of life's troubles. Like all of Mr. Brunton's books, it is written with deep and abiding earnestness.”—American Theosophist

“Mr. Brunton is an able writer, commanding an extensive range of reading. He manages to be bold and modest at the same time. ...his book is an introduction to critical thought, an approach to metaphysics.”—Review of Religion [USA]

“In this work, the philosopher not only goes to the very roots of the mysteries of Yoga and the mysteries of modern materialistic sciences, but makes a successful endeavor in explaining the complexities in terms simple and a language fascinating.”—New Book Digest [Bombay] July, 1941

“With the encouragement of the late Maharajah of Mysore—acclaimed by Gandhi as Rajarishi, the king-sage—Dr. Brunton set set out upon the quest, and the present volume describes not, indeed, its realization, but the plotting of the path thereto. [The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is part one, The Wisdom of the Overself is part two.]
   “The magnitude of the task can be gathered from this nearly four hundred pages which contains the best stuff which the author has written, free from the old cliches by which so much Oriental, or, indeed, any supernal wisdom is beset...”—The Light [London]

“According to the author, a man recognized as a leader in mystical research, there are three mighty steps to ultimate truth. They are religion, yoga, and philosophy. The book is crammed with telling yet sympathetic analyses of the shortcomings of the materialistic credo. In his latest book, Mr. Brunton is an entertaining, probing, and precise guide on a worth-while intellectual adventure. The author observes...'He [the Philosopher] has no alternative but to perceive that the welfare of the world is equivalent to his own welfare.' And this may be termed the pith of what lies 'beyond Yoga.'”—Republican [Springfield, Mass.]

“As an antidote for today's confusion, this book will give the reader intelligent and practical help in his individual search for that which will enable him to surmount the difficulties confronting him in these troubled days.”—Book News [Chicago]

“He has given us a very clear statement of the Hindu position as to some of the great problems of philosophy which is not an easy thing to accomplish.”— Journal of the School of Philosophy, Univ. of Southern California

“The writer is well known already to all interested in Eastern Mysticism, or Yoga, but unhesitatingly the present volume can be recommended for the genuine intimate touch with Reality offered on almost every page.
   “There is a chapter on 'The Worship of Words' which every earnest student ought to read, re-read, let burn into the brain, and constantly recall during the daily life to see how far one is under the hypnotic spell of words meaning nothing or very little.
   “Generally a reviewer can pick up one or two chapters in books like this one, calling them the best, and so rather tending to give the cold shoulder to the others. This book defies such treatment, for all the chapters are worthy of the subject...elevated by acute spiritual perception.
   “Yes, this is a fine book...deep, spiritual, and awakening...truly read it as if your own life and happiness depended upon it.”—Psychic Science [London]

“The style of the book is good and several difficult topics such as the basis for mentalism, relativism, and the need for the study of semantics, are presented in an easy manner for the average reader.”—Journal of Philosophy [USA]

“Philosophy is the self-conscious realization of First Principles. It may also be defined as the correct use of the intellect...it is the function of Philosophy to give us the necessary training...in The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Wisdom of the Overself, Paul Brunton endeavors to give us this training.
   “Paul Brunton, through his various works, has done a great service for the Ageless Wisdom. He has reached many more people than perhaps could be reached by the orthodox literature.
   “The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga...gives us some wonderful examples of how to study the truth of our own experiences, and to doubt the evidences of this physical world around us that appear so real to the unthinking man. Paul Brunton in his books has done the race a great service in explaining the illusory nature of the physical world, in words and examples, that great numbers of people can understand”—The Path [Australia]

“Paul Brunton, outstanding research student of Oriental mysticism, has sought to throw a bridge across the chasm which separates yoga and pure ancient philosophy for searchers in the West.”—Times Herald [Dallas, Texas]

“The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga by Paul Brunton, which has fortunately been given to the world, very quickly impresses one with the writer's integrity, boldness, and sincerity. It contains a candid and bold statement on the limitations of mystics... Like others who have risen to fame, Paul Brunton had to suffer through the effects of jealousy and hatred. He, however, held fast to his innermost convictions, and this book is the result of that conviction and resolution.
   “'The seven psychological qualifications in the philosophical discipline' thoroughly strip the aspirant for the truth, and these also impress me with the writer's power of action 'at all costs to give of his best for the upliftment of humanity.' His teachings are clear and concise.
   “From this world's point of view, a man may be a great philosopher, but if he has not reached that state of evolution giving him the power to be conscious of his at-one-ment with the Great Spirit, who is the law behind all life, then his philosophy is sadly incomplete, and can only be valued from a limited standard. From my privileged knowledge of the writer, I am convinced he is the possessor of this great truth, and therefore this work should prove to be a great blessing to all who seek The Truth.”—Psychic News [London]

Readers’ reviews of The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga excerpted from amazon.co.uk:

“Be prepared not just to have your beliefs challenged, but your very understanding of the nature of belief and truth. These books ( The Hidden Teaching and The Wisdom) are most suited to those who are unable to a accept faith at face value unsupported by rigorous intellectual examination. If you persevere the rewards are great. You will find you have an invincible tool, a broad base of knowledge and understanding of the very nature of reality and the ability to dispassionately evaluate any other philosophical work you may read.”

“I've always thought that the book in question is one of the most valuable books ever written in that it paths the way to a level of understanding that answers so many of the leading questions so many people ask about the nature of our existence.”

“Paul Brunton elaborately and painstakingly lays out a path to understanding Ultimate Reality for all who hunger for something far more substantial and permanent in their life. Step-by-step the author proceeds through the various levels of truth-seeker. The first 300 or so pages discuss the various reasons and aptitudes of those who belong to the lower two paths, and why it is so important to go beyond. Only after reaching the midpoint does the author begin to point the reader towards the source of this magnificent reality. In fact, he does not explicitly state the hidden teaching until the sequel. But it is obvious through reading this book that the source of Reality is the Mind. A must read for anyone even remotely interested in the Truth or concerned with his own ultimate well-being.”

“As all the Paul Brunton books I have thus far read, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is yet another one which speaks from the soul. Reading it provides one with an eerie feeling that The Teacher is talking directly to you. His understanding and explication, what he calls "the philosophy of truth" is astounding. He is brilliant, accessible, convincing and addicting.”