This work was originally published
in VIKING by Penguin Books India (P) Ltd.,
with copyright by Mahesh Bhatt
and is published here
with the courtesy of
`Why a biography of me?' asked U.G. when I first expressed my desire to write the story of
his life. 'Tell me, how would you go about writing the biography of a person who says he
has no story to be told? If my life story is never told, the world would be none the worse
for it. For those who delight in reading biographies my story would be disappointing
indeed. If they are looking for something inmy life to change their lives for the better, they
haven't got a chance. You can fit my life neatly into that rhyme for children "Solomon
Grundy". That, in a nutshell, is yours, mine and everybody's story. There's no more to it
`What are you, U.G.,' asked the eighty-four-year-old Swiss lady, Valentine de Kerven, ten
years ago over lunch. She had been with U.G. for over twenty years. Most of us at the table
stared blankly at her. Her question is the same question asked by all those who have come
in contact with U.G. The friend who was instrumental in introducing U.G. to me was
himself in a dilemma for years, trying to figure out 'who' and 'what' U.G. is. His efforts
were frustrated at every turn. So one day he decided to put this question to the I Ching. He
received the following answer: 'He is not a guru, not a priest, not a teacher, nor a savant.
He has no interest in enlightening you, and in fact does not intend to do anything. He
burns brightly with passion and without purpose. He is as lost without you as you are
without him. His light dies if you do not reflect it. Your life is dark without his light.' I
might add that U.G.'s passion is certainly not that of an evangelist.
On 9 July 1967 in Saanen, Switzerland, on his forty-ninth birthday, U.G. Krishnamurti died.
What brought about this death? What brought him back to life? 'I don't know. I can't say
anything about that, because the experiencer was finished. There was nobody to experience
that death at all,' says U.G. He insists that it was completely a physical and not a
psychological death. From that point his life was not under his control, nor was there any
entity controlling it. 'What I am left with is a sort of burnt-out case. The flame still burns.
Whether these dying embers of life would have any impact on others or society is not my
Here perhaps for the first time in the history of mankind is a man who talks of
enlightenment as a neurobiological state of being. He says that it is utterly free of religious,
psychological or mystical implications. This represents a whole new concept, a new and
genuinely fresh approach to the experience. U.G. also scoffs at the sacred, the religious
and particularly, at the whole idea of `enlightenment'. To religious buffs, his shocking
Now bringing you back...
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