By Life Positive December 2002 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 ‘UG is totally gigested in my system’ Vijay Anand, film-makerIf you ask me about UG, I wouldn’t know what to say. Firstly, I am not competent to talk about him and secondly I cannot become a mediator between UG and you. Most people are likely to misunderstand if you talk about him. UG is totally digested in my system.I don’t miss him and there are times when I want to meet him not as a teacher, but as a human being. Every time he comes, there is one question I ask. I keep looking for meaning because the question has mingled with my life. Whenever he comes, he spends a lot of time with me. He wastes his time purposely since he is at a stage where he considers these talks as nonsense.To some people, they are mere entertainment. For me it is a serious a matter. He doesn’t realise how impressionable the human mind is. I had to go and stop everybody to ask my question: ‘‘There is a contradiction in you. While you say both A and B, they don’t match. Where do you stand?’’ The answer he gave had no relevance to the question asked. But something happened suddenly. The question fell off just like that. I wish he would clarify a lot of mess about religion. I feel there is a basis to a lot of things that have happened in this country. He has to make fun of them and destroy them before he finds the real meaning.But he is never going to do it (clarify things), because it is dangerous. If a man of tradition comes to ask a question and UG’s answer is not in the negative, he sticks to that tradition, which UG dreads.He wants to destroy old traditions. He is the greatest non-teacher teacher of this world. He doesn’t want to be a teacher and give you everything. Instead he wants to take away everything. He refers to all knowledge as garbage because it is destructive to us. But the tragedy is that if the garbage is removed out of you, the world too moves out of you. You become garbage to the world and the world starts appearing as garbage. So the feelings we harbour about ourselves as better human beings, more spiritual, having questions and being seekers are all nonsense and hence fall off. When it falls off, what remains with you is the misery of your own existence. For 99 per cent of the people, the drive goes away. That kind of a revolution can be brought about by a few people with great understanding. Our understanding has been torn apart by UG but you can’t see him doing that. His words will haunt you later. You are not conscious of the fact but somewhere they are working on you. Later, when you pick up the same questions in a UG book, you can read only half a page and throw it off as garbage. Even UG looks like garbage most of the time. If I never see UG again, I will have no regrets. I think UG has done his work on me. I have got (rather I have lost) what I should have lost. I am a content man. The greatest fortune in my life was that I met a man called UG. Otherwise, my life would have been a total waste. 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. Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org – Susmita Saha They don’t know if he is a teacher. They don’t know if he is a friend. They sometimes even wonder if he comes close to being an enemy. And yet, people flock to him wherever he goes. Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti defies all ideas of God, enlightenment, soul, religion, mind and even politics. Yet, he is counted among the leading contemporary gurus and thinkers of India. Although he vehemently denies having anything worthwhile to say, and scarcely offers hope, his candid statements seem to show many the mirror. He has therefore been referred to as ‘the anti guru’, the ‘un-guru’, the ‘seer with no solutions’, ‘the thinker who shuns thought’ and even ‘the anti-Krishnamurti’ (referring to J. Krishnamurti, UG’s better known contemporary). ‘Everything he does is the mirror-image of what a guru does-in reverse. He turns everything upside down. That is part of the attraction for people,’ says Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson in The Courage to Stay Alone (Smriti Books). Sometimes referred to as a ‘spiritual terrorist’, UG gives no lectures, believes in no methods and does not have a fixed address. He gave up everything in life to embark on a lone quest to seek out the answer to his question: ‘Is there actually anything like freedom, enlightenment or liberation behind all the abstractions that religions have thrown at us?’ He did not get an answer. But at one point something happened, which he calls a ‘calamity’, after which all seeking dropped. UG: People throw questions at me like they would stones at dogs. Like the dog, my response is also to bark. I am merely barking, which you translate into meaningful language. Listener: I am sorry, I can’t believe you. UG: You take my word for this. I won’t mind even if you don’t. The thought of being different from all of you never enters my mind. You and I (living organisms) are functioning in exactly the same way. Similarly, the eyes of the seer (I am not using the term in the spiritual or metaphysical sense) can see things in exactly the same way, unless there is a problem like cataract in the eyes. They see nothing. So, I sit here, look at the top of the mountain and the sky behind. It is far for the physical eye and it cannot see the space there. We are bound by frames. The listening mechanism operates in frames. When you are on the phone, you are listening to someone on the other end. Thus, when I talk, you can’t listen. Everybody is preoccupied. Sight, too, operates in different frames. When you describe something as beautiful, your sight has already framed it. For you, it is only in a frame. The only person who says it is beautiful
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