Stopped in Our Tracks -- Second Series

Part 3




27. You Have Come to the Wrong Man




His name was Chakravarti Anantachar. As his name indicates, he was born in a Vaishnava family which followed the tradition of Vishishtadvaita [qualified nondualism] taught by Sri Ramanujacharya. Although Mr. Anantachar was a profound scholar in Sanskrit grammar and logic and an authority on Ramanujacharya’s philosophy, he was also a great admirer of Sankara and his Advaita philosophy. His lectures on Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta always drew large crowds and earned him a good standing in the spiritual circles of Bangalore. That is how several of my friends got to know of him. Once upon a time, my friend Krishnamurthy was very close to him and was attending his lectures almost everyday.


One day in June 1998, our friend Venkata Chalapati spoke about UG to Anantachar describing UG as a ‘Jivanmukta’. Anantachar was impressed and expressed his interest in meeting UG. But UG dissuaded Venkata Chalapati: “Why do you want to bring him? You say that he is a scholar and a professional speaker. Such people have an investment in the tradition they believe in. How can he listen to me?” But Venkata Chalapati’s eagerness prevailed.


At last, on Sunday the 21st June 1998, Anantachar walked into Major’s Farm House to meet UG. He was accompanied by Venkata Chalapati and Krishnamurthy.


UG respectfully offered a seat next to him on the sofa.  Some of us sat on the floor and some on the available chairs. I wrote down the points of discussion between UG and Anantachar. Here is the text of the conversation that took place on that bright sunny afternoon.


Anantachar introduced himself as a theoretical Vedanta exponent, and a mere speaker and scholar on matters of Vedanta. He started his conversation with UG saying, “Those who are in the highest spiritual state are said to be in possession of several powers.”


UG made no comment.


Anantachar: Don’t you think that through meditation one can achieve great heights in spiritual life?


UG: Meditation should not be given any importance at all.  That’s my feeling.


Anantachar: Then what shall we do?


UG: Nothing; do nothing.


Anantachar: [Smiling] In that case everyone becomes a yogi.


UG: I am not a yogi.


Anantachar: But you are a yogi.


He then looked at the people sitting around. The problem was he hadn’t read any of UG’s books before he came to see him. He was not familiar with UG’s point of view.  So, he was visibly perturbed by UG’s statements.  After a while, he confessed he was not able to follow what UG was trying to communicate.


Anantachar: Anyway sir, you are a widely traveled person.  Don’t you think it is possible to bring out a universal philosophy to end all conflicts?


UG: Universal philosophy as such doesn’t exist except as an idea.  That goal has created the actual problem.


Anantachar: Do you mean to say that a universal life doesn’t exist?  All the masters of all religions talked of the oneness of life.


UG: You are an expression of that life.  The mosquito that is sucking your blood is another expression of that life. The garden slug out there is another expression.  The problem is we want to understand life. We try to understand.  That attempt is bound to create conflict.


Anantachar: Advaita Vedanta talks about that life as anirvacaniya, indefinable.


UG: In that case, why should they talk about it? [Now UG’s tone got sharper.] If there is anything as the ‘beyond’, it can never be captured, contained or given expression to.  How can they describe it as bliss, beatitude and all that nonsense? If they know that it is anirvacaniya, they should have stopped right there.


Anantachar: As philosophers they wanted to postulate….


UG: What good is that to you sir? Philosophers as I know are lovers of wisdom. That’s what they are.  Philosophy only helps to sharpen the intellect.


Anantachar: Sir, how to determine whether a man is wise or not?


UG: You have no way of knowing.


Anantachar: Sankara describes the characteristics of an enlightened man.  Even in the Gita it is said.…


UG: They are all empty words and empty phrases, sir!  They mean nothing. What’s the use of all those words?  They haven’t helped you. You are still asking the same question.


Everybody laughs. Anantachar is visibly shaken. He asks for a cup of water and empties two cups, one after the other.


Anantachar:    We have to use words to communicate with each other.


UG: I say and maintain that no communication is possible and none is necessary.


Anantachar:    But we have no other way to wisdom.


UG: Why are we not ready to accept that ‘wisdom’ is a real block?


Anantachar looks at the people around helplessly. He turns to Venkata Chalapati and says “I can’t understand what he is saying.” He then turns to UG:


Anantachar:    You have gone a little above my head.  I am not able to follow you.  I have worked for several years academically…..


UG: But I am an illiterate….


Anantachar: No. No. I can’t agree. You are an enlightened person. Only to a few are gifted to be enlightened. An enlightened person is above everything. In my opinion, when a man forgets all his surroundings in the contemplation of the undivided Self, that state, according to Sankara, is the ‘Brahmi State’.  My practice of meditation is very poor. I haven’t done any sadhana. But I want to. I am only a Jnanamargi.


UG: I am not a scholar like you.  But I studied Advaita philosophy. Prof. Mahadevan was our teacher of Advaita philosophy.


Anantachar: Sir, how can we understand the world?


UG: There is no need to understand the world.


Anantachar:  Otherwise, how can we be in contact with the world?


UG: Do you think you are really in contact with anything?  Do you think you are looking at that man?  Do you think you have ever looked at your wife even once?  If you have once looked at your wife, that would the end of the whole relationship.  You look at everything through the knowledge you have.  It’s the knowledge about the things around that creates the world for you.  You cannot experience anything which you do not know.  In that sense I say and maintain that there is no such thing as a new experience at all.  How can you have contact with the world?


Anantachar: As long as we breathe and live in this world we keep the contact.


UG: No, on no level can you contact anything.


Anantachar was disturbed with the rise in UG’s voice. He became fidgety in his seat next to UG. He asked for more water and Mohan gives him some.


Mohan: [to Anantachar] Do you accept what he is saying, sir?


UG: How can he say anything? He is not in a position to say.


Anantachar started quoting the Mandukya Upanishad. “There is Para wisdom and there is Apara wisdom. When once you renounce Vritti Gnana, then Swarupa Jnana dawns on you.  Ultimately, ‘upasantoyam atma,’ as the instruction in the Mandukya indicates.”


At this point, UG suddenly flared up. He burst out saying that Mandukya Upanishad does not even have as much worth as toilet paper.  He called Sankara a bastard for writing commentaries on Upanishads. He started his tirade on Gowdapada for writing the karika to Mandukya and called him also a bastard.


This was too much for Anantachar. He started trembling with anger. He could no longer sit in a composed manner. Mohan was trying to calm him down handing him more cups of water. “Drink more water sir, and sit comfortably,” Mohan told him.


Anantachar:    [In an agitated voice, looking at the people around] This is too much, sir, He uses such uncivilized terminology. How can he call Sankara a bastard? How can an enlightened person use such foul language?


Then UG again flared up.


UG: Yes, I shall maintain Sankara was a bastard!  Mandukya is shit! It is his shit that is coming out of your mouth.  What do you have to say?  That is my question.  Don’t repeat Sankara, Gowdapada, and all that nonsense.  You are just repeating. A tape recorder does a better job than you. What you say, does it operate in your life? You can teach fools from the platform and make a living. I have no objection. But it has not touched you.  How can anybody describe that state as love and bliss? Love divides and separates. There is already division. How can there be love?


Anantachar stood up. He couldn’t take it anymore. He said, “I came here hoping to see an enlightened person.  I never expected I would be meeting such a negative person instead.”


UG countered immediately saying “You came to the wrong man.  You can go now.”


Anantachar folded his hands as a mark of respect and walked out of the room.



*                                              *                                              *







28. The Story of Sharmila


February 25, 1999, Thursday -- Hyderabad


At Rajasekhar’s home.  I sit at the dining table writing.  Above me the ceiling fan is spinning.  It’s 7:30 am.  Prabhakar, Raja and I chatted last night till 11:30 and then went to bed.  Last evening, Gopi brought me here from Venkatapuram on his motorcycle.  We arrived at Amirpeta at 4:30 pm.  We didn’t know that we were about to be acquainted with a great person a few minutes later.  Raja had written to me about her in his letters.  When I read his letter to UG in Palm Springs, I learned some new things. 


Before I left on my journey for Palm Springs, Bharati phoned to tell me, “An anonymous disciple has been pining to see UG.  She is not an ordinary woman.  She is rich in every way.  Tell me when UG is coming.  He must come and meet her.” 


“Such a wealthy lady could call UG and talk to him.  Why should UG call her?” I replied. 


“She won’t call.  Tell him that I asked him to,” she said. 


I conveyed what she said to UG.  Then he said immediately, “Perhaps that unknown disciple is this lady whom Rajasekhar has been describing.”  Yesterday, that suspicion has been confirmed.  This is the lady who has been worshipping UG, reading his books all these years without yet meeting him, and trying to understand UG’s trend of thought and implement it constantly in her everyday life.  I thought that perhaps this might be the god-sent lady who has been prophesied by the astrologer friends of UG as the unique lady who has been waiting for the favor of the planets like a cuckoo bird to surely step into UG’s life. 


Yesterday afternoon, exactly at 5 pm, Sharmila stepped into Raja’s living room.  She wore a green sari with an apple-colored border. She was neither tall nor short but stout.  She had attractive eyes and a beautiful face.  She was probably a bit older than 40 years, but she looked younger.  There was great peace and contentment in her eyes.  In her demeanor she manifested an unperturbed nature.  


*                                  *                                  *


I move from the dining table to the sofa in the living room and continue writing.  After Raja’s mother has passed away, the room has been transformed.  How worried she was about what would become of her son after she was gone!  Now, Raja has a new life.  A new enthusiasm runs through his life.  He has gotten the whole house painted and repairs made; the house got a facelift.  He decorated the house like a museum with the help of Kirti.  He hung beautiful pictures on the walls. In this room he has pictures of all the great people; Amma of Jillellamudi, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Aurobindo, Mother, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, UG and Shirdi Sai Baba greet you kindly from the walls.  In the corners you see brass lamp posts, metal statues of gods -- a statue of Nataraja and a Lingam of Siva with Nandi, the bull. A white statue of Ganesha depicts him seated comfortably.  Besides these, there is an art piece from Tanjore – apparently Sharmila had presented it to him.  There is a wool carpet on the floor and a nice sofa set.  You can see a big round pillow and other pillows there for back support.  These and many other things give the room a look of high status.  In the middle of the room there is a small table.  On it is a glass slab, and on the slab is placed a brass bowl with pan paraphernalia.  There is a box in the middle of the bowl with imbedded shells.  In a corner, there are a couple of brass decorative plates.  The display in the room reveals Rajasekhar’s artistic temperament.  A calm that transcends the artwork seems to pervade the room.  Raja has been using this as his worship room.  There is incense burning and the room is filled with the fragrance of joss sticks.  There is no scope for any other fumes to rise except the fragrances of flowers.  Gopi too was greatly impressed by this room.


*                                  *                                  *


The ‘i’ in ‘Sharmila’ is elongated.  You should pronounce the name as ‘Sharmeelaa”.  We thought that the name was perhaps Moslem.  I told people in Palm Springs that her name was Sharmila.  She now said that the sound ‘sh” is a symbol for “hrim” in the Sri Sukta.  She studied in a medical college in Calcutta.  Perhaps she had changed her name there. 


First of all, who is this lady?  How was she attracted to UG?  What about this crazy worship of UG even before she had ever met him?  Such questions naturally occur to anyone.  I asked her in person, “You tell us about your background, how you came to be interested in UG and such other details.”  She replied, “Oh, even if I tell about it every day, a whole year will not be enough,” and laughed.  When she talks you feel like you want to keep listening to her.  She doesn’t have to struggle to find the right word nor does she have difficulty in translating her thoughts into words.  I thought she showed an ability to speak on a public platform, in meetings or assemblies, like an expert, fluently and profoundly.  She seemed to be naturally endowed with the facility to speak and express her ideas clearly.  We listened to her words spellbound.

About five years ago she was introduced to UG when she had read Mahesh Bhatt’s biography of UG in English.  She doesn’t agree with the account UG gives of his natural state, saying that it’s only of contemporary value and will not be of use to future generations.  On the basis of the information in that book, it became clear to her that UG is an impersonal individual and that a universal consciousness is manifested in him.  She said:


This is no ordinary matter.  From the beginning of creation, many teachers and great people have pledged their lives to the grace of God and to realizing the Self; they did many sadhanas and had extraordinary experiences.  Some became the crest jewels of mankind.  People today are paying homage to them.  But it’s different with UG.  Mother Creation tried out many models.  None of the models could understand her sorrow.  All the avatars who have descended on mankind, the prophets who have appeared and the supreme teachers who have spread their messages have only helped to break up the human race into pieces.  They strove to divide humanity into religions and planted the seeds of that poison.  Even if they didn’t preach it themselves, their teachings have had such a consequence.  However, for the first time, Mother Creation found UG’s model.  This model strove to erase completely the consciousness in himself that he is a separate individual. There is only one courageous model who is prepared to be completely merged in this universal consciousness without keeping even a trace of himself and who is prepared to be consumed like fuel in the fatal fire of life.   Exactly after 2,500 years, Mother Creation found a model which is on a par with Tathagata [Buddha].  Before UG, she had hopes in the models of Ramana Maharshi, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Aurobindo.  But no such models could satisfy Mother Creation.  All her hopes were dashed.


At last, when the model of UG sat on the bench under a tree in Switzerland exactly on his 49th birthday, the labor pains of Mother Earth had begun.  The heavens held their breath.  The seven mountains and seven valleys looked into their depths and stood still.  With one stroke Creation became paralyzed with the scream of Mother Earth.  For one moment, there were tremors in UG’s body.  All the nine nadis and six chakras whirled around.  For one moment, the whole of Creation was in disarray.  Heavens shook hands with the underworld.  The mountain peaks kissed their own shadows.  The next moment everything settled down.  The wind storm that shook the directions calmed down.  In the model sitting on the bench, the universal consciousness shaped itself as a newborn child.  That was a true new birth.  It was a new birth for the human kind.  It was a unique experience unheard of before in history.


That’s what Sharmila had noticed.  That’s why she is so interested in UG.  She is infinitely fond of this ‘model’ called UG.  She says that “his is an impersonal self.” She says that “the time has come for the ‘model’ to spread throughout the world.” 


There is no individual in UG; only the collective.  In him, there is no tradition of any country.  In him is hidden the evolution of the whole human race.  Evolution in all its stages made room for itself there.  To say it in other words, there is nothing.  Everything is washed away, and there is a hollow like in a reed flute.  In it, the winds of universal consciousness resonate the seven notes.


Sharmila makes this truth clear. If she could explain this to Bharati and Aparajita and get them interested in it, I must congratulate her. 


Sharmila doesn’t talk much about herself.  “I am always in the wakeful-sleep state,” she said once.  I haven’t met any person, except UG, who could say that.  I was stunned.  It’s not that she didn’t know the meaning of those words.  She has had many divine visions.  It’s evident from her appearance that she is a holy person who has attained heights of spirituality.  She says she is Raja’s ‘sister’. She gives him gifts.  She is wealthy.  Yesterday she gave me a silver engraving of Lakshmi.  She says, “Keep it, it will do you good.”  The question “Why?” remained in my mind.


Sharmila - ii


It’s almost 10 O’clock, time for Sharmila’s arrival.  The dishes Raja had made last night, the tomato chutney Sharmila had brought and the idlis Raja has served today are sitting still in my stomach.  I didn’t believe that I could sit in this room and write like this.  I am not sorry that Mr. Raju has not come. Yesterday, Sharmila had borrowed my yet-to-be-published book to get it copied.  Raja told me that her husband is a professor; he doesn’t know that she comes here or meets all these people. 


Sharmila has a great interest in spiritual pursuits.  She has read the books of Andrew Cohen and Aurobindo; and it seems that she has a coterie of disciples. Apparently, they gather around her, listen to her messages and record them.  As she was saying goodbye yesterday, she handed a small photo of herself to me and said, “Please show this to UG; and after he looks at it, you please burn it.  I don’t know if I will be fortunate enough to see him or not.”  When I asked Raja “why can’t she come to Bangalore,” he told me that circumstances wouldn’t permit it.  Will UG ever come to Hyderabad?  Who knows if he will?


*                                  *                                  *


All those who studied UG’s horoscope have said with confidence that a unique lady will enter his life.  That should have happened by now.  Who is that woman?  Could it be Sharmila?  I think she is a multi-millionaire.  She is the mother of two girls.  That she can afford to distribute properties worth 40 million rupees to each of her daughters shows that her husband is a multi-millionaire.  But when you see her, she doesn’t look like she is wealthy.  By profession she is a doctor, but she has moved away from that profession a long time ago.  She later took up the job of teaching arts and crafts to children, women and the destitute.  She said she has recently closed down the institution which she had run for fifteen years.  She is an adept in 30 different crafts; and she has a great appreciation for art.  She is cultured and lives a righteous life.  She is a treasure house of all the noble qualities.  Such a person has surfaced after such a long time.  She gives comfort to Bharati and prepares her for her father’s grace.  It’s clear that the unimaginable change in Bharati’s attitude toward her father is due to Sharmila’s influence. 



March 1, 1999


Morning 5:25 am.  The city is still asleep. I felt as if I was awake all the time. 

For a while I might have dozed off.  Then I woke up soon after.  I first woke up at 4:30.  But by the time I got up from bed it was 5:15.  Almost all yesterday I spent with Venkata Chalapati and Dakshinamurti.  I related to both of them the news of Hyderabad, at least the highlights of it, if not all the details. 


I don’t know what I have already written about Sharmila.  Saturday, the day I was leaving, she spent from 1:30 in the afternoon till 6 pm chatting with us.  The more I watched her and the more I learned about her, the more she seemed like an extraordinary woman.


After meeting me, she gave a testimonial about me, as much as her intuitions had indicated to her.  Apparently, she had observed cosmic rays falling over my head.  “There is a great positive force in Mr. Chandrasekhar,” she told Raja.  But when I look into myself, I can find nothing but holes and ditches.  Anyway, whatever I think about myself is only a product of my imagination.  If I am myself a fiction, can all the things I experience and learn on the basis of it be real?  What, indeed, is real?  Is there anything true or eternal?  If there is such a thing, there is no scope for me to find it.  Anything that I happen to grasp with this tiny narrow personality cannot be real.  How can I know even that? 


Sharmila - iii


UG must have left Sydney and arrived in Stapleton.  I must phone him and find out when he is coming here.  His Australian friends hold him dearer than their own lives -- especially Jeffrey.  I think Jeffrey has some extrasensory powers.  Sharmila is also endowed with such powers.


“Are you going through menopause?” I asked her as I was saying goodbye. 


“I think I started it about a year-and-a-half ago.  Still, it doesn’t cause any problem for my body,” she answered. 


“I asked you because I feel that if you include mung dahl in your diet, you will have less heat during that period,” I explained. 


“I live in my body at the cellular level, united with the cells; so nothing bothers me.  At the peak of summer a cold wave starts from inside my body; so, the common bodily changes that happen to everyone don’t touch me,” she said to reassure me.  Then quoted UG’s words about food saying that the body can manufacture all the nutrients it needs from sawdust.  She remarked, “That’s absolutely true; but only for him; not for all bodies.  As a result of the changes that took place in his body, the Mother of Creation prepared such a body for him.” 


It would be interesting to mention here Sharmila’s explanation of how the body is a mixture of the five elements and how it obtains its energy: 


Three quarters of the globe of earth is covered by water and only a quarter of its surface is earth.  Many times vaster than water is fire or light.  Larger than that is air or atmosphere.  Above that is the sky or space.  In this hierarchy, each is lighter than the one below it.  There is so much difference between the most solid, dense earth and the sky or space.  The earth, water, light, air and space – each the five elements is lighter and thinner than the previous one.  Each is more extended than the previous one.  It’s possible to derive energy from each of them.  You can sustain life by just breathing air.  The body can live on sunlight alone.  It’s possible.


“So,” she concludes, “the less you consume solid substances, the easier it is to support the body. 



*                                  *                                  *







 29. “My photo is more powerful than me...”


March 10, 1999, Wednesday -- Day 3 of UG’s stay.


Early this morning, I took oats, pineapple juice and cream upstairs for UG.  UG and Major were on the balcony.  UG eats his oatmeal by 6 am, swinging gently on the swing and chatting.  We too chat away, sitting in front of him in the chairs and drinking coffee. 


In the morning at 10 am, we went to the bank with UG. We finished all the deposit business, visited the tailor, Shankar, and then returned home in Major’s car.  At 11:45 Venkata Chalapati brought his car with the driver.  We all went in both the cars to the Farm House, spent half-an-hour there and returned at 1:45 pm.  The Malladis and Suguna also came with us.  UG certified to Major that everything in the Farm House is in order. 


Now I remember an important thing.  Once upon a time, Major harbored an ambition of touring abroad, particularly of visiting the US.  But after his wife passed away, as he got more and more acquainted closely with a variety of foreign faces through UG, his desire to visit all those countries had diminished.  The more UG extolled their culture, the more he felt repelled by it.  He resolved, “This is our country.  And there is no way of life better than ours.  What’s the point of going there?”  No matter how many times UG prodded him, he brushed him off saying, “Please let me be as I am.  I don’t have any desire to visit those countries and see those spectacles.” 


Recently, after Christmas, on December 27, I called Major on the phone from Palm Springs and talked to him: “You must get a visa and leave for the U.S. right away.  You must come.”  What I said raised a storm in his mind.  I told him even earlier, looking at his horoscope, that it was inevitable that he would travel to foreign lands.  “Even if you don’t like it, at the beginning of the Rahu stage, you’re bound to travel.”  But getting a visa, buying a ticket and traveling abroad – these are all tasks that are beyond him.   He complains and asks why he should be dragged into the street when he is living happily in this cottage, amidst this garden, alone, in the lap of nature, without a worry. 


But what should he do about the current anxiety in his mind?  He couldn’t take the agitation anymore and sat in front of a photo of UG.  Normally he never looks at UG’s photo; he doesn’t pay any attention to it.  Only when he has such problems which go over his head, he pours out his worries before UG.  “He is asking me to come, UG.  But I don’t like to go.  What do you want me to do?  Should I tell him OK? Or should I say I won’t go?”  Thus he silently appealed to UG.  A message from inside told him to say, yes.  As soon as he said to himself “OK, as you please,” all the chaos in his mind had calmed down.  All his anxiety was removed as if it was erased clean from his mind.  He narrated that story to UG and us yesterday at the breakfast table.  UG made him repeat it to everyone over and over again.


UG’s photo has greater power than UG.  It performs wonders.  I told those that gathered that there is no count of how many people have photos of UG protecting them in different ways.


*                                  *                                  *


UG told us another story confirming this: “My photo is more powerful than me. Once, Robert was taking me around in Amsterdam in his car.  No matter how much he searched, he couldn’t find a parking place.  He had a UG photo on his dashboard.  Normally he would be able to get a parking space without much difficulty as soon as he prayed to the photo.  But this time, he couldn’t find one, even though I was by his side.  Finally, I told him, ‘Drop me off here and then ask my photo; you will find the place.’  And the moment I got out of the car, Robert found a parking space.” 


UG’s drawing attention to the power of his own photo pleased me. Even UG doesn’t know in how many ways and to how many people it has given comfort and still does.


*                                  *                                  *


March 11,1999


Yesterday Yadunath brought an artist from ‘Prabhat Kalavidaru’.  The artist wished to demonstrate to UG the Bhagavad Gita in the form of a play.  He said he would arrange for a stage in an auditorium and let us know by the end of the month.  He said to me, “On that stage UG must speak about Bhagavad Gita.”  I didn’t know how to reply to him.  Yadunath himself admitted after a little while, “UG doesn’t care about such things.  He won’t be happy.”  I told UG about it in the night.  Major burst out into laughter and commented “What!  UG speak about Bhagavad Gita?  After listening to him, who will remain in the auditorium?” and continued with his laughter.  “Want to bet?  I can give a talk on the Bhagavad Gita and please everyone present.  How much will you bet?” challenged UG smiling.  “Well, show us first, then we will believe you,” Major concluded.  With that the discussion stopped.


*                                  *                                  *







30. An Attempt to Strangle UG – Aparajita


March 12, 1999


Yesterday, driving to the Farm House, Aparajita sat with Suguna in the car with UG.  Apparently, UG had been attacking JK for the whole way.  As soon as they arrived at the Farm House, UG smiled and asked me and Suguna, “Why did you let this girl sit with me?”  And picking on Aparajita, he said, “You couldn’t seduce JK. You’re so inept.”  She got all cooked up.  She couldn’t stand that UG was making fun of her in front of everyone.  UG got out of the car and sat in the living room.  Aparajita sat next to him nestled in a rattan chair.  “Why do you talk like that?  Could people like you speak like that?” she admonished UG.  UG, on his part, continued to use obscene language.  Aparajita couldn’t take it any more.  This belittling of JK and of her, especially by someone like UG -- how long could this jocularity go on?  She suddenly leapt up and not stopping even when UG was trying to move away, she held him by her hands and squeezed his throat.  All of us who had been watching this scene couldn’t keep from laughing.  She tried to strangle him two or three times.  But eventually she calmed down by herself.  That was some fun for UG. He is used to picking on her, teasing her and making her angry.  It appears that Aparajita still holds the crazy notion that she had been UG’s wife in her previous life.  She wouldn’t quit that notion even after so many years.  She is now the Secretary of the JK Center.  “If they learn that you tried to strangle me, the JK gang will praise you,” said UG making even more fun of her.  We all enjoyed Aparajita’s assault.


*                                  *                                  *


I must write about Radhakishan’s story.  He was very ill six months ago.  When I phoned him sometime ago, he said he was just recovering.  He had some intestinal infection with diarrhea and vomiting, which could not be controlled.  He was bedridden for some months.  He suffered from bedsores for some more time.  He was worried at that time that he might die.  But he resolved in himself strongly that “I won’t accept death until I see UG.”  Then he started recovering slowly.  Now, this is the first time that he has seen UG since his illness.  As soon as he set his eyes on him UG said, “You’re the only one whom I have been thinking about, sir!”  That moved me.  I felt that it was Radhakishan’s prayer, his longing to see UG, that had brought UG here this time.  Radhakishan is still able to come on his scooter.  He passed all his assets and property on to his relatives.  He has washed his hands of them and is now sitting, comfortably waiting for his final departure. 


*                                  *                                  *








31. “I met a man...”


It was then 2 pm in the afternoon.  We had all returned to the Farm House at 1 pm in Venkata Chalapati’s car after we had lunch.  A Californian called Sky is now part of the Sai Baba group. He called on the phone from Whitefield and asked if he could come and see UG. He couldn’t find UG’s books.  He left word with Suguna to ask me to bring some books to the Farm House. “Did you bring any books?” he asked me. I didn’t bring any with me. I told him I would get them the next day.  “Then I’ll come tomorrow,” he replied.  “Why don’t you come and meet the man?  Is that not more important than the book?” I asked him.  He laughed.  “O.K., I will come right away,” he said and, just as he promised, he came in an auto.  After that, UG’s talk turned out to be very interesting.  Perhaps it was all intended for him.  Jitendra Baba was sitting next to UG in a chair. UG spoke about many things.  Sri Ramakrishna seemed to be influencing UG.  UG was using the term ‘fuck’ frequently, enunciating it clearly with his whole mouth.  He mentioned Clinton’s contention that oral sex is not a sin and said that Clinton quoted the Bible to support his claim.  “You don’t fuck the face anyway,” he laughs. He reported that Ramakrishna used to pester the people who came to see him by asking them, “How much money do you have?  How much will you give me?”  Then he declared that Sri Ramakrishna was a homosexual.


Aside, Sky had been whispering in my ear, “How does UG know all these things?”  “Those are all facts that came out in the newspapers or books which he had read,” I answered.  He asked UG, “What’s your opinion of Nisargadatta?”  UG narrated the story of his meeting Nisargadatta.  UG and Maurice Friedman were friends.  Friedman was part of the JK gang at that time.  It was in the days after the ‘Calamity’ that Friedman met UG.  An account of Friedman’s mentioning about his meeting UG to Nisargadatta and what Nisargadatta said about UG have been printed in the 71st Chapter of I am That.  After hearing about UG’s unique experiences and the description of his natural state, Nisargadatta even predicted, “Your friend is talking now.  But soon he will stop talking and remain silent.”  Later, Friedman cleverly arranged a meeting between UG and Nisargadatta in his house.  He told UG that his daughter was sick and that she was hoping to see him; he invited him to his house. Thus he arranged things so that UG could meet Nisargadatta.  The two were together for about an hour.  “I spoke in English and he in Marathi.  Someone else who didn’t know either of the languages very well translated us to each other. That’s all that happened. Finally, when Friedman asked me what I thought about Nisargadatta, I replied, “I met a man,” says UG.  That’s all that happened.  But who knows what the inner meaning of it all is?


*                                  *                                  *


After Mohan arrived, the scene became quite interesting.  Mohan interrupts UG with his questions.  He doesn’t care even if UG scolds him, shoos him away or abuses him in front of everyone; he just never quits questioning UG.


“Why do you come here?  You won’t get anything here.  Why do you leave your office and hang around here?” asks U.G. “What can I do U.G.?  I can’t change.  When you’ve come so many thousands of miles, what’s the sense if I can’t travel these few miles?  Even if I sit in the office, I only think of you.  I can’t work.  So, it’s better to sit here than stay there,” is Mohan’s answer.


Then UG kept on talking till 5 pm.  Bob was videotaping quite a bit of it.  I must have a look at it.  UG’s jabs at J.K. and talks about his encounters with J.K., his meeting with Ramana Maharshi and about his one-night stand.  He talked about how with that single night’s experience, not only his sex desire, but the whole pleasure movement had burned out.  In answer to one of Mohan’s questions, he said, “When you can fuck your mother, your daughter or your sister, only then this is possible.”  I can’t remember Mohan’s exact question.  That means, in order for duality to disappear and for you to be able to step into a reality devoid of space and time, you must able to do such a thing.  “Once you have sex – just sex without any ideas – you are finished,” he says.  It’s dangerous to consider this as a method.  U.G. never makes such a mistake.  The Tantrics make sex as part of their sadhana.  That’s why he spurns it. 


He talked about cancer, of his son Vasant dying of cancer, and of his advising son’s girlfriend “forget about Vasant, find some other young man and be happy,” on the same day that Vasant died.  Although the girl was furious at UG’s advice, she did exactly what UG had suggested before the end of a year.


*                                  *                                  *


UG talks so intensely, for so many hours, using all his energy – it is amazing how he can talk like that.  The food he eats is so little.  He doesn’t rest.  [Listening to him,] everyone’s eyes become heavy with drowsiness.  The listeners feel that their throats are so parched that they feel they should go and get a drink of water.  UG doesn’t even ask for a glass of water.  He talks ceaselessly about something or other.  Where does he get so much energy?  Yet, his body seems only a bit better than a cage of bones.  There is an indescribable light in his face.  His sharp eyes observe every movement. 


“Recognition is UG.  As soon as there is recognition, UG is present.  Then he goes.  Then there is another thing,” when UG talks like that my head gets hot.  I have only a vague understanding of what he is talking about; that’s all.  I don’t understand.  “You shouldn’t understand.  If you understand, you will not come to me; nor will you go to anyone else for help,” says UG.  The more you observe it, the more UG’s tremendous energy dazzles you.


“Bob, I want you three to do something with the stuff Chandrasekhar has gathered,” he said referring to Bob, Julie and me.  As soon as he said, “I shall even ask Julie to come over here, if you three will do something with those archives,” I and Bob shook hands.  What should we do with the archives?  Whatever we do, we must convert those tapes into VCD’s or CD’s before they deteriorate.



 *                                *                                *





32. A One-Night Stand


March 14, 1999, Sunday -- Day 7


It is exactly a week since UG has arrived in this country.  A week ago, I was involved in the arrangements for the School’s anniversary celebrations.  Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] taught us that we must move as that Force moves us.  That Force is within me, within my heart.  If I can see it there, I can see its presence everywhere.  That’s the truth.  But who is this who is pining to gain a vision of it? Am I something different from that Force?  Every action, every thought and every experience is an attempt to multiply the pleasure-seeking a thousand times, says UG.  God is the most extreme pleasure.  The yearning is to gain the presence of God.  UG explained this in many ways yesterday.  He calls it the ‘pleasure movement’.  Long ago, he had realized clearly that every effort of his was prompted by that. 


Venkata Chalapati said to U.G. yesterday:


You tell everyone that what one needs in life are just the two ‘F’s.  You advise that we should double their quotas for the smoker and the drinker.  Although you suggest that it’s futile to suppress the desire for pleasure and that one should nurture them to the limits, what I observed in myself and everyone else is that those desires for pleasure won’t satisfy us in the long run. Everyone will sometime or other strongly want to become free from these pleasures and will retreat from them.  Indeed, he wouldn’t want to dedicate the rest of his life to those pleasures. 


Then UG replied immediately, “To put that truth into practice doesn’t depend on time.  Realizing that is not done by learning slowly, little bits at a time.  It must become clear instantly like a flash of lightning.”  He gave the example of Mahesh.  In the past, Mahesh was an alcoholic; he drank liquor every night.  He could not do without it.  Once, when he came to Bangalore and was in pain because he couldn’t buy a bottle of liquor, UG procured a bottle of Black Label through Brahmachari and gave it to him.  He said:


I never condemned him saying that he shouldn’t drink liquor.  However, ten years ago, when Mahesh picked up his six-months-old baby and tried to kiss her, she turned her face away, repelled by the smell of alcohol on his face.  Seeing the repulsion in the baby’s face, his aversion toward drinking became ignited.  That was it.  He never drank again.  In all these years, he hasn’t drunk a drop of alcohol.  That’s how aversion should arise.


UG claims that you won’t be successful in practicing it [relinquishing] a little at a time.  It must happen all at once.  It’s the same with anything in life.  ‘Sanaih, sanaih’ [‘slowly, slowly’] which the Bhagavad Gita preaches is a pure lie, he says.  Things must happen in one stroke.  It is not a matter of time.  If it happens, it must happen totally; it [the habit] must leave without a trace; or else, it doesn’t happen at all.  It’s foolish to think that it can be achieved through stages.


“Did you ever have such an experience in your life?  Did an event occur when you collapsed?” asked Mohan.  “You want to hear about it?  Are you ready?” asking him twice, UG told us about his ‘one-night stand’.  “With the experience of that one night, the sexual urge in me was completely extinguished.  After that, all these forty years I haven’t had any sex,” said UG.  He even dropped sexual intercourse with his wife.  “Not just sex, but the whole pleasure movement was wiped out with it,” said UG.  It became clear to him that “I have no other way of gaining pleasure except by using another person for my pleasure.”  UG was reluctant to depend on another person for his enjoyment.  He was turned off by such a situation even if the other person willingly participated.  That’s why his whole life, at every stage, was a field of torture. 


Toward the end of the dialogue, Mohan said, “This body is nothing but a robot, nothing else; that’s clear to me.” 


“How could it be so?  You who are going to do that thing lying by your wife’s side, how could that statement be real to you?” UG challenged him.  Mohan shut up.


*                                  *                                  *


I must tear into the ego within myself and look at it.  This pen of mine is my weapon.  Nothing is more powerful than this.  This book is the battlefield.  I must wage this duel with myself without any help.  In this private war, this ego is an entity to reckon with.  He appears before me in my own shape.  At times he prostrates before me and pleads for mercy.  The next moment, he mocks demonically, pounces on me and throws me down.  He makes everything topsy-turvy.  He makes people who are close to me turn against me.  Then I have no choice except to seek the UG Force.  With the shield of remembering UG, I can guard myself.  Must this struggle go on like this?


*                                  *                                  * 




Tim’s Telephone


Even though I have started writing, the bother of mosquitoes has not diminished.  Suguna is making coffee.  I won’t feel settled until it goes into my stomach.  This morning Tim called from London. He is eager to talk to UG.  He had called in the Farm House earlier and talked to UG. “Don’t come to Switzerland.  Money is important.  Save it,” UG told him.  Today, Tim asked me on the phone, “Do you know Yehudi Menuhin?” I said I did.  “Does UG know that he has died a couple of days ago?” he asked.  I answered, “He probably doesn’t.”  He urged that I inform UG about it.  I agreed and he hung up. 


This Tim is a strange character.  How UG attracts such people!  They have complete liberty with UG.  He goes into their world.  He has the knack of going into anyone’s world he wants to.  The next moment he goes into someone else’s world.  That’s why each person around him thinks that UG is moving in his or her own world, just as Krishna did in the Rasa sport in Brindavan.



*                                *                                *






33. Bharati’s New Year’s Greetings


March 18, 1999, Thursday --  Telugu New Year’s --  Day 11


“Tomorrow is New Year’s.  It’s the beginning of a new era,” I said to Mahesh.  He looked surprised and asked, “Is that true, UG?” as if wondering if that’s the true of meaning of the word.  “Tomorrow will be exactly like today, I guarantee you,” answered UG.  That may be true.  But yesterday was new moon day and today is the first day of the lunar month.


As I was writing this, I got a call from Bharati.  “New Year’s Greetings,” she said. If she picks up the phone, she doesn’t put it down for at least half-an-hour.  It’s the same today.  As UG’s phone was busy, she called me.  She told me that JK had explained to her UG’s real nature.  “He [JK] taught me about UG’s state -- his ferociousness, his putting down everything, his gathering fools around him, his destroying others, his talking crazy nonsense and such other traits.”  She predicted that someone like Balasubrahmanya Swami [the god] will come, kick him a bit and straighten him out.  “The Chinese can do such a thing, if he acts crazy.  Ask him to beware,” she warned.  She gave him the title of ‘Innocent Idiot’.  “That too is a trait of Kala Bhairava [Siva].  Instead of making people’s lives happy, he reduces them into mounds on the cremation ground.  Indeed, he shaped his own life like that, standing in the cremation ground.  The nature of Venkateswara, who is Vishnu’s essence, is not like that.  He has great grandeur -- pride, compassion and scholarship; regarding everyone with respect.  That’s why one must worship the Vishnu Principle instead of the Siva Principle,” she said. 


She named me a broker.  I told her, “Twenty-five years ago you named me UG’s ‘son of the mind’, now you are giving me the new name of ‘broker’.”  She replied, “You can only cut glass with glass, a diamond with another diamond.  The same way, Balasubramniam will come to set him straight.  There is kalasarpa dosha [‘the defect of the Cobra of Time’] in UG’s horoscope.  That’s why he acts so crazy.  That’s the same problem with all those who were born in the sign of Gemini.  My father doesn’t have that grandeur of Venkateswara.  That’s why Venkateswara and Annamacharya wouldn’t let him in their houses,” she said.  She continued, “Sharmila is a great person.  I found the ‘Jabala Principle’ manifested in her.”  “She is a great princess, truly wise.  My husband Rayudu sits quietly in front of her and listens to what she has to say.  Today is New Year’s Day.  That’s why I felt like calling.” Then she said in conclusion.  “No one here is eager to see my father.  Tell him it’s all right if he doesn’t want to come.”


*                                  *                                  *







34. Mahesh: “Let my mother go…”


March 20, 1999, Saturday – Day 13


Morning 4:15 am.  After I lit the Good Night mosquito repellent, surprisingly, all the mosquitoes have disappeared.  What happened to them?  All is quiet except for the fan noise in Shyamalamma’s room. The fan noise is rhythmic like sound of a tomcat snoring.  I hear the noise of dogs barking at a distance.  This tranquil atmosphere will all change in a few minutes. Commotion will start.  As the sky turns crimson, there will be increased movement of people on the street. 


Today Saraswati worship is scheduled for the School kids.  They have examinations from the 26th.  The School closes on April 10th.  I don’t have the free time to look after the School affairs.  My whole day is spent with UG.  From the moment I get up, there are phone calls.  Then preparations are under way to go to the Farm House.  The whole day is occupied with spending time with the friends who have come to see UG and making arrangements for those who are yet to come.  Bob is leaving this afternoon for Madras.  Shekhawat is also going to Bombay on the morning Sahara flight. 


Yesterday, early in the morning, Mahesh phoned from Indore.  The man who went to Bombay at 9 pm two nights ago surfaced the next morning in Indore.  He is attending some conference there.


This time I find again in Mahesh his earlier enthusiasm and interest.  Even last December in Palm Springs, he looked dull and depressed, living in his own world, always holding a book in his hand.  Although he seemed a bit more cheerful when UG was around, something appeared to be lacking. 


I have noticed significant changes in Mahesh’s demeanor in the last couple of years.  This time, however, the old Mahesh is back in force.  Huge shouts, quarrels with UG, boisterous laughing, joking around with UG and teasing -- the liberties he takes with UG no one else can.  Only Mahesh is capable of goading, egging UG on, even when UG makes fun of him in front of everyone saying, “You are a real bastard.” There must be a mention of money at least once each hour.  When UG says, “I put your name as the beneficiary for the 10 million rupees deposit in the Canara Bank.  You can have it when I die,” Mahesh asks very seriously, putting his face inches from UG’s face, “UG, when are you going to die?” 


“I took two years’ interest of 25 lakhs of rupees and made an additional deposit.  These 25 lakhs will be added to the principal of 10 million rupees in two years.  Until then you won’t get any interest,” said UG.

*                                  *                                  *


UG kept Mahesh’s mother alive for two years.  It was probably in April 1996, exactly on the Telugu New Year’s Day, that UG called Mahesh to come to Bangalore to see the Farm House and our new house.  Meanwhile, Mahesh’s mother’s illness had turned serious.  Mahesh got the news from Bombay that she was in the ICU on her death bed; so he hurried to go back.  “You don’t worry about your mother.  I will keep her alive as long as you want.  But you must pay me $5,000 a day,” said U.G.  “I can’t pay so much.   I can manage Rs.5,000 a day,” answered Mahesh.  UG agreed.  His mother returned home safely from the ICU.  Last year, when UG was staying in the flat above her flat in Bombay, she saw UG and talked to him.  In these two years, the amount of the money Mahesh owed to UG grew like sin.  One day, he pleaded with UG, “That’s enough, UG, of keeping my mother alive.  I can’t pay you at the rate of Rs.5,000 a day.  Let her go.”


In 1998, a month after UG left Bombay, probably in April, Mahesh’s mother had died.  Apparently she complained to Mahesh before she died, “You have been friends with such a great man for so many years; but you haven’t acquired even a thousandth of his good traits.  Is this how you treat such a guest?”


She asked UG, “I am thinking of donating my dead body to a hospital. What do you say?”  “Don’t. You should never help medical technology.  Whatever they learn from your body they will utilize for the destruction of mankind,” UG said, and stopped her.


Since she died, there has been a great change in Mahesh.  He produced the movie, Zakhm, based on her life.  I haven’t seen it yet.  He said he would send me a videotape of it.


*                                  *                                  *


You are fighting with yourself....

March 20 1999

I heard that yesterday a Californian called Robert came to the Farm House.  He has been phoning me for a week trying to find a way of meeting UG.  He also met Bob Carr in his hotel.  Not heeding Bob’s advice that it would not be good for him to meet UG, he met UG yesterday morning at 9:00 am along with his wife.  Major certified that he is a true sadhaka and that he not only has respect for human values but has dedicated his life to them wholeheartedly.  He is a physicist.  What else could UG wish for?  It was like shaking a red cloth in front of a horned bull.  After an hour-and-a-half of listening to UG’s tirade against human culture, traditions, sentiments, etc., the stranger pounced on UG in anger: “Your approach is all negative.  All this time I have been listening to you, not a single positive thought has come out of you.  It’s shameful for a realized man like you to talk disgustingly like that!”

In response, UG started condemning science and scientists.  Robert was further inflamed by this and started stamping around in anger.  “I didn’t invite you here; you came on your own.  If you don’t like to hear what I have to say, you can leave,” UG told him.  When UG talked to him in that fashion, he apparently left in fury, leaving his wife behind.  She too is a spiritual aspirant.  She knows about her husband well, as Suguna knows about me.  She apologized to UG for her husband’s behavior.  “This is nothing new to me.  You don’t know how many people like this I see every day.  I am not hurt by his reaction,” UG consoled her.  “My husband is a very good man; he has a good heart.  This is the first time I have seen him like this,” she said.  UG knew.  “That conduct is his true nature.  What everyone usually sees is the façade he deliberately puts on.  He won’t go anywhere.  He’ll come back,” said UG, smiling. 

That’s the problem.  You can fight someone who is openly attacking you.  UG, however, subtly provokes you, incites your anger, and makes you arm yourself, and when you are in the arena, he would switch to your side, thus creating the illusion that you are fighting with yourself – that’s UG’s way.  That makes people even crazier.

*                                  *                                  *





35. The Story of Shekhawat


The bother of the mosquitoes has subsided, thanks to this repellent.  I can now write in comfort. I have written exactly for an hour.  Who will benefit from what I have written so far? Who cares? I just feel happy writing.  What do I care who will benefit from it?  I like to keep writing like this.  The pages in the book will be filled. 


I feel like writing about the story of Shekhawat.  He has spent the past three days happily here.  A couple of days ago, he was sitting with Mahesh before UG, asking all sorts of questions.  When UG asked, “Where is your wife?” his counter question was, “Which wife are you asking about?”  We all broke out into laughter.  “I have divorced twice,” he said. 


Last night, while standing, he told me, Suguna and Venkata Chalapati, about his married life.  I was amazed at the facility with which he could narrate smoothly, like a movie, the events of his life.  A major facet of Shekhawat’s life was revealed before our eyes.  I could understand why he is so keen about UG.


Twenty years ago, Shekhawat worked as an officer in the Reserve Bank of India.  He used to come from Rajajinagar to 23 West Anjaneya Street, to see UG.  In the days when Mahesh and Parveen lived here, he too came frequently.  It was in those times that he married Kumuda, the daughter of the prince of a province called Kota in Rajasthan.  But he was from a middle class family while she was a princess.  The marriage occurred at the behest of the Queen Mother of Mysore.  He didn’t know of the princess’s status before the marriage.  They showed him the girl in a farmhouse in Delhi.  The wedding took place in Kota.  The palace there had 40 rooms in it.  There were many servants.  The grounds of the palace were huge. There were fabulous gates. He marveled at all this, riding on a horse on the wedding day and wondering whether he was awake or dreaming.  He was worried that they might have duped him into marrying an old lady; so immediately after the wedding, he lifted the veil of the bride.  He saw her beautiful face and heaved a sigh of relief.  But his joy was short-lived.  How could Kumuda, who grew up in princely luxury, take to common middle class life?  Our hero found a house for them to live in Bangalore.  He handed over his first month’s salary of Rs.2,700 to her.  In three days she demanded more money to run the house.  All the money he gave her had disappeared.  Shekhawat almost fainted.  His wife blew up a whole month’s salary in three days.  In addition, she spent some of her own money.  There were four servants in the house.  She could cook well, but she needed servants to help her in the cooking.  She also needed servants to clean, wash clothes, arrange things in the house and run errands outside home.  Their married life survived for three years.  She got tired of it.  So she grabbed their son and moved back to Kota.  Now the boy is 17-years-old.  She has divorced Shekhawat.  Still they two relate to each other as friends.  Each year, at least once or twice they meet each other and spend time together. 

Meanwhile, Shekhawat’s acquaintance with a colleague in the bank turned into romance.  She too was an officer.  They lived together for two years in Delhi.  They never married, but after living together for two years, they decided to separate.  They realized that they couldn’t live together.  But, with a view to safeguarding her future, Shekhawat married her. Then they applied for divorce before the end of a year.  The judge couldn’t understand why these two who were so friendly to each other wanted to divorce.  Was it for the sake of property?  They said that wasn’t the reason.  They lived together for two years before marriage and divorced a year after their marriage.  “There are now two ‘Mrs. Shekhawats’,” he says.  The Delhi lady too sees him sometimes.  She asks him about his life.  She still works in the bank. 

Meanwhile, he got himself transferred from Jammu to Bombay.  In Jammu some extremists thought that Shekhawat was a Muslim because ‘Shekhawat’ is also a Muslim name.  When Bhairon Singh Shekhawat became the chief minister of Rajasthan, it became known to everyone that this B.S. Shekhawat was his nephew.  His links to the BJP Party became public.  So he thought it was no longer safe to be in Jammu; he got himself transferred to Bombay. 

He then carried on a romantic relationship for sometime with a receptionist in a five-star hotel in Bombay.  There is a 15-year age gap between the two.  Still the lady loved this ‘prince’.  Their acquaintance almost ended in marriage.  He told her his whole story without hiding any detail.  She said she wanted to talk to his first wife and took her phone number from him.  “Just like a person talks to a previous owner before he buys a second-hand car to find out if it had any problems, she wanted to gather details about me from my first wife,” says Shekhawat.  They two talked to each other over STD for an hour-and-a-half.  In two weeks, the new lady said goodbye to Shekhawat.  No matter how long she discussed it with his first wife, that young lady could not find out what his faults were and why they had divorced.  “If you want to marry him, do it quickly.  Or else he may change his mind,” advised the princess.  “She is still immensely fond of you.  How can I marry you?  It won’t work.  This is the end of our relationship,” the Bombay young lady said and then she looked for another relationship.  She later introduced Shekhawat to her husband and told him their old story. 

Since then, Shekhawat has remained alone for all these years.  Still, while these things had been happening, he never quit his contact with Mahesh or his relationship with me or U.G.  That’s his saving grace.  In every way, UG’s support for Shekhawat remains.

*                                  *                                  *


I don’t give any importance to my opinions....”

March 25, 1999

It was 3 pm. It was very hot in Chennai.  We were all staying in Malladi Krishnamurti’s house. Most of the time during the day, one would prefer to stay indoors, in an air-conditioned room.  However, despite the heat outside, UG wanted to see the new supermarket, ‘Maya Plaza’, in Pondy Bazaar.

That night, about thirty people gathered on the terrace of Krishnamurti’s house to meet with UG.  One young man named Koteswar came with his friend. They were both from the Krishnamurti Foundation of India. They both seemed eager to ask UG a lot of questions. But UG seemed not to be in a mood to discuss serious questions. I thought he might take a break in the middle.  But he narrated the whole JK story for more than an hour, without giving people a chance to ask any questions:  “I have unbounded admiration for him [JK] now, not for his teaching or what he did in his life, but for the way he kept everything under the rug so successfully.  Normally, when there is more than one woman involved, jealousies or things like that are bound to occur.  The affairs are bound come to light.  But he, like a US navy man, had a girl in every port and kept everything secret very successfully.  I have unbounded admiration for that!” he said.  He thus recited his JK obituary and concluded his story.  Some ladies next to me whispered to each other, “It seems that UG doesn’t like J.K. at all.”

The friends from the Krishnamurti Foundation of India, however, seemed to have enjoyed it.  One of them asked UG, “You seem to have a lot of opinions.”

“I have opinions on everything, from disease to divinity.”

“Then what’s the difference between me and you?  I too have opinions.”

“Absolutely no difference.  Only you seem to give a lot of importance to your opinions and I don’t.  That’s all,” UG said.


*                                  *                                  *





36. The trouble the Delhi lady went through to meet UG....


March 28, 1999

Sunny, a young lady from Delhi came to Bangalore with a friend called Roma to see UG.  She first talked to Archana on the phone and learned that we were returning from Madras Friday night.  So they both arrived in Bangalore Thursday night by air.  Meanwhile, our phone was broken.  So, no matter how often she tried, the phone never rang.  The two worked hard for three hours and finally found our house with the help of the address they had.  I called and talked to her from Chalapati’s house.  I asked her to come to the Farm House in the afternoon around 3 pm. 

There she told me how she had searched the whole world trying to meet UG.  She bought UG’s book Mystique on February 14, 1998 at a book exhibition in Delhi.  She was fascinated by UG’s disclaimer on the first page.  So she has been hunting for UG ever since.  That day it happened to be Valentine’s Day.  She learned later that Valentine was UG’s support; so she thought she was very fortunate to have found that book on Valentine’s day. 

Last April, she went on a vacation to Europe and America with her friend.  At that time, she didn’t know anything more about UG except what she had read in the book.  Meanwhile, she saw the books I had sent to the Reiki master, Nilam Sood.  When she went to Switzerland she remembered that UG stays in Saanen.  From Geneva she went to Montreau and from there to Gstaad.  But at that time she didn’t know that UG was in Gstaad.  Mystique only mentions Saanen.  She went around all over Saanen, with that book in her hand, looking for UG.  People there said they didn’t know him.  She knew that JK also used to come there.  So she wrote ‘UG’ in big letters on a paper and asked people about him.  But she had no luck. 

When she came to the US from there, she went around New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Carmel -- all those places where UG had stayed sometime or other.  Still she couldn’t find a trace of him.  After she came to Delhi, while she was attending a meeting of a man called Diljit, she heard Frank Noronha talking about Mahesh Bhatt and UG. Sunny got hold of Frank and obtained my number from him.  She called and talked to me and finally her desire was fulfilled after so much time and effort.


*                                  *                                  *


March 29, 1999, Monday – Day 22

Today is the Muslim festival of Bakrid.  It’s a national holiday.  Morning 5:30 am.  I was writing yesterday about Sunny.  She phoned again yesterday.  She must have left for Delhi on the evening flight yesterday.  “I came with the idea of meeting UG and having a chat with him.  I was very satisfied having met him and talked to him, all of it.  I am very thankful to you for creating such an opportunity and cooperating.  You must certainly look me up if you ever come to Delhi,” she told me on the phone and said goodbye.

I don’t know why, but whenever I see her or hear her words, I am reminded of Kameswari.  Many years ago, a lady appeared in my dream who looked exactly like Sunny, and I remember UG referring to her as ‘the Western version of Kameswari.’ 

Sunny’s dress and appearance were also Western.  She wore a skirt and a blouse, and had long loose hair, just like Parveen.  She was attractive.  She didn’t express any interest in seeing UG again.  I gave her and her friend a copy each of Courage and Larry’s book of poetry. 


*                                  *                                  *





37. The Idiappam Story


I must write about the story of idiappam that took place yesterday.  Before, in the days when UG was living in Yercaud, the postmaster there used to make idiappam and bring it over.  His wife prepared it well.  I still don’t understand why the Tamils are so fond of that dish.  Major simply abhors it.  It’s stringy and coiled like semia.  They say it’s pretty labor-intensive to make it.  It’s supposed to be eaten with coconut milk.  Even if you mix it with that milk, we don’t know what kind of taste it will have. 

It’s not clear whether UG liked to eat it, but he mentioned it once during conversation with a friend called Suguna Krishnamurti.  She lives in Jayanagar.  She doesn’t seem to be older than 30, but she is not married yet.  She is a chartered accountant.  She lost her father and lives with her mother.  She has been coming to see UG for the last three years.  Even at times when UG is not here, she would come to our home occasionally, borrow UG’s audio tapes and return them.  She is stunningly beautiful.  You can’t take your eyes off of her.  How innocent she looks!  Yet, she is just as intelligent as she is good-looking.  She even lectures in some colleges as part of her profession.  She probably told us the background of her being attracted to UG, but I can’t remember. 

She knows how to make idiappam.  Perhaps she thought that it was something UG is very fond of.  The last time she had come she made it and brought it over.  She first told us she was going to make it, but brought it over to the Farm House after quite a while.  Major hates that dish. “You call that edible!  How could they eat such a thing?” he says.  That time, even UG finally gave away the remnants of the dish to Ammmayamma after keeping it for two days. 

Last night, Suguna Krishnamurti phoned.  Major answered.  She asked if she could make some idiappam for UG and bring it over.  Major’s face shrank when he heard the name of that dish.  He was furious.  “There is no need for any such thing.  You come, that’s good enough,” he said, sounding annoyed.  Although UG was trying to tell him in the background that if she had made idiappam she should bring it with her, Major wouldn’t listen; instead, he told her that UG doesn’t like that dish and asked her not to bring it. 

UG asked him, “How do you know that I don’t like it?” 

“Did you eat what she brought the last time?  You gave it away to Ammayamma.  I remember very well.  Why should she go to great pains to make that dish and push it on us?” Major told everyone whatever had happened the last time. 

But UG didn’t agree: “I am eating your upma, what more proof do you want that I can eat any kind of dish?” he challenged. “You phone her and tell her; if she has idiappam ready, ask her to bring it,” he insisted.  He didn’t give up until Major phoned Suguna Krishnamurti and asked her to come. 

My wife Suguna also phoned her, talked to her and asked her to bring idiappam.  The lady prepared it right after that and brought it around 5 pm on her scooter. 

When everyone was leaving at 6 pm, UG asked Suguna Krishnamurti to wait and said, “This Major told you some nonsense.  I’ll eat your idiappam right in your presence.  You can leave after I eat.”  That made everyone laugh.  Suguna Krishnamurti was afraid that her idiappam had brought trouble to UG. 

“If you don’t like to eat what I have made, I won’t bring it again, UG,” she said apologetically, appearing to be hurt. 

“No, no, nothing of the sort.  I like it.  Watch me.  I will eat right in your presence,” he said and served himself. 

I thought that from now on Suguna Krishnamurti’s idiappam is going to become a tradition for UG. 

Venkata Chalapati was astounded by all this: “Look how delicate UG’s nature is.  He thought she might feel hurt; so he made sure she brought it and ate it right in front of her.  In words, however, he says, “I am a cruel butcher; I don’t have any affection; I have fondness for no one; mine is a stony heart; I have no mercy.”  But actually, see how compassionate he is!” he marveled.

But we can’t assume that UG acts so compassionately in all contexts.  Everyone knows that too.  Everything depends on the situation.  We cannot generalize and say that he will act the same way in all situations.


*                                  *                                  *




38. The Way of UG’s Health


We are awestruck at UG. His body is never subject to disease.  Even though he travels to different countries and continents, colds, coughs, headaches and so on never afflict him.  In earlier times, however, every time he came to India, he used to be laid down with the flu.  He never took medicines.  He would just eat less than normal.  Even in the height of fever, he never stopped his normal activities.  He hasn’t had such a fever for the last fifteen years.  Even the alimentary canal has not been bothering him so much.  Before, he used to have a problem with a hernia.  It doesn’t look like he has that problem now.  He can travel with ease for hours on end in a car.  He doesn’t rest.  He doesn’t even take a little nap after lunch.  At times, however, he dozes off while sitting on the sofa even when someone is talking. 

One day, Mr. Narasimha Reddi was talking about the ashram of Sai Baba.  While he was talking about sundry other things, UG dozed off on the sofa.  That much rest is adequate for him.  On the other hand, I need three days to recover after he leaves.  During the days he is here, I feel as if I am deprived of full sleep.  He has many urgent affairs to attend to. Many people surround him.  He has to listen to their problems and complaints.  UG doesn’t get tired of them.  Doesn’t his body get tired?  How can he always remain fresh like a flower?  Wouldn’t he get tired after talking for hours and hours?  For hours at a time, he doesn’t get out of that chair.  People still keep coming.  Those who have to leave say goodbye and leave unwillingly.  UG never gets tired. He has no rest and he is never tired.  How can his body withstand all that, his 82-year-old body?  Where does he get all that energy from?  Where do his words get all that force?  He eats so little. 

UG’s body itself is a wonder.  His hair has been turning dark in the last couple of years.  There are now some very dark hairs in his hair which had been completely white before.  How is that possible?  It’s a wonder to everyone. 

The lines in his palms have been changing.  The ‘heart line’ in his right hand broke up and changed into an ‘M’ shape.  People have been interpreting that ‘M’ in different ways: as the Mars that is approaching, money, mission, master, and so on.  Whatever it might mean, the letter appears clearly in his palm.  All the lines in his palm point to the index finger.


            *                                  *                                  *


 UG -- an inspiration for an American Reiki Guru

May 9, 1999 – Sunday.  Day 9.

In a daily newspaper called Business Line, there is an article on the topic of ‘Reiki – the Mystical Energy’, talking about an American Reiki guru called Paula Horan.  A lady named Priti Mohra wrote it.  In it, Paula Horan mentions the discussion she had with UG many years ago and recalls UG’s words.  She says that if you want to increase the effect of ‘Reiki’, you must get out of the ‘I, me and myself’ syndrome; you should stop being concerned about yourself, you should understand the life of ‘being in the world but not of it.’  She says that she has assimilated such important principles of living from her conversation with UG.


                        *                                                *                                                *





39. Political Climate


May 18-19, Tuesday and Wednesday – Days 18 and 19

I am resuming the diary exactly after nine days.  I didn’t think that the writing would take a back seat while UG is here.  I had a high fever on 12th and 13th. Pulandar diagnosed it as a viral fever and gave me homeopathic medicines which have brought it down.  Then I was pretty weak till last Sunday.  Meanwhile, Suguna and Archana too got the fever.  By the time they have recovered it was already Monday.  This time the three of them competed with each other and got fevers which hit 103 – 103.5°.  Pulandar helped us out by coming twice a day, giving us medicines and reassurance. 

Meanwhile, last Friday, on the 14th, YNK came with five of his associates and interviewed UG.  Apparently, Mr. Ranganath, a senior editor, talked to UG.  That evening, there was torrential rain at the Farm House.  As a matter of fact, for the last ten days, it has become a routine each day for the skies to become overcast in the evenings and rain heavily in the nights.  With UG’s arrival, the weather has changed to the extent that you wondered if this is really summer. 

The political climate in the country too has been changing from day to day.  The Congress Party electing Sonia Gandhi as its leader broke the backbone of all the old jackals [old guard].  The Party’s members have made it their life-aim to extol Sonia.  Ever since UG has come to India, not an hour passed without his going on a tirade against the Congress Party.  He has been severely abusing its leaders: 

“Can this country, which has almost a billion people, not produce a single leader to run the nation? Must they bring that ... Sonia from Italy to be the prime minister?  Have you become so used to the life of slavery that your blood has cooled down?  Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?  How could you tolerate it?  The Congress Party is the root cause of all this.  There is no hope for your nation unless the Congress Party is destroyed to the roots,” UG has thus been jabbing at them and pouncing on them. 

He knows that my father supports the Congress Party; so he shouts especially when he is present.  He condemns Gandhi and vilifies him.  He pours abuse on Nehru and the Nehru dynasty and says that Nehru was the sole cause of the downfall of this country.  He uses all the foul language at his command, without repeating himself, to condemn the Nehru dynasty. 

Apparently, Nagesh’s family came to listen to him; but seeing his ferocious visage, they got terrified and left.   “Why would a realized man become so emotional?  If he doesn’t like something, he could indicate it gently.  Why use this foul language?” --  that’s how Nagesh reasoned and then left.  UG doesn’t care about what people think.  “Sonia must not grab the power!” he was screaming his head off.  His manner is the same whether he talks in the Farm House or here -- terribly foul language.

Suddenly there is a movement in the country.  Chandrababu Naidu waved his flag by personally attacking Sonia Gandhi.  Some others joined their voices to his.  Meanwhile, there is some other crisis afoot in the Congress Party.  Three leaders, Sarad Pawar, Sangama and Tariq Anvir, blew their horns of rebellion.  They wrote a long letter to Sonia claiming that foreigners have no right to occupy the highest seat in this country and demanding that she should immediately desist from her efforts to become the prime minister.  With that letter politics here has taken a new turn. 

Monday, UG bought his ticket for travel. He will leave next Friday evening at 6 pm.  That means, he will be in Bangalore for another 10 days.  There are going to be innumerable changes during these 10 days. 

Whenever you see or hear anything – on TV, on radio, or in the newspapers -- there is only the talk of rebellion against Sonia Gandhi.  Sonia Gandhi resigned her chairmanship.  She gathered all her money.  Everyone has been making noise.  They have cast out the three people who created this crisis, and have condemned them in every possible way.  These are the storm-winds that UG has anticipated.  The Congress Party must be leveled.  Sonia Gandhi must exit the stage taking her progeny with her.


*                                  *                                  *


UG in YNK’s Office

UG stepped into the Indian Express office on Monday at noon.  YNK welcomed him into his office and said, feeling flattered, “Fifteen years ago, when I was in Praja Vani, Ambarish Verma [Mr. YNK’s one-time mystic guru who is now deceased] came.  Today, UG has set his foot in my office.”  UG remarked, “Your office seems to be a happy mixture of the old and the new.”  YNK told him, “We can’t give you the tape of the interview yet.  It must first be published in the paper.”  Then he joked, “’Dynasty’ is an indication to ‘die nasty’.”  UG jumped with joy for finding the use of such a sharp phrase.  Since then he has been using the phrase ‘die nasty’.  He warns, “If Sonia behaves foolishly and doesn’t get off the stage, she must be prepared to die mercilessly along with her children.”

*                                  *                                  *


“Get along or get lost.…”

May 27, Thursday – Day 22

UG stayed home all day.  ... He has been talking most all the time as usual.  He paused once and pounced on me, while I was arranging books in the bookshelf, pointing out that I wasn’t doing anything about the videotapes. What can I do?  I don’t have an ounce of enthusiasm.  I am not interested in anything.  I don’t even know what’s happening to me.

  Yesterday, while we were going to Satyanarayana’s house in the car, I asked UG if he had ever suffered from sadness, depression or anxiety before his ‘Calamity’.  “Your problem is not life.  Living together is your problem.  You worry about how to maintain relationships.  I never worried about that.  My attention was always on how to face the situation in front of me.  I never even bothered to find out how I got involved in such a situation or what caused it.  “This is the situation now, and how do I proceed from here?  What should I do?” That’s all I thought about -- to overcome it.  And I never lost.” 

Even when he was little, even when he was under his grandfather’s care, he only knew how to get his way, and how to move away, if he couldn’t.  He was not bothered by the problems which normally afflict men. He never had problems.  He always tried to turn people around him in the direction favorable to him.  Those who did not agree with him had no place near him.  It’s the same even now.  “Get along or get lost,” is his motto.

*                                  *                                  *





40. Political Outrage


May 28, 1999, Friday – Day 28

Just as I was about to start writing, I looked at the date printed on this page of the diary.  It was UG’s birthday! I want to get my book Stopped in Our Tracks printed and released by his birthday this year.  I should mention that to UG.  Just a little over a month remains.  Meanwhile, who knows through how many countries he will roam?  He says he won’t come back to India unless Sonia exits.  He says that this time he will go to Italy just on the mission of finding out and revealing Sonia’s secrets.  He says he will start his tirade against India on the TV there.  Yesterday morning, as soon as he came home, while he was upstairs, he started screaming in a big way.  Not just against Sonia Gandhi, but also abusing this nation as a whole, saying that it’s a useless country.  “India has a billion people.  Still, I can’t find a single person here who has self-respect.  NATO bombs fell on the Indian embassy in Belgrade; a low-level official in the NATO Forces noted that it was ‘our mistake’ and didn’t even apologize.  Then, fifteen days ago, a bomb fell on the Chinese embassy, destroying it.  The Chinese leaders couldn’t contain their anger.  The American President Clinton personally apologized to the Chinese people three times in public meetings.  High-level officials from the American Department of State went to China to explain in detail to the Chinese leaders how the mistake had occurred.  They begged the Chinese for their forgiveness.  But they don’t care about the Indians, because our status is so low.  Let alone having any high regard for people or leaders of this country, they just don’t give a damn.” 

UG has been saying that unless they have economic power and military might, no country will gain recognition.  “It’s useless to blame this country.  It doesn’t have the right leadership.  It needs someone like Mao Tse Tung.  But there is no one here like that.  Gandhi and Nehru let the country down.  Later, the Congress Party used both of them to maintain its power; furthermore, it put the Nehru dynasty in power and thereby did enormous treachery.”

He has been going on like this.  Yesterday, in the afternoon and in the evening, there was a large crowd in the living room. 

The whole family of Nagesh was there.  Their daughter kept quiet before UG.  She appeared to be angry for some reason. It’s hard to tell whom and how UG’s words affect.  We watched the video What am I saying? It was great.  I felt like seeing it again and again.  We also watched an Australian videotape, an edited version.  In it, UG spoke very little.


*                                  *                                  *


Political Outrage – ii

May 29, 1999

Last evening, around 6 pm, UG left for Bombay on Jet Airways. From there, he must have left for Frankfurt on Lufthansa at 2:30 am.  By this time, he would be in Germany, criticizing India and Sonia Gandhi. He called at 10 pm last night from Mahesh’s home in Bombay. 

He mentioned some new facts about Kashmir revealed by Shekhawat.  He explained that the military conflict in Kargil is only a ‘storm in the teacup’ created by the BJP Party.  Apparently, Kargil was the place of Nehru’s and Kamala’s honeymoon.  That’s why Nehru had insisted on having Kashmir as part of India. 

Now, the Pakistanis have been shooting rockets from the occupied part of Kashmir. Recently, they shot down two MIG planes.  Yesterday, they destroyed a helicopter.  The war is taking a serious turn.  There are rumors that all these incidents are deliberately instigated by the Vajpayee’s government. 

Whatever it is, UG has been busy initiating a movement from foreign soil.  He has vowed that he will see the end of Sonia.  Where does he get such passion and energy?  It’s amazing. 

Day by day, I have been getting weaker.  I have been feeling increasingly lazy.  Meanwhile UG’s energy has been shooting up.  Each day, the whole house has been shaking with his shouts:  “You are all cowards, spineless people and a bunch of slaves!” he has been scolding the Indians.  “How can you tolerate such a party like Congress?  It should be wiped off from the face of this earth. ... ,” he said. 

It would be no wonder that anyone listening to this might think that UG hates everyone.  When Suguna Krishnamurti asked him, “Why are you so mad at them? Why do you launch such a tirade against Sonia Gandhi?” he pounced on her.  This whole month he has only been talking politics.  This is the first time in years that UG has been expressing his anger at Sonia in the newspapers.  “The first misfortune of India is Gandhi and the second is Nehru.  It is its misfortune that no leader like Mao has been born in this country,” says UG.  “If India and China would join hands, they could put a stop to an evil country like America.  But now China is the only strong country that can stand up to America.  There is a lot that India has to learn from China,” he says.  But you can’t trust China.  The Chinese have gained a reputation as the foremost in being treacherous. They deceived us in 1962.  Even now, no matter how well their country has done, their tongues are forked.  Still, UG has been praising China.  He not only praises it, but he talks as if there is no other country on earth greater than China.  He depicts America as an evil force and a pest on this earth.


*                             *                             *




 41. UG’s Ways

May 30, 1999, Sunday

He who is ready to die at any moment will live forever.  There will be no death for him.  He will have no life of his own.  He will have no existence called himself.  Each moment he watches the magic of the Lord of Arunchala, without a consciousness that he is separate from it. He lives fully and is fulfilled every moment. 

“I am always fully occupied with whatever is happening at any given point of time.  So, I am never pre-occupied with other things,” says UG.  In so many ways he makes this clear to us!  Someone’s leg moving, hands swinging, pigeons taking off from a tree, lizards making sounds on the wall – these are enough to fill the whole of his being.  Without there being a ‘he’, he is completely merged from moment to moment with whatever is happening in his presence.  He talks, he scolds, he gets angry, he makes fun, he laughs and makes others laugh; he pours forth his compassion or he behaves harshly; he jumps from one subject matter to another without any connection; he speaks, shattering others’ arguments with his logic; yet throughout he remains as if nothing concerns him.  He interferes in some people’s personal affairs even if they don’t like it.  With some others, even if they plead, he wouldn’t bother even to look at them.  I can go on and on writing like this about UG’s ways.  We can call such a man an enlightened man, ‘one who is released while still alive’, a realized man or a jñani. We can use many terms like this.  But you can never understand such persons.  They don’t fit within our limited frames.  “Oh, is that all?  I understand all about them” -- by the time we come to think this way, they will laugh at us and they tease us by breaking out of our imagined frame. 

UG will never let you know who is nearer to him and who is distant from him. Sometimes, he appears as if his judgments are blind and totally prejudiced.  Sometimes, he makes you feel that his words are literally true.  Some other times, he makes you feel that “there is nothing more exaggerated than this.”  Some will condemn his words right in front of him.  They reconcile themselves thinking that that’s his disposition.  Some he blames constantly without any apparent reason and makes fun of them in front of everyone; he brushes them off as useless.  And there are others he praises whether they have done or not done anything special; he extols them in front of everyone.  Some whom he extols today, he puts down the next day.  He makes you feel, “The realized man’s mind moves from moment to moment.”  You feel that the mind of the mindless man acts as it pleases.  But he is not affected by anything he does.  Even if others praise it or suffer from it, cry about it or laugh about it, even if they act in anger or spite, even if they blame him and abuse him, and even if they submit themselves to him saying he is their only help – none of that touches him.  Nothing stays with him.


*                                  *                                  *





42. “If you understand what I am saying at all, you wouldn’t look at my face...”


May 31, 1999, Monday

“Although a great treasure fell into my hands, my sinful mind goes after pots and herds,” wails Chalam’s Yashoda in his Yashoda Gitalu.  Not just her mind, but the minds of many such ‘fortunate’ people have been landing on garbage heaps for generations, from times immemorial; they have indeed set up permanent residences there. 

Last night, Gopala Naidu called from Hyderabad and mentioned how UG through his compassionate conversation had dispersed multitudes of doubts he had accumulated in his mind.  He told me that if there is anything most urgent that needs to be done in his life, it is to spend time in UG’s presence. 

I used to feel like that often before.  But now?  Even though such a good fortune as UG stands right at my doorstep, I do indeed run far away from it on some pretext or other.  Why have I changed like that?  Why is it that the truths, realities and words of experience beyond the mind which he teaches don’t operate in my mind? 

In the article by Mahesh Bhatt that came out yesterday, “Zen and the Art of Imitation” he recounts a Zen story.  A teacher calls all his pupils and says “Find out what Truth is by investigating it yourselves, and come back to me.” He fixes a period of time for them to spend on the search and sends them off.  They all return after the specified time.  Each one narrates the meaning that has dawned on him and what he has understood.  The teacher kindly asks one disciple who has been sitting silently with downcast eyes, “Why are you not saying anything?” “No matter how deeply and intensely I inquired, I couldn’t find any answer which I could call mine.  Whatever I know are the truths that others have known; I am unable to find the real truth,” the disciple replies sadly.  The teacher hugs him immediately in immense joy. 

UG had arrived at this truth while he was still young.  What is my true desire?  What do I really want?  “I only have assumed that the desires of those around me are mine and have been spending all my life striving to satisfy them. But what, indeed, in me is a desire which I could truly call mine?” Thus, while he was still very young, he rejected all those desires which others had known. 

Although I am writing about all these things, my mind doesn’t grasp their value.  I must find ‘mine’, ‘my way’.  I must first find out what my question is, what I want.  I must learn by myself that that [satisfaction] is not possible.  There is no use in repeating the truths that UG has discovered.

That’s why UG so clearly says: “If you understand what I am saying at all, you wouldn’t look at my face.  You won’t sit before me and listen to what I say.  Only then you will express in your own way what you understand.  And you won’t follow me.  You won’t worship anyone.  That will be the end of your story,” he says. 

“How true, those words!” I thought.  That means I have been goofing.


*                                  *                                  *





43. Looking for Causes...


June 4, 1999, Friday

It has become a habit of mine to look for a cause for every event and connect it to the event.  Constantly to ask myself, “What’s the cause of whatever has happened?  Perhaps it happened that way because I thought that way;” to feel happy thinking that things have turned out well because of the precautions I had taken; or to be disappointed with myself that something untoward has happened because of some negligence of mine – this kind of thinking has become part of my daily routine.

Yesterday, Viswanath, the driver, questioned me about UG’s philosophy while we were driving in the car to take it down to the shop for repairs.  Two evenings ago, when I was driving the car, it hit a tree and the gears on the front axle were damaged.  I have been asking myself the question “Why did it happen like that?” over and over again.  I haven’t stopped asking it yet.  The question has been haunting me.  It doesn’t go away. 

Viswanath also asked the same sort of question regarding the way UG acts.  Apparently, he went upstairs to say goodbye to UG.  As Viswanath was leaving, UG said, “Say hello to your wife; she came with you the other day, right?”  Viswanath was extremely surprised.  “With such a difference in status between UG and us,  I can’t even imagine his remembering so much and asking about her,” he said to me. 

Viswanath’s wife too was flattered when she heard about it.  How could such things happen?  UG doesn’t think about them.  Things just happen mechanically, without any involvement on his part.  Nothing enters his mind except the things that happen around him at each moment.  For him, every action, every event happens independently; he has lost the habit of searching for causes of events or linking events in terms of causes and effects.  No one knows how that habit ceased. 

If that habit is gone, it means that his whole existence is gone; because if such thoughts don’t arise, there cannot be any such thing as ‘I’ or ‘mine’. 

This reasoning of mine too is a result of my looking for a cause-and-effect relationship.  A cause-and-effect thinking is operating in my observations of UG, in my trying to understand the way he acts and explaining what I understand to others.  But why should I want to get rid of this process?  Is that because UG says he doesn’t think in those terms?  Is it because in the scriptures and Vedanta books it was mentioned that to get rid of it is to be in such a great state?  Or is it because of my fear, based on my greed, that I may be missing some great experience in that state?  Right now, at this moment, what am I lacking?  Why should I think of UG’s person as a model over and over again?  Could I live even for a moment in a way natural to me?  Every minute I am trying to change myself and shape myself; I exert myself to attain something that I fear I have lost – all this futile effort, who is it for?  How completely I have become overpowered by such despair and helplessness!  I can’t stand up as me. Why? Why? Why? Why?


*                                  *                                  *





44. “Release means total destruction...”


Normally, I have great fondness and love for UG.  I eagerly await his arrival.  I have a strong desire to tell everyone about him and get them to see UG.  Once, my worship of UG flowed into poetry in the Sisa meter.  Now, I don’t have any such notions; instead, ideas quite contrary to them whirl in my mind.  Where do these come from?  If I could at least write hostile poems about UG, that would be great.  But I can’t even do that. 

From the moment I get up from bed, I impose on myself various activities, always watching to see how far I can run away from this consciousness in me.  I constantly try to hide from the truths within me. Why am I becoming like this?  And, I have fears about the future.  I don’t understand.  Everything seems confused. 

My ego complains and says that UG is the cause of this situation.  If I ask it, “What do you lack now?  What are you losing right now?” it won’t answer.  It doesn’t even know what harm has occurred or what troubles it has run into.  It worries now about money problems that might possibly arise in the future. 

I have decided to sell my shares [in the Finance Corporation] and gather the money needed to print my book.  My ego keeps grumbling. When I say, “What do you lack now? You seem to be happy,” it doesn’t answer.  It doesn’t know what it wants.  Does it want the bliss of release?  Who told it that such a thing exists?  Do you know what it’s like?  You say it’s not something that can be experienced.  Then how do you know about it?  Isn’t it the knowledge that you have gathered that’s your basis of knowing?  Why are you so fascinated by the image which the knowledge has created?  Why are you so excited about something which you evidently do not know? 

“Release means total destruction.  Do you really want such destruction?” asks UG.  When I heard before from UG directly the promise that “On whomever I bestow my grace, him I’ll rob of everything,” I used to plead in my mind, “I am ready.  Be merciful and burn me.”  At that time, I didn’t have much to lose.  A lot of ‘mine’ has accumulated in all these years --  especially this pleasurable living, the pleasure of going to bed whenever I want, the life of culture, honor and respectability, a certain status in society and property.  All these will go, if the promise of God is fulfilled. 

Oh yes, I am afraid.  This ego chickens out when I put it on the spot and ask, “What do you want?” That’s why they said, “Only the courageous can wish for immortality.”  But who are those courageous ones?  I can’t find anyone in history except UG.  Who has the strength to deliberately ruin a fruitful life?  How much courage does it take?  Who has the strength of heart to throw everything he has to the winds without expecting anything in return and without wanting any power, and become a beggar?  It’s not unimaginable to let go of what one already has with the hope that one will find some higher state.  It’s truly a great thing to sacrifice whatever one has, and not let even a thought of “how can I manage tomorrow?” enter one’s mind, yet realizing that one will gain nothing.  UG has been the same then and now.  There has been no change.  My miserable nature puts on a different garb at every turn and causes troubles.

*                                  *                                  *


“Why do you need a philosophy to live?”


Once upon a time, I used to have a great resolve that I should formulate a philosophy of life for myself and try to live according to it to the best of my ability.  My resolve broke down when UG asked, “Why do you need a philosophy to live?” 

“Who are you to put life in some kind of order?  Life will go its own way.  Who are you to stand in its way?” UG asked me. 

True, I don’t have an answer.  We want ‘Life’ to mean that whatever we want and hope for must happen.  “There must be only happiness and not even a trace of suffering.”  If life proceeds in that fashion, then we are glad and feel that life is meaningful.  But there is no connection between life and the things that happen. 

But mental anxieties, fears, sorrows, mental tortures, distress, cringing – all these afflict me and make me impotent.  They can’t touch life.  Yet they possess me. They are squeezing my throat.  How horrible! 

If they are to destroy me, why I am sorry?  Isn’t that what I want? 

“You don’t know a thing about life.  Your problem is only ‘how to live’.”  Life goes on as it pleases without being concerned about you.  First, think about for whom all this anxiety exists.  Find that out!

Sleep is rushing in and closing my eyelids.  Time, morning 6:15 am.  I have written for more than an hour.  I am still sleepy.


*                                  *                                  * 


It’s a game for the cat....

I must write about an incident to illustrate how UG plays around with the people who come close to him. 

Of course, we all know the story of Julie: I think it was in 1989, after she met UG for the first time, she went around the whole world with UG for almost a year.  She made videos.  UG was at first respectful to her.  Valentine was still alive at that time.  Julie, however, couldn’t maintain the status of being ‘needed’ which UG had first accorded her. She deluded herself into thinking that UG should put her in Valentine’s place.  UG realized that and started pushing her away.  Julie couldn’t stand that and started coming in his way.  With that UG started detesting Julie intensely.  That disgust has been growing till today. 

Guha’s story is similar.  He learned about UG through the Internet. He met UG and got very close to him.  In these three to four years, the whole family of Guha has become dear to UG.  It’s not just UG, everyone likes Guha’s children Shilpa and Sumedha.  I don’t even have to mention Lakshmi, Guha’s wife.  Guha has no other preoccupation in life except thinking about UG.  This professor who has been doing research in superconductivity in Rutgers University just forgot himself in his attraction to UG.  With UG’s prompting, he obtained a ‘Green Card’ in America.  But I think he gets into pretty serious depressions. 

The last month while UG was here, Guha was having a difficult time in the US – he couldn’t take it.  He is fed up with his job.  He doesn’t like living in America or his life there.  Yet UG doesn’t let him move to India.  UG insists that their children must grow up in America in that atmosphere.  He has biased their minds against India deliberately.  He gets furious if Guha even mentions India’s name. 

Guha is finding it hard to work in the university.  Lakshmi says that some allergy is bothering him. 

Finally, Julie phoned the Farm House one day.  Major picked up the phone.  She informed him, “Guha is resigning his job and returning to Hyderabad.”  She asked Major to tell that to UG.  She thought that at least for that reason UG might be interested in talking to her.  UG had already stopped talking to Guha by then.  Knowing that Julie plots to come close to him by having Lakshmi and her children by her side, UG has been harsh with Lakshmi too.  He has even stopped talking to the kids. 

When Major reported what Julie had said, UG pounced on the Major.  Then he phoned Lakshmi in anger. She told him that Guha was on leave and was saying he couldn’t work at that job anymore.  Then why had Julie reported like that?  Was it with the idea that UG would interfere?  Major too got upset with Julie for telling him lies and causing UG to be angry at him. 

UG spoke to Guha that day.  “You have only two alternatives: you decide whether you will enter a mental hospital there, or come to Hyderabad and sit in jail here.  If you don’t go back to your job, one of these two consequences is certain.  If you come to Hyderabad, I will use all my influence to put you in jail,” he said. 

Guha didn’t say a word in reply.  Lakshmi called once or twice to talk to UG but UG did not budge.  And there was no need for him to say anything to Julie.  He just didn’t talk at all. 

I don’t know if Guha is still on leave or went back to work.  UG is now in Italy.  He will go to Rome to see Paulo.


Go to Part 4