from Part One of Krishnamurti's book The Mystique
I arrived at a point when I was twenty-one where I felt
very strongly that all teachers -- Buddha, Jesus, Sri
Ramakrishna, everybody -- kidded themselves, deluded
themselves and deluded everybody. This, you see, could
not be the thing at all -- "Where is the state that
these people talk about and describe? That description
seems to have no relation to me, to the way I am functioning.
Everybody says 'Don't get angry' -- I am angry all the
time. I'm full of brutal activities inside, so that
is false. What these people are telling me I should
be is something false, and because it is false it will
falsify me. I don't want to live the life of a false
person. I am greedy, and non-greed is what they are
talking about. There is something wrong somewhere. This
greed is something real, something natural to me; what
they are talking about is unnatural. So, something is
wrong somewhere. But I am not ready to change myself,
to falsify myself, for the sake of being in a state
of non-greed; my greed is a reality to me." I lived
in the midst of people who talked of these things everlastingly
-- everybody was false, I can tell you. So, somehow,
what you call 'existentialist nausea' (I didn't use
those words at the time, but now I happen to know these
terms, revulsion against everything sacred and everything
holy, crept into my system and threw everything out:
"No more slokas, no more religion, no more practices
-- there isn't anything there; but what is here is something
natural. I am a brute, I am a monster, I am full of
violence -- this is reality. I am full of desire. Desirelessness,
non-greed, non-anger -- those things have no meaning
to me; they are false, and they are not only false,
they are falsifying me." So I said to myself "I'm finished
with the whole business," but it is not that simple,
came along, and we were discussing all these things.
He found me practically an atheist (but not a practicing
atheist), skeptical of everything, heretical down to
my boots. He said "There is one man here, somewhere
in Madras at Tiruvannamalai, called Ramana Maharshi.
Come on, let's go and see that man. Here is a living
human embodiment of the Hindu tradition."
want to see any holy man. If you have seen one, you
have seen them all. I never shopped around, went around
searching for people, sitting at the feet of the masters,
learning something; because everybody tells you "Do
more and more of the same thing, and you will get it."
What I got were more and more experiences, and then
those experiences demanded permanence -- and there is
no such thing as permanence. So, "The holy men are all
phonies -- they are telling me only what is there in
the books. That I can read -- 'Do the same again and
again' -- that I don't want. Experiences I don't want.
They are trying to share an experience with me. I'm
not interested in experience. As far as experience goes,
for me there is no difference between the religious
experience and the sex experience or any other experience;
the religious experience is like any other experience.
I am not interested in experiencing Brahman; I am not
interested in experiencing reality; I am not interested
in experiencing truth. They might help others; but they
cannot help me. I'm not interested in doing more of
the same; what I have done is enough. At school if you
want to solve a mathematical problem, you repeat it
again and again -- you solve the mathematical problem,
and you discover that the answer is in the problem.
So, what the hell are you doing, trying to solve the
problem? It is easier to find the answer first instead
of going through all this."
hesitatingly, unwilling, I went to see Ramana Maharshi.
That fellow dragged me. He said "Go there once. Something
will happen to you." He talked about it and gave me
a book, Search
in Secret India by Paul Brunton, so I read the
chapter relating to this man -- "All right, I don't
mind, let me go and see." That man was sitting there.
From his very presence I felt "What! This man -- how
can he help me? This fellow who is reading comic strips,
cutting vegetables, playing with this, that or the other
-- how can this man help me? He can't help me." Anyway,
I sat there. Nothing happened; I looked at him, and
he looked at me. "In his presence you feel silent, your
questions disappear, his look changes you" -- all that
remained a story, fancy stuff to me. I sat there. There
were a lot of questions inside, silly questions -- so,
"The questions have not disappeared. I have been sitting
here for two hours, and the questions are still there.
All right, let me ask him some questions" -- because
at that time I very much wanted moksha. This part of
my background, moksha, I wanted. "You are supposed to
be a liberated man" -- I didn't say that. "Can you give
me what you have?" -- I asked him this question, but
that man didn't answer, so after some lapse of time
I repeated that question -- "I am asking 'Whatever you
have, can you give it to me?'" He said, "I can give
you, but can you take it?" Boy! For the first time this
fellow says that he has something and that I can't take
it. Nobody before had said "I can give you," but this
man said "I can give you, but can you take it?" Then
I said to myself "If there is any individual in this
world who can take it, it is me, because I have done
so much sadhana, seven years of sadhana. He can think
that I can't take it, but I can take it. If I can't
take it, who can take it?" -- that was my frame of mind
at the time -- you know, (laughs) I was so confident
stay with him, I didn't read any of his books, so I
asked him a few more questions: "Can one be free sometimes
and not free sometimes?" He said "Either you are free,
or you are not free at all." There was another question
which I don't remember. He answered in a very strange
way: "There are no steps leading you to that." But I
ignored all these things. These questions didn't matter
to me -- the answers didn't interest me at all.
question "Can you take it?" ... "How arrogant he is!"
-- that was my feeling. "Why can't I take it, whatever
it is? What is it that he has?" -- that was my question,
a natural question. So, the question formulated itself:
"What is that state that all those people -- Buddha,
Jesus and the whole gang -- were in? Ramana is in that
state -- supposed to be, I don't know -- but that chap
is like me, a human being. How is he different from
me? What others say or what he is saying is of no importance
to me; anybody can do what he is doing. What is there?
He can't be very much different from me. He was also
born from parents. He has his own particular ideas about
the whole business. Some people say something happened
to him, but how is he different from me? What is there:
What is that state?" -- that was my fundamental question,
the basic question -- that went on and on and on. "I
must find out what that state is. Nobody can give that
state; I am on my own. I have to go on this uncharted
sea without a compass, without a boat, with not even
a raft to take me. I am going to find out for myself
what the state is in which that man is." I wanted that
very much, otherwise I wouldn't have given my life.
of U.G. Krishnamurti courtesy The Essential U.G.
of Ramana Maharshi courtesy Sri Ramanashramam
RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE
Mystique of Enlightenment: Part One
The complete text from which the above article is excerpted.
Krishnamurti (main page)
Ramana Maharshi (main page)
page was published on January 29, 2000 and last revised
on May 9, 2000.