Mystique of Enlightenment
The unrational ideas of a man called U.G.
Edited by RODNEY ARMS
This is the first part of a four-part book. It
has been reproduced from the U.G.
Krishnamurti website where all
four parts can be read.
copyright notice: 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.
Compiled from conversations in India and Switzerland,
1973 to 1976.
UG: You see, I maintain that -- I don't
know, whatever you call this; I don't like to use
the words 'enlightenment,' 'freedom,' 'moksha'
or 'liberation'; all these words are loaded
words, they have a connotation of their own -- this
cannot be brought about through any effort of yours;
it just happens. And why it happens to one individual
and not another, I don't know.
So, it happened to you?
It happened to me.
In my forty-ninth year.
you do in the direction of whatever you are after
-- the pursuit or search for truth or reality -- takes
you away from your own very natural state, in which
you always are. It's not something you can
acquire, attain or accomplish as a result of your
effort -- that is why I use the word `acausal'. It
has no cause, but somehow the search come to an end.
You think, Sir, that it is not the result of the search?
I ask because I have heard that you studied philosophy,
that you were associated with religious people ...
You see, the search takes you away from yourself --
it is in the opposite direction -- it has absolutely
In spite of it, it has happened, not because of it?
In spite of it -- yes, that's the word. All
that you do makes it impossible for what already is
there to express itself. That is why I call this 'your
natural state'. You're always in that state. What
prevents what is there from expressing itself in its
own way is the search. The search is always in
the wrong direction, so all that you consider
very profound, all that you consider sacred,
is a contamination in that consciousness. You may
not (Laughs) like the word 'contamination',
but all that you consider sacred, holy and
profound is a contamination.
nothing that you can do. It's not in your hands. I
don't like to use the word 'grace', because if you
use the word 'grace', the grace of whom? You are not
a specially chosen individual; you deserve this, I
don't know why.
were possible for me, I would be able to help somebody.
This is something which I can't give, because
you have it. Why should I give it to you? It
is ridiculous to ask for a thing which you already
But I don't feel it, and you do.
No, it is not a question of feeling it, it
is not a question of knowing it; you will never know.
You have no way of knowing that at all for yourself;
it begins to express itself. There is no conscious....
You see, I don't know how to put it. Never does the
thought that I am different from anybody come into
Has it been so from the beginning, ever since you
became conscious of yourself?
No, I can't say that. I was after something
-- like anybody else brought up in the religious atmosphere
-- searching for something, pursuing something. So,
to answer that question is not easy, because I'll
have to go into the whole background. Maybe it comes,
I don't know. (Laughs)
Just out of curiosity, like Nachiketa, I am very interested
in knowing how these things have happened to you personally,
to the extent you are aware of.
You see, that's a long story; it's not so simple.
We would like to hear it.
No, you see, I will have to tell you about my whole
life -- it will take me a long time. My life story
goes up to a point, and then it stops -- there is
no more biography after that.
biographers who are interested in writing my biography
have two different approaches. One says that what
I did -- the sadhana (spiritual exercises), education, the whole background -- put me
there. I say it was in spite of all that. (Laughter)
The other biographer isn't much interested in my statement
'in spite of', because there isn't much material for
him to write a big volume. (Laughter) They are more interest in that. The publishers too are
interested in that kind of thing. That is very natural
because you are operating in a field where the cause
and effect relationship always operates -- that is
why you are interested in finding out the cause, how
this kind of a thing happened. So, we are back where
we started, square number one: we are still concerned
is worthless: it can't be a model for anybody,
because your background is unique. Every event in
your life is something unique in its own way. Your
conditions, your environment, your background -- the
whole thing is different. Every event in your life
I don't seek a model to give to the rest of the world
-- I'm not asking from that angle. We see a star,
we see the sun, we see the moon -- it is like that;
not that I would like to imitate you. It may be relevant,
who knows? That is why I said I am Nachiketa here:
I don't want to leave without knowing the truth from
You need a Yama Dharmaraja to answer your questions.
If you don't mind, you be Yama Dharmaraja.
I don't mind. Help me. You see, I'm helpless, I don't
know where to begin. Where to end, I know. (Laughter)
I think I will have to tell the whole story of my
We don't mind listening.
It doesn't come.
You need to be inspired.
I am not inspired, and I am the last person
to inspire anybody. I will have to tell you, to satisfy
your curiosity, the other side, the shoddy side of
was born 9 July 1918 in South India into an upper-middle-class
Brahmin family. The family name being Uppaluri, he
was given the name Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti. His
mother died soon after his birth, and he was brought
up by his maternal grandparents in the small town
of Gudivada near Masulipatam.)
brought up in a very religious atmosphere. My grandfather
was a very cultured man. He knew Blavatsky (the
founder of the Theosophical Society) and Olcott,
and then, later on, the second and third generation
of Theosophists. They all visited our house. He was
a great lawyer, a very rich man, a very cultured man
and, very strangely, a very orthodox man. He was a
sort of mixed-up kid: orthodoxy, tradition on one
side, and then the opposite, Theosophy and the whole
thing, on the other side. He failed to establish a
balance. That was the beginning of my problem.
was often told that his mother had said, just before
she died, that he "was born to a destiny immeasurably
high." His grandfather took this very seriously and
gave up his law practice to devote himself to UG's
upbringing and education. His grandparents and their
friends were convinced that he was a yoga bhrashta,
one who had come within inches of enlightenment in
his past life.)
learned men on his pay-roll, and he dedicated himself,
for some reason -- I don't want to go into the whole
business -- to create a profound atmosphere for me
and to educate me in the right way, inspired by the
Theosophists and the whole lot. And so, every morning
those fellows would come and read the Upanishads,
Panchadasi, Nyshkarmya Siddhi, the
commentaries, the commentaries on commentaries, the
whole lot, from four o'clock to six o'clock, and this
little boy of five, six or seven years -- I don't
know -- had to listen to all that crap. So much so
that by the time I reached my seventh year I could
repeat most of those things, the passages from the
Panchadasi, Nyshkarmya Siddhi and this, that and the
other. So many holy men visited my house -- the Ramakrishna
Order and the others; you name it, and those fellows
had somehow visited that house -- that was an open
house for every holy man. So, one thing I discovered
when I was quite young was that they were all hypocrites:
they said something, they believed something, and
their lives were shallow, nothing. That was
the beginning of my search.
used to meditate. (He is dead, and I don't want to
say anything bad about him.) He used to meditate for
one or two hours in a separate meditation room. One
day a little baby, one and a half or two years old,
started crying for some reason. That chap came down
and started beating the child, and the child almost
turned blue -- and this man, you see, meditating two
hours every day. "Look! What is this he has done?"
That posed a sort of (I don't want to use the psychological
term, but there is no escape from it) a traumatic
experience -- "There must be something funny about
the whole business of meditation. Their lives are
shallow, empty. They talk marvelously, express things
in a very beautiful way, but what about their lives?
There is this neurotic fear in their lives: they say
something, but it doesn't operate in their lives.
What is wrong with them?" -- not that I sat in judgement
over those people.
went on and on and on, so I got involved with these
things: "Is there anything to what they profess --
the Buddha, Jesus, the great teachers? Everybody is
talking about moksha, liberation, freedom.
What is that? I want to know for myself. These are
all useless fellows, yet there must be some person
in this world who is an embodiment and apostle of
all those things. If there is one, I want to find
out for myself."
many things happened. There was one man called Sivananda
Saraswati in those days -- he was the evangelist of
Hinduism. Between the ages of fourteen and twenty-
one (I am skipping many of the unnecessary events)
I used to go there and meet him very often, and I
did everything, all the austerities. I was so young,
but I was determined to find out if there was any
such thing as moksha, and I wanted that moksha
for myself. I wanted to prove to myself and to
everybody that there cannot be any hypocrisy in such
people -- "These are all hypocrites" -- so I practiced
yoga, I practiced meditation, studied everything.
I experienced every kind of experience that the books
talked about -- samadhi, super-samadhi,
nirvikalpa samadhi, everything. Then I said
to myself "Thought can create any experience
you want -- bliss, beatitude, ecstasy, melting away
into nothingness -- all those experiences. So, this
can't be the thing, because I'm the same person, mechanically
doing these things. Meditations have no value for
me. This is not leading me anywhere."
you see, sex became a tremendous problem for me, a
young human boy: "This is something natural, a biological
thing, an urge in the human body. Why do these people
all want to deny this sex and suppress something very
natural, something which is part of the whole thing,
in order to get something else? This is more real,
more important to me than moksha and liberation
and all that. This is a reality -- I think of gods
and goddesses and I have wet-dreams -- I have this
kind of a thing. Why should I feel guilty? It's something
natural; I have no control over this kind of thing
happening. Meditation has not helped me, study has
not helped me, my disciplines have not helped me.
I never touch salt, I never touch chilies or any spices."
Then one day I found this man Sivananada eating mango
pickles behind closed doors -- "Here is a man who
has denied himself everything in the hope of getting
something, but that fellow cannot control himself.
He is a hypocrite" -- I don't want to say anything
bad about him -- "This kind of life is not for me."
Between your fourteenth and twenty-first year, you
say, you felt a great urge for sex. Did you marry
No, I didn't rush; I allowed that. I wanted
to experience the sex urge: "Suppose you don't do
anything, what happens to that?" I wanted to understand
this whole business: "Why do I want to indulge in
these auto-eroticisms? I don't know anything about
sex -- then, why is it that I have all kinds of images
of sex?" This was my inquiry, this was my meditation;
not sitting in lotus posture or standing on my head.
"How am I able to form these images?" -- I never went
to a movie, I never looked at, you know, now you have
all kinds of posters --"How is it? This is something
inside, not put in from outside. The outside is stimulating
-- stimulation comes from outside. But there is another
kind of stimulation from inside -- this is more important
to me. I can cut out all that external stimulation
successfully, but how can I cut out this from inside?"
I wanted to find this out.
I was also interested in finding out what this sex
experience was. Although I myself had not experienced
sex, I seemed to know what that sex experience was
like. This went on and on and on. I did not rush to
have sex with a woman or anything; I allowed things
to happen in their own way. That was a time when I
didn't want to marry. My aim was to become an ascetic,
a monk, and all that kind of thing -- not marriage
-- but things happened and I said to myself "If it
is a question of satisfying your sex urge, why not
marry? That is what society is there for. Why should
you go and have sex with some woman? You can have
a natural expression of sex in marriage."
at a point when I was twenty-one where I felt very
strongly that all teachers -- Buddha, Jesus, Sri Ramakrishna,
everybody -- kidded themselves, deluded themselves
and deluded everybody. This, you see, could not be
the thing at all -- "Where is the state that these
people talk about and describe? That description seems
to have no relation to me, to the way I am functioning.
Everybody says "Don't get angry" --- I am angry all
the time. I m full of brutal activities inside, so
that is false. What these people are telling me I
should be is something false, and because it is false
it will falsify me. I don't want to live the life
of a false person. I am greedy, and non-greed is what
they are talking about. There is something wrong somewhere.
This greed is something real, something natural to
me; what they are talking about is unnatural. So,
something is wrong somewhere. But I am not ready to
change myself, to falsify myself, for the sake of
being in a state of non-greed; my greed is a reality
to me." I lived in the midst of people who talked
of these things everlastingly -- everybody was false,
I can tell you. So, somehow, what you call 'existentialist
nausea' (I didn't use those words at the time, but
now I happen to know these terms, revulsion against
everything sacred and everything holy, crept into
my system and threw everything out: "No more slokas,
no more religion, no more practices -- there isn't
anything there; but what is here is something natural.
I am a brute, I am a monster, I am full of violence
-- this is reality. I am full of desire. Desirelessness,
non-greed, non-anger -- those things have no meaning
to me; they are false, and they are not only false,
they are falsifying me." So I said to myself "I'm
finished with the whole business," but it is not that
simple, you see.
came along, and we were discussing all these things.
He found me practically an atheist (but not a practicing
atheist), skeptical of everything, heretical down
to my boots. He said "There is one man here, somewhere
in Madras at Tiruvannamalai, called Ramana Maharshi.
Come on, let's go and see that man. Here is a living
human embodiment of the Hindu tradition."
want to see any holy man. If you have seen one, you
have seen them all. I never shopped around, went around
searching for people, sitting at the feet of the masters,
learning something; because everybody tells you "Do
more and more of the same thing, and you will get
it." What I got were more and more experiences, and
then those experiences demanded permanence -- and
there is no such thing as permanence. So, "The holy
men are all phonies -- they are telling me only what
is there in the books. That I can read -- 'Do the
same again and again' -- that I don't want. Experiences
I don't want. They are trying to share an experience
with me. I'm not interested in experience. As far
as experience goes, for me there is no difference
between the religious experience and the sex experience
or any other experience; the religious experience
is like any other experience. I am not interested
in experiencing Brahman; I am not interested
in experiencing reality; I am not interested in experiencing
truth. They might help others; but they cannot help
me. I'm not interested in doing more of the same;
what I have done is enough. At school if you want
to solve a mathematical problem, you repeat it again
and again -- you solve the mathematical problem, and
you discover that the answer is in the problem. So,
what the hell are you doing, trying to solve the problem?
It is easier to find the answer first instead of going
through all this."
hesitatingly, unwilling, I went to see Ramana Maharshi.
That fellow dragged me. He said "Go there once. Something
will happen to you." He talked about it and gave me
a book, Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton,
so I read the chapter relating to this man -- "All
right, I don't mind, let me go and see." That man
was sitting there. From his very presence I felt "What!
This man -- how can he help me? This fellow who is
reading comic strips, cutting vegetables, playing
with this, that or the other -- how can this man help
me? He can't help me." Anyway, I sat there. Nothing
happened; I looked at him, and he looked at
me. "In his presence you feel silent, your questions
disappear, his look changes you" -- all that remained
a story, fancy stuff to me. I sat there. There were
a lot of questions inside, silly questions -- so,
"The questions have not disappeared. I have been sitting
here for two hours, and the questions are still there.
All right, let me ask him some questions" -- because
at that time I very much wanted moksha. This
part of my background, moksha, I wanted. "You
are supposed to be a liberated man" -- I didn't say
that. "Can you give me what you have?" -- I asked
him this question, but that man didn't answer, so
after some lapse of time I repeated that question
-- "I am asking 'Whatever you have, can you give it
to me?'" He said, "I can give you, but can you take
it?" Boy! For the first time this fellow says
that he has something and that I can't take it. Nobody
before had said "I can give you," but this man said
"I can give you, but can you take it?" Then I said
to myself "If there is any individual in this world
who can take it, it is me, because I have done so
much sadhana, seven years of sadhana. He
can think that I can't take it, but I can take it.
If I can't take it, who can take it?" - -- that was
my frame of mind at the time -- you know, (Laughs) I was so confident of myself.
stay with him, I didn't read any of his books, so
I asked him a few more questions: "Can one be free
sometimes and not free sometimes?" He said "Either
you are free, or you are not free at all." There was
another question which I don't remember. He answered
in a very strange way: "There are no steps leading
you to that." But I ignored all these things. These
questions didn't matter to me -- the answers didn't
interest me at all.
question "Can you take it?" ... "How arrogant he is!"
-- that was my feeling. "Why can't I take it, whatever
it is? What is it that he has?" -- that was my question,
a natural question. So, the question formulated itself:
"What is that state that all those people - - Buddha,
Jesus and the whole gang -- were in? Ramana is in
that state -- supposed to be, I don't know -- but
that chap is like me, a human being. How is he different
from me? What others say or what he is saying is of
no importance to me; anybody can do what he is doing.
What is there? He can't be very much different from
me. He was also born from parents. He has his own
particular ideas about the whole business. Some people
say something happened to him, but how is he different
from me? What is there: What is that state?"
-- that was my fundamental question, the basic question
-- that went on and on and on. "I must find out what
that state is. Nobody can give that state; I am on
my own. I have to go on this uncharted sea without
a compass, without a boat, with not even a raft to
take me. I am going to find out for myself what the
state is in which that man is." I wanted that very
much, otherwise I wouldn't have given my life.
This giving-taking business, I don't understand.
I can't say anything about what he meant when he said
"I can give it, but can you take it?" but in a way
that helped me to formulate my own question. You see,
if somebody were to ask me a similar question now,
I would say there isn't anything to get from anybody.
Who am I to give it to you? You have what I have.
We are all at 25 Sannidhi Street, and you are asking
me "Where is 25 Sannidhi Street?" I say you are there.
Not that I know I am there. This wanting to know where
you are -- you are asking that question.
says he never again visited Ramana or any of "those
religious people," and never again touched any religious
book except to study for his philosophy examinations.)
real search began. All my religious background was
there in me. Then I started exploring. For some years
I studied psychology and also philosophy (Eastern
and Western), mysticism, all the modern sciences --
everything, the whole area of human knowledge, I started
exploring on my own. The search went on and on and
on, and "What is that state?" was my question, and
the question had an intensity of its own. So, "All
this knowledge doesn't satisfy me. Why read all this?"
Psychology was one of my subjects for a Master's degree
-- unfortunately, at that time it was part of our
syllabus. I was interested in psychology for the simple
reason that the mind had always intrigued me: "Where
is this mind? I want to know something about it. Here,
inside of me, I don't see any mind, but all these
books talk of mind. Come on, let me see what the Western
psychologists have to say about the mind." One day
I asked my professor "We are talking about the mind
all the time. Do you know for yourself what the mind
is? We are studying so many books -- Freud, Jung,
Adler and the whole gang. All that stuff I know --
I read the definitions and descriptions that are there
in the books -- but do you yourself know anything
about the mind?" He said "Don't ask such inconvenient
questions. (Laughter) They are
very dangerous questions. If you want to pass the
examination, just take down these notes, memorize
them, and repeat them in the answer papers -- you
will get your degree." "I am not interested in a degree;
I am interested in finding out about the mind."
grandfather died, and UG left the University of Madras
without completing his degree. In 1943 he married.)
got involved with the Theosophical Society, because
of my background. I inherited the Theosophical Society,
J. Krishnamurti and a lot of money from my grandfather.
So that made it easy for me: plenty of money was there
at that time -- fifty or sixty thousand dollars --
so I could do all this kind of thing. I got involved
with the Theosophical Society as a lecturer (and
eventually UG was elected Joint General Secretary
of the Society in India), but my heart was
not in it -- "All this is second-hand information.
What is the point of giving lectures?" I was a very
good speaker at that time, but not now any more. I
was a first-class speaker, lecturing everywhere, on
every platform. I addressed every university in India.
"This is not something real to me. Anybody who has
brains can gather this information and then throw
it out. What am I doing? Why am I wasting my time?
This is not my living, not my means of livelihood.
If it is your living, all right, then I can understand,
you repeat like a parrot and make a living; but this
is not my living. And yet, I am interested in something,
I am interested in that kind of a thing."
the late 1940's, towards the end of UG's time with
the Theosophical Society) J. Krishnamurti arrived
on the scene. He had just returned from the United
States and started his new kind of....
Are your related to Krishnamurti?
'Krishnamurti' is only a given name, not
a family name. His family name is Jiddu -- 'Krishnamurti'
is quite a common name -- Jiddu Krishnamurti.
involved with him. I listened to him for some seven
years, every time he came. I never met him personally,
because the whole 'World Teacher' business and all
that created some kind of a distance. "How can a World
Teacher be created? World Teachers are born, not made"
-- that was my kind of make-up. I knew the whole background,
the whole business. I was not part of the inner circle;
I was always on the periphery, I never wanted to involve
myself. There was the same hypocrisy there too, in
the sense that there was nothing in their lives; they
were shallow -- the scholars, master-minds and remarkable
people. "What is this? What is there behind?"
came along and, after seven years, circumstances brought
us together. I met him every day -- we discussed the
whole thing. I was not interested in his abstractions
at all. His teaching did not interest me at all. I
told him once "You have picked up the psychological
jargon of the day, and you are trying to express something
through this jargon. You adopt analysis and arrive
at the point that analysis is not it. This kind of
analysis is only paralyzing people; it is not helping
people. It is paralyzing me." My question was the
same question: "What is it that you have? The
abstractions that you are throwing at me, I am not
interested in. Is there anything behind the abstractions?
What is that? Somehow I have a feeling -- I can't
say why -- that what is behind the abstractions you
are throwing out is what I am interested in. For some
reason I have a feeling -- it may be my own projection
-- you (to give a familiar, traditional simile) may
not have tasted the sugar, but at lest you seem to
have looked at the sugar. The way you are describing
things gives me the feeling that you have at least
seen the sugar, but I am not certain that you
have tasted the sugar."
struggled for years and years. (Laughs)
There were some personal differences between us. I
wanted some straight, honest answers from him, which
he did not give, for his own reasons. He was very
defensive -- he was defending something. "What is
there for you to defend? Hang your past, the whole
thing on a tree and leave it to the people. Why do
you want to defend yourself?" I wanted some straight,
honest answers about his background, which he didn't
give me in a satisfactory way. And then, towards the
end, I insisted, "Come on, is there anything behind
the abstractions which you are throwing at me?" And
that chappie said "You have no way of knowing it
for yourself." Finish -- that was the end of our relationship,
you see -- "If I have no way of knowing it, you have
no way of communicating it. What the hell are we doing?
I've wasted seven years. Goodbye, I don't want to
see you again." Then I walked out.
was probably about this time that UG was puzzled by
the appearance of certain psychic powers.)
my forty-ninth ear I had so many powers, so many experiences,
but I didn't pay any attention to them. The moment
I saw a man, I could see the entire past, present
and future of that man without his telling me anything.
I didn't use them; I was wondering, puzzled,
you see -- "Why do I have this power?" Sometimes
I said things, and they always happened. I couldn't
figure out the mechanism of that -- I tried to --
"How is it possible for me to say something like that?"
They always happened. I didn't pay with it. Then it
had certain unpleasant consequences and created suffering
for some people.
was travelling all over the world, still lecturing.
In 1955 he and his wife and four children moved to
the United States in search of treatment for his eldest
son's polio. By 1961 his money was finished, and he
felt beginning within him a tremendous upheaval which
he could not and did not wish to control, and which
was to last six years and end with the 'calamity'
(as he calls his entry into the natural state). His
marriage broke up. He put his family on a plane to
India, and he went to London. He arrived penniless
and began roaming the city. For three years he lived
idly in the streets. His friends saw him as heading
on a headlong course downhill, but he says that at
the time his life seemed perfectly natural to him.
Later, religious-minded people were to use the mystics'
phrase 'the dark night of the soul' to describe those
years, but in his view there was "no heroic struggle
with temptation and worldliness, no soul-wrestling
with urges, no poetic climaxes, but just a simple
withering away of the will.")
as if there was no head for me after that: "Where
is my head? Do I have a head or not? The head seems
to be there. Where do these thoughts come from?" --
this was my question. The head was absent, and only
this part was moving around. There was no will to
do anything: it was like a leaf blown here, there
and everywhere, living a shoddy life. It went on and
on and on. Finally -- I don't know what happened --
one day I said to myself "This kind of life is no
good." I was a bum practically, living on the charity
of some people and not knowing anything. There was
no will -- I didn't know what I was doing -- I was
practically insane. I was in London, wandering in
the streets -- no place to live -- wandering in the
streets all night. The policemen always stopped me:
"Don't you have a place? We will put you in the nick."
So, that was the kind of life I led. Daytimes I would
go and sit in the British Museum -- I could get a
ticket. What to read in the British Museum? I was
not interested in reading at all -- no books interested
me -- but to pretend that I was there to read something,
I used to pick up a thesaurus of underground slang
-- the underground men, the criminals -- all kinds
of slang. I was reading that for some time to spend
the day; at night I'd go somewhere. It went on and
on and on.
I was sitting in Hyde Park. The policeman came and
said "You can't stay here. We are going to throw you
out." Where to go? What to do? No money -- I think
I only had five pence in my pocket. The thought came
into my head: "Go to the Ramakrishna Mission." That's
all, just that thought out of nowhere -- maybe it
was all my own projection. There was no way for me
except wandering in the streets, and that fellow was
after me, so I took the tube up to a point until I
couldn't go any further. From there I walked to the
Mission to meet the Swami. They said "You can't see
him now. It is ten o'clock in the night. He won't
see you; he won't see anybody at all." I told the
secretary I had to see him. Somehow he came.
Then I put this scrapbook before him -- this was me:
my lectures, The New York Times' comments on
my lectures, my background. Somehow I had kept that
book with me, the scrapbook which my manager had prepared
in America. "This was me, and is me now."
Then he said "What do you want?" I said "I want to
go into the meditation room and sit there all night."
He said "That you can't do. We have a policy not to
let anybody use the meditation room after eight o'clock."
I said "Then I have no place to go." He said "I'll
fix up a room for you. Stay in the hotel tonight,
and come back." So I stayed in the hotel. Next day
I went there at twelve o'clock, tired. They were eating.
They gave me lunch. For the first time I had a real
meal. I had lost even the appetite for food; I didn't
know what hunger was or what thirst was.
lunch the Swami called me and said "I am looking for
a man exactly like you. My assistant who was doing
the editorial work is mentally ill -- he has ended
up in the hospital. I have to bring out this Vivekananda
Centenary number. You are the right man for me to
have at this time. You can help me." I said "I can't
write anything. Maybe I did editing in those days,
but now I can't do anything. I'm a finished man. I
can't be of any help in that direction." He said "No,
no, no, together we can do something." He was very
badly in need of someone with a background in Indian
philosophy and everything. He could have had anybody
he wanted, but he said "No, no, no, it is all right.
Rest for some time, stay here, I'll take care of you."
I said "I don't want to do literary work. Give me
a room, and I will wash your dishes or do something,
but that kind of work I am singularly incapable of."
He said "No, no, no, I want that." So I tried to do
something; not to my satisfaction, not to his satisfaction,
but somehow together we brought out the issue.
also giving me money, five pounds, like all the other
swamis. Fort the first time I had five pounds to spend,
so, "What to do with this?" I had lost the sense of
the value of money because I'd had no money. There
was a time when I could write a cheque for one hundred
thousand rupees; after some time, not even one paisa
in my pocket; now five pounds. "What am I to do with
this?" -- so, I decided to see every movie in London
with that money. I used to stay at the mission and
do work in the morning, eat there at one o'clock and
go off to a movie. There came a time when I could
not find any movie to see. In the London outskirts
they used to show three movies for one shilling, or
something like that, so I exhausted all the movies
and spent all that money.
to sit there in the meditation room, wondering at
these people meditating: "Why are they doing all those
silly things?" By this time the whole thing had gone
out of my system. But I had a very strange experience
in that meditation center. Whatever it was -- my own
projection or something -- the facts are there: for
the first time I felt some peculiar.... I was sitting,
doing nothing, looking at all those people, pitying
them: "These people are meditating. Why do they want
to go in for samadhi? They are not going to
get anything -- I have been through all that -- they
are kidding themselves. What can I do to save them
from wasting all their lives doing all that kind of
thing? It is not going to lead them anywhere." I was
sitting there -- nothing, blankness -- when I felt
something very strange: there was some kind of a movement
inside of my body. Suddenly I found something was
moving: some energy was coming out from the penis
and through this (head) as if
there was a hole. It was moving like this (in
circles) in the clockwise direction, and then
in the anticlockwise direction. it was like the Wills
cigarette advertisement at the airport. It was such
a funny thing for me, but I didn't relate this to
anything at all. I was a finished man. Somebody was
feeding me, somebody was taking care of me, there
was no thought of the morrow, yet inside of me there
was some kind of a thing: "It is a perverse way of
living. It is perversity carried to its extremity.
This is not anything." But yet, the head was missing
-- what could I do? It sent on and on and on. After
three months I said "I'm going. I can't do this kind
of thing." Towards the end the Swami gave me some
money, forty or fifty pounds. Then I decided....
I still had an airline ticket to return to India,
so I went to Paris, turned in the ticket and made
some money because it was paid in dollars. With this
thirty-five pounds I think I had about a hundred and
fifty pounds. For three months I lived in Paris in
some hotel, wandering in the streets as I had done
before. The only difference was that now I had some
money in my pocket. But slowly this money disappeared.
After three months I decided I must go, but I resisted
returning to India. Somehow I didn't want to go to
India. Because of my family, the children, I was frightened
of returning to India -- that would complicate matters
-- all of them would come to me. I didn't want to
go at all; I resisted that. Finally.... I had had
a bank account in Switzerland for years and years
-- I thought I still had some money there. The last
resort was to go to Switzerland and take the money
out and then see what happened. So I came out of the
hotel and got into a taxi and said "Take me to the
Gare de Lyon." But the trains from Paris to Zurich
(where I had my account) go from the Gare de l'Est,
so I don't know why I told him to take me to the Gare
de Lyon. So, he dropped me at the Gare de Lyon, and
I got into the train going to Geneva.
in Geneva with a hundred and fifty francs, or something
to spend. I continued to stay in a hotel though I
had no money to pay the bill. After two weeks they
produced the bill: "Come on, money! What about the
bill?" I had no money. I threw up my hands. The only
thing left to me was to go to the Indian Consulate
and say "Send me to India. I am finished, you see."
So, the resistance to returning to India was finished,
and I went to the Consulate and took out the scrapbook:
"One of the most brilliant speakers that India has
ever produced," with the opinions of Norman Cousins
and Radhakrishnan about my talents. The Vice-Consul
said "We can't send this kind of man to India at the
expense of the Government of India. What do you think?
Try and get some money from India, and in the meantime
come and stay with me." So, you see, it went on and
on and on. There I met this Swiss lady (Valentine
de Kerven). She was the translator at the Indian
Consulate, but that day she happened to be there at
the reception desk because the receptionist was absent
or something. We started talking, and then we became
close friends. She said "If you want to stay, I can
arrange for you to stay in Switzerland. If you don't
want to go to India, don't go." After one month the
Consulate sent me away, but we managed -- she created
a home for me in Switzerland. She gave up her job.
She is not rich; she has just a little money, her
pension, but we can live on this money.
went to Saanen. That place has some significance to
me. I had been there in '53 while travelling through
that area, and when I saw this place, Saanen, something
in me said "Get off the train and spend some time
here," so I spent one week there. I said to myself
"This is the place where I must spend the rest of
my life." I had plenty of money then, but my wife
didn't want to stay in Switzerland, because of the
climate, and so many other things happened, and we
went to America. So this unfulfilled dream materialized.
We went to Saanen because I had always wanted to live
there, so I continue to live there. Then J. Krishnamurti
chose Saanen, for some reason or the other, for his
meetings every summer -- this chap started coming
to Saanen. I lived there; I was not interested in
Krishnamurti or anything. I was not interested in
anything. For example, Valentine lived with
me for a few years before my forty-ninth year. She
can tell you that I never talked of this at
all to her -- my interest in truth, reality --
nothing. I never discussed this subject with
her at all, nor with anybody else. There was no search
in me, no seeking after something, but something funny
was going on.
that time (I call it the 'incubation') all kinds of
things were happening to me inside -- headaches, constant
headaches, terrible pains here in the brain. I swallowed
I don't know how many tens of thousands of aspirins.
Nothing gave me relief. It was not migraine or any
of those known headaches, but tremendous headaches.
Those aspirin pills and fifteen to twenty cups of
coffee every day to free myself! One day Valentine
said "What! You are taking fifteen cups of coffee
every day. Do you know what it means in terms of money?
It is three or four hundred francs per month. What
is this?" Anyway, it was such a terrible thing for
of funny things happened to me. I remember when I
rubbed my body like this, there was a sparkle, like
a phosphorous glow, on the body. She used to run out
of her bedroom to see -- she thought there were cars
going that way in the middle of the night. Every time
I rolled in my bed there was a sparkling of light,
(Laughs) and it was so funny
for me --"What is this?" It was electricity -- that
is why I say it is an electromagnetic field. At first
I thought it was because of my nylon clothes and static
electricity; but then I stopped using nylon. I was
a very skeptical heretic, to the tips of my toes;
I never believed in anything; even if I saw some miracle
happen before me, I didn't accept that at all -- such
was the make-up of this man. It never occurred to
me that anything of that sort was in the making for
things happened to me, but I never related
those things to liberation or freedom or moksha,
because by that time the whole thing had gone
out of my system. I had arrived at a point where I
said to myself "Buddha deluded himself and deluded
others. All those teachers and saviors of mankind
were damned fools -- they fooled themselves
-- so I'm not interested in this kind of thing anymore,"
so it went out of my system completely. It
went on and on in its own way -- peculiar things
-- but never did I say to myself "Well, (Laughs)
I am getting there, I am nearer to that." There
is no nearness to that, there is no farawayness from
that, there is no closeness to that. Nobody is nearer
to that because he is different, he is prepared. There's
no readiness for that; it just hits you like a ton
1967) I happened to be in Paris when J. Krishnamurti
also happened to be there. Some of my friends suggested
"Why don't you go and listen to your old friend? He
is here giving a talk." "All right, I haven't heard
him for so many years -- almost twenty years -- let
me go and listen." When I got there they demanded
two francs from me. I said "I am not ready to pay
two francs to listen to J. Krishnamurti. No, come
on, let us go and do something foolish. Let's go to
a strip-tease joint, the 'Folies Bergere' or the 'Casino
de Paris'. Come on, let us go there for twenty francs."
So, there we were at the "Casino de Paris" watching
the show. I had a very strange experience at that
time: I didn't know whether I was the dancer or whether
there was some other dancer dancing on the stage.
A very strange experience for me: a peculiar kind
of movement here, inside of me. (This is now something
natural for me.) There was no division: there was
nobody who was looking at the dancer. The question
of whether I was the dancer, or whether there was
a dancer out there on the stage, puzzled me. This
kind of peculiar experience of the absence of division
between me and the dancer, puzzled me and bothered
me for some time -- then we came out.
"What is that state?" had a tremendous intensity for
me -- not an emotional intensity -- the more I tried
to find an answer, the more I failed to find an answer,
the more intensity the question had. It's like (I
always give this simile) rice chaff. If a heap of
rice chaff is ignited, it continues burning inside;
you don't see any fire outside, but when you touch
it, it burns you of course. In exactly the same way
the question was going on and on and on: "What is
that state? I want it. Finished. Krishnamurti said
"You have no way," but still I want to know what that
state is, the state in which Buddha was, Sankara was,
and all those teachers were."
1967) there arrived another phase. Krishnamurti
was again there in Saanen giving talks. My friends
dragged me there and said "Now at least it is a free
business. Why don't you come and listen?" I said "All
right, I'll come and listen." When I Iistened to him,
something funny happened to me -- a peculiar kind
of feeling that he was describing my state and not
his state. Why did I want to know his state? He was
describing something, some movements, some awareness,
some silence -- "In that silence there is no mind;
there is action" -- all kinds of things. So, "I am
in that state. What the hell have I been doing these
thirty or forty years, listening to all these people
and struggling, wanting to understand his state or
the state of somebody else, Buddha or Jesus? I am
in that state. Now I am in that state." So, then I
walked out of the tent and never looked back.
very strange -- that question "What is that state?"
transformed itself into another question "How do I
know that I am in that state, the state of Buddha,
the state I very much wanted and demanded from everybody?
I am in that state, but how do I know?
day (UG's forty-ninth birthday)
I was sitting on a bench under a tree overlooking
one of the most beautiful spots in the whole world,
the seven hills and seven valleys (of
Saanenland). I was sitting there. Not that
the question was there; the whole of my being was
that question: "How do I know that I am in that state?
There is some kind of peculiar division inside of
me: there is somebody who knows that he is in that
state. The knowledge of that state -- what I have
read, what I have experienced, what they have talked
about -- it is this knowledge that is looking at that
state, so it is only this knowledge that has projected
that state." I said to myself "Look here, old chap,
after forty years you have not moved one step; you
are there in square number one. It is the same knowledge
that projected your mind there when you asked this
question. You are in the same situation asking the
same question, "How do I know?" because it is this
knowledge, the description of the state by those people,
that has created this state for you. You are kidding
yourself. You are a damned fool." So, nothing. But
still there was some kind of a peculiar feeling that
this was the state.
question "How do I know that this is the state?" --
I didn't have any answer for that question -- it was
like a question in a whirlpool -- it went on and on
and on. Then suddenly the question disappeared.
Nothing happened; the question just disappeared. I
didn't say to myself "Oh, my God! Now I have found
the answer." Even that state disappeared -- the state
I thought I was in, the state of Buddha, Jesus --
even that has disappeared. The question has disappeared.
The whole thing is finished for me, and that's all,
you see. From then on, never did I say to myself "Now
I have the answer to all those questions." That state
of which I had said "This is the state" -- that state
disappeared. The question disappeared. Finished, you
see. It is not emptiness, it is not blankness, it
is not the void, it is not any of those things; the
question disappeared suddenly, and that is all.
disappearance of his fundamental question, on discovering
that it had no answer, was a physiological phenomenon,
UG says, "a sudden 'explosion' inside, blasting, as
it were, every cell, every nerve and every gland in
my body." And with that 'explosion', the illusion
that there is continuity of thought, that there is
a center, an 'I' linking up the thoughts, was not
cannot link up. The linking gets broken, and once
it is broken it is finished. Then it is not once that
thought explodes; every time a thought arises, it
explodes. So, this continuity comes to an end, and
thought falls into its natural rhythm.
then I have no questions of any kind, because the
questions cannot stay there any more. The only questions
I have are very simple questions ("How do I go to
Hyderabad?" for example) to function in this world
-- and people have answers for these questions.
For those questions, nobody has any answers -- so
there are no questions any more.
in the head has tightened -- there was no room for
anything there inside of my brain. For the first time
I became conscious of my head with everything 'tight'
inside of it. So, these vasanas (past
impressions) or whatever you call them -- they
do try to show their heads sometimes, but then the
brain cells are so 'tight' that it has no opportunity
to fool around there any more. The division cannot
stay there -- it's a physical impossibility; you don't
have to do a thing about it, you see, That is why
I say that when this 'explosion' takes place (I use
the word 'explosion' because it's like a nuclear explosion)
it leaves behind chain- reactions. Every cell in your
body, the cells in the very marrow of your bones,
have to undergo this 'change' -- I don't want to use
that word -- it's an irreversible change. There's
no question of your going back. there's no question
of a 'fall' for this man at all. Irreversible:
an alchemy of some sort.
like a nuclear explosion, you see -- it shatters the
whole body. It is not an easy thing; it is the end
of the man -- such a shattering thing that it blasts
every cell, every nerve in your body. I went through
terrible physical torture at that moment. Not that
you experience the 'explosion'; you can't experience
the 'explosion' -- but it's after-effects, the 'fall-out',
is the thing that changes the whole chemistry of your
Sir, you must have experienced, if I may use the words,
You are talking of planes? There are no planes
-- no planes, no levels. You see, there is one very
strange thing that happens as a result of this 'explosion'
or whatever you want to call it: at no time does the
thought that I am different from you come into this
consciousness. Never. Never does that thought
come into my consciousness and tell me that you are
different from me or I am different from you, because
there is no point here, there is no center here. Only
with reference to this center do you create all the
In some way, you must certainly be different from
You said that tremendous chemical changes have taken
place in you. How do you know this? Were you ever
examined, or is this an inference?
The after-effects of that ('explosion'), the way the senses are operating now without any
co-ordinator or center -- that's all I can say. Another
thing: the chemistry has changed -- I can say that
because unless that alchemy or change in the whole
chemistry takes place, there is no way of freeing
this organism from thought, from the continuity of
thought. So, since there is no continuity of thought,
you can very easily say that something has happened,
but what actually has happened? I have no way of experiencing
this at all.
It may be that the mind is playing games and that
I merely think I am an "exploded man."
I am not trying to sell anything here. It is impossible
for you to simulate this. This is a thing that has
happened outside the field, the area, in which I expected,
dreamed and wanted change, so I don't call this a
'change'. I really don't know what has happened to
me. What I am telling you is the way I am functioning.
There seems to be some difference between the way
you are functioning and the way I am functioning,
but basically there can't be any difference. How can
there be any difference between you and me? There
can't be; but from the way we are trying to express
ourselves, there seems to be. I have the feeling that
there is some difference, and what that difference
is is all that I am trying to understand. So, this
is the way I am functioning.
noticed, during the week following the 'explosion',
fundamental changes in the functioning of his senses.
On the last day his body went through 'a process of
physical death' (Nirvikalpa samadhi), and
the changes became permanent features.)
the changes -- from the next day onwards, for seven
days -- every day one change. First I discovered the
softness of the skin, the blinking of the eyes stopped,
and then changes in taste, smell and hearing -- these
five changes I noticed. Maybe they were there even
before, and I only noticed them for the first time.
the first day) I noticed that my skin
was soft like silk and had a peculiar kind of glow,
a golden color. I was shaving, and each time I tried
to shave, the razor slipped. I changed blades, but
it was no use. I touched my face. My sense of touch
was different, you see, also the way I held the razor.
Especially my skin -- my skin was soft as silk and
had this golden glow. I didn't relate this to anything
at all; I just observed it.
the second day) I became aware for the first
time that my mind was in what I call a 'declutched
state'. I was upstairs in the kitchen and Valentine
had prepared tomato soup. I looked at it, and I didn't
know what it was. She told me it was tomato soup,
and I tasted it, and I recognized "This is how tomato
soup tastes." Then I swallowed the soup, and then
I returned to this odd frame of mind -- though 'frame
of mind' is not the word for it; it was a frame of
'not mind' -- in which I forgot again. I asked again
"What is that?" Again she said it was tomato soup.
Again I tasted it. Again I swallowed and forgot. I
played with this for some time. It was such a funny
business for me then, this 'declutched state'; now
it has become normal. I no longer spend time in reverie,
worry, conceptualization and the other kinds of thinking
that most people do when they're alone. My mind is
only engaged when it's needed, for instance when you
ask questions, or when I have to fix the tape-recorder
or something like that. The rest of the time my mind
is in the 'declutched state'. Of course now I have
my memory back -- I lost it at first, but now I have
it back -- but my memory is in the background and
only comes into play when it's needed, automatically.
When it's not needed, there is no mind here, there
is no thought, there is only life.
the third day) some friends invited themselves
over for dinner, and I said "All right, I'll prepare
something." But somehow I couldn't smell or taste
properly. I became gradually aware that these two
senses had been transformed. Every time some odor
entered my nostrils it irritated my olfactory center
in just about the same way -- whether it came from
the most expensive scent or from cow dung, it was
the same irritation. And then, every time I tasted
something, I tasted the dominant ingredient only --
the taste of the other ingredients came slowly after.
From that moment perfume made no sense to me, and
spicy food had no appeal for me. I could taste only
the dominant spice, the chili or whatever it was.
the fourth day) something happened to
the eyes. We were sitting in the 'Rialto' restaurant,
and I became aware of a tremendous sort of 'vistavision',
like a concave mirror. Things coming towards me, moved
into me, as it were; and things going away from me,
seemed to move from inside me. It was such a puzzle
to me -- it was as if my eyes were a gigantic camera,
changing focus without my doing anything. Now I am
used to the puzzle. Nowadays that is how I see. When
you drive me around in your Mini, I am like a cameraman
dollying along, and the cars in the other direction
go into me, and the cars that pass us come out of
me, and when my eyes fix on something they fix on
it with total attention, like a camera. Another thing
about my eyes: when we came back from the restaurant
I came home and looked in the mirror to see what was
odd about my eyes, to see how they were 'fixed'. I
looked in the mirror for a long time, and then I observed
that my eyelids were not blinking. For half an hour
or forty-five minutes I looked into the mirror --
still no blinking of the eyes. Instinctive blinking
was over for me, and it still is.
the fifth day) I noticed a change in hearing.
When I heard the barking of a dog, the barking originated
inside me. And the same with the mooing of the cow,
the whistle of the train -- suddenly all sounds originated
inside me, as it were - coming from within, and not
from outside -- they still do.
changed in five days, and on the sixth day I was lying
down on a sofa -- Valentine was there in the kitchen
-- and suddenly my body disappeared. There was no
body there. I looked at my hand. (Crazy thing -- you
would certainly put me in the mental hospital.) I
looked at it -- "Is this my hand?" There was no questioning
here, but the whole situation was like that - that
is all I am describing. So I touched this body --
nothing -- I didn't feel there was anything
there except the touch, you see, the point of contact.
Then I called Valentine: "Do you see my body on this
sofa? Nothing inside of me says that this is my body."
She touched it -- "This is your body." And yet that
assurance didn't give me any comfort or satisfaction
-- "What is this funny business? My body is missing."
My body had gone away, and it has never come back.
The points of contact are all that is there for the
body -- nothing else is there for me -- because the
seeing is altogether independent of the sense of touch
here. So it is not possible for me to create
a complete image of my body even, because where there's
no sense of touch there are missing points
here in the consciousness.
seventh day I was again lying on the same sofa, relaxing,
enjoying the 'declutched state'. Valentine would come
in, I would recognize her as Valentine; she would
go out of the room -- finish, blank, no Valentine
-- "What is this? I can't even imagine what Valentine
looks like." I would listen to the sounds coming from
inside me?" I could not relate. I had discovered that
all my senses were without any coordinating thing
inside: the co- ordinator was missing.
something happening inside of me: the life energy
drawing to a focal point from different parts of my
body. I said to myself "Now you have come to the end
of your life. You are going to die." Then I called
Valentine and said "I am going to die, Valentine,
and you will have to do something with this body.
Hand it over to the doctors -- maybe they will use
it. I don't believe in burning or burial or any of
those things. In your own interest you have to dispose
of this body -- one day it will stink -- so, why not
give it away?" She said "You are a foreigner. The
Swiss government won't take your body. Forget about
it," then she went away. And then this whole business
of the frightening movement of the life force coming
to a point, as it were. I was lying down on the sofa.
Her bed was empty, so I moved over to that bed and
stretched myself, getting ready. She ignored me and
went away. She said "One day you say this thing has
changed, another day this thing has changed, a third
day this thing has changed. What is this whole business?"
She was not interested in any of those things -- never
was she interested in any of these religious matters
--- never heard of those things. "You say you are
going to die. You are not going to die. You are all
right, hale and healthy." She went away. Then I stretched
myself, and this was going on and on and on. The whole
life energy was moving to some focal point -- where
it was, I don't know. Then a point arrived where the
whole thing looked as if the aperture of a camera
was trying to close itself. (It is the only simile
that I can think of. The way I am describing this
is quite different from the way things happened at
that time, because there was nobody there thinking
in such terms. All this was part of my experience,
otherwise I wouldn't be able to talk about it.) So,
the aperture was trying to close itself, and something
was there trying to keep it open. Then after a while
there was no will to do anything, not even to prevent
the aperture closing itself. Suddenly, as it were,
it closed. I don't know what happened after that.
lasted for forty-nine minutes -- this process of dying.
It was like a physical death, you see. Even now it
happens to me: the hands and feet become so cold,
the body becomes stiff, the heartbeat slows down,
the breathing slows down, and then there is a gasping
for breath. Up to a point you are there, you breathe
your last breath, as it were, and then you are finished.
What happens after that, nobody knows.
came out of that, somebody said there was a telephone
call for me. I came out and went downstairs to answer
it. I was in a daze. I didn't know what had happened.
It was a physical death. What brought me back to life,
I don't know. How long it lasted, I don't know. I
can't say anything about that, because the experiencer
was finished: there was nobody to experience that
death at all.... So, that was the end of it. I got
feel that I was a new-born baby -- no question of
enlightenment at all -- but the things that had astonished
me that week, the changes in taste, seeing and so
on, had become permanent fixtures. I call all these
events the 'calamity'. I call it the 'calamity' because
from the point of view of one who thinks this is something
fantastic, blissful, full of beatitude, love, ecstasy
and all that kind of a thing, this is physical torture
-- this is a calamity from that point of view. Not
a calamity to me, but a calamity to those who have
an image that something marvelous is going
to happen. It's something like: you imagine New York,
you dream about it, you want to be there. When you
are actually there, nothing of it is there; it is
a godforsaken place, and even the devils have probably
forsaken that place. It's not the thing that you had
sought after and wanted so much, but totally different.
What is there, you really don't know -- you have no
way of knowing anything about that -- there is no
image here. In that sense I can never tell myself
or anybody "I'm an enlightened man, a liberated man,
a free man; I'm going to liberate mankind."
Free from what? How can I liberate somebody
else. There's no question of liberating anybody. For
that, I must have an image that I am a free man, you
on the eighth day I was sitting on the sofa and suddenly
there was an outburst of tremendous energy -- tremendous
energy shaking the whole body, and along with
the body, the sofa, the chalet and the whole universe,
as it were -- shaking, vibrating. You can't create
that movement at all. It was sudden. Whether it was
coming from outside or inside, from below or above,
I don't know -- I couldn't locate the spot; it was
all over. It lasted for hours and hours. I couldn't
bear it but there was nothing I could do to stop it;
there was a total helplessness. This went on and on,
day after day, day after day. Whenever I sat it started
-- this vibration like an epileptic fit or something.
Not even an epileptic fit; it went on for days and
three days UG lay on his bed, his body contorted with
pain -- it was, he says, as if he felt pain in every
cell of his body, one after the other. Similar outbursts
of energy occurred intermittently throughout the next
six months, whenever he lay down or relaxed.)
was not able to.... The body feels the pain. That's
a very painful process. Very painful. It is
a physical pain because the body has limitations --
it has a form, a shape of its own, so when there is
an outburst of energy, which is not your energy or
my energy or God's (or call it by any name you like),
it is like a river in spate. The energy that is operating
there does not feel the limitations of the body; it
is not interested; it has its own momentum. It is
a very painful thing. It is not that ecstatic, blissful
beatitude and all that rubbish -- stuff and nonsense!
--- it is really a painful thing. Oh, I suffered for
months and months after that; before that too. Everybody
has. Even Ramana Maharshi suffered after that.
cascade -- not one, but thousands of cascades -- it
went on and on and on for months and months. It's
a very painful experience -- painful in the sense
that the energy has a peculiar operation of its own.
H'm, you know, you have at the airport a Wills cigarette
advertisement. There is an atom: lines going like
that. (UG demonstrates.) It is
clockwise, anticockwise, and then it is this way and
then this way and then this way. Like an atom it moves
inside -- not in one part of your body; the whole
body. it is as if a wet towel were being wrung
to get rid of the water -- it is like that, the whole
of our body -- it's such a painful thing. It goes
on even now. You can't invite it; you can't ask it
to come; you can't do anything. It gives you the feeling
that it is enveloping you, that it is descending on
you. Descending from where? Where is it coming from?
How is it coming? Every time it is new -- very strange
-- every time it comes in a different way, so you
don't know what is happening. You lie down on your
bed, and suddenly it begins -- it begins to move slowly
like ants. I'd think there were bugs in my bed, jump
out, look -- (Laughs) no bugs
-- then I'd go back -- then again.... The hairs are
electrified, so it slowly moves.
were pains all over the body. Thought has controlled
this body to such an extent that when that loosens,
the whole metabolism is agog. The whole thing was
changing in its own way without my doing anything.
And then the movement of the hands changed. Usually
your hands turn this way. (UG demonstrates.)
Here, this wrist joint had terrible pains for six
months until it turned itself, and all the movements
are now like this. That is why they say my movements
are mudras (mystical gestures).
The movements of the hands are quite different now
than before. Then there were pains in the marrow of
the bones. Every cell started changing, and it went
on and on for six months.
the sex hormones started changing. I didn't know whether
I was a man or a woman -- What is this business?"
-- suddenly there was a breast on the left-hand side.
All kinds of things -- I don't want to go into details
-- there is a complete record of all these things.
It went on and on and on. It took three years for
this body to fall into a new rhythm of its own.
Can we understand how it happened to you?
Can we understand what happened?
You can read a description of the events
of my life, that's all. One day, around my forty-
ninth birthday something stopped; another day another
sense changed; the third day something else changed....
There is a record of the way the things happened tome.
What value has that to you? It has no value at all.
On the other hand it's very dangerous because you
try to simulate the outward manifestations. People
simulate these things and believe that something is
happening -- that's what these people do. I behaved
normally. I didn't know what was happening. It was
a strange situation. there is no point in leaving
any record -- people will only simulate these things.
The state is something natural.
and down his torso, neck and head, at those points
which Indian holy men call chakras, his friends
observed swellings of various shapes and colors, which
came and went at intervals. On his lower abdomen the
swellings were horizontal, cigar-shaped bands. Above
the navel was a hard, almond-shaped swelling. A hard,
blue swelling, like a large medallion, in the middle
of his chest was surmounted by another smaller, brownish-red,
medallion-shaped swelling at the base of his throat.
These two 'medallions' were as though suspended from
a varicolored, swollen ring -- blue, brownish and
light yellow -- around his neck, as in pictures of
the Hindu gods. There were also other similarities
between the swellings and the depictions of Indian
religious art: his throat was swollen to a shape that
made his chin seem to rest on the head of a cobra,
as in the traditional images of Siva; just above the
bridge of the nose was a white lotus-shaped swelling;
all over the head the small blood vessels expanded,
forming patterns like the stylized lumps on the heads
of Buddha statues. Like the horns of Moses and the
Taoist mystics, two large, hard swellings periodically
came and went. The arteries in his neck expanded and
rose, blue and snake-like, into his head.)
I do not
want to be an exhibitionist, but you are doctors.
There is something to the symbolism they have in India
-- the cobra. Do you see the swellings here? -- they
take the shape of a cobra. Yesterday was the new moon.
The body is affected by everything that is happening
around you; it is not separate from what is happening
around you. Whatever is happening there, is also happening
here -- there is only the physical response. This
is affection. Your body is affected by everything
that is happening around you; and you can't prevent
this, for the simple reason that the armour that you
have built around yourself is destroyed, so it is
very vulnerable to everything that is happening there.
With the phases of the moon -- full moon, half moon,
quarter moon -- these swellings here take the shape
of a cobra. Maybe that is the reason why some people
have created all these images -- Siva and all those
kinds of things. But why should it take the shape
of a cobra? I have asked many doctors why this swelling
is here, but nobody could give me a satisfactory answer.
I don't know if there are any glands or anything here.
are certain glands ... This I have discussed so many
times with doctors who are doing research into the
ductless glands. Those glands are what the Hindus
call "chakras." These ductless glands are located
in exactly the same spots where the Hindus speculated
the chakras are. There is one gland here which
is called the 'thymus gland'. That is very
active when you are a child -- very active -- they
have feelings, extraordinary feelings. When you reach
the age of puberty it becomes dormant -- that's what
they say. When again this kind of a thing happens,
when you are reborn again, that gland is automatically
activated, so all the feelings are there. Feelings
are not thoughts, not emotions; you feel for
somebody. If somebody hurts himself there,
that hurt is felt here --not as a pain,
but there is a feeling, you see -- you automatically
happened to me when I was staying in a coffee plantation:
a mother started beating a child, a little child,
you know. She was mad, hopping mad, and she
hit the child so hard, the child almost turned blue.
And somebody asked me "Why did you not interfere and
stop her?" I was standing there -- I was so puzzled,
you see. "Who should I take pity on, the mother or
the child?" -- that was my answer -- "Who is responsible?"
Both were in a ridiculous situation: the mother could
not control her anger, and the child was so helpless
and innocent. This went on -- it was moving from one
to the other -- and then I found all those things
(marks) on my back. So I was
also part of that. (I am not saying this just to claim
something.) That is possible because consciousness
cannot be divided. Anything that is happening there
is affecting you -- this is affection, you understand?
There is no question of your sitting in judgement
on anybody; the situation happens to be that, so you
are affected by that. You are affected by everything
that is happening there.
In the entire universe?
That is too big, you see. Anything that is
happening within your field of consciousness. Consciousness
is, of course, not limited. If he is hurt there, you
also are hurt here. If you are hurt, there is an immediate
response there. I can't say about the universe, the
whole universe, but in your field of consciousness,
in the limited field in which you are operating at
that particular moment, you are responding -- not
that you are responding.
the other glands also here.... There are so many glands
here; for example, the pituitary -- 'third eye', 'ajña
chakra', they call it. When once the interference
of thought is finished, it is taken over by this gland:
it is this gland that gives the instructions or orders
to the body; not thought any more; thought cannot
interfere. (That is why they call it that*, probably.
I'm not interpreting or any such thing; perhaps this
gives you an idea.) But you have built an armour created
an armour with this thought, and you don't allow yourself
to be affected by things.
literal meaning "ajña" is "command."
there is nobody who uses this thought as a self-protective
mechanism, it burns itself up. Thought undergoes combustion,
ionization (if I may use your scientific term). Thought
is, after all, vibration. So, when this kind of ionization
of thought takes place, it throws out, sometimes it
covers the whole body with, an ash-like substance.
Your body is covered with that when there is no need
for thought at all. When you don't use it,
what happens to that thought? It burns itself out
-- that is the energy -- it's a combustion. The body
gets heated, you know. There is tremendous heat in
the body as a result of this, and so the skin is covered
-- your face, your feet, everything -- with this ash-like
one of the reasons why I express it in pure and simple
physical and physiological terms. It has no psychological
content at all, it has no mystical content, it has
no religious overtones at all, as I see it. I am bound
to say that, and I don't care whether you accept it
or not, it is of no importance to me.
of a thing must have happened to so many people. I
say this happens to one in a billion, and you are
that one in a billion. It is not something that one
is specially prepared for. There are no purificatory
methods necessary, there is no sadhana necessary
for this kind of a thing to happen -- no preparation
of any kind. The consciousness is so pure that whatever
you are doing in the direction of purifying that consciousness
is adding impurity to it.
has to flush itself out: it has to purge itself of
every trace of holiness, every trace
of unholiness, everything. Even what you consider
'sacred and holy' is a contamination in that consciousness.
It is not through any volition of yours; when once
the frontiers are broken -- not through any effort
of yours, not through any volition of yours -- then
the floodgates are open and everything goes out. In
that process of flushing out, you have all these visions.
It's not a vision outside there or inside of you;
suddenly you yourself, the whole consciousness, takes
the shape of Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira, Mohammed, Socrates
-- only those people who have come into this state;
not great men, not the leaders of mankind -- it is
very strange -- but only those people to whom this
kind of a thing happened.
them was a colored man (not exactly a colored man),
and during that time I could tell people how he looked.
Then some woman with breasts, flowing hair -- naked.
I was told that there were two saints here in India
-- Akkamahadevi and Lalleswari -- they were women,
naked women. Suddenly you have these two breasts,
the flowing hair -- even the organs change into female
there is a division there -- you, and the form the
consciousness has assumed, the form of Buddha, say,
or Jesus Christ or God knows what -- the same situation:
"How do I know I am in that state?" But that division
cannot stay long; it disappears and something else
comes. Hundreds of people -- probably something happened
to so many hundreds of people. This is part of history
-- so many rishis, some Westerners, monks,
so many women, and sometimes very strange things.
You see, all that people have experienced before you
is part of your consciousness. I use the expression
"the saints go marching out"; in Christianity they
have a hymn "When the Saints Go Marching In." They
run out of your consciousness because they cannot
stay there any more, because all that is impurity,
a contamination there.
say (I can't make any definite statement) probably
it is because of the impact on the human consciousness
of the 'explosions' of all those saints, sages and
saviours of mankind that there is this dissatisfaction
in you, that whatever is there is all the time trying
to burst out, as it were. Maybe that is so -- I can't
say anything about it. You can say that they are there
because they are pushing you to this point, and once
the purpose is achieved they have finished their job
and they go way -- that is only speculation on my
part. But this flushing out of everything good and
bad, holy and unholy, sacred and profane has got to
happen, otherwise your consciousness is still contaminated,
still impure. During that time it goes on and
on and on -- there are hundreds and thousands of them
-- then, you see, you are put back into that primeval,
primordial state of consciousness. Once it has become
pure, of and by itself, then nothing can touch
it, nothing can contaminate that any more.
All the past up to that point is there, but it cannot
influence your actions any more.
visions and everything were happening for three years
after the "calamity." Now the whole thing is finished.
The divided state of consciousness cannot function
at all any more; it is always in the undivided state
of consciousness -- nothing can touch that. Anything
can happen -- the thought can be a good thought, a
bad thought, the telephone number of a London prostitute....
During my wanderings in London, I used to look at
those telephone numbers fixed to the trees. I was
not interested in going to the prostitute, but those
things, the numbers, interested me. I had nothing
else to do, no books to read, nothing to do but look
at those numbers. One number gets fixed in there,
it comes there, it repeats itself. It doesn't matter
what comes there -- good, bad, holy, unholy. Who is
there to say "This is good; that is bad?" -- the whole
thing is finished. That is why I have to use the phrase
'religious experience' (not in the sense in which
you use the word 'religion'): it puts you back to
the source. You are back in that primeval, primordial,
pure state of consciousness --call it 'awareness'
or whatever you like. In that state things are happening,
and there is nobody who is interested, nobody who
is looking at them. They come and go in their own
way, like the Ganges water flowing: the sewerage water
comes in, half-burnt corpses, both good things and
bad things -- everything -- but that water is always
puzzling and bewildering part of the whole thing was
when the sensory activities began their independent
careers. There was no co-ordinator linking the senses,
so we had terrible problems -- Valentine had to go
through the whole business. We'd go for a walk, and
I'd look at a flower and ask "What is that?" She'd
say "That is a flower." I'd take a few more steps,
look at a cow and ask "What is that?" Like a baby,
I had to relearn everything all over (not
actually relearn, but all the knowledge was in the
background and never came to the forefront, you see).
It started -- the whole business -- "What is this
crazy business?" I have to put it in words; not that
I felt I was in a crazy state. I was a very sane man,
acting sanely, everything going on, and yet this ridiculous
business of asking about everything "What is this?
What is that?" That's all; no other questions. Valentine
also didn't know what to make out of the whole business.
She even went to a leading psychiatrist in Geneva.
She rushed to him -- she wanted to understand, but
at the same time she felt that there was nothing crazy
about me. If I'd done one crazy thing she would have
left me. Never; only strange things, you see. "What
is that?" "That is a cow." "What is that?" "That is
that." It went on and on and on, and it was too much
for her and too much for me. When she met the psychiatrist,
he said "Unless we see the person, we can't tell anything.
Bring him." But I knew that something really fantastic
had happened inside -- what it was, I didn't know,
but that didn't bother me. "Why ask if that's a cow?
What's the difference whether it is a cow, a donkey
or a horse?" -- that bewildering situation continued
for a long time -- all the knowledge was in the background.
It's the same situation even now, but I don't ask
those questions any more. When I am looking at something,
I really don't know what I'm looking at -- that is
why I say it is a state of not knowing. I really don't
know. That is why I say that once you are there, through
some luck, some strange chance, from then on everything
happens in its own way. You are always in a state
of samadhi; there is no question of going in
and out of it; you are always there. I don't want
to use that word, so I say it is a state of not knowing.
You really don't know what you are looking at.
do anything about it -- there is no question of my
going back or anything; it is all finished -- it is
operating and functioning in a different way. (I have
to use the words 'different way' to give you a feel
seems to be some difference. You see, my difficulty
with the people who come to see me is this: they don't
seem to be able to understand the way I am functioning,
and I don't seem to be able to understand the way
they are functioning. How can we carry on a dialogue?
Both of us have to stop. How can there be a dialogue
between us both? I am talking like a raving maniac.
All my talking totally unrelated, just like a maniac's
-- the difference is only a hair's breadth -- that
is why I say you either flip or fly at that moment.
is no difference, absolutely no difference.
Somehow, you see, by some luck, by some strange chance,
this kind of thing happens (I have to use the word
'happens' to give you a feel about that) and the whole
thing is finished for you.
Are even those who have realized (within quotation
marks) different from one another?
Yes, because the background is different. The background
is the only thing that can express itself. What else
is there? My expression of it is the background: how
I struggled, my path, the path I followed,
how I rejected the paths of others -- up to that point
I can say what I did or what I did not do -- so, that
did not help me in any way.
But one like you (I'm sorry to use 'you') is different
from us. We re getting involved in our thoughts.
He's different, not only from you but from
all the others who are supposed to be in this state,
because of his background.
Although everyone who is supposed to have undergone
this 'explosion' is unique, in the sense that each
one is expressing his own background, there do seem
to be some common characteristics.
That is not my concern; it seems to be yours. I never
compare myself to somebody else.
is all there to it. My biography is over. There is
nothing more to write about, and never will be. If
people come and ask me questions, I answer; if they
don't, it makes no difference to me. I have not set
myself up in the 'holy business' of liberating people.
I have no particular message for mankind, except to
say that all holy systems for obtaining enlightenment
are bunk, and that all talk of arriving at a psychological
mutation through awareness is poppycock. Psychological
mutation is impossible. The natural state can happen
only through biological mutation.
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main reference page on U.G. Krishnamurti with an overview,
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page was published on Realization.org on January 31,
2000 and last revised on May 9, 2000.