THEURGY, THE ART OF EFFECTIVE WORSHIP
By Mouni Sadhu. (Allen & Unwin, Pp.263, Prince 30s)
In his latest book Mouni Sadhu turns back from his unfortunate attempts to expound Hinduism to Christianity, with which he seems far more familiar. By "Theurgy" he seems to mean Christian devotional worship, though on the rather low level of seeking boons in reward for one's worship(p.15) On a more spiritual plane the worshipper turns to God for love alone with no thought of reward. What vitiates the book is the author's obsession with powers and occultism and his constant self-advertisement as a master of these. There is no doubt that ritual can be effective, in Christianity as in any other religion, but only when it is prescribed by tradition and conducted by duly ordained persons. A hotch-potch of ritual from ecclesiastical and occult sources prescribed by a self-styled authority and conducted by unauthorised persons is something from which it would be well to abstain.
The writer who calls himself "Mouni Sadhu" paid a brief visit to this Ashram and makes a point of referring to the Maharshi in his books and giving alleged quotations from him. Readers should be warned that these references and quotations are quite unreliable. For instance, in the present book he quotes the Maharshi (on page 143) as saying:
"REALIZATION IS NOTHING BUT SEEING GOD LITERALLY".
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It so happens that the article "How I came to the Maharshi" by H.W.L.Poonja in the present issue of the "Mountain Path" illustrates the Maharshi's disapproval of the dualistic desire to see God.
(-) Arthur Osborne.
N.B. This "review" has been printed in the July issue of the quarterly "The Mountain Path". 1965, page 197, of which Osborne is the editor.>