Increasing Awareness

Paramahansa Yogananda: Inner Culture, October, 1935. All knowledge comes from the inner source, from the soul without limitation. How are you going to find out all the mysteries of the body and all the mystery of divine things in one short span of human life if you do not tap your inner source, which is omniscient? …

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Howling for Rishikesh

Inspired by Ginsberg, writer Akanksha Singh visits India’s meditation capital. Rishikesh is many things to many people. It is where the Ganges is, in some sense, the purest – having just slowed its path from the meltwaters of the Gangotri. To Hindus, Rishikesh is a site of pilgrimage. To aspiring yogis, it is the world’s …

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Days in Rishikesh, India

Do you want to know what my daily life was like in India, what it is like to stay in a Hostel, to know more about Rishikesh? A new video has arrived, for us to continue the vlogs of our travel routine and our travels around the world! Rishikesh is a major center of study and …

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The Hippie Doctor Who Helped Eradicate Smallpox

By Steve Paulson. What’s not widely known is Brilliant’s remarkable backstory. To say he was an unlikely candidate to lead a global campaign against smallpox is an understatement. In the 1960s, Brilliant was a young doctor caught up in the wave of political activism and then the Summer of Love in San Francisco. “It really wasn’t fair …

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Holy Man, an article from LIFE Magazine 30 May 1949

From the diary of American ashram resident and devotte Thelma Benn (later Rappold), who spent three years with Ramana Maharshi from February 1948 until Summer 1950. The Mahakumbhabishekam celebration from the 14th to the 17th of March was a big affair. Thousands of people came from all parts of India. Special trains were dispatched from …

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The Hotels They Stayed In: The Bombay Ananda Bhavan Hotel

A devotees hotel from the past, the Bombay Ananda Bhavan Hotel, an oasis set amongst the Raj-era bungalows in the cantonment of Bangalore, India. The Bangalore cantonment of bungalows, gardens, race courses, clubs, barracks and parade grounds for its mixed civilian and military population, was established in 1809, separate from the city. Many devotees of …

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Mercedes de Acosta

Series: Westerners in India. The following article is an excerpt from Ashrams of India. Cuban-American writer Mercedes de Acosta (1893 – 1968) travelled to Arunachala to meet Ramana Maharshi in 1938 after reading Paul Brunton’s book A Search in Secret India, and stayed for three days. This visit made a tremendous impact on her. She later wrote in her 1960 autobiography Here Lies the Heart that these were the three most significant days of her life…

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Somerset Maugham and The Razor’s Edge

This article was first published in The Mountain Path, 1988, pp. 239-45. In January 1938 Somerset Maugham, the British novelist, visited Sri Ramanashram for a few hours. The brief contact he had with Bhagavan inspired Maugham so much, he decided to use him as the model for a fictional Guru in The Razor’s Edge, a novel of …

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The New York Times: Somerset Maugham’s Swami

Letter from India. By David Shaftel July 22 2010. Books about Westerners seeking enlightenment in India seem to be everywhere these days, including in India itself. In Mumbai, Elizabeth Gilbert’s juggernaut of a memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” is prominently displayed in street corner bookstalls and hotel bookstores. Bootlegged copies are hawked to tourists stuck in …

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At Ramana Maharshi’s ashram

In 1911, Frank Humphreys, a policeman stationed in India, became the first westerner to discover Sri Ramana Maharshi. He wrote articles about him which were first published in The International Psychic Gazette in 1913. Sri Ramana only became relatively well known in and out of India after the publication of two books in 1934 and 1935 by Paul Brunton, who had first visited him in January 1931. Some of the foreign visitors included …

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