GURU RATING: 1 / 5 (AVOID)
U.G. Krishnamurti (not to be confused with J. Krishnamurti) might be considered an anti-guru guru, or the type of guru that expresses his guruness by denouncing the very idea of gurus. Confused yet? He’d probably sling a few insults at you. What are we to make of this man?
U.G. was born in India into a family of Theosophists. From the ages of 14 to 21, he listened to public lectures by J. Krishnamurti and worked on realizing his true nature. He also met Ramana Maharshi, a man some called the “perfect master”.
One can understand his disdain for ideas, beliefs, or anything of that sort, given the intellectual bent of J. Krishnamurti’s approach — head rather than heart focused.
A guru with a difficult path
Like a teenager rebelling from his parent, U.G. had enough. He realized he’d never reach spiritual enlightenment by listening to these talks. He left his guru.
He claims to have realized how he was already in “the natural state”. His journey stopped there.
U.G. then made it part of his practice to contradict any idea or statement he heard. Even ones he uttered. He’d say one thing to a disciple and, in the next breath, contradict himself. He offered nothing to hold on to.
This technique is akin to the Zen riddles that have no answer, that are meant to short-circuit the mind’s thinking so that something greater can emerge. At least in theory.
It’s worth considering whether ideas can be useful tools on the path to enlightenment. Arguably, they can point you in the right direction or perhaps help you cultivate the needed skills to make the journey.
Yes, all ideas must be left at the gate sooner or later, but they can at least help get you there. A spiritual practice is just a collection of ideas to help move you closer to Spirit, if properly understood and put into use.
U.G. would rather you just jump straight up to the gate and avoid the journey altogether.
This may have worked for some, the cases of so-called spontaneous enlightenment, but it is hardly the norm. For someone just beginning on the journey, it’s terrible advice. He treated these novice seekers with the same disdain he treated anyone else — insults, tantrums, yelling, anger. He got upset that people couldn’t “get it”.
The Bottom Line
Was U.G. Krishnamurti the real deal, or was he a charlatan who found a loop-hole in the whole guru phenomenon? By becoming an anti-guru guru, one immediately sets oneself in contrast to all the other gurus that take advantage of their disciples and want things from them. That made him look good, perhaps even more enlightened.
But does he actually know anything? Does he have anything of worth teaching? He wouldn’t say so, and we tend to agree.
“People call me an enlightened man — I detest that term — they can’t find any other word to describe the way I am functioning. At the same time, I point out that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all. I say that because all my life I’ve searched and wanted to be an enlightened man, and I discovered that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all, and so the question whether a particular person is enlightened or not doesn’t arise. I don’t give a hoot for a sixth-century-BC Buddha, let alone all the other claimants we have in our midst. They are a bunch of exploiters, thriving on the gullibility of the people. There is no power outside of man. Man has created God out of fear. So the problem is fear and not God. I discovered for myself and by myself that there is no self to realize. That’s the realization I am talking about. It comes as a shattering blow. It hits you like a thunderbolt. You have invested everything in one basket, self-realization, and, in the end, suddenly you discover that there is no self to discover, no self to realize.” — U.G. Krishnamurti