The Way Home
The First & Last Public Talk
U. G. Krishnamurti
U.G. Krishnamurti rejects very nearly every aspect, every attribute, every promise, every purpose of the spiritual process, and yet he is perhaps the most overwhelmingly encouraging and convincing and reassuring and inspiring Teacher we have encountered.
There is an excellent biography of U.G. at http://www.well.com/user/jct/ (when there, click on item 9 in the list at your left, labeled “U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life”). It is also available at Amazon.com. Briefly, U.G. (Uppaluri Gopala) was born on July 9, 1918 in South India, where he was raised by his maternal grandfather, a Theosophist, who believed that his grandson had come very close to enlightenment in a previous life. From an early age, U. G. was exposed to numerous teachers and holy men as well as all the great Indian spiritual teachings. Over time, U.G. came to reject all that they represented. Then, during the summer of 1967, when he was forty-nine, U.G. experienced what he calls “the calamity”. In his words, it was not religious or spiritual or metaphysical or even psychological; it was physical and physiological, and it changed everything.
Here, we present the text of a talk U.G. gave in 1972 at the Indian Institute of World Culture in Bangalore. We downloaded it from http://www.well.com/user/jct/, where there is freely available a lot of other material by and about U.G., either for reading online or downloading. None of it is copyrighted. We are very grateful to those who created the site and who maintain it.
In the text, notes in black are our comment or explanation, those in the same color as the text are by the original editor.
For more of U.G. on The Zoo Fence, please click here.
Now, by way of introduction to this extraordinary man, a few brief quotations:
I have no particular message for mankind, except to say that all holy systems for obtaining enlightenment are nonsense and that all talk of arriving at a psychological mutation through awareness is rubbish. Psychological mutation is impossible. The natural state can happen only through biological mutation.
Consciousness has to flush itself out: it has to purge itself of every trace of holiness and of every trace of unholiness, of everything. Even what you consider ‘sacred’ and ‘holy’ is a contamination in that consciousness. Yet it does not happen through any volition of yours. When once the frontiers are broken – although not through any effort or volition of yours – then the floodgates are open and everything goes out.
You cannot be aware; you and awareness cannot co-exist. If you could be in a state of awareness for one second by the clock, once in your life, the continuity would be snapped. The illusion of the experiencing structure, the “you”, would collapse, and everything would fall into the natural rhythm.
If you are searching for someone who will enlighten you, you have come to the wrong man.
The search must come to an end before anything can happen.
And here is the text of the 1972 talk:
Let me, at the very outset, thank the authorities of the Indian Institute of World Culture for giving me this opportunity to meet you all here. I was very reluctant to accept the invitation of Mr. Venkataramaiah. But somehow, if I may use that word, I was trapped into this kind of a thing.
As Mr. Kothari pointed out, I don’t like to give talks at all. You all seem to be very fond of listening to speeches, talks, lectures, discussions, discourses, conversations, and so on. I do not know if at any time you realize for yourself and by yourself that you never listen to anybody or anything in this world. You always listen to yourself. I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know what you want to listen to and what I am expected to do.
This is supposed to be a discourse and a dialogue. I very often point out to those who come to see me and talk things over that no dialogue is possible and no dialogue is necessary. It may sound very strange to you, but, nevertheless, the fact does remain that no dialogue is possible and yet no dialogue is necessary.
If you will permit me, I will say a few words, to set the ball rolling, as it were. That’s a very hackneyed and over-worked expression, but that would serve our purpose.
I am going to say a few words about the state of not knowing. How can anybody say anything about the ‘state of not knowing?’ I have necessarily to use words. Can we use words without indulging in abstract concepts. I say we can. But I do not, at the same time, mean that it is a non-verbal conceptualization. That is a funny thing – there is no such thing as non-verbal conceptualization at all. But, perhaps, a few words like this will enable you to understand [that] the methods of thought prevent you from understanding the limitations of thought as a means to directly experience life and its movements.
This ‘state of not knowing’ is not [just] my particular state. (This I call it a ‘Natural State’ of your being.) This is as much your natural state as it is mine. It is not the state of a God-realized man; it is not the state of a Self-realized man. It is not the state of a holy man. It is the natural state of every one of you here. But since you are looking to somebody else and you are reaching out for some kind of a state of liberation, freedom, or moksha -- I don’t know what words you want to use – you are lost.
But, how can one understand the limitations of thought? Naturally, the only instrument we have is the instrument of thought. But what is thought? I can give you a lot of definitions, and you know a lot of definitions about thought. I can say that thought is just matter; thought is vibration; and we are all functioning in this sphere of thought. And we pick up these thoughts because this human organism is an electro-magnetic field. And this electro-magnetic field is the product of culture. It may sound very inappropriate on this occasion to say that in order to be in your natural state, all that man has thought and felt before you must be swept aside and must be brushed aside. And that means the culture in which you are brought up must go down the drain or out of the window. Is it possible? It is possible. But, at the same time, it is so difficult, because you are the product of that culture and you are that. You are not different from that. You cannot separate yourself from that culture. And yet, this culture is the stumbling block for us to be in our natural state.
Can this ‘Natural State’ be captured, contained and expressed through words? It cannot. It is not a conscious state of your existence. It can never become part of your conscious thinking. And then why do I talk of this state of not knowing? For all practical purposes it does not exist at all. It can never become part of your conscious thinking.
Here, I have to explain what I mean by the word ‘consciousness’. You and I mean two different things, probably – I don’t know. When do you become conscious of a thing? Only when the thought comes in between what is there in front of you and what is supposed to be there inside of you. That is consciousness. So, you have to necessarily use thought to become conscious of the things around you, or the persons around you. Otherwise, you are not conscious of the things at all. And, at the same time, you are not unconscious. But there is an area where you are neither conscious nor unconscious. But that ‘consciousness’ – if I may use that word – expresses itself in its own way; and what prevents that consciousness to express itself in its own way is the movement of thought.
What can anyone do about this thought? It has a tremendous momentum of millions and millions of years. Can I do anything about that thought? Can I stop it? Can I mold it? Can I shape it? Can I do anything about it? But yet, our culture, our civilization, our education – all these have forced us to use that instrument to get something for us. So, can that instrument be used to understand its own nature? It is not possible. And yet, when you see the tremendous nature of this movement of thought, and that there isn’t anything that you can do about it, it naturally slows down and falls in its natural pattern.
When I say that, I do not, of course, mean what these people in India talk about-- that thought must be used in order to get into a thoughtless state or into a meditative state. But there is no such thing as a thoughtless state at all. Thoughts are there; they will be there all the time. Thoughts will disappear only when you become a dead corpse – let me use these two words – ‘dead corpse’. Otherwise, thoughts are there and they are going to be there. If all the religious teachers tell us that you are going into a ‘thoughtless state,’ they are taking us all for a ride. They can promise you that in that thoughtless state – in that state of silence, in that state of quietness, or in that state of a ‘Quiet Mind,’ or whatever phrase you want to use – there will be this real ‘bliss,’ ‘beatitude,’ ‘love,’ ‘religious joy,’ and ‘ecstatic state of being’. All that is balderdash. Because, that state – if there is any state like the state of bliss – it can never become part of your consciousness. It can never become part of your conscious existence. So, you might as well throw the whole thing – the whole crap of these ideas, concepts and abstractions about the blissful states – into a cocked hat, if I may use that American slang.
So, what is one to do? Can anybody help you? No outside agency can help you. That means a complete and total rejection, as I said in the beginning, of all that man has thought and felt before you. As long as there is any trace of knowledge, in any shape, in any form, in your consciousness, you are living in a divided state of consciousness.
He [Mr. Kothari] referred to my coming into a state of ‘not knowing’ or ‘the calamity,’ as I myself refer to that. What happened? I don’t know. Suddenly thought has fallen into its natural state. The continuity has come to an end. So, what I am saying is not the product of thinking. It is not manufactured by my thought structure inside. Nor is it a logically ascertained premise. But what is happening here is only the expression of that state of being where you do not know what is happening. You do not know how this organism is functioning. As he [Mr. Kothari] himself referred to, this is a pure and simple physical and physiological state of being. It has no religious undertones or overtones. It has no mystical content whatsoever. And, at the same time, this extraordinary thing, the extraordinary intelligence that is there, which is a product of centuries of human evolution, is able to express itself and deal with any problem and any situation without creating problems for us.
Question: May I interrupt you? I was told by people who are around you that when this calamity befell you, you couldn’t recognize even ordinary things. You were asking like a newborn child, “What is this?” Even if there was a flower in front of you, you did not know if that was a flower. Then you would ask, “What is this?” And the Swiss lady who was keeping house for you, who was looking after you, Valentine, [she is here with us], said “This is a flower.” Then you would ask again, “What is this?” You mean to say that at the time when the calamity took place, all recognition was gone?
U.G.: Not only then, but even now, as I said, this is a state of ‘not knowing’. Since the memory is there in the background, it begins to operate when there is a demand for it. That demand is created by an outside agency, because there is no entity here. There is no center here. There is no self here. There is no Atman [the immortal self or soul] here. There is no soul here at all. You may not agree. You may not accept it, but that unfortunately happens to be a fact. The totality of thoughts and feelings is not there. But [in you] there is an illusion that there is a totality of your feelings and thoughts. This human organism is responding to the challenges from outside. You are functioning in the sphere – so, thousands and thousands, perhaps millions and millions of sensations are bombarding this body. Since there is no center here, since there is no mind here, since there is nothing here, what is it that is happening? What is happening here [is that] this human organism is responding to the challenges, or to the stimuli, if I may put it that way. So, there is nobody here who is translating these sensations in terms of past experiences. But there is a living contact with the things around. That is all that is there. One sensation after another is hitting this organism. And at the same time there is no coordinator here. This state of not knowing is not in relationship to your Brahman, or your Nirguna Brahman or Saguna Brahman [Brahman is the Transcendent Absolute, non-dual One, beyond apprehension or comprehension] or any such thing. This state of not knowing is in its relationship to the things that are there around you. You may be looking at a flower. You may think that it is a crazy state. Perhaps it is – I don’t know. You do not know what you are looking at. But when there is a demand for that – and that demand always comes from outside, [asking] what is that, and then the knowledge, the information that is there, locked up in this organism comes and says that it is a rose, that this is a microphone, that’s a man, that’s a woman, and so on and so forth. This is not because there is a drive from inside, but the outside challenge brings out this answer. So, I say that this action is always taking place outside of this organism, not inside.
How do I know that these sensations are bombarding or hitting this organism all the time? It is only because there is a consciousness which is conscious of itself and there is nobody who is conscious of the things that are happening. This is a living organism and that living state is functioning in its own way, in its natural way.
Mr. Kothari: U.G., it appears to me this Nirguna Brahman, Atman, whatever it is – when somebody uses the word Bhuma [absolute consciousness], another uses the word “unknown,” the third man says “akal” [the timeless], the fourth one says something else – all of them say that this cannot be described, “Neti, Neti” [“Not this, not this”]. Probably they meant the same thing; I don’t know. I think they meant probably what you are saying as “totality.” As I understand it, Brahman means “totality.” If I would translate this state into terms of those times, probably it is the same thing as being in the state of Brahman and [it is] thought which is limiting the “alpa”, which is limiting the “bhuma”, which is limiting the limitless, since it does not function like that, creating an individuality within you. Maybe I am wrong, may be I am translating, but I say that it is possible that the person who listens to you doesn’t know the old terms. You are not going to use the old terms, because the new terms are your terms. And every teacher, every person who has come into some state like this has generally used a different term, a different word, according to his background. But personally I think you mean the same thing. This is a commentary on what you are saying.
U.G.: What do you want me to say? [Laughter] If they have understood what there is, they wouldn’t be here. They wouldn’t go to anybody. They wouldn’t ask these questions at all. If they translate what I am saying, in terms of their particular fancy or their particular background, that’s their tragedy; it would be their misery. It hasn’t helped them. This is my question: Has it helped you? Why are you hung up on these phrases? They are after all phrases. When once you realize, when once this is understood – how this mechanism is operating, how automatic it is, how mechanical it is, you will realize that all these phrases have no meaning at all. You may very well ask me why I am using these phrases: [it is] because you and I have created this unfortunate situation where you have put me here on the dais and asked me to talk, and naturally, as I said in the beginning, I have to use words. So, the moment I stop talking, the whole thing has come to a stop inside. Is that so? It is so here [in my case], because there is no continuity of thought.
We go back to the thing he [Mr. Kothari] referred to, about the things around me. Here there is a table. I don’t know what it is. And, at the same time, if you ask me, “What is that?” I would immediately say, “It’s a chair.” It [the knowledge] is there in the background. It comes automatically, like an arrow. But otherwise, this [the impression I have] is just a reflection of this [the thing in front of me]. I don’t translate this as “bimbavatu [like an image]” at all. But I have to use that word: this is reflecting the thing exactly the way it is. I don’t want to use these metaphysical phrases because you will immediately translate them in terms of your particular parallel. There is no subject here independent of the object at all. So, there is nothing here [inside of me]. What is there is all that is there, and you do not know what it is. So, now you turn there, and this object has just disappeared, there is something else. This has completely and totally disappeared from here and then what is there is a thing that is there in front of me and it is just like this object, exactly the way it is. But you do not know what it is. That is why I say it is a state of not knowing. Probably you will find parallels to these things. What I am trying to point out is the absence of what you are all doing at this moment; [that] is the state that I am describing, and it is not [just] my state [but] that is the way you are [also] functioning.
May I give an example of what is happening in the field of spectroscopy. I don’t read books, but sometimes I read magazines. I get interested in these things. They have developed very powerful lenses to take photos of objects. They have developed micro-seconds, nanoseconds and picoseconds. It doesn’t mean anything to you and me – it’s all technical language. Now they are able to take pictures of objects, say for instance, of this table, every pico second. Every picture is different. In exactly the same way, the reflection of that object is once now; another time, you turn this side, you are back again – it’s again you. But don’t translate this in terms of newness and oldness. It cannot be communicated to you at all. This can never become part of your experiencing structure.
I am throwing a lot of conclusions at you. But even a thing like this cannot be experienced by you at all. I don’t know if you understand this. You have necessarily to abstract this in order to experience a thing. So, what I am trying to say is that you can never experience your own natural state. This can never become part of your experiencing structure. And what you are all trying to do all the time is to make that – whatever you want – to realize or discover – part of this experiencing structure. So your experiencing structure and your natural state cannot co-exist at the same time.
Mr. Kothari: The way you want to say is that everything is in a continuous flux all the time. The human eye being limited and the human ear being limited, and the human senses being limited, [they] cannot respond to the quick movement of existence. They don’t respond, they don’t reflect. You say, unless there is a need of recognition, this thought, this verbalization, this word – it is just a way of affecting the life within you, and that’s all. There is no need to verbalize, or translate, if possible. Am I describing what I understand of your state?
U.G.: That’s what you understand. [Laughter] [I am not trying to be irreverent.]
Mr. Kothari: [I am Neither.] What happens is, it seems to me ... [is he trying to mislead you by saying?...] that all these persons coming to this have tried to express this in terms of what somebody else has said. It is all the time new. It is all the time fresh. It is all the time indescribably beautiful. When they came into the world they have to say [something about it]. He says it is neither new nor old. It is never old. It is never old because he does not take [it] into the [past] experience. It is not translated, unless, as he says, it is needed for translation. Otherwise, every time, life is indescribably, extraordinarily – all that is outside – is extraordinarily fresh, extraordinarily new, though he doesn’t use the words ‘fresh’ and ‘new’. This is how I understand.
U.G.: This I must stress: that the need for the operation of thought, or the movements of thought to come into being, is decided by factors outside of this organism. When and why and how this translation is to come into being is decided by an action outside. The actions are always taking place outside. When there is a demand, the movement of thought probably separates itself for a while to meet the demands of the situation and then it is back again in the movement of life. So, thought is only functional in value, and it has no other value at all.
What is more is that the continuity of thought is destroying the sensitivity of your senses. When the movement of thought is not continuous, the senses begin to function in an extraordinarily sensitive way. When I use the word sensitivity, I mean the sensitivity of the senses and not the sensitivity of the mind. The sensitivity of the mind is a trick of your mind, and you can create a state of mind where you feel sensitive to the feelings of everybody, to the things around you and wallow in that sickly state of mind and think you are getting somewhere. This is a thing that is there [you are doing this] all the time.
There is nothing to achieve, there is nothing to accomplish, nothing to attain, and no destination to arrive at. And what prevents what is there, this living state, from expressing itself in its own way is the movement of thought which is there only for the purposes of functioning in this world. When the movement of thought is not there – I have to use the clauses in terms of time – but time is thought. When thought is there, time is there. When thought is there, sex is there, when thought is there, God is there. When thought is not there, there is no God, there is no sex, nothing is there. It may sound objectionable to you to accept my statement [Mr. Kothari:“Not at all.”], but the drug of virtues you practice, the practice of virtues is not a foundation for it at all. And the practice of abstinence, continence, and celibacy is not the path to it. But if you want to indulge in them and feel greatly superior, it’s your own business. I am not here to reform you. I am not here to lead you anywhere. But this is a fact. You have to understand a fact as a fact. It is not a logically ascertained thing, it is not a rational thing [so as] to understand it rationally. A fact is a movement. Truth is movement. Reality is movement. But I don’t want to use these words, because they are all loaded words. You know all about them. The unfortunate thing about the whole business is that you know a lot about these things, and that is the misery of you all. This is a thing which you do not know at all. I am not claiming that I know it. I myself don’t know. That is why I say I don’t know. It’s a state of not knowing. Let alone God, let alone reality, ultimate or otherwise, I don’t know what I am looking at – the very person who has been with me all the time, day and night. That is my situation. If I tell this to a psychiatrist, he will probably put me on a couch and say something is radically wrong with me. Probably, I am functioning like any other human being. He doesn’t understand that. That’s his problem, it is not my problem anymore. So, all your search – for truth, God, Reality – you use any phrase you like, is a false thing. You are all on a merry-go-round, and you want to go round and round and round.
How can you ask for a thing which you do not know? How can you search for a thing which you do not know? You all seem to know. You have an image of this state. From the description of this state probably you have already created [an image]. What state? Somebody asked me: “What is the state you are in?” “What State? Mysore State or Tamil Nadu State? What state are you talking about?” [Mysore and Tamil Nadu are geographical regions in India] This is my response. What is the state you are talking about? This is your natural state. You don’t want to understand that. You don’t want to be in your natural state. It requires an extraordinary intelligence to be in your natural state, to be yourself.
You always want to be somebody else; you want to imitate the life of somebody else – you want to imitate the life of Jesus, you want to imitate the life of Buddha, you want to imitate the life of Shamkara. You can’t do it, because you don’t know what is there behind. You will end up changing your robes, from rose to saffron, saffron to yellow, or from yellow to rose, depending upon your particular fancy. How can you ask for a thing which you do not know? How can you search for a thing which you do not know? That is my question. So, search has no meaning at all. Only when the search comes to an end, what there is will express itself, in its own way. You cannot tamper with that. You cannot manipulate that. You cannot manipulate the action of the thing which is there, which has an extraordinary intelligence.
To be yourself is the easiest thing. And you don’t want to be in your state. You’d rather be somebody else, imitate the life of somebody else. That’s your problem. To be yourself doesn’t need any time at all. But you talk of timelessness, which is a mockery. To be yourself, do you need time? To be a good man, to be a marvelously religious man, to be in a state of peace, to be in a state bliss, naturally you need time. That will always be tomorrow. When tomorrow arrives, you say, “All right, day after tomorrow.” That is time. [I am] Not [talking about] this metaphysical or philosophical thing. I am not talking about metaphysical time and timeless. There is no such thing as the timeless.
I am making assertions, statements and conclusions – you will object to them. Take it or leave it. I don’t expect you to accept anything that I am saying. You are not in a position to accept or reject it. You can reject it because it does not fit into the particular framework of your philosophy – Shamkara, Gaudapada, Ramanuja, Madhvacharya, God knows what – we have too many of them here. So how can you understand this? The only thing to do is to throw in the towel. Turn your back on the whole business. That is why, it takes extraordinary courage, not the courage or the bravado of these people who climb Mount Everest or try to swim across the English Channel, or cross the Pacific or Atlantic – whatever their fancy – on a raft. That is not what I mean. What I mean is the courage. You #8220e your Bhagavad Gita, or your Brahma Sutras, “kaschid dhirah.” All these phrases. What do they mean? “Abhayam Brahma.” [Fearless is Brahman.] Why do you all repeat these phrases? It has no meaning. It’s a mechanical thing. “How are you?” “I am all right, I am fine. Just fine. I couldn’t be better.” In America, you know, [they say] “How are you this morning,” “I am just fine. I couldn’t be better.” In exactly the same way, you throw these phrases at everybody. If you understand the way this mechanical structure is functioning inside of you, you see the absurdity of the whole business of discussing these matters everlastingly. Can you throw the whole business out of the window and walk out?
[Mr. Kothari]: I think what he means is... When I meet him.... I have known him for about five years now. And I am many times reminded, on account of my having read the Upanishads and this and that,.... I am reminded of [the passage in] the Isavasyopanishad, “asmai nayatu patha,” “Oh fire, takes us on the right path!” I find there is a sort fire in him which sometimes, I fear, would frighten a person who does not understand, quite grasp, even intellectually, what he is trying to convey. As I understand it, he is not advocating anything. His whole approach is.... He has no system. He says something about these states – that this is your natural state. But the whole thing, this achievement business, to get something, [the state being] like something, comparing something to some imaginary state which one has formulated, an image we got by reading about those things – that he says is all futile. It is strengthening the mental structure, it is strengthening the thought structure, and it is giving a life to it – which, he says, is all useless. It is the cause of your very misery, all the problems. It seems he has seen it himself. And the structure went phut, the whole thing broke inside, and, as he says, he even does not know [it himself]. That is the state of unknowing. When he says this, I am reminded of the words of Jnaneswar who says, “I don’t know what I am or where I am.” Even avidya [ignorance] has gone, and vidya [knowledge] has gone also. So, I see ... only I want to remind some of my listeners here ... that the newness of expression, whatever he is trying to convey, is as old as the hills and as fresh as the vibrations from that thing now. It is as fresh or even fresher than the words I am speaking, the sounds that I am throwing at you. It is more fresh than that. It is sanatana [ancient] and puratana [old]. But, he says, it requires total courage.
Another thing that I have noticed in him is a kind of – I am talking personally about you, but, as there is no personality, it doesn’t matter. [Laughter] – a tremendous, fearlessness, “abhayam tattva samsuptih.” I would again #8220e the Gita, the daivika sampatti [the divine qualities], this is something that does not happen in the usual, normal men in whom the animal fear is functioning all the time, as he says. But he does not come out of that [state]. I don’t know how he came to it. But [there is in him] a tremendous fearlessness and a sense of abandonment. He is not a perfect specimen of all the wonderful virtues. He gets annoyed, and he gets angry also. For a moment you see the cloud of anger on his face, and after a minute you see the full moon is again on his face, smiling. The clouds have disappeared all of a sudden. So, I say, he says there is no risk in the matter. Probably, in whatever he conveys, there is some suggestion. He says you don’t have the courage to throw in the towel. You don’t have the fearlessness. “[inaudible] … have got to go.” He says, “You throw out the speaker also.” I hope some of you certainly have got the hang of what he is trying to convey.
[Mr. Kothari]: Your question is, when there is hunger and pain in the body, what happens? You mean what happens to him or what happens to you? U.G.: I will tell you. First of all, there is no hunger at all, in the sense in which we use the word. It’s pure and simple chemistry. And then there is what you call hunger which is like any other sensation, you understand. The consciousness or life, or whatever you want to call it, becomes conscious of that thing [called hunger]. And [the next moment] it is gone. It is not there. It does not push you to reach out for food. And so, the next sensation is coming. It’s a continuous movement. You are looking at something and this is finished. Probably your body will become weaker and weaker, if you don’t eat food. People give me food; so I eat food. Otherwise, there is no such thing as hunger at all. And the pain, there is physical pain. Since there is no continuity of thought, as I pointed out, there is no continuity of pain. It comes in impulses like that – just the way you are throwing out words. There is no continuity of the pain. I don’t want to use the word psychological pain, because it gets us involved in …, because we will begin to tie things in knots. There is only physical pain and there is no other pain. But even that physical pain is not continuous, and so it is not much of a pain, in the sense in which we use the word.
Question: What is the way or method of getting into this state?
U.G.: What state? When the movement in the direction of wanting to be into your own natural state or in the state of God knows whom you want to be, your idol, or your hero or your master [is there] – it is there – this movement in any direction, is taking you away from yourself. That is all that I am pointing out. When the movement is not there, you are your natural state. So, the sadhana, the method, or system, or the technique, is taking you away from yourself in the direction of the state you want to be in and that is the state of somebody else. As I pointed out, you have the knowledge about this state. Unfortunately, so many people have talked about it. I am already doing mischief, perhaps. Kick them all out, on their backs. [Mr. Kothari: “Not now!” ” Laughter] Yes, throw stones at me and walk out. [Mr. Kothari: “They don’t have any.”] My interest is to send you packing, as the expression has it. If you can do that, you will never go to listen to anybody. [Someone in the audience: “If I throw stones, I will go to jail.”] I will not take you to jail. That’s a problem with the society in which you are caught. I can’t help you. I will not be the first one to complain about it …. Are you not tired? I can go on. That’s enough, I suppose.
I haven’t said anything. What all you think I have said is a ‘bag’. You think it makes sense. How can it make sense? If you think that it makes sense, you haven’t understood a thing. If you think that it doesn’t make any sense, you haven’t understood it either. It’s just words – [you are] listening to this noise – words, words, words – mechanically coming out of this organism. I don’t know how they are coming. I wish I knew. I wish I knew how I got into … what state? It always irritates me when people ask me “You tell us something 8230;”. About what state? What state are you talking about? I know Mysore. I am in the Mysore State. How do I know that I am in the Mysore State? Because people tell me that I am in Mysore. So, what state you want to get into? That is your natural state, I am saying.
What takes you away from your state is this movement in the direction of wanting to be in some state other than yourself. To be yourself doesn’t need time. If I am a village idiot, I remain a village idiot. Finish. I don’t want to be an intelligent man. Even if my neighbor takes advantage of his extraordinary intelligence and exploits [me], good luck. What can I do? To accept the reality, this is the reality of the world. There is no other world. There is no other reality, ultimate reality. This is the only reality. You have to function in this world. You can’t run away from this world. How can you run away from this world? Because you are that world. Where you can you go? Hide yourself in a cave? Yes, you are taking your thoughts wherever you go. You cannot run away from your shadow. It’s there all the time. So, you can’t do a thing about thought. That’s all that I am saying. When you realize the absurdity of all your effort to do something about the thought – it’s creating the problem; it’s misery for you; you can’t do anything – when you can’t do anything, when you realize that you can’t do a thing about it, it’s not there. You are not using it [thought] as a means to get something for you.
I want to say this again. You desire. If you do not want anything, there is no thought at all. You understand? Wanting is thinking, it doesn’t matter what you want – want self-realization, want God- realization – you want anything, that means you have to use this instrument. These are not your thoughts, these are not your feelings. You may not like it. They belong to somebody else. You want to make them your own. You have unfortunately made them your own. That’s why you ask all these questions. Why do you ask all these questions? These questions have been put before to so many people – all the sages, saints and saviors of mankind, the holy men dead and alive. They are all ready to answer. They have composed a lot of lullabies. You go and listen to them and go to sleep, if you want to. That’s what you are interested in. You want somebody else to pat on your back and say, “Oh, fine, just fine, you are doing very well. Do more and more of the same and you will reach the destination you want to arrive at.” What is the destination you want to arrive at? To be gentle, meek, to be soft, to talk and whisper. You know if you go to some of these monasteries in the West, the Trappist, they talk and whisper. They don’t even understand what the other man is saying. That’s the secret to the spiritual path.
Mr. Kothari: When a man is in love, he talks and whispers to his beloved. What objection do you have to anybody talking and whispering?
U.G.: I have no objection at all. I wonder if he is really in love. [Laughter] You don’t even have to talk about it. You want to reassure your partner that you are in love with that person. It isn’t worth a tinker’s damn, that love. That’s not love at all. You can call it love. I don’t want to go into that. It’s a forbidden subject. They ask me, “Do you have anything to say about 8230;?” It’s a four letter word. It’s like any other word – ‘dog’, ‘pig’, ‘love’. In love, can there be any relationship at all? Can you have any relationship? This is your problem. You are all the time trying to have relationship with people. You cannot have any relationship with people at all. “Love is relationship.” “Life is relationship.” All that guff. Trite. Crap. You memorize and repeat them [those phrases]. They all become fancy phrases these days. “Freedom,” “first and last freedom,” and “the freedoms that come in between.” What is this nonsense? This is like any other trite [phrase], any other crap that these people are repeating. You have memorized a new set of phrases. That’s all you are doing. You sit and discuss everlastingly all this awareness. What is that awareness you are talking about? How can you be aware of this? Can you at any time be aware of it? If you are aware of this once in your lifetime, the whole structure has collapsed; it has fallen in its proper place. You don’t have to do a thing about it. So, it doesn’t mean a thing at all. You can talk of awareness – choiceless or otherwise – or conditioning. Conditioning – what can you do about it? Conditioning is intelligence. You can’t do a damn thing about it. You can’t free yourself [from it]. If you want to free yourself from your conditioning, or uncondition yourself and all that nonsense that is going on …. How are you going to uncondition yourself? You create another conditioning – instead of repeating Upanishads you will repeat some other thing, the fancy books.
Question: What is the secret of total happiness?
U.G.: There is no happiness. I never ask myself the question. So many people ask me that question: “Are you happy?” What is that question? Funny question. I never ask [myself] that question, “Am I happy?” Total happiness is an invention. [Mr. Kothari: “Invention of the mind, you mean?”] There is no mind. Where is the mind? Is the mind separate from the body? Distinguished from the body? Apart from the body? These questions have no meaning at all. You have no way of separating yourself from what is going on. The moment you separate yourself means you have a knowledge about it – the knowledge given by either the biologists, the physiologists, the psychologists or the religious people. So through that you are looking at it. You cannot experience anything without knowledge. You cannot experience this at all, let alone Brahman or reality. You cannot experience this at all. Only through an abstraction. And what is that abstraction? The knowledge you have about it. This has been put there. Your mother told you, or your neighbor or friend told you that this is a table. What the hell is that, you don’t know, apart from what you have been told. Every time you look at this, you have to repeat to yourself that it is a table. What are you doing that for? This is my question. This is the continuity I am talking about. You want to reassure yourself that you are there. The “I” is nothing but this word. There is no “I” independent of this word. Maybe you find some parallel [to what I am saying] in Shamkara or God knows what. [Mr. Kothari:] Plenty, plenty. Because this is the same thing that they have talked about.
Question: [Inaudible] … thoughtless state as in “this, this, this.”
U.G.: Yes, yes. They called it ‘cit’. The consciousness I am talking about, is a state where there is no division which says that you are asleep, that you are awake, that you are dreaming .... There is no division at all. I don’t even know if I am alive or dead. This is my state. I have no way of knowing for myself. The doctor can come and say that I want to examine your lung, your lung is functioning all right – there is heartbeat, there is this, that and the other – you are alive. That’s all right. I am delighted. You reassure me that I am a living being. But ….
Question: How do you know at any time that you are in the Natural State?
U.G.: That, as I said, can never become part of your conscious existence. It begins to express itself. The expression of that is energy; and that is action. It is acting all the time. This is not a mystical term. What I mean by action is [that] the action is taking place always outside. The senses are working at their peak capacity all the time. It’s not because you want to look at a particular thing. There is no time even for the eyelids to blink for a second. They have to stay open all the time. And when they are tired, it [the body] has its own naturally built-in mechanism, which cuts off the sensation. And then it’s back again.
Question: What is that mechanism?
U.G.: What is that mechanism? Supposing somebody gives you an answer. So, where are you? Can you separate yourself from that mechanism? This is what I am saying. You can separate yourself from the mechanism and look at it only through the knowledge, whether the knowledge is provided by a physician or by a saint or by a sage. And that [knowledge] is worthless. Because you are projecting this knowledge on what you are looking at, and that knowledge is creating or producing these experiences. That can never become part of that experiencing structure. That’s the trouble. You want to experience this. You can’t experience this at all. Whether it is the consciousness that I am talking of, or the living state or the state of not knowing or the things that are there around [you]. How is it expressing itself? It is expressing itself as energy, it is expressing itself as action, in its own way. If I use some words, “It is aware of itself, it is aware of its own its incredible death, it is conscious of itself;” all these phrases may sound very mystical to you – but you cannot [experience it]. The brain physiologists, if I may quote somebody, – they are trying to understand the brain. And they have to find some means to define [it]. They have defined the brain as an instrument with which we think. They are not so sure. You cannot separate yourself from the brain and its activity and look at the brain. Can you look at your back and tell me something about your back. Somebody else must come and tell you. And he has his own ideas, fancy ideas. “You have a straight back.” The doctor always observes people. And from his point of view, he would say that that man is sick, this man’s back is not correct, and so forth. Or, if I see a painter, his description is something else. So, this is a thing which you cannot communicate to somebody else. Can you communicate your sex experience to somebody else? [Mr. Kothari: “Why sex experience, any experience.”] Or any experience, for that matter. That’s what everybody is trying to do – a painter, a poet or a writer. He is trying to communicate some experience, which he calls extraordinary experience, through his medium – writing poetry, culture. He is like any other artisan.
Question: How do you reconcile your existence with the world?
U.G.: I don’t bother. Do I exist in this world? Does the world exist for me? Where is the world? I am not trying to be clever with all these phrases. I don’t know a thing about it. Am I talking, am I saying anything? This is like the howling of a jackal, barking of a dog or the braying of an ass. If you can put this on that level and just listen to this vibration, you are out, you will walk out, and you will never listen to anybody in your lifetime. Finish. It doesn’t have to be the talk of a self-realized man. You will realize that there is no self to realize. That’s all. There is no center there. It is working in an extraordinary way.
Question: In the extinction of sense organs …, if the sense organs do not function at all, for instance, there is death; there is a state of not knowing and you still function.
U.G.: There is no death. You are never born. You are not born at all. [Laughter] I am not trying to mystify. Because life has no beginning, it has no end. Has it a beginning, has it an end? What creates the beginning is your thought. Why are you concerned about death? There is no such as death at all. Your birth and your death can never become part of that experiencing structure. If you want to experience death, you are not going to be there. [Laughter] Somebody else will be there. It will be somebody else’s misery.
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