The Quest of Ruru

An occult Tale of Ancient India

By J Michaud PhD

This virtually unknown occult masterpiece is the true story of the search for Wisdom and Enlightenment. First published in 1948, by the Uma Press, in London, it is now almost unobtainable. We have re-published it online in this electronic edition so that a new generation of readers may benefit from the sublime Occult Truths it contains.


Those who stumble upon this book looking for occult 'thrills' and 'secrets' will be disappointed. To all such vapid and myopic poltroons we say in the words of the Chinese philosopher, Li Wang Ho, "these Teachings will be unto them but as a dark screen in an unlit cave of the inner part of the great Mountains, upon which they will gaze with blind eyes filled with dust and a bemused brain full of bats."

Introduction to the book

quest of ruru

The Quest of Ruru presents a living picture of the India of 2,000 years ago; a glittering panorama of gorgeous scenery: of a tremendous 'black' ceremony by an evil wizard; of extraordinary 'Tests', and Initiations into the Arcane Mysteries; of strange adventures; exotic love scenes; of a great Rishi; and of a Master who surely represents the ideal of every Seeker; and—above all—of true elucidations of some of the hidden secrets of the Universe, so far as they may be disclosed.

We make the acquaintance of many contrasting personalities in these pages, such as the most lovable Ascetic and the malicious Black Dwarf; the learned and benevolent Brahman Priest and the menacing, skull-bearing, wandering monk; the wise and kind old philosopher and the seductive and passionate Princess Sulochana and her chattering maid; all drawn with unerring skill. But there are too many actors and incidents to mention them all in this introduction.

Anyone who has ever loved truly, and lost their Belovèd, will find the final chapters profoundly moving, but Ruru completes his Quest in the end and finds that for which he was sent to Earth in his final incarnation, together with his other, and better Self.

Another reviewer has said: "The Quest of Ruru is an epitome of the Wisdom of the East. In this book we find many of the choicest sayings of the Rishis—the Wise Sages of ancient India—brought vividly and vitally to life once more in the incomparable prose of Dr Michaud. Here are wise saws for every occasion, witty commentaries upon the vagaries of earthly existence, together with inspired jewels of wisdom which unveil the highest truths and carry the mind of the reader to undreamed of regions of Light and Beauty." We agree, and predict that all those who read this book with a seeing eye and an understanding heart, will have their lives changed forever, as ours was, when we first read The Quest of Ruru more than forty years ago.

To sum up: this is a unique Book, as one critic declares; a Book which shines with the luminous colours of a magnificent opal of great price.

Other books by J Michaud PhD

If you have enjoyed The Quest of Ruru, you may be interested in the other books which Dr Michaud wrote during his lifetime. You will find full reviews of these in our OCCULT BOOKS section of the website.

A Word to the WISE Reader

Before you read the book, we would like to say a few final words which will not be lost on the wise reader. "Let a Lover of truth suspect things that are quickly understood; for truth lies hid in obscurity; for Philosophers never write more deceitfully—than when plainly, nor ever more truly—than when obscurely." We have quoted this advice more than once on this website and make no apology for repeating it here, for there is a very great deal that is concealed obscurely in this book. We will give you just one example of what we mean which you can find at the beginning of Chapter 11, in which we may read: "...It is said that if you would learn to understand the languages of birds and animals you must eat the flesh of a snake, for he is halfway between a bird and a beast, and by eating him you acquire the properties of his mind. The eating of the heart and liver of a dragon has the same result."

Taken literally, this makes little sense at best and is an invitation to the grossest form of superstition at worst. But if we know that a snake is both a symbol for wisdom and an Initiate or Adept in the occult sciences, truth begins to glimmer from the gloom of obscurity. If we also know (or have been taught) that birds have been emblematical of the spirit from the earliest times, the meaning of this enigmatical allegory becomes even clearer. Let us explain. An Initiate is halfway between a god and a man ('bird and beast', or spirit and matter), and by metaphorically 'eating him' (assimilating his wisdom and knowledge), the disciple learns to 'understand the languages of birds and animals' (comprehends the true nature of spirit and matter). A 'dragon' is simply another word for snake or serpent, and all three symbolise the wise and wisdom. Simple is it not? Yet we doubt that you would have discovered the hidden meaning of this allegory without our interjections. There are many such seemingly obscure, mysterious or preposterous passages in the book: think!—and try to use your higher Intuition as you study The Quest of Ruru, and may Ganesh, the Conqueror of Obstacles aid you in your quest!

A word about the symbols used by the author

Some readers have asked us what the symbols and their descriptions mean that appear at the beginning of each of the five sections of the book (see chapter list in the sidebar). We regret that there is no quick or simple answer to this question. What we can say is that symbolism is one of the most important branches of the tree of REAL Occult Science. As such, it cannot be picked up in a week, or even a year, but requires hard study, long training under a genuine Teacher, and wide reading over many years. To the eye of the Initiate, such seemingly simple symbols as the triangle and the square can reveal a whole body of teaching that might fill many books. This is the reason the author included them in the printed book and why we have retained them in our facsimile. If you wish to learn more we suggest that you read our articles on the Mystery Language and occult symbolism, and also study chapter 7 of The Golden Star—the author's second book—in which he discusses some of the major symbols from many different angles.

About this electronic text

This e-text is a faithful facsimile of the printed book, with nothing added and nothing taken away. The sole exception is the addition of a few explanatory notes for the benefit of advanced students of occultism. For technical reasons, each chapter has been given its own web page, but the placement of footnotes and the arrangement and styling of lists has not been altered. Spelling and typographical errors have been corrected throughout. The diacritical marks (macrons) found in the printed book over some vowels (i.e. ā), such as in the personal name Māiāvatī, have been retained throughout our e-text. Such marks indicate that the accented letter should be pronounced in its long form, i.e., Mah-i-ah-vat-ee. The Author's style of spelling Sanskrit words has been retained except where it differs very widely from modern, accepted usage. No attempt has been made to 'modernise' the Author's prose, syntax and grammar, or his use of archaic words and phrases.

This electronic edition of The Quest of Ruru was published here on 4th October 2014, exactly 74 years after the author completed his MSS. The significance of this will not be lost on the discerning reader who knows somewhat of the science of REAL Numerology.

Some readers have asked whether there is a PDF or Kindle edition of the book they can download. We regret that there are no plans to produce such an edition at this time.

You can search for specific subjects or single words by entering you search term into the search box to be found at the top of every page of the book. For TIPS on how to search most effectively, please read the advice given on our SEARCH RESULTS page.

The following dedication appears on the title page of the printed book:

This Book is dedicated to
The Children of the Sun

MSS commenced 14 July 1940. Finished 4 October 1940.
World Copyright 1948 — The Uma Press, London.

Read The Quest of Ruru

Chapter One — The Stranger

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© COPYRIGHT 2014 J Michaud PhD and — all rights reserved