The Death of U.G. Krishnamurti

The empty, expressive, and out-spoken human being known as U.G. Krishnamurti has died. Bereft of life, he has ceased to be, leaving the world on March 22, 2007 at 2.30 pm in an apartment in Vallecrosia, Italy. I am a bit late in eulogizing, but I am sure he would not care at all. I first ran into him in 2001, when I lived in Quincy, Massachusetts. It was U.G. that first opened me to the possibility of nothing being outside of myself. I had to make all the discoveries on my own, but without him, it would have arrived much later.

I feel no sadness, but I hope those close to him will not suffer. I know so many of his "followers" hung on his words, even though he asserted there was no teaching to follow. I often wondered if he ever grew annoyed by hearing the same questions over and over again, but I guess it would not matter anyway; the truth is always the truth.

What follows are quotes from U.G., and some other info you may, or may not, find interesting.

Thanks, U.G.

U.G. Krishnamurti

UG did not show the slightest signs of worry or fear about death or concern for his body even at the end of his life.  He did not leave any specific instructions as to how to dispose of his dead body.  ‘You can throw it on the garbage heap, as far as I am concerned,’ he often would say. 

Responding to questions on death, UG said, ‘Life and death cannot be separated. When what you call clinical death takes place, the body breaks itself into its constituent elements and that provides the basis for the continuity of life. In that sense the body is immortal.’

And let this be told: when UG rejected the notion of soul or atman and declared that our search for permanence was the cause of our suffering, he sounded like the Buddha; when he blasted all spiritual discourses as ‘poppycock’ and thrashed the spiritual masters as ‘misguided fools’, we thought of the fiery and abusive words of the great 9th century mystic of China, Rinzai Gigen, who declared, ‘I have no dharma to give… There is no Buddha, no Dharma, no training and no realization…’ When he spoke of ‘affection’ as ‘thuds’ felt in the spot where the thymus gland is located, we related it to Sri Ramana’s declaration that the ‘true heart’ is located on the right side of the chest. Likewise we sometimes connected his radical statements to certain expressions or declarations in the Avadhuta Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, the Upanishads and Zen Koans, or compared them with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj and even the post-modern ‘deconstructionists’. We could go on thus, making such connections and comparisons, but that did not help us to get a handle on the mystery that was UG!

That mystery, that enigma, is no more. Once, a couple of years back, when Mahesh Bhatt had asked him, ‘UG, how would you like to be remembered?’ UG had said, ‘After I am dead and gone, nothing of me must remain inside of you or outside of you. I can certainly do a lot to see that no establishment or institution of any kind mushrooms around me whilst I am alive. But how do I stop all you guys from enshrining me in your brains?’

UG Says

Quotable Quotes

I have no teaching. There is nothing to preserve. Teaching implies something that can be used to bring about change. Sorry, there is no teaching here, just disjointed, disconnected sentences. What is there is only your interpretation, nothing else. For this reason there is not now nor will there ever be any kind of copyright for whatever I am saying. I have no claims.

There is no teaching of mine, and never shall be one. "Teaching" is not the word for it. A teaching implies a method or a system, a technique or a new way of thinking to be applied in order to bring about a transformation in your way of life. What I am saying is outside the field of teachability; it is simply a description of the way I am functioning. It is just a description of the natural state of man -- this is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.

My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody.

My interest is to point out to you that you can walk, and please throw away all those crutches. If you are really handicapped, I wouldn’t advise you to do any such thing. But you are made to feel by other people that you are handicapped so that they could sell you those crutches. Throw them away and you can walk. That’s all that I can say. ‘If I fall....’ - that is your fear. Put the crutches away, and you are not going to fall.

People call me an ‘enlightened man’ -- I detest that term -- they can’t find any other word to describe the way I am functioning. At the same time, I point out that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all. I say that because all my life I’ve searched and wanted to be an enlightened man, and I discovered that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all, and so the question whether a particular person is enlightened or not doesn’t arise. I don’t give a hoot for a sixth-century-BC Buddha, let alone all the other claimants we have in our midst. They are a bunch of exploiters, thriving on the gullibility of the people. There is no power outside of man. Man has created God out of fear. So the problem is fear and not God.

The natural state is not the state of a self-realized God-realized man, it is not a thing to be achieved or attained, it is not a thing to be willed into existence; it is there -- it is the living state. This state is just the functional activity of life. By 'life' I do not mean something abstract; it is the life of the senses, functioning naturally without the interference of thought. Thought is an interloper, which thrusts itself into the affairs of the senses. It has a profit motive: thought directs the activity of the senses to get something out of them, and uses them to give continuity to itself.

God is the ultimate pleasure, uninterrupted happiness. No such thing exists. Your wanting something that does not exist is the root of your problem. Transformation, moksha, liberation, and all that stuff are just variations on the same theme: permanent happiness.

All your experiences, all your meditations, all your prayer, all that you do, is self-centred. It is strengthening the self, adding momentum, gathering momentum, so it is taking you in the opposite direction. Whatever you do to be free from the self also is a self-centred activity.

There is nothing there, only your relative, experiential data, your truth. There is no such thing as objective truth at all. There is nothing which exists outside or independent of our minds.

Mind or thought is not yours or mine. It is our common inheritance. There is no such thing as your mind and my mind (it is in that sense mind is a myth). There is only mind, the totality of all that has been known, felt and experienced by man, handed down from generation to generation. We are all thinking and functioning in that thought sphere just as we all share the same atmosphere for breathing.

You have been told that you should practice desirelessness. You have practiced desirelessness for thirty or forty years, but still desires are there. So something must be wrong somewhere. Nothing can be wrong with desire; something must be wrong with the one who has told you to practice desirelessness. This (desire) is a reality; that (desirelessness) is false – it is falsifying you. Desire is there. Desire as such can’t be wrong, can’t be false, because it is there.

Human nature is basically violent, because thought is violent. Anything that is born out of thought is destructive. You may cover it up with all wonderful and romantic phrases: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Don’t forget that in the name of ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ millions and millions of people have died, more than in all the recent wars put together. But we now have come to a point where we can realize that violence is not the answer, that it is not the way to solve human problems. So, terror seems to be the only way. I am not talking of terrorists blowing up churches, temples, and all that kind of thing, but the terror that if you try to destroy your neighbour you will possibly destroy yourself. That realization has to come down to the level of the common man.

The real problem is the solution. Your problems continue because of the false solutions you have invented. If the answers are not there, the questions cannot be there. They are interdependent; your problems and solutions go together. Because you want to use certain answers to end your problems, those problems continue. The numerous solutions offered by all these holy people, the psychologists, the politicians, are not really solutions at all. That is obvious. They can only exhort you to try harder, practice more meditations, cultivate humility, stand on your head, and more and more of the same. That is all they can do. If you brushed aside your hope, fear, and naiveté‚ and treated these fellows like businessmen, you would see that they do not deliver the goods, and never will. But you go on and on buying these bogus wares offered up by the experts.

I can never sit on a platform and talk. It is too artificial. It is a waste of time to sit and discuss things in hypothetical or abstract terms. An angry man does not sit and talk and converse pleasantly about anger; he is too angry. So don’t tell me that you are in crisis, that you are angry. Why talk of anger? You live and die in the hope that someday, somehow, you will no longer be angry. You are burdened with hope, and if this life seems hopeless, you invent the next life. There are no lives to come.

My interest is not to knock off what others have said (that is too easy) but to knock off what I am saying. More precisely, I am trying to stop what you are making out of what I am saying. This is why my talking sounds contradictory to others. I am forced by the nature of your listening to always negate the first statement with another statement. Then the second statement is negated by a third and so on. My aim is not some comfy dialectical thesis but the total negation of everything that can be expressed.