Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 115

A Roaring Peace

Meetings and conversations with

UG Krishnamurti
Robert Cornelis Smit
Three Types Of Lines
UG Says...
1 Dont Play the Giddy Goal
Any help from the gurus makes us helpless
2 Different From All the Winds of Heaven
Every image of UG is always the wrong image
3 Philosophy Is Just a Bag of Moonshine
Main differences between the old- or new-fashioned
philosophies and UGs tornado
4 From the Very Beginning
The story of UGs strange youth
5 Right Progress on the Wrong Track
UGs death and birth in his 49th year of life
6 Five Senses Creating One Soul
A 20th Century scientific Bhagavad Gita
7 The Disillusionment of Oneness
Experiences of oneness are merely knowledge
8 Not Seeing the Wood for the Trees
Philosophy schools can only see one lonely tree
9 There Is Nobody Who Feels the Pain
UGs biological changes
10 When the Saints Go Marching Out
Together with the Devil the saints have to go
11 It Is a Physical Impossibility
The teachers and their teachings are responsible for the mess in this world
12 One More Chapter, One More Useless Answer
The dog dropping shit excels all meditation
13 The Difference between a Photo and a Tent
Our search for Truth and Life is always in the wrong direction
14 Try, Try and Try, and In The Meantime People Die
Wanting peace is creating war
15 Still Life Full Of Action
UGs original vision of art and creativity
16 Valentine
The life of UGs Western Holy Mother
17 Omniscience, a Matter of Knack
Outside the knowledge itself, are there things to know?
18 Man Dies by Hope
We are imprisoned by our own attempt to escape
19 A Roaring Peace
Our divine peace is merely a sensual activity
20 This Text. . . That Thou Art
The most superficial thing in the world can be the innermost soul of man
21 The Holy Hooker
Saints are always having sex with God
22 UGs Tornado Just Hits and Goes - Finished
A destructive way of constructing the world
23 That One Fine Day Never, Never Arrive
How can I look at the thought? The question how? is thought!
24 Nice Meeting You
UG came to ask us to go
25 Compelled By the Third Eye
UG doesn't want to help us: It is your sitting
here, that creates the motive in me; thats all.
26 Goodbye
You can have that pullover, anything you want,
but 'this' is the one thing that I cant give to you.
Try your luck somewhere else.
I always thought that UG aimed at his audiences belief-structures and attempted to
demolish. Its not only true that he attempted to demolish mental structures, but he
tried to quell thought itself. More often than not, he tended to frustrate every attempt of
thought to build, defend and justify its beliefs and constructions of various sorts. (His
often used expression was: I am always shooting; but you duck!) And to those who
have been around him for a long time, this seemed like an endless and futile effort. I
was one of those. On many occasions I was myself indulging in justifying myself or
attacking UGs ideas. I even wrote several articles critiquing his teaching UGs attempts
to stultify thought is not always evident nor does it easily sink into our (the readers)
Even after years of listening to UG or reading, one is still battling with what he says and
try to show how his ideas are contradictory or absurd. But we havent gotten the point
yet. To get the point is to get what Robert calls The Living Truth.
All UGs other books, The Mystique of Enlightenment, The Mind is a Myth, Thought is
Your Enemy, No Way Out and Courage to Stand Alone are examples of how UG tries to
drive home his message: There is no enlightenment; there is nothing to get. Thought
creates the division between the self and the world and then posits an illusory ideal of
the unity of the two. To think there is a higher state or enlightenment and strive for it
is precisely what prevents us to be in our natural state. Once there is truly such
understanding, one is automatically out of the stranglehold of thought.
It is Roberts attempt in the following book to present UG and what he says as living
truth. His book belongs to the same genre as the other classics of UG I have mentioned
above. If the material succeeds in its purpose, which Robert hopes it will, the reader
should be at least for the moment, be left in a de-clutched state, to use UGs own
Robert intersperses his transcribed dialogues of UG with his own skillful introductions,
comments, allusions, background accounts and jokes, which make the text more
readable, comprehensible, interesting, and hopefully enlightening. In this book Robert
makes it easy for the reader to identify himself with the author and his encounters with
UG, and leads slowly and gradually into the deepest recesses of UGs teaching. He has
selected those topics for his chapters which would typically introduce the reader to the
wondrous being of UG and his Truth.
Be prepared to hear UG grilling your mind and dinning into yours to the point of utter
frustration and exhaustion!
Narayana Moorty
Preface of the Eager Author
And His Reluctant Guru
"UG, you said that every interpretation of you and of your 'teaching' is just the
same. What do you mean by that?"
UG: The same, yes. Whats the difference between all those interpretations? Whether
you call me a saint or a sinner, both are true depending upon your point of reference."
"Dont you think that when people listen to you for many years and study your
tape-recorded conversations carefully, those well-informed people have a better-
founded idea of you and the things you are expressing than the people who have
met you only once or twice?"
UG: No, sorry, no."
"You dont think that someone like me, who wrote this study on you, might be in
a better position to introduce people to what you say and mean?"
UG: No, I dont think so."
"So, . . . the purpose of writing this book might be limited merely to the earning of
some money, if there is going to be any income at all?"
UG: If you can make some money . . . I hope you will; thats all that will please me
(joking and laughing). And you can make some money if there are enough fools in this
world to buy your book. As I told you, this is the way it should be done. I am not
interested - you understand me well; but, like with any other product, you have to create
an interest in the man, write about him and about the book, in the newspapers, and
create a demand.
"And if you are not interested in it, please dont do it at all. Dont do it in a half-hearted
"Of course, I am very much interested; I worked on it for half this year at least."
UG: Thats what I said: so it must produce results, dividends. And whatever dividends
you get out of your efforts, they are yours, not mine. I have nothing to do with them."
"UG, would you do me a favor?"
UG: Do you a favor? What favor?"
"Well, to speak your preface for my book."
UG: No sorry!"
"You are not interested?"
UG: He who buys and reads this book must be a damned fool!"
(UG laughs at his own indulgence.)
"Yes, this kind of excuse you always use when people come to you with some
request. I dont believe you actually mean it."
UG: I mean it!"
"Come on UG, I invested fifteen hundred Dutch guilders to be able to record your
voice in hi-fi stereo this time. Now, dont brush it aside with a joke. Speak your
preface, please?"
UG: What I said about the reader of the book applies to you first: you are a fool, a
damned fool, to invest that much money! It is a total waste. . . !"
UG says:
What do you want
I always give the simile of the horizon: there is a horizon there, but
actually there is no horizon there at all; the limitation of the
physical eye has created the horizon. It cannot see beyond a
certain limit. So its this physical eye that has created that
limitation. Actually, when you move in the direction of that
horizon, the horizon is moving farther and farther away.
In exactly the same way, you would be surprised, when you move
in the direction of attaining whatever you want to attain,
permanent bliss or permanent happiness, it is moving farther and
farther away.
This endless journey is all that you are interested in. You see, now
you are tired of the journey. So, I come back to the question, What
do you want?
U.G. Krishnamurti
Born: 9th july 1918 - Enlightened: 1967 - Died: 22nd march 2007
2. Different From All the Winds of Heaven
I arrived at UGs doorstep at 6 o'clock in the morning, feeling quite tipsy and still
hearing the rhythm of the monotonous disco tune Funky Town on my lips.
UG was already waiting near the garden door, and when he saw me, he opened it
to let me in. He went into the kitchen and prepared a nice breakfast for me.
Unfortunately I did not really feel comfortable with UGs caring that morning as I
felt I didn't deserve it. So I mumbled a vague excuse that I felt sorry for not being
so fit and ready, that I had spent a late night at the disco in the Palace Hotel, and
that, anyway, I didn't have much appetite. The previous night, I had celebrated
with some friends the honor of being privileged to drive UG to Milan that day in
my own car.
The previous afternoon, UG had announced to everyone that he would be absent
for the next two or three days. He had to take care of some things about his visa;
and also the talking and answering questions became too much of a chore for him
these days. He had planned to travel by train, and when I offered to drive him by
car, at first he rejected the idea. After a while, however, he thought it was a good
idea, but on one condition: no crowds, that is, no fellow-travelers. There was
surely no need for him to worry about this because my small Citroen-Ami
delivery van had only two front seats. Since I had almost run out of my holiday
budget money, I asked UG to pay for the petrol.
And so this great honor was celebrated to an excess, until the disco closed at a
late hour. Then the nights cold weather made me suddenly remember the reason
for this celebration: my appointment with UG at six in the morning in his chalet.
Because of the duration of the journey, we had planned to leave this early. With a
shock I realized that it was three o'clock in the morning already. And I still had to
clean up my room - for this was my last night in that place, to pack my bags and
put them into the car. I had only two hours left after that, so I decided to take a
refreshing walk along the river. Were I to go to sleep then, I would surely not
wake up in time.
UG had offered me a cup of hot tea. 'You drink this, it will do you good, he
suggested in a friendly fashion. The tea tasted wonderful, perhaps because of
UGs all-forgiving grace he might have put into it, I volunteered with my
muddled brains. As soon as I had finished sipping the tea and quenched my
thirst, UG took the empty cup to the kitchen and washed it. Then we left.
After we drove for an hour or so, the sun began to beam his warmth through the
valleys and into the car, and the downside of my nightly dissipation became sickly
I had to fight against an overpowering lethargy. My eyes were lazily registering
the winding mountain road and my hands and feet needed all their experience to
keep the car on the road. The higher we got into the Alps, the more troubled my
ears got by the change of atmospheric pressure. The boring, dull conversation
that I reeled off - already lacking any uplifting quality - was now spoken with a
most unpleasant nasal sound. I only dared to continue my stuff and nonsense
after we had left the highest mountain peaks far behind us, having descended
along deep ravines into regions where the air- and ear-pressure became
comfortable again.
The threat of those deep ravines right next to the road made me ask UG whether
he was comfortable. He answered in a rather animated fashion by complimenting
on the car-seats: Its a Citroen, hmm? A small car, yes, but the seats are very
comfortable. I expressed my fear of the car tumbling down into the yawning
chasm. UG assured me that he never worried about those things and even
appreciated my driving saying that it might not be so easy if you haven't slept
whole night.
As one can imagine, I was surprised by this gracious forgiveness. To depict the
situation more accurately, I must reveal a little secret behind this UGs easy and
relaxed surrender: The ancient Rishis of India had predicted (in the nadi) that
UG would live right up to a ripe old age. So, however hazardous or risky his
situation might appear to be, God himself would keep an all-seeing eye on his
Chosen One, especially on these mountain ridges. Even the driver was no
longer afraid his car crashing at the bottom of some rocky canyon. Nevertheless,
its a miracle to me why UG accepted this negligent chauffeur.
At the Swiss-Italian frontier we took a short break to stretch our legs. Due to the
unpleasant after-effects of my celebration compounded by the terribly hot
weather, I didn't even have the energy to get out of the car; so I leaned back in the
seat. UG didn't have any problem with the tropical temperature; he looked
relaxed. He walked to the shop near the petrol station and after sometime, came
back with a big roll of chips and some sweets. Sitting next to me in the sweltering
hot car, he tore off the roll of chips and let the package paper whirl out of the
open window. You want some of these? UG asked me as he started munching
his chips, and without waiting for my No thank you, he put some of his
unappetizing chips in my hand. Half-heartedly I put them in my mouth and ate
them listlessly. Yah! How stale and dull they tasted! I thought UG was keen on
the quality of his food. To me the quality of these chips was not really great. But
even before we had left the parking-place, he finished off three quarters of the
chip roll! Well, about tastes there is no disputing Im certainly not with One of
the Great Teachers of Mankind.
It took us two more hours of suffering the oppressive highway before we arrived
in Milan. Somewhere in the centre of the city UG went into a tourist information
bureau to ask about a hotel and a few minutes later he emerged with a map rolled
up in his hands. Turning it round and round, he walked down the busy street. I
stayed in the car, feeling completely knocked out, but very happy to have arrived
without trouble and be here with UG. In this satisfaction I rested for half an hour
before UG had returned. He could not find a suitable hotel; so, we had to get into
the chaotic traffic again. Eventually, at about three o'clock, the trip had been
completed, right in front of a luxurious hotel.
UG was speaking to the receptionist in a language sounding somewhat like
Italian. When I asked him about it, he smiled and said: Well, they were just
some sounds; thats all. Yes, but I thought you only spoke English sounds, UG.
Not even those, replied UG in jest. Anyway, within five minutes he and I each
had a nice room. UG suggested that I should rest for a while, to catch up with my
sleep, while he himself would give free rein to his passion for window shopping.
We would meet in the evening and then go downtown.
Having enjoyed a quick and refreshing bath, I went to bed. Although I couldn't
sleep, two hours of relaxation made me overcome most of my tiredness.
It was so special walking together with UG in the illuminated Milan shopping
streets hovered by twilight. Actually, it was lovely, terrific! Truly incredible:
millions of faithful followers worship their giant Jesus or baffling Buddha, and
they would certainly spend a fortune merely to catch a glimpse of their saviors
dead bodies; and here I am, loafing around with such a living and lively
Superstar. I was window shopping with the Savior of Mankind, as if it were the
most ordinary thing in the world!
UG must have detected my sentimental admiration for him; he stopped abruptly
right in front of a shop window. When I stepped back to him, I saw his eyes were
fixed on something in the shop window - a mobile chemical toilet made of plastic.
Realizing the odd facts of the actual situation, my romantic and pious reveries
were beaten to a frazzle and had to make room for a funny memory from the
School of Philosophy in Amsterdam. In this institute the tutors routinely recited a
certain ancient shloka in a terribly serious and deadly tone:
When a realized person walks, he merely walks;
when a realized person looks,
he merely looks - without any distraction
in his entire consciousness.
Amused, I wondered whether, according to this rigidly repeated verse, a realized
person was allowed merely to feel attracted by some 20th-century synthetic
mobile toilet.
After nightfall, we were lounging in a big shopping centre, and UG invited me for
a pizza in a snack bar. They had pizzas with anchovy and without anchovy. UG
ordered a pizza without fish for himself, because, as he said, he couldn't stand the
smell of anchovies. I asked for the same. When UG had almost finished his pizza,
I only took my first bite of the delicacy and distinctly tasted the strong anchovy. I
asked UG whether he had not tasted something like fish. He stopped chewing and
abruptly got a fishy expression on his face! Then a quick run to the nearest
garbage bin and the Master of the Senses vomited some nice lumps of
masticated pizza - with anchovy!
A few days later, after returning to Gstaad, a friend of UG told me a story
concerning another odd incident involving UG in Milan. She said: When UG had
entered his hotel room, he saw a freshening-up sachet on the table, and since he
liked to refresh himself, he opened it and mopped his face with the odorous tissue
- anyway, that was what he thought he did. But when he looked into the mirror,
he saw that it was no lotion but shoe polish shining on his enlightened face!
Next morning, after having my breakfast (UG didn't have any breakfast, for he
hadnt gotten to trust Italian food yet!), we walked to the travel agencies to find
out if they had any reasonably priced round-the-world tickets. UG planned to fly
from Switzerland via USA to India. Unfortunately no travel agencies were open
yet. Back at the hotel, UG paid the bill, while I brought the luggage into the car
and replaced the cassette recorder under the dashboard. All the windows of the
car were opened, and UGs comfortable seat of the Citroen-Ami cheerfully sagged
under his weight as we rode out of the town and took the highway back to Gstaad.
Held up by a tailback near the frontier, we were riding slowly and quietly. I
turned on the music of Carlos Paredes on the cassette player. The brilliant
melodies played by this master guitarist reminded UG of the holy hymns of the
Vedas. As a boy he had to listen to those chants over and over again. Hence I
presupposed that he certainly would like this up-to-date version. However, after a
few minutes, UG was twiddling the buttons of the recorder. Are you already
bored by your guitar-based Vedas? I asked him. He smiled. So, I changed the
cassette: Crisis, What Crisis, performed by Super Tramp, now filled the car with
its striking tune. One thing I couldn't have presumed at this pleasant moment
was that the Crisis would soon have a reference to my personal situation.
It was already getting to be evening when we arrived at UGs Chalet Sunbeam. On
the whole the journey had been rather exhausting, and I felt very happy to be
back after all that driving. I put the car in the parking place behind the house,
helped UG step out and took his luggage out of the trunk. With the idea that we
would have a nice cup of tea together after our Italian adventure, I already
followed him down the path to the front side of the house. But UG abruptly
interrupted my sentimental tea-illusion, saying "Yes, thank you. Bye-Bye!"
Whereupon he walked to the other side of the house, alone, and without looking
back even once! I had to leave.
Dazed, hurt and terribly lonesome all at once, I stepped into my dear Ami and left
UGs place. Driving the car down the hill, I reached the main road and following
it I arrived in Saanen, a friendly village near Gstaad. Luckily I found a cheap
room. But alas, its ceiling was very low, so even my own room made me bow
. . . Prostrated, I lay down on the bed (which was too short for my length), musing
upon my contribution to the propagation of the uniqueness of this Mysterious
Being called UG Krishnamurti.
It was only a cold comfort that one of the passages in the Holy Scriptures
provided me with: the Kena Upanishad expresses how even the gods themselves
had trouble with that Mysterious Being:
Then the gods said to Vayu, the Air-god,
Find out who that Mysterious Being is.
So be it, he said and rushed toward It.
The Mysterious Being asked Vayu who he was,
and Vayu answered: I am Air, also called Wind,
Then the Mysterious Being asked: What power is in you?
I am the air and I can blow away all on this earth.
The Mysterious Being placed a blade of grass before him, saying:
Blow away this straw.
Vayu rushed toward it with all speed,
but could not blow it away.
Then Vayu stormed back to the gods,
confessing he could not find out
what this Mysterious Being was.

3. Philosophy Is Just a Bag of Moonshine
"My interest is to strip the whole thing of any trace of religiosity," proclaimed UG
vehemently over and over again.
In my opinion, he jolly well succeeded in doing that. Dont pass too lightly over the
devilish negligence of a disciple when he drove his guru along high ranges of
mountains and deep canyons, as I have described in the previous chapter. Of
course, I apologized several times; but I am sure UG would have been less content
during this Italian journey, if I had been showing off as some devotional bliss-fool
Now, seriously speaking, UG says that it is his interest to strip the whole thing of
any trace of religiosity. His aim is to lance through all the holy, sacred and mystical
things our philosophic, religious and therapeutic systems and doctrines are
poisoned with - an immense task which requires super-exertion. Just think of the
rigid authority lingering around all the ashrams, churches and psychotherapy
centers in the Eastern and Western traditions. And above all, think of all the faith
and trust people have invested in all their institutions. Even bringing about a little
change in such a situation would require gigantic energies.
But what instrument does UG have to reach his goal of stripping the whole thing
of any trace of religiosity? As soon as he unmasks things like meditation,
devotion, intelligence, intuition, discipline, love and even the individual experience
of people - because they no longer serve Life - UG can no longer use these things in
any constructive way any more. Even if he strains his intellectual powers to the
utmost, UG cannot expose and correct the essential error which manifests itself in
the intellectual functioning of people. A simple explanation for this is that the real
cause of this error keeps hiding beyond the reach of any power. In other words, UG
cannot do a thing with his interest, because any action he undertakes out of this
interest is immediately in conflict with his interest.
Here we have a paradox of which UG is the very embodiment.
For decades we have been deluged by all kinds of teachers and gurus great ones,
gracious ones as well as grappling ones - who offered us their highway or blind
alley leading to the Never-Ending Bliss. Some real champions in this field were
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and, of course, the illustrious
Bhagawan Shree Rajneesh. These three masters have pointed, one way or the
other, in the direction in which peace and satisfaction in life should be found.
Jiddu Krishnamurti has dedicated his life to the paradox of showing his disciples
that a master is not necessary and that a master will always stand in the way
between the disciple and truth itself.
The Maharshi offered to the world his easy and practical method of mantra
meditation. Countless people were able to enlighten their day-to-day life by means
of this simple meditation technique.
What capricious silver shadows Rajneesh has been casting with his autocrazy in
the world we can only guess. One thing is for sure; Rajneesh has tremendously
enriched the lives of thousands of enthusiastic people who had visited his bhakti-
tantra ashram. But only in the person of UG a totally original and powerful way of
expressing the omnipresent truth comes into the light.
With UG no Christian moralizing sermons are needed any longer in our time of
space travels and computer chips, no holy hanky-panky in Latin or Sanskrit, nor
any affirmation of secrecy or silence. UG didn't organize romantic darshans or
therapeutic balls, and he never lustily recited the sacred mantras. UG did not claim
himself to be a lineal descendant of Christ, Krishna or God himself; on the
contrary, he was, as a teacher, totally authentic and in this self-taught quality an
authority in his own right.
Just a few days before my first meeting with UG, I had enjoyed a wonderful
inspiring week of study at the School of Philosophy in Amsterdam, Holland.
At the
end of this week, an overwhelming feeling of happiness was glowing inside of me.
It felt as if my eyes were lit with fire. In less than a week after this blessing, and
after four years of sincere study at this School of Philosophy, my hope and faith of
finding the Eternal Peace by means of the teachings of this philosophy institute
was slated for good: Chalet Sunbeam in Gstaad, Switzerland, where I met UG for
the first time, became my new school and UG my Super Tutor.
I had asked UG only a few questions - about meditation and about sitting at the
feet of the master. UG answered very briefly and rather indistinctly -
inadequately, or it seemed to me. Anyway, I couldn't do a thing with it.
Completely bowled over, I wrote an impassioned letter to Margreet, my friend, in
which I tried to explain to her my bewilderment. The result, however, was that she
only noticed my fascination but not the cause of it.
Schools of this institution were established in many countries all over the world. The headquarters of the
institution is the School of Economic Science in England. The source of their teaching seems to be the
essence of many philosophies from all times and continents. The intention of the school is to try to make
the pupils practice love of wisdom which is the true meaning of the word philosophy. As is the case in
all schools, in this institute also there is an increasing discrepancy between wishing and wisdom.
The day before I left for Gstaad, I had prepared some reading material about UG
for her, and as a tasty introduction left a delicious fruit bar on the first page. Alas,
my dear Margreet had only enjoyed the fruit bar! Not being fond of paradoxical
philosophies, she had put away the text immediately after eating the bar. In doing
so, she was actually practicing UGs teaching pretty well!
In myself, the safety fuse of common sense and my philosophical heart had blown
completely; in my entirely chaotic mind there was not one straw of anchorage left.
This turbulence lasted for three days, three terrible days in which the image of
Truth I had previously built for myself had been turned totally topsy-turvy. After
this initiation, the remaining four days, however, were more beautiful and
luminous than any time before. Everything is allowed and everything is possible!
A great feeling deep inside of me released me from any authority in the field of
religion and philosophy. There was this tremendous conviction in me, clear and
plain, that never again would I be under any obligation to a tutor, teacher or
master, or even to a deity.
I knew for sure that I was always greater and truer than any idea or faith I had put
my confidence in. From now on I dared to ignore all sacred rules, holy traditions,
divine disciplines and the restraining etiquette of wisdom I had learned in the
School of Philosophy. Honor and respect towards leaders from now on were
measured by new standards. The invisible, paradoxical influence of UG made me
see that the truth of the School could no longer be my truth. According to UG, even
those philosophies we call living practical philosophies are merely the dull and
useless expressions of dead tradition. Once I told him my most blissful experience
of oneness:
UG, I was walking in the beautiful autumn dunes when suddenly two birds were
flying close over my head. Surprised by the moment, I dissolved into the landscape
I was wandering in - the dunes, the trees, the birds and the sky - they all seemed to
be me. Even to say that . . ."
Stop that nonsense! UG shouted.
My description was cut short rudely by UG. Rather irritated, he negated the value
of my wonderful experience in a disastrous way. Yes, I was aware of the fact that to
UG tradition meant nothing more than poison, but I never expected his notion of
tradition would encroach into the territory of a person's experience of bliss. He
brushed off my twaddle on oneness by calling it some unconscious imitation of the
experiences I had heard of in the Philosophy School or had read in the Holy
Flabbergasted by this intriguing man who spoke with a conviction I had never
heard before, I immediately arranged for a visit to India, where UG would be
staying in Bangalore, for two winter months.
Returning from Gstaad, I decided to attend some holiday lectures at the School for
Philosophy, just to see what influence this would have on my newly acquired
knowledge. They didn't have any appeal to me at all; it was as if I had already
known and understood everything they were putting across. The mysterious, luring
hold the teaching of this school had had on me in former days had now been
reduced to ashes.
My interest is to strip the whole thing of any trace of religiosity! thus sounds
UGs revealing vision on life.
In the School of Philosophy I had to obey one ridiculous religious rule or silly
oppressive sacrament after the other. One had to devote oneself to some sacred
stanza, sacrifice oneself to the School and have absolute faith in the Self or the
Absolute. Even wearing a tie for men or an evening dress for the ladies was
degraded into a religious obligation: personal ideas on fashion were hardly
allowed. Once a tutor told a student that a wife should never wear trousers because
it could cause her partner to have homosexual feelings (yes, they really told us
Then Evert, a friend of some of my friends, appeared on the scene. He had
revolutionary ideas and truly inspiring statements to make, regarding the
management of the School of Philosophy of which he also was a member at that
time. Many meetings and fascinating conversations with him delivered the final
blow to my interest in the School.
On a cheap ticket, purchased at the Rajneesh Foundation, I flew via Delhi to
Bombay and from there, by Airbus, to Bangalore, where I met UG the second time.
I visited him every day, morning, afternoon and evening - four heavy and fatiguing
weeks at a stretch. In the first few days everything was new and refreshing, of
course, but soon meetings with UG began to run a heavy course. Every day I had to
hear anew and realize that everything I had done and still could do to reach self-
realization was the very thing that would prevent that realization for ever!
After I rejected the authority of the School of Philosophy four months ago, now my
very own authorities were having a rough time. UG tightened his stranglehold on
them: my experience, my intuition, intelligence and my deepest emotions didn't
get the slightest chance to show their talents. Nowhere in the vast domain of
philosophy and wisdom were these powerful authorities of man given an occasion
to perform in a constructive manner. The very moment my personal powers began
to stir, it again became clearer to me that they would only hinder the natural
process of self-realization.
While the more insights nestled in me every day when I was in the presence of this
paradoxical master, the less sense could I make of them. In the beginning I decided
to contemplate on this vicious circle as if it were a glorious aureole of a saint, but
near the end of four weeks of constant listening, this circle had been sagged and
transformed into the galling halter of the hanged victim!
My cup was full, but my search for Truth was not at all fulfilled.
Then, the last night I spent in Bangalore was a very oppressive one:
Somewhere in the dusk of drowse and dream I felt my breathing was not
functioning normally. I gasped for a deeper breath, but no fresh air would come
into my lungs. Then I became aware of the fact that something was clogging my
throat. Scared to death, I realized that within a few minutes I would certainly die.
Panic stricken, all the life force disgorged itself out of my throat. Gasping for air,
something ghastly snapped and at the same time any hold the world had on me
had disappeared. In a horrifying loathing of a swoon I slipped through a broken
membrane, far away from the universe. Then all became quiet and serene. Slowly it
came home to me that I was still living . . . But strange enough I didnt notice any
respiration in me. Then my eyes were opened and there was the relieving
realization that Life did never need any lungs to live.
In this joyous drowse I faded into dream.
Next morning UG flew to Bombay where he planned to stay for four weeks. I left
for Tiruvannamalai to visit the ashram of Ramana Maharshi. In this holy place I
loved to rehash my totally chilled and ignored inner man. The romanticism of the
ashram gave every satisfaction; so I decided to see the holy places of Sri Aurobindo
and Sri Ramakrishna also. The sacred atmosphere in those places thrilled me.
After the total defloration of feelings and emotions at UGs, the meditation in those
holy regions served as a beneficial medicine. The last blessed place I visited on my
Indian journey was the majestic temple building of Sri Ramakrishna in
Dakshineswar. The lovely atmosphere there inspired me with awe. Everywhere on
the steps were crowds of people, queued up and waiting for their turn to offer their
obeisance to Ramakrishna and receive his grace.
For myself I liked to rest in a quiet place; so I entered one of the small chapels,
right in front of the main temple. Inside this nice house of worship, high on the
wall, a portrait of Ramakrishna was leaning over. The narrow space thus created
behind the gracious smile of the Great Master had become the nice place for a
bird's nest! Even the animals seem to share the love of Ramakrishna.
When the twilight set in, worships were held in which Ramakrishna in the form of
a beautiful huge statue was honored. With the singing of hymns and twinkle of
candles my roused emotions recovered from their deprivation lavishly.
On the New Year's Day, I flew from Calcutta to Bombay. Before returning home I
had my last Indian meeting with UG. We talked about one thing or the other and
about a ghost who had walked around the house where UG was staying now. It
seemed that some years ago a person had been murdered in this house. However,
since UGs influence had filled the atmosphere, the imprisoned ghost of this
murdered person seemed to realize the cause of his lingering and thus released
himself . . . and the house.
Contrary to the meetings in Bangalore in which UG stripped me of all my
philosophical faith, here at the end of my journey, he offered me something: a
delicious dinner which he himself had prepared. Compared with everything he had
taken away from me, this bit of food didn't mean much, of course. But, that he
offered it was the important thing. It convinced me of the fact that all his taking
away from me actually was a form of offering me something. It is good to meet
this man from time to time, I said to myself.
Two days later, the Air India 707 landed at Schiphol Airport. The whole of Holland
was blanketed with a white layer of sparkling snow. After the hot and noisy climate
of India, I could not have wished a more refreshing welcome than this one. It was
lovely to be back in my calm and spotless little homeland where I could enjoy
delicious brown bread with farmhouse cheese and drink fresh water straight from
the tap without the worry of getting sick, and where I could live without the
nuisance of cockroaches everywhere and the blare of music all day long.
It really looked like my gloomy impressions from India were completely played off
by the frozen Dutch field and the future seemed rather sunny to me. Apart from
UGs meal and in spite of the burning hot sun of India, I badly needed a real
sunbeam now. India had not left me stone cold, to say it all in contradictory terms.
That one should never trust paradoxical conclusions became evident soon when
my optimism melted away with the last snow and made way for an apathetic
somberness. The following months turned out to be a horrible hell to me. The
merciless and drastic influence of UG had affected me more than I ever had
expected: as a paralyzing poison UGs desperate teaching had blocked all my
attempts to pick up the day-to-day routines. After all the abstractions I had met
with in India, I felt like creating great pieces of fine art, but I could not even draw a
simple sketch, let alone complete a work. As soon as I entered my studio, a gray
discouragement polluted the atmosphere and an agonizing pointlessness reduced
my actions to zero. The only deed left was to make myself a pot of coffee!
Days and days of trying to get back to work didn't have the expected result. When,
at last, I had set myself to sweep the dirty floor of the studio, I suddenly threw
away the broom in a flash of temper and took the all but creative decision to
exchange my coffee-scene for a coffee-scene at Evert's. His coffee tasted good, the
chummy diversion of the conversation was nice, but my UG-generated confusion
made a plucky stand. Unfortunately our perspectives concerning UGs approach
vis--vis the traditional philosophies were on different wavelengths that day.
A few days and many pots of coffee after that meeting, I visited my friend Paul and
his wife, to fetch a book of mine. We had been friends for more than ten years, but
when I rang the bell, the door was just opened a crack and my book was handed to
me through the crack. They didn't appreciate my company any more because of the
strange and strong atmosphere of UG they said I had around me. They preferred
the safe and structured path of wisdom the School of Philosophy had laid out.
Weeks and weeks of boring despair and frustrated hope made me feel like that
slavish dog and his cunning owner: the dog very much likes to eat the sausage,
which is dangling right in front of his nose. So, he steps forward to satisfy his
hunger; but at the same time, he is pulling the dogcart of his owner and he does
this for the very rest of his life! The trick, of course, is that the owner has tied the
sausage to the cart. Each inch the dog moves forward to bite the sausage, the
sausage has moved forward that very same inch. Most probably the only food the
dog will ever eat in his lifetime will be some leftovers dropped by his indolent
I felt I was in the same position as this dog: all the serene and divine sausages of
the School of Philosophy were dangling in front of my nose and I would very much
like to consume them. But at the same time I was aware of the fact that these
sausages too had been connected with my own dogcart. So, why should I
meditate or practice all kinds of sacred disciplines, if the final goal of all these
devotions is only to continue the empty flirt at the far horizon, without ever coming
closer to it one step? This was the intelligent way of contemplating this dilemma,
but then, the next day, the instinctive solution took its revenge: scenting the
delicious sausage of the School of Philosophy at times made me doubt UGs
massive teaching. I felt I was caught between soothed by the sausage and
triggered by truth, or torn between wanting to eat and knowing a wiser feat.
One evil day, when the high walls of my studio and my eternal pot of coffee were
boring me past bearing, I decided to have a talk with a sympathetic tutor at the
School of Philosophy. Although I was through with that institute, my problem was
of a philosophical nature; so, I thought that perhaps this man could help me. I
made an appointment to see him the next evening. Ten minutes after entering the
school, our conversation was over. Our views regarding the dogcart with the
sausage were too widely divergent to yield a fruitful conclusion. I had to solve the
problem by myself.
Months and months of confusion, despair, hope and disillusion passed by. I
fancied how in this School for Philosophy I could work hard and become a peaceful
and exemplary human being - an alert, attentive man, provided with a powerful
concentration and a specially trained quality of consciousness. I phantasized how
these attributes would enlighten my life tremendously and how happy I would
be . . . Well, in short, I was sniffing at the sausage and I had been seduced by its
alluring smell. I would even have run after it if UG had not roughly shaken me
awake by shouting in my ear what the disastrous consequences of eating sausages
would be: poisoning of Life!
I heard UG emphasizing: In spite of all your attempts to purify your thought, you
will not reach any result at all; on the contrary, your very search will take you away
from your goal.
And it echoed in my mind: To strip the whole thing of any trace of religiosity . . .
How could I invest all my energy in this realization of truth, knowing that this
very action would only disturb that truth? From where would I get the enthusiasm
to study the Upanishads, the Bible and all the other Holy Scriptures, if I knew that
any study will only prevent this self-realization? So, I didn't want to waste my
effort on these things any more.
To make matters worse, Evert seemed to have the right solution to the paradoxical
situation of studying at the School for Philosophy and at the same time practicing
the wisdom of UG:
You cannot reach It by the investment of many actions, nor can you leave all
actions undone. Life in all its variegations will impress upon you with the most
personal and individual line of study. Your effort to reach your goal against every
resistance the world throws up will deliver you a most efficient and specific
discipline. If this point is not understood, or if you deny it, you'll miss both the
School and UG.
Something like this Evert told me, and theoretically I agreed with it: All right,
maybe this is the way things will develop, but as far as I am concerned, this
realization of truth step by step, as is prescribed by the School of Philosophy is
nonsense. I understood clearly that the only way to realize truth is to take away the
very foundation of all false teachings and disciplines, especially the intellectual
devices the School of Philosophy is propagating:
Padam, padam, step by step, and little by little we realize Divine Perfection. . . .
Please, give me UG:
The dog dropping the shit there on the street - that will do the trick for you!'
No more holy efforts, but one snap of the fingers, one rap on the weak spot - and
the solution is simply there. The dog dropping the shit will do the trick- thats the
real talk of wise men!
UG: All this talk of transformation or mutation means nothing to me; it is just a bag of
"You mean that there is only a movement going on?"
UG: Yes, and that is the movement of Life. And it is expressing itself with an
extraordinary intelligence, which cannot be met by any acquired intellect. And there is
nothing to be awakened there; it is already awake. You dont have to do a thing. You
know, what you are doing all the time is putting it to sleep, because you cant stand or
take the alertness or the awakening that is there. So you drug yourself with all kinds of
systems, techniques and methods.
I tell you, it is the messiahs that are responsible for the mess in this world!"
4. From the Very Beginning...
UG: My life was strange from the very beginning; it was a very strange life . . .
Perhaps you have to blame it on your mother. Mothers are always to be
blamed: she made that pronouncement just before she died."
UGs mother had said on her death bed that her son was born with an
extraordinary destiny.
"That started the whole circus, hmm? Otherwise your grandfather would
have given you to a servant to take care of you, no?"
UG: You see, every mother feels the same way about her child thinking that it will be
great - this, that and the other."
"Well, my mother didn't say something like that about me!"
UG: Your mother had too many children. I was the only one, and she was dying,
so . . ." (smiling)
But before UGs mother pronounced her vision, according to the experts, this
view about UGs high destiny was already predicted many hundreds of years ago
by the Kaumara Nadi astrology.
"So, your grandfather went to that institute in Madras?"
UG: Yes, it happened as the Nadi predicted in my case. But its prediction was not
accurate in my grandfathers case."
"Why not?"
UG: In the case of my own grandfather many of the Nadi predictions were inaccurate.
He died in his 84th fourth year, whereas the Nadi predicted that his death would occur
his 64th year.
"But your grandfather also went to that institute to ask for your chart?"
UG: Yes, that was the same institute."
"What kind of chart was that?"
UG: The chart was written in an archaic language which nobody can understand except
those who are familiar with that kind of language. They translate it into English or
simple Tamil. Like this book, The Cloud of Unknowing - it was written originally in
archaic 13th century English."
"And those people are able to interpret the charts well?"
UG: They just have to translate the text; it has already been interpreted."
UG is getting reluctant to answer now; he is not fond of discussing these abstruse
"You have to pay for these charts?"
UG: Yes, everything is money, hmm? It used to be five rupees, now it is 35 or 45 rupees.
Those people inherited the manuscripts from their fathers, and they in turn from their
fathers and so on."
"How did this chart happen to be made? Somebody told me that Bhrigu was their
originator. Is that correct?"
UG: No, not Bhrigu but Kumara. Somebody said it was Bhrigu Nadi, but this
particular chart is from the Kaumara Nadi."
"That means Kumara is the seer of the visions?"
UG: You see, two persons discuss the chart. Somebody asks a question: 'How can you
say that such and such a thing will happen?', 'Well, it is because of this ... ' They,
Vashishta and Vishwamitra, dramatize the situation. They discuss the chart as if they
were standing before the Goddess Parvati.
I have no explanation for it; I cant brush it aside and say that the whole thing is
nonsense; nor do I swear by it and say that there is something to it."
"This chart with the translated text was given to you when you were young?"
UG: Yes, I found it in my papers when my grandfather died. It didn't make any sense at
that time. It makes sense now, after so many years."
Kaumara Nadi reading:
Vashishta and Vishwamitra offer obeisance to Goddess Parvati
and discuss the tenth bhava of the native.
The native's name is Gopala Krishnamurti. Sitaramayya is
the name of his father, and the mother's name is Bharati.
Then the chart mentions the positions of the planets at the moment of UGs birth.
At this stage Vashishta says that the native will attain moksha in this very life.
UG: I was brought up by my grandparents. My grandfather was a lawyer, a very rich
man. He knew Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, and Olcott, and then,
later on, the second and third generation Theosophists. They all visited us. My
grandfather devoted himself to create a spiritual atmosphere for me and to educate me
in the right way. On the one hand, he was orthodox and traditional, and followed
Theosophy and the whole thing, on the other hand. He failed to strike a balance between
the two. That was the beginning of my problem. Every morning those Theosophists
would come and read the Upanishads, Panchadasi, Naishkarmya Siddhi, the
commentaries on them and the commentaries on those commentaries - the whole lot -
from 4 o'clock to 6 o'clock. And this little boy of five, six or seven years had to listen to
all that crap. Our house 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, but their lives were shallow, nothing. That was the
beginning of my search.
Sometimes my grandfather would say to me: You are in a very lucky situation. Look at
your father and his brothers. You know, that always irritated me. Yes, he said he was a
doing great favor to me, but I didn't want him do it for me.
And then, one time, he hit me. I was seven years-old. And I hit him back. He never
thought I would do that. It was a traumatic experience for the old man. I hit him back
with a belt, the same belt that he hit me with. I had never touched him before. You are
tall, you are 67, I am 7. The difference of 60 years doesn't give you an edge over me!' He
never touched me afterwards.
My grandfather used to meditate for one or two hours in a separate meditation room.
One day, a two year-old baby started crying for some reason. That chap came down and
started beating the child and the child almost turned blue. And this man, hmm,
meditating two hours every day. Look! What is this he has done? I asked myself, So, is
there anything to what they profess - the Buddha, Jesus and all the great teachers?
Everybody is talking about moksha, liberation and freedom. What is it? I want to know
it for myself!' Then I visited Swami Shivananda Saraswati in those days. Between the
age of 14 and 21 I used to go there and meet him very often. And I did everything, all the
austerities. I was so young, yet I wanted that moksha. I wanted to prove to myself and to
everybody that there cannot be any hypocrisy in such people. So, I practiced yoga. I
practiced meditation, studied everything and 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 or melting into nothingness - all those experiences. So this cant be the thing,
because I am the same person, mechanically doing these things. Meditation has no value
for me. This is not leading me anywhere'."

Kaumara Nadi continues:
Educational attainments must be very high.
Endowed with versatility, imagination,
intuitive perception and fluency of speech . . .
Endowed with imagination . . . ? Perhaps UGs imagination was so rich that in
his search for truth he had only finished off with his imaginations about moksha
and samadhi but had not dealt with the real moksha or real samadhi? Also there
is this fluency of speech of his by means of which he might easily impose upon
people? It is not a question of doubting UGs sincerity, but sometimes a little
flicker of suspicion about UGs behavior does come up even after knowing UG for
a long time, as for example, when he suddenly and without any obvious reason
went of into a fit of rage about some trifle, or when he forgot, in spite of all his
omnipresence, to take along with him his little toe while closing a door, thus
proving literally that even enlightened blood is thicker than water.
. . . He must attain prosperity through personal merit;
but there is no steady income, and it will not be
proportionate to his name and fame.
He will have much more money than ancestral inheritance.
Since he is destined to be spiritual minded,
he will always be indifferent towards money.
One day, the miserly landlord came to inspect the chalet where UG habitually
spent his Swiss summers and he was up to creating trouble concerning some
minor damages in the house. UG immediately cut through his fuss: Come on,
how much money do you want? In view of the fact that many garden chairs of
the chalet were in such bad condition that one could not even sit on them, it was
surprising to see how UG handled the landlord so lightheartedly. Of course, this
behavior was not only the result of indifference towards money, but also had to
do with his aversion for silly and irritating arguments.
UG: Then sex became a tremendous problem for me as a young boy. You see, this is
something natural, a biological thing, an urge in the human body. Why do all these
people want to deny 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, 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 is
something natural. I have no control over such a thing happening. Meditation has not
helped me, study has not helped me and my disciplines have not helped me. I never
touched salt and I never touched chilies or any spices.
Then one day, I found this man Shivananda eating mango pickles behind closed doors.
'Here is a man who has denied himself everything in the hope of getting something; but
this fellow cannot control himself. He is a hypocrite. This kind of life is not for me."
Sex becomes UGs meditation.
UG: I didn't know anything about sex. In those days there were no erotic magazines
and all that. So, Why is it that I have all kinds of images of sex?' That was my inquiry,
that was my meditation; not sitting in the lotus posture or standing on my head. 'This is
something inside, not put in from outside. The outside is stimulating; but there is
another kind of stimulation from inside that is more important to me. I can cut out all
that external stimulation successfully, but how can I cut this out from inside?' I wanted
to find out.
I did not rush to have sex with a woman or anything. I allowed things to develop in
their own way. That was a time when I didn't want to marry. My aim was to become an
ascetic or a monk, and not to marry. 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 for. Why
should you go and have sex with some woman? You can have a natural expression of sex
in marriage."
After some years UG married a young and beautiful Brahmin woman, one of the
three his grandmother had selected for him as possible suitable matches.
"So tell me UG, didn't you feel you had sold yourself when you decided to
get married?"
UG: No."
"Come on, with such a strong Brahmin background you must have felt that
you were doing something quite horrendous."
UG: No, I never regretted that. I enjoyed it. Sex was all that interested me. Nothing else
interested me, you see."
"All right, you may have enjoyed it; but did you not feel like 'My God, what
am I doing? I have given so much of my life to . . .
UG: No. Otherwise I wouldn't have lived with my wife for sixteen or eighteen years."
Apparently UG once said: I awoke the morning after my wedding night and
knew without a doubt that I had made the biggest mistake of my life . . .
"But before marrying you must have thought . . ."
UG: One day they will make a big thing out of it, like the Buddha walking out on his
wife. Now they condemn it."
"But you must have thought, 'Look, I have been practicing asceticism for
so many years. It is part of the very foundation of . . .
UG: No, no regrets in my life. You see, I never regretted anything nor did I justify
anything. I had this feeling that 'Whatever I am searching for must be possible within
this framework of living with a family and carrying the whole burden on my back;
otherwise it is not worth it.' I have the same obsession now, in the sense that I am just
an ordinary man and not something special, not a spiritual man who gets up on a
platform and goes around lecturing on spirituality.
When I was 21, I arrived at a point where I felt very strongly that all the teachers -
Buddha, Jesus, Sri Ramakrishna - everybody - kidded themselves, deluded themselves
and deluded everybody, all their followers. 'What is the state that these people talk about
and describe? Their descriptions seem to have no relation to me, to the way I am
functioning. Everybody says: 'Dont get angry,' but I am angry all the time. I am full of
brutal thoughts inside. So that is false - what these people are telling me I should be like
that is something false. And because it is false, it will falsify me. 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; and what they are talking about is
unnatural.' So, somehow a revulsion against everything sacred and everything holy crept
into my system and I threw everything out: 'No more shlokas, 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; and
desirelessness, non-greed, non-anger - those things have no meaning to me; they are
false.' So, I said to myself: Im finished with the whole business. But it is not that
He comes into contact with great men very early in life...
says Kaumara Nadi.
Indeed, one day somebody came along and invited UG to visit Ramana
Maharishi. At first UG didn't want to see him or any other holy man .
UG: If you have seen one, you have seen them all. 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. But there is no such thing as
permanence. The holy men are all phonies."
So, reluctantly, hesitatingly, unwillingly, UG went to see the sage of
Tiruvannamalai, Ramana Maharshi. He was later to say that this encounter was
to change the course of his life and put him right back on the track. Arriving at
the ashram, UG wondered how this man, who was reading comic strips, cutting
vegetables and playing with this, that or the other, could help him.
UG: I looked at him, and he looked at me. 'In his presence you feel silent, your
questions disappear, his look will change you'. All that remained a story, fancy stuff to
me. I sat there and there were a lot of silly questions inside me. Alright, let me ask him
some question, I thought. I said: 'You are supposed to be a liberated man. Can you give
me what you have?' He didn't answer, so after some time I repeated that question:
'Whatever you have, can you give it to me?' He said: 'I can give it to you, but can you
take it?' Boy! For the first time this fellow says that he has something and that I cant
take it. Nobody before said 'I can give you,' but this man said 'I can give you, but can you
take it?' Nobody before had said that. They all said: 'Do sadhana, stand on your head,
stand on your shoulders, hang from a tree, deny yourself'. But for the first time this
fellow says '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, sixteen hours every day! If I cant take it, who can take it?'"
UG didn't stay with Ramana. He asked a few more questions like: Can one be
free sometimes and not free sometimes? Ramana said: Either you are free or
you are not free at all. But these questions didn't bother UG. It was this question
'Can you take it?' that bothered him.
UG: Why cant I take it, whatever it is? What is it that he has? What is that state all
those people - the Buddha, Jesus and the whole gang - were in? 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."
UG never again visited Ramana or any other teacher.
UG: Then my real search began. For some years I studied psychology and also
philosophy, Eastern and Western. I started exploring on my own the whole area of
human knowledge. 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, I told myself, 'All this
knowledge doesn't satisfy me. Why read all this?' 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 dont see any mind, but all these books
talk of the 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 - books of 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: 'Dont ask such inconvenient questions. They are very dangerous
questions. If you want to pass your examination, just take down my notes, memorize
them, and repeat them in the answer papers; you will get your degree. ' I replied: But I
am not interested in a degree; I am interested in finding out about the mind."
Breaks in education.
Begins professional study in his 23rd year
but ends it abruptly.
UGs grandfather died and without completing his degree, UG left the University
of Madras. He inherited a fortune of sixty thousand dollars from his grandfather.
In 1943 UG married, when he was 25 years-old.
5. Right Progress on the Wrong Track
After the twenty-fifth year he takes up the line of teaching or lecturing
connected with an organization which stands for universal brotherhood
and essential unity of all religions. That brings him wisdom, friendship
with great men, increasing fame and reputation as a great speaker and
respect of learned men. The nature of his work is such that he constantly
travels and comes into contact with great men of different kinds and
gains experience.
These centuries-old words of Kaumara Nadi still covered the facts. The
organization for universal brotherhood was, of course, the Theosophical Society.
UG functioned as a lecturer and eventually he was elected Joint General Secretary
of the Society in India.
UG: Seventeen hours, eighteen hours a day I was working. It is not such an easy job to
go and lecture everywhere in the world and meet all kinds of audiences, that too in
Catholic countries. It is not an easy thing to meet them. You see, you talk to them. You
have to work hard; you have to know a lot of things. You cant just get up on a platform
and talk: there are so many people who are trying to challenge you. And then, you are
there as a missionary, not just talking. Now I am not a missionary; I just talk and go. Do
what you like with it. I am not trying to convince you. But then, it was difficult. I was a
very good speaker at that time, a first-class speaker, lecturing everywhere, on every
platform. I addressed every university in India. But there was this feeling: This is not
something real to me. Anybody who has brains can gather this information and then
throw it at people. What am I doing?"
Then, in the late 1940s, towards the end of UGs time in the Theosophical Society,
Jiddu Krishnamurti arrived on the scene. UG got involved with him. He listened
to him for some seven years, every time when he came to Madras. Because of the
whole World Teacher business he never met him personally. But then, after
seven years, circumstances brought them together.
UG: My question was the same question: 'What is it that you have? The abstractions
you are throwing at me, I am not interested in them. Is there anything behind the
abstractions? What is it? Somehow I have a feeling that what is behind the abstractions
you are throwing out is what I am interested in. You may not have tasted the sugar, but
at least you seem to have looked at the sugar.
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. And then,
towards the end, I insisted: Come on, is there anything behind the abstractions you are
throwing at me?' And that chappy 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
and you have no way of communicating it, what the hell are we doing? I have wasted
seven years. Goodbye, I dont want to see you again. Then I walked out.
. . . Thats what I have against this old man (J. Krishnamurti): he was perpetuating the
same stupendous hopes, and he never came out clean. Amongst my contemporaries the
most honest man was Ramana Maharshi and the most dishonest one is J. Krishnamurti,
sorry to say. But its all in the press; so dont worry. I dont say anything behind the back
of somebody. Ramana was the honest one, very honest. I dont know anything of those
people who lived before my time. On the other hand - its very strange - I never liked
that fellow, Ramana. I thought I liked this man J. Krishnamurti for some reason. Its not
that I dislike him, but this whole structure of thought he has created for some reason
cannot be of any help to anybody.
Regardless of the claims he makes, and regardless of the talk that it is revolutionary,
the only revolution' - and he speaks of 'transformation, radical or otherwise, mutation,
radical or otherwise - what does he mean by that? You see, when he talks of the
mutation of the mind, hmm, what is he talking about? Where is the mind he is talking
about? What is there to be transformed? And if that transformation he is talking about is
within the framework of your psychological field, it is a worthless transformation. What
is so radical about it? He has just created a new lingo. Because he was dissatisfied with
the traditional approaches, he created a new language, as it were. For what purpose? I
dont know and I dont care! So, what do they do, those people who listen to him year
after year? They pick up that new lingo and begin to think, feel and experience those
things through that new structure of thought which he has created, which is as absurd -
it is as ridiculous as the traditional approaches. It really doesn't matter what language
you use, whether it is a simple language or the traditional language, it doesn't make any
I question the very idea of mutation or transformation that he is talking about - the
radical change, the urgency of change and all that sentimental toddle. As far as I am
concerned, it is missionary work that he is doing. But I am not interested in missionaries
- dead or alive - whether they are Christian missionaries or the Hindu missionaries or
missionaries of a different kind.
What is he talking about? What does he mean by suggesting that you can use awareness
as a means to bring about a change in you? What exactly does he mean when he talks of
awareness? Can there be any division in awareness, hmm? So this is a new game that
people are playing. There cant be any division in awareness, you know? Awareness is
something which cannot be used as a means to bring about any transformation or
change, radical or otherwise, in you, much less in the world around you. The talk of
affecting the whole of human consciousness through transformation, in which all these
people are indulging in, is to me just hogwash. Why he does what he does is his own
affair. I am not interested in saving the followers of J. Krishnamurti, much less the
world. And if they all want to save the world, good luck to them! But it must produce
results, you see. You can say that you have listened to some teacher for fifty years, sixty
years or a hundred years, but as far as I am concerned, that is of no importance at all.
UG spoke these words of reluctance to save the world and its inhabitants, a long
time after he had himself finished his own, scantily motivated mission around the
The nature of his work is such that he constantly travels . . .
This was a fact and remained a fact: UG traveled all over the world, lecturing
everywhere. There are only a few countries he had not visited. After the
phenomenon of his calamity, as UG called his arriving at the Natural State, he
kept on traveling all over the world. However, his Theosophically-minded
mission had been replaced by a vocation with a totally different direction.
After thirty-fifth year there is a change in life. Residence in foreign lands.
There is an indication of constant and fruitless traveling around the
world. Intense inward struggle. But the inner crisis will end up in good.
UG: You see, I went to the USA for the treatment of my son who had polio. My wife, my
son and I went to America. Our two daughters stayed in India with my in-laws. We
stayed there for seven or eight years. And that was impoverishing us. I spent everything
I had. I told the immigration fellow also: 'People come here to make a fortune; I am here
and I have spent a fortune here!' I spent all my money - sixty-thousand dollars - on the
treatment of my son. Before that, the 'old man' (J. Krishnamurti) tried his healing in
India but without result.
In 1961, UGs money ran out and he started to feel within him a tremendous
upheaval which he could not and did not wish to control. It was to last for six
years and ended with the calamity. It was probably about this time that UG was
puzzled by the appearance of certain psychic powers. UG said then: 'The moment
I saw a person I could see his entire past, present and future, without his telling
me anything.' He even had the power to see through people, as if his eyes had X-
ray vision.
UG: Before my forty-ninth year I had so many powers, so many experiences, but I
didn't pay any attention to them. I was puzzled. I was wondering: Why do I have this
power? Sometimes I said things, and they always happened that way. I couldn't figure
out the mechanism of that. I didn't play with it. But then it had certain unpleasant
consequences and created suffering for some people.
UG went broke in America. He did not have enough funds to continue to pay for
the adequate treatment of the polio of his son. He had little interest in working.
Then his marriage broke up.
UG: I failed, you see, thats all. I wanted to change her (my wife), fit her into my
framework, and destroy all the relationships she had with others - her family, her
mother and her parents. I wanted to uproot her from the whole thing and plant her in a
totally alien land, in which effort I failed - thats all.
She was Indian, hmm?
UG: Hundred percent. And she wanted to remain that way. She wanted children, eight,
ten children and all the family around.
Was it because of some disease that she died so young, or was she
UG: No, I dont know. She was in a hospital, mental hospital . . .
You made her crazy!
UG smiles dimly. This remark was not meant to be impolite - the person who
conversed with UG was a friend. Though the subject was tragic, the conversation
was a frivolous one.
UG: She was given electric shock treatment.
UG: Yes!
You allowed that?
UG: She was in India, I was not there. She was not with me in the US.
You abandoned her?
UG: Well, she abandoned me. I never throw anybody out or make conditions.
She left? She was fed up with you? You managed to make it unbearable
UG: . . .not fed up with me.
She didn't want to live in America?
UG: No. She never liked America.
Thats it. So she wanted to go back to her homeland; she was homesick.
UG: You see, our two daughters were in India, growing up. And she had typhoid in the
mental hospital; would you believe it?
Did she die from typhoid in that hospital?
UG: No, when she returned home she had an accident. She broke her neck. I got the
news six months later . . .
UG had put his family on a plane to India and he himself went to London. He
arrived there penniless and began roaming the city. For three years he lived idly
in the streets. His friends saw him going downhill on a headlong course, but he
says that at that 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.
But the inner crisis will end up in good . . .
This crisis took place in London. Then UG felt as if he had no head: 'Where is my
head? Do I have a head or not? The head seemed to be there. Where do these
thoughts come from?' This queer experience introduced a period in which
flipping and flying were vying with each other to get the upper hand.
UG: 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, 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. One day, I was sitting in the Hyde Park. A
policeman came and said: You cant sit here. We are going to throw you out. So, Where
to go? What to do? I think I only had five pence in my pocket. The thought came into
my head: Go to the Ramakrishna Mission.
UG put his scrapbook before the Swami of the Ramakrishna Mission. This
scrapbook was about him: his lectures, The New York Times comments on his
lectures and his background. The Swami said he was looking for a man exactly
like UG. He had to bring out the Vivekananda Centenary number, but his
assistant who was doing the editorial work was mentally ill. UG told the Swami
that he was a finished man and that he couldn't be of any help in that direction.
But the Swami said, No, no, together we can do something. So, UG tried to do
something, not to his satisfaction, nor to the Swamis, but somehow together they
brought out the issue. UG got five pounds for his work. He didn't know what to do
with it; he had lost the sense of the value of money. There was a time when he
could write a check for a hundred thousand rupees. After some time of not having
even a penny in his pocket and now he had five pounds!
UG: What am I to do with this? I asked myself. 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 see a movie. 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.
I was sitting 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: I was sitting doing
nothing, looking at all those people, pitying them. Those 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
movement inside my body. Suddenly I found something was moving, some energy was
coming up from the penis and going through this, my head, as if there was a hole. It was
moving like this, in circles, in a clockwise direction, and then in an anti-clockwise
direction. 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
(special). After three months, I said, I am going; I cant do this kind of thing. Toward
the end of my stay, 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 my ticket and
made some money. 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. After three months I decided I must go back to India, but somehow I didn't want
to go to India. Because of my family, my children, I was frightened to return 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, take the money out and
then see what would happen. So, I came out of the hotel, got into a taxi and said, Take
me to Gare de Lyon. But the trains from Paris to Zurich - where I had my account - left
from Gare d'Est. I dont know why I told the taxi driver to take me to the Gare de Lyon.
He dropped me off at Gare de Lyon, and I got into a train going to Geneva."
The Kaumara Nadi must have had a super clear-sighted eye which could even
make sense of the French railway guides:
He will be helped by a woman who will help him to establish himself in
foreign lands permanently.
UG met this woman by a strange coincidence. He landed in Geneva with a
hundred and fifty francs in his pocket. Here he continued to stay in a hotel, even
after he had run out of his money to pay the hotel bill. After two weeks they
produced the bill before him: Come on, money! What about the bill?
UG: I had no money, so I threw up my hands. The only thing left for me was to go to the
Indian Consulate and say, Send me to India. I am finished.
So, UG went to the Consulate and took out his scrapbook: One of the most
brilliant speakers that India has ever produced it contained opinions of
Norman Cousins, Radhakrishnan and others about his talents. The Vice-Consul
said to UG: We cant send you 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.
There in the Consulate, UG met Valentine de Kerven, 'The woman who will help
him to establish himself in foreign lands permanently'. She was the translator at
the Indian Consulate, but that day she happened to be there at the reception desk
as the usual receptionist took leave.
UG: 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 dont want to go to India, dont
go. After a 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.
So, UG and Valentine went to Saanen, Switzerland. That place had some
significance to UG, because he had been there in 1953 while traveling through
that area. Then he had said to himself: 'This is the place where I must spend the
rest of my life.' He had plenty of money then, but his wife didn't want to stay in
Switzerland because of the climate there. Now this unfulfilled dream
He and Valentine went to live in Saanen. Then J. Krishnamurti chose Saanen for
his meetings every summer.
UG: 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 at all to her about my interest in truth or reality
nothing. I never discussed this subject with her at all, or with anybody else. There was
no search in me, no seeking after something. But something funny was going on.
During that time - UG calls it incubation - all kinds of things were happening to
him inside: headaches, constant headaches, terrible pains in his brain. He
swallowed dozens of aspirin pills, but nothing gave him relief. And he drank
fifteen to twenty cups of coffee every day to free himself of the headaches. One
day, Valentine said: What! You are drinking fifteen cups of coffee every day. Do
you know what that means in terms of money? It is three or four hundred francs
per month. What is this?
UG: All kind of strange things started happening to me. I remember that when I rubbed
my body like this there was a sparkle, like a phosphorous glow, on my body. Valentine
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 - it was
so funny to me. At first, I thought it was because of my nylon clothes and static
electricity; so I stopped wearing nylon. I was a very skeptical heretic, from top to toe. I
never believed in anything. Even if I saw a miracle happen before me, I didn't accept it.
It never occurred to me that anything of that sort was in the making for me. Very
strange things happened, 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: The Buddha deluded himself and deluded others. All
those teachers and saviors of mankind were damned fools - they fooled themselves. So I
am not interested in this kind of thing any more. It went on and on in its own way -
peculiar things - but never did I say to myself, 'Well, I am getting there, I am getting
closer to it. There is no nearness to it, there is no far-away-ness from it, there is no
closeness to it. Nobody is nearer to it because he is different or better prepared. There is
no readiness for it; it just hits you like a ton of bricks.
Forty-fifth to fifty-fifth year are years of great importance in his life. He
will be born again in his forty-ninth year. Becomes an international
personality. He will always be on the move. Name goes to the four
corners of the world. Blushing honors will be showered upon him. Books
will be written on and about him. Great respect everywhere and in all
lands. As years go by a great organization with huge properties and a
great following grows around him, to spread his teaching.
These lines are almost the end of the vision of the Kaumara Nadi. The prediction
mentions a chance of an accident and then finishes with a beautiful promise to
UG from which we might derive great benefit:
Fifty-fifth year or so, there is an indication of death under tragic
circumstances. Failing which, he lives right up to a ripe old age,
preaching all the richness of his personal experiences. Leaves his mark on
the world as one of the great teachers of mankind . . .
The accident could have happened when the airplane in which UG once traveled
would have crashed because two of its engines caught fire.
UG: Then, in April 67, I happened to be in Paris when J. Krishnamurti also happened
to be there. Some of my friends suggested, Why dont you go and listen to your old
friend? He is here giving a talk. All right, I havent heard him for so many years -
almost twenty years. Let me go and listen. When we 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, lets go and do something foolish. Let's go to a striptease joint, the Follies
Bergre or the Casino de Paris. Come on, let us go there for twenty francs. So, there we
were at the Casino de Paris watching a 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. There was no division: there was nobody who was looking at the
dancer. 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.
The question What is that state? had a tremendous intensity for me, not an emotional
intensity. The more I tried to find an answer and the more I failed to find an answer, the
more intensity the question had. 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 the
Buddha was, Shankara was, and all those teachers were."
Then, in July 1967, there arrived another phase. J. Krishnamurti was again in
Saanen, giving talks.
UG: My friends dragged me there and said, Now at least it is a free business. Why dont
you come and listen? I said, All right, Ill come and listen. When I listened to him,
something funny happened: a peculiar 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. I said to myself, 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, the Buddha or Jesus? I am in that
state. Now I am in that state. Then I walked out of the tent and never looked back.
Then - 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 the Buddha, the state I very
much wanted and demanded from everybody? I am in that state, but how do I know
The next day UGs forty-ninth birthday - he was sitting on a bench under a tree
overlooking one of the most beautiful spots in the world, the seven hills and seven
valleys of Saanenland.
UG: I was sitting there. Not that the question was there; the whole of my being was the
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 one. It is the same knowledge that projected
your state 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, which has created this state for you. You are kidding yourself. You
are a damned fool! So, nothing. But still there was some kind of peculiar feeling that
this was the state.
The second question was, How do I know that this is that state? I didnt 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 the Buddha, Jesus,
even that state disappeared. The question disappeared. Finished, you see. It was not
emptiness. It was not blankness, it was not the void, it was not any of those things. The
question disappeared suddenly, and that was all.
7. The Disillusionment of Oneness
The land where disillusionment is not some disconsolate disappointment but the
very perfection of Reality is a very weird land. One cannot reach it by good
actions or philosophical effort.
In the years I had known UG, it many times happened that visitors meeting UG
wanted to discuss their experience of Oneness. The following conversation is an
example. At that time, the discussion dispelled my illusion of oneness, the
disenchanting tenor of which word I have just recently understood.
The visitor says: . . . UG, you say you are now without any goal.
UG: No goal: nothing to be achieved; nothing to be accomplished; nothing to be
Yes, but before, in your past, you did have a goal?
UG: Yes, there was a time when I did, I distinctly remember. But the memory of it has
no emotional content anymore. I was like anybody, chasing something, searching for
something, pursuing something, and putting the whole of my being in that search. I had
invested everything in that goal because I wanted to find out for myself that there might
not be anything to be achieved. Then I realized that I had spent all my life searching for
something that didnt exist at all. So this understanding, which is not the result of your
logical thinking or rational thinking or any such thing, suddenly hits you, as if a
lightning hits you. Thats the end of it. You are finished with the whole thing, FOR
It was finished for you for good?
UG: For ever, once and for all. So thats something which you cannot make happen
through any effort or will.
Do you think this can happen once and disappear again afterwards?
UG: No, thats why I use the word lightning: when the lightning hits, the whole thing is
burnt to ashes, as it were. Nothing more is left; you cant put it together anymore.
Can you explain your enlightenment?
UG: No, . . . I didn't use the word enlightenment, you are using the word. There is no
such thing as enlightenment, that was the thing that became obvious to me. I realized
that there is no such thing as transformation, no such thing as self-realization. The
whole lot, the whole thing, is just a variation of the same. You replace one with the
other. But the whole pursuit has no meaning. And that realization releases a tremendous
energy. All the energy you always used in that pursuit is suddenly released, and then
living becomes very simple; it has no problems anymore.
So, if someone would say to you that he has been hit once like you said
you had been and that it hasn't lasted for ever, . . .
UG: He doesn't come here.
No I mean, suppose . . .
UG: No suppositions here. I dont want to discuss suppositions.
No, I tell you, I have been hit.
UG: Thats not a fact. You wouldn't be here discussing these things. There would be no
need for you to talk about these things.
But . . .
UG: You wouldnt be here talking about that at all, because there is nothing to talk
about. And comparing notes doesnt exist at all.
No, I am not speaking of that. I said: do you believe that one can be hit
once and then somehow, as it has happened, it disappears?
UG: It cannot disappear.
So it did not disappear for you?
UG: It cannot. The very nature of it makes it impossible. If it is some experience,
propably an extraordinairy experience, then yes, it disappeares again. Not this. The
moment it hits you, it puts an end to the experiencing structure. It is something that can
never, never be experienced. I was not talking about that state or whatever it may be . . .
But when it has been understood that no matter what the experiencing structure
experiences - however extraordinairy it may be - it is worthless, then the question for
more and more is absent, because it has no meaning. The nature of the experiencing
structure is that it demands more and more of one thing and less and less of the other.
So I tell you, the demand for experiencing anything is not there anymore. The demand
for permanence and the demand for things is not there anymore, except the physical
needs of food, clothing and shelter. Even if they are denied, it is not much of a problem
for this living organism.
Can I ask another question. . .?
UG: Yes, please.
When this was experienced, this state . . .
UG: You are using the word experience . . .
Yes, yes, but there was no the feeling at all that it had happened; there was only the fact
that it had always been there, and also that it could never leave, because it was one's
natural state of oneness. So there was no idea at all at that moment that something had
been achieved, so . . .
UG: Let me interrupt you. The oneness that you are talking about is something which
cannot be experienced at all. That there is an integral relationship with everything is
something which can never, never be experienced by that experiencing structure. So, to
talk of oneness has no meaning.
But dont you feel one with all you see?
UG: Not at all. The separation is not there, but that doesnt mean there is oneness.
What creates the separation is very clear, but what is there when the separation or the
division is not there is something nobody can talk about. The divisive movement that
comes into being is all that you can understand. When that movement is not there, what
is happening in that situation is something that can never be experienced by you; it can
never be talked about. Its not a mysterious, mystifying thing. Dont call it love,
compassion and all that kind of a thing. You cannot talk about it, you cannot experience
it, and what it is you will never know.
When you say that it is something which you cannot experience, do you
mean that it is something which one cannot experience as an individual?
UG: No, the totality of it cannot be experienced. You see, you must have the knowledge
about things to experience them. So when there is no knowledge, how can you
experience? When you are talking of oneness, that oneness is the knowledge.
To me it is just the fact of not knowing, the fact of living integral
knowledge, not the result of any acquired knowledge or information.
UG: There is no experience at all. The oneness is something which cannot be
Its just a way of speaking.
UG: For all practical purposes there is no integral relationship and there is no oneness
at all. What is there is only the division.
Well, yes, but one could have some feeling about it?
UG: How can you feel it? Feeling is thought. You have to fix a point; and the moment
the point is fixed thought is there.
That thought is not disturbing the oneness. Why should it disturb that
oneness? It belongs to the oneness.
UG: There is no oneness at all.
You know, it is not something which as an individual I have experienced.
It has nothing to do with that. When the individual, which was believed to
exist, ceased to exist, then . . .
UG: No, no. You see, when the individual ceases to exist, as you put it, the oneness does
not come into being. It is the individual that is projecting the oneness. The integral
relationship, the oneness of things is something which can not be captured, it cannot be
I never said it could be captured.
UG: Otherwise, you cant experience it.
Why should you relate experience to capturing?
UG: Both are the same.
If somehow this hankering after stages disappeares totally from you and if
you are no longer projecting any goal to achieve or to attain, if then the
individual which had been created by the goal also disappeares altogether
and you feel a total . . .
UG: Where is the feeling? Where is that feeling if the individual ceases to be?
It is not your feeling; it is the total feeling of everything there is.
UG: Where is that feeling felt?
It is everywhere.
UG: Where?
UG: There is no point; there must be a point.
Here I had to think of some illustration I once used in an essay on visual arts in
which I wanted to show that the highest manifestation of art, of forms and of
feelings always stays invisible:
Imagine that you are standing between two train rails. Just in front of you the
distance between the rails is about one and a half metre, but near the horizon this
space between them no longer exists: the two rails merge at one point. Now we
start to walk to the spot of that horizon. When we arrive there we find that the
distance between the two rails is the same distance that we measured in the first
position. The rails dont meet each other at one point. Of course, nobody is really
surprised, because everybody knows something about the effect of perspective.
But even if our eye produces a so-called true to nature image, and although we
dare to travel by train without any fear of derailment, something is wrong. The
image is not true; it is not reality.
Imagine watching rails from different spots at the same moment. How would
they look from such a point of view? Try to imagine you are watching the world in
all spots and places at the same moment. What would you see?
The principle of perspective would disappear; the rails wouldn't seem to meet at
the horizon, because you also are watching from that spot on the horizon.
Moreover, you also watch the rails from below, and then the image of two long
rails doesn't exist at all. If we would watch from everywhere, from every spot on
earth, what would the world look like? Where is the horizon if there is such
watching? Where is any form if this watching occurs both inside a form and on its
surface? Where is there if there is such watching? Where is the other, if your
watching is in him or her? If this watching is truly everywhere, can there still be
any meaning to the word everywhere? If this watching everywhere is really in
operation, is it still possible to speak of watching? Because if this watching is
everywhere - and everywhere is everywhere - so if even this watching is inside the
one who is watching, how can there be watching anymore? And what things could
it possibly watch?
Then watching as total watching has to knock itself off because it occupies the
space where the objects of this watching exist. Thus omni- or total-watching in
the final analysis means not watching at all. The normal watching only shows us
our limitedness, narrowness. Beyond this level watching ceases to be . . .
UG says: If this feeling is everywhere, how can you speak of feeling?
It is not your feeling; it is the total feeling of everything there is.
UG: Where is that feeling felt?
It is everywhere.
UG: Where?
UG: There is no point; there must be a point!
No, there is no point!
UG: Then there is no feeling.
There is an endless feeling.
UG: You see, these are all words. It cannot be felt. You are talking of feeling; where is
that feeling?
It doesnt belong to someone in particular, because when this is lived - if
you dont like the word feeling or experience - when this is lived, then . .
UG: What is there to be lived?
That non-separation.
UG: You see, the non-separation you are talking about is a projection of the separate
entity. It projects, it creates. When this entity is absent, the opposite is not in operation
there at all. And what is in operation you will never know, you will never feel.
You know, as long as we are using words, of course we have to use words
which inevitably have opposites.
UG: There is no need for this conversation at all.
If I tell you that I have come here to . . .
UG: No, there is no need to, no!
I have come to you for some reason. My friend brought me here. You are
supposed to speak whenever people ask you a question, as for example,
about the subject we are talking about now. It happens that such an
egoless conciousness was experienced.
UG: I dont know, you see . . . first of all, there is no ego.
Yes, that was experienced; that was evident.
UG: That cannot be a fact.
It was evident at that moment; then it disappeared again.
UG: No, no, this experience of the non-existence of the ego cannot be an experience at
Use a different word if you dont like the word.
UG: All right, yes. Use anything: self, psyche or mind - any word you want to use.
I mean, that accumulation which is always trying to achieve something
different from what was there at that moment, that accumulation had
disappeared; the urge to achieve anything at all was no longer there. There
was no enlightenment to achieve; there was no liberation to achieve - there
was nothing to achieve. This was a fact and it was evident at that moment.
So, all that which had been accumulated to achieve some goal had
disappeared at that moment, since there was nothing to be achieved. There
was no need for keeping the individuality which was only there relative to
something to be achieved. Both of these disappeared simultaneously.
UG: Yes, and along with them the feeling of oneness.
It was not the feeling of being one with something. There was not the
feeling of unity with something in particular. There was just the feeling
that there was no separation between something and anything else. It was
only the idea of achieving something in particular that had created a
division. As soon as this hankering to achieve something, or the desire to
achieve non-desire, as soon as that had disappeared, there was only . . .
UG: Can that disappearance be experienced? Can that be felt?
Dont use the word . . .
UG: Can that be felt?
Some other visitor, a woman who had known UG for a long time, interrupted the
conversation with a question:
Do you mean, UG, that in that state there is a washout of all
differentiation, a total blank?
UG: No, it is not blank, it is not emptiness, it is not fullness. It is not anyone of those
Well, let's say, it is much more like the sea in the sea, there is only the sea
and nothing else in contradistinction with the sea?
UG: All right, you see, the sea does not know anything about its quality or what it is. We
have hundreds of these metaphors in India. The three different Vedantic philosophical
systems are based upon this metaphor: the raindrop falls into the ocean. And then the
three systems of philosophy say: one system, the system of non-duality says that the
raindrop falls into the ocean and it loses its identity and has become one with the ocean.
The second system, qualified monism, says it has lost its identity, but its not the same
as the ocean. The third, the dualistic system of philosophy, says the drop emerges and
maintains its individuality. So they go on and on and on, philosophising about these
raindrops. Let me tell you, all of that is nonsense. All the systems of philosophy are
So you really think that there is no coming back from that state to express
it in words.
UG: Not a word.
And there is nothing to come back from?
UG: No.
And if there is an immersion in something as he might say, and then he
says, I have come out of it. That means . . .
UG: . . . Thank God I have discovered something extraordinairy!
"Yes, I am not using those words because I know they would be the wrong
UG: Yes, not because they are wrong, but because you cannot say that.
Any sort of coming back is the very mark of the fact that it was just a
dream or an experience?"
UG: There is no experiencing at all.
Right, but at what point do you know that there is no experiencing at all?"
UG first starts to formulate an answer, and then, with a smile, says:
UG: Alright, thats very clever of you! I know that, you see: How do you know that
there is nothing to know? That question wouldn't be there if you were lucky enough to
be in that situation. The question which you are throwing at me wouldnt be there. Until
then you will be asking these questions: How do you know that it is not that? You want
to know, and thats how this tricky thing maintains its continuity.
Yes, but in you how does the idea that There is neither a knower nor
knowing arise?
UG: It arises in response to your question. You are asking the question. They are not
my questions, How do I know that it is not there? or How do I know that this is not
also an illusion? It is a question that has no answer. You see, that question cannot be
there at all.
The first questioner resumes his conversation now:
But are you not in some way limiting the possibility of this, whatever
name you give to it? If you say: To me there was no entering, so how could
there be any going into or coming back out of that state? arent you
limiting this thing? Because the fact now is that to me it seems that today I
am living in total illusion; that I am living in a different state, a different
awareness or conciousness than in that state of oneness. And if you
say . . .
UG: You are . . .
No, please let me finish my question . . . If you say, that it is impossible to
come back from that, then somehow, according to me, you are limiting
something. Because you are saying that it is impossible and I say it is
UG: You say it is possible and I say it is not possible, yes. Thats the end of our
conversation. There is no such thing as before the wash and after the wash. My shirt is
hanging there. So, you are comparing these two points: it was a soiled clothing before
and now, after washing, it is a clean clothing. But here there is no before and no after.
The line of demarcation between the two is not there anymore.
You are lucky enough to live it; so there is no feeling that is has happened
and also there is no feeling of coming back from it; therefore, it is not going
to vanish.
UG: Listen, since I have not achieved anything, gained anything, I cannot lose
Exactly. And this is what has brought me here, because this I have lived,
and while living this state there was the full evidence that it was something
that I had not achieved; it had always been there and it will always be
there. What I felt at that time was . . .
UG: No, I think it wasn't there at all. What was there?
You may say that, but this idea of achieving anything had disappeared
altogether. That which was there at that moment was not corresponding to
any achievement at all.
UG: What was there was this movement in the direction of achieving something; that
was all that was there. So, then what is there is something which you cant say. It is
something which cannot be experienced, something which cannot be communicated,
something which cannot be talked about.
I agree with that.
UG: Then . . .?
My question is . . .
UG: No, if, as you say, you agree with me, then there is no place for this dialogue. Im
sorry to say this. You and I wouldnt be sitting here and talking about that; there is no
need to talk about it. None of those questions would be there.
I was lucky enough then, but there was nobody to be lucky at that time to
share that. I was first surprised that somehow this state was evident for a
long time at a stretch and then somehow it disappeared again. In those
days, it was evident that everything appeared to me as just a game: people
hankering after a goal to achieve, although they were fully bathing in that
conciousness or nonexperience or nonknowledge or whatever you like to
call it. It was crystal clear. And then, suddenly as miraculously as it had
happened, it disappeared and I found myself back again with the same
fear, the same feeling of separation. Then the goal of trying to experience
or to live again that state which was absent before now began to show up
UG: Wanting that experience again . . .
Yes, or maybe it is more correct just to say that the proces of experiencing
appeared again.
UG: It was there all the time!
It was not there.
UG: It was there; otherwise it wouldnt demand anything. I would humbly submit that
it was very much there. You see, this experience strengthened and fortified that. It was
very much there. That is the trickiest of all the things. It has millions and millions of
years of momentum. It knows all the tricks in the world. It was very much there.
But there was no experience there and there was no experiencer!
UG: You can never say that the experiencer was absent; that cannot be an experience.
He was very much there. And the silence you experienced was . . .
It was not silence. You see, thoughts were there, speaking was there, not
speaking was there, sleeping was there and not sleeping was there. No
separation between all of them. Nothing was rejected and nothing was
UG: There was no separation' - that was the experience. The fact of non-separation is
something which cannot be experienced. Separation can be experienced. You see, when
I am talking, there is a separation here.
From my point of view, yes.
UG: From my point of view too. This conversation between us is possible only when
there is a separation there.
Yes, I am now feeling that there is a separation. Do you also feel like
UG: Listen: how this conversation and your questions are creating the division here,
that is all that I am talking about. Even if it is possible for you to be in that undivided
state of conciousness or whatever you want to call it, every question you throw in here
creates a division at that particular moment. Then it bounces back into its undivided
state or whatever you want to call it.
Yes, from your point of view, but from my point of view . . .
UG: From your point of view also. Your question has created a division here; otherwise,
how can any answer come? It is a reflection of the thing; it is bouncing back. Bouncing
back implies that there are two. What this (UG is pointing at himself) is pointing all
the time is, Dont ask those questions, because those questions have no meaning at all.
The very question creates division there. Whether it is temporary or permanent, it
doesn't matter at all.
But does this questioning create a division there?
UG: When there is a bouncing back of your question, there is a division. Otherwise how
can there be two things? Dont mystify the whole thing. It comes and goes, comes and
goes. Otherwise this would be a corpse! It is responding to the stimuli. But what I am
trying to say is that it is a unitary movement: there are no two separate things. The
stimulus and the response are one unitary movement. So when there is a question like
that, it creates a counterthought here, it creates a division, a temporary division, and
then it bounces back into one unitary movement. To imagine that it will be a continuous
absence of something has no meaning to me.
To imagine what?
UG: . . .that it is finished once and for all: the division is there; and then, the division is
not there. When it is not there, you wouldn't know, you cannot know. You have no way
of knowing whether the division is there or not. And so, the unitary movement is
something which cannot be experienced. You cant talk about that at all. How this
division is created - thats all you can say.
You are not tired?
UG: I am not tired, no. Please go on.
Let us take it from an other aspect. At one moment, there was the desire
to achieve something, and then, for some reason, somehow, that desire to
achieve something was not there anymore. There were no more desires to
achieve anything. Well, this lasted for quiet some time, a few days. There
was just perfect enjoyment or whatever at the moment when it was
happening - just responding to the situation, rather, the situation
responding to itself. There was just the simple joy of being, nothing more.
UG: How do you experience the joy?
Because there was nothing to achieve, the joy was flowing naturally.
UG: You see, the joy you experienced is related to something. It cannot exist in a
vacuum. The feeling that you are finished with your search . . . means that the search has
not left. It hasn't. If this search really has gone, then there is no joy there, there is no
pain, nothing. What is there you will never know. Not only then; from then on you will
never know anything. The joy is the knowledge, dont you see?
It is just the simple joy of not knowing anything. There was no knowledge;
there was no knowing. It just was the perfect mystery which had not to be
understood but which one was. One was not to unravel the mystery but
had become the mystery. That was all. One was not hankering after any
UG: It was not what you are saying it is.
How strange it is: somehow you are refusing to admit that it could exist.
UG: No, it is for you to see, not for me. Im not blaming you or any such thing. But it is
for you to see. If it were as you are saying it was, it would operate now in you. The fact
that you are sitting here and asking these questions means that it was nothing. Im sorry
to say that, but you will have something more extraordinary than this petty little
experience if you can let go that one as a petty little worthless experience as any other
experience is.
(Long, dead silence . . .)
UG: You see, it will be something new. I put in the word new because you dont know
what it is. It will be yours; it will not be any one of those things; it will be something
which you cannot describe it at all. It is an irreversible thing."
And that was the end of this conversation. Indeed, it is the end of any
conversation, an irreversible end.
The visitor stands up, smiles and leaves.
UG: Yes, that experience was very important to him: 'Nothing to reach at, nothing to
achieve; well, what's the point in going on with this? He himself admits that he is back
again. The oneness he experienced, oneness of life; ridiculous!

But is it possible to experience the oneness? asks the friend of raindrops.
UG: Yes, it is possible, but its an experience. And through that it gathers momentum.
Why dont you accept the fact that there are levels in experience?
UG: There are no levels.
No, not in the field of absolutes, but in the field of experience.
UG: No, the gurus feed you on that kind of a thing. So the hierarchy is there: slowly,
step by step and so on. But there are no levels in conciousness.
Well, not really, but . . .
UG: No; not really means: how can there be levels?
That night, just before I fell asleep, a brilliant poem of the mystical poet Kabir
whirled through the darkness of my lodging place:
He is the true guru,
who reveals the form of the formless,
to the vision of these eyes . . .
15. Still Life Full of Action
We may safely conclude that UG has come to destroy, and surely not to redeem or
fulfill. One thing we have to realize is what destroying means and what
redeeming or fulfilling mean. Destroying used in the normal sense has a
negative connotation: Destroying a building will no longer provide any home to the
inhabitants; destroying a love will no longer give warmth and wonder to the lovers
and destroying self-respect will turn someone into a rather worthless person.
Destroying a disease, on the contrary, will turn someone into a healthy and vital
person again; destroying a mental prison will set a person free again; and
destroying someones philosophy will turn him or her into a state he or she was in
before that conditioning.
The ruthless cold winter not only destroys all superfluous material and transforms
it into simpler elements, but it especially prepares enormous quantities of food for
the diversity of life spring will bring forth. UG is like this winter with its cutting
east wind and its bleak frosty nights. He settles the hash of all sultry and romantic
summer reveries, or, to use a more concrete metaphor, UG makes us shiver with
cold until he is convinced of the fact that we have caught the chill!
Visiting UG from time to time, it is a tall order and a provoking frustration to decry
again and again that the winter hardly has set in!
During the after-visits at UGs there was the feeling in me that now, eventually, I
had understood his point of view, his wisdom. Alas, every image of a new life,
colored with fresh, springtide insights and founded on solid rock bottom, was
detracted by UGs fatiguing conclusion that I was, am and ever shall be fumbling
after the old-fashioned scraps of an outdated culture.
As an artist it was my dearest wish to create that piece of art through which the real
and infinite beauty of Life would radiate. This miraculous artwork has to reveal the
great secret of existence to any person who would behold it.
Once, at UGs chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, I showed him a color photograph of
my latest artwork. To my own opinion this artwork expressed to a certain extent
the poetic quality I wanted it to. It presented in a rather stylized way a master and
a disciple, both testifying to the Truth. The meditating disciple was in serene
surrender in the immaculate awareness of his master. The master embraced with
his majestic arms and glorious look the disciple on all sides, radiating a relentless
love. Master and disciple together formed a beautiful branch of the endless
universe, and beyond this splendor, an all-seeing centre was giving strength and
form to the harmonious composition.
UG looked upon the picture from all quarters, turned it upside down, even had a
glimpse of the reverse side of it as if hoping to find some indication there, and for
one moment, by coincidence, watched it in the correct position. No reaction!
Absent-minded and pretty indifferent, UG returned the photograph to the
disappointed artist. He couldn't make head or tail of it! Im sorry, he apologized
with a smile.
If this artwork contains any spark of holy quality, UG would have noticed it, I
said to myself. Well, anyway, he didn't show any signs in that direction. And to be
honest, it is not at all UGs talent to stimulate people in their traditional vision of
philosophy, which is based on droopy-eyed disciples and bombastic bhagavans.
(By the way, proud as a peacock Id like to tell the reader that UG in one of his
visits to my studio selected a drawing he said he would like to hang on a wall of his
house, if he ever owned one, which, as we know now, he never did.)
Lately our conversation was on art and science:
Do you appreciate art, UG?
UG: I dont care for anything. All the techniques - Im not interested in them. Yes, I
could appreciate art because I have read books on art and I saw modern artworks. But
thats all. I am not interested in it. After all, its just a technique, you see, and nothing
else. Music is technique, painting is technique; all art is technique. In this technique the
artist is trying to be . . . hmm - I dont like to use the word creative - the artist is
innovative. He finds new techniques: he is modifying, altering, and so on. Like that
fellow, Picasso, for example. He had tremendous guts to break away from the traditional
thing; so he created an altogether new school of painting, as one creates a new school of
thought in the field of science.
So it is a technique. And I am not very much interested in the technique of anything,
whether it is music or some other art. Thats why I dont go to all these concerts. I do
listen to classical music sometimes; but as a rule I dont like that music, whether Eastern
or Western style, because its a perfection of technique. They play with excellent
And there is no heart in it, you mean?
UG: Nothing! There is nothing there. They cant be emotional, so modern pop music is
moving in the opposite direction, trying to rouse emotions in men.
That is more valuable?
UG: All music is the same; this is only the modern trend. Why should we bother about
classical music, why stick to that? Really, I never go to any of these concerts. Sometimes
I listen to music on the television or on the radio if it is playing.
You see, I am not interested in poetry, and not in any technique either.
No, thats not your line, poetry. That has become rather clear to me.
UG: I dont read novels either. In fiction they preach about psychological problems and
all that, and that doesn't interest me. Sometimes I read crime fiction, something where
action is going on, thats all. Even then it takes so many days for me to read a book. The
suspense doesn't interest me. Sometimes I see a movie and have some fun. Any movie
that has a psychological theme doesn't interest me.
Its not that I cannot appreciate beauty or anything. But you see, you have to learn the
technique in art either through cultivation or through experience. That is to say, by
living in a country you cultivate the habits of that country. These are all cultivated tastes
and outside this cultivation you have no way of appreciating anything at all.
Every artist is aware of the fact that a certain technique is needed to express an
idea. But the artist also knows that art flourishes far beyond technique. UG even
dares to dismiss the highest expressions of art and the most sacred manifestations
of human culture, calling them simply technique. UG consigns all spiritual heights
and emotional depths of heart in the field of art to the obtuse and dull domain of
technique, as though he refuses to see the distinction between tracing simply
after a model and creating under divine inspiration.
I remember the amusing conversation a Mexican painter had one day with UG:
You know, I have been struggling so hard; through painting, through writing
I have searched . . . I put my whole life in this art, in trying to express my
deepest feelings, my insights and my joys.
UG: You dont want to come to grips with this problem, because it is going to destroy
the whole structure of your artistic ideas!
This will what? Destroy. . .?
UG: . . . the whole artistic structure, which you have created for yourself. You will cease
to be a painter.
I insist on being a painter?
UG: You will cease to be a painter. You will stop painting; you wont be able to paint
You know, . . this I will never find in my heart." (Other visitors roar with
The reader might arrive at the conclusion that concerning art UG was just a
rattlebrain. Far from it, he was rather a genius when it came to the sources of art.
The highest inspiration all artists have in their work is the inspiration they directly
receive from Heaven, Absolute, Creative-Centre or God Himself. Of this source,
this field of inspiration, UG knew the ins and outs; every trick and every method in
this area was present in his awareness - reason enough for UG to settle for the
shabby term technique.
UG: I see what is involved in the appreciation of music or poetry. But you dont have to
go to any school to learn how to appreciate the beauty in nature, hmm? Some fellow
writes some lines, some poetry, or throws some special paint on canvas, and then I dont
understand it. So, he wants to teach me how to appreciate his painting or poetry. You
see, in that sense I mean all art is technique.
You met that man? He was the head of some German school of art. Many students
came to see me in Germany when I visited him sometimes. We had known each other
for many years. I talked to those students about these things. They were all shocked.
Art is imitation of what there is in nature; to me it is. You may not be conscious of the
source of your imitation, but it is similar to what Valentine does: she always picks up a
clover with four leafs, always. She says she is not looking for it, but she is looking for a
clover of four leafs. So in exactly the same way, you as an artist are always looking for
something to imitate from nature. An artist is a good imitator."
In that sense you do not appreciate the art of Zen any more than you do other
schools of art, hmm, the desolate mountains, the meditative pictures and all that?
UG: No, its just a school of art; the Chinese school, the Japanese school, the Indian
school and the Western school . . .
In those days I read a book on Japanese and Chinese art. Several chapters in the
book discussed the relation between the art of painting and the Tao. In those
chapters they only gave advice as to how to hold your pencil and how to prepare
the ink, and several other technical things. Performed with certain rituals this
practical wisdom should reveal to a person the Tao little by little. In other words:
dead tradition, not a grain of Tao-art as I imagined it to be. Real Tao-art one can
never learn from a book. To let the Tao-art happen one requires the deepest core of
an artist, as well as the deepest core of a true philosopher.
After several months of very creative conversations my friend Evert and I had
about art and philosophy, which to me are inseparable, he had written down at last
his final vision concerning this holy subject. He described the artist who himself
becomes Art, (with capital A) . . .
A real artist deep down in his soul has some kind of a dream, a talent, which
has to be crystallized into the concrete reality of the world. In this process of
investing his talents in the world, the artist can realize himself, which
means: pouring out his essence all over reality, thus becoming one with that
Doing Art is not the creation of a beautiful or ugly painted picture, nor is it
earning one's bread and butter, nor is it the creation of some political
awakening regarding social abuses. Art is a happening, a process, which is
enacting itself in front of the artist. Real art is not something the artist does.
Actually the real artist attempts to depict the Absolute Reality, attempts to
express Being-Itself, an effort which, when it is undertaken with courage
and dignity, results in the realization of Being the Absolute-Reality himself.
Never had I read a more beautiful and more profound description of art. Realizing
this vision would mark the absolute ending of the artist, as he always knew himself
to be -- some separate little creature in an immense and impersonal universe - and
finally the beginning of Real-Art.
Before this moment, creative effort means nothing more than the meaningless
rambling of an inadequate ego.
Lingering in the inspiring presence of an enlightened man would certainly benefit
an artist's growth and manifestation of power expressing the Absolute. Having the
model right in front of you certainly must make it easier to perform than having to
distill this miracle from the trees and the flowers.
UG: . . . Its just a school of art, Chinese, Japanese or Western school of art, each with
its own techniques.
"Rembrandt, for example, his paintings are rather concrete . . ."
UG: Listen, that fellow is trying to project his own feelings in them, thats all; his own
knowing. So, that is not an exact copy like the photo. It is also an idea of the model, what
that person should look like. But that is not the way the model looks exactly.
And what do you mean by not exactly like a photograph? The reason for my
question is my doubting whether UG is still talking about Art. When people
compare paintings and others pieces of art with photographs by saying It very
much resembles a photograph, one should have more than a simple doubt about
their art education.
UG: Photographs are the same. I see the photographer behind it.
(Thank God!)
UG: And I am also subjective myself: I dont like certain things: for instance, in photos
where there is a smile on my face. To me smiling is so artificial in my case. But people
say I am smiling all the time.
"UG, this very moment you are smiling."
UG: I dont know. I dont even know that Im smiling. But they tell me that I am always
"In art its the same as in philosophy, hmm?
UG: Yes, its all a structure of thought. It has no meaning to me.
There is no highest form of art?
UG: No, its still within the field of thinking. There are no absolutes for me.
UG, I always wanted to create that divine piece of art which would really give
people a thrill: Yes, Life is grandiose!
UG: You will probably succeed, I dont know, but not with me. I just look at it and see
there are some colors and lines there, regular lines . . .
You see, you want an audience; otherwise there is no point. When you sing you
want an audience, somebody to appreciate you. There is a value for that, a
marketable value for everything you do. Some people say: 'we are creative, but we
dont care for any audience: we dont want art shows and so on. But this is
nonsense. If you show it to somebody, that means you want the appreciation of
that person, even if you dont want to sell it and make money.
"Yes, you want some recognition.
UG: Yes, even if you dont want money in return for that.
So . . . since art and philosophy have nothing to do with what you are talking
about, I have the feeling, more than ever, that I can go on being an artist, feeling
free to create whatever comes up.
UG: Yes, by all means. I am not saying anything against it.
Instead of a disillusion, this conversation seems to give me the feeling of freedom,
active freedom, because I dont have the tension of striving to create the topmost
artwork? I can just paint and . . . enjoy the work. High hopes in the field of art and
philosophy are losing their hold!
UG: Yes. But anyway, you have to have a model. You see, you are perfecting all the
time, but nature doesn't use anything as a model. That is the only difference between an
artist and nature.
If you free yourself from the stranglehold of technique - because a model is always used
as a model for a technique - when that is destroyed, you will cease to be a painter, in the
recognizable sense. That doesn't mean that abstract things are any more creative than
the others. They also are created after a model, you see. There is creativity only when a
finished product is not modeled after anything.
Like you? You mean yourself? You dont have a model and you cannot yourself be
a model!
UG: Yes, you cannot imitate this; its finished.
Thats real creativity?
UG: Yes, because it is creating all the time something new. Although you say that there
is repetition, it is not repetition in that sense. You see the contradictions there, but they
are not really contradictions. So, what I said before is now destroyed by the next
statement. You dont have to stick to the logical thinking of people.
And so it happens that were always right off the beam the moment we think we
can use the things we now have understood:
Real creativity does exist, but we can never, never use it for any purpose. Real
creativity is part of the Creative Principle, the Absolute. As soon as we, the
benevolent little egos, think we are able to enrich the whole of creation by offering
heavenly paintings and divine poetry - viewing as it were through this Creative
Principle - we make the same silly mistake as the man did in the following quiz:
What is the material a glass eye is made of?
Too much of stupid thinking and guessing makes the quiz master blabs the
answer: made of glass of course!
Ah! How could I forget that, exclaims the ingenuous candidate, shaking his
clumsy brains. Its so evident, hmm, of glass, because you must be able to see
through it!
Lets take Einstein. If this enlightenment had happened to him, do you think it
could have made him into an even more brilliant researcher?
UG: No, he would cease to be a scientist.
Thats what would happen?
UG: You see, there are two ways: or else a man is not ambitious, in the sense that he
cannot put himself where he would like to be . . .
In the sense of working at a job?
UG: Yes, in the sense of fulfilling himself. So, he is either sick or . . .
. . . or he is in your state, the natural state?
UG: . . . or he is finished with the whole thing. When he is finished with the whole
thing, he wouldn't touch it anymore. He will not become a better painter; he will not
become a better artist, a better musician or a better scientist, and he will not all of a
sudden have a genius mind, inventing extraordinary things - because anything that
comes out of thought is destructive, in the long run.
So all his research has resulted in destruction. And if not Einstein, somebody else
would have done that. Thats why I am not a great admirer of Einstein. The Jewish cause
was behind his research. You see, there is no such thing as pure research. He was
thrown out of his country and he flourished in America. All his work was made possible
in the United States. So, he didn't want Germany to win the war. Not that I wanted
Germany to win the war, but . . .
Yes, so when this calamity, this 'enlightenment' would happen to me, it would not
make me a better artist or a better driver?
UG: No. The craving is absent. But I still have my prejudices, my likes and dislikes.
They always influence, in the sense that, for example I dont see a movie. Why? Because
I dont care for that kind of a movie, you understand?
So what I am saying is antisocial, anti culture and anti everything.
You know, the day people succeed in fitting me into their religious framework, that is
the end of me.
What do you mean by the end of me?
UG: If they understand this within the framework of their religious thinking or
materialistic thinking, well, thats the end.

Yes, I understand. But what do you mean by the end?
UG: If at all there is any usefulness, that usefulness is lost.
Real Art and Real Creativity take place in Absolute Stillness.
Even whispering about these miracles of Life is too noisy for their splendor.
The question of How to create? is itself the devil of Absolute Destruction!
16. Valentine
Dont you ever try to tell anyone to lie about UG, because then youll have to
reckon with Valentine! This is all the more true if one realizes how strange a life
Valentine had to live with this enlightened master. As Valentine was an
emancipated Western, Swiss lady, its a miracle that she managed to live with this
rather authoritarian Indian Brahmin man for more than twenty-five years. Even
Kaumara Nadi astrologer must have been surprised when he read aloud the
predictions concerning UG and Valentine.
Valentine supported UG as a truly dedicated Holy Mother would and she indeed
was holy in her own right, and in a Western way.
Once I related to UG and Valentine the story I had heard about the opinion that
the leader of the School for Philosophy, Mrs. van Oyen, expressed concerning
UG: she informed a student of her school (the student was Henk who had
introduced me to UG) that she considered UG a handsome man, but not mature
enough yet to function as a teacher. She pronounced this judgment after having
read a short text about UG and seeing a picture of him. When Valentine heard of
this immaturity of UG, she was infuriated: This lady and her School for
Philosophy are not fit to say anything concerning UG.
Valentine was disconcerted and felt outraged at this painful underestimation of
UGs merits. Her annoyance about this first-rate Scholastic remark of Mrs. van
Oyen was expressed in such a powerful way that I suspected Valentine of having
knowledge concerning UGs eventual role as one of the great teachers of
mankind; the conviction I heard in her voice could only come from someone who
had already known what would happen in the future.
I had seen something similar before: sometimes, when UG was shouting his
aggressive and depressing damnations at his visitors, Valentine would smile
somewhat, as if she wanted to reassure those people: Dont be disturbed,
everything will turn out to be all right. However, when UG again drags your
attention away from your rather sentimental fantasy, its remaining reliability is
immediately rendered null and void.
Valentine was the eldest of the three daughters of the famous surgeon Dr. de
UG: Her father was a great researcher here. He wrote nineteen or twenty books about
surgery; in all American textbooks you find a reference to him under, de Kerven
Can you explain what the syndrome is?
I dont know. They gave me a photocopy of the explanation, but I cannot make head or
tail out of it. He was always invited by the most famous clinics in America for major
operations. He was very well known. Even the doctor who came to see Valentine
yesterday recognized her name, de Kerven.
Two days earlier, Valentine had stumbled and fallen down on the hard pavement,
hurting her face. That evening, along with UG and a friend she went to the Gstaad
Cinema, where the three of them enjoyed the film called First Blood. Films
interested Valentine because she herself had worked in the film industry; and UG
was fond of the devilish actions of Sylvester Stallone. When they walked home, as
it was dark, Valentine did not notice some steps and she fell. Her face was
bleeding and she had pain. A doctor was called in quickly; he agreed to come only
upon UGs insistence. When he came to know of Valentine's family-name, he
offered his expensive assistance.
Was de Kerven a brain-surgeon, UG?
"No, his specialty was some gland, here, said UG, pointing to a place on his neck.
UG: You can see his statue in the hospitals in Bern and Basel.
Between the First and Second World Wars, Valentine was a member of a group of
revolutionary artists and film people. She was nineteen then; if they would have arrested
her, they would have jailed her because she was distributing all kinds of radical
pamphlets. She also had her own film company called de Kerven-Films in Paris. She
was really a rebel and she was the first woman to wear pants, in Paris, after Marlene
Yes, Dietrich and I were the first two persons to wear pants, confirmed
Did you also meet Marlene Dietrich, Valentine?
UG: She was not there; she was in the North and I was in Paris."
Valentine smiles over her far-away memory.
She crossed the Sahara on a motor-bike! UG swaggered about Valentines adventurous
past, Her friend drove. At that time he was not her husband.
Valentine: He was never really my husband, Valentine was quick to
correct UG.
UG: Oh no, Valentine, come on, we dont get into that story again!
Valentine: It was a play, this marriage.
UG: She never changed her family name after the marriage. When Valentine and her
husband divorced they showed to the judge the contract they had signed at the time of
their marriage. The judge looked at it and said: You call this a marriage? This contract,
free to do what she likes, to sleep with whomever she wants . . . - you call this a
marriage? Well, anyway, you have been separated for so many years; so this marriage is
of no significance.
And in those times, they were forced to marry. In Switzerland unmarried people could
never live together under the same roof. So the police were chasing them; they had to
hide and move from place to place. So finally they decided to marry on the conditions of
this contract. It was very different in those days, very difficult. I dont know, maybe I
have the copy of that contract somewhere . . .
UG, this journey across the Sahara - did Valentine do this because of her film
UG: No, she was just going on a vacation. Yes, she made so many documentaries. I
dont know what happened to her films. She gave a lot of them to the Bern University.
She made most of them for her father: they were documentaries on medicine and
surgery. She also made a documentary on the Gypsies; it was shown all over the world.
And what was the period of her film-career?
UG: In the thirties, I think, before the war. Yes, just before the war. And she had this
film company until the Second World War broke out. She came from abroad and got
stuck here in Switzerland; she could not go out. She drove to Switzerland in her
She had a Chevrolet then?
UG: Yes, and during the war she had to keep it in the garage as she had no petrol to
drive it. And then, after two, three years - this story is interesting - they wanted her to
pay duty, customs-duty or something. Valentine said, I dont use this car, and the car
has been sitting here for more than a year, two years, or even three years. She refused to
pay: You can do what you like with this car, but I am not going to pay this duty! And
that was at a time when people were going around collecting nails and any small piece of
metal. There was a shortage of everything. And they dumped this car into the lake. It
was a big scene.
Valentine: Oh, it was a scene yes!
UG: because she refused to pay the customs duty which amounted to more than what
she paid for the car. And the seats in the car were new. They floated in the water and the
boys there jumped into the lake and tried to salvage them. But the police made holes in
them and destroyed them.
Valentine: Yes, they were horrible - because they could have taken the
car; that was their right. But they brought it to the lake and, pffft, they
dropped it into it.
UG: Stupid, at a time when metal was in shortage and everybody was collecting nails
and so on.
Oh yes! Valentine also wanted to fight against Franco in Spain. She obtained a fake
passport and I think she probably learned how to shoot and such. Then, in the last
minute, her boyfriend backed out, and she didn't want to go alone.
"UG, you said that Valentine was never interested in the process of your Natural
State. Is that really true, because I cannot imagine that she would not be
UG: No, no, she was interested, but she never spoke about it. So many people have
tried to draw her into conversation about this point, but I told her, No, dont talk about
During our journey across the Alps, of which I wrote in the beginning of this
book, I asked UG how Valentine reacted to his influence and whether she had at
times experienced higher levels of consciousness. Of course, this was a risky
question, to ask UG about higher levels of consciousness, but this time he
surprised me by answering it in an affirmative way: Yes, she never talks about it
with anybody, but it certainly happens that she had experienced higher levels of
consciousness. But she has never made these things known to anyone.
Anyway, Valentine never showed a trace of vanity, pride, self-complacency or
other egocentric attributes. She really was unselfish and she had a natural charm
of her own. She was always interested in the people who came to visit UG and
Valentine's positive and humorous attitude to life was rather unique, especially
when we think of her circumstances in life in relation to her age - she was
eighteen years older than UG. But if we realize her busy daily life, her
enchantment with UG becomes even more worthy of respect:
Living in the sublime company of an enlightened human being is of course the
best life one could ever wish, but it might not be so easy. Many people who lived
with UG for some time said it was heavy to be in his company for such long time.
Spending a few days or weeks with him is nice and interesting, but living with
him for many weeks at a stretch can be tiresome. The effect of UGs Natural State
on the Un-natural State of people is exhaustion. Our few exhausting weeks
compared with Valentine's twenty-five years may show Valentine's traits of
patience and endurance. Most people will find that, in the long run, they are
deprived of their privacy: there is always the all-seeing eye of UG to correct
every scrap of egoism. Valentine never had a moment for herself.
If her spiritual life with UG was not easygoing, Valentine's material life wasn't
easy either nor was it ordinary.
During the last twenty years of her life, Valentine was UGs fellow traveler. In
winters they flew to India, where they stayed in Bombay with friends who were
prominent in the Indian film industry. A month later, they would go to
Bangalore, again seeing many friends and sitting in a room which contained twice
as many visitors as the room could comfortably hold - day after day. Next, they
would leave the broiling weather of India for the fresh weather of Europe, mostly
Rome. Here UG and Valentine would stay for some weeks with their Italian
friends, till it was time to travel to Switzerland. In Gstaad they lived in a nice
chalet built on a hill at the foot of the Hornberg. The terrace in front of the house
offered a beautiful view of the village and of the far-away snow-covered
mountains of the Swiss Alps. Of course, Valentine and UG were not the only
people who enjoyed this view; many visitors came to see UG and ask him
questions, for a hundred tiring days at a stretch.
In the mornings, when UG was answering the first questions of this day,
Valentine went shopping (she liked walking down the hill), buying something for
lunch and diner, and then walking back up the hill.
At the end of August, they might go to London or Amsterdam. It depended on
their airline ticket - whether it permitted them to make a stopover. If a stopover
was not possible, they might travel by car, driven by some friend. In later years,
in the middle of September, the destination was the United States of America: a
few weeks in New York, a few weeks in Mill Valley, a few weeks here and a few
weeks there. Next in the itinerary was Brazil, then Australia and New Zealand.
And at the end of their travel they would return to Bombay or Bangalore in India
where a new round-the-world trip would start.
UG and Valentine traveled all over the world. And dont think that UG because of
his Natural State and Valentine's old age brims over with gallantry towards
Valentine, no. She always had to squirm to sit in the backseat of a taxi or a
friends car; UG always wanted to sit in the front seat. Yes, he would always give a
hand when Valentine stepped into the car and he always said that she must watch
her head when she got into it, but thats all; and Valentine prefers to agree with
her Patron Saints suggestions.
Unfortunately, at the age of eighty-five, Valentine's memory started failing. She
seemed to suffer the Alzheimer's disease. After a lifetime of traveling, rebellious
initiatives and the courageous enterprises, she now was unable to keep traveling
around the world with UG. Truly compassionate friends of UG and Valentine
tended her in their house in Bangalore. Although she forgot many events of her
life, she still had her Swiss vitality, and at the moment these words were written,
her health was extraordinary.
Some time ago, one evening in Amsterdam, after UG had had his conversation
with visitors, UG and some of his friends were remembering Valentine - her
character, her funny remarks, her tragic days and also her mysterious deeds:
UG: I tell you, Valentine was very clever. When she created this fund for my travels she
said: This money is only for the purposes of UGs stay in Switzerland and for his travels.
It should not be used for propagating what he says and nothing should be added to the
You know when she created this fund?
UG: A few months after she had met me!
UG, can you say how it is that Valentine created this fund for you, and why she
was so convinced about you?
UG: Dont ask me, and dont ask anybody. You see, she never answered that question.
One thing she said was: I have found a reason to live, and this man is the reason. She
was about to commit suicide: she wanted to jump in the river the previous day but she
didn't have the courage. This happened the day before she had met me.
That day we met we sat there, talking for two hours, and then, within a month she said:
I have now a reason to live; everything I have is yours. I said to myself, This woman,
what can she give me? She is working in a consulate. She said to me: I can make it
possible for you to live in Europe. Ill open an account in a bank, she said, and the next
day she came to me with a receipt, showing that she deposited all her money. This was
in 1964. Everything she had - all the diamonds, gold and silver - she sold and she said,
'When the time comes, I will sell my house.
They have already made her into a Holy Mother. You have seen that in that movie.
Yes, she is the Mother, like Aurobindo's Mother; they have made Valentine into that.
But she has no illusions; she is not that type.
You see, two things kept us together: one, if you dont have any physical relationship,
its a lot easier. And that kind of a thing was absent; and second, Valentine knew all the
time that I wouldnt give a damn for her or for her money, that I would drop her just like
that. And she knew that I was not dependent; she was more dependent, psychologically,
than I was.
Valentine never shed tears; I never saw her doing that, although Marissa (their Italian
friend) says that one day, when I was very harsh and cruel with her, she cried, it seems.
It is too much for me, I cant take it anymore! Valentine apparently said to Marissa. I
never saw her crying myself. If she had cried, (snaps his fingers), then I would have
thrown her out in one minute. You see, I would never tolerate crying. Thats not a thing
that will win me over. I used to tell Parveen too (a famous Indian actress who lived with
UG and Valentine for half a year): You just get lost! Your crying doesnt impress me. I
dont know how good an actress you are. Your acting is not going to impress me,
Parveen. Be careful! Dont do such things.
In the years we were together, before my calamity, Valentine was interested in helping
me write my autobiography: Thats my mission in life; he is an extraordinary man, she
said. But I never talked to her about enlightenment; by that time it was all finished for
me. But she insisted that I should write the story of my life. So, we prepared a book, a
four-hundred-page book. When we finished the book, this thing happened, this
We were writing the chapters on Jiddu Krishnamurti, my encounters with
Krishnamurti. So, we went to Paris; we went everywhere to collect material, to get hold
of Krishnamurtis talks, my questions and articles that appeared in the Theosophical
magazines and all that. I didn't want to go to Krishnamurti's talks - I was finished with
that. But when we were in Montreux, Valentine said: Look here, that man is giving
talks here where we are going to stay. Why not we go and listen to him? Well, that
sounded very reasonable to me, so we went. At the end of the talk Valentine summed up
her impressions about Krishnamurti by saying something very interesting: That man,
Jiddu Krishnamurti, does not belong to our times; he belongs to the last century. What
is he saying? She elaborated: His analysis is interesting, but what is he saying? He
belongs to the last century with all the poetry, romantic stuff and so on. Remarkable
summing up; nobody ever summed up like that. She was intelligent, a very intelligent
So, she managed this fund until four or five years ago. She was handling the whole
thing. However, without my knowledge she never did anything. Its not mine
anymore, she would say, My Avis credit-card is enough for me. But she knew, and I
told her, Any day, anytime you want, Valentine, you may go, and this money is yours. I
was not in any way dependent on her. And we got along very well.
But sometimes you also were cruel to her, yes?
UG: Very."
Yes, but why? . . . Why!
UG: I dont believe in all this sentimental nonsense. You see, you will do exactly the
opposite. Thats why people are surprised. What I have done, you see, you cannot do
such things. That cruelty is necessary. Last year, I dragged her with me, you
remember? And you were all shocked. She came running and she enjoyed the walking
afterwards. But you are all sentimental people. You dont mean what you say. You are
the most vicious people. There is nothing to your sentimentality; there is nothing to your
feelings. Sentimentality - there is no reality to that. If everything else fails, you say, I
love you darling. What the hell are you talking about! You must do this for me darling,
because if you love me, you should do it. What the hell!
So a perfect relationship is a relationship of people who do not need each
UG: But you need! You use them; thats all - nothing wrong with it. And if you put it on
that level, then its simple, very simple.
Did Valentine ever say that she loved you, UG?
UG: No. What is that love you are talking about? She was attached to me; that was
obvious. She was psychologically dependent on me. But I didn't exploit it.
"But wasn't this attachment colored by love or tenderness?
UG: What tenderness? Nothing. I did not have that kind of a thing. She could go!
"Yes, about you we know; you told us already.
UG: What?
That you dont have these feelings.
UG: You see, if I do, whatever I am doing, it is not because I feel for it, but because it
has to be done. I dont do it because I think she is a weak, helpless woman and she has
been with me. I dont do it because she did anything to me; no reciprocity there. She
could take her money and go. That was my line always: Valentine, take your money and
run! (Laughter)
That was your way of shedding tears for her?
UG: Not my tears. They are disgusting, tears!
Oh yes, I remember UG, when Valentine was angry at you in Switzerland.
Valentine and I were walking arm in arm, and I said to her: Well, you
know how they are, men. And Valentine said with a touch of pathos in her
voice: Yes, I know . . .
UG: You know, the most interesting thing was this: we were about to leave for the
United States. Parveen Babi also was there. I told Valentine: If you bring any more
luggage than what this small suitcase can hold, you are not coming with me. I am
leaving you here and I am going. She jumped up and down and did all kinds of things.
This was four or five years ago. And then Parveen interfered; she said: Dont listen to
UG, I will help you. We will both pack up. He is horrible, isn't he? And then
Valentine's answer was very interesting. She said: You know Parveen, I have met lot of
men in my life; he is the kindest man I have known in my life. And you can imagine the
rest! Parveen was flabbergasted: What is this woman saying? I have known lot of
men in my life, but he is the kindest man I have met in my life; you can imagine the
Even later when people asked her, Valentine, do you think UG is kind? Is he nice? And
if you pushed her she would say: Yes, yes, he is very nice, very kind.
17. Omniscience, a Matter of Knack
Buddha never answered questions concerning the world. UGs answer in these
matters often sounds like: I dont know; I really dont know!
In philosophical circles people very well know, or at least take it for granted, that
realized or enlightened people often have the power of omniscience. This means
they have the power to know anything they want to know.
Once I read in a book about a sage who, if he had that wish, could come to know
the quality of the weather in New York while sitting in his room in Bombay,
without using the telephone. Of course, no sage is interested in any weather, but
if it should be of any importance, he would have some way of obtaining the
knowledge about it.
Although we are convinced that this superficial information is not very useful, at
the same time, it intrigues us why this strange power has not been used to predict
catastrophes or other mundane matters. Why dont sages use this wonderful
quality to solve problems such as famine, incurable diseases, the threat of nuclear
war, pollution, worldwide financial crises and all the malicious worldly
All right, a sage, a real holy man might have this power of omniscience and at the
same time, by an invisible law not have the authority to enlighten the whole of
mankind. For the time being we will settle for that. But why doesn't he use his
power for anything at all? Why does UG, for instance, reply so many times with
the words: I really dont know?
When a realized man is no longer separated from the One Universal Life, its easy
to imagine that he is able to know anything merely by wanting it. We,
unenlightened people, only have to open our eyes to perceive the whole world
around us; we dont have to create that world, its already there. Like in this
example, the sage only has to open his wish (book) to know and he has the
knowledge he asked for.
Inviting UG to speak about this all-knowing faculty, someone asks him whether
there might be a form of not-knowing as an equivalent of knowing.
Listen to why, according to UG, this all-knowing mystery is only a matter of
UG: . . . The statement 'I do not know' is not a logically ascertained conclusion or
premise. There is an assumption, as you put it, that the so-called realized men,
enlightened men or twice-born men have this all-knowing faculty. But that is one of the
mistaken assumptions on the part of people who assume in the first place that
somebody is a twice-born man. And if any claims are made by those people strongly
believe that someone is twice-born, then it is very important for us to understand what
exactly is meant by knowing. You see, they also use all-seeing. All-knowing and all-
seeing are misinterpreted terms.
When you are looking at something, what is there? The object out there is demanding
your total attention. That is the one that is demanding your total attention. It is not that
you are totally aware of it or that you are trying to see that object out there totally - it is
the other way around . . . because whatever is happening there is demanding your total
attention. And at the same time everything that is happening there is also distracting
your attention. So, everything that is happening is demanding your attention, total
attention, at that particular moment in that frame of your seeing. You see, that is all that
is there. So it is in that sense the term all-seeing means I see whatever is there.
Because in that situation all that you know about that thing is absent. The knowledge
you have about what you are looking at is absent. I dont know if I make myself clear?
When I say, I dont know anything beyond that, I mean (what I know is) not any
different from what you know about it; (I mean that) you have no way of knowing
something other than this knowledge. Its not that you say to yourself, I dont know it,
but there is nothing to know other than what you already know about that particular
object out there or about the objects inside of you. (Actually there is no inside or
So the object out there is a microphone, a tape recorder and a man sitting there - he
wears an ochre robe. He is a man and not a woman. That is a woman and she is not a
man. And see, when the eyes are focused on the objects out there - I want you to look at
it, please look that side - there is a reflection of the light on that watch there. Do you see
it? So your whole attention is drawn to, focused on the reflection of that particular
object there. Now you are nodding your head, so that movement is now demanding my
attention and so my attention has moved away from the previous object. Even if you are
looking at an extraordinary sunset, the movement of some red rag somewhere is
drawing your attention. It is in that sense one is not involved in any movement of
pleasure. If you say, Its an extraordinarily beautiful object, and continue to look at it,
and get involved and absorbed in it, it does not mean that there is something beautiful
there, because that (your statement) is only an expression of sensual activity. It is a
movement of pleasure. You dont want to look at anything else. You are concentrating on
that through your effort and will. I dont know if I make myself clear? It is very difficult.
Other than this (knowledge) I dont know anything (else) about it, and there is no way
of knowing anything about it!
So, in exactly the same way, you have a certain experience: you feel happy or unhappy.
That is also an object there inside of you. If the knowledge you have of those feelings and
sensations is absent, what that particular feeling is or what that particular sensation is
you have no way of knowing. You know that there is some sensation, and you give it a
name and call it boredom, happiness or unhappiness - you call it this, that or the other.
But when that knowledge is absent, you have no way of knowing what that particular
sensation is. In other words, you really dont know whether you are happy or unhappy.
So, if somebody asks me the question Are you happy? that question is a ridiculous
question, because I really dont know what happiness is. If you dont know what
happiness is, there may be a happy feeling there, yet you dont know what that feeling is
because the knowledge that you have about that feeling is absent. Since you really dont
know what that is, you dont say that you are happy and you dont say that you are
Since you dont know what happiness is, you will never be unhappy in your life, because
the two go together.
It is in that sense that other than what I have been told and what I have experienced
through the help of that knowledge I have no way of knowing what that is. It is not that I
am ignorant, because when there is a demand for that - for example when you ask me
the question What is that? - I would immediately say Thats a microphone.
The information, the knowledge you have about all that is locked up there in your
memory cells. But since there is no demand for that knowledge to be in operation, what
is going on is only the sensory perception: the light is falling on that and the reflection of
the object throws an image on the retina here - thats the physiological explanation. So
that light is activating the optic nerves here and automatically your memory cells are
also activated. But because you are constantly moving from one object to the other,
there is no possibility of the memory cells being activated simultaneously with the
activation of the optical nerves.
It is not that you are moving from object to object, but the things that are happening
out there are constantly making your attention move; not just your attention, your total
being is involved in whatever you are looking at. It is not that you are trying to look at it,
but that particular thing is demanding (your attention). So, it doesn't matter whether it
is the beautiful face of a woman or a beautiful sunset or the ugly thing that is there, that
garbage bag. It doesn't matter what it is. Of course, you never say that the beautiful
sunset and the ugly garbage can are the same. But in a particular situation your eyes are
focused on that garbage can; in another situation your eyes are focused on the sunset;
and in a third situation the moving of that tape recorder is demanding your attention.
So, when I say, I really dont know and I have no way of knowing it, I mean that what
all you know is all that is there and beyond that you have no way of knowing anything
about it, and there is no need for you to know anything. It is in that sense that I say, I
dont know, I really dont know what that object is.
How can you be that dumb? you can ask me. Its not that I am dumb or that I dont
know. All the knowledge I have about things is in the background and there is no
demand for that knowledge. If there is a question, automatically the answer comes:
Thats a microphone, thats a tree, thats an ashtray, thats a beautiful flower and that
is . . . whatever the color is, you know.
So, thats all that is there. All-seeing, all-knowing mean: All that you know is all that
is there, and beyond that there is no need for you to know anything. It does not mean
that there is something extraordinary to know about the things.
Yesterday, we were discussing the same question: if you want to know the reality of
anything, you have no way of knowing it. The only way you can know anything about
anything is to use the knowledge you have, and with the help of that knowledge you
abstract something and experience it. That is all that you know.
It is in that sense that I say I dont know. That does not mean that it is still in the field
of knowledge, but that other than what I know, I have no way of knowing anything
about it.
Is there a stopping of learning?
UG: No. If I dont know, I would ask somebody What is that? and so I learn. That
learning is not in operation all the time. The next moment the knowledge I have about
that object is pushed into the background and I really dont know what I am looking at,
because the thought about that or the knowledge about it is not in operation, and you
are not separate from what you are looking at. Only when the knowledge comes in there,
that knowledge separates you from what you are looking at.
Otherwise, there is no division between these two; there is no space between them. Just
the way the reflection of an object in the mirror gives you the feeling that there is depth.
When the object is reflected on the retina, it also creates the depth there, but that depth
or space, or whatever you want to call it, is something which cannot be experienced by
you except through the help of the knowledge. That knowledge is the information you
have about those things. Its not something mystifying or mysterious. Thats all that is
there. There is nothing else there other than the knowledge you have about yourself and
the knowledge about the things around you. So that is the I, that is the you, that is the
self, the mind or whatever you want to call it.
Since you have a feeling that there is a totality of all this knowledge, a totality of all
these experiences, there is an illusion that there is somebody who is looking at it.
So, the answer I am giving to your question is your answer, it is not my answer. I am
not giving any answer to your question. It is not that I am mystifying it, but your answer
has activated certain things here and what is coming out of me is not my answer, but the
answer out of which your question has arisen. I dont know if I make myself clear.
I am pointing out that the question has no meaning, that the question is irrelevant,
because that question is born out of the knowledge you already have about whatever you
are asking me about. So, I am not giving any answer to your question at all. What I am
trying to say is that there is nobody who is talking here; this is an automaton. You are
playing the tape recorder yourself, because you are interested in finding out the
answers to all those questions. If there is any recording of those answers, in other words,
if the knowledge is available there, then it comes out; otherwise, it is an empty tape, it
doesn't know what it (the answer) is. It has no record of anything you are asking about.
You are playing the tape recorder: you are stopping, you are listening, and you like
particular statements and you dont like other statements that are recorded on the tape.
It is your business and I am not in any way involved in it.
There is an instrument here, a highly perfected instrument, a very sensitive instrument,
if I may use this metaphor. You come here and you play it. The tune is yours, the lyric is
yours, the music is yours - everything is yours. And the instrument that you are playing
is not in anyway interested in what you are doing with it or involved with what you are
So there is no need for the knowledge to operate all the time. If the continuity of the
knowledge is not there, then the knowledge as you know yourself and as you experience
yourself is not there. That means that you are not there. That is a situation which is very
frightening to you. That is why you maintain all the time the constant movement of the
knowledge you have about yourself and the knowledge you have about the things around
you. They are one.
This is not something mysterious. Its just like a computer, thats all - an extraordinary
computer with an extraordinary sensitivity. You put in this knowledge there and what
comes out of it is the printout. If the information is not there, you dont get any answer.
But the answer that comes out of it is really not the answer, because you dont want an
answer to your question.
The answer should put an end to your question which is born out of the answer. This is
what I am all the time emphasizing, namely, that You are asking questions for which
you already have answers. So, if you look at the question which you frame, you already
have the answers, the answers given by others. At the same time, my statements are
intriguing to you because you ask, How can you say that you dont know? or Is that not
part of your knowledge? Thats your question. If I say, I have no way of knowing it or I
really dont know, then that answer is intriguing to you, because you know that within
your logical and rational thinking there cannot be any answer like I dont know unless
you know that you dont know.
So you know, and I dont know (people chuckle). . . . because what there is in that
situation is something which cannot be known by me. When the knowledge is absent,
what is there, what is happening and what is the activity that is going on there at that
particular moment are things about which I have no way of knowing. Thats all that I am
saying: I really dont know. And I know what this is all about; thats all that I know.
You ask me the question Is there anything other than that? They say that there is
something other than that, but I say there is nothing more than that, because when that
movement is absent, what there is you will never know.
You cannot accept my statement because it is not part of your experiencing structure.
Your question is a legitimate question: How is it possible for that man to say I dont
know? Where does that statement come from, if the knowledge is absent there?' So (you
think that) it (the statement) must necessarily be part of his knowledge. The knowledge
is He does not know.
I can sit here and talk for two hours, four hours, six hours, but you have no way of
knowing anything about this statement for the simple reason that there is no reference
point there. And so you have necessarily to reject it; you dont know what he is talking
about. This statement should put you also in a state of not-knowing. Then there
wouldn't be any more questions.
If you say I understand, all questioning mechanisms should come to an end. Since the
questions are continuing, it only means that there is no understanding.
When that questioning mechanism is absent there in you, there is an understanding
that such questions have no answers. Not that you understand through the answers
given to the question or through asking more and more questions, but when there is an
understanding that such questions have no answers and that all questions are born out
of the answers you already have, then that is the understanding that I am talking about.
It is not something that can be brought about either through questioning or through
discussion or through any other means. When that situation is already there, there is
nothing to understand. Thats the reason why you are not asking the question, except
the questions that you need to ask to communicate, to function in this world.
Have you not noticed a child when he or she asks questions: What is that? What is
this? What is that? (You answer by saying, for instance,) Thats a typewriter, Thats
this, and so on. They go on and on and on, and gather all the information. So, every
time they see the same object they repeat, Thats a typewriter, and so on.
You are also doing that. This is an infantile, immature activity that is going on all the
Why do you have to tell yourself that you are happy, that you are not happy, that you
are miserable, or that you are bored? Or that this is a tree, thats a woman, that is this?
Or you are thinking about something that happened in the past, or you want to think
about something in the future, what is going to be your future. This is going on all the
time. You have no future at all because there is no present there; you are all the time
living in the past.
So, to talk of 'now, here and now, this moment, you must live in this moment,' all
that is absolute rubbish! Because the now, this present moment is something which can
never be experienced by anybody. When there is no present, there cant be any future.
So this is the present, hmm? We are all here and at this moment the present is in
operation here. So tell me what exactly you mean by now?
Anything you say about this now, anything you experience about what you call now,
is the past. What you know about that is the past. The past is in operation, and as long as
the past is in operation so long the present is absent. Since there is no present at any
time, there cant be any future. There is future (in the sense that, for example,)
tomorrow is Sunday, and probably you go ahead and plan for a walk. But there is no
guarantee that I will go for a walk: maybe I will be knocked down by a car. So you have
no way of being certain about anything in the future.
What kind of a future does anybody want? I want to be enlightened, I want to
understand what this chappie is talking about. But you are not going to understand this
at all, because you are not here and now. You are all the time thinking of the past. The
instrument which you are using to understand is a movement of the past. So what is in
operation at this particular moment is the past. The future you are projecting is a
fantasy. You dont have health, so you want to be healthy; you dont have a job, so you
want to get a job; you dont have money, so you want to have money. This is the
extension of the past into the future; thats all that you are doing all the time.
Therefore you use effort, you use will, and probably you will succeed sometimes, but
the instrument which you are using is always the instrument you have been using all the
time. There is no 'now' at all. This is not a dogmatic statement, but you can test for
yourself how you are functioning at this particular moment here, which is the present,
which is the now. That flower that is sitting there in front of you is (in) the present. So
look at that and tell me what exactly you mean by 'present'. If you say it is a flower, its
the past knowledge you have about it that is in operation. So tell me, apart from all you
know, is there anything to be known?
After this challenge of UG, there were a couple of minutes of silence. UG, being
bombarded by billions and billions of anonymous moments of now, speaks:
UG: So when the movement of the past is absent, what is happening there is something
you will never know. You have no way of knowing it at all. It is in that sense that I say: I
dont know. The now can never be experienced by you; much less can you talk about it.
You can say that it is bliss, beatitude, love, and all that kind of stuff. But you see, that is
poetic, romantic stuff which really doesn't mean anything. The moment you capture that
within the framework of your experiencing structure, its already (in) the past. So you
must know what is happening and you must know what is there, because if you dont
know, you are not there. That is you; there is nothing else there but the knowledge you
have about yourself. So this knowledge you have built up into a tremendous structure,
through years - twenty, fifty years - and this structure is not going to let that happen (to
let go the of framework of this knowledge); it is a self-perpetuating mechanism.
If you dont know what you are looking at, that is a very dangerous situation. So there is
a tremendous fear that what you know about yourself is finished.
It (the knowledge) doesnt go that easily. Its not something that you can experience as
an ecstatic, blissful and pleasant thing. It will have a shattering effect on you. The
sudden disappearance of something that has been there all the time - like a car moving
with a tremendous speed suddenly stopping - will give a tremendous jolt and breaks
everything that is there. It blasts everything, every nerve, every cell you have there in
that body. . . . Because it is that that has been controlling everything that is there all
these years. So it is not going to let this go, this whole thing. It has to capture that. It
must know!
This is why you are asking the question. This movement of knowledge can continue
only when you add more and more to it. You want to know. It wants to know What will
be that now when this movement of the past is absent?' That is why it is asking the
question. And through the answer it gathers momentum: Wanting to know!
If I say: You have no way of knowing it at all, that means this is the end of the whole
search, the end of the whole inquiry, the end of the whole questioning mechanism that is
interested in this knowing.
UG, before your calamity, you were once totally clairvoyant and
clairaudient, hmm?
UG: Like an X-ray I could see through the whole of the physical body, as it were. It
really doesn't mean anything, because when thought becomes more and more refined, it
is like a sensitized medicine. But its the same thought that is playing tricks with itself.
So like a computer it projects the future, which is a projection of your own thought. It
doesn't mean that it is so. Its just the projection of refined thought into what it calls the
future. But basically it is only an extension of the past.
That was a trick, you see. I realized the absurdity of what was going on and I paid no
attention to it. It may be your own wishful thinking sometimes, so what value does it
have? Even assuming for a moment that there is something to all those things -
clairvoyance and clairaudience - they are worthless, they are all instincts of human
beings. There is nothing spiritual about them. Animals have these tremendous instincts
which we have lost. The so-called psychic powers are essential for the survival of the
living organism. It is a physical phenomenon which has no spiritual content in it at all.
When I walk in the streets, thought is never in operation. I am only guided by my
sensory activity. All the senses are extraordinarily sensitive. The eyes are measuring
distance without your doing anything (about it). The olfactory nerves are detecting the
smells of the fumes. Sounds are measured by the listening mechanism. The sense of
touch also measures distance, because the vibration of that object behind you is the
same as the vibration of your body. So it (the organism) is in a very mechanically way
protecting itself, by measuring all these things without the interference of thought.
These instincts are only there for the survival of this living organism, and they have no
spiritual value at all.
To look into the future or your future lives or into the past or your past lives is all just
fancy stuff, fantasies!
They indulge in such fantasies and make you believe that there is something to them.
And you share those fantasies; thats all.
24. A Roaring Peace
UG: . . . Walking from the top of that hill down to your first floor - thats enough
exercise for the body.
Those people had nothing else to do - those yogis meditating and doing all kind of
exercises. They were sitting in the woods, fantasizing all kind of things. You know, the
spiritual fantasies recorded and passed on from generation to generation, they function
just the way these sexual fantasies and different sorts of auto-eroticism do. There is no
difference between the two, thats all that I am saying. These spiritual fantasies dont
make you any more spiritual than other fantasies. Why the hell do you want to walk for
four hours? What for? It is a pleasure-movement for you. I am not saying anything
against it. But If not that, you will be doing something else; eating. Now they say that all
the illnesses come from eating too much. Your overeating is responsible for all your
illnesses. You eat more than what the body needs. All the physical illnesses are due to
overeating, you know? People are overfed.
UG was at loggerheads with Margreet, who just woke up from an after-dinner nap
in the sun on the terrace in front of UGs chalet. That morning she woke up early
to have a long hike on the Wasserngrat Mountain. After four hours of continuous
clambering, climbing and clumping she had returned fagged out. Lying down on
the grass she had quickly fallen asleep.
Aren't they also overslept?
UG: Overslept too, so thats why you dream; you dont need eight hours of sleep.
How many hours in general does the body need to regenerate?
UG: There is no fixed thing; it depends upon how much you use your body. You think it
is good, hmm, physically good for you to walk and climb every peak that is there in this
valley? Walking fifty miles - what do you want to do that for? The body is not interested.
You are pushing it. What for? Why do you want to do yoga, twisting the body and stand
on your head . . . What do you want to do it for? If it were good for the body, all the
bodies would be walking on their heads, not on their legs.
Yes, but isn't the body made to run, looking for food?
UG: What for? What for do you want the body to be in a good condition? You are not
doing anything for which you need a special condition.
No, but originally isn't the body created to run and find food?
UG: How long?
Well, the whole day?
UG: The whole day? You see, that fly is wandering, searching for its food everywhere.
The fly has to, but since you have organized your life so well, you dont have to bother.
Yes, but in earlier days men had to do a lot of work to find something to
eat, but nowadays we sit the whole day. So, get a move and feel refreshed
UG: The body is not moving anymore? Look at your hands. Dont you realize that they
are moving all the time? Yes, certainly; and you are nodding your head. Its not static at
all. No doubt you live a very sedentary life; so maybe the body needs a little bit of
movement; thats all. When exercising more movements, it becomes a . . . well, I dont
want to use that word, because you might think I am against it. But I am not against it, I
am not against pleasure. But its a sensual activity, whatever it is you are doing. You
push the food on children. And what do they do? They begin to choke and vomit. This is
the right food, this is good food, this is full of vitamins, this is . . . nonsense!
What's the matter with the shaking of my head?
UG: Nothing; but thats enough exercise for you. You dont have to climb every peak in
this valley and prove that you are somebody. What do you do with all the muscles and
the strengthened biceps? It will be difficult for the body to go at the end of its life! You
see, such people linger on for some time. I warn you, they dont die easily!" (People
Well, I can imagine that.
UG: Yes, you have seen them, all those people who do a lot of physical exercise. They
dont go easily. They are not really healthy and at the same time they linger on and on.
You see, some stroke, some blindness, some infirmity or other - but the body doesn't go.
You may think if there is one healthy person, it must be such a person; no! . . . Why are
you laughing?
Mister Universe is in trouble! laughs a second lady of the company
around UG loudly.
UG: Yes, Mister Universe is in trouble! You can teach yoga to make a living; I have
nothing against that, you see. Let me be very clear about it. This is your means of
livelihood; finished, thats all. There are some fools in this world who are fascinated by
yoga; so do that (kind of) work.
Yes, but you know, when you do some exercises, they make you feel well,
because they are natural.
UG: Yes, you feel good every time and with everything you do. You eat like a pig and
you feel good for some time. And then you pay the price afterwards! Everything is good,
you know; cookies are good; you eat cakes and you feel good. Otherwise, why do you eat
all those chocolates all the time? Once in a while all right, but you are eating them
constantly! I am not saying anything against it. But just as you always want to walk, you
always want sex thats the perversion.
UG is now really exaggerating a bit. Lately he also embellished a story about a
rough ride he had had on a primitive motorcycle. In my imagination I already
saw UG speeding along on a great Harley-Davidson, his hair waving in the wind.
Later on, somebody told me that UG had been sitting for a few seconds on
somebody's little moped!
UG: Sex is not intended for your pleasure; it is for procreation. By making it into a
pleasure movement it has become possible for you to have sex at any time you want
through the help of the thought, you see. That is why man is paying the price for it. I am
not saying anything against sex, but it becomes a perversion; its violence to the body.
Like this, its the same with all the other things: you are not satisfied with sex, so you
have to read books on a hundred and forty postures, just as there are a hundred and
forty Yoga Sutras and fifty yoga postures. And then people have written books such as
the Kama Sutra, the Yoga Sutras and the Bhakti Sutras.
You say you are not against it, but what do you mean by saying this?
UG: I am telling you: stick to it; dont do anything else to free yourself from those
things. Because otherwise, you will become a neurotic; you'll become a sick person.
Dont condemn what you are doing. Dont try to change or alter anything there. You'll
become a very sick person if you are all the time worried about it: My life should be this
way or that way; my relationship should be perfect; I should live a harmonious life. . .
You see, there is no harmony there. Your wanting to lead a harmonious life is the very
thing that is destroying the harmony. You have an idea of harmony in nature and that
idea is responsible for all the ecological problems in the world. Your idea! It has nothing
to do with nature. But dont start an organization now and become its president or vice-
president. It is not going to solve that problem. Things have gone too far. Yes, people
can go into the streets and wave some flags and get beaten, ending up in the hospital
with a broken skull, fractured ribs and shattered tissues - all kind of things (laughing).
Thats all that will happen. Others are interested in polluting and that you cannot stop.
So dont bother about all those things.
You are feeling miserable, hmm?
Yes, because it is so difficult. All our education, from the very moment of
birth, has to do with reaching out for something.
UG: Yes, to achieve something. But you have added something more, and that is the
spiritual goal. Thats all that I am pointing out. You see, material goals are acceptable,
but why you want to add something more to that, something spiritual?
It is that that has turned man into a neurotic. Not only that, you are turning all the
animals into neurotics. Your domestic animals also become neurotics. You are even
turning plant lives . . . like this tree . . . Anyway, now it (the plant before him) is
recovering a bit, hmm?
Anything you do, any sensual activity, makes you feel good. Stand on your head and
you feel good. You know, because it is doing something there, changing the chemistry of
the body. The chemical changes produce . . .
Well, but otherwise I am so bored, if I dont do anything.
UG: In spite of all that you are doing? Then you remain bored.
Yes, but if I dont do anything anymore, I cant . . .
UG: What have you done to free yourself from boredom? Nothing! It is still there. You
cant walk all day! So then? Four hours (of it) is enough; and then what happens? After
that you are finished and you lie down here, cursing yourself. Thats the result. Or you
eat too much; the fondue is good and you eat five servings of it and then . . . pain the
next day!
Dear reader, unfortunately this example of UG is rather autobiographical: a few
days earlier, celebrating Valentine's birthday, UG himself had enjoyed a cheese
fondue. He and Valentine were invited by a close friend of theirs. Since it really
disgusts UG when all people dip their food in the same little pot, he insisted on
having his own private pot. Most probably the cook had lost measure of the
correct proportions of cheese and sherry, which resulted in a fondue loaded with
alcohol. And the next day UG had pain . . .
As long as you like something and you feel refreshed, why not do it?
UG: But why are you questioning? Why do you want to change it? If you feel like
sleeping with a dozen men every day, do it! Dont turn that into a moral problem.
(Laughing) You see, every time a man is there, you are attracted to him. Yes, I am sorry
to bring in this personal thing, but I dont want to deal with it on an abstract level; that
has no meaning to me. It is expressing itself in this (manner).
Its personal to all of us, said another woman relating to UGs plain
UG: Yes, not just to you. But if you feel hurt, all right, goodbye!
Margreet is making fun of UGs irritated remark about feeling hurt and his
shouting All right, goodbye to you! During the last few days, he had used these
slogans many times.
UG: I dont care, I dont care at all. I am not particularly interested in hurting you. It is
not I that is hurting you. What is there in you is hurting you; something there inside of
you, thats what is hurting you. Thats all, not what Im saying to you.
But why are you saying all this when you dont care? You are still saying
UG: Dont you think that you are dissatisfied with what you are doing?
No, it is just some compensation.
UG: What compensation?
Well, if I dont do this, the . . .
UG: You are not satisfied with your life! Obviously, of course, otherwise you wouldn't
be looking here and there for something.
There must be something more interesting, you say to yourself, hmm? If I have that,
you see, whatever it is that you are after, you say, then my problems will be solved. No,
not at all! You are not going to get that at all. Its only your hope that keeps you going.
That you are not going to get, and wanting that is responsible for your misery. Therefore
you cant even enjoy this, what you have now.
No, not really; but one makes the day as comfortable as one possibly can.
So, I do my best to reach that. When I go for a walk I feel rather
UG: Yes, and pay for it the rest of the day! All right, its all right with me.
And pay for it the rest of the day! Well UG, not always; it was just this
time. Dont exaggerate, please!
UG: Yes, but then you want to go for a walk tomorrow, hmm?
Yes, a slow walk.
UG: Just a slow walk, hmm?
Well, but that has nothing to do with it.
UG: It has everything to do with it, everything! It is very closely related to what you are
searching for: happiness or whatever you are after. Permanent happiness! This is very
much related to that.
Maybe thats the reason why we speak of death? Because then something
might happen which makes us constantly . . . well, like you.
UG: A person who is not living, who is already dead, is the one that is interested in
death, you see? A living person has no time to think of anything else. You are already
dead because your ideas are dead, your experiences are dead; everything is dead. There
is nothing living there. You are all the time trying to be alive. But let me tell you, you
dont want that awakening, that alertness, not at all. Its dangerous! (Laughing)
So, if you dont have a problem, you create one, and from then on you can try to solve
the problem. And if you have nothing else to do, you become lazy and go to sleep.
Thats the life of a man who has not realized, who is not in the natural
state. It is always going on like that.
UG: There is nothing to realize. This is all that is there to realize. There is nothing else
there - that is the only realization.
"What about you then?"
UG: Thats all I am saying. I have realized that this is all that is there.
But you are free from all these things.
UG: Free from all the ideas like climbing every mountain to prove that you are
Yes, you went back hmm, on the Wasserngrat Mountain!
The lady who made the comment on Mister Universe again bursts into laughter
with Margreets remark.
UG: Hmm? What!
You went back on the Wasserngrat!
UG: Yes! I didn't find it charming any more to walk on that ridge. Why should I expose
myself to danger? What for?
Danger? Come on UG!
UG: Yes, certainly; the body is not interested in undertaking any hazardous things.
Anyway, you are freed from all these things. So why shouldn't that be a
very good reason for us to desire your situation?
UG: What situation? This situation you dont want! You really dont want this. And
even if you want it, you are not going to get it anyway; thats for sure!
After some time the conversation continues with the next subject: the difference
between the needs of our body and the needs of our mind, our thinking
structure . . .
UG: . . . The sensitivity of the sensory-perceptions is destroyed by whatever you are
doing to free yourself from whatever you want to be free from. So it is destroying the
sensitivity of the nervous system here. The nervous system has to be very alert; for the
survival of this living organism it has to be very sensitive. Instead of allowing it to be
sensitive, you have invented what is called the sensitivity of your feelings, the sensitivity
of your mind, sensitivity towards every living thing around you, or the sensitivity to the
feelings of everybody that is there. And this has created a neurological problem. All
problems are neurological, not psychological or ethical. Thats the problem of the
society. The society is interested in the status quo; it doesn't want to change. The only
way it can maintain the status quo or continuity is through this demand, the demand
that everybody should fit into this structure, whereas every individual is unique.
Physically speaking, he is a unique individual. Nature is creating something unique all
the time. It is not interested in a perfect man; it is not interested in a religious man.
So we have placed before man the goal or idea of a perfect man, a truly religious man.
But anything you do to reach that goal of perfection is destroying the sensitivity of this
body. It is creating violence here. It is not interested in that. So the whole thing is set on
the wrong way. The day man experienced whatever he had experienced - his self-
awareness, self-consciousness - he sowed the seeds of the total destruction of man. And
all those religions have come out of that divisive consciousness in man. Therefore all the
teachings of those teachers will inevitably destroy mankind.
There is no point in reviving all those religious things and start revival movements.
They are dead, finished! Anything that is born out of this division in your consciousness
is destructive. It is violence because it is trying to protect not this living organism, not
life, but it is interested in protecting the continuity of thought. And through that it can
maintain the status quo of your culture or whatever you want to call this - the society.
So the problems are neurological. If you give a chance to the body, it will handle all
those problems. But if you try to solve them on a psychological or ethical level, you are
not going to succeed.
What do you mean by giving a chance to the body?
UG: Anger, for instance, is here. Where is anger? You feel it in your stomach; you feel it
in your base; so it is handling it there. But if you beat your husband or wife or your
neighbor or beat the pillows, you are not going to solve that problem. It has already been
absorbed. And you are only enriching these therapists who are making money out of
that. You see, you hit your wife or your husband, that is all that you can do and nothing
else. But still it is the function of the body to handle that and absorb it. It (anger) has
arisen here; it is something real here for the body. It doesn't want this anger, because it
is destroying the sensitivity of the nervous system; therefore it is absorbing the whole
thing. You dont have to do a thing. Any energy you create through thinking is
destructive for this body. That energy cannot be separated from the life here. It is one
continues movement. So all the energies you experience as the result of playing with all
those things are not of any interest to the functioning, the smooth functioning, of this
living organism. It is disturbing the very harmonious functioning of this body. It is a
very peaceful thing, this body.
The peace here is not that innate dead silence you experience, but it is like a volcano
erupting all the time. That is the silence that is peace. The blood is flowing through your
veins, like a river in spate. If you try to magnify the sound of the flow of your blood, you
will be surprised: (its) like the roar of an ocean!
So, if you put yourself in a soundproof room, you will not survive even for five minutes.
You will go crazy because you cant hear the noises that are there in you; the heartbeat of
your heart is something which you cannot take in. Therefore you love to surround
yourself with all these sounds, and then you create some funny experience called 'the
experience of a silent mind,' which is ridiculous. Absurd! That is the silence, the roar,
the roar of an ocean, the roaring of the flow of blood. That is all that this body is
interested in - not in your states of mind or the experience of a silent mind. The body is
not interested in your practice of virtue, not interested in your practice of silence. The
body has no interest in your moral dilemma and moral problems. It is not interested in
these things. As long as you practice virtue, so long you will remain a man of vice! They
go together. If you are lucky enough to be free from this pursuit of virtue as a goal, along
with it vice also goes out of your system. You will not remain a man of vice; you will not
remain a man of violence. As long as you follow some idea of becoming a nonviolent,
kind, soft and gentle person, so long you will remain the opposite!
A kind man, a man who practices kindness, a man who practices virtue is really a
menace; not the violent man.
20. This text . . . That Thou Art
UG: Somewhere along the line, culture has put the whole thing on the wrong track by
placing before man the ideal of a perfect man, the ideal of a truly religious man, because
religious experience is born out of a divisive consciousness and division is not the true
nature of consciousness.
Luckily animals dont have this division in their consciousness except the division that
is essential for their survival. Man is worse than the animals! He has no doubt
succeeded in putting man on the moon. Probably he will put man on every planet, but
that is of no interest to this body.
The survival mechanism of the body is altogether different from the survival
mechanism of thought. I say 'altogether', because thought functions in the field of time
whereas this natural body functions in the field of eternity, if I may put it that way.
You see, this body is immortal, it has no end; there is no end to life.
It seems that they are completely separate things.
UG: Completely.
And why do they apparently go together?
UG: They dont go together at all. Thats why there is a conflict. The survival
mechanism of this body is something very strange. You see, it is the cell that is most
important in this situation. There is no centrally organized thing in your body at all;
each cell is autonomous. There is no center, not even the vertebral structure. This cell
knows that its survival depends upon its cooperation with the next cell. So if this cell is
in danger, the cell next to it is also in danger. That is why there is a peculiar cooperation
amongst them. Not for any other benefit than their survival. So, that is the reason why
they function together, not (based on) the idea of cooperation created by your idealism
and all that.
You see, this is something extraordinary; the body is something extraordinary. There is
tremendous peace is there . . . how do I call this, a tremendous peace.
So we can say there are two entities, totally different from each other?
UG: Yes and this is not interested in the activity of your thought. It ignores that. The
body relies on its own sensory activity rather than on your thinking.
This body is not interested in your hunger . . . after one day, you will be surprised, if
you dont feed the body. . . Feeding the body is your problem; maybe for one day or two
days you feel the hunger tantrums."
But if you never eat anymore, you will die!
UG: So what? The body doesnt die; it just changes its form, shape; it breaks up into its
constituent elements. It is not interested in that (death). For the body there is no death.
For your thinking there is death, because it doesnt want to come to an end; it does not
want to face that situation. So it has created the life-after and the lives to come. But this
body is immortal in its nature, because it is part of life.
Even if your body is lying under the ground and disintegrating?
UG: So what? There are so many other forms of life surviving on that body. Its of no
consolation to you but all those germs will have a high day on your body, a feast day. Big
feast! You will be doing them great service. (Laughing)
Big feast for the worms and other creatures - that is UGs teaching when
philosophy resorts to reincarnation and transmigration of souls!
"UG (a visitor makes a remark), you know what the last issue of the
Woman's Magazine had in it? - Three or four interviews with families of
young children who remember - now this is all in quotes - their past lives.
They have taken their parents to the spots (where they had been in their
previous lives) and in fact in many cases they described before (the visit)
what things and situations (they were going to visit) would look like. So,
from unrelated sources you get the same sort of things, the same sort of
stories. There is the other thing about the auras. Maybe you dont like the
terms in which those stories are put, or . . .
UG: It doesn't matter what phrase you want to couch them in, but the fact of the matter
is that the answer . . .
The supernatural aspect of it may be a lot of rubbish, but . . .
UG: No, even the basic thing is questionable. In spite of the fact that all these people
say things that conform vaguely . . ., although they say the same sort of thing . . ., if you
want an answer for yourself as to whether there is anything to these things, you will not
be satisfied unless you find out that there is no death at all.
Death is something which can never be experienced. What is death? You see, you just
have to die! Then you will get the answers to those questions for yourself and by
yourself! Otherwise, no matter what anybody says, it will not help you to understand
Even my son - this fellow who died recently, you know - when he was three, three and-
a-half years old, he used to tell stories (of the lives) that he had lived before - that he was
in Benares in his previous life, and that he did some things, terrible things to his wife,
and so on. My grandmother talked about such things. It is very interesting to find
comforting answers to situations in life for which you dont have any answers.
I wonder whether there is any form of death where the body or any spirit
or soul out of that body will survive and continue to exist.
UG: Sorry, the continuity you are talking about is not there. The continuity of life is
there, so life has no end at all. It has no beginning and it has no end. And you arbitrarily
draw a line and say, This is death. But as far as the process of life is concerned, you
cannot draw a line and say, This is death. That is your problem.
Do you think you are alive now? It is your thinking that makes you feel that you are
alive, that you are conscious. So, that is possible only when the knowledge you have
about the things is in operation there in you.
You know, you have no way of finding out whether you are alive or dead.
In that sense there is no death at all, because you are not alive now. You become
conscious of things only when the knowledge is in operation. When the knowledge is
absent, whether the person is dead or alive is of no importance to this movement of
thought, which comes to an end before what we call death takes place.
So it really doesn't matter whether one is alive or dead. Of course, it does matter to the
one who considers this as important and to those who are involved with that individual.
But you have no way of finding out whether you are alive or dead and whether you are
conscious or not. You see, you become conscious only through the help of thought. But
unfortunately it (thought) is there all the time. So the suggestion that it is not possible to
experience anything makes no sense to you at all because when this movement is absent
you have no reference point there.
When this movement of thought is absent, all those questions about consciousness,
death and so on are not there.
They can try and spend millions and millions of dollars and do every kind of research to
find out the source of human consciousness, but there is no such thing as the source of
human consciousness at all. You can try - and they are going to spend billions of dollars
- to find it out, but the chances of their succeeding in that (attempt) are slim to none.
What there is is thought. Whenever thought takes its birth there, you have created an
entity or a point, and in reference to that point you are experiencing things. So, when
thought is not there, is it possible for you to experience anything or relate anything to a
non-existing thing there?
This means that every time thought is born, you are born. Thought in its very nature is
short-lived, and when once it is gone, thats the end of it (you), you see? So that is what
probably people meant when they used these terms, death and birth and death and
rebirth; it is not that a particular entity - which is non-existing even while you are alive -
takes a series of births.
This (reference) point comes into being in response to the demands of the situation.
The demands of the situation create this point. You see, the subject does not exist there
at all; it is the object that creates the subject. This runs counter to the whole
philosophical thinking of people in India. The subject comes and goes, comes and goes,
in response to the things that are happening. It is the object that creates the subject and
not the subject that creates the object.
This is a simple physiological phenomenon, which can be tested. You see, there is an
object there, for example; there is no subject here. What creates the subject is the object.
There is light; if the light is not there, you have no way of looking at anything. The light
falls on something and the reflection of that light activates the optic nerves here. That in
its turn activates the memory cells. When once the memory cells are activated, all the
knowledge you have about it comes into operation. So it is that thing happening there
that has created this subject, which is the knowledge you have about that.
You see, the word microphone is the I, the me. There is nothing there other than the
word microphone.
So, when you reduce it to that, dont you feel the absurdity of talking about the self, the
lower self, the higher self, self-knowing, knowing from moment to moment; it is
absolute . . . rubbish, balderdash!
You can indulge in such absolute nonsense and build philosophical theories, but there
is no subject here at all, at any time. It is not the subject that creates the object. And not
only the eye, but all the physical sensations are involved in this; there is the sound, the
olfactory nerves, the smell and the sense of touch; anyone of these sensations in
operation necessarily has to bring about the subject.
It is not one continuous subject who is gathering all these experiences and piling them
together, adding them up, and says, This is me, but every thing (sensation) is a
discontinuous, disconnected one. The sound is one, the physical seeing is one, the
smelling is one; the sense of touch, the vibration of the sound they create the subject
here. So it (the I) comes and goes, comes and goes. There is no permanent entity at all.
What there is is only what you call a first person singular pronoun and nothing else. And
if you dont want to use that I, to prove that you are a man without the ego, its your
privilege. But thats all that is there.
There is no permanent entity there at all. While you are living, the knowledge that is
there doesn't belong to you. Then why are you concerned about what will happen after
what you call you is gone?
The physical body is functioning from moment to moment, because that is the way the
sensory-perceptions are. But if you abstract this, instead of describing in (terms of) the
pure and simple functioning of the physical living organism, then you create a lot of
mischief. You know, you are hooked to that.
It is the sensitivity of sensory perceptions that I am talking about. You talk of sensitivity
of your feelings, sensitivity of your understandings, and sensitivity of your relationships.
You are lost; this has nothing to do with it.
To talk of 'living from moment to moment,' by creating a thought-induced state of
mind, has no meaning to me, except in terms of the physical functioning of the body that
is in any case functioning from moment to moment.
When thought is not there all the time, what is happening there is life living from
moment to moment."
21. The Holy Hooker
One burning question: what about love?
UG: What love?
Well, people feel . . .
UG: Do you know about love or are you asking me?
What do you think about it? People are attracted to one another and feel
good when they see someone in particular . . .
UG: Yes, and if you dont get what you want out of that relationship, what is there in its
UG: Oh no! Then there is hate. Sure! And if you dont want to call that hate, call it
indifference or antipathy. So, love and hate go together; they are one and the same.
Instead of calling this sex activity love, leave it alone, you see, and it falls in its rightful
place. The sex relationship - why cover it up with high-sounding words like love? It is
always related to something: you love your country, you love your family or you love
your neighbor. You know, it is always in relationship to something. When there are no
two, there is no love there.
You are interested in creating perfect and loving relationships in this world because all
the relationships are terrible, painful. And we superimpose on that the divine love,
cosmic love or god knows what. You want the relationship to be permanent, but there is
no permanence at all. There is that demand for permanence because of man's sorrow.
Permanent pleasure, permanent happiness, permanent bliss, permanent relationships -
but things are constantly changing.
Somebody asked me the question about some guru who says that Sex is the means of
putting yourself into a state of samadhi. Neither the man who suggests that technique
as a means of putting yourself into a state of samadhi is an enlightened man, nor is the
one who is practicing sex as a means to put himself into a state of samadhi going to be
As a matter of fact, sex is not necessary for the body; the body can survive without sex,
but without food it cannot. I am not saying anything for or against sex.
You see, they have done lots of experiments. Not only the sex act, but the very thought
of sex is disturbing the chemistry of the whole body. They have observed how it is
disturbing the whole chemistry of the body. It is essential for reproduction, to recreate,
to carry on life. Thats all. It is not intended for your pleasures.
It has become possible for men through the help of thought to have sex any time they
want. But that is not possible for animals. Through the help of thought it has become
possible for humans to have sex any time they want it. And it is the very same thing that
has created the problem. You know, sex becomes a bore. Its a bore, so you have to
invent thousands and thousands of ways and techniques of having sex, hmm? You turn
that into a problem. It is not a problem! For what has sex to do with you? It has a life of
its own. What has the heart to do with you? It is functioning in its own way. What do the
pancreas and the liver have to do with you? And what have you to do with them?
UG and Margreet were having the next conversation together with some friends
around, while I was installing my cassette recorder. The subject was that Sex is
never peaceful.
UG: Whenever or wherever there is the sex, the better is also part of that situation.
The what?
UG: If there is sex, if there is any relationship, a better relationship and a better sex,
more kicks and more sex also are part of that situation.
There is a book called The Happy Hooker. Do you know that book UG?
UG: The Happy Hooker, yes I have heard of that book. Whats the name of that
woman, . . . It begins with 'X'. Yes, I remember, she has written two or three books and
ultimately she comes to the idea of living with one person (laughs). After years, at last,
she talks of love; and, you see, she has had sex with everybody she could imagine - all
the kicks. In the end she says there is some beauty in living with one person. Beautiful
relationship! (Laughing again.)
I know that situation, but when I meet a man for the first time I have a
kick, hmm?
UG: That is natural.
Yes, thats natural, and so I am jolly well interested in sex. But I have
been living together with my friend now for one and-a-half years already,
but I am not so enthusiastic about him every day because he is not such a
kick for me anymore. Please, dont laugh UG! This is serious.
UG: No, I am not laughing. This is only natural.
Yes, but then I thought: well, it is so easy for a woman in The Happy
Hooker - everyday another man, everyday a new fresh kick. So, I am
wondering what is more natural - to live with one lover and reach to an
ever-deeper relationship with him, or to live the way your impulse seduces
you and perhaps live a more superficial life? Actually to me it seems more
natural to do what your feeling tells you to do."
A very long conversation follows about What is a more natural, better and
healthy thing to do in the field of sexuality and relationships? One of the
conclusions arrived it is that Anyway, its not really a question of sex. Margreet
says in this conversation that she likes to have sex with the nice people she meets,
yet, at the same time, she doesnt want to risk her relationship with me, her
boyfriend. The problem concerning sexuality and relationship turns out to be a
moral problem.
UG: The fear is the fear of losing what you have. That is really the fear. You are not
sure of the other man you want. There is the fear of losing what you have, of losing
what you know and you are uncertain of the situation here. So, it doesn't matter
whether you sleep with your own boyfriend or with someone else.
If that morality is absent, then sex goes! When you really can come to a point that it
really doesn't matter, then you will not sleep even with this fellow, your own boyfriend,
let alone others. But you are still caught up in the moral problem. You cant say that you
are free from the moral structure of the society; not at all! Thats humbug. You see, you
can fool yourself; but its still a moral problem. The very questioning that is going on
there, the discussion within yourself, the dialogue, the pros and cons means that you are
still in the moral framework. When that is finished, there is no question of living with
him or with anybody. Its finished once and for all.
The whole sex?
UG: The whole thing is finished. Not only sex, everything is finished: looking at sunrise
or sunset, climbing the mountains or swimming in the oceans, crossing them on rafters,
sitting there and looking at the tree, the flower - all of that is sensual activity, not
different from sex. I am not condemning sex, you see, but the whole movement of
pleasure is finished for you. And that is not what you really are interested in; so you will
be miserable, no matter what you do. Always!
You are bound to be miserable. As long as you are caught up in this moral framework,
you are still part of it. Dont tell me that you are above all this morality!
No, but I also thought that the highest possible way of relating is . . .
UG: Whether you have sex with one person or ten persons, it really doesn't matter. You
are not free from these moral problems. If you are free from the moral problem, you are
free from sex too - they go together. You cant separate the two. This is why you are
bound to be miserable, no matter what you do.
Yes, but perhaps we should practice this: first try with one partner, and
then two, then three, then ten . . . and so on.
UG: Like this holy hooker (UGs Freudian slip of the tongue?) . . . you will come back to
the same.
"But I thought that was the highest possible way of relating . . .
UG: You go and try it; there is no end to it.
You always say that there is no relationship possible. But I always thought
that the highest relationship is not talking about something superficial like
that but . . .
UG: Through sex, hmm?
Yes, sex, making love. But afterwards I realized, No, thats not true.
UG: Its not true. What you are saying is not true. It is not the highest.
Then . . . what is the highest?
UG: There is no highest.
There is no highest; yes, but, of course, we mean highest in this practical
day-to-day life of . . .
UG: No relationship is the highest. Finished, you see. No relationship at all. You are
looking for a perfect relationship, ideal relationship and the highest. Temporarily you
feel good. Go ahead, I am not a moralist. But why you are separating sex from the other
activities of your life? You are still moralistic. Thats why you want to put sex on a
different level. Its like anything else. Any action of yours, the whole thing, is a series of
reactions; you cannot isolate yourself. This is not an isolated action at all.
But, how do you say we separate sex from the other activities?
UG: You are discussing sex as if it is something different from other human activities.
The society has made it into something special. You are not free; you are still caught up
in that moral framework of the society. Yes, you can get away now with free sex - the pill
you can take. So the credit goes to the pill. Otherwise, you should bear children, and
there are the laws and so many other problems; it is not such a simple thing as you
imagine. You should thank those who have invented this birth control thing.
UG, when you were 18 or 16, you said to yourself: Why should I meditate
when there is this urge for sex? and you had wet dreams and so on.
UG: I did not rush and have sex.
No, but later on you did have sex. Did you experience or did you find out
what exactly the sex wish is, what it consists of, or where it comes from?
UG: Sure. Meditation and sex, they go together. As long as you meditate, so long sex is
there. So, I was not able to look at it that way in those days. I separated them. Now I
know that both are the same. Thought is there, and as long as the thought is there, sex is
there. The continuity of thought, the buildup you are talking about - you want to shake
hands and then you want to embrace the man, kiss him and then so on and on and on -
this is the buildup. Its all bound to end up in bed. Sorry to say that. But what prevents
that is your moral problem: you are not free from the moral problem at all. As long as
you have this moral problem, so long sex is there. And whether you have sex with one
person or with a thousand persons, it really doesn't matter.
So when you are free from that moral problem, once and for all, not only in sexual
relationships, but relationships in any human activity, then sex goes. Not only sex, the
whole thing: the search, God, Reality, transformation - everything is washed out of your
You see, you dont have the search and at the same time free yourself from sex. The
search for something must come to an end. The search for happiness, perfect happiness
- that is all you are interested in - perfect relationship or ideal relationship. That doesn't
exist at all.
"So the search includes everything?"
UG: The search includes the search for truth and God. God must go, not only the God
that people believe in and all the variations of that, but you see, your moksha, your
liberation, freedom, mutation, transformation - all that must be thrown out of your
system. And not through any volition of yours.
At this moment I cant see what it is to live without morality.
UG: Until then you will have sex in some form or the other. You can suppress it,
sublimate it, do what you like; but its still there. Your wanting to free yourself from that
is sex!
Even awareness is sex?
UG: Yes, wherever there is awareness, there is sex; wherever there is self-
consciousness, there is sex.
But I dont see anything wrong with sex.
A visitor who has just arrived joins in the conversation.
UG: I am not saying there is. Its their problem. She asked me the question Whats
wrong with sleeping with ten men; why should I sleep with one man? I said, Its all
right with me. But she is afraid of the consequences. You dont give a damn whether
your boyfriend will be happy or unhappy. Thats a fact.
And he will find other girls as well.
UG: Yes, he can find other girls and she other boys.
Yes, I am worrying about that too.
UG: Oh, already jealous too! You dont mind going around, but if he does, you are going
to object to that. Sure! No doubt about that. Until you are sure of the hold on the other
branch, you dont want to let go of this branch.
Yes. When I am looking at someone, some woman, and I see she is not a
rival, I can look at Robert or her with ease. But if she is a real rival, I feel it
in my stomach and I cant look at that girl.
A third visitor: Really? Hmm, strange!
Oh, come on, you are jealous too!
UG: If you dont feel that jealousy, there is something wrong; you are sick!
Well, maybe something is wrong, yes.
UG: Thats all. If you dont have jealousy, envy, greed or any of those things, that means
something is wrong; you are sick!
UG, when there is a beautiful woman walking by, and we are sitting at
Chez Esther, the restaurant, and Robert has not yet seen her . . .
UG: What do you mean, He hasn't seen her?
Then I quickly start a conversation or I say Look at her, or I get shy and I
UG: Even before you were looking, he was looking!
Sometimes not; then I see her first.
UG: No, no. Perhaps he is looking at some other girl even more beautiful then the one
you saw! Anyway, feeling jealous is very natural. There are people who say they never
feel jealous; they want to prove that they are something different. That is a sign of
sickness. They think that they are spiritual or in some way different from other people;
but they are not different.
Well I am surprised when you say that because I dont have these
reactions of feeling jealous or feeling something in my stomach, the non-
jealous lady says in a jealous tone!
UG: Yes, you are a chicken anyway; you dont even know that, come on!
Well, I am it; I am jealous one hundred percent! says Margreet proudly,
because she feels UG agrees with her.
The non-jealous lady says: Yes, that could be in a different situation; then
I can imagine that . . .
UG: Not in a different situation! You see, if you had a boyfriend and that boyfriend runs
after another girl, boy, that would be the thing! Your spirituality and all that would be
finished at once.
Oh yes, I would kill him, says Margreet.
UG: Kill him . . . or feel miserable. I know that. I dont pay any attention to all those
people who brag saying 'I am not jealous.' If you are not jealous, you must be sick. Or
the situation has not yet arisen where your involvement is at stake. That will be the
You know, I was in an ashram and there they said: When you feel jealous
or angry, you have to drink five glasses of water and then it will go away.
UG: And then it will come back and you will have to go to the toilet five times an hour.
And that is why you dont have time to be jealous; you will just run to the toilet!
And once I was in an acupressure centre and there I was very angry at
somebody. Then the reaction was: Oh, when you are angry, you just have
to push here, and then the anger will go away.
UG: You give so much importance to it because the whole approach to the problem is
based on false morality, guilt! You have been fed on that kind of thing by these religious
people all the time. You are being angry and yet you condemn it. Thats the strangest
thing and thats why you are all sick, neurotic. You cant even look at it without these
guilt complexes, guilt feelings. You cant look at anything.
Is that only because of our education?
UG: Education, culture, religion, all of them are responsible. The god men say: You can
become a god man only when you free yourself from sex. That is not correct: that must
go, your search for truth, your search for reality. Your sex and these things, they always
go together. You cant separate the two and put one on a higher level and say the other is
something to be avoided. Not at all.
Your transformation, mutation or whatever you want to call it is a variation of the same
Sex cannot be used as a means. Denial is not the way. You can have sex until the last
moment, but still this kind of thing (enlightenment) can happen. Thats why I said they
were all furious with me; I said: A murderer, a thief, a con man or a rapist has as much
a chance, if not a better chance, as all the spiritual seekers we have in the world put
together. So, its not because of what they do or what they dont do.

UG, you never feel jealous? When, for example, I look at Valentine now, you
have no problems with it? (Joking)
UG: What do I care? (Everybody laughs) . . . even if I had a beautiful young wife! But
the chances of my having a beautiful wife are none.
Well, maybe your interest is none, but your chances are very good.
Oh yes, I remember something from last year, UG. There was a film
actress; she was coming here and you kissed her hand! Margreet shouts
out loudly.
UG: Come on! I kissed her hand? Nonsense!
No, we saw you kissing her hand!
UG: Not I. She forced herself on me, but I didn't allow her.
Oh no! She did this . . . (Makes a sound of kissing.)
UG: Never! She took my hand, she did. Id never do that.
No, but then you let it happen?
UG: I had no choice.
Yes, she was rather aggressive, hmm? Very strong.
UG: Yes, I am a Mexican, she said. Also, once there was a girl in California. She always
wanted to hug me, you see. So, she waited, waited and waited, and then, on the last day,
just before I got into the car, she came running.
And she hugged you?
UG: Yes! I didnt have a chance; I couldn't get out! Such things do happen. But I dont
23 .That One Fine Day Will Never, Never Arrive
. . . Because of the very question written on the page!
UG, why isnt my life perfectly harmonious?
UG: Because of this question, engraved in your consciousness.
UG, what interests me is, why it is that you at this time in history are
teaching the things you are actually teaching, because often what happens
is that a teacher comes when there is a need for some growth in a certain
UG: And you believe in that?
Yes, presently I do.
UG: If you believe in that, maybe I am the teacher that the world is in need of. Probably
that is the need of the world today . . .
Once I enquired UG about his opinion of our younger generation - whether they
might arrive at a better world situation:
UG: You see, these people are not really spiritual: it is just the drugs that have
destroyed their drive; they cannot use their intelligence at all. They are all very
intelligent people, but they would rather do some manual jobs than to use the talents
they have.
Yes, because they are not interested in this society!
UG: They are sick! Dont say that they are not interested; they are sick. You see, like the
religious people, they are also sick. A successful religious man is an ambitious man. That
is why he creates organizations.
Well, you can see very clearly in the younger people of Western Europe and
America that they are . . .
UG: They are all drug addicts, all of them.
But a lot of those who dont take drugs, they are fed up with all these outdated
ways of living.
UG: No, that doesn't mean anything. They have not understood that, you see, the
uselessness of that. Still they are part of that society.
It is a reaction to this society.
UG: Reaction doesn't mean anything. They cannot build anything. Constructively they
cannot do anything, because the main problem for them is their survival in this society,
All our disciplines of spirituality dont mean a thing to UG. All forced and sick
disciplines in the field of nutrition, all the exercises of yoga and meditation and
all our so-called sacrifices in the areas of love and virtuousness mean nothing to
UG. Its all rubbish and poppycock. According to him, these things do not really
produce the results they claim to produce.
UG: To become harmonious by denying themselves milk products and tonic drinks,
what nonsense they talk!
The main staple of UG his nourishment is milk products (cheese and heavy
cream) and in the period before arriving at the Natural State, he drank fifteen to
twenty cups of coffee every day!
UG: Plastic, you see, is one of those marvellous inventions. But they talk against it,
these jokers back to nature! And these Orlon tubes they have, hmm, these things
have made it possible for people to become individuals. And I have plastic in my mouth.
What nonsense is it that people talk, to talk against plastic! Its an extraordinary
I didn't say anything against it!
UG: No, not you, but these jokers we have, the hippies and ecologists talk about it. They
weave artificial arteries with Orlon threads; something extraordinary - if you want to
live, that is. If you dont want to live, then die, its all right, fine. They are going to have
artificial hearts. Now they are thinking of artificial brains. They are going to succeed,
dont worry about that.
You always ask the question: How can I look at thought? The question how? is a
thought. The how'creates time. If the how is not there, there is no time there, there is
nothing to understand; you have no way of looking at anything. Seeing (then) is not a
dualistic process; its not a divisive movement. The physical eye doesn't see anything as
two. Only when thought interferes and says, That is a man,'duality comes into being
and creates this division. The physical seeing, the physical hearing, the physical touch,
the physical smelling and the physical tasting have no division in them. It is one unitary
It is the knowledge you have about those sensations that creates the division, and yet at
the same time, it wants to create unity. So it is playing an endless game with itself. In
this process it is gaining some experience, and those experiences give you the happy
feeling that jolly well you are going to reach that goal one fine day. I tell you, that one
fine day will never, never arrive!
So, going here and there, learning something from Hinduism, or from this man or that
man means nothing. You see, you replace one with the other; instead of Jesus you have
somebody else, Sri Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi or Jiddu Krishnamurti or
somebody else. You replace, always replace one with another. You are always looking for
a new Bible. But anything you touch, you will turn that into the same.
The total absence of all that logical, rational movement that is there, that is the trick!
24. Nice Meeting You...
"UG, you are not propagating any teaching; you say you dont have to offer
any solution to the world. So, actually your purpose here is just to have a
UG: My purpose here is to ask you to go! Im sorry, Nice meeting you . . . and goodbye.
Its not that I am rude or anything, but thats the reality of the situation. I am no savior
of mankind. Who am I? Who has given me the mandate? What I am saying has no social
content in it at all. What can I do? I am so helpless, totally helpless.
So, if I see the misery there, I sit and cry with them its not that I literally cry. But, as
you said, the world is in a very sorry mess - thats true. You see, we are going to blow up
everything. We have set in motion the forces of destruction that nobody, no teacher, no
God walking on this earth and no Bhagawan can stop.
They can make all kinds of plans but they have set in motion and they are progressively
pushing the whole thing into the direction of the destruction of everything. It does not
mean that I am a prophet and that it is going to happen - not that I see the future or
predict it - but its moving in that direction. Maybe some miracle will happen and
everything will be saved. I dont know. I think it will continue; it cannot go. Man is not
that foolish and stupid to destroy everything he has created with his own hands. But you
cannot rely on the wisdom of man, or the wisdom of all the sages, saints and saviors of
mankind which we have had and which we still have in the marketplace. That wisdom
which they are dishing out cannot be of any help. They are creating more discord, more
and more discord. Every teacher says he is the one who has the answer for all the
questions. So, but it (the world) seems to be going on.
Nobody has given me the mandate to save mankind. I am not the savior of mankind.
Who am I? And first of all, whats wrong with this world? The world cant be anything
other than what it is. Nobody is really interested in solving the problems. You are always
talking of changing the world because there is a drive inside of you to change yourself.
When this urge, the demand, the urgency to change yourself into something other than
what you are comes to an end, the talk of changing the whole world for your own
reasons will also come to an end. They go together. There is nothing to be changed here,
so there is nothing to be changed around you. What is wrong with this world? How can
it be different? How can it be different, man being what he is? It is not going to be
You can talk of love Love thy neighbor as thyself - and talk of universal love,
universal brotherhood. But nothing is going to work. It hasn't worked. It is not that I am
pessimistic, but in the very nature of things it cannot work.
There are solutions for our problems, but nobody wants those solutions. These are all
man-made problems: the starvation, the misery, the wars. You know, as long as you are
creating frontiers around you here, so long there will be frontiers there.
If the demand for more is absent, then all the goals - including your spiritual goals -
are finished. There are no goals. There are only needs and the needs you are left with are
the needs for physical survival. Finished!
Then the goals and needs become one.
25. Compelled by the Third Eye
From summer 1967 until the summer of 1983, UG answered all of people's
questions most willingly, sometimes even in the middle of the night!
Everybody must be able to see me, whosoever and whenever. Its not your business to
send people away, no matter for what reason! UG once said to a landlord who had sent
away a UG-visitor, explaining that UG was resting for a while.
For sixteen years UG exhausted himself talking to thousands and thousands of
people who visited him. Since the summer of 1983 he became rather quiet in the
verbal expression of his natural state. He still allowed people to visit his place, but
preaching his teaching had slowed down.
UG: What use is it, hmm? You just read these books about me and then you know
everything. I dont have to say anything more, and I dont see any point in saying to
these people the same things over and over again.
Since the end of summer, 1988, UG had minimized his conversations with
visitors. Several video recordings have been made in several countries and by
different institutes. Some of them were interviews broadcast by American
television stations; another one was the 20 minutes documentary made by
members of a Dutch academy of video art. And there are many more these days
on UGs websites and on the YouTube.
UG: If people want to know what I am talking about, they can watch these video
UGs life seems to be governed by sequences of seven-year periods. Seven is a
sacred number, and seven times seven years makes forty-nine years, the age at
which UG was born again.
Three also is a sacred number, and three times seven years makes twenty-one
years. This is the number of years in which UG had been traveling all over the
world expressing his natural state.
In the year of 1988 he had fulfilled ten periods of seven years.
If UG really wanted to cease sharing his paradoxical wisdom, merely his wishing
it might not be sufficient; his physical attunement should be adjusted: When
there were no people around UG or when he could not speak to his friends and
answer all their questions, the normal and smooth functioning of his instrument
seemed to be in trouble. In summer 1983 in Gstaad, Switzerland, after a month of
retirement and no people around him, UG told this surprising story:
UG: . . . At no time do I make the distinction between outside and inside. It is not that I
cannot make the distinction, but, you see, this is very strange. My explanation is, Maybe
the eyes are distorting the light. When you close your eyes, light is still penetrating
through the porous skin, you know? Here, the gland here, if I close this, it is dark. If I
dont close this, there is more light inside than with the eyes opened. If I close my eyes,
it is not pitch dark. But if I close this spot on my forehead, the light is completely gone.
Its very strange. I sometimes play with this kind of thing. I haven't found any
satisfactory explanation. I asked two or three physiologists, but they really dont know.
This gland, the pineal gland, is the one that is the most painful. It started again! You
know, when I dont talk, when I dont do anything, the trouble starts. Today I was in bed
all day. If I am not active, I have to stay in bed and then go through these horrible
pains . . . - miserable situation! I was in my room most of the time today. And then,
when I come out, you see, you are like a drunkard, tipsy. What it is, I dont know. You go
off, and then, when you wake up, you feel as if you have walked hundreds of miles: pain
in your legs - a horrible situation . . .
Perhaps, if a real teacher cannot teach for some time, because for some reason
there are no people around him, his inner energy runs wild. In the same way, a
powerful engine may get broken when the tools it has to move or rotate are
suddenly disconnected. It seems that UGs powerful revolutions were in trouble
when there were no disciples near him to be turned round.
This is the traditional reading. However, when UG was asked why he wanted to
help people, he exclaimed:
UG: I dont want to help you. It is your sitting here that creates the motive in me (to
help you). Thats all.
26. Goodbye
"'Stop UG, you cannot go out of my house now!'"
UG quotes the helpless cry of one of his friends who could not bear the fact that
he would have to live a long time without UG and UGs wisdom.
UG: I went there to say goodbye to him. 'No,' he said, 'I won't let you go out of this
house, unless you . . .'" (UG laughs)
"What did he want? Did you give it to him?" (Laughing also)
UG: What is there to give? It was a funny scene this morning. . . . I went back because I
forgot my pullover. He didn't want to give me back my pullover, you see. I said. 'You can
have that pullover and anything else you want; but this is the one thing I cant give to
you. Nobody can give truth to you. Try your luck somewhere else!"
This text had been written
originally in the Dutch
It took Robert a year to
transcribe one hunderd hours
of his taperecordings,
containing conversations of UG
with Robert and visitors of UG
in the beautiful village Gstaad,
Switzerland. This was before
Later on it was translated into
English by Robert, and
transformed here and there into
correct English by Narayan
Moorty, one of UGs best and
most close friends. Moorty, as
he is called, is a professor in
Philosophy. Also some content
had been perfected by him.
Robert, Heemskerk,
the Netherlands,
May 2013