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Biographies > The Two Krishnamurtis

   by Peter Holleran

   J. Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, Shri Atmananda, Papaji, and Ramana Maharshi are all examples of spiritual teachers - considered sages by many - who had, early in life, many yogic, mystical, and spiritual experiences, but who went on to disown their value in favor of simply the tacit realization of consciousness. Only Ramana and Shri Atmananda generally welcomed diverse practices among their disciples other than pure jnana or self-enquiry, realizing their lack of preparation or readiness for such a path, and also acknowledging the effectiveness of other paths such as bhakti or devotion. May it not be true, however, that all of these teachers benefited from their earlier experiences and practices, even if they later reputed their value? If not, perhaps thousands of years of teaching and guru-disciple interaction have been of little value, and the current non-dualists are right, all one has to do is understand, with no change, preparation or purification of any kind necessary. The first two of these figures denied the need for a teacher at all, even though they curiously assumed that very function by their very denial. In this essay we will examine the life of the “two Krishnamurtis” in this light, examining paradox and contradiction for the sake of our understanding.

   Jeddu Krishnamurti (1896-1986), by far the most well-known of the two, was a dark and brooding young man when, at the age of twelve, he was spotted by the Theosophist Leadbeater who noticed something portentious about his aura. Leadbeater suggested to Krishnamurti’s father (himself a local Theosophist) that his son might be the new messiah and would be better off raised under the care of Emily Luytens (wife of the illustrious Edwin Luytens, the “architect” of New Delhi), who became his new “mother”. Under the Theosophists (the primary influence which was Leadbeater) Krishnamurti led a sheltered and unusual life. He was not particularly spiritually inclined but was somewhat of a romantic, often stating that he was “half in love with easeful death.” With the unexpected early loss of his brother (his closest companion, who was also raised by Theosophists along with him) Krishnamurti was dealt a terrible, crushing blow. His mind took a serious turn, and he grew to feel that he was being used by the Theosophists for political purposes. Hailed by Annie Besant as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ (a move which prompted Rudolph Steiner to break away from her and form the Anthroposophical Society), Krishnamurti, in 1929, denounced the claim, dissolved the “Order of the Star”, denied that he was a guru, spiritual master, or avatar, and from then until the end of his life never admitted to having disciples. In a statement he then wrote he announced that his role was henceforth to be a free thinker, not a master, and that “truth was a pathless land.” While he had numerous mystical/kundalini experiences when he was with the theosophists, he apparently never associated with a genuine physical spiritual teacher of higher caliber, and his later repudiation of the scripturally-praised relationship between master and disciple seems to have been, at least in part, a reaction to the aberrant circumstances of his upbringing and his association with the morally dubious Leadbeater. In the short but powerful work, At the Feet of the Master (of which Leadbeater may have been the author) , he respected the tradition of the guru-disciple relationship (1), but later made a complete about-face and affirmed and energetically argued that it was unnecessary and even counter-productive for one to have a guru or master. Krishnamurti really did have teachers, and even served in that capacity for others (in spite of his protestations to the contrary), yet he made a career out of criticizing what he saw (not without some justification) as an insidious oriental institution.

   It was undoubtedly his contact with certain inner resources, however, that initiated, on August 17, 1922, and continuing through 1924 and for several decades after that, what he called “the process”. This was essentially years of mystical experiences and psycho-physical transformation with apparent kundalini manifestation and acute pain in his head and spine (see "The pathless journey of Jiddu Kirshnamurti" for more about these experiences).

   JK’s experiences with inner masters did not end when he disbanded the order of the Star and left theosophy, as many may suppose, but both that and the ‘process’ continued throughout his life. Of 1948, when he was about fifty-three years old, Luytens writes:

   "K had been out for a walk with them when he said he said he felt ill and must return to the house. He asked them to stay with him, not to be frightened by what ever happened not to call a doctor. He said he had pain in his head. After a time he told them he was 'going off'. This 'going off' was what has always happened in the past during 'the process'. K left his body in charge of what we used to call the physical elemental - a childish entity who regarded K with great reverence and awe. His face was weary and full of pain. He asked them who they were and whether they knew Nitya (K's brother who died years before). He then spoke of Nitya, told them that he was dead, that he loved him and wept for him. He asked whether they were nervous but did not appear at all interested in the reply. He stopped himself from calling for Krishna to come back: 'he has told me not to call him'. He then spoke of death. He said it was so close – 'just the thread-line' – how easy it could be for him to die, but he would not like to because he had work to do. Towards the end he said: 'He is coming back. Do you see them all with him – spotless, untouched, sure – now that they are here he will come. I am so tired but he is like a bird – always fresh”.

   “The next evening Pupul and Nandini again waited for him in his room while he went for a solitary walk. When he returned at about seven he was 'the stranger' once more. He went to lie down. He said he felt burnt, completely burned. He was crying. He said: 'you know I have found out what happened on that walk. He came fully took charge complete charge. That is why I did not know if I have returned. I knew nothing. They have burned me so that there can be more emptiness. They want to see how much of him can come'. Later Krishnamurti commented: 'that was a very narrow shave. Those bells nearly tolled from my funeral.”

     There is a fair amount of material like this throughout the biographical trilogy by Luytens, with the aim of preparing and experimenting with Krishnamurti being a 'channel' for the 'other', presumably Maitreya, which there is also some discussion of what Krishnamurti thought of that idea later in life, and even an interesting story suggesting that that was indeed 'the other'. Unfortunately, Krishnamurti had no physical teachers to work with him and confirm or prepare him further.

   Krishnamurti, or "K" as he preferred to be called, later seemed to deny the validity, necessity, or legitimacy of these experiences (referring to them as mere "incidents"), and subsequently the entire process of spiritual agency of a authentically realized master as well. If he did feel that his own particular experiences were necessary and useful for the more mature phases of his spiritual development, he nevertheless held to his argument that submission or resort to the help of a guru was not. Incidentally, the article in the above mentioned link suggests that after mystical visions in his early years, for most of his life the most significant aspects for him spiritually were an open mind and a benign, protective and guiding 'sense of presence'. Only at the age of eighty-five did he appear to have a deeper experience or glimpse of what Paul Brunton (PB) might call the Overself, but this, in the way he described it, is unclear. For the last few years of his life he said that he could feel the Presence with him all the time..

   In short, the style and nature of teaching advanced by Krishnamurti through the years was a useful critique of Theosophy with its generally inferior and subjective mysticism, but it can be argued that it didn’t go far enough, and assumed a capacity in its listeners that was beyond their present ability, in order for it to be effective to the point of true realization. He had a purifying influence on the spiritual and occult milieu of his day, yet lacked a comprehensive scope. His students, by and large, were led into a practice of what he termed “choiceless awareness”, generally limited to an intellectual or cognitive discipline, but were not informed or aided in actually progressing through advancing stages of spiritual practice. Of course, this is one thing that Krishnamurti might claim he was deliberately trying to discourage, the very idea that there is such a thing as progress. His chief and honorable purpose was to get people to move beyond the conceptual faculty of the mind, beyond prejudices and preconceptions, into a more perceptual mode of awareness. This is valuable, no doubt, but it is only the beginning, and in itself liable to fall into a “talking school” of practice.

   The spiritual process as considered by most saints and sages is an active ordeal and one needs help for it. In marked contrast to the intensity of the experiences of his early manhood, and in spite of the diligence required to actually create a spiritual practice solely on the basis of his communicated arguments, many people acquire the view, from attending lectures and reading books, that intellectualizing and philosophical contemplation are sufficient practice for the realization of truth. For some few with the requisite background this may indeed be so. Yet for many, unfortunately, it is not. For instance, the “witness” attitude recommended by him, it has been said, for many becomes essentially that of a bodily-based personality observing itself and nature, and not that of consciousness, as the witness self, senior to the body-mind itself, in a mature stage of practice, such as taught by Ramana Maharshi. Such an advanced stage generally requires many supportive means for its fulfillment. Even so, Krishnamurti had the benefit of an early yogic awakening that undoubtedly gave him more free energy and attention for the contemplative exercises that he advocated for the majority of his followers. Yet he didn't teach how to reach that stage. Thus Krishnamurti might be considered as a pratyekabuddha, or one who was awakened but not able to fully teach others or guide them to enlightenment because of his own lack of development as well as passage through all of the stages of development in one lifetime. As PB wrote:

   "There are men of enlightenment who cannot throw down a bridge from where they are to where they once were, so that others too can cross over. They do not know or cannot describe in detail the way which others must follow to reach the goal. Such men are not the teaching masters, and should not be mistaken for them...The man of enlightenment who has never been a learner, who suddenly gained his state by the overwhelming good karma of previous lives, is less able to teach others than the one who slowly and laboriously worked his way into the state - who remembers the trials, pitfalls, and difficulties he had to overcome." (1a)

   Ramana Maharshi had this to say when asked about Krishnamurti's method of "effortless and choiceness awareness":

   "Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward.For that effort is necessary for most people. Of course everybody, every book says, "be quiet or still." But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or Supreme state indicated by "Be quiet or still", you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So that, effortless and choiceness awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. [Thayumanavar says] "Bliss will follow if you are still. But however much you may tell your mind about this truth, the mind will not keep quiet. It is the mind that won't keep quiet. It is the mind which tells the mind, 'Be quiet and you will attain bliss'. Though all the scriptures have said it, though we hear about it every day from the great ones, and though even our Guru says it, we never are quiet, but stray into the world of maya and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate effort or meditation is required to attain that mauna state or the state of being quiet." (Day by Day with Bhagavan, p. 104)

   Putting it another way, the assumption of the true witness attitude traditionally requires a freeing of attention from the limiting nature of the five sheaths or coverings over the soul and its grounding in the heart-root where it originates. This is rarely achieved without a great deal of maturity and help. Thus, to release the conceptual mind and its reactivity into “choiceless awareness” leads to identification with the transcendental witness self only in the fullest maturity of practice, which is not just a mental exercise, but a life in which the body-mind is submitted to that which sustains and transcends it. Otherwise “non-duality” is reduced to mere talk.

   It is not our intention to pidgeon-hole spiritual teachers or adepts, for such a task is fraught with peril.

   ”He who tries to distinguish a Saint from a Saint starts headlong for hell.” - Kirpal Singh (2)

   ”The extent of any other man’s enlightenment is not easily measurable, much less so in those cases where the other is no longer alive or has never been met.” - Paul Brunton (3)

   On the other hand, our discrimination is all the protection we have, and must be used to its fullest capacity. It has also been said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Krishnamurti nearing his death, hooked up to an I.V. morphine drip because of a painful cancer, lamented that not ONE of his students had understood what he was saying. According to the book, One Thousand Moons, the author, Asit Chandmal, a friend of Krishnamurti, asks: Has even one single human being been transformed as a result of applying your teaching? Krishnamurti answers: “the question brings tears to my eyes..." Before he died he said into a tape recorder: “Where did I go wrong, no one got it.

   He confessed, moreover, what I find quite unusual in light of the general nature of his teaching, that he himself had failed in what he considered essential for spiritual development, which was a transmutation of the brain cells, something I would expect more to hear from someone like Sri Aurobindo than J.K.

   Brunton was of the opinion that while Krishnamurti saw through much of the self-deception and exploitation in religion and mysticism, he yet was grappling with the truth and would not finish his sadhana until he accepted a genuine guide. (4) On the other hand, he also once remarked that what Krishnamurti taught was absolutely correct, but relatively inaccessible for 99% of his followers. But he also wrote, and what could be implied as understood in the little book, At the Feet of the Master, which Krishnamurti penned as a young man:

   “All these activities - emotional, mental, physical, mystical, metaphysical, and ethical - are to be inseparably consolidated in one and the same character...The four sides of the pyramid of being - thinking, feeling, doing, and intuiting- must be drawn together, properly developed, and held together in proper balance...Those students, swayed by such teachers as Krishnamurti, become so enthused by the notion of making spiritual progress through learning from experiences and action alone that they follow Krishnamurti’s advice and throw away prayer, meditation, and moral striving, as well as study under personal teachers. This limits them to a one-sided progress and therefore an unbalanced one. Total truth can only be got by a total approach; as Light on the Path points out, each of these forms of approach is but one of the steps and all steps are needed to reach the goal.” (4a)

   Yet he no doubt helped many people, and the Dalai Lama praised him saying, "Krishnamurti is one of the greatest philosophers of the age." Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj went so far as to say, "People who don't understand Krishnamurti don't understand themselves." He was an iconoclast and an individual of extreme self-reliance; this was his genius, but perhaps also a limitation. For many listeners, "choiceless awareness" by itself easily leads to an intellectual effort, or even no effort, which becomes no practice, and no realization, the path vague, and the "pathless path" a concept the ego easily can hide within. The advice to keep the mind 'open', and with any effort to control it seen as making it dull, is good advice - but only for one who has developed some preliminary ability to cultivate a center of awareness. To simply relax the mind as a primary discipline prior to having developed mindfulness or self-remembrance to a significant degree is to risk languishing in the subconscious with little real progress made. That is why nobody - or very few - 'got it'.

   Uppaluria Gopala (U.G.) Krishnamurti (1918-2007) was raised by his maternal grandparents in Masulipatam, South India. His grandfather was also a Theosophist and the boy was exposed to the teachings of many philosophies, religions. occultists, gurus, and pundits from his early childhood. (For a moment, just imagine how different that would be from the majority of baby-boomers who spent our formative years mostly watching TV!) In this respect he was similar to J. Krishnamurti (no relation). Between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one he practiced different kinds of yoga, including spending seven summers in the company of the reknown Swami Sivananda at his ashram in Rishikesh, and experienced many forms of trance states, but felt that none of them were the equivalent of liberation or moksha. This in itself is an astounding insight to have at such a young age. He once met the great Ramana Maharshi and asked the sage to “give him all that he had,” but Maharshi replied, “I can give you, but can you take it?” This shocked U.G. and caused him to question, “what is it that has, and why can’t I take it?” He felt he had to pursue his own “uncharted course” and find the answer to this question, and he left Ramana, although he later admitted that the encounter changed the course of his life and had put him on the “right track”. This is revealing in that U.G. would come to argue that no one could help anyone realize truth, but how did he know whether the invisible transmission from Ramana was not the agent of grace for him? Why didn’t he stick around for a while and see?

   When his grandfather died U.G. inherited a large sum of money, which gave him the relative freedom to continue his search. He became active in the Theosophical Society and gave lectures for ten years [Why? Was it just for the money? - as by all impressions U.G. didn't believe in these kind of teachings anymore]. In the late 1940’s he began to involve himself with J. Krishnamurti (in later years he lived near him in Switzerland, and an amusing play went on with people going from one Krishnamurti to another) and listened to J.K. for seven years before actually meeting him personally. After a number of daily dialogues between the two U.G. came to the conclusion, to his great disappointment, that the "other Krishnamurti" could no more communicate what he wanted to know than Ramana Maharshi, and he left him also. He later derided J.K., referring to him as “the old maid”, a victim of “distorted thinking”, a “complete fraud”, and a “Victorian has-been spouting pure hogwash.”

   In his mid-twenties U.G. married and eventually had four children. He felt as soon as the day after the wedding that he marriage had been a mistake. He spent much of the fortune that he received from his grandfather on medical treatment for his eldest son, and secured his wife a job with the World Book Encyclopedia so he could wander alone. He moved to new York, then London, and then Paris. Finally, broke and alone, he described himself thus:

   ”I was like a leaf blown about by a fickle wind, with neither past or future, neither family nor career, nor any sort of spiritual fulfillment. I was slowly losing my will power to do anything. I was not rejecting or renouncing the world; it was just drifting away from me and I was unable and unwilling to hold onto it.” (5)

   At this point U.G. entered the Indian Consulate office in Geneva and threw himself upon their mercy, asking to be repatriated to India. A secretary in the Consulate, Valentine deKerven, felt sympathy for U.G. and lived with him and suported him for the next four years. During this period U.G. did nothing. “I slept, read the Time magazine, ate, and went for walks with Valentine or alone That was all.” The two lived as migrating householders, spending their summers in the Swiss valley of Saanen, where J.Krishnamurti held talks and gatherings.

   Since the age of thirty-five U.G. began having painful headaches, having large amounts of coffee and aspirin to deal with the pain. According to biographer Terry Newland U.G. began to look younger at this time. By the time he was forty-nine he looked like he was seventeen or eighteen, after which he aged again. He began to have periods of what he called “headlessness" and developed various occult abilities, which he called “man’s natural powers and instincts.”

   In his forty-ninth year U.G. began to feel an upheavel within himself that lasted six years and ended in what he called “the calamity”. He described this as being a “simple withering away of the will”, culminating in a death experience that subsequently produced physical changes in his entire system. Ironically, it was his hearing a talk by J. Krishnamurti on the “free man” that appeared to catalyze this final event. He felt that J.K. was describing him.. Afterwards he thought:

   ”I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, “is there enlightenment?, but have never questioned the search itself. Because I have assumed the goal, enlightenment, exists, I have had to search, and it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end.” (6)

   “All those who seek shall find,” said Christ. So U.G. did much seeking and he found is answer, but it was not what he was expecting. Nevertheless, his search was fruitful. The apparent collapse of the structure or identification with a separate self released great force into U.G.’s body.

   "It was a prelude to his ‘clinical death’ on his forty-ninth birthday, and the beginning of the most incredible bodily changes and experiences that would catapult him into a state that is difficult to understand within the framework of our hitherto known mystical or enlightenment traditions. His experiences were not the blissful or transcendental experiences most mystics speak of, but a ‘physical torture’ triggered by an explosion of energy in his body that eventually left him in what he calls the ‘natural state’."

   "For seven days, UG’s body underwent tremendous changes. The whole chemistry of the body, including the five senses, was transformed. His eyes stopped blinking; his skin turned soft; and when he rubbed any part of his body with his palm it produced a sort of ash. He developed a female breast on his left-hand side. His senses started functioning independently and at their peak of sensitivity. And the thymus gland which, according to doctors is active throughout childhood and then becomes dormant at puberty, was reactivated. All the thoughts of man from time immemorial, all experiences, whether good or bad, blissful or miserable, terrific or terrible, mystical or commonplace, experienced by humanity from primordial times (the whole ‘collective consciousness’) were flushed out of his system, and on the seventh day, he ‘died’ but only to be reborn in ‘undivided consciousness’. It was a terrific journey and a sudden great leap into the primordial state untouched by thought."

   Kundalini experiences occurred, and several times a day he experienced a shut-down of all bodily processes, in which the heart rate and body temperature decreased dramatically and his entire body would get stiff. Just when the shutdown would appear to be almost complete his system would “kick on” again until everything was functioning normally.

   For a year afterwards U.G. did not or could not speak, but then he began speaking tirelessly. He insisted that the “calamity” happened without his voliton and despite his religious and spiritual background [how did he know this?] , and that it could not be used as a model to be duplicated by others. Because of the physical changes in his body U.G. sometimes argued that enlightenment was more of a physiological than a psychological event. On this he was right in a sense, since it is the psyche itself that is transcended, but enlightenment or realization, if scriptures and the confession of realizers be our guide, is not merely a physical transformation, but a total psycho-physical and spiritual realization in or of consciousness. It is commonly said to be the realization of Consciousness itself, with oftentimes secondary effects in the body-mind, which may vary from individual to individual. As Wei Wu Wei states (which is an important aspect to note but which we feel is still only part of a total transformation):

   "Nothing happens to anything, nothing is changed, there is no psycho-somatic event at all; mind is unaffected. It is just the recovery of clear vision. It has no objective existence: it is a purely subjective adjustment. It is not phenomenal: it has no direct body-mind impact. It is entirely noumenal: its existence is intemporal, and it does not manifest phenomenally. It is essentially impersonal - the impersonalisation of a pseudo-individual psyche. It is a looking in the right direction: it is a sudden understanding that there is no I subject to time." (6b)

   It is a little hard to take U.G.’s assertion seriously, however, that it is a completely random process, with no help available from anyone, including spiritual masters, saints, or sages, whom he felt, like J.K., were for the most part frauds. Who knows, however, perhaps his search would have ended much sooner if he had stayed with Ramana Maharshi? Perhaps not. In any case, it is obvious that U.G. had alot of help, including those who instructed him in his early practices as a youth, the grace of God in the form of his grandfather who left him alot of money, the nice lady from the Consulate who supported him for years, the presence of Maharshi and the teaching influence of J.Krishnamurti. Nevertheless U.G. stated:

   ”I discovered for myself and by myself that there is no self to realize - that’s the realization I am talking about. It comes as a shattering blow [perhaps, if you are not expecting it]. It hits you like a thunderbolt [perhaps again, or it could “fall as the gentle rain from heaven”]. You have invested everything in one basket, self-realization, and, in the end, suddenly you discover that there is no self to discover, no self to realize [no self that you can think about] - and you say to yourself, ‘What the hell have I been doing all my life!’ That blasts you [but 'who' says this? 'Who' gets blasted?].

   All kinds of things happened to me - I went through that, you see [again, 'who' went through this?]. The physical pain was unbearable - that is why I say you really don’t want this. I wish I could give you a glimpse of it, a touch of it - then you wouldn’t want to touch this at all [that’s the purpose of practice, and, as Ramana Maharshi said, the company of the sage, so that you will gradually get used to it and will not fear such a state, which is your real nature, the Self, or no-self, take your pick: the reality]. What you are pursuing doesn’t exist; it is a myth. You wouldn’t want anything to do with this."

   "My interest is in pointing out the utter impossibility of doing anything whatsoever to attain the natural state..To those who come because they seriously wish to understand me, all I can say is that I have nothing to say
[sounds like he said alot]. I cannot help anyone at all, and neither can anyone else. You do not need help; on the contrary, you need to be totally helpless - and if you seek to achieve this helplessness with my help, you are lost."

   "It is total surrender, throwing in the towel, throwing in the sponge - and what comes out of this is jnana (wisdom)...All those to whom this kind of thing has happened have really worked very hard
[exactly], touched rock bottom, staked everything. It does not come easily. It is not handed over to you on a gold platter by somebody” (7) [but why 'stake everything' if it is 'something no one wants', and is 'not attainable?' U.G. leaves one with nothing - which supposedly was his intention].

   It is difficult not to agree with U.G. on certain points, and his candor is refreshing. Two things might be said, however. One, if no one can help you, as he claimed, then why did he even bother to teach? If no one can help you, furthermore, then why did his encounter with Ramana Maharshi put him “on the right track”?, and why did his awakening just happen to coincide with a talk by J. Krishnamurti that seemed to describe his own state so closely? U.G. seems to have been unnecessarily obscure here, and it may simply be because his own background did not fully prepare him, nor was he purified enough to handle, the events of his awakening without great upheavel and trauma, nor did he understand it fully in order to be able to teach others in an effective rather than enigmatic manner. For Ramana there was no such agony or bewilderment. Moreover, scriptures agree that the ego must realize its helplessness, but also that there is certainly help for such a revelation. Effort and grace coincide, and the traditions proclaim that the company of enlightened sages, if one can find one, may be an agent of grace that helps in effecting realization in a prepared individual. Such grace does not work in a capricious fashion, but in a divinely synchronous and spontaneous one, with much of it effective on levels that are unconscious to the waking mind of the practitioner.

   It is therefore possible that U.G.’s awakening was a result of a delayed reception of the transmission from Maharshi. It is true, no one can help you as an ego, but to argue that divine help is not available for the ego’s undermining, or the Being coming to Self-Recognition, is unwarranted. All we need do is compare U.G.'s meeting with Ramana with Papaji's account of his own realization through the Maharshi's grace. [Papaji also had many mystical experiences throughout his early life and did much sadhana before coming to the sage. He was ripe. His mind had achieved devotional one-pointedness and he could see the form of his ishta-guru Krishna at will. He then reached a state of mental calm, and received a final stroke from Ramana that totally transformed his being. True, he said that if he had heard of Ramana's inquiry "Who am I?" when he was six years old it would have saved him years spent in devotion, but who knows how it might be for someone else?] Yes, no one gets enlightened. As Adyashanti has said, only enlightenment gets enlightened. Or in PB’s terms, the Void Mind knows itself. But, is even that true? The ego is said to die in the heart and the Self is realized. Is it the Absolute Self that is thus realized, however, or the Soul? The awakening is paradoxical but not as bereft of articulation as U.G. can make it out to be. Thousands have travelled this road before him and left their testimony. U.G. continues:

   “I have no message for mankind, but of one thing I am certain, I cannot help you, I cannot help you solve your basic dilemma or save you from self-deception, and if I can’t help you, no one can.” (8)

   Of course U.G. or anyone else as an ego can’t help solve anyone’s basic dilemma of false identification, of feeling separate, but the dilemma can be revealed, if the disciple becomes willing to allow this revelation, after reaching the end of his tether, and with all available help.

   We see that both of these men were gifted with an early life rich in contact with sources of remembering truth. They both also had yogic and mystical processes of a dramatic nature arise either spontaneously or by way of practices of one sort or another. They both finally reached a point of seeing jnana or true knowledge as not being the possession or experience of the ego and conceptual mind, and both also went on to teach that the idea of a teacher was bogus, and therefore by inference, one might come to assume that so is grace as well. The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that their understanding, while genuine, and even useful, was yet incomplete. [The needed balance is found in the work of Paul Brunton on the "Long Path" and the "Short Path." Both of these teachers benefitted from the former, but upon graduating to the latter, unnecessarily denounced the former as bogus, whereas the two approaches taken together are required in most cases. See The Long and Short of It on this website].

   Yet all teachers are worthy of our gratitude, and the testimony and company of spiritual friends everywhere our blessing. There is help to be found at every step. As Kirpal Singh even said, “there are books in rivulets, and sermons in stones.”   To tell you the truth, I kind of like these guys.

   J.K. - Nirvana

   U.G. - What Will You Do With Enlightenment?

(1) Some feel that At the Feet of the Master was written by Leadbeater; Krishnamurti remembered nothing about it, according to S.R. Vas, in The Mind of Krishnamurti (Jaico Publishing, 1971)
(1a) Paul Brunton, reference misplaced
(2) Kirpal Singh, Godman (Franklin, New Hampshire: Sat Sandesh Books, 1971), p. 152
(3) The Notebooks of Paul Brunton (Burdett, New York: Larson Publications, 1988), Vol. 16, 3.399
(4) Ibid, Vol. 10, 2.511
(4a) Brunton, op. cit., Vol. 13, Part 2, 3.210, 3.217
(5) Terry Newland, ed., Mind is a Myth: Disquieting Conversations with the Man Called U.G. (Goa, India: Dinesh Publications, 1988), p. 16
(6) Ibid, p. 20
(6a) Mukunda Rao, A Life Sketch of U.G. Krishnamurti, Body, Mind, And Soul — do they exist?, The Enigma of the Natural State, Anti-teaching: Calling It like It Is, Laughing with UG (internet post)
(6b) Wei Wu Wei, Ask the Awakened, 2002, p. 174-175
(7) Rodney Arms, The Mystique of Enlightenment: The unrational ideas of a man called U.G. (Goa, India: Dinesh Vaghela, 1982)
(8) Newland, op. cit., p. 23