My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody. U.G.
"Why bother publishing my conversations. It has not helped you, and it is not going to help anybody else", said U.G. when I approached him with the idea of publishing excerpts from his conversations with the constant stream of people who go to visit him. Despite his view on the matter, I went ahead and published the first book some years ago. U.G. called it the "Mistake of Enlightenment". Mistake or no mistake, the book, "The Mystique of Enlightenment" was a sell-out. It was subsequently translated and published in almost all European languages. The Chinese and Russian translations are awaiting publication. A demand for reprints of the book gave me impetus to publish instead this companion volume "Mind is a Myth", Disquieting Conversations with the Man called U.G. This book is a little similar to, and a lot different from "The Mystique of Enlightenment". DINESH VAGHELA: PUBLISHER
This book consists of edited talks between U.G. Krishnamurti and various questioners in India, Switzerland and California in 1983 and 1984. Although some words have been changed in the interest of clarity, the version here presented is a close reflection of the content and form of those discussions. It is hoped that we will be forgiven for not identifying all the discussants involved. It was felt that to identify all questioners would only detract from the meaning and flow of the dialogues. The editor also takes full responsibility for the accuracy of these discourses and greatly acknowledges the important part played n the production of this book by those who conversed with U.G.
|I. The Certainty That Blasts Everything ..|
|II. Hope Is for Tomorrow, Not Today ..|
|III. Not Knowing Is Your Natural State ..|
|IV. There is Nothing to Understand ..|
|V. We Have Created This Jungle Society ..|
|VI. The Body as a Crucible ..|
Here at the eleventh hour is a refreshing, radical and unconventional appraisal of the entire human enterprise. In his previous work, The Mystique of Enlightenment, U.G. Krishnamurti took close aim right between the eyes of the status quo, and fired away. In this new book he makes even shorter work of traditional values and thinking, lobbing grenades, as it were, into the very citadels of our most cherished beliefs and aspirations. For the seekers of God, Happiness or Enlightenment this book has very little to recommend it. But for those who grow weary of the search and have developed a well-tempered skepticism, this little volume may prove invaluable. This is the story of a man who had it all--looks, wealth, culture, fame, travel, career--and gave it all up to find for himself the answer to his burning question, "Is there actually anything like freedom, enlightenment or liberation behind all the abstractions the religions have thrown at us?" He never got an answer.
There are no answers to questions like that. U.G. casts philosophy into an entirely new mold. For him philosophy is neither the love of wisdom nor the avoidance of error, but the disappearance of all philosophical questions. Says U.G.:
When the questions you have resolve themselves into just one question, your question, then that question must detonate, explode and disappear entirely, leaving behind a smoothly functioning biological organism, free of the distortion and interference of the separative thinking structure.
U.G.'s message is a shocking one: we are all on the wrong train, on the wrong track, going in the wrong direction. When the time comes to face up to the catastrophe of man's present crisis, you will find U.G. at the head of the line, ready and able to demolish the carefully built assumptions so dear and consoling to us all. A U.G. sampler: making love is war; cause-and-effect is the shibboleth of confused minds; yoga and health foods destroy the body; the body and not the soul is immortal; there is no communism in Russia, no freedom in America, and no spirituality in India; service to mankind is utter selfishness; Jesus was another misguided Jew; and the Buddha was a crackpot; mutual terror, not love, will save mankind; attending church and going to the bar for a drink are identical; there is nothing inside you but fear; communication is impossible between human beings; God, Love, Happiness, the unconscious, death, reincarnation and the soul are non-existent figments of our rich imagination; Freud is the fraud of the 20th century, while J. Krishnamurti is its greatest phoney.
The man's fearless willingness to brush aside all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the past is nothing short of stupendous. In this regard he is a colossus, a walking and talking "Siva", ready to destroy all so that life can move on with new vigor and freedom. His ruthless, unremitting attack on our most cherished ideas and institutions amounts to no less than an insurrection in consciousness; a corrupt superstructure, tainted at the core, is unceremoniously blown apart and nothing is put in its place. Taking great delight in the act of sheer annihilation, U.G. offers his listeners nothing, but rather, takes away all they have so laboriously and unwittingly accumulated. If the old must be destroyed before the new can be, then U.G. is, indeed, the harbinger of a new beginning for man.
Society, which, as Aldous Huxley pointed out, is organized lovelessness, can make no place for a free man like U.G. Krishnamurti. He does not fit into any known social structure, spiritual or secular. Society, which uses its members as a means to ensure its own continuity, cannot help but be threatened by a man like U.G., a devout disestablishmentarian who has nothing to protect, no following to satisfy, no interest in respectability, and who habitually speaks the most disillusioning truths no matter what the consequences.
U.G. is a 'finished' man. In him there is no search, and therefore no destiny. His life now consists of a series of disjointed events. There is no center to his life, no one 'conducting' his life, no inner shadow, no 'ghost in the machine'. What is there is a calm, smoothly functioning, highly intelligent and responsive biological machine, nothing more. One looks in vain for evidence of a self, psyche or ego; there is only the simple functioning of a sensitive organism. It is little wonder that such a 'finished' man would discard the banal, tarnished commonalities of science, religion, politics, and philosophy and instead bear directly into the heart of matters, presenting his case simply, fearlessly, forcefully, and without corroboration, to any who wish to listen.
The subject of this work, Mr. Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (1) was born of middle-class Brahmin parents on the morning of July 9, 1918, in the village of Masulipatam, South India. As far as we know there were no peculiar events surrounding his birth, celestial or otherwise. His mother died of puerperal fever seven days after giving birth to her first and only child. Upon her death bed she implored the maternal grandfather of the boy to take special care of him, adding that she was certain that he had a great and important destiny before him.
The grandfather took this prediction, and his daughter's request, very seriously, and vowed to give the boy all the advantages of a wealthy Brahmin "prince". The father soon remarried, leaving U.G. to be cared for by the grandparents. The grandfather was an ardent Theosophist and knew J. Krishnamurti, Annie Besant, Col. Alcott, and the other leaders of the Theosophical Society. U.G. was to meet all these people in his youth and was to spend most of his formative years around Adyar, the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society, in Madras, India. U.G. says of that time: "My grandfather kept a sort of open house into which were invited traveling monks and renunciates, religious scholars, pundits, various gurus, mahatmas, and swamis." There were endless discussions on philosophy, comparative religions, occultism, and metaphysics. Every wall of the house was covered with famous Hindu and Theosophical leaders, especially J. Krishnamurti. The boy's childhood was, in short, steeped in religious lore, philosophical discourse, and the influence of various spiritual personages. All this appealed to the boy greatly. He even begged one traveling guru, who arrived with a huge retinue of camels, disciples and attendants, to take him away with him so that he might become a student of his spiritual teaching. The boy U.G. was taken by the grandfather all over India to visit holy places and people, ashramas, retreats, and centers of learning. He spent seven summers in the Himalayas studying classical yoga with a famous adept, Swami Sivananda.
It was in these early years of his life that U.G. began to feel that "something was wrong somewhere," referring to the whole religious tradition into which he had been immersed almost from the beginning. His yoga master, a strict and self-righteous figure of authority, was startled by U.G. when the latter found him devouring some hot pickles forbidden for yogis behind closed doors. U.G., just a boy, said to himself, "How can this man deceive himself and others, pretending to be one thing while doing another?" He gave up his yoga practices, maintaining a healthy skepticism towards all things spiritual on into his adulthood.
More and more he wanted to "do things my way," questioning the authority of others over him. Breaking from the traditions of his Braminic background, he tore from his body the sacred thread, symbol of his religious heritage. He became a young cynic, rejecting the spiritual conventions of his culture and questioning everything for himself. He displayed less and less respect for the religious institutions and customs thought so important by his family and community. In him developed a healthy disdain for his religious inheritance, a disdain which was to develop into an acute sense of what he was later to call "the hypocrisy of the holy business." His grandmother said of him that he "had the heart of a butcher." All this allowed him time to develop the tremendous courage and insight necessary to brush aside the entire psychological and genetic content of his past.
By the age of twenty-one U.G. had become a quasi-atheist, studying secular western philosophy and psychology at the University of Madras. At this juncture he was asked by a friend to go with him to visit the famous "Sage of Arunachala", Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, at his ashram at Tiruvannamalai, not far south of Madras. In the year 1939 U.G. reluctantly went. He was convinced by that time that all holy men were phonies and were taking people for a ride. But to his surprise Ramana Maharshi was different. The Bhagavan, a serene, doe-eyed sage of the highest wisdom and integrity, could not but make a strong impression on the young U.G. He rarely spoke to those who approached him with questions. U.G. approached the Bhagavan with some trepidation and misgivings, putting to the master three questions:
"Is there," asked U.G., "anything like enlightenment?"
"Yes, there is," replied the master.
"Are there any levels to it?"
The Bhagavan replied, "No, no levels are possible. It is all one thing. Either you are there or you are not there at all."
Finally U.G. asked, "This thing called enlightenment, can you give it to me?"
Looking the serious young man in the eyes he replied, "Yes, I can give it, but can you take it?"
From that time on U.G. was haunted by this reply and relentlessly queried himself, "What is it that I can't take?" He resolved then and there that whatever the Maharshi was talking about, he "could take it." He was later to say that this encounter was to change the course of his life and "put me back on the track." He never visited the Bhagavan again. Ramana Maharshi died, incidentally, in 1951, of cancer, and is regarded as one of the greatest sages India has ever produced.
By his mid-twenties sex had become a problem for U.G. Although intermittently vowing to forego sex and marriage in deference to the life of a religious celibate, he eventually reasoned that sex was a natural drive, that it was not wise to suppress it, and that, anyhow, society had provided legitimate institutions to fulfill this urge. He chose as his bride one of three young beautiful Brahmin women his grandmother had selected for him as possible suitable mates. He was to say later, "I awoke the morning after my wedding night and knew without doubt that I had made the biggest mistake of my life." He remained married for seventeen years, fathering four children. From the very beginning he wanted out of the marriage, but somehow children kept coming and the married life continued. His oldest son, Vasant, came down with polio, and U.G. decided to move the family to the United States so that the boy could receive the best treatment. In the process he spent nearly all his fortune that he had received from his grandfather. His hope was that he could get some higher education for his wife, find her a job, and put her in an independent position so that he could go on alone. This he did, finding her a job with the World Book Encyclopedia. By this time his fortune had run out, and he was fed up with being a public speaker (first on behalf of the Theosophical Society and later as an independent platform orator), his marriage was finished, and he was losing interest in the struggle to be somebody in this world. By his early forties he was broke, alone, and all but forgotten by his friends and associates. He began wandering, first in New York City, then in London, where he was reduced to spending his days in the London Library to escape the English winter cold, and giving Indian cooking lessons for a little money. Then on to Paris, where his wanderings continued. Of that period in his life U.G. was later to say,
I was like a leaf blown about by a fickle wind, with neither past nor future, neither family nor career, nor any sort of spiritual fulfillment. I was slowly losing my will power to do anything. I was not rejecting or renouncing the world; it was just drifting away from me and I was unable and unwilling to hold onto it.
Broke and alone, he wandered to Geneva where he had left a few francs in an old account, enough possibly to get him by for a few days. Then that little money ran out, his rent became due, and he was left with nowhere to turn. He decided to go to the Indian Consulate there in Geneva and ask to be repatriated to India. "I had no money, no friends, and no will left. I thought that at least they can't turn me out of India. I am, after all, a citizen. Perhaps I can just sit under a banyan tree somewhere and maybe someone will feed me." So, at the age of forty-five, a complete failure in the eyes of the world, penniless and alone, he walked into the Consulate and begged to be returned to his homeland. He had little choice. This was to be a turning point in his life.
U.G. walked into the Indian Consulate office in Geneva and began telling his sad story to the consul there. The more he talked, the more fascinated the consul became. Soon the whole office was in a hushed silence listening to his remarkable tale. A secretary-translator in the office, Valentine de Kerven (2), was listening intently. Already in her early sixties, she had much experience of the world, and took pity on the strange charismatic man. No one in the office knew what to do with him, so Valentine volunteered to put him up in her place for a few days until the consul could figure out something.
Valentine, no stranger to adversity herself, sympathized with the wandering, destitute man, and soon offered him a home in Europe. She had a small inheritance and pension which was sufficient for them both. U.G., loath to return to India and face his family, friends, and poor prospects, gratefully accepted the offer. The next four years (1963-67) were halcyon days for them. She left her job at the consulate and lived quietly with U.G., moving with the weather to Italy, the south of France, Paris and Switzerland. Later they began spending their winters in south India where things were relatively inexpensive and the weather more benign. During these years U.G., as he later explained, did nothing. "I slept, read the Time Magazine, ate, and went for walks with Valentine or alone. That was all." He was in a sort of incubation period. His search had nearly come to an end. He never mentioned to Valentine the occult powers, spiritual experiences, and religious background which constituted so much of his life. They just lived simply and quietly as private migrating householders.
They took to spending their summer months in the converted attic of a 400-year-old chalet in the charming Swiss village of Saanen, in the Bernese Oberland. For some reason J. Krishnamurti decided to hold a series of talks and gatherings in a huge tent erected on the outskirts of the same little town. Religious seekers, yogis, philosophers, and intellectuals from both the east and the west began showing up in the small town to attend the Krishnamurti talks, to give and take yoga instructions, and confer on matters spiritual and philosophical. U.G. and Valentine kept a respectful distance, not wishing to become part of the growing scene which began to resemble more and more a circus.
In this environment U.G. approached his forty-ninth birthday. The Kowmara Nadi, a famous and respected astrological "record" in Madras, had long ago predicted that U.G. would undergo a profound transformation on his forty-ninth birthday. As the day approached, strange, unaccountable things began occurring to U.G. Something radical and utterly unexpected was about to happen to him.
In his thirty-fifth year U.G. began to get recurring painful headaches, and, not knowing what to do, began taking large amounts of coffee and aspirin to cope with the excruciating pain. At this time also he began to look younger instead of older. By the time he was forty-nine he looked to be a man of seventeen or eighteen years. After the age of forty-nine he began ageing once again, although he still appears much younger than his present sixty-seven years. Between headaches he would go through extraordinary experiences where, as he later described it, "I felt headless like my head was missing." Arising simultaneously with these strange phenomena were the so-called occult powers, or what U.G. refers to as man's natural powers and instincts. A person could walk into the room and U.G., having never met that person, could see his entire past and history as though reading a living autobiography. He could glance at a stranger's palm and instantly know their destiny. All the occult powers began to manifest themselves in him gradually after the age of thirty-five. "I never used these powers for anything; they were just there. I knew they were of no great importance and just let them be."
Things kept building within him, and U.G., concerned she might conclude that he was mad, never mentioned a thing about these extraordinary developments to Valentine, or anyone for that matter. As his forty-ninth birthday approached he began to have what the later referred to as "panoramic vision," a way of seeing in which the field of vision wrapped around the open eyes in a nearly 360-degree spread, while the viewer or observer disappeared entirely and objects moved right through the head and body. The entire organism, unknown to U.G. at the time, was evidently preparing itself for some calamity or transformation of immense proportions. U.G. did nothing.
On the morning of July the 9th, 1967, his forty-ninth birthday, U.G. went with a friend to hear J. Krishnamurti (3) give a public talk in a large tent on the outskirts of Saanen, the village in which U.G. and Valentine had been living for some time. U.G. had contracted with a publisher to write his autobiography. While working on the book, U.G. came to the part describing his association with J. Krishnamurti. He did not remember much of what he had felt towards the elderly revered "World Teacher" of the Theosophical Society. He had not had contact with J. Krishnamurti for many years and had no definite opinion about the man. So he decided to go to hear the morning talk by J. Krishnamurti to sort of "refresh my memory," as he put it. Midway through the talk, U.G., listening to J. Krishnamurti's description of a free man, suddenly realized that it was himself who was being described. "What the hell am I doing listening to someone describe how I am functioning?" Freedom in consciousness became at that moment no longer something "over there", or "out there" , but simply the way he was already physiologically functioning at that very instant. This stunned U.G. so strongly that he left the tent in a somewhat dazed state of mind and walked alone towards his chalet on the other side of the valley. As he approached his chalet he stopped to rest on a small bench which overlooked the beautiful rivers and mountains of Saanen Valley.
While sitting on the bench alone, looking at the green valley and rugged peaks of the Oberland, it occurred to him:
I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, 'Is there enlightenment?' , but have never questioned the search itself. Because I have assumed that goal, enlightenment, exists, I have had to search, and it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end."
At that moment all the questions disappeared and U.G. ceased to act any longer via the separative thought structure. A bit of energy entered his brain through one of the senses and was LEFT ALONE. A bit of energy left alone to vibrate freely, untranslated, uncensored, and unused by a separative, preemptive thought structure is a dangerous thing. It is the very substance of inner anarchy. Being untouched by thought, which is time, it has nowhere to go and can find no escape from the stillness. A tremendous molecular pressure is built up that can have release only in an explosion. That explosion caused within U.G. the collapse of the entire thought structure, and with it the notion of an independent self and an opposing society. He had reached the end of the corridor of opposites; cause and effect ceased altogether. The calamity reached right down to the level of the cells and chromosomes. It was physiological, not psychological, in nature. It implies that at the end of the known is the "Big Bang".
U.G., sitting bewildered and flabbergasted on the little bench, looked down at his body. But this time he looked without the cultural background that identified him as "male, "Indian", "Brahmin", "seeker", "world traveler", "public speaker", "civilized gentleman", "virtuous person", etc. seeing instead a warm-blooded mammal, a calm, harmless, fully-clothed `monkey'. The slate had been miraculously wiped clean, culture and the self had been utterly undone in a twinkling, and what was left was a graceful, simple, well-mannered `ape', aware, intelligent, and free of all pretense and self-absorption. Not having the foggiest notion of what was happening to him, he walked the few feet to his chalet and lay down.
Within hours he felt the contractions at various locations on his body--mostly in the brain and at the locations of the nervous plexuses and certain glands--slacken. The body, no longer choked and suppressed by the accumulated knowledge of the past (the separative thought structure), began a full-scale mutation. Large swellings appeared at various sites, including the pituitary, pineal, and thymus glands, the center of the forehead, and the anterior of the throat. The eyes stopped blinking and tear ducts, heretofore dormant, started to function, lubricating eyes in a new way. Various kundalini experiences manifested themselves, although U.G. refers to these in purely physiological terms. A sort of combustion or "ionization" of the cells occurred on a daily basis, raising the body temperature to incredible heights and throwing off a sort of ash which could easily be seen on his body. Just as a computer "goes down", U.G. "went down" several times a day, slipping into a death state where the heartbeat would nearly cease, the body's temperature would drop to a level just sufficient to sustain life, and the entire body would get very stiff and moribund. Just before the body reached a complete clinical death state, it would somehow "kick on" again, the pulse would quicken, the temperature would rise to normal, and slow stretching movements, similar to a baby's, would manifest themselves. Within minutes he would be back to functioning normally.
This extraordinary mutation U.G. has come to refer to as his "calamity". It was a tremendous shock to the body to have its suppressor, the separative psychic structure, collapse and entirely disappear. There was no longer a psychic coordinator collating, comparing and matching all the sensory input so that it could use the body and its relations for its own separative continuity, Events became disjointed and unrelated. The senses, freed from the "pale cast of thought" began their independent careers, and the useful content of thought and culture dropped as it were into the background, to be brought forth into consciousness, unencumbered by any sentimental or emotional overtones, only when an objective demand is made upon them, and for the smooth functioning of the material organism. The hands and forearms changed their structure, so that now his hands face backward instead of to the sides. His body is now hermaphroditic, a perfect union of animus-anima, and enjoys a sexuality the likes of which we can only guess. His right side responds to women, his left more to men. The natural flow of energy through his body, no longer blocked and dissipated by contractive thought, flows right up from the spine through the brain, and out the top of the head. His biological sensitivity (and there is no other kind) is so acute that the movements of celestial bodies, especially the moon, have a visibly strong effect on him. "To be affectionate does not mean that you are demonstrative or like to compulsively touch others, but, rather, that you are affected by EVERYTHING," he says.
These incredible physiological changes continued on for years. He was so bewildered by what had happened to him that he did not speak for a year after the calamity. He had to practically learn to think and talk all over again, so complete was his mutation. After a year or so he had regained most of his communicative powers, yet he did not speak. "What is there to say after a thing like this?" he asked himself. One day the answer came to him in a flash, "I WILL SAY IT EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS". Except for a year's break in the late '70's, he has been speaking tirelessly ever since. Of all this U.G. now says:
I did not know what was happening to me. I had no reference point at all. Somehow I died and came back to life free of my past, and thank God for that. This thing happened without my volition and DESPITE my religious background, and that is a miracle. It cannot be used as a model and be duplicated by others.
What U.G. is describing in these pages--his natural state--does not represent a new way of living, for living is for us actually a way of getting what we want. If we change, it is only to get what we want in a different way. Here, with U.G., all wanting beyond basic survival and procreation, is wiped out. Other than the simple bodily necessities, wanting things from other people ceases. ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL WANTS ARE WITHOUT FOUNDATION. This is U.G.'s disarming message: To seek through him any psychological satisfaction or any sort of spiritual gain, is to miss the point entirely.
For these reasons U.G. has NOT founded schools, "ashramas", or meditation centers. He has no teaching to protect or disseminate. He has no following, gives no public talks, mounts no platforms, writes no strictures, offers no practice or sadhana of any kind, and offers no solutions to man's mounting problems. He is a private citizen, living in a house by the side of the road, talking informally with those who, for whatever reason, appear at his door. No one is asked to come and no one is asked to leave. His life and teaching is writ on water, and the attempt by anyone to save, purify or institutionalize his message is a denial of all he is so fearlessly saying, and, therefore, absurd.
"I have no message for mankind," says U.G. "But of one thing I am certain, I cannot help you solve your basic dilemma or save you from self-deception, and IF I CAN'T HELP YOU, NO ONE CAN."
The editor hopes that this volume of conversations may serve, along with the first of U.G.'s books, "The Mystique of Enlightenment,", to introduce readers to an uncommon man in an uncommon time, a man so ordinary and uncorrupted that he refused the exalted role of redeemer or world teacher, and instead points out, with indomitable courage and uncompromising integrity, the only real savior of man--that paradoxical freedom which is at once both uncomplaining self-reliance AND unfrightened self-abandonment.Terry Newland
(1) The family name is Uppaluri, while the given name is Krishnamurti, given to him after his grandfather's name, and which means, in Sanskrit "the very image of Krishna. It is a common name for boys in south India and indicates no family relationship between him and the famous teacher and author, J. Krishnamurti.
(2) Valentine was a remarkable woman in her own right. Born in Switzerland in August, 1901, the daughter of a famous Swiss brain surgeon (after whom the deKerven's Syndrome is named), she crossed the Sahara Desert on a motorcycle, was the first woman to wear pants in Paris, was the first woman movie producer in France, and tried (unsuccessfully) to join the fight against Franco's fascists in Spain. At this writing she has been U.G.'s friend and fellow traveler for twenty-three years. She is 84 years old at this writing and still travels all over the world with U.G. --a real trooper.
(3) There seems to be some kind of connection between U.G. and the famous philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. Born in May, 1895, not far from U.G.'s place of birth, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, south India, J. Krishnamurti was "discovered" by Annie Besant, the well-known President of the Theosophical Society. She and others in the Society became convinced that the little Brahmin boy was the new world teacher, or gadget-guru. Setting him up at the head of a worldwide organization dedicated to propagation of his teaching, he was soon traveling the world talking on his general theme of individual freedom through awareness, unbiased inquiry, and intense scrutiny of what is. He apparently underwent some sort of profound psycho-physical transformation in his early thirties in Ojai, California. He soon thereafter broke, at least formally, with the Theosophical Society and the Order of the Star, the principal organizations that embraced and promoted his messiahhood, and began a new life as a private citizen. For many years he lived quietly, counseling individuals, giving a few informal talks, and participating in educational work. In the late '50's his books "The First and Last Freedom" and "Commentaries of Living" created a minor sensation and a much larger and more generalized following. He rejected any leadership role, as well as attempts to institutionalize his teaching, to his unqualified good credit. In the late '60's he and others launched the huge Krishnamurti Foundation, headquartered in Brockwood Park, England. He now heads a worldwide religious corporation, publishing books and tapes, running schools, and conducting gatherings.
The similarities between U.G. Krishnamurti and J. Krishnamurti are, according to the former, illusory. "Other than our names," says U.G., "I don't think we have anything in common." They were both born into Brahmin, Theosophical, south Indian families; they both were long associated with the Theosophical community, especially at Adyar Madras, the religion's world headquarters; they both use similar language in denouncing the prevailing theological and psychological assumptions of both the east and the west; they live in the same places in the world at approximately the same time; they both, whether they approve or not, have a devoted following, each indubitably convinced that their man is unique among teachers.
I do not know J. Krishnamurti's thoughts, if he has any, on U.G. But the latter's view of the former may be of interest to those wishing to contrast these two powerful and unique figures. In his youth, U.G. was surrounded by admirers of J. Krishnamurti, and himself developed a profound, though not unmixed, respect for the man. U.G. was later to say, "I thought that he might be the only one who had really freed himself from his background and had found what I was looking for. For a time I and my wife visited him in Madras. We had long serious talks, but got nowhere. I was left with the feeling that he had seen the sugar cube, but had never tasted the sugar cube." Whatever J. Krishnamurti's state, it was clear that he could be of no help to U.G. After his calamity U.G. took a hard line against the older man, calling him "the greatest fraud of the 20th Century," and "a purveyor of archaic, outmoded, outdated, Victorian hogwash." He has never questioned the man's personal integrity, but feels that he has contradicted the very fundamentals of his own teaching. "He denounces systems and opens meditation schools, talks of the crippling effects of conditioning then runs schools which foster more conditioning, talks of simplicity and builds worldwide real estate organizations; says you must be on your own, then takes measures to preserve his teachings for the future," says U.G. Further, U.G. insists that J. Krishnamurti has subtly enticed people into believing in a spiritual goal, a goal which moreover can be reached through specific techniques--"passive awareness", "free inquiry", "direct perception", "skepticism", etc. J. Krishnamurti talks of transformations in consciousness, while U.G. rejects the idea of transformation altogether. "There is nothing to be transformed, no psyche to revolutionize, and no awareness you can use to improve or change yourself," says U.G.