UG Krishnamurti: A Life

  The Encounter  ·  Early Years  ·  Life Among Theosophists  ·  Locking of Horns  ·  Adrift In London  ·  Endings  ·  What Is That State?  ·  Calamity  ·  Aftermath  ·  Years After  ·  The Never-ending Story  ·  A Taste of Death  ·  Conversations


Locking of Horns

'Inspiration is a meaningless thing. So many things and people inspire us, but the actions born out of inspiration are meaningless. Lost and desperate people create a market for inspiration. All inspired action will eventually destroy you and your kind.' U.G.

In the late Forties, toward the ending of U.G.'s association with the Theosophical Society, J. Krishnamurti arrived on the scene from the United States. The countdown began. Soon the stage would be set for the two Krishnamurtis to lock horns.

Pages from my diary which contain all the records of those days spent in Kodai, entitled "A Lonely Winter Spent Fire-Watching", flutter in my memory. A section reads:

As we were preparing to leave for Bangalore the next day, quite unexpectedly one Mr. Bernard Selby, a postman from Manchester, England, showed up. For a postman his mind was very agile and his knowledge left me in awe. He was a 'Krishnamurti freak'. That morning all of us went for a walk along the lakeside. Our conversation centered around J. Krishnamurti. U.G. bore down hard on him. This was the most vehement attack on J. Krishnamurti by U.G. that I had ever heard.

Later, as I listened to the recording of a tape of that conversation, I found that one of the subjects that kept cropping up in my conversations with U.G. over the years was J. Krishnamurti. The following conversation is the most interesting that I had recorded in Kodai:

U.G., if I ask you to name the most remarkable man you have met in your life, who comes to your mind first?

Jiddu Krishnamurti. But...

(He didn't complete the sentence.) Are you backing out?

Oh, no, protested U.G.

(When you are with U.G. you don't even know what hits you, but this was shattering.) I can't figure you out, U.G. This morning you treated the subject of J. Krishnamurti with disdain. Now you say that he is the most remarkable man you have met in your life.

I never say anything I don't mean. Do you know the legend of Krishnamurti?

Not really.

The people from whom he sprang up—Theosophists—looked up to him as the Buddha of the Twentieth Century and believed that his teaching, 'a new birth of belief', would last five hundred years. They founded an organization, the Order of the Star of the East, to propagate his teachings. When the awaited savior of mankind dissolved the organization and walked out, those who had put him up on the world stage as the World Teacher felt betrayed. Naturally Krishnamurti's dissolving the organization had a magical connotation throughout my boyhood. No doubt he has lived all that down. He is now considered to be the most outstanding religious teacher of our time. There is no question that he is immensely popular.

He is a showman par excellence and master of words. Krishnamurti's teachings may have sounded very revolutionary a century ago. But with the emergence of new revelations in the fields of Microbiology and Genetics, the ideas taken for granted in the field of Psychology will be challenged. The 'mind' (which Krishnamurti's teaching assumes), the exclusive franchise of psychologists and religious teachers and all the assumptions connected with it will also be undermined. The fashionable teachings and modern therapies they are marketing are like cabbage-patch dolls—tantalizing and sensational, unlike the old-fashioned toys. They try to titillate rather than satiate their followers. They haven't got much of a future and will be outdated.

About ten years ago I accompanied U.G. to see an old friend of his in Thane. The visit was an extraordinary one. The man's name was L.V. Bhave. He was old, very graceful and handsome but sad. (This was the man who was responsible for bringing the two Krishnamurtis together. Mr. Bhave used to organize J. Krishnamurti's talks in Bombay in the late Forties and early Fifties.) One could see clearly that his end was near. To use U.G.'s phrase, he belonged to Krishnamurti's 'sixty-year club'. Mr. Bhave said, 'I have built a new house close by but I cannot leave this old house. How can we "die to our yesterdays", as in J. Krishnamurti's refrain?' U.G., for a change, said nothing. He hugged him and we left. A few months later Mr. Bhave passed away. Over the years of my association with U.G., I have come across people with diverse opinions about U.G.'s onslaught on J.K.'s teachings. The modern ones who are caught up in psychological jargon feel that U.G. is obsessed with J.K. The religious ones who view the relationship between these two through the portals of tradition say that U.G.'s assault on the teachings of J. Krishnamurti is in keeping with the great tradition of India in which the disciple annihilates the teachings of his guru.

When he was in his mid-twenties, U.G., who had intermittently vowed to forego sex and marriage in deference to the life of a religious celibate, reasoned that sex was a natural drive, and that it was not wise to suppress it. He said to himself, 'If it is a question of satisfying your sex urge, why not marry? That is what society is there for. Why should you have sex with some (unattached) woman? You can have a natural expression of sex in marriage.'

Three months before U.G. got married, a close friend of his happened to look at his astrological chart and said, 'If this is your chart, say what you may, you are going to marry on 15 May, 1943.' The sudden death of the only surviving daughter of U.G.'s grandparents created a vacuum in their lives. He felt that he owed it to them to marry. The flipping of a coin, as was the case in all the major decisions in U.G.'s life, decided his fate.

He chose as his bride one of the three young, beautiful Brahmin women his grandmother had selected for him. Her name was Kusuma Kumari. He was to say later, 'I awoke the morning after my wedding night and knew without doubt that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.' From the very beginning U.G. wanted to get out of the marriage. But then the children came and the marriage continued. The final breakup between Kusuma and U.G. was to take place seventeen years later in the US.

For seven years, between 1947 and 1953, U.G. listened to J. Krishnamurti every time he came to Adyar, Madras. During those years U.G. never met Krishnamurti personally. The World Teacher persona had created some kind of distance in his mind. 'How can a World Teacher be created. World Teachers are born, not made,' U.G. said to himself. He was never part of Krishnamurti's inner circle.

U.G. found the scholars, masterminds, and the 'remarkable' people he met at the Theosophical Society shallow. 'Having worked with them all, I found out there was the same hypocrisy there too, in the sense that there was nothing in their lives.'

At the end of his public talks, J. Krishnamurti always answered written questions sent to him in advance. In 1953, during one of his talks in Madras, U.G. sent him the following question: 'Sir, what kick exactly do you get out of these talks and discussions? Obviously you would not go on more than twenty years if you did not enjoy them. Or is it only by force of habit?' Krishnamurti gave the following answer to U.G.'s question:

This is a natural question to put, is it not? Because, the questioner only knows or is aware that generally a speaker gets some kind of personal benefit out of it. Or is it merely old age? Or, whether one is young or old, is it the habit? That is all he is accustomed to; so he puts the question. What is the truth of this? Am I speaking out of habit? What do you mean by habit, force of habit? Because I have talked for twenty years, am I going to talk for twenty more years till I die? Is the understanding of anything habitual? The use of the words is habitual; but the contents of the words vary according to the perception of truth from moment to moment. If a speaker gets a kick out of it, then he is exploiting you. That is what most of us are used to. The speaker is then using you as a means of fulfillment and surely it would destroy that which is real. As we are concerned to find the truth and what is from moment to moment, in it there can be no continuity; all habit, all certainty, all desire for fulfillment, all personal aggrandizement must have come to an end, must it not? Otherwise, it is another way of exploiting, another way of deluding people; and with that surely we are not concerned. [extracted from the Madras talks, 13 December, 1953]

The very next day, during an impasse in a discussion period, Krishnamurti suddenly singled out U.G. and asked, 'What do you have to say, Sir?' This was in reference to a question on death and the death experience. Both of them became involved in heated discussions from that day onward. Krishnamurti never allowed others to interfere in the exchange between them. If anyone tried to, Krishnamurti would say, 'No Sir, we have to thrash out this whole thing between us.' The third day Krishnamurti suddenly began talking about subconscious and unconscious states of mind. U.G. reacted by saying, 'I don't see any mind in me, let alone a subconscious or unconscious mind. So why are you talking to me about these states?' Krishnamurti replied, 'Sir, for you and me there is no such thing as a subconscious or unconscious mind. But I am using these terms for those people...' He was referring to the other people at the discussion meeting. U.G. then told him that he was using him as a sounding board for his discussions and that he was not interested in 'that kind of a game'. Soon after that U.G. stopped participating in the public discussions. Mr. L.V. Bhave, their mutual friend (the only one who knew that U.G. had sent the question to Krishnamurti three days earlier), urged him to meet with Krishnamurti personally. He arranged a private meeting between them that afternoon.

That first meeting was very warm and pleasant. U.G. told Krishnamurti at the outset that he had no personal problems and that he wasn't seeking clarification of what they had discussed during the last three days. Then he casually mentioned his background with the Theosophical Society and his personal connection with Annie Besant, Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa and Dr. Arundale. He also mentioned that his maternal grandfather had been closely associated with the leaders of the Theosophical Society, including the founder-president, Olcott. Many of these leaders had visited his home in Andhra Pradesh. U.G. told him that he had been lecturing for the Theosophical Society for the past seven years, mainly in India, and most recently in Europe and America. Krishnamurti responded saying that he had heard of his visits to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. He said that people in those countries had become confused because of his and U.G.'s common names. It seems that he had to write to them saying that he was not coming to those countries—that it was another Krishnamurti that they had invited.

The conversation lasted almost an hour. At the end of it, Krishnamurti asked an associate to arrange another get-together with U.G. the following day. From then on, they met together whenever Krishnamurti had free time until he left Madras.

That same evening, during his walk, Krishnamurti ran into U.G.'s wife, Kusuma, their two daughters and a young girl carrying their son. The next day when U.G. went to see him again, Krishnamurti told him how pained he was to see a young girl carrying a grown-up boy. He said, 'Sir, a ten-year old girl carrying that boy...' He started admonishing U.G. who said, 'Krishnaji, he is a handicapped boy. Both his legs are affected by polio. He cannot walk without braces. That's why she was carrying him.' U.G. told him that he was considering taking the boy to the United States for medical treatment. 'They have special braces with the help of which he can flex his legs.' Then Krishnamurti suddenly said, 'Bring the whole family tomorrow.'

The next day he took his wife, two daughters and his son along to meet Krishnamurti. It was a Sunday morning. Krishnamurti didn't normally see anyone on Sunday mornings as he gave public talks on Sunday evenings. But that was the only time he could see them. This became a habit. U.G. and his family saw Krishnamurti every Sunday morning while he was in Madras.

That first morning, after the usual courtesies, Krishnamurti asked his host to bring some oranges for the children. The younger one took one of them, peeled it and threw the skin on the floor. Krishnamurti made her pick them up and then gave her a lecture on why she shouldn't throw the peel all around and that she should neatly pick the pieces up and put them in the garbage. He helped her in the process. U.G. was observing the scene. He told Krishnamurti that his words would have no effect on the child. 'Krishnaji,' he said, 'you give her another orange and she will do exactly the same thing as before. I don't trust anyone who has not raised his own children to educate them or to talk about how to raise or educate them. If you raised your own children, then you would understand.' Just as he said this, the little girl repeated her misdeed.

The subject of conversation then changed to the boy's medical treatment. U.G. told Krishnamurti, 'I calculate the cost at ninety thousand dollars. That's all that I have. But that would deprive the other children in the family of their share of the money.' Krishnamurti said in reply, 'Ninety thousand dollars is a lot of money. You know I used to heal people. Why don't you let me try?' U.G. said in response, 'I am a skeptical man. I did hear a lot about your healing work. It doesn't work in this case. The cells in the boy's legs are dead. You cannot put life into them. If you can make him walk, then I will believe you. Jesus walked on water probably because he did not know how to swim. In the story of the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fishes, he probably cut the bread into many smaller pieces.' Krishnamurti burst into laughter at this remark.

U.G.'s wife interjected, 'Why are you standing in the way of Krishnaji's wanting to help the boy?' U.G. answered, 'He is as much your son as he is mine. Personally I don't believe that he could be of any help. But I don't want to stand in the way of his healing attempts.' So, Krishnamurti tried his healing technique by massaging the boy's legs for several days.

One day, after one of those sessions, the boy went into Krishnamurti's bedroom. Krishnamurti instantly stood up and ran after him saying, 'Oh, God! I have my watch on the table.' Both of them came out of the room, the boy with the watch in his hands. As he was wont to, Krishnamurti started giving a sermon to the boy about not playing with expensive things that were not toys.

U.G. and his wife met with Krishnamurti several times. U.G.'s wife was most unwilling to gamble all the family money on the outside chance that the boy might recover in America. She didn't want to leave the girls behind. The subject of freedom to decide things for herself came up. Then U.G. gave her an ultimatum in Krishnamurti's presence, 'You have the choice to leave me and go on your own with the ninety thousand dollars or to go to the United States with me to get the treatment for the boy. In either case I am going to the US.'

Then Krishnamurti said, 'Amma, if he gets in your way in whatever you want to do, kick him, kill him, bomb him or walk out on him.' Her reaction to his words surprised U.G. She said, 'If I could do that, why would I bother coming to you seeking your advice?' Krishnamurti was taken aback. In the end he persuaded U.G., 'Please wait for another year. I am going to Greece. From there I go to California. Why don't you put off your plans till then? I'll be back in December.' U.G. agreed.

In London, as U.G. was fixing a quick one-dish dinner in the kitchen for both of us (he is a good cook), I questioned him about his run-ins with Krishnamurti. He had anticipated my move. 'Your biography is bound to get around to my encounters with J. Krishnamurti. I have kept no systematic record of my conversations with him. But I will talk about my encounters with him as my memory allows.' I switched on my tape recorder quietly as U.G. began to talk:

One day during our conversation, I asked Krishnamurti, 'Yesterday, in answer to a question on the Masters you said, "As for the Masters, I have never denied their existence.' My question to you, Krishnaji, is: Do they or do they not exist? And I want a straight answer." He said, 'Anything I say becomes authoritative.' I said, 'I am not impressed by your diplomatic answers which neither confirm nor deny. Why do you give all these ambiguous answers? Why not hang the whole thing on a tree for everyone to see?' Instead of answering me, Krishnamurti asked, 'How is the convention going?' I then asked him, 'Do you mean to say, Krishnaji, that the state you are in happened through the method you are indicating to your listeners? Before the war you were using utterly mystifying language. Now, after the war, you have come up with what I could call the 'Krishnamurti lingo'. Your teaching is nothing but a Freudian-Jungian-Rankian-Adlerian stuff with a religious slant. Is this just to give people a new toy? Children in my time used to play with dolls made of deodar wood. Now you are providing them with walking, dancing and talking dolls.' Krishnamurti laughed and said, 'If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't.'

At some point the conversation turned to the 'un-healthy' subject of sex. We were discussing relationships. I said, 'It's only sex.' 'There must be so much more to it,' he said. 'What, for example?' I asked. 'Love,' he replied. 'What has love got to do with it?' I queried.

Then my wife interrupted saying, 'I am not going to ask questions about sex, except one. Have you ever had sex, Krishnaji?' I was amazed at her courage. Then I looked at Krishnamurti. His eyes were glazed with stupefaction. He answered quietly, 'Amma, that's an impertinent question.'

Throughout our meetings and walks together I noticed a peculiar quality about Krishnamurti. I can only characterize it as the Boy Scout in him. For instance, one day, while we were walking together, I noticed Krishnamurti carefully observing the ground and picking up nails and thorns and throwing them to the side. In a jocular way, I pointed to another nail he had missed. He bent down and picked that nail up too.

On another occasion, when we were walking along the beach in Adyar, Madras, a small boy approached us begging for money. Krishnamurti asked me if I had any money with me. 'Sorry, no,' I said. Then Krishnamurti just hugged the boy. I told him that the boy needed money more than his hugs. The next day I brought some money, and as were walking along the beach, the same boy came running up to us again asking for money. I handed the boy a two-rupee note. The boy jumped with joy and ran off with it.

Disagreement on basic issues surfaced all the time between Krishnamurti and myself. We really didn't get along well. Whenever we met we locked horns over some issue or other. For instance, I never shared his concern for the world, or his belief that his teaching would profoundly affect the thoughts and actions of mankind for the next five hundred years—a fantasy of the Theosophist occultists. In one of our meetings I told Krishnamurti, 'I am not called upon to save the world.' He asked, 'The house is on fire—what will you do?' 'Pour more gasoline on it and maybe something will rise from the ashes,' I remarked. Krishnamurti said, 'You are absolutely impossible.'

Then I said, 'You are still a Theosophist. You have never freed yourself from the World Teacher role. There is a story in the Avadhuta Gita which talks of the avadhut who stopped at a wayside inn and was asked by the innkeeper, "What is your teaching?" He replied, "There is no teacher, no teaching and no one taught." And then he walked away. You too repeat these phrases and yet you are so concerned with preserving your teaching for posterity in its pristine purity.'

The subject of my children and their education arose one day. Krishnamurti asked me, 'What school are your daughters attending?' 'Naturally, Besant Theosophical School,' I answered, 'You know, it's almost next door to us.' 'They teach religion, Sir,' he said. I retorted, 'What do they teach in Rishi Valley School? Instead of having them attend a prayer meeting, you drag those poor unwilling students to watch sunsets from the hilltop. How is that different? You like sunsets. So the children have to watch them too. You know, I spent three-and-a-half days in that Guindy National School. You will recall that you gave talks to us during that time.' 'There is nothing marvelous about those schools. As for myself, I attended a street-side school. And what's wrong with me?'

He tried so hard to convince me to enroll my two daughters in Rishi Valley School. Furthermore, he suggested that I myself spend some time there. 'That's the last thing I would do. They have to grow up to live in this world. I do not want them to be misfits.' Then my wife volunteered to go there and as a teacher with the children. But he told her, 'Amma, you have to look after that handicapped boy. It is an all-time, full-time, whole-time job.' Turning to me he said, 'Why don't you go and spend some time at the school? If you don't like it, we will tear it apart and rebuild it stone by stone, brick by brick.' Then I said, 'You stop trotting around the globe and stay at the school. Then perhaps I would consider joining you.' He replied, 'I spend one month every year at Rishi Valley School and another month at Raj Ghat School. That's about all I can do. It is my dharma to travel around and give talks.'

Krishnamurti always began his talks with the refrain, 'Let us take a journey together.' I asked him one day, 'Where are you? Are you there? Or are you actually taking a journey with us? You pick a subject and ask us to proceed step by step, logically, rationally, sanely and intelligently. There comes a point when you exclaim, "I got it! Somebody got it?" It is theatrics. It's a performance. To put it crudely, it is burlesque. You take off and talk of love, bliss, beatitude, immensity and so on. But we are left high and dry. You are offering us bogus chartered flights.'

The question that was uppermost in my mind every time I encountered Krishnamurti was this: 'What is there behind all those abstractions you are throwing at me? Is there anything at all? I am not interested in your poetic and romantic descriptions. As for your abstractions, you are no match to the mighty thinkers that India has produced—you can't hold a candle to them. The way you describe things gives me the feeling that you have at least "seen the sugar"—to use a familiar traditional metaphor—but I am not sure that you have tasted the sugar.'

I repeated this question time and again, one way or another, at every meeting with Krishnamurti and never received a direct or satisfactory answer. The total break came in Bombay. This was my last visit with him for a long time. Again I asked him if there was anything behind the abstractions he was throwing at me, 'Come clean for once.' Then he said with great force, 'You have no way of knowing it!' Then I said, 'If I have no way of knowing it and you have no way of communicating it, what the hell have we been doing? I have wasted seven years listening to you. You can give your precious time to somebody else. I am leaving for New York tomorrow.' Krishnamurti said, 'Pleasant journey and safe landing!'

U.G. was in America for over five years. Krishnamurti kept occasional contact with him through Mr. Bhave. He wanted direct information about the medical treatment and progress of U.G.'s son. Here are two typical letters—one to U.G. and the other to his wife—written by him during this time:

13 January '56

My dear Krishnamurti,

Thank you very much for your letter of 4 January. I had heard that you were in America lecturing. I am so glad to have heard from you about your son that there is every possibility of his being able to walk in a few years. If you are going to Ojai, you will be able to meet Mr. Rajagopal who will be there. As you say, I hope we shall be able to meet in March in Bombay. Please give my best regards to your wife.

With best wishes,

Yours very sincerely,

J. Krishnamurti

11th December, '56

Dear Mrs. Krishnamurti,

Thank you very much for your letter of 14 November. It is very good of you to have written at some length about your family and I am very glad that your son is so very much better and I hope before he comes back, he will have completely recovered and will be able to use his legs.

I am very glad indeed that the two interviews that you had have been of some help. I do not know when I shall be coming to America and when it will be possible for us to meet. I hope everything will be well with you both and your son.

With best wishes,

Yours affectionately,

J. Krishnamurti

Years later, one day, in Gstaad, Switzerland, U.G. and J. Krishnamurti were trapped in a head-on collision. They both were walking on the same sidewalk in opposite directions. The sidewalk was so narrow at one place that there was only room for one person to pass. At that point U.G. saw Krishnamurti. There wasn't sufficient time to avoid him. As they neared each other, U.G.'s friends who were with him became tense. Nothing happened. As they moved closer they both folded their hands simultaneously in the Indian way of greeting. They didn't utter a word. It was like two ships crossing in the night. They didn't even turn back. Each went their own way. The next day the talk of the town was, 'Who greeted whom first?' That was the last time that U.G. saw Krishnamurti. My review of the book entitled, Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti (written by Radha Rajagopal-Sloss and published by Bloomsbury in London), which appeared in The Times of India on 30 June 1991, created an uproar. To quote U.G. on the book, 'She has dumped a keg of dynamite! The story of the sex, lies and flippancy of Krishnamurti is more absorbing than his teachings. The picture that emerges from that book tells us that Krishnamurti has successfully remained an undetected hoax of the twentieth century. My hats off!' With all their claims of being more evolved, the Krishnamurtiites behaved exactly like the Rajneeshis who had written nasty letters to the editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India, reacting to an article I had written entitled, 'The Man who Dared to Play God'. I had expected them to handle their shock with delicacy and insight.

The architect of the Krishnamurti school in Brockwood visited U.G. in Gstaad. He asked U.G. what he thought of the book. U.G. replied by asking, 'Who is going to cast the first stone? Not me.' The architect's surprised reaction was, 'What a refreshing modesty! On the subject of Krishnamurti you have been consistently disrespectful, disagreeable, nasty and offensive.'

Michael Longinieu who was also present along with Alan Rowlands, the pianist, related to the architect a list of descriptive words that express U.G.'s disdain for the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. The list contains terms such as 'Balderdash', 'Hogwash', 'Hokum', 'Bunkum', 'Phony Baloney', 'Drivel', 'Hooey', 'Poppycock', 'Bullshit'. 'The list certainly reads like a page from Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases,' the architect responded. He added, 'No one until now has dared to tear apart Krishnamurti's teaching.'

U.G. did not spare Krishnamurti even during those days when he was on his death bed. My article entitled, 'Two Seers' in the Illustrated Weekly of India, (dated 25 May 1986) relates a conversation:

Hi, U.G., this is Mahesh.

Hello Mahesh.

Did you receive the article, "Balmy Swamy", an interview with J. Krishnamurti I mailed to you from Dubai?

Yes, I did. It is interesting. At least he is finally honest enough to admit that he too has become part of the entertainment industry, like a footballer. I don't think he has really taken off his mask. You know the cancer has spread from the liver to the pancreas. Krishnamurti is dying. It is a matter of days, if not hours. Sorry, the death watch has begun.

But the Foundation has denied it.

Maybe they want to build a myth around his death. You know the tradition asserts that religious teachers do not die in an ordinary way as we mortals do.

Two days later Jiddu Krishnamurti died of pancreatic cancer. On 20 February, U.G. arrived in Bombay. My arrangement to speed his exit through the V.I.P. Lounge was ignored by him. He came through the Immigration and Customs as he has always done. During the car ride to Vijay Anand's Pali Hill flat I asked U.G., 'U.G., be serious. Tell me how you really felt when you heard of J. Krishnamurti's death.' U.G. remained silent. When I urged him to speak, he talked about the weather. His response was unusual. He had always regarded the subject of J. Krishnamurti with extreme distaste and hostility. His silence intrigued me. I was determined not to let him get away with his 'better-left-unsaid' attitude toward the event that had shaken one and all.

'Say something,' I insisted. His response:

What do you want me to say? Do you want me to send my sympathy to those Krishnamurti freaks? Or do you want me to join the chorus of praises heaped upon him by those ardently devoted Krishnamurti enthusiasts? I am not beholden to Krishnamurti in any way. There is not much for me to say that has not already been said by me before. Why whip a dead horse? To strike a discordant note at a time like this when glowing tributes are being paid to him and when he is being hailed as the foremost teacher of our times, would be an apotheosis of vulgarity. I wasn't impressed. His words sounded too lame and evasive. And then one day I walked into U.G.'s place with a book in my hand entitled, The Ending of Time—J. Krishnamurti's conversations with Dr. David Bohm. I had walked into a field of mines. When I told U.G. that in the book Krishnamurti says, 'I am not talking about lasting for ever, though I am not sure if it (the body) can't last for ever... If the body remains in one quiet place, I am sure it can last a great many years more than it does now...,' U.G. lashed out:

That joke is just priceless. Isn't he getting too ridiculous, carrying things to the ultimate limit of absurdity, in his insistence that the body can live for ever? To make such a statement in this day and age one must be in the valley of green and vigorous senility. Those who are not certain of the soul and its immortal nature are the ones who swallow the drivel of the immortality of the body. To have reverent affection for the man is one thing and to slur over such statements and feign agreement is another. How can you swallow that? You don't even seem to have the basic intelligence. If you accept it, you must be a low-grade moron. Certainly it is the gerontologists, those dealing with the aged and with the process of aging who are the ones to make that possible in not too distant a future.

'What do you make of Krishnamurti's contribution to mankind?' I asked. His reply:

Because of the seductive pull of his teachings he may have been more attractive and convincing than others in the market-place. It is not for me to say what his rightful place is in the world of religious thought. If the historians of human thought want to place him alongside of the Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed, it is their affair.