Switzerland – July 1999
“Since Shyamalamma has returned, you two can now proceed,” so directs UG herding us to Switzerland. We haven’t yet applied for the visas. Julie’s letter of ‘guarantee’ hasn’t arrived yet. UG says that we should leave for Bombay as soon as we receive the letter. What’s UG’s reason for asking us to go Gstaad? Narayana Moorty is there right now; also there are Guha and his family. UG has been working for quite a while at getting all of us together to foster a sense of belonging among us all. He got us to travel to Palm Springs the same way six months ago. Now he is bringing us to Switzerland at the expense of one lakh rupees. Why? What for? I can’t figure it out. Sitting on the toilet seat I recalled the song:
When a curly-horned ram
Charges a mountain
Does the mountain get hurt or will it be the ram?
Tell me, O God, Samba Siva; open my eyes, Samba Siva.
That’s how it is trying to argue with UG. It’s useless to contradict him. I tell myself, OK, we’ll do as you wish…. I wonder how Bharati and Usha are doing. I don’t know if Usha’s daughter-in-law is still in the country or has gone to the US. I can only find out through Rajasekhar.
July 20, 1999 (Tuesday)
Preparations are under way to travel to Switzerland. Julie’s letter has arrived yesterday at noon. By then I had already finished negotiating with Travel Air and booked the tickets. We leave for Bombay on the 25th morning. We leave at 12:30 am, and fly via Paris and arrive in Zurich at 9 am on the 27th morning. After that, we are in UG’s hands. He says, “I am not spending all this money for you just to have fun. Moorty is leaving on August 10. There are things to be done before then.” What needs to be done?
I can’t think of what I should take with me. I have this book which I wrote long ago and which has never seen the light of day. It would be great to put all the videotapes on CD’s but that requires selecting videos which are of good quality. It takes an estimated thousand rupees to transfer an hour’s video onto a CD. After Raj Mehta transferred the photos onto a CD, I got the idea that it’s best to preserve the videos too on CD’s as well.
But I don’t know for what purpose UG is asking us to come so urgently. If I go, the school business and finance business will take a back seat here. Before I go, I must see everyone I need to see. I must make the necessary purchases. I will stay in Bombay for a day. I may get to see Mahesh there.
July 21, 1999 (Wednesday)
Four days left for departure. I am worried that I have to leave home and travel so far. O God, why are you dragging me there rather than leaving me to my own devices in this corner here? What is it that I can do there? What am I going to gain? To visit Switzerland was my great goal 20 years ago. My idea then was to visit that country, sit on the bench on which UG had sat, and enjoy watching the seven hills of Saanen and the natural beauty of its seven valleys. I don’t have any such ambition now. UG has taken us there three times before. The last time, we were there for 42 days. This time too UG insists that we must stay there for six weeks, but it doesn’t seem feasible. We must return before the end of August. That’s what Julie’s letter states as well.
I worry thinking about the problems at the school, as if everything there depends on me. Why must I get entangled in every matter and get upset? It seems like an inborn trait of mine; just as UG says, “Misery is your lot.” I am not able to stay in this moment, but rot in the worry about tomorrow. This seems inevitable, no matter how much I try otherwise. No matter how much I try to acquire the faith that whatever must happen will happen, that always fades into the background as my eyes are veiled once again by maya. That’s what ‘maya’ and ‘moha’ mean. The mind knows what is real. It knows at an intellectual level that what I think and contemplate – all of it – is a concoction. But I don’t see it. It doesn’t come into the field of my experience. That’s what I wail about: the things that I leave unfinished, the things I still have to do – they all clutter my mind like flies as soon as I wake up. Yet by the time I go to bed in the night, not even half of them will be accomplished. The brain keeps fabricating things to do... things to do… Why can’t it stop just for a moment? It won’t listen.
* * *
Major and I bought a jerkin for me in Jayanagar. Somehow, my enthusiasm is not kindled. On top of it, UG has been phoning and dampening my enthusiasm. What is this mess?
What do I want? What have I achieved through all this mingling with UG? What’s left in life except moaning? When Nagamani says “You are lucky that you can get near UG,” I smile to myself. What luck, to whom? What’s all this? Am I lucky to be able to go to Switzerland? Am I not lucky to have the opportunity to spend a month in UG’s presence? How many people have such luck? All right, what will I gain by that? What change has occurred in me? None. Will there be change when I die? In whom? Who will remain?
Why am I thinking now of death? I merely think that I am alive, but do I know that? If these words come out of me, they sound strange even to me. Why all this moroseness? Is it because of the weather outside? My mind does not rest even for the brief moment of my drinking coffee.
I guess I appear to be in a jolly mood to others. Watching Chalam, I used to think similarly of him. How I used to envy him sitting in a chair in front of Arunachala, with a jasmine garland around his neck, looking into himself with half-closed eyes! When I remarked, “How blissful you look, Dad!” he would answer, “What do you know about all the storms that are arising in me?” I didn’t want to believe what he said. Now I understand somewhat.
Not all that appears on the outside is real. There is no rule that the agitation in the mind should be visible in one’s facial expressions. One might show just the opposite expressions. Chalam might not have been sporting about in some heavenly region or might not have been in the midst of a rapturous state. The very idea of a rapturous state is a big lie in the first place. The remorse that trusting such a thing I have falsified my whole life haunts my miserable being. There are no states of ecstasy. What’s here is nothing except this restlessness, the anxiety, the regret and the sadness. If I could remain with this realization, the next moment all these other feelings would vanish. In their place there would be quietness, restfulness and peace of mind. But then the struggle would begin to maintain these states.
* * *
July 22, 1999 (Thursday)
Writing for half an hour a day is not only a great pastime but is also a way to preserve my sanity. My mind would have gone crazy but for this writing and I would have been mad long ago.
A while ago Aruna called from California. She said that she and her husband are thinking of coming to India in the third week of August. He could only get leave from work at that time. She asked me to return [to India] from Switzerland by that time. “If you are not there, why should we go all the way to India?” UG asked us to get a visa for six weeks; he wants to keep us there for as long as possible. If we tell him that we will only be there for three or four weeks, what might he say? Aruna is worried: “No one seems to be excited about our visiting India,” she says. She couldn’t figure out why we have arranged this trip all of a sudden. She would like us to be here when she comes. When I suggested, “Why don’t you wait till we come back; then you can come to India in the last week of August?” she became angry. Maybe they have already booked their tickets. I must talk to Venkat and find out the specifics.
* * *
No one understands how much the school problems are bothering me. I must somehow straighten out Ranganadha Rao. I am worried about his ways. I must talk to him. I must talk to all the teachers. All these thoughts sting my mind but fly away before they are carried into action.
* * *
July 23, 1999 (Friday)
The Swiss visa I have been waiting for has arrived in time. They granted a 35-day visit. That means five weeks. We can stay till August 31. It’s surprising that we could get a visa directly through the travel agent without Mahesh’s intervention. When I called UG last evening to tell him that we have the Swiss visa, he said, “Suguna is rich, what more do they want?” I really think we got the visa only because we mentioned UG’s name in the letter. Normally, they say we need police clearance papers. It’s strange that they gave the visa easily without any such complications. We must now make the preparations to travel at once. Yesterday evening, I related the school problems to Venkata Chalapathi and asked him to visit the school in my absence. I asked Guravayya also to do the same.
* * *
July 24, 1999 (Saturday)
Tomorrow is the day of departure. All these days I haven’t been considering the fact that we will be traveling that far. I won’t be here, in these surroundings, for another month. I won’t see these people. I’ll be in a strange land among strange faces.
I am asking myself, “What will you be when you leave this world?” All of a sudden, I won’t have any consciousness. All the things that these eyes are used to seeing, the sky, the trees, the glory of sunrise and sunset, the stars – none of them will be there. There will be no music or noises. Will it be an empty blissfulness? Will it be a state of nothing where there is everything? How can I imagine such a state? I won’t even be there. “You can’t preside over your own death,” says UG. The ‘I’ must go first. The ‘I’ must go without a trace. Only then there is death.
If I myself am not there, who cares about this world? Who cares about the school problems, about these books, the tapes, giving hospitality, being nice to people, having affections, tears, spites and harassment? I won’t be there, right? “How will it be on the first day when I am not around? How will the sun rise without me being around?” contemplated Papa Chalam. Even after Chalam has gone down, the sun continued to rise. No matter who dies or who is born, the rains keep raining, the sky will still shine, and the wind will still blow. There will be no change in the order of seasons. There won’t be any change in the ways of nature in this vast universe. That’s true even if I die tomorrow. So, what do I care when I am not going to be there? What do I care which party comes into power in what country? What do I care who becomes rich and who poor, what country is destroyed, or whether the whole world goes topsy-turvy? There won’t be any of these things which I am thinking of now.
Would I know that I don’t exist? How would I know? Would there be some way of knowing that I don’t exist just as I know now that I do exist? I must first unravel this mystery. Is it really true that I exist? Do I truly exist? Where am I? I am thinking that I exist. As these letters are transferred to the paper, I read them and understand them. I know their meaning. I can feel the pain in my back and the pain in my ankle from sitting cross-legged. There is a ringing sound in my ears. The taste of the coffee made by Suguna is reaching my lips. Then it goes on the tongue for a moment. Then it’s a mere memory. Isn’t this true with any experience? It lasts only so long as we experience it; the next moment it’s a mere memory. Recalling that experience and digging the memories, I keep fabricating the illusion that I am alive.
These fears, anxieties, emotions and passions – they all come from those memories. I don’t understand how I remember. All these are basic, fundamental problems in my mind. I live writhing like a mouse in boiling gruel, not knowing about any of these, cloaking myself with the illusion that I am alive. How low to live like this, estranged from truth and reality! How long does this awareness last? Only for a moment, just as long as I write this. The next moment, I forget.
* * *
In Switzerland with UG
July 28 (Wednesday)
Exactly a day has passed in Gstaad. The Air France plane which had been scheduled to leave at 12:30 am left at 7:30 am instead and arrived an hour late in Paris, at Charles de Gaulle airport. The plane for Zurich had already left. Just as we got off the plane we were told that there was no other flight till 10:30 am. I sent a message to UG through the airline staff that we would be arriving late in Zurich, so that he won’t be waiting for us there. They gave us free snacks at the Paris airport. It was 11:30 am when our plane landed in the Zurich airport. And by the time we got our baggage and got out of the airport it was 12:30 pm. The immigration check was easy. The police official asked, “What’s your business in Switzerland?” “To spend time with UG Krishnamurti,” I answered. “I see, to see UG,” said the officer as if he was familiar with him. “When are you returning?” – the second question. “In four weeks,” I said. Without another word he stamped the passport and said goodbye.
At the gate, Narayana Moorty, UG and Paul Sempé received us. UG looked like he had lost some weight. Paul Sempé brought his old Citroën car. In another 15 minutes we started on our journey to Gstaad. The car travel lasted about an hour and a half. It was 3 pm by the time we passed Gruyere and entered Berner Oberland. I remember the outskirts of Gstaad pretty well. At the beginning of the town, there is a big tent. It has been put up for a circus. Now they have completed the bypass road. They finished building the tunnel in 1996. It was exactly that year that we came here the last time. The city council got the tunnel built as part of the bypass road so that cars wouldn’t have to go through the town. They created this facility because cars and buses on the main street were inconveniencing pedestrians. It’s very nice now. There is no vehicle traffic on the main street. One can walk about freely. The place is busy with a variety of shops and restaurants. Yesterday afternoon, Moorty, Paul Sempé and I went for a walk for an hour and a half.
I got better acquainted with Sempé this time. Even the last time it was he who had driven us both to Gstaad from Zurich. He has known UG for 32 years. His place is near Gottfried’s place in southern France near Sanary-sur-Mer. In those days UG used to go to the South of France every year and spend some time with Gottfried. Paul Sempé used to be a captain; he piloted tugboats. Now he is 77 years old. He looks pretty healthy. He still drives a cheap car. Whenever there is an occasion, UG makes fun of his driving. Even now, sitting in the front seat, he has to tell Sempé which way to turn and where to turn. UG has been giving him directions all the way from Zurich.
Sempé comes to Gstaad every summer to spend at least a week with UG. The rest of the time he is in his own world. He lives in a house in a desolate forest inhabited by wild animals. There is no electricity in the house. He uses a generator. He even has a computer. Books are his companions. He spends his time alone. His wife calls him when she needs him; then he goes to see her. He goes to his daughter’s place if he feels like spending time with his granddaughter. Or else, he lives in the forest. I feel that he and Major have similar minds. Moorty told me that his wife is very beautiful. She too is older than 70 years. Sempé likes Moorty very much. He is thinking of visiting him in the US. He says a lot of good has happened to him thanks to his friendship with UG. For instance, he is freed from ‘the madness of spirituality’. Once has realized that there is nothing permanent, worldly desires have lost their grip on him. He doesn’t care if he doesn’t realize the non-dual state that UG talks about.
It’s now 9:30 am, which means 1:00 pm. in India. I’m getting very sleepy. That’s enough. I’ll continue tomorrow.
* * *
July 29, 1999 (Thursday)
Gstaad – Ludi Haus
Morning 6 am here; in India it’s 9:30 am. There are no sounds around. Ours is a big room on the second floor. The houses here are all made of wood. Each of the beams in them would weigh some tons. The cornices on the roof reach out about 10 feet beyond the walls. Yesterday, I couldn’t go for a walk because of the rain. Instead, Moorty and I went around the house about ten times. Not a drop of rain fell on us. The cornice is so wide that it’s like someone is holding a big umbrella over our heads. That’s what’s special about these roofs. These houses are called chalets. In this chalet, on the first floor, there are shops and offices. UG’s apartment is on the second floor. There are other guest apartments. On the third floor there are other guests besides us and Mrs. Lakshmi. There are five or six apartments on each floor. Ludi Haus is a house of four floors. It’s very convenient. The living room in UG’s apartment is very big. There are many sofas, chairs and tables. Everyone gathers there everyday. All day long, UG doesn’t move from where he sits; he sits there and keeps talking from morning till evening. At the moment there are some Germans in the room -- Nataraj, Manju and his girlfriend and others. Julie is living somewhere else. Tomorrow, Larry Morris, Susan and Claire are leaving. Then Julie will move into their apartment.
* * *
If we look outside from the window of the room, we see a high mountain like Arunachala. There are clouds around its peak. Trees cover the whole mountain like a blanket so that not a single bare rock can be seen. From here you can see Chalet Sunbeam where UG spent summers for 25 years. Across the street, there are the tennis courts where the Swiss Open takes place. When the tennis tournament begins, all the apartments in this building are filled. In winter, the streets in Gstaad will all be abuzz with ski offficianados. The local people’s main occupation here is business. No one excels more than the Swiss in doing different sorts of business. There is a price for every little thing. Tourists have to pay two francs a day to the Swiss government to breathe the air here and roam about in these streets. The roads here are built with cobblestones laid in several designs – squares, semicircles and circles. In every city in Europe you can see this arrangement of cobblestones laid evenly with cement between them. How nice the roads look with these cobblestones! The roads remain intact for centuries; they are not broken even in rains or floods.
Behind the Ludi Haus there is a post office and a train station. You don’t hear much noise from the trains. The trains run regularly. You hear their noise as if they are coming from a distance, not just from a few yards away. You don’t hear the noise of vehicles honking or the busy sounds of men.
* * *
Suguna just handed me a hot cup of Swiss coffee made with cow’s milk. It tastes great. Just a cup of it will do. The taste lingers on the tongue for hours. Yesterday afternoon, I had coffee with Chandrahas in Rialto.
July 30, 1999 (Friday)
5:30 am. Through the window you can see the silhouette of the mountain in the fog. Any time you look at it you have the illusion that it’s about to walk into the room. Far away you hear the sound of a mountain train coming into town. Its whistle sounds like a bird’s cry. But for that, it’s silent everywhere. You can’t believe that thousands of people live in this remote village in the valley of these mountains. Yesterday, while walking along the Saanen River, Moorty and I saw the place where JK used to give his talks. They used to erect a huge tent in which Krishnamurti gave talks every day. In those days you saw Krishnamurti people wherever you went. Now young people are playing soccer in that field. It was 3:00 pm in the afternoon when we took our walk and the sun felt very pleasant. All around you could see Christmas-tree-like pine trees. They grow tall, straight and in clusters on the mountains. Where you don’t see trees, you notice green meadows spread out. But there is no dust or gravel. In winter, however, everything is covered with snow. All the paths on the mountains are filled with snow. Apparently, it’s less cold when it snows. Moorty says that when it stops snowing it gets colder.
* * *
What happened a couple of days ago concerns Chandrahas. When did I see him last? I saw him in Bangalore about five or six years ago. He was in Yercaud for a few days. Then he suddenly disappeared. A few months ago he phoned from Switzerland. How did he come here? To someone who observes his manner, he doesn’t seem to be of a stable mind. But he is very intelligent. He comes from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. He had been spiritually inclined ever since he was a child. Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda were his idols. Mentally he is not fully developed and he has a mysterious interior. He is very emotional and passionate – having the same intense passions which possess every young person, creating havoc but then dissipating. He distanced himself from RSS for some time, escaping their hold, and landed in the South. He found shelter in Arunachala. He heard about UG while he was there and came to Yercaud in 1993. He was friends with a German girl. Chandrahas loves to drink. He is handsome. He looked quite attractive in those days. After he came here Swiss girls sucked him dry. He used to dream about going to Germany. I can’t remember what happened after that. Once he came to see UG when he was staying in the Malladi’s guest house in Madras. He didn’t have a penny on him then. UG gave him a hundred rupees. From that moment on, his lifestyle has improved.
In 1996, he apparently tried to come to our place in Bangalore at the time of the housewarming. Major didn’t allow it as he didn’t want to bring a nuisance into our home at that time. Chandrahas was angry with Major for not taking him to our house in his car. Now, when tasting the pudding and the milk cake that Suguna and Lakshmi made, he said that he should have eaten these things at our housewarming time. He also said he came to Gstaad especially to see us.
His return trip is leaving from Geneva today. He is going back to Bombay. He has been in this country for seven months. His fortunes have changed. He guessed that UG might be in Gstaad and so he came here. He didn’t know where UG lived. He didn’t have his phone number. He is an absentminded fellow. He can’t take care of his own personal belongings. He leaves them wherever he goes and forgets them. Two days ago, he left his purse containing his passport, ticket and money in a shop and remembered them in the train station while chatting with me. After the train arrived, he looked for his purse, and then, not finding it, he ran to UG’s house looking for it. It wasn’t there. Then he went to the shop and asked for it there. They returned it to him. A little while later, he remembered his umbrella. He ran back again in the rain to UG’s place and retrieved his lost umbrella from there. At last, he got on the train that day around 5 pm. Today he will first go to Montreau, and from there to Geneva.
How did he come to know that UG would be in this place? Something funny happened. While he was sitting in the train station wondering where UG might be and how he could meet him, another person came, sat on the bench and apparently started muttering to himself, “UG, UG.” That man had just quarreled with UG and left in anger saying, “I’ll never see your face again, I won’t step in this place once more!” When Chandrahas asked him about UG, he relented and took Chandrahas over to UG’s place. But for that man, Chandrahas wouldn’t have been able to meet UG. He said, “Such things always happen to me coincidentally, without my will. I came to this town to meet UG. I was determined to see UG. It’s all due to UG’s kindness.”
He took a 100 franc bill, placed it in front of UG, and said, “UG, you have given me the ability to return 100 francs to you for the 100 rupees you had given me before,” laughing loudly. He then took several more hundred franc bills and piled them in front of UG. The day before yesterday it was Guru Purnima (full moon day). Chandrahas was overjoyed that just on the Guru Purnima day he had the opportunity to offer ‘a gift to the Guru’ (guru dakshina). UG touched the money and said, “I don’t need this; you do. Keep it,” and gave the money back to him. Chandrahas replied, “I piled all that money in front of you with the hope that you would touch it. Now that you have, it will multiply a thousand-fold,” and gladly stuffed the money back into his pocket.
Chandrahas encountered a lot of hardships in Switzerland. He made friends with some girls and got into trouble. He picked quarrels with his girlfriend’s parents and doctors over their admitting her to a lunatic asylum. “None of you can do anything to me. There is nothing you can do to throw me out of this country,” he challenged them. He keeps going on a tirade against the doctors in this country. He fights with the psychiatrists. Watching his behavior, they too got scared of him. I wondered how they could tolerate him for seven months in this country. I think the girls get romantically attracted to him. Apparently, he used to charge 150 francs per hour for his treatment. What treatment! They only want one thing. He enchanted them with his good looks and made a lot of money. But the man has gotten quite emaciated. He has grown a thick beard. He says, “The youth of this generation is becoming a bane to this country.”
* * *
July 31, 1999 (Saturday)
It’s only a quarter till six in the morning. It’s all silent outside this house, and it’s silent inside. However, the factories in my head have been working tirelessly, out of control. I can’t stand their raucousness. I can’t tell the difference between waking and sleeping. The wheels keep turning constantly. Hammer strokes. Incoherent thoughts. This pen is drying up; I mustn’t buy this sort of pen again.
Is this Switzerland where I am? Am I in that Switzerland whose air rich people and people of status pine to breathe, the beauty of whose mountains people all over the world race with each other to worship, a country whose excellence is not equaled even by affluent countries – am I in that Switzerland? What a wonder! I am not worth a penny, yet how is it that I roam the earth? How is it that I could promenade in this most beautiful Gstaad? How has it become possible? You cannot appreciate too well these mountains, trees, valleys, flowers, the wooden mansions on hill slopes and the colorful flowers decorating them. These eyes are not adequate to see them. You can see so much variety only in the colors of flowers in this country. I can’t describe how pleasurable and enjoyable life is here. When I look at the comforts here, I cannot but contrast them with the conditions in India.
By mistake Julie tossed Suguna’s watch out the window along with some trash. It’s forbidden here even to shake off a tablecloth from the window onto the street. But she did it. She went down looking for the watch after realizing her mistake and got the watch back. Someone carefully picked up the watch which had fallen from the third floor and turned it in to the shop downstairs. Such a thing would never happen in India. There, who would not pocket a watch found lying on the street?
* * *
On our first day here, on his walk, Moorty ran into a man called Srinivas. Srinivas is a Tamil who was born in Rajahmundry and grew up in Madras. When Moorty told him about UG, he was eager to see him. As he promised, he came the next morning. He is probably around 45 years of age. He may be older than that but he looks pretty healthy. He is tall and his body size fits his height. His complexion is light brown. He doesn’t speak Telugu very well. Maybe he speaks Tamil well. He works as some sort of a history teacher in an American school in Holland. Apparently he worked in the diplomatic service for a while. As I was wondering why he quit such a good job, I learned in course of his conversation with UG that he had discarded many riches. The Krishnamurti Foundation has invited him here to teach yoga.
I am not sure if he had heard of UG before, but once he started talking to UG, he couldn’t seem to stop and leave. And soon after he came, his self-confidence, his self-assurance and his pride that he ‘knew it all’ evaporated. He showed signs of agitation and confusion. I could see expressed on his face the feeling of being lost in what he was doing or looking at. In spite of UG warning him repeatedly that it was getting late for him, the gentleman was reluctant to move. I thought he was caught in a snare. He will surely come again. Such is the taste of UG. UG invited him for lunch and ate with him. His background and the things he talked about were quite interesting.
It will take a whole book to describe these things, especially what he said about Jiddu Krishnamurti. He was close to JK once upon a time. However, he didn’t care for JK’s style and found contradictions between what he had said and what he had done. So he moved away from him, probably in 1980. He worked as a teacher in the Rishi Valley School. He was surprised at the special attention JK gave him during his dialogues with the teachers that year. JK granted him, without even his asking for them, goodies such as eating meals with him, going for walks with him and having intimate conversations with him. It was all grand at first. When JK advised him to change his accent of English and acquire a British accent, he tried to cultivate it for some time. But he got tired of the task and decided to stick with his Madras Tamil accent. We were once again reminded, in the context of his eating meals with JK, how much of a glutton JK was. We found that Douglas hadn’t exaggerated a bit.
Srinivas did not care for the method of teaching they practiced in the Rishi Valley School. He didn’t quite understand what was so special about Krishnamurti choosing only wealthy children, creating all sorts of comforts for them and then educating them. The ‘yes’ men who had gathered around JK didn’t let him breathe. Srinivas knew all of them – Pupul Jayakar, Achyut Patwardhan, Nandini, and others. Srinivas at last got out of that cage. As he felt he was obligated to JK for the special fondness and attention he received, he worked for such a long time at that Foundation.
Once during a public talk he had asked JK a very irksome question regarding the eradication of poverty: “How is it fair to live in such luxury in a country in which the poor suffer and are unable to afford a meal? What’s your answer to this?” he had asked point-blank in front of the many people in the audience. He threatened those who then tried to stop him. “You are all his lackeys; you just shut up,” he shouted at them. They calmed down. “Mr. Krishnamurti, please answer my question,” he insisted. Although JK was startled at first, he composed himself slowly, said something in reply, closed the meeting, got up and left. After that he did not let Srinivas near him nor did he speak to him until Srinivas felt sorry that he might have pained JK, went to him and apologized. After that JK again showed fondness for him. But Srinivas did not like working in that school, so he quit. He is still fond of JK and respects him. But he admitted that like all holy men he too did not practice what he had preached and that he was a womanizer and had relations with some women.
* * *
Exactly one hour has passed. Outside, the sky is showering morning light. In this country they wash the roads with a detergent. Across the street the tennis courts look deserted. All day long children play in that wide space. They practice riding their bicycles; some also go around on their skate boards. It’s not morning for any of them yet.
UG was reading aloud all yesterday from The Letters of Gold to everyone. He read the extempore lecture he gave on Theosophy in Rendsberg. Then he read the letters Arundale and Jinarajadasa wrote to him as well as the letters he had written to Mahesh. Moorty, who had been listening to all this, thought that the letters should be included in a biography of UG. “These letters are quite useful. When Mahesh was writing your biography, I didn’t know about these letters,” he said addressing UG. I was surprised. Who stopped all these letters from getting into the book?
* * *
Time: 9:30 am. It’s now 1 o’clock in India. I just returned from chatting with UG. The assembly started at 8:00 am. It will go on again from 3 o’clock in the afternoon till 7 pm. Now Nataraj, Mitra, his girlfriend, Nataraj’s sister, Manju and his girlfriend are still here. Larry Morris, Susan and Claire left yesterday morning. Apparently, an engine from their plane fell off. The accident happened on their way from Atlanta to Albuquerque. The pilot brought the plane down carefully in Dallas. I never heard of such an accident of an engine dropping off before.
Larry Morris had a difficult time parting. I don’t understand what the attraction is. “He is a real goner,” says Claire. He sits in front of UG all day long. Those who have witnessed it say that when he stands on the pulpit in his church he is a completely different man. Once he sits in front of UG he forgets the whole world. Lakshmi says Guha is the same way. He forgets his own existence. I never felt that way. I used to be like that before when I sat in front of Shau. I never feel that way when I sit in front of UG. Sometimes I feel “That’s enough, let’s go;” but I never forget myself. Why?
Maybe that’s the case with some people. A man thinks and feels the way he imagines. But it has nothing to do with who is in front of you. That’s true even if God stands before you. It all depends on what we imagine. Devotees worship God only by imagining His presence. If God is omnipresent and omnipotent, then the very breath that moves in me is God. The pen that’s writing and the thoughts that are spilled on the paper are all driven by God. What’s there that could be called mine? Where is it? I just think that I exist, that I have a form, that I have a shape. If I don’t think these things, then who am I? And who is there for me?
* * *
UG’s words kindled memories of Valentine. Tears rolled in Suguna’s eyes. Nine years have passed since her death. Tomorrow is the 1st of August, Valentine’s birthday. It’s the National Day, the day of the formation of the nation of Switzerland. They are decorating the whole town for the celebration. Flowers and colors everywhere – it’s great! At night there will be fireworks, sounds of firecrackers, dances, songs and bands – there will be a big celebration.
When I think of living, I mean living in the past like this. Even thinking of tomorrow is living in the past. Where does the ‘I’ exist except in memories? This book is filled with shit. This writing is full of shit. Shit! Shit! Culture Shit! Shit! Shit! Stinking shit! Just as I feel relieved pooping out the shit from the guts in the mornings, I transfer the shit that has accumulated in my head to these pages. Then the head becomes a little lighter. Then once again shit gathers. As I empty the head, wash it out, the shit gathers again and again.
* * *
August 1, 1999 (Sunday)
5:30 am. It’s still hazy outside. Today is Valentine’s birthday. This is her last birthday in this century. It is the Swiss Independence Day. I wonder from whom they had gained independence. As a matter of fact, historically this county has always been independent. Although the country doesn’t have an army, every citizen must undergo military training. The law here requires that every citizen must go through military training for a couple of weeks every year. But the Swiss are not warmongers; they are freedom lovers. They can’t tolerate being subjugated by another nation. The country suffered seriously in both the world wars of this century. Apparently, they used to give a ration of 1½ egg per person per day. There was no electricity. In the winter time Valentine had collected twigs and branches to make fire for warmth. Although they had cars, they couldn’t get petrol. For some reason Hitler did not attack this country. He did not touch this nation. It remained neutral and did not interfere in any other nation’s affairs. England too did not attack Switzerland. After the end of WWII in 1945, this country has taken off. In 1950, the Indian rupee and Swiss franc had the same value. Now you can’t buy a franc even with 30 rupees; it has gone up so much in value.
* * *
Just as I expected, Srinivas appeared again yesterday at 10:30 am along with two friends of his. This time UG spoke as rudely and abusively as he had spoken gently and respectfully the other day. Srinivas stayed for almost two hours. He was curious about the bodily changes that UG had gone through, the strange changes in his glands. But whatever UG said sounded to him like JK’s words. “You are speaking exactly like JK. He too says the same thing,” he claimed. It’s clear that Srinivas was still deeply rooted in JK. No matter how much he tried to convince us by saying, “I don’t believe in anyone. I don’t worship JK,” it was obvious how much his words imbibed JK’s spirit. “If my words are similar to JK’s words, it’s only because there are no other words in the English language. We were both schooled by the same teachers. But you are not the same,” answered UG.
“Perhaps I won’t understand you unless I undergo the same kind of glandular changes that you have gone through,” said Srinivas. No matter how harshly UG spoke and belittled him, Srinivas held to his manner of respect and humility. When I watched his behavior, it became clear to me that he was truly trying to understand UG. “I am barking like a dog here and you are creating meaning for those noises. You are trying to understand,” said UG. When UG said, “I have no way of knowing that I’m alive. If you ask me, I will say, ‘Yes, I’m alive,’ but I really have no way of knowing that fact for myself,” Srinivas admitted his inability to understand. “How can you understand? The existence of ‘you’ will not want to know your existence. It will safely continue through noticing similarities in words and deeds between JK and me; or else, you will ‘die’ right here and now. But you can’t bear that.”
“You can’t be interested in this. How can you be interested?” UG asserted repeatedly. No matter how many ways Srinivas tried to argue with him, UG would nip his arguments in the bud. When UG said, “Man needs two ‘F’s – food and fuck. This body is not interested in anything more – just survival and reproduction,” Srinivas asked, “Did you succeed in using the second ‘F’?” UG replied, “I am 82 years old. What do I have to do with sex? I have become old.” However, he didn’t reveal that his sex urge was burnt out forty years ago. He explained that sex was not possible for him, citing his conversation with a Nobel laureate. “It’s not just to know in words that there is no space or time. Where will your woman be if there is truly no space? How will sex be possible?” was UG’s question.
Srinivas was flabbergasted. He said at last, “I don’t understand you. But when I observe you, you look marvelous. Even though you are older than 80, you look so energetic. I won’t be able to understand you unless those glandular changes happen to me too.” UG showed him a video tape of Douglas’s skit about JK. In the tape, Douglas acted out with words and gestures depicting how much of a glutton JK was and how much he appreciated things like sex.
Srinivas is leaving tomorrow. Maybe he won’t see UG again. But the fire which has been kindled in him by UG will not die; it will continue to burn. It will consume him head to foot. I am wonderstruck when I think of how many thousands of people UG has helped like this. I am noticing all kinds of links on the Internet. Hundreds of people are anxiously seeking to know about UG. UG’s command to us is not to let people know of his whereabouts. What I feel is that recently UG has been losing his patience. He knows that his end is nearing. He feels that he mustn’t waste his time with groups. He cannot help everyone, especially groups. Maybe one or two individuals, those who have been burnt and consumed with intense yearning — for those one or two UG has been waiting patiently. Someone like me is thick-skinned. Not much has been ruffled in me in spite my thirty years of acquaintance with him. There has been no effect. I haven’t lost my desire for these toys yet. I collect them and never think clearly, “What do I want?”
* * *
August 1 (Continuing):
I feel as if I am living to write this journal. There is nothing else. What I am living for? For myself? What must I do? What must I achieve? Am I truly alive? Or is my life living itself? I say ‘my life’ – what is my life? Just words. A lot of hot air. Meaningless, useless words. I just use them mechanically. I just think I understand them, but if I look into them, they are hollow.
* * *
After lunch and before dinner, Moorty and I were out for our routine walk. For about an hour and a half we went along the mountain paths, chatting. We pick a different route each day. One day we leave from behind the Palace Hotel; another day from the front of it. When we walk along the paths we notice many wooden buildings. We saw a mansion built in 1650. The Palace Hotel has ten floors. I wonder how many hundreds of years old it is. It was world famous even in the beginning of this century. A Rolls Royce car was parked in front in the porch. People here are hard-working. They serve the leisure class of the world. From many countries people descend into these valleys, not seeking rest but tired of routine life. How many hundreds and thousands reside in this valley! Hundreds of wooden chalets. They are behind the trees, not visible from outside. Apparently, ‘Gstaad’ should be pronounced as ‘Staat’. Moorty and I were remembering Chalam and the friendships of those old times.
Aruna and Venkat are planning to come here. We talked to them at length yesterday. They both will come on the 27th and we will all travel to India on the 30th. They will have to tour Switzerland in two days. I am not sure if Julie will still be here. Meanwhile Mr. Raju will arrive. Mittu and Guha will also come.
* * *
UG invited everyone to our room for lunch with the pretext of Valentine’s birthday. Nataraj, Maria, Lisa, Lakshmi and her children, Julie and us two – we all had lunch together. UG and Moorty had their lunch in their apartment. There are many apartments in Ludi Haus. UG and Moorty are in ‘E’. Lisa and Mario are put up in ‘F’, we two are in ‘M’ and Lakshmi’s family is in ‘P’.
I showed UG the dedication in my journal, which is to him. He merely said, “How can you write such a thing?” That’s all. He read it all and returned it.
After lunch, Suguna and I went with Nataraj and Maria to see the place where Nataraj is living. It’s near Saanen, near the tents where JK used to give his talks before. The rent is 600 francs a month.
* * *
There are mountains all around us. If you have to go anywhere from this valley, you must cross the mountains. The peak called Diablaret is very high. There is another mountain called Eggli. Each mountain has its own name. I don’t know all the names. I must find out. Mont Blanc has the highest summit in the Alps. I am so surprised that Aruna and Venkat are coming. It’s a strange coincidence that we come here and they come here too after planning to travel to India. I can’t believe this.
* * *
UG used to be friends with a Polish youth called John Piatras when he lived in Chicago. Piatras used to talk to UG everyday. He attended UG’s Philosophers’ Corner to listen to his conversations and discussions. UG’s wife Kusuma had a liking for him. UG lost touch with him after he left the US. But John kept himself informed of UG’s news for some time - the hardships UG had experienced in London when he was penniless, his wife’s death, the news of his children having to seek shelter in relatives’ houses, UG’s helpless state – he had learned of all of these events.
About the same time, he had developed an interest in JK and tried hard to meet him in person. He squatted in his car in front of JK’s house and obtained an interview. When he talked to JK, in passing he mentioned UG. When he narrated UG’s condition in London, JK was unable to contain his sorrow and cried out loud. John met UG again after almost 30 years and related this incident to him. After the web page was created for UG on the Internet in 1996, John chanced to see the website in 1997. He sent e-mails to Julie and Moorty enquiring about UG. At that time he was in some high-level position in the computer field. When he heard about him, UG gave him his address and phone number and invited him to Palm Springs.
One day, John came with his family to Palm Springs to see UG. Lisa and Mario were also present on the scene. UG was surprised that JK had cried aloud when he heard UG’s sad story. Many years ago, when JK had asked him, “Have you ever shed tears, sir? Have you ever cried?” UG replied, “I never cried in all my conscious life. Maybe I cried when I was in the cradle or in my mother’s arms. I can’t remember.” “But I feel like crying for you,” said Krishnamurti. “Be my guest. Cry. Who stopped you?” said UG bluntly. But when we learn that JK had really cried for UG for fifteen minutes, sobbing, “Oh, that poor chap, oh, that poor chap!” we can understand how much JK was attached to UG. When John was relating this story to UG, Lisa, who was sitting there, couldn’t restrain herself from crying. “I too was about to cry when I was listening to him describing that,” said Lisa today when UG was recalling and relating that old incident. JK must have liked UG so much. Or else, why could he not let go of his friendship even when UG was so critical of him? UG says now, “I now understand that JK was using me as his mirror. He tried to look at himself in me and tried to correct himself. My thoughts and ideas were useful to him to shape himself.” That was why JK was fond of UG’s friendship and of arguing with UG.
* * *
August 2, 1999 (Monday)
It has already been a week since I left home. It feels as if ages have passed. That’s how it is when you visit new places; when you travel, you get feelings like that. How about when I exit this world? I just imagine time passing slowly, but is there any reality to those feelings? How do I know for sure that I am here? What’s true and what’s false? If something is true, how is it true? If it is false, how is it false? If you remove all measurements and beliefs then what will remain? How many millions of people have thought like this before me? What happened to them? Did they gather any wealth? Did they leave any mark? Are their names remembered on this earth? Why should their names remain? That’s another absurd desire, the greed for fame. If I haven’t hooked to this name while I am still alive, how happy would I have been! Valentine’s name, fame and her possessions have all disappeared right in front of me.
But everyone is attached to life. A man becomes a zombie when his memories are burned up. The ‘turiya’ state is nothing more than that, says UG, the state in which you remain without the self. There are no thoughts, no anxieties, no worries. There is not even a thought that one is alive. What greater fortune could I wish for than that?
But... but... if I don’t experience that state, then of what use is it? If I don’t know that I am happy, that I am content, then what good is contentment? I must clearly experience it. If I have to know it....I must stand apart from it and be able to experience it. Just as I watch and enjoy these mountains and beauties, I must relish my blissful state. Everyone must think “How lucky you are, how happy you are!” Then it means something. What will it mean? The next moment you will start worrying and then slide into an abysmal hell. That too you will experience. In this way, you will hop and jump from one thing to another as a monkey jumps from one branch to another. But the ‘you’, the permanent ‘you,’ that thing you will never experience. It’s just not possible. However, you can’t but long for it. If you do experience it, that means you are hanging onto another branch. To stand without any support, without any branches, is something beyond the monkey’s imagination. I can imagine it, but it can never be a fact for me.
* * *
Swiss Independence Day
Last night, we all went out on the streets. It wasn’t very cold. It was quite pleasant to go around with a jacket on. Children and adults, everyone, lighted firecrackers. All around on the mountain peaks they lighted big lights and bonfires. At 10:30 in the night there were fireworks by the Palace Hotel. The sky sparkled with the colorful lights for 15 minutes. Different sorts of firecrackers. Not so much bombastic noises as clusters of colored lights that were jetting around feasting the eyes – it’s something that can only be seen and not described. We all wholeheartedly enjoyed the Swiss National Day along with Shilpa and Sumedha. UG, however, stayed in his apartment.
* * *
I discussed separately UG’s behavior with Moorty and Julie. We can notice an increased energy in his speech and action. But his movements have diminished. From morning till night he sits on the sofa. Except for going into the kitchen or bathroom or onto the balcony, or climbing the stairs to come to our room or Lakshmi’s room, he is not moving anywhere. Occasionally he goes around in a car. I wonder when he goes to the post office. He steps into it just for a second and gets out. Just to tease, two days ago, Moorty invited UG to go for a walk with us. But he was adamant and said no. Yesterday, we all went to Chalet Sunbeam along with Julie. UG, of course, didn’t come.
Lisa and Mario
When we think of our past, we have old memories. Memories are themselves old. Why call them ‘old memories’? Whatever stirs in the mind stinks of being old. Whatever moves in the stomach is old food. “UG is withdrawing from outdoor activities,” said Moorty. Indeed, neither in his words nor in his actions and movements does he concern himself with anything.
But he seems to have a strong wish to get Lisa to have plastic surgery to make her face more attractive, with the hope that at least then a ‘fat cat’ might fall in love with her. He doesn’t accept Mario as Lisa’s partner. He rejects him saying, “You are a coolie. You are no match to her.” Mario complains, saying that Lisa is his wife. UG denies that. Lisa is attached to Mario. It appears that UG is trying to separate the two. But it also appears that they two are getting closer to each other because of the influence of UG’s words and actions. I think that as their suppressed desires are brought out into the open, their attraction to each other has become clearer and they have gotten closer to each other. There is a bond between the two. Lisa wants a child with Mario. Even UG says that her desire will be fulfilled soon.
UG doesn’t care about our measurements and values. But he never subverts them. He may condemn them and ridicule them, but he will never violate them. We become conflicted by looking upon these values as great, on the one hand, and bewailing that we can’t fit ourselves into their framework, on the other. That conflict is the main source of our restlessness. We might get interested in other women; our mind regards social values as false and prompts us to rebel against them. But our intellect tries to prevent rebellion; that’s where our disguised warfare starts. At some level or other these conflicts occur in everyone at any moment. If we can prevent them as much as possible, then there is a possibility of harmony in life. The effect of UG’s words and deeds seems to be such that they are preparations to lead us exactly to that state. We can’t take them. They make us hop and jump around like a monkey whose tail has been stepped on. In the final analysis we may find that our conflicts have disappeared without our knowing it. Gradually, the organism will find ways of living without any interference from those values. That’s the effect of UG.
* * *
This morning at 9:00 am, Moorty and I went out for a walk. There is a path leaving from the side of the Palace Hotel that goes alongside Saanen River. The river was flowing fast under the shadows of the tall pine trees on the slopes of the hill; on the other side, there was a cool breeze coming from the meadows on the slopes of the hill. If you follow the path, you can get to Launen; or you can go back to Gstaad. You can see the Hotel Parkview on the way; it’s a big hotel.
On the walk, Moorty mentioned UG’s letters again. He too thought that it would be nice to write a biography of UG inserting letters and photos in the middle. If anyone writes UG’s biography, it must be Moorty. He told me that he set a condition with UG to write one. UG must live for a hundred years. He promised UG that for his 100th birthday he would write and publish a comprehensive and definitive biography. He will include in it letters, accounts of meetings with UG and photos. The big book might amount to about 400 pages. Just like the effort of Rajasekhar. But if Moorty undertakes it, it will surely shape up into a biography which no one in the world has seen or heard. But how is his condition going to be realized? Can UG guarantee that he will live for a hundred years? Why should he give such a guarantee? A hundred years for the body? Why just a hundred years? He could live for even 500 years. But what about his form? Would he be in the same form? I can recognize him in this form for only a hundred years. That means that Moorty also must live so many years.
* * *
August 3, 1999 (Tuesday)
By the time I woke up it was 6:30. It’s 7 am now. The town is still asleep. It doesn’t get busy with people until 9 am. You don’t see many people except on Saturdays and Sundays. When we went for a walk, we ran into a familiar face near the Rialto. He is a doctor. I couldn’t recall his name readily. He is a famous doctor who has done research and written many books on natural childbirth. Suguna prompted me with his name. Dr. Leboyer. He has been a friend of UG for almost 25 years. He has taken many photos of UG. Although he saw us, he didn’t show any sign of recognition. He looked at us as strangers and shook us off like insects and passed us. Moorty said a couple of words of “hello” and remarked after he had passed, “He is one of those pompous ....” It’s not just Leboyer; few have that broadmindedness to treat other men, especially those who don’t measure up to their status, at least as fellow human beings if not as their equals. You see this trait in some of the people who visit UG. They can’t be inclusive of people. It’s rare to see noble persons who can take people in without any prejudice or question about their race, religion or caste and respect them. Chalam was such a man. I see UG the same way. There are many who cannot live on that level and mingle with common folks; they are blinded by their power or their money. Moorty and I talked about many such people.
* * *
UG was playing dice with Sumedha yesterday. In one game, he cheated. Sumedha detected it and complained, “You cheated!” UG didn’t agree; he said, “I played straight.” Sumedha couldn’t contain her anger and said, “You may be a very great man, but you are the greatest cheater in the world.” She got up and lay down on a sofa. We all laughed. UG pleaded with her to come and play, but she wouldn’t.
* * *
Lisa brought a picture postcard with the caption “What’s on a Man’s Mind” and gave it to UG. It had the picture of Freud with a naked woman’s body on his face. If you look closely you find the picture quite significant. I thought it was quite interesting and wanted to get it copied; but instead, UG gave the card to me.
* * *
I spent the whole day looking into the UG sites on the internet. You can find hundreds of links connected with UG’s name. Lisa is cataloging all of them. It’s a pretty complex task. Yesterday, Nataraj’s sister, Maria, has left for the US. I too went with Nataraj and Mario up to Zweisimmen in Mario’s car. From there Maria had to go on to Zurich by train.
Today Leboyer came. Denise also came and ate lunch with us. She stays in the Christiania Hotel. She will be here for a month, as long as UG stays. She brought a couple of cashmere sweaters for UG.
* * *
August 4, 1999 (Wednesday)
About 6 am. Today Guha and Krim are arriving from the US. Lakshmi, UG and the children are going in Julie’s car to receive them. The car is big enough to hold all of them. It may be late afternoon by the time they all come back. Lakshmi’s mother is ill. These must be her last days. Lakshmi wanted to take her whole family to India, but UG insisted that the children shouldn’t step on Indian soil. So Lakshmi is leaving for India by herself on the 6th and will return on the 20th from Delhi. Both her children were born in the US and they grew up in that environment. UG forbade taking them to India, thinking that if Guha and Lakshmi expose them to two different cultures and traditions, the children wouldn’t know which one to choose and would be confused; as a consequence, they will not belong to either culture. There is a lot of wisdom in what he says. At first, we didn’t quite understand why he was forbidding them from going to India. Now I feel he is right. “They become neurotic when exposed to two different cultures and traditions,” he says. Shilpa and Sumedha will stay here with their father. They won’t have any problem as UG is with them. Lisa is also here to help.
* * *
Leboyer at Dinner
It feels like the days are picking up speed. I have the illusion that time is flying. UG invited Leboyer for dinner last night. He asked that the foods made by Suguna and Lakshmi to be brought downstairs. Leboyer is French. UG asked Moorty to eat with Leboyer alone. Leboyer was hoping to eat with UG. Later, Moorty related what happened at dinner.
UG didn’t even sit with them at the dinner table. He left Moorty and Leboyer at the table and came upstairs with the pretext of finding out what we were all eating. “Julie made a salad again?” he asked. He doesn’t like salads. He had prohibited her from making salads. For that reason Julie has not been making salads, but Suguna, Lakshmi, and I made a salad of carrots and cucumbers. We cut them up into small circles and sprinkled a little salt on them without pouring any olive oil. I was filling myself up with them. UG came upstairs and saw pieces of papads. He put two or three pieces in his mouth in spite of our warning that they were hot. He said, “I don’t know that it is hot unless you tell me it’s hot. If you don’t say they’re hot, they’re not hot.” He took a few more into his hand. Back downstairs, when UG was about to hand one or two pieces to Moorty, Moorty snatched them all. He was worried UG wouldn’t be able to tolerate all that hot stuff and would vomit again. UG said, “I already ate six of them upstairs,” and then went into the bathroom and threw up. Once he finished with that process, he stayed in the kitchen washing dishes. Moorty had to keep Leboyer company alone.
The French don’t like to eat their dinners at the table silently. It’s customary for the host to converse with the guests while serving food. Moorty had to pick up some conversation and entertain Leboyer. But UG didn’t bother about his guest. Moorty said Leboyer seemed to like the Indian dishes. Soon after dinner, Leboyer got up and left.
I remarked to Moorty that this looked like some Zen dinner. Leboyer likes the style of Zen. Once, when he came to India in 1973, he had stayed with me in Sastri Sadan. I can’t remember if UG was there with us or not. He used to practice Tai Chi in the mornings. He is now 81 years of age, exactly the same age as UG. As he was born in November he is younger than UG. I told him, “In another three months, you will have your thousand moons completed.” He didn’t quite understand what that meant; UG explained to him.
All yesterday they read to UG the numerology and astrology written by Satyanarayana. After hearing everything UG said, “Saku, saku.” The seven-year stage of Kuja is going to be fantastic, according to Satyanarayana. “The mission for which UG has come down into this world will be fulfilled in these seven years. The climate for that has already begun in the Chandra stage.” If we watch the links on the internet, it is evident how many thousands of people are influenced by UG in so many ways.
* * *
Moorty said while we were walking, “Leboyer is terrified of dying.” The fear of death is at the root of all fears. The ‘I’ that I have known of ever since I have been conscious suddenly won’t be there one fine morning! Will the world still be the same? For whom will it be there? Who cares what happens to this world when I am not there? Chalam thought of this a lot. He used to say, “I detest death.” In his last days, he was unable to bear the possibility of his own non-existence and shrunk with fear like a little bird. “I too am afraid of death sometimes. But I surrender to the fear completely whenever it arises. Then it goes away,” Moorty says.
You must give yourself over to death. UG is not a person. He stands for our ending. UG is a compassionate being who can help us taste death by ending things then and there.
Moorty was playing a card game alone on the computer. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I am playing a game just to spend time.” I quoted a Sanskrit verse from Bhagavatar to the effect, “One must not indulge in a pastime; each moment, your span of life will be shortened and Yama won’t take pity on you. It’s better to sing the praises of the Lord.” “That’s nice, I understand,” said Moorty smiling.
I feel that sitting in UG’s presence is the same as singing the praise of the Lord. We don’t need to do anything. It’s enough if we just sit there and take in the words he speaks. Sometimes they pierce into our bones like thorns. At every opportunity UG presents death to us. In his presence, the fear of death itself gets terrified!
* * *
August 5, 1999 (Thursday)
Today it’s already 6:30 am. As I went to bed late last night, I got up late in the morning. Suguna has not woken up yet. Last night I talked to Aruna before I went to bed. They have booked their tickets for the travel. Apparently the airlines staff told them that there is no problem with the baggage as they can carry up to 35 kilos each. I asked her to make sure by enquiring again. Before, when I asked a travel agent here she told me you can’t carry more than 20 kgs. I must ask Julie to find out for sure. I guess we could just look up in the Swiss Air schedule. They would mention all that information there. Will that apply to us too? How much luggage can we carry? I guess I must ask Air France people because we have Air France tickets.
As soon as I got up this morning I have had no other thoughts but these. Why do I think them? Outside, there is a truck going on the street with a roaring sound. Normally you don’t hear such sounds in this country. Even trains run quietly. The sounds don’t last very long. They stop pretty soon after that start. Maybe because of the thick growth of trees on the mountains, the whole valley is quiet. When I went for a walk yesterday morning, I felt like dissolving into that silence. I didn’t feel like moving my lips. Today Moorty and I talked about my relationship with Baba when I was little. We also chatted about Chalam. Walking along the mountain paths, we went almost as far as Schonried and returned to Gstaad.
* * *
Guha arrived yesterday; also Krim. A Swiss friend of Chandrahas called Francis came. After he sat around UG for a couple of hours, we invited him for lunch at UG’s suggestion. UG sometimes asks us to invite people, especially those who are here the first time. Francis spent his time from 12:30 to 3 pm with me. We talked a lot. When he told me he was only 48 years old I couldn’t believe. You can’t estimate his age. Apparently his sister had introduced Chandrahas to him. Everyone in his household was fascinated by Chandrahas. They thought he was a yogi. Francis asked me, “How do you regard Chandrahas in India? Don’t you consider him a yogi?” I explained to him “that true yogis don’t publicize themselves. As much as possible they don’t let things about themselves be known to others.” Poor folks! They are easily deceived by appearances. Chandrahas is taking advantage of them. He has exploited them all. Now they are trying to be cautious about him. They seem to be prepared to help him with money, but are not ready to sponsor him by inviting him to Switzerland.
Francis has two sons. They are still studying in school. Francis used to work in the Swiss government as an officer investigating refugee problems. He lost that job. He said he has an interview for another job today in Bern. He worries that there may be situations in his work in which he may have to act contrary to his conscience. In contexts where he had to be harsh with the refugees, his superiors found fault with him even when he carried out his duties. This hurt him.
The troubles began in Berlin in 1984: when the Wall was brought down and West and East Germany were united, he was given the responsibility of examining refugees coming to Switzerland. In that situation, no matter how reliably and responsibly he conducted himself, in the end his superiors blamed him and found faults with him. That discouraged him. He felt humiliated when the Swiss police admitted their defeat before some arrogant refugees and admitted them into Switzerland as if they couldn’t do anything else. But what could he do? He suffered silently.
He says that there is no problem with the refugees from Sri Lanka. Only the refugees from Yugoslavia are creating havoc; still the government is lenient with them. It hesitates to take action against them. So this is his problem. The Swiss nationals are caught in the middle. He says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a civil war in this country soon.” Some condemn the government severely and some others support it. I told him that such a situation exists in every country. I reassured him saying “it will take a long time for a civil war to develop.” Francis is a sensitive person. I feel that police work doesn’t suit him. I don’t know what he will do today. But after all these years this Swiss man got caught in the ‘snares’ of UG.
* * *
Last night, I chatted with Krim for an hour and a half. His whole life is a tale of sorrow. He got caught in mire when he was only 25. Now he is 41 years old. He saw UG for the first time in Switzerland when he was 16. That means 25 years ago. Later, when UG was in Mill Valley and Krim was about to go for a walk with a Russian girl named Elena, UG warned him, “Make it a short walk.” Not heeding that warning turned into a curse for him. Becoming close friends with Elena, spurning the help of friends who tried to extract him from that mire when he was struggling to get out of it, and foiling all UG’s efforts to get him out – all these events prove the influence of planets on him.
Next year, starting from this coming September, there must be a change in his fortunes. His life must take a turn for the better. He now has a daughter with Elena. That crazy lady has tried to keep their child away from him. Krim’s father is Russian, and Krim visits Russia now and then. I looked at his palm and told him that there are indications that his life will change completely in the future. If he has the grace of UG, everything will be set right. Coming here after so many years is indicative of his good fortune. If he leaves everything to UG at least now, his life will get better. Am I leaving everything to UG? He is bending my back and kicking me on my butt, pinching my ears and hitting me on my head. If he didn’t, would my stubbornness go away?
* * *
It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I have a little time to write in the diary. Everyone has gone downstairs. Today Leboyer gave UG a ride in his car. Denise went with them. Leboyer has had open-heart surgery; so he is still scared of climbing mountains and heights. “I have confidence if you are by my side,” he said and drove UG up to Les Diablettes. UG complimented him for his driving, saying, “I give five ‘A’s for your driving.” Pleased, Leboyer bowed his head. Later, everyone dined in our apartment. When Denise was about to sit at the table, Leboyer forbade her, saying, “Women can’t sit at this table; this is just for men.” Denise felt humiliated and sat down on a sofa away from the table. UG didn’t know about this.
A little while later, UG came upstairs into our apartment after finishing his meal. Krim, Guha, Leboyer and I were eating and chatting. Guha said, “UG, we are eating without you.” “It’s uncivilized to eat food at a table. I never do that,” UG said and started attacking Freud. He condemned psychologists and doctors. It was all aimed at dealing a blow to Leboyer. The great doctor didn’t raise his head. He worships Freud as a god. That’s why UG tears Freud apart. Fed up with UG’s scolding served with the dinner, Leboyer got up and left. That’s how UG invites some people and serves them.
* * *
UG is talking about a lot of things. I note them down with the idea that my notes may be of use for the definitive biography Moorty may be writing. Shall we write it together?
` * * *
January 26, 1950, the first Republic Day, was an important day for India. On that day UG gave a lecture in Andhra University. In it he criticized Gandhi on occasion. Apparently he had said that Hitler was instrumental in bringing independence to our country. He quoted Shakespeare in that talk and said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and on some greatness is thrust. Tagore was born great, Gandhi achieved greatness through his effort, and greatness was thrust on J. Krishnamurti.”
* * *
He met Tagore twice in the period between 1939 and 1941 in Santi Niketan. Tagore presented UG with a volume of his complete works and inscribed a special poem in it:
The shy little pomegranate bud
Will burst forth as a passionate flower
When I am gone tomorrow....
I think this poem is from Tagore’s First Gathering. I should look it up. UG has a great respect for Tagore.
* * *
August 6, 1999 (Friday)
The alarm rang at 5:15 am. I decided to get up then.
Some days, the pen writes on its own without my involvement. Chalam used to say that he used to feel a great joy when what he wrote was printed. Perhaps that was true. But how could printing this writing be of use to anyone? What’s there in it to learn from or to change oneself? How is it different from writing the same thing over and over as in ‘imposition’? In olden times they wrote ‘Rama’ thousands of times in rote. There was no meaning in it. If I were to write it so many times, I guess the sound ‘Rama’ would be imbedded in my thoughts like a drone sound. Maybe the sound of ‘Rama’, like the sound of ‘Om’, would resound in my background behind whatever I did or whatever I looked at. If the way to escape from this world is to write ‘Rama’ thousands of times, what I am doing now is just that.
There is noise inside me. Outside there is silence. I make the effort is to bring the internal noise out. Do thoughts exist only in my head? How do they get there? How do I get the thoughts such as “I am” and “I am thinking?” Do I exist apart from them? UG was saying yesterday, “Whatever I have learned in life, I have learned on my own; I didn’t learn anything from others. No teacher or professor had ever taught me the things which my son had taught me when he was a baby. I did learn a lot about life from him by raising him.” These words of UG are pearls of wisdom. The things he had learned and known shine as lights of wisdom, shedding light for so many people. Everything he says is contrary to the things we believe in and act upon. Why is there such a contrast? This is true not just in spiritual matters but also in matters of everyday life.
Yesterday evening, Anthony Nahas came. He has three sons and a daughter. Each of the boys’ names starts with ‘A’ and the daughter’s name, Zoe, ends with ‘Z’. He said to UG, “My baby is close to your Natural State.” “How old is she?” UG asked. “Eleven months.” “No use; she has fallen away from the Natural State long ago. When she was just born she was in it perhaps for a few hours, till her mother gave her a kiss. That means that as soon as the baby felt her mother’s touch the world has entered the baby.”
Does UG live from moment to moment in that fresh, childlike state? How is he able to shine like that gathering all that innocence in the midst of all this horror, evil, cruelty, injustice, disorder and crookedness? No matter what you say to him, how much you abuse him, how much you harass him, how much you are mad at him, it doesn’t touch him. Such a man has never existed before nor will exist again. Is it possible really to shine like that through our own effort? “I am ready to die any moment. Every action of mine reveals that readiness of mine for death. I act as if I may die the next moment. I don’t put off anything,” he says. It’s the same for him with any experience or thought. You will find ‘tomorrow’ only in his vocabulary; he does not experience it.
Only when we have the ideas of space and time is the world present to us. Where is the world, if space and time don’t exist? Last night we were all sitting in front of UG and talking. The clock struck 10 o’clock. “If you don’t count those rings of the bell, there is no time. Counting ‘one...two...three...’ is the continuation of ‘you’. It’s the same with everything else; that’s true every moment,” says UG. The mind is imagining things, saying that this is what constitutes living from moment to moment. No matter how much it imagines, I cannot realize it. “The sound of the toilet flushing upstairs breaks the midnight silence and fills me. At that moment there is nothing else except that sound. I don’t have a separate existence.” How can I understand if UG talks like that? I must think like Srinivas, “Unless there are changes in our glands similar to yours we cannot understand you.”
This summer it’s a full 25 years since Krim has met UG. Henk arrived last evening. For him too it’s the 25th anniversary. “Although we have been coming here for so many years, there’s not much change in us,” Henk bemoaned. Overhearing this UG retorted, “Even if you spend another 25 years with me or hear me that long, there won’t be any change.”
* * *
August 7, 1999 (Saturday)
The last day of the second week. Time 6 am. Silence everywhere. As I woke up I could hear the rhythmic sound of blood circulating in the artery under my neck. This small heart, many glands, different organs – they all work ceaselessly without any involvement on my part. They are never tired. I for myself am occupied with seeking pleasure. They don’t worry about all that. They don’t care if my God exists or not, whether what I am experiencing is joy or sorrow. They go on carrying out their functions. They don’t think of tomorrow. They have no fear of the future. They don’t worry that the body may not act as a unit. The organs are only concerned with carrying out their duties without a flaw. Unless you observe it, you don’t know that the lungs are breathing in air and letting it out. I don’t know how the couscous, the lentils curry, the salad and the yogurt that I ate last night are digested in the stomach. I have no way of knowing.
Moorty gave me a multivitamin pill for the sore in my mouth. There is riboflavin in the pill, a chemical which can help heal the sore. How are such chemicals manufactured in the body? If not only the essential chemicals, but also metals and alloys are produced in this vast factory, is it a wonder or what? Where are all these substances transported? To the organs that need them. The insulin manufactured by the pancreas controls the level of sugar in the blood. It makes sure that the glucose in the blood which gives energy does not put a lot of pressure on the kidneys or exceed a limited level. If it exceeds that level, doesn’t the body have the wisdom to bring it back under control? Do I need to stuff medicines in it from outside? Isn’t that what we do in fact? Or would the organs be in ruins and give up helplessly?
The organs keep working on their own. If there is any problem anywhere, all the organs in the body collectively work together and make an effort as a machine and cooperate with each other unstintingly. If the effort is fruitful the body will continue for some more time. If it is not successful, the organs will collapse. The body will become lifeless. The mechanisms let go of their functions just as easily. Does this heart which has been beating for so many years have any attachment to the ‘I’? Does it have any vanity that it has been running this body? Does the brain have such vanity? If the blood stops flowing and the heart stops beating, what happens to the chemical processes which cause the electric transmissions that buzz in every corner of my brain?
Isn’t all this knowledge based on the knowledge which knows that I exist? How can I forget such an important existence? Why can’t I keep my mind on it? And why am I again standing apart from my mind and expecting it to focus? What is the nature of my existence? Is there any way that I can know myself? Why did I get the sense of separating myself from that existence, dividing myself into two, and trying to know it? How did I get such a sense? Why am I creating this division without being united with that existence?
Who told me that I am creating this division? Am I not separate from my body? But if I am, how am I separate? How do I know that I am separate? If I can’t solve this problem, what good is it to have many other things? The consciousness of ‘I’, the feeling that I exist – are all these mere words? Or do I truly know that I exist? I am just saying that I exist; but that ‘existence’ is just a sound. Do I know what it really means?But [when I ask that], that [asking] too is noise. I need knowledge to know that [I exist]. Based on that knowledge, I think I feel that I exist. The brain formulates these sounds into words and transfers them through the fingers of this hand to this paper. Then what truly is my existence? How do I know that I experience my existence?
Whatever I know are only words. These are all internal noises. I have learned to formulate these sounds as words and I give meaning to them. But the meanings too are indeed sounds. Everything is sound. All my questions are sounds. My thoughts are all sounds. My ideas are all sounds. Is my whole existence a mere sound? Is the ‘I’ a mere vibration? Here, just now I am using a new word, the English word ‘vibration’. What is the meaning of that word? Who knows? I think I understand that I know the meaning of all these sounds. Even that thinking is a sound. My whole existence is all a big sound wave. It constantly rings, whether I hear or not. It remains constant and without any support. If it does, then what is this form? How does the vibration change its forms? Am I thinking? Or is it just a verb in grammar? Do I really know what it is to think?
* * *
What I have written above, is it philosophy? Why do I start making such a hubbub from the time I wake up in the morning? My nostrils sensed the aroma of coffee. The taste buds in me have been getting anxious that I haven’t graced them with coffee yet. How long will the taste last on the tongue? If the very ‘existence’ which knows it is a mere sound, what else could coffee be other than sound? Even this debate is sound. What could knowing the taste, then, be? I believe they are all one.
I forget that the mountain top visible through the window is also sound. The peak attracts clouds. There are trees on the mountains behind the cover of clouds. The fog is getting less dense. After a while, the morning sun’s rays will lift the fog. Along with the peak, they also embrace all the living things. Although so much is happening, my existence, however, remains a mere vibration. Where is space and where is time for this vibration? Where is its location? There are vibrations being generated by the vibrations – ‘I’ ‘know’ wherever they spread. That’s what’s happening.
The yellow stand in the tennis courts across the street is drawing my attention. Doesn’t my consciousness change into that shape as soon as I look at it? The next moment [my attention goes on to] these letters on the paper, this book, and the next moment, to the very clear presence of coffee in the stomach. The coffee tastes good. I am spreading this way everywhere like a sound wave. If Suguna is also me, then my intercourse is also with myself? I am going crazy. Who is going crazy? ‘I’?
* * *
It’s 3 pm in the afternoon. It’s quite sunny outside. It rained all night last night. There was lightning and thunder shook the valley. By the morning you could see the clear skies. I could feel the cool breeze while I walked with Moorty. The sun was mild. All around, you could see thick green. Krim said it was a ‘picture postcard beauty’. Beauty just like the sharp print on the Swiss postcards spread out right before our eyes. The whole valley looked as though green carpets had been laid over the mountain slopes. Here the trees and bushes look so healthy and shiny. Not a single wilted leaf. The bushes are quite full. The trees and leaves look healthy and alive with vitality. Moorty observes that perhaps the magic is in the soil. You don’t even have to mention the flowers. Bunches and bunches of flowers everywhere, flowers of many colors. In the plants there are more flowers than leaves. They give you the illusion that the beams of the buildings are blossoming. And there are trees on the tops of the houses.
The men here look like milky-white dolls. They always look smiling and happy. Moorty says, “But no one is as rule-minded as these people. Normally, Germans are reputed to be rule-minded. The Swiss are more rule-minded than them.” According to the Swiss way, everything has to be done by rules. If they have formed a method or a rule, they will never break it. It’s in their blood. They will forgive anything but the breaking of a rule. Here we must act with the understanding that there are rules and regulations everywhere in this country. For example, everyone has to stand in line. If by mistake you move ahead of the person in front of you, they will frown at you.
On the whole, however, people here are friendly and business-minded. If they have too many rooms in their houses, they rent some of them. They look at everything through business eyes. They make a lot of money but they don’t necessarily enjoy it. It’s the law that every Swiss citizen undergoes army training for a couple of weeks every year. Some train here. There are training grounds on the banks of the Saanen River. You hear gunshots there. Every Swiss house has weapons and guns. But no one is more peace-loving and independence-loving than these people. There are separate laws for each individual canton. If two thousand people in any canton do not agree to a particular law, then the law has to be repealed; then they have to call for a referendum. On the issue of whether women should have the right to vote, women in Switzerland voted against the proposition. Laws of marriage and divorce differ from canton to canton. Parliament members in this country don’t have any powers. The president has only a two-year term.
Now I must end my writing in this book and start writing in a second one. From tomorrow I will start writing in the diary that Raja gave me in Hyderabad.
* * *
August 8, 1999 (Sunday)
Time 6 am. I finished one diary this year. Raja has given me this diary. He knows that I have a habit of keeping a journal. Guha has given me this pen the other day – a Pilot gel pen. It writes like a fountain pen.
There is a tiny hope somewhere in my interior that perhaps this writing might be of use to someone. “There is no such thing as a motiveless act,” says UG. He says that his own actions and behavior are not motiveless and that he acts at least temporarily with some intention. Is that true? If what he says is true then I must have a motive in writing this journal. If there is a question of its use – I feel alive when I am writing this; and I feel the satisfaction that my life is meaningful. As time passes, the things I have written surprise me and make me happy. I learn how many turns my mind has taken and how many guises it has put on. It’s hard to say if it is of any use to someone else. How could someone else care for the chatter I make?
I have another hope: perhaps the things I write about UG in this might be of interest to others. I have that motive too in writing this. Sometimes I think that no one else should read my writing. I attempt to bare myself in this writing. I feel shy and ashamed of revealing the ugly and base parts in myself. But once they spill out of my pen, I can’t take them back. How much dirt is there in my head! The more I clean it, the more it gathers. I am not sure that my mind is clean even for the time that I write. Yet I take up this writing because I can’t help it, because it calms my mind, and because when I turn these pages later on some old memories are revived and I am tickled by them. By the time this book is finished, a new age, a new century will surely dawn. Will my cherished desires be fulfilled before that time?
* * *
Hymn to Annapurna
Yesterday, I felt like reciting the ‘Eight-verse Hymn to Annapurna’ in UG’s presence. Guha who was sitting by me evoked the idea of the Goddess Annapurna in me by uttering unintentionally the words “bhikshan dehi”. “I feel like singing a hymn. Can I?” I asked UG. “Go ahead, as long as you are not singing about UG,” he replied. When I finished two verses and was about to start the third, I got very emotional. The Goddess Annapurna appeared before my closed eyes. My voice choked. Due to the intensity of emotion tears rolled down my eyes. I sobbed and cried. It took me ten minutes to calm down. I was happy that I was able to complete the recitation. I had such an experience two or three times before in UG’s presence. Normally I don’t cry. No matter how many hardships I go through I don’t shed tears. But when such emotions overwhelm me, crying aloud is not uncommon for me. Such things happened to me sometimes when I was alone.
Yesterday, referring to my crying UG said, “Emotions are the effects of strange chemical reactions in the body. There’s nothing more to them. In those moments, there is a danger of the eyes becoming too dry and going blind. There is nothing spiritual about those tears. There is no connection between those tears and the ‘Natural State’ I talk about.” I think that’s true. After I shed so many tears, I feel light as if a burden has been lifted off me. I too, like many others, used to consider that crying is a sign of weakness of mind. Even now I can’t stand people crying. I always wondered, “Why do these people cry?” But if on some occasions I can’t help crying, I can understand how helpless they are. Anyone can become emotional. I didn’t expect yesterday that emotion would overwhelm me; if I’d had any warning of it, I would have been careful. How suddenly it surged forth and inundated me like an ocean wave! That’s right, they were internal waves. I am not worried or concerned about them.
* * *
Auto-writing – Rajyalakshmi’s Story
Yesterday, in conversation with UG, there was a mention of automatic writing. I heard that someone, I can’t remember her name, came to see UG. She was an auto writer. That means that some force makes her write things and the writing is not under her control. What she writes depends on others and their desires. As usual UG had asked about his travels and money. Then the pen in her hand wrote some lines. Long lines were going upward on the paper and some short lines were going downward. They answered UG’s questions: his travels will increase. He will have enough money to spend but none to save. That’s how it has always been with UG.
In this context, I remembered UG’s cousin (his mother’s elder sister’s daughter) Rajyalakshmi. She is a couple of years older than UG. I think she and her family live in Machilipatnam now. In 1994, when UG went to Hyderabad, we all went to visit her in Maredpalli in Mr. K.G. Krishnamurti’s house. She was quite famous as an auto writer thirty years ago. Apparently, rishis and sages spoke through her writing. She answered people’s questions instantaneously. Rajyalakshmi didn’t know anything about those sages. Some wonderful things were revealed in that writing. All those great things rolled out onto the paper, she acting as a medium, without any volition on her part.
In the course of time, she acquired a coterie of disciples and her house became like an ashram. Her husband was a lawyer. But she became more famous than him. Once, when she prayed for guidance and the writing said, “You have now reached a certain stage. We can’t help you any more. Your cousin Gopala Krishnamurti has attained a great state. Go to him. No one else can help you.” She was stunned.
Later, when UG started visiting India, she came to Bangalore in 1973 to meet him. He was then in West Anjaneya Street. She bowed to him and said, “Krishna, I don’t know if I should address you as ‘cousin’ or as ‘my teacher.’” She had tears in her eyes. She was lean like a creeper and shone with a golden complexion. “She resembles my grandmother,” UG said. Then she told him about her auto writing. “I don’t know how I go into it, or why it comes to me; it’s as if some force is making me write. When I feel like writing, if I can’t find any paper readily, I fill the empty spaces in newspapers. I can’t help it. I have accumulated bundles of books of this writing. You probably know what makes me write, who those teachers are and why they are making me write. These teachers don’t let me live my family life quietly; instead they drag me into the public arena. When I begged them, ‘Please show me a path to spiritual realization,’ they asked me to go to you. You’re the only one to save me. I’ll do as you say. You’re my guru,” she said.
UG smiled faintly. We all anxiously awaited his reply. UG did not initiate her with any mantra. He didn’t give her any advice. He just heard whatever she had to say. “Why are you concerned with the writing? Don’t stop it. Don’t think about it. You just mind your own business. When you feel like writing, go ahead and write. But you are not involved. One day the writing will go away. Don’t get into starting an ashram. And don’t bother about sadhana,” he said. She stayed for a couple of hours, reminisced about their childhood and left. She didn’t start an ashram. After some time, her auto-writing stopped.
* * *
Afternoon 2:15 pm. After snoozing for ten minutes, I feel fresher. This morning Moorty, Krim and I went for our usual walk along the Saanen River from behind the Park Hotel. I like that path very much. On the one side of it are the pine trees which have grown tall and the sound of the river flowing on the other. While I was walking in the shade, I felt like I was in another world. The rain that had started last night had still been going on this morning, but at 8 am it cleared up. Now it’s quite warm. If I stay inside, it’s quite pleasant.
On our way back we saw an exhibition of paintings by a Tibetan artist. We ran into Anthony Nahas on the way. “How is UG?” he asked Moorty. “This morning he looked so fresh and bright, like a jasmine,” Moorty replied. Later, Robert Geismann came. He has been coming to see UG in Switzerland for the last 35 years. In the JK days, he used to record on tapes JK’s talks in the mornings and UG’s talks and conversations in the evenings. He gave some of those recordings to Paul Sempé, who re-recorded them on audio cassettes and sent me a copy. Among those tapes is also an interview with David Bohm. Apparently there are many other tapes.
* * *
August 8, 1999 (Monday)
Yesterday afternoon, while I was writing, Julie came upstairs and said UG was asking to see me. I closed the book and hurried downstairs into the living room. UG had some papers in his hands. Moorty, Guha, Krim and Julie were there. As soon as he saw me, he said, “Hey, Chandrasekhar, please come here; come and stand here,” as if I were a criminal being asked to stand before a judge. I was worried that perhaps I had committed a big crime of some sort. In his hand there were some pages from the photos site which Raj Mehta has just created. It looks like Julie has copied them from the Internet. “He has mentioned here all those who have helped him. Listen, I’ll read,” he started reading one name after another, laughed aloud after he read my name and smiled at me. Raj Mehta had made albums of UG’s photos, added the quotations I had sent him and set up a website. Everyone liked the site. Yesterday Moorty linked it to the main website. That means those who want to can go to Raj’s website directly from UG’s website and look at the photo albums. “I didn’t know till now that you were the one who selected those quotes. All these days I have been criticizing Raj for not picking the right quotes,” said UG.
* * *
Robert Geissmann’s wife died recently. Her name was Michelle. I can’t remember her face. I can’t tell unless I look at her photo. Sometime ago, Eddy called from London and asked me to tell UG that her condition was serious. I think UG was in Bangalore at that time. Later, she died of cancer. Eddy said that Robert was devastated and he would be comforted if he spent sometime with UG. UG is not accustomed to consoling people who lost their loved ones. As a matter of fact, consoling is not in UG’s dictionary.
Everyone knows that we can’t die along with people who have died. Everyone also knows that anyone who is born must die. However, when someone close to us passes away, it’s hard to bear the shock. No matter how experienced one is, how adept in worldly affairs one is, and how philosophical one is, it’s still natural to be upset. It’s sheer good fortune to be able to come to UG in those times. Without doing anything specific, he can create a wonderfully consoling atmosphere. He doesn’t have to say a word. It’s enough if he sits next to you. Whether he says something or not, waves of consolation rise high from his body and inundate us and comfort us. Such compassion! It’s not pity, it’s not sympathy and it’s not palliation. It’s merging with the sorrow that’s afflicting the other person. There is no separation in the merging. He has no thought that he is there separately. But the afflicted will feel that UG is sharing their sorrow without their knowing it. There is no need to talk to him. Usually he remains silent on such occasions.
Twenty years ago, in 1972, Mr. Thakur, the director of Deccan Herald, brought to see UG a lady who was a relative of his and who, having lost her husband suddenly, was upset with utter grief. She talked to UG about death. I don’t remember the details of the conversation. But I remember the mild smile on her face when she left. I don’t know how he was able to erase her pain. I mentioned this before [in my journals] when Pramila died. Now Robert is another instance. UG didn’t raise the subject [of the death of Robert’s wife] until Robert mentioned it. As he felt that UG was giving him support, Robert stayed there for an hour and a half.
Moorty mentioned Susan’s story on our walk. She is Larry’s lady friend. She had a handicapped son. He was an invalid and fought seizure for three years and finally died one day. She was shattered. Friends thought that she would never recover. UG was in Hemet, near Palm Springs, at that time. Susan spent a week with UG there. UG didn’t raise the topic of her son even once. He talked about everything else. Susan is an intelligent woman in her own right. She is a psychiatrist. But she didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until she had to face it. She said that because UG acted like that she felt a great relief. Did she know how the sorrow of the loss of her son was allayed?
* * *
Last night around 8 pm, UG came and sat in our apartment. Everyone else joined us – Julie, Lisa, Guha and Krim. The children were watching some video downstairs in UG’s living room. UG didn’t want to disturb them, so he came upstairs and sat with us. Moorty also came a little later. Denise had invited him last night for dinner. You can see Chalet Sunbeam from our apartment window. Julie told UG about this and was about to show him. “I don’t want to look at that. I am finished with that chalet,” said UG.
This house, Ludi Haus, is really more convenient in every way than Sunbeam. Mrs. Miedler Ludi is the owner of the house. She told UG that if he comes every summer, she wouldn’t bother to rent it to anyone else. It would be nice if he rents this house from now on. Besides, UG’s apartment is spacious. There is a big balcony. There is enough space for any number of visitors in the living room. Besides, they built conveniently four or five apartments and studio rooms in this building. We are on the third floor. There are also rooms on this floor.
The children came upstairs around 10 pm after finishing watching their video. UG closed the meeting and went downstairs.
Guha and Lakshmi are not yet American citizens. They have a ‘green card’. UG insists that as the children were born in the US they must grow up there. Both the children are very intelligent. UG says, “They are my only hope. They alone can save the US from going to hell.” He says that the US must be leveled and China must thrive. “Who gave America the right to boss over the rest of the world? That bossiness must go,” says UG.
The mountain peak is covered with a blanket of thick clouds. Maybe we are not going to see the sun today. Last night it rained for a long time. Tomorrow Moorty is leaving. It’s his last day here. If he leaves, I won’t have a walking companion anymore. He and I have gone around a lot and have talked about many things. We became closer to each other. He gave me B12 pills for my mouth sores. In a couple of days they were significantly better, although they didn’t go away completely.
* * *
The four of us were talking about UG, sitting in the front of the Rialto Restaurant. Anthony and Krim were sipping coffee and I was drinking milk. Moorty was drinking beer. We were debating about if there are any easy ways of understanding UG’s teaching. Moorty was trying to show us how you could break the vicious circle by using the principle that “Conditioning is a pleasure movement and there is no end to conditioning,” and thus find the trick; and he told us how he could extract this principle from UG. “UG does not make things easy for you. He doesn’t explain things. You must do your homework. You must think and investigate; you must break your head,” says Moorty. “But, if you think you understood, and if you break the logic in his words and feel like you have opened a door, you will notice a hundred other closed doors mocking at you. It’s useless to think. Arguments and intellectual feats are of no use. All those attempts must stop instantly. Not that you must stop. Stopping itself is an effort. They must stop by themselves. That’s total surrender. That the state of ‘Only you are the refuge and nothing else.’ UG is in such a state constantly. It’s not surrendering to a force outside of you. It’s a state of surrender,” he says.
“You stop at every moment. In the stopping the search for pleasure disappears, stopping at every moment.” Then how could you continue? “You turn in any direction; there won’t be any shadows of the past. I feel that stopping, staying in any moment without expecting or desiring anything is what UG is teaching. You cannot achieve this through effort. It’s not in our hands. But you can’t just sit there twiddling your thumbs either. There must be effort. There must be yearning in the heart. The yearning must stifle you without letting you rest even for a moment. Then it must dry up.”
I am writing all this down, not that I have really understood what Moorty has said. I feel as if Moorty is hopping and jumping in front of UG. In his essays he had given many clues to help understand UG. But how helpful are they? They just lead to an illusion that one has understood UG. Finally we must go beyond all those. It’s not good enough to write commentaries on UG’s statements. We will be in a state like the one described in the Telugu proverb: “Words go far beyond the castle, but the foot doesn’t step out of the door.” We can only roam about in the castles of air, floating in the worlds of imagination. The truth in UG’s words is right in front of the threshold mixed with the dust. We can never understand it.
* * *
August 12, 1999 (Thursday)
Zurich – Hitl Restaurant
It’s strange even to my mind that I haven’t kept the journal for two days (10th and 11th) in this week. We went to Zurich on Tuesday (10th). We started out early in the morning in Julie’s car. She rented a big Volkswagen station wagon this time. In the trunk in the back she placed some soft cushions for the children. Five adults can sit in the seats. The day before yesterday, Guha did all the driving. The rain didn’t stop even when we were about to leave. UG says that it has been raining all over Europe. “Nature is angry because Moorty is leaving,” Guha said poetically. The rain cleared by the time we arrived in Zurich at 10 am. By the time we helped Moorty with the baggage checking in, said goodbye to him and got out into the town, the sun had pulled aside the cloud blankets and peeked out. We ate our lunch at the Hitl Restaurant at 11:30 am. UG and Suguna ate just tomato soup and bread. We two ate vegetable pilaf. This restaurant opened in 1898; last year, they celebrated their centenary. From there we walked around in the town for a little while and browsed in the shops.
Everything is expensive. Even a calendar costs 25 francs. That means 750 rupees. It’s a shocker. The amount may seem small. But it’s 30 times more in rupees. ‘You must go to America if you want to shop,’ says UG. He says it’s cheaper to travel to New York, shop and return than buying things in Europe. Apparently, even the rich go to the US for shopping. Then I don’t know who buys all these expensive things here. The supermarkets here are not like in the US. You won’t find goods manufactured in Asia or China. Everything is Swiss made. That’s why things are so expensive.
We left Zurich for Berne at 1:00 pm in the afternoon. I felt that Berne has grown much bigger in all these years. It has been 10 years since I was in Berne before. We didn’t see the Parliament House but went on the main streets. We saw the Bahnhof. They are building some new structures in front of it.
We were taken to an Indian market. There we bought all the supplies we needed – rice, legumes, oil etc. We left at 3 pm. It was 4:30 p.m. by the time we arrived in Gstaad by way of Zweisimmen. It’s a mountainous route. The road is curved. But you can’t describe in words the natural beauty: wherever you look you see green meadows, mountain slopes decorated by wooden buildings, mountains, streams and green trees – endless beauty.
* * *
About Krim Again
Our returning to Gstaad synchronized with and Mittu and Prasant getting off the train in Gstaad. We brought them home from the station. Their plan is to leave tomorrow after spending the night in Gstaad. Prasant is working as a programmer in Stuttgart in the Mico Bosch Company. I was glad to see Mittu. In the afternoon, we took them both in Julie’s car and showed them UG’s ‘bench’, Chalet Pfynegg and Chalet Sunbeam and returned to the main street. They were very happy to see Gstaad. Prasant is a nice young man. We chatted with Anthony for an hour at the Rialto. After dinner, we arranged our room for them and we both slept in UG’s living room on the bed on which Moorty had been sleeping before. The living room looks bare after Moorty has left. Julie, Lisa, Guha, the children and UG remain.
Krim has been eating with us everyday, twice a day. While poking at him by saying, “He eats like a pig, a hog and a swine put together,” UG stuffs him with more food. “He came to see me when he was 16 years old. I have known him for 25 years. I used to call him a ‘walking garbage can’. In Mill Valley I used to make him clean up all the leftovers. Valentine would come to his defense when I scolded him using words like ‘garbage’.”
UG must have someone around to tease and make fun of. He has Krim – Karimulla – for a week. He teases him: “Confess that you are a CIA agent. I know. Yours is a family of agents. If not, why did you go to Russia twice? What business do you have there?” Krim is not offended by UG’s teasing. However, he hasn’t yet recovered from the confusion of whether UG is just teasing him or is serious when he accuses him of being a CIA agent. Apparently, his uncle is a well-known spy and escaped from Russia with some important secret information. His father was a US government official.
Krim’s background is interesting. He was born in Germany. He spent some time in Switzerland. He went to school in England. And he worked in the US. Before that he apparently worked at a small job in Zurich, in the chain store called ‘Migros’. He lived in Turkey for a little while. Currently he lives with his parents in Virginia. His relationship has turned into a noose around his neck. He is hoping that he will have better luck in the future. In his palm there is a big ‘island’ in his fate line. Fourteen years of his life were trapped in it. However, Krim performed a great deed: he took pictures of UG and Valentine from the year 1981. There is no count of how many hundreds of dollars he threw away doing that. He took some great pictures of UG in those days. Raj Mehta put them up now on the Internet along with the excerpts of UG’s sayings that I had picked for that purpose. Krim is the best among UG’s photographers; Arhat is next. I don’t know how Arhat is in Bombay or what he is doing there. Besides these, Leboyer and Scott also have taken some nice pictures.
* * *
Yesterday it was Wednesday, the 11th – there was an eclipse of the sun. There was a big hubbub in Europe, especially in Stuttgart. For the last ten days, newspapers and TV have been announcing in a big way that it would be possible to see the total eclipse of the sun in Stuttgart. Many different sorts of beliefs and fears have been surfacing such as that this is the last solar eclipse of the century; that Nostradamus predicted in his almanac that the world will be destroyed because of this eclipse; and that that day will bring harm to everyone in the world. It’s a big celebration for everyone. Some hundreds of thousands of people gathered in all the cities where the eclipse could be observed. There was a lot of noise on TV all day yesterday.
After all this, by the time the eclipse happened the sky had become overcast and there was rain. All those who stood with their umbrellas in the rain expecting that something would happen or that the skies would fall apart were disappointed. The eclipse occurred at 12:30 pm. At that moment, there was no show to see on except what was on TV. “What’s the big deal? Why have they been fussing all these days about the eclipse? What will you know about what happens there thousands of miles away?” asks UG. In India they would be performing fasting, worships in temples, propitiations, and so on, without end.
Never mind the sun eclipse; UG for his part created a big havoc last night in our room. We all gathered for our supper around 8:30. Mittu and Prasant were present. All the food dishes were placed on the table. UG doesn’t like people eating in groups like that. He has been warning us since the day before yesterday that we should all eat in our own apartments and not eat communally. Since Moorty has left, there is no one to cook for UG. UG said he would join us. He got furious when he saw a crowd there. All that anger flowed like lava from a volcano eruption on to Julie. He drove Julie away saying, “Get out of this place; go and eat somewhere else.” He banged on everyone saying, “How many times did I tell you that there must be no eating like in an ashram? If you eat so many kinds of foods, your poop and urine will become more expensive! You will gain nothing more than that!” Julie left without saying a word. Sumedha went after her to console her. We all stood still like statues for a little while. No one was able to move for some time. Then we somehow finished our meal.
* * *
August 13, 1999 (Friday)
Morning 6 am. Although I got up late, I still feel very drowsy.
From the window I could see the fog, and appearing in it, the tennis court, the wooden houses behind it, the train track above them, and a thick growth of pine trees behind the track. Above all this, a whole section of the mountain was drowned in white clouds.
Almost all yesterday it rained. In the evening, around 8 pm., Suguna and I went out to phone Archana. It was very cold outside. Inside it is warm. They insert thick insulation between the wooden walls in these houses. That prevents the cold from outside being felt inside the houses. There is heating in every individual room. It gets to below zero degrees here in the winter. And it snows. I must come here once in wintertime. Unless we wear thick clothing, we wouldn’t be able to bear the cold outside. An insect is hovering around the lamp and making a bee-like drone sound.
Yesterday, Krim and I went on foot for the first time to see UG’s old house and bench in Saanen. It may be a bit more than two or three kilometers from here. All these times I have gone there by car, but not by myself. The bench is in ruins. Chips of wood have fallen off of it onto the ground. We saved all those chips in Krim’s bag. It’s on that bench 32 years ago that the ‘Earthquake’ had happened to UG. If we sit on it, a vast expanse of nature spreading its beauty is unveiled before us. According to the Telugu calendar, UG’s 49th birthday occurred that year, in 1967, on August 13, the first day of the month of Ashadha. Today’s date is that date.
I narrated to Karimulla, like a story, all the details of the events surrounding the ‘Calamity’ that had happened that day. I was surprised to learn that he didn’t know about UG and the details surrounding the Calamity, although he has been seeing UG for 25 years. The name of the chalet UG had lived in before is ‘Pfynegg’. That is the chalet behind the bench. I showed it to Krim. From there we walked along the trail on the mountain back to Gstaad. UG didn’t know that we had brought back chips of wood from the bench.
* * *
Everyone is coming for UG’s talks in the afternoon. About ten people came including Nataraj, Mitra, three Italians and a Mexican woman called Prabha. Henk and his friend come every day. UG asked Henk to postpone his journey for some days. He gave him 700 francs yesterday. He can stay here for three more weeks with that money. Karimulla is also postponing his journey till the 20th. We have less than three weeks time left here. I am beginning to feel that the days are rolling fast. Lakshmi is returning in exactly one week. Then, on the 24th, their whole family will leave. It will be pretty quiet here when the children leave. They both have gotten close to Suguna. Sumedha doesn’t eat unless Suguna prepares and gives her food. Suguna takes good care of them. I thought what she cooked yesterday was quite tasty. She cooked the spaghetti well. She also makes good lentils soup and yogurt rice. Karimulla ate with us last night; he ate with Julie in the afternoon. Lisa and Julie are cooking separately. After UG’s banging the other day, people have stopped eating together. UG’s word is our command.
* * *
There was a discussion last night as to whether the link to Raj Mehta’s website “Essential UG” should be on the top of the webpage created by Moorty. Each may express his or her opinion, but UG has the final say. Only in name Moorty’s decision is above UG’s, but he will never oppose UG’s decision. Raj Mehta was upset that the link for his website was put in at the bottom of the main website’s homepage. UG made sure that even that link was removed completely. I read Raj’s e-mail to Julie. I too didn’t like it. I felt like that he was forming a misunderstanding of Moorty. What say does he have in this matter? That’s why UG took such drastic action against Raj.
* * *
UG’s Euphoria – Internet Links
August 14, 1999 (Saturday)
Morning 6:10 am. I had a disturbed sleep just before I woke up. Some dreams! I was woken up at 3:30 am. Again at 5 am I heard the sound of the alarm. But I still lay there lazily. For some reason my enthusiasm is down. I don’t have the same enthusiasm in writing this journal as I had before. Some fear has been creeping in from some corner.
What terrific energy there is in UG! What a flood of enthusiasm! Yesterday he held the files of the Internet links prepared by Lisa in his lap and read each page aloud. “There are 21,023 links to my home page. They are including me in so many fields. They have listed ‘UG Krishnamurti’ on the California tourist page! In the middle of the writing about Indian dances, women’s ornaments, and beauty shops they mention ‘UG Krishnamurti’! Speaking of the greatest scientists, intellectuals and thinkers of the 20th century, they mention UG Krishnamurti’s name! You won’t find a single place where Jiddu Krishnamurti is mentioned. They forgot about him completely. Good thing! I am very proud. J. Krishnamurti’s name is obliterated after so many years. They included my name in so many thousands of links without any advertisement or institutions. They don’t know in what mold or framework they should fit UG in. That’s why they are including me in all the branches of knowledge from philosophy to science. Something very good is happening. Lisa, you have done a great service in preparing all this patiently. I don’t know how to thank you.” With such jubilance of a child, he has been holding all those files sitting in the sofa and going on for a whole week.
It’s funny when he announces to everyone who comes, “There is not even a mention of J. Krishnamurti; there’s no mention of him in thousands of pages; he deserves it!” Sometimes you wonder: Why such jubilance in an 80 year-old man that his name is spreading all over the world? What does he care about what the world thinks about him? Where does he get such enthusiasm? Then, the next moment, he sits back as if he doesn’t care and it doesn’t concern him. Why such jubilance in a man who lives as if he is ready to exit this world the next moment? Where does he get such enthusiasm and joy? Do I wonder about that because such enthusiasm and joy are getting scarce in me day by day?
* * *
UG and Julie
Then he starts cursing Julie. He constantly points to her that she hasn’t prepared the files as Lisa has done, pulling all those pages of links from the computer. “You are useless; you can’t do anything. You are dull-headed and mean. You head is full of clay. How did you get work for Time Magazine? How could they hire you? Tell me the truth: how many people did you sleep with to get that job?”
She is able to bear all these insults, curses, scolding, and ridicule. No matter how much he scolds her, how much he insults her by calling her a ‘bitch’, by sending her away in rage, she endures it all like the mother earth. Why? Is she so much attached to UG? How has she become so attached to him? Someone else wouldn’t have tolerated even one percent of the foul language UG uses on her. Even the greatest devotee would have run away. On top of it, he makes her spend a lot of money. He makes her give money to whomever he likes. If by mistake she leaves her purse with people and forgets it, he hides the purse and collects a penalty from her for forgetting it. The money he collects that way he gives away right in front of everyone to some children or someone else. He is as generous in giving money away as he is tough in collecting it.
But why does he frown on Julie so much? What sin has she committed? He can’t stand it if she sits in front of him on a sofa. He says, “Don’t sit in front of me. Get up and leave,” and spurns her. But Julie bears all this spurning with a smile. UG’s mistreatment of her has been getting worse all these ten years. On the other hand, her sense of service and her devotion to him have been increasing hour by hour. Day and night there is nothing else in her world except UG. She doesn’t care about her children or their future; she doesn’t care about her mother who is close to death. She doesn’t care about the affairs of the world or about friends. I only read this verse from Bhagavatam which says, “This son of the enemy of the gods was so constantly devoted to the pair of lotus-like feet of Sri Hari that he forgot this world.” But in reality it’s only in Julie that I could see such total devotion and dedication. No one else has them.
But you don’t see in UG that filial affection for the devotee or compassionate regard of Narayana. He shows compassion to everyone else. He entertains all those who come to him, answers their questions, satisfies their needs and sends them away. But with Julie, he says, “If I am tolerating you, if I am letting you stay here without driving you out, it’s only for the children and this couple. If this couple (pointing to us both) were not here, I wouldn’t have the slightest need for you or your computer. You think that I will miss him and suffer if I don’t see Moorty again in my life? You think I need all these things he does for me on the computer? I don’t need anyone. I don’t lose a thing if all those links to the homepage are destroyed,” banging her. That’s how it is, the true attitude of this merciful man toward Julie.
* * *
Time: 3:15 in the afternoon. There is still 45 minutes time before everyone assembles in the living room downstairs. For some reason, I’m a little depressed today. It’s foggy in my head. I feel that I am my own enemy. I detest this body of mine. I don’t feel like sitting in UG’s presence. I feel as if I’ve lost something, as if I am wasting my time. What can I do? I can’t sleep; and I can’t sit idle. I must do something; but what? Everything seems meaningless and empty. Living itself seems unbearable. Who are all these people? What do I have to do with them? Why am I here? Who is this UG? Who is Julie? Who is Guha? Who am I? Why am I here? Why did I get trapped here?
... I pick up something to read; but I am not interested. The weather is pleasant outside, but the miserable polenta which Mario has cooked yesterday mixing it with cheese is upsetting my stomach. How did UG like it? I ate a piece even though I didn’t like it. I have never eaten worse food before.
To add to this, all kinds of thoughts have been cooking in my mind. Who is the root cause of all this? UG. I am very angry at UG. Why? I am furious that all these people are praising UG and his dress. Why? What did UG do? Is it that he caused such a confusion in me? Is it that he is turning me into a crazy man? Who is responsible? Am I? Where am I? Am I in this writing? In this thought?
I read the paper Henk gave me. It felt like someone put a chili up my ass. If that ‘gentleman’ is in front of me, I would knock his teeth out! Why does he talk like that? As a matter of fact, it’s those who listen to such things that don’t have sense. Does the writer have it? Mario’s miserable food is upsetting my stomach. Do I need to calm down? I can’t stay alone. And I can’t mix with people.
What do I want? Last evening, UG asked everyone the same question: “What do you want?” ... Knowledge? Calmness? Peace of mind? Happiness? What do you want? How do I know what I want? If I haven’t known about it beforehand, how do I know that I don’t have it? Do I want to be like UG? How do I know how UG is? Can I see inside myself? How about this body?
Who is this person called Chandrasekhar? Am I the husband of Suguna? Do I have children? What was I before that? I am the son of so and so? Who was I before then? A baby in the cradle? Before that? I was an embryo in a womb. What was I before I was that embryo? Whence did I come? If I don’t have this memory, the memory that I am such and such or that I am this way; if I don’t have the memory that my mind is unhappy; if I don’t have any of these, then who am I?
I am writing and I am thinking. There is memory behind my thought. Who? What’s the connection? If the memory that got trapped in this body is the ‘me’, then how would I know that memory? The awareness that I am, the awareness that I am breathing, sitting, writing – whence this awareness? Whence is the awareness which reads this writing and understands it? Whose awareness is it? How about the memory that thinks of events that will happen in future and worries about them?
I can’t let it go. I can’t stop. I can’t throw it all into the wind. The memory of UG is [like a] hearth on my heart. My memory. Can I ever forget myself? My memories are my burden. I can’t breathe. Old memories and the things that were supposed to happen (but didn’t) – all get mixed together and become my burden.
Everyone will gather downstairs in a crowd. UG’s meeting. And they talk. I will listen? I will listen? Who am I?
* * *
August 15, 1999 (Sunday)
Morning 6 am. It’s three weeks since I have left home to travel to this land. We will have a new apartment starting tomorrow. UG decided that Julie should vacate her room and move to this room. He doesn’t want her to stay close to him. Lisa and Mario are leaving for Germany today. They are returning on the 24th. We two will put up in the apartment of Julie and Lisa. There is a separate room for Aruna and Venkat in that apartment. On the 24th, Julie and Guha and his family will all go back to the US. Then Lisa and Mario will stay in Julie’s room; and if Mr. Raju comes he will stay in Guha’s room. That’s the arrangement.
The landlady Meddler Ludi is not only arrogant but also thirsty for money. Everyday she brings a complaint. She raised a big complaint the other day that someone was drying clothes on the balcony. Because of dampness from the rain the clothes hanging indoors didn’t dry. The electric drier was not working. So, Lisa and Suguna tied a wire across the balcony and hung some clothes on it. The landlady was upset. “This is Switzerland. No one dries their clothes on the balcony. Those who see it will object,” she told Julie.
Then came another big complaint, namely, that we are not closing the apartment doors but are leaving them open. “In this country everyone must close the doors. We must close the doors whether we stay in the apartment or go out. It’s bad manners to keep the doors open,” she instructed Julie to tell us. The day before yesterday, when we were returning in the evening from our walk, she unlocked the front door for us and repeatedly asked us, “You weren’t the ones who left without locking the door, were you? Were you?” “From now on, if anyone leaves without locking the door, I will call the police,” she said arrogantly. I got so angry that I thought of knocking her teeth out.
UG, who has been watching her behavior off and on, is also angry with her. He asked Nataraj to talk to her in German and tell her that if she continues to behave in this manner we will have to look for another place for the next year. Julie pays the rent for the rooms promptly. But these white folks here look down upon Indians. They are proud of their wealth. They think that India is a poor country and that Indians are poor. Even UG refers to himself as a ‘poor Indian’, but who can compare with him? If a billionaire like Bill Gates comes to see him, then the judgments of these stupid people would turn topsy-turvy. It all has to do with the magic of money.
* * *
Gottfried and Bodil
Gottfried and Bodil were teacher and pupil. The teacher fell in love with the pupil while his wife was sick. Their friendship turned into love and they came close to marrying. His wife was bedridden with cancer. Because she was his wife, the government was paying for her medical expenses. Gottfried decided against marrying Bodil, because if he divorced his wife, the wife would have lost that benefit. He thought that his wife should spend her last days comfortably. She died after some time. He took her ashes to the top of a mountain and scattered them in the waters there.
It’s strange that Bodil didn’t want to marry him after that. UG said that she had a passing relationship with a Christian priest. She would have had to become a German citizen if she had married Gottfried. She objected to that. She hated Hitler. She is Swedish. She doesn’t want to be considered a German citizen.
UG advises her to marry him because she would get a good pension after Gottfried dies, and then she could live securely till the end of her life. “How are you going to get any money after Gottfried dies? Marry him. What do you care if he is German or French? Money is more important,” he has been putting pressure on her for many years.
Lisa and Mario – II
Lisa and Mario is another unmarried young couple. They have been eager to get married and stay together. But UG has not been allowing it to happen. “He is a coolie; he works as a handyman. He is no match to you. You must find a rich man, a fat cat,” he tells Lisa. She works in the Givenchy Spa and Hotel in Palm Springs, California, as a masseuse. He has given her much encouragement in Palm Springs and straightened out her life there. These two once belonged to the coterie of Rajneesh’s disciples.
After Rajneesh died, all his disciples had no one to look up to; they were unable to find livelihoods and their lives went on a decline. UG had the burden of reforming many of them and helping them stand on their own legs. Nataraj makes his money by doing astrological readings. He deposited money in our finance company through UG.
UG has been preventing Lisa and Mario from marrying. They didn’t want to go against his decision. “Why are you so attached to him? How good a fuck is he?” UG asks her rather crudely. Apparently she replied that once she had spent the night with a boy from a gas station and no one had ever matched him in fucking.
* * *
Sabyasachi Guha’s Life
August 16, 1999 (Monday)
Yesterday morning, after eating my oatmeal, we vacated our room and moved our things to the ‘F’ apartment next to UG’s room. It took an hour and a half. Suguna and I moved to the room where Lisa and Mario had been. Every day, Guha and I eat oatmeal in my room for breakfast in the morning. At those times, Guha talks about the lives of Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Tagore. The day before yesterday, he and I went for a walk under the shade of the trees along the Saanen River. Guha related his story.
He has been going through a lot of bodily changes. I don’t normally hear of such things happening. Even in UG’s case, I only have heard him talk about those things. I don’t remember everything, as I am becoming increasingly forgetful. Sometimes I am forgetting my own affairs. I feel like recording here what Guha has told me. I feel like writing concisely whatever I have heard from Guha in different ways, not just in one day or on one occasion, but in all these ten days, starting from that morning of our oatmeal breakfast time to the time when we got back to our rooms in the nights after seeing UG.
Guha comes from Calcutta. His father was a well-known doctor who was reputed to be a good healer. Guha had a huge family. When his father died suddenly, the responsibility of his family fell on him. I think he still has four younger brothers and three sisters; I can’t remember clearly. Ever since his childhood, he has been spiritually inclined. I don’t know how. Just like in my case, it must have been in his blood, or it’s the influence of the planets. Such a disposition is surely not the result of one’s own effort. It’s not something that one tries and learns through effort. Guha used to go to Dakshineshwar. He is thoroughly familiar with all the places where Sri Ramakrishna spent his time. “I used to be so sorry that I didn’t have the opportunity to meet such a great man.”
While talking to Guha, I recalled the days when I used to cry that I wasn’t born when Sri Ramakrishna was still alive. It’s not clear how Guha got involved with the Naxalites. In those days many students came under the influence of that movement. Guha’s life took an important turn in 1981 when he joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. By then he finished his B.Sc. He was selected to do research for an M.Sc. He got acquainted with Lakshmi when he was in college. Love landed him in marriage. Everything was fine until then. I can’t remember whether the marriage took place after he came to Bangalore or before – probably while he was doing his research or when he was working after he finished his research.
Lakshmi apparently taught in St. Joseph’s College for some time. She came first to America to Rutgers University. Then she helped Guha come to the US and become a research scholar in Rutgers. It has been more than 15 years since they have settled down in New Jersey. Both their children were born there. Later, Lakshmi quit her job to take care of their children. How did they get acquainted with the Ramachandra Mission? It happened soon after they started living in the US. I can’t remember clearly. There was some pressure building from inside. Maybe it was the spiritual disposition that lay hidden in him unbeknown to him. After some days, he experienced a great promise when he started sadhana and meditation according to their instructions. He got immersed in intense sadhana. Meanwhile, there was the influence of J. Krishnamurti. I can’t remember which came first and which later. It’s all mixed up in my head.
Whatever it was, in 1995, Guha read UG’s webpage on the Internet, and that was another important encounter that shook his life and made it turn a corner. UG’s book Mind is a Myth blasted his mind. He started an e-mail correspondence with Moorty. Later he saw UG in Julie’s apartment in New York. Ever since then, whenever he is with UG, Guha is in another world. Later, he went to Palm Springs and spent two weeks with him.
Recently, that is, a couple of years ago, strange changes occurred in Guha’s body. Apparently he felt that his skin was burning on the right side of his heart, exactly above the navel, at the alimentary canal. He suffered for 21 days after the burning had started. Before it happened, his guru Parthasaradhi came to New York and called him on the phone from the hotel. By that time, Guha had severed his connections completely with the Ramachandra Mission. Before, his friends with the Mission thought that Guha was attaining a high state spiritually. His guru was giving him confidence and support. After he became acquainted with UG all these lies burned away.
(The narrative about Guha is not coming through freely. Something is obstructing its flow. The things he has told me are not coming in a connected way. I laugh at my own state. I wanted to write it down so I wouldn’t forget; but even in these four or five days I have forgotten the details. I can see through the window the rays of the dawn behind the mountain. Today too the sky appears to be clear. Still there is rain.)
Why do I feel like writing this great story? I know that UG knows what’s happening to him. Guha told UG about it. UG is constantly watching over him with a thousand eyes. He doesn’t let him go for a walk. He tells him what to eat and with whom he should eat. I feel that UG will certainly go from here to New York and I think he will spend a lot of time with Guha. Guha needs him very much right now. It’s hard to figure out what’s happening in him.
Yesterday evening, Denise invited us two, Sugana and me, and the children for dinner. I think UG asked Guha not to go. I ate falafel. It’s causing some disturbance in my stomach.
I can’t remember whether the date yesterday was the Naga Caviti or Naga Pancami. Last evening, I narrated to everyone the manner in which the yoga called ‘Brahmanaspati’ yoga had happened to UG. I told them of the experience UG had about the cobra on the Maha Sivaratri day and my dream about it. I felt very happy. Everyone who heard it enjoyed it. While we were dining in the Christiania Restaurant, I met Volker with his friends. He said, “I had a feeling that I would certainly meet you this time. When I asked him to go see UG, he said, “If he wants to see me, invite him to come to my home. I’ll be happy.” His outlook has not yet changed. Has mine changed? Except in regard to worldly affairs, has anything changed in me?
* * *
About Volker – My meeting with him
Afternoon 3:30 pm. It’s been raining without a break since morning. Mitra took me in his car around 10 am to Volker’s place. Earlier, as I had sat in UG’s presence and was wondering about how I should go to see Volker, Mitra offered to take me to his place. I asked UG if I should bring Volker back if he wanted to come. “I have no hostility toward him; even if you invite him to your apartment for dinner I have no objection,” he said laughing. I knew that. Things went wrong between them ten years ago in Bangalore. Since then Volker has never stepped in UG’s place. After I talked to Volker I learned that he also has no hostility toward UG. “UG is always welcome whenever he wants to come to our home.” “He came here before many times. I used to celebrate Valentine’s birthday every year in this house. They both used to come,” he said. He was very happy to hear that I have been running a school in Valentine’s name.
The wooden building he lives in is 400 years old. He has been living there for twenty years. A German lady called Anusati and another German young lady called Nutan are living with him. He says they are ‘bursts of energy’. When Mitra and I got there, he was making an omelet-like pancake. He served me coffee, cookies, pieces of bread and butter mixed with honey. There was nice music in the background. We talked for a long time. They both heard with interest the details of Aruna’s wedding. He will come to ‘Ludi Haus’ again on the 27th. If possible, he will see both Aruna and Venkat. But they both must be free to see Volker.
Meanwhile, Henk came in. Volker brought me back here around 12:30 pm in his car. I wanted to talk to him about a lot more things – about what he is doing and how he is making his living. I don’t know anything about it. But the earlier mischief and excitability in him are gone. He has calmed down, maybe due to his aging. I notice a certain peacefulness in him. I don’t see his earlier aggressiveness. But he has the same beard and same long hair. He spends four or five months a year in Gstaad. The rest of the year he spends in Germany. I sang “Bhavani...dayani...”. Then we sat silently without talking. There is some strange attraction between him and Anusati. She is his companion in every way. I see the characteristics of a housewife in her. I notice certain contentment in both of them. What is he expecting from his life? Has he been able to get what he wanted? How far has he traveled in these 25 years?
* * *
Guha’s Life – II
The teacher of Sahaja Marg, Ramachandraji, put Guha on the spiritual path. Guha used to read JK before then. He read all his books and heard his tapes. Once JK appeared in his dream and said with his hand under the cheek, “I haven’t been able to help you. There is nothing I can do for you.” Since then Guha started searching for another living guru. He got involved in the Sahaja Marg of Parthasaradhi Rajagopal, a disciple of Ramachandra. That institution was everything for Guha till he met UG. He roamed all over India visiting all the branches of that institution. After UG came into his life through the Internet, the people in the Marg attempted to stop him. Its followers and his old gurus tried to entice him in various ways and turn him back to their side. They threatened him saying, “If you leave, then we will have to explain to the Chief Guru. Many others who have left before have tried to come back, repenting. The doors will be closed to you.” Guhaji adamantly refused. He wiped it all out of his mind. Now he is totally under UG’s spell.
* * *
UG’s Initial Meetings with Others:
A disciple of Ramachandra, a Frenchman named Anthra Poray, met UG in 1967 and invited him to his house in Marseilles. He also invited Gottfried at the same time. That’s how UG and Gottfried had met.
In Bombay Maurice Friedman invited UG to his house. He also invited Nisargadatta. That’s how those two had met. Friedman said that his wife or daughter was sick and she was eager to see him. When UG actually arrived there he ran into Nisargadatta. That day Dr. Leboyer was also there. Leboyer then got hooked to UG. He took many different kinds of photos of UG.
Punjaji came to see UG the first time in Bombay. Apparently Subba Rao, the manager of a coffee estate, told him to meet UG. Punjaji asked UG to introduce him to some of his friends in the US. UG replied saying that he had severed his connections with that country long ago. Punjaji met UG again in Gstaad. Later on, when he was circulating as a guru, he started telling people that UG had come to him asking if he, Poonja, had any connections in America!! That’s how things are!
August 17, 1999 (Tuesday)
I woke up late. My early morning dreams were heavier than daydreams. There were noises of me talking to myself incessantly. “Even though you don’t talk, your vocal chords are still active because you are talking to yourself. Your existence is nothing but sound,” UG said yesterday. I am writing thinking it is silent all around. But I can’t write this without telling myself so. “If you can sign your name without telling yourself your name, I will take that check,” UG challenged a Chinese man and opened his eyes. I can’t sign my name without telling myself my name. Then what can I do? It’s my delusion to think that my hand is writing without my involvement and that this writing is taking shape without any connection to me. Only when I spell out each word in myself can this hand write it. Where is this ‘speaking stone’? Whatever I am writing, someone is spelling out each word of it within myself. “That is you,” says UG.
It’s the same in dreams. There is no difference between waking and dreaming. When a person is awake, that ‘I’ is shouting out loud. He recognizes everything he sees and makes loud noises within himself whether or not he says words aloud. He listens to the sound of the train on the rails and recognizes: “it’s a train.” Those train sounds can only be heard from outside. I don’t have the idea that the train is running in my chest. When I write, I can hear the sounds of these words as if spoken aloud. Is the ‘I’ nothing but these sounds?
This whole sentence is echoing, just as I can hear the same words that I speak into a telephone echoed back to me. All the thoughts that I think – every word of them – are sounding aloud within me. They are appearing on this paper. How is my hand able to write them? The sounds in my head are taking the shape of letters and making my pen move by jumping through the collection of nerves at the tip of my fingers. What a strange thing! How is this happening? My visual perception is also the same. Am I seeing everything that I think I see first only within myself? That’s because all the images that fall on the retina the brain translates as things existing outside. Do they really exist outside?
Is my body ‘outside’? Is the face I look at in the mirror mine? Where is the outside? How can the reflection in the mirror be myself? Is my essence inside me? This graying hair, this wrinkled face – are these mine? What am I? In all these things – the hand, the leg, the chest, and the head – which one is ‘I’? If all of them together constitute a single form, how come I can’t see all of them at once? When I focus on something and stop looking around, only then I can see that thing.
This is all confusing. The things that I thought I had known all these years are confusing to me now. What is it that I can know now? This is all a lie. It’s a lie that I am silent. It’s a pure lie that I am alive. That I was born one day and that I will die some day are both stark lies. I am deluded in thinking that I believe all these things.
I go around remembering in myself all the things that are dinned into my ears by others, talking to myself, making noises within myself and telling myself that I am experiencing things and that I am awake. I have no relationship with any of these. All these are shadows – echoes. Where does light come from? Where does sound come from in the first place? Where does it sound? I am watching in myself the sound of taking a long breath in and letting it out. Where does that breath come from? Who breathes? If I don’t watch it, I am not even aware that I am breathing. Now I can see both.
This breath, these words echoing, these two words – they are sounds ringing in my ears. It’s some kind of noise. I can’t say why I hear it. I feel that this sound will pierce my ear drums. Who is this ‘I’ who is experiencing all this? Do I know all of these at once or one after another? I experience as if I know them all at once.
The noise the door is making doesn’t mix with the sound made by these words. It’s heard separately at a distance through my ears. The brain knows what they are. It recognizes them, changes them into words and spells them out. I hear the sound of a car going in the distance. All these sounds get known in the brain. When I write here the vocal chords in my throat vibrate. The ears are able to hear all the words that I say within myself even though the words do not make a sound outside.
It’s past 7 am. Suguna is setting the table for breakfast. The coffee is not ready yet. I must drink my coffee and wash. These tasks are all things I impose on myself. I think that UG lacks all this. I look into myself and listen. I experience. I think that such a process doesn’t go on in UG. I believe what he says.
* * *
August 18, 1999 (Wednesday)
Last night, I watched Mahesh Bhatt’s movie “Dastaq” on the video till 10:30 pm and went to bed. Yet I was able to get up from bed this morning at 5:10 am. Much of yesterday it was raining. We went to Zweisimmen in a car. We went to the Migros there. UG bought the stuff we needed. Suguna bought a vanity bag. It looks pretty good. I bought four flashlights. The process of purchasing things has begun. I went again with Guha to the Co-Op and bought batteries.
When we were about to go for a walk, UG stopped Guha. All yesterday morning Guha was talking about the changes that were occurring in his body. He says that they are more intense in UG’s presence, particularly the changes in his pineal gland. In the place where there is the Ajna Chakra he has different sorts of experiences. He says that he has profuse saliva in his mouth. His appetite has slowed down. He can’t eat much. He always stays close to UG. UG also constantly watches him as well as Nataraj. UG calls Nataraj ‘Mahamuni’. Every now and then he shakes his hand. He asks him about his future. “Believing in you and your astrological reading I have spent thousands of dollars and become poor. Money hasn’t rained yet. It’s almost the end of August. When is the money going to rain?” he asks him. Nataraj laughs boisterously about everything. I don’t know with whom his astrological predictions work.
Mr. Raju from Machilipatnam is arriving. He will be here for four days. Lakshmi is coming on the 20th. The kids are happy. UG has already started his travel preparations. On the phone Julie has reserved a room for him in the Southgate Apartment Hotel. The rent is $300 per day. UG will be New York for three days starting on September 1. Perhaps he will be on the East Coast for another week or ten days. Because Kittu, Kamesh and Kumar are all there, I think he will see them. He may go to Palm Springs from there. He talks about Brazil, but there is no sign that he would go there. “Mr. Narayana Moorty, you must come too. We both can drink the soma juice there and will talk above love and bliss of Brahman,” he says. Moorty says, “OK, let’s do it.” It’s exactly a week since Moorty has left. Moorty has moved the link to Raj Mehta’s website to a more prominent place on the UG homepage. That’s better.
I am losing my interest in all those things. I am not even thinking much of preserving UG’s tapes and books and making them accessible to all. Even though a couple of people have written letters to my Internet e-mail address, I don’t feel like replying to them. The tapes I have brought I am taking back because UG has asked me to. The question arises in my mind: how long will this go on? My time here is coming to an end. But before I leave I must give some kind of shape to the tapes I have with me. Everyone will be leaving. Moorty too sings the same song. He is not giving any suggestions as to how to preserve the tapes. What does UG care about all these things? What does a man who lives from moment to moment care about what happens to his ‘teaching’ after him? His only concern is that all this stuff should not be in any one person’s possession. He says they will be preserved in the Davidson Library archives. Then who will undertake that task? But why should I care who will? I am completely losing my interest in such activities, particularly in organizing the materials relating to UG.
I am wondering about what I have gained from all these activities and how they have helped me. Have I truly attained any higher state? When I look into myself, I realize how horrible my state is. Economically and in terms of family pleasures, my life has gotten a lot better. No one is more fortunate than me in those areas. My health is also good. It’s quite remarkable that I have been able to manage to this extent for twenty years even though I have diabetes. Besides that, there isn’t much to be proud of. I am of no use to anyone. It’s all finished. I have no further role to play in this universal drama. It’s enough if that book of mine is published. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring it out in Telugu. Unless some publisher comes forward, such things won’t happen. Be that as it may. But what have I gained personally?
To be sure, I have had the opportunity of being around UG so closely for 30 years. But what kind of change has happened in me? What higher states have I attained? Who would have a better opportunity than me? Has my mind become any broader? There is no light anywhere, in any corner. Life is as it has always been – living in narrow alleys, in sewers, in dirt, in dust, like a leaf-platter torn by street dogs. Is it because of my disappointment that I am like this that my interest has been dwindling? Or is my disappointment getting worse because my interest is diminishing? Or is my dullness due to my thinking that UG has been trying from time to time to keep me away from all these things? Or am I imagining that UG has been trying to keep me away from all these things because he has been noticing me becoming lazier and duller. This matter is not clear to me.
One thing is becoming clear: I won’t have any role to play in future affairs. Those are all things that involve high-tech and computer technology. They’re beyond me. Whatever I have in my hands I must hand over to capable people. I haven’t met such a person yet. Especially UG’s letters. They must be put on the Internet. For that, they must be given some shape. Moorty can do that. I don’t have such ideas. Moorty says that he will write UG’s biography. But he has a condition: UG must assure him that he will live to be a hundred years. Moorty says he will start it when UG is 95 and finish it by the time he completes 100 years.
* * *
I am getting sadder as my time of leaving is getting closer. I still don’t know when exactly we are leaving. It could be any moment. Preparations have been underway all these years to die at any moment. Who can teach me how to prepare? That’s what needs to happen. When we feel things are heavy, we drop them without anyone telling us. Everything must happen like that. No use to prepare. The time to part ways is nearing. UG will suddenly disappear. I have a longing to get closer and closer to him. But each day I am moving away from myself. The true ‘I’ is going away to far off places beyond where I can see. The colorful ‘I’, created by my imagination, is far removed from the true ‘I’; but my true form is completely masked. I can’t even remember what it is like. Only this false image appears as true. I have the illusion that only the things it does are real.
Sometimes, at some moment, there is a flash in this darkness. Then I forget again. In that moment I feel that I am walking in some abyss and my whole body trembles. The next moment the usual layers of clouds and thorny bushes press around on the way; it is a utter darkness in which I can’t see even with my eyes open. I distrust those who offer light. Even if I see any light, my ego prevents me from going on that lighted path. “Why should someone else show me the way? Can’t I find it myself?” says my ego. I feel as if I should let everything go and surrender myself. My mind asks, “What should I do to surrender?” But it doesn’t stop with that question. There would be no problem if it does.
This is all useless. This is all going in circles which won’t lead me anywhere. “You must first let go of that hope. Then you will stop. You must stop everywhere, at any place, without making one step forward, without looking back; you must stop wherever you are forgetting yourself” – if you even think that sort of thought, then you are moving. There is nothing to be done. There is no path to walk on. There is no direction to turn to. It’s not even possible to breathe. I must stand. I must stop. I must stop all this running and stand quietly. Even if heavens collapse on me, even if the earth under my feet cracks, I must not move a foot. “If you move, your mind moves. If your mind moves, worlds move.” Beware. Stop. Stop wherever you are.
* * *
August 19, 1999 (Wednesday)
Days are passing by at lightning speed. As we get older we often feel that time is moving faster than when we were young. I can’t believe that I have already completed 54 years. How many illusions I have! To begin with, that I am living is itself an illusion.
Last night, I saw another Hindi movie, Raja Hindustani. The songs in it are popular. Archana used to sing the song “Pardesi, pardesi, jana nahin.” In the ‘Dastaq’ movie I saw yesterday, there were scenes from Gstaad and Saanen. The Miss Universe of India, Susmita Sen, acted her role very well. Both the heroes were new actors. I don’t remember their names.
Yesterday afternoon at 2 pm, Francis, his wife, his son Alexander and his sister Evelyn came. After spending an hour with UG, they came to my room, had coffee and cookies, and chatted with me and Suguna. I tried to explain UG to them as much as I could. I don’t know how much I succeeded. Alexander sat quietly when he was with UG, but asked some interesting questions in our room. I felt that some conflict was raging in him. I noticed that the more he heard about UG the more curious he became. Francis’s wife is beautiful. She also seems pretty intelligent.
Francis was translating whatever I was saying into French for them. They spent plenty of time with me, almost three hours. Denise took them out to her hotel for coffee. Evelyn talked about her problem. Chandrahas had gotten her into some trouble. Apparently he claimed that he had helped her daughter a lot and that he had prevented her from committing suicide. It seems that Chandrahas is now involved with a girl named Lisa.
I didn’t care to hear their stories about him. Their current problem is whether they should or should not sponsor Chandrahas in this country. They seem to fear him more than they like him; I can’t understand why. Perhaps they are afraid because they considered him their guru. I guess that’s how gurus hold their disciples in their grip and squeeze the life out of them. I understand why they are afraid of contradicting him even though they don’t care about him.
“What do you want from him? What are you expecting?” I asked. They don’t know. Apparently she has given a lot of money to Chandrahas. Lisa too gave him money. He spent all that money lavishly. They don’t seem to think that he is crazy. They didn’t even have that suspicion of that until Guha raised the question. They said they would come again this weekend. Francis can’t find work. But he doesn’t seem to be worried about it.
* * *
Bharati’s Predictions – My Guru Daśa
The writing is not flowing smoothly. I feel as if something is blocking it. When I put the pen on paper the flow must go on till I lift the pen. That hasn’t been happening recently.
UG came to our apartment after they had left. Talking about them, he congratulated us for involving them in conversation for so long. “Bharati’s prediction is coming true. You are excelling me. You can take my place. Instead of me talking you talk from now on,” he said making fun of me. Bharati made some predictions ten years ago while she was in an inspired state. “In the coming Guru daśa, Chandrasekhar will presume that he knows everything and even a bit more than UG. Sixteen years after that, as soon as the Saturn daśa sets in, his delusions will cease, and he will repent, realizing that he doesn’t know anything and that he hasn’t moved one step beyond the first square,” she said. Two days ago, UG read all that to everyone.
“Then, has the Guru daśa arrived yet or not?” he asked. I answered that the Guru daśa has been going on since 1995. That’s a great stage for both Suguna and me. Maybe that’s why, although he is making us roam different countries, he is keeping us close to our guru. This year we both have already spent four months with UG. We have the good fortune of spending one month in America, two months in India and these five weeks in Switzerland with UG. To enable us to do all this UG had to spend four lakhs of rupees on us. It’s not cheap to come to a country like this and spend such a long time. It is thanks to these aspects of my horoscope that I have the grace of my guru. That is the first good fortune stemming from my horoscope.
The second one is Saturn being in the 7th house. That means money and income will come through the wife. I must not analyze my own horoscope. But sometimes I wonder what would have become of my life if I didn’t have these two good fortunes. We want to think everything happens as a result of our own efforts, but my faith that nothing is in our hands and that we are all being played like puppets by some force is being reinforced. “If you have such faith, why do you have so much conflict? Why do you try to change or shape yourself?” asks UG. That is the main source of sorrow in life. Everyone worries that things don’t happen according to one’s expectations, while things which one wants not to happen do happen.
If we get what we wanted and achieve what we plan for, what else could we want? But that’s not the way things happen. “As long as you are succeeding, there is no problem at all,” UG says. The key is in that one sentence. It’s impossible to keep succeeding continually. So, problems must come up. But if this truth takes root in the mind strongly, and the truth that “success and failure are not in one’s own hands, they are ordained by God,” keeps shining, then most, if not all, of our worries will be gone. No problems will remain if we can gain the confidence that we can accept anything that happens. But that’s not so easy. We must experience many vicissitudes in life. Still, we won’t have this wisdom. If any wisdom dawns, it will only last for a little while. Then the pride will come sprouting, saying that “this blessing is due to my greatness; it happened because of my effort.” This is the nature of delusion. Did Chalam get out of that web of delusion? Did he attain any higher states? Are there really such things as higher states? Are there other lives and worlds which don’t depend on my believing in them? Isn’t it also a belief that the ‘I’ who asks such questions is real? Where is the proof that ‘I’ exist? Tell me.
* * *
Yesterday I talked to Bob, Eddie and Lulu. There was an earthquake in San Francisco last night for a few moments. It was mild and there was no extensive damage. “People complain about earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, cyclones, meteor showers, etc., calling them disasters, but all these are necessary in creation,” says UG.
Raj Mehta wrote an e-mail telling that every day there are two thousand hits on the UG photos website. Many people are writing e-mails to him asking about UG.
* * *
August 20, 1999 (Friday)
Morning 5:30 am. It’s all quiet. It’s noisy only in my head. The sound is ringing at a high pitch in my ears. It has gotten worse recently. I thought there might something wrong with my ears; so I went to a doctor a year ago. He said there was nothing wrong with them. But then there is no satisfactory answer if I ask why I hear this constant noise, day in and day out. After I learned that the doctors don’t know really what it is, I gave up on it, thinking that I shouldn’t worry about what it is from. Major and Chalapati say that it’s the sound of Om. If that’s true, I’m happy. And I am even proud in some way. It’s OK. I am getting somewhere spiritually. Don’t I believe that all these sounds and visions are all steps toward living liberation? Then I’m proud of myself.
Occasionally I get swellings around my neck. Early every morning I check in the mirror to see if I have a swelling on my neck. When I saw a big swelling on my throat on the left side, I was reminded of what Guha said the other day. Apparently, his left chest becomes larger. He gets bumps on his forehead and also bumps on his head. He has swellings under his navel, on the abdomen. In the middle of his chest, he has a two-inch round patch on the skin. He has some burning sensation internally, as if it’s being burned by fire. He experiences these things more intensely in UG’s presence. His appetite has diminished. He would like to be in UG’s presence all the time. These burnings, he says, become quite intense sometimes. It seems that last May he suffered a lot due to them. He thought of quitting his job at the University and leaving for India. UG scolded him and prevented him from doing that. Meanwhile his bosses gave him a bonus of $2,500. He must be doing good work. This year he has taken 40 days off. They granted him leave for these 21 days again. When UG goes to the US, he will apply for at least a week’s leave. It looks like he keeps a record of the physical changes that happen to him.
He reports everything to UG. UG knows of what he speaks; so he apparently told him, “Under these circumstances it’s essential to be with the guru.” Even Guha was surprised at those words. He thought, “What difference do time and space make? Wouldn’t a guru’s influence be felt no matter how far away he is?" “Not true; it’s important to be physically near him,” UG replied. Sometimes, Guha apparently has profuse saliva. Sometimes he feels that there are huge lights in his chest and he feels profound peace. He feels that this peace can pass on to someone around him without any involvement on his part. When I talk to him and watch his behavior, I don’t see any craziness in him. He seems normal in all his affairs. But internally something is happening to him physically. Lakshmi knows about it, as also does UG.
It seems like Guha hasn’t discussed these things with anyone else. What’s the meaning of all these? Is there a possibility of something like a ‘Calamity’ happening to him? As for himself, he is not worried about those changes. He used to be worried about them before. But that’s all in the past now. He is content that he has attained the high state he has desired in life. He doesn’t want anything more. UG and UG’s presence is all that he wants. He is happy if he just listens to UG and watches him. This is his present condition. UG says to Guha’s daughters, “Your father is a total goner.”
* * *
Julie’s Punishment (Training)
UG was scolding Julie yesterday for buying some creams and oils for Guha’s two daughters. “Their skin will be damaged; these things won’t help. Doctors say that they may even cause cancer,” UG warns the kids. “These kids are my hope. I am hoping for so much from them. America’s future is in their hands. You think I would give them so much money otherwise?” he asks. “Julie, you can use those creams and die, but don’t get the kids addicted to all that stuff,” he warns. He watches what they eat and how they look. Whatever they want, Julie must get for them. Only they shouldn’t go to India.
Shilpa says that she definitely will go. And UG replies, “Want to bet on it? I can stop you from going.” “I won’t bet. I don’t like to. But I will go to India,” says Shilpa. She has her cousins there; she would like to see them. She watches a lot of Hindi movies. As there were indications that she might want to become a dancer, she has been learning Bharatanatyam. She has a lively face. UG says, “If you want to become a movie actress, I’ll take you right now to India. I will come to India if you want me to.” He sees a glorious future for her. “Your parents’ bad influence is enough to spoil you; you don’t need to go to India. Your mother is OK. But your father must have no influence over you,” he says looking at her father and mother. “Will you get married and stay home and cook?” he asks Shilpa. “I’ll never marry. I’ll become a movie star,” answers Shilpa.
And UG is very fond of Sumedha. I never saw him being so nice to kids and spending so much time with them before. How lucky they are! They are growing up under the supervision of UG. He keeps a watch on them every moment. He allows them a lot of freedom. “Julie, if I am tolerating you, it’s only for their sake. That’s why I let you come here – because they need a car, and because they need your money. Remember this well. If you try to be clever and act out of line, I’ll kick you out that very moment!” he was banging on Julie yesterday. That’s quite normal. Yet, Julie does go out of line. Every now and then UG lashes at her just like a circus man snaps a whip at a cheetah in a circus. She calms down somewhat when she hears UG’s sounds. She is quite friendly. When he notices that cheetah trait coming back up in her, he snaps the whip again. She then yields like a cat. UG has been taming Julie like this for the last ten years. What’s funny is that Julie voluntarily submits herself to such treatment in order to stay near UG. Julie is ready to take any amount of abuse from UG or to be insulted by him in front of everyone.
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I have been writing for an hour. There is no more hope of any letup in the sky today. It has been raining incessantly since last night. Today Julie and Guha went to Zurich to receive Lakshmi. She is returning from India. The children also got up early in the morning and went with them to Zurich. Julie left in this rain at 4 am driving her van. They will return with Lakshmi by about 10 am.
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Trip to Neuchatel and La Chaux-de-Fonds
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 The mountain in Tiruvannamalai.
 Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh – a Hindu paramilitary organization.
 ‘Enough’, ‘enough’ – in Kannada.
 Satya Sai Baba
 “Please give me alms....”
 ‘Cobra Fourth’ -- the day of cobra worship.
 ‘Cobra Fifth’.
 ‘The great sage’.
 From Chalam’s Sudha.
 The Giving Cow.
 The Giving Tree.
 Female temple attendants.
 The Absolute regarded as sound or speech.
 The Lion Man; an incarnation of Vishnu.