Alan Jacobs (9th Sept 1929 – 25th July 2020)

(Photo by Paula Marvelly)

Alan Jacobs, President of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK, died last month. Well-known and respected in the Advaita community, he was the author of nearly 30 spiritually-related books, from a contemporary, free-verse rendering of the Bhagavad Gita to a compilation of material from Ramesh Balsekar.

I only met Alan a couple of times so am not qualified to write any eulogy. I will leave that to Paula Marvelly, who knew him for many years. I can however, agree entirely with her summary: “Alan was the quintessential English man of letters and a perfect gentleman. I shall always have an enduring image of him sporting a Panama hat, cravat and cane, with a cup of tea near to hand”.

Paula writes about him at her impressive website:, which includes her ‘black and white “moving image” feature, A Singular Man, with Alan as its subject’ as well as the film ‘Jnani’, about which she says: “In 2014, Alan and I, together with the film director, Jean R. Dedieu, all stayed together for a month in the Ramanasramam, India, in order to make the documentary, Jnani, based on the life of Sri Ramana, with Alan being instrumental in writing the script and giving guidance on the overall production.

Alan was also interviewed by Paula at The Culturium –

Other related links provided by Paula are:

There are five essays by Alan at Advaita Vision:

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV4.1-6 – Karma

Advaita and Western Neo-Advaita

Diving into the Heart Part I

Diving into the Heart Part II

Bhagavad Gita II.19-24 – Reincarnation