Can you tell us about your connection with J. Krishnamurti?
It is a real mystery. I have loved him since I have known him, and he has been very loving towards me. But we have never met; hence the relationship, the connection is something beyond words. We have not seen each other ever, but yet… perhaps we have been the two persons closest to each other in the whole world. We had a tremendous communion that needs no language, that need not be of physical presence. […]
You are asking me about my connection with him. It was the deepest possible connection – which needs no physical contact, which needs no linguistic communication. Not only that, once in a while I used to criticize him, he used to criticize me, and we enjoyed each other’s criticism – knowing perfectly well that the other does not mean it. Now that he is dead, I will miss him because I will not be able to criticize him; it won’t be right. It was such a joy to criticize him. He was the most intelligent man of this century, but he was not understood by people.
He has died, and it seems the world goes on its way without even looking back for a single moment that the most intelligent man is no longer there. It will be difficult to find that sharpness and that intelligence again in centuries. But people are such sleep walkers; they have not taken much note. In newspapers, just in small corners where nobody reads, his death is declared. And it seems that a ninety-year-old man who has been continuously speaking for almost seventy years, moving around the world, trying to help people to get unconditioned, trying to help people to become free – nobody seems even to pay a tribute to the man who has worked the hardest in the whole of history for man’s freedom, for man’s dignity.
I don’t feel sorry for his death. His death is beautiful; he has attained all that life is capable to give. But I certainly feel sorry for the whole world. It goes on missing its greatest flights of consciousness, its highest peaks, its brightest stars. It is too much concerned with trivia.
I feel such a deep affinity with Krishnamurti that even to talk of connection is not right; connection is possible only between two things which are separate. I feel almost a oneness with him. In spite of all his criticisms, in spite of all my criticisms – which were just joking with the old man, provoking the old man… and he was very easily provoked. I just had to send my sannyasins to his meetings to sit in the front row, all in red colors, and he would go mad! He could not tolerate the red color. In his past life he must have been a bull; just a red flag and the bull goes crazy. Bulls have their own personality.
But even though he used to become angry – he would forget the subject matter he was going to talk on, and he would start criticizing me and my people – later on he would say about me to the hostess where he was staying, “This guy is something. He disturbs my meetings, sending red-robed people. And the moment I see them, I forget what is the subject I have decided to speak on. It happens every time, and I know that he is simply playing a joke. He is not serious, he is not against me; neither am I against him.”
From many of his intimate people I have been informed, “He is not against you. He wants you to know that howsoever angry he becomes, he is not against you.”
I said to them, “I know it. I love the man. But to love a man and once in a while to joke with him, do you think it is contradictory? In fact, I am trying to help him to become a little less serious. A little more sense of humor will not do any harm to him. Only on that point I do not agree with him – he is too serious.”
Religion needs a certain quality of humor to make it more human. If there is no sense of humor in any religious teaching, it becomes more and more intellectual, mathematical, logical, but it loses the human touch. It becomes more and more a scientific subject. But man cannot be just an object of scientific study. There is something in him which transcends scientific study.
Just look around the world. Trees don’t laugh, buffaloes don’t laugh. No animal laughs; it is only man who has the sense of humor. There must be something in it because it happens at the highest evolutionary point – man.
Krishnamurti’s teaching is beautiful, but too serious. And my experience and feeling is that his seventy years went to waste because he was serious. So only people who were long-faced and miserable and serious types collected around him; he was a collector of corpses, and as he became older, those corpses also became older.
I know people who have been listening to him for almost their whole lives; they are as old as he himself was. They are still alive. I know one woman who is ninety-five, and I know many other people. One thing I have seen in all of them, which is common, is that they are too serious.
Life needs a little playfulness, a little humor, a little laughter.
Only on that point am I in absolute disagreement with him; otherwise, he was a genius. He has penetrated as deeply as possible into every dimension of man’s spirituality, but it is all like a desert, tiring. I would like you back in the garden of Eden, innocent, not serious, but like small children playing. This whole existence is playful. This whole existence is full of humor; you just need the sense of humor and you will be surprised.
I have heard about a man in India who used to sell Gandhi caps. Particularly at election times, everybody wants to prove that he is a Gandhian, because the followers of Gandhi had been ruling the country for forty years. If you are a Gandhian your victory in the election is certain. The Gandhian cap – a white cap – symbolizes who you are, and this man used to earn so much money just by making caps and selling them.
But this year he was sick. He was getting old, and he told his young son, “You will have to go to the marketplace” – which was a few miles away from the village – “and I have to tell you only one thing. The way is beautiful; on both sides are very shady trees so that even in the hot sun you can sit under them and it is cool. And there is one big bodhi tree so huge that hundreds of bullock carts can rest underneath it. Avoid it. If you feel like resting, don’t rest under that tree.”
The son said, “But why? – because that must be the coolest place.”
The father said, “That is the problem. It is the coolest place, but the tree is full of monkeys. And it happened with me; I was resting there and when I woke up my whole bag of caps was empty. I was surprised – what happened? Then I suddenly heard the monkeys enjoying – all were wearing caps just the way I was wearing a cap. So they knew how to put it, where to put it, and it looked as if the whole of New Delhi from the president to prime minister, the cabinet and all the parliamentarians were sitting there – all over the tree! And they were enjoying it so much.
“But I am a poor man. Suddenly I remembered the saying that monkeys always imitate, so I took off my cap so they could all see; they all took off their caps. Then I threw my cap away; they all threw their caps away. I collected the caps and went to the market. So just remember in case something like this happens, take your cap off and throw it – they will all throw theirs.”
The son was in a way excited to rest under the same tree and see what would happen. He found the tree – it was beautiful and it was the most shady, and he saw hundreds of monkeys sitting on it. He rested, went to sleep, and exactly what the father had said, happened. The bag was empty; he looked up and the monkeys were looking very happy, very proud, all Gandhians. But he was not worried because he knew the trick. So he simply took off his cap and threw it, and to his great surprise, one monkey came down and took the thrown cap, went back up the tree and put the cap on his head! They all enjoyed it, because this monkey had missed; one cap had been missing.
This must have been the second generation of the monkeys; perhaps the older generation had taught them that if it happens sometimes, “don’t throw your caps but pick up the cap thrown by the merchant. We have been befooled – once to be befooled is okay; twice to be befooled is unforgivable.”
The son looked in shock – what to do? He came back home and told his father. His father said, “I knew it: monkeys are more capable of learning than men. This is their second generation and they have remembered. And I told you specifically, you should not have thrown it so quickly. First you should have taken it off and seen whether they took theirs off or not; then at least you could have saved one cap. You lost even that.”
Existence is hilarious. Everything is in a dancing mood; you just have to be in the same mood to understand it.
I am not sorry that J. Krishnamurti is dead; there was nothing more for him to attain. I am sorry that his teaching did not reach the human heart because it was too dry, juiceless, with no humor, no laughter.
But you will be surprised to know – whatever he was saying was against religions, was against politics, was against the status quo, was against the whole past, yet nobody was condemning him for the simple reason that he was ineffective. There was no reason to take note of him. In India he used to visit only three places – Delhi, Bombay, Madras. And it was the same way around the world… some big cities, and the same people year after year listening to him saying the same things, and nothing has changed in those people because nothing reached to their hearts. It remained only intellectual. […]
Krishnamurti failed because he could not touch the human heart; he could only reach the human head. The heart needs some different approaches. This is where I have differed with him all my life: unless the human heart is reached, you can go on repeating parrot-like, beautiful words – they don’t mean anything. Whatever Krishnamurti was saying is true, but he could not manage to relate it to your heart. In other words, what I am saying is that J. Krishnamurti was a great philosopher but he could not become a master. He could not help people; prepare people for a new life, a new orientation.
But still I love him, because amongst the philosophers he comes the closest to the mystic way of life. He himself avoided the mystic way, bypassed it, and that is the reason for his failure. But he is the only one amongst the modern contemporary thinkers who comes very close, almost on the boundary line of mysticism, and stops there. Perhaps he’s afraid that if he talks about mysticism people will start falling into old patterns, old traditions, old philosophies of mysticism. That fear prevents him from entering. But that fear also prevents other people from entering into the mysteries of life.
I have met thousands of Krishnamurti people – because anybody who has been interested in
Krishnamurti sooner or later is bound to find his way towards me, because where Krishnamurti leaves them, I can take their hand and lead them into the innermost shrine of truth. You can say my connection with Krishnamurti is that Krishnamurti has prepared the ground for me. He has prepared people intellectually for me; now it is my work to take those people deeper than intellect, to the heart; and deeper than the heart, to the being.
Our work is one. Krishnamurti is dead, but his work will not be dead until I am dead. His work will continue.
Excerpt from Socrates: Poisoned Again After Twenty-Five Centuries, Chapter 25
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