With his volatile reactions to the concept of spirituality, U.G. Krishnamurti attacks the entire foundation of human thought. Yet, he has left a deep impact on many lives. The following are extracts from conversations UG has had with people who sought him out
Magical encounterEarly in his life, US-born Robert Carr was hooked on to questions of life and death and to magical experiences that were to forge his relationship with the ancient and mystical India.
Uninterested in a run-of-the-mill career, the young Carr was: ‘‘On a trajectory that opened doors to a world not part of the social fabric in which I had grown up.’’ Further encounters with unusual people made him walk the ‘road not taken’.
He reflects on his initiation into spirituality: ‘‘After I decided to leave college, I discovered that my mother was fighting a losing battle with cancer. As she hovered close to death, I sighted a whirling bluish light which suddenly appeared as I helped my father gather clothes in the backyard. Surprisingly, the light was not visible to him.’’
His mother passed away that night but the light had ushered in immense tranquillity. Carr left his job at a Swiss-style ski-resort to participate in the spiritual sessions at the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre and met leaders of the Theosophical Society.
At the Society, he was introduced to the ideas of J. Krishnamurti, which were to lead him to his eventual destination, UG. An impending trip to Switzerland and the knowledge that JK was in Saanen (a town in the French Alps) egged Carr and his friends on their spiritual quest.
Carr describes JK as choosing his words carefully so as to make an impact. He recalls that though he talked about the confusion in the mind and the world being the outcome of that confusion, it was not comforting to the conscience. His subsequent talks on meditation provoked thousands of questions in Carr’s mind.
And it was at this juncture of ambiguity and intense confusion that he met UG. He found UG an unusual Indian. Their various meetings gave Carr insights into facets of his character. UG’s comments about JK revealed the dichotomy in their relationship.
Sometimes JK was described as a ‘generator’, otherwise people were chided with: ‘‘Why do you go and hear him? He can’t help you.’’ While recounting his childhood, UG shed light on the way his thought process had evolved.
The death of his mother while giving birth to him, his belonging to an influential family, being part of the esoteric The White Lotus section, studying yoga under Swami Sivananda, all contributed to the making of UG.
UG’s renunciation of yoga and meditation disturbed Carr. According to UG, the whole thing was merely a projection of the mind. UG debunked the idea of spirituality. UG’s scepticism towards gurus and the Indian traditional approach also left a deep imprint on Carr’s mind, ending the first phase of his interaction with UG in 1967.
Even so, his regard for UG endured: ‘‘He gets into your life, and there is no way you can dismiss him and what he says. At a given moment, he is meek and gentle with a loving expression, and the next moment he is a cyclone that blows everything down, leaving you with nothing to hold on to.’’
After his varied experiences in life, the only thought that sustains Carr is that spiritual masters only make man repeat what he has learnt as answers to his questions. Hoping that a concept will transport one to a different plane of existence is merely an illusion.
What remains at the end is the simple fact that there is no communication. We are left with the awareness that there is no original consciousness either and as Carr puts it: ‘‘The slate is clean.’’ Now 74, Carr has just published a book about his life and experiences, titled Godmen and Conmen, in which connection he was in Delhi recently.
Godmen and Conmen, by Robert Carr, Smriti Books. The book is accompanied by a free VCD of conversations with UG.
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- Susmita Saha
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