UG Krishnamurti in a nutshell
Anyone who comes into contact with the ultra fascinating life-story and circumstances of UG Krishnamurti (not to be confused with J (Jedda) Krishnamurti) is in for a ride straight to the gates of whatever you define as your hell. In fact, it’s like being alone in a car in the back seat, blindfolded!
There is no bigger shock in life than to discover that what you have been fruitlessly searching for all of your life, your ‘Restaurant at the End of the Universe’ – simply doesn’t exist! This is putting it ‘nicely’. The way it comes out of UG’s mouth has caused in people prolonged depression and suicidal actions: “There is no power outside of man. Man has created God out of fear.”
Many simply can’t take it. UG spoke with authority and conviction. He loved to be blunt, and it cost him many friendships – but he wouldn’t have considered those people as having as friends to begin with, so it never bothered him.
The Enlightenment of UG Krishnamurti
UG Krishmanurti (everyone called him simply U.G.) achieved worldwide cult status and a strange ‘non-following’ for the last forty years of his life up until his death at the age of eighty-nine in 2007 (read his obituary*).
UG never stopped proclaiming that all of religion, including the greatest enlightened beings of all time, Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, J.Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi – and all aspects of the ‘guru-business’ including the Vedic literature – was a false and deceiving facade that did more harm than good.
UG was adamant that buying in to any of the innumerable spiritual disciplines and/or methods actually took a body further away from what he insists is the natural state. UG himself lived in that natural state, the state without awareness of self, ever since his ‘Calamity’ transformation in 1967. This is the highly sought-after state of enlightenment called moksha.
Make no mistake about it, UG himself, once proclaimed in his own portfolio (scrapbook) as “One of the most brilliant speakers that India has ever produced” was one of the most highly qualified candidates on the planet during his lifetime for induction into the spiritual hall of fame. He had a extraordinary passion for seeking the truth and exposing what he considered frauds, in a loving attempt to save people from themselves.
He loved to ridicule seekers who came to him by saying such things like “We are all at 25 Sannidhi Street, and you are asking me “Where is 25 Sannidhi Street?” when they asked for enlightenment. The simple act of uttering this question was to UG the ultimate nonsense (“Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see”).
The syndrome that I seek to sooth is the first phase of reaction to the ideas of UG Krishnamurti. The curious attention seekers who followed UG to no end and demanded audiences with him wherever he went kept it up for fifty years. What was the mystique behind UG’s enlightenment (UG himself jokingly renamed the book written about him as ‘The mistake of enlightenment’)?
Exposure to the non-God / power of man / there-is-nothing-to-attain philosophy is enough to rock the very foundation of your existence. But it need not be this way. There is a cure. Let us take a look at the technique UG used to gain attention and force people to look inward, outward, and start seriously questioning their own existence.
For conventional guru-ism (or what UG called ‘the business of spirituality’) to survive, to be successful – it needs good marketing. It needs a self-replicating meme that feeds upon itself to keep bringing the customers back. It doesn’t matter, says UG – that the process doesn’t yield results! “You gurus”, he said – “you all sit there meditating and abstaining from sex. To what end? You’re still sitting there and you haven’t got anything. How long will it last?”
A closer look at UG’s techniques
UG himself could have lived a normal life. It was certainly within his means and he never hesitated to do what he wanted to do. But let’s look what he allowed to happen. Basically, he encouraged – however directly or subtly, a circus atmosphere which surrounded and constantly descended upon his entourage.
To be a member of UG’s inner circle was a great honor for these ‘non-disciples’, who UG refused to teach or enlighten. He said that he had no gifts to give. This non-giving (go away, I have nothing to give you) is actually a very clever use of reverse psychology, of which UG was an absolute master. It heightened the desires of those who came wanting.
In essence, what this ‘peek-a-boo’ (now you see it now you don’t) mentality actually does is allow us to ‘glimpse the sugar without actually tasting it’ (to paraphrase UG’s own smiting criticism of fellow guru-mate J. Krisnamurti).
UG was a master of whetting the appetite and then withdrawing the palette. He made no excuses for it. UG destroyed the confidence in people and shattered their beliefs. However, they kept coming back! UG kept telling them to go home and don’t come back. But they had nowhere else to go. They were destitute and had lost their self-esteem.
Taking Revenge on UG
UG would have a ball with this essay if he were to read it. It’s the very stuff of what he was made of. So now let’s take one final aim to gather back the self-esteem of shattered hopes, and an put an end once and for all to the delusional ‘UG Krishnamurti Syndrome’.
We start by looking at the man himself. This self-proclaimed ‘bomb-dropper’, who teased people by saying “You don’t want enlightenment – it will explode every cell in your body and cause intense pain. No, you don’t want this!” was actually a very happy and contented person. His charisma was extraordinary.
Not only was he handsome, intelligent, an expert lecturer, an accomplished practitioner of oriental spiritual disciplines since an early age – he was also of auspicious birth. Numerous experiences confirm psychic pre-awareness and prophecies of his ability. I won’t go into them here, you can read about them in his books.
Don’t be fooled, UG had mystic powers, yet he failed to explain them and/or simply shrugged them off as being nothing more than ‘scientific phenomena’. But one thing UG failed to account for was the power of the human mind not only, in his words “To invent God” (where there was none)”, but to manipulate the energy of creation. To bring into being contentment and an end to suffering. To cease desiring through the act of being indifferent.
Indeed, UG Krishnamurti was a master at these things. He lived well, with extreme integrity and was not afraid of life or dying. He inspired and continues to inspire thousands who would need orientation in their spiritual disciplines.
The ingeniousness of his marketing method ensures a healthy skepticism and will enable seekers to jump-start their journey with renewed enthusiasm by un-learning the unhealthy practices that detract from the goal. Make no mistake about it – life is for the living and the zest for life is one that UG Krishnamurti wholeheartedly embodied.