Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality,

Question 1



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Question 1


Arvind sees visions of Krishna inside a prison, in the walls of the prison, in the prisoners' faces and in himself. But who is the one who knows that he sees visions of Krishna? If there is a knower then it is surely his own mental projection. If someone says he sees Krishna, it means the one who sees is not Krishna; he is bound to be different from Krishna.

The oceanic, universal form of Krishna is something entirely different from Krishna the man who happened some five thousand years ago. But his universal form, which is universal subconsciousness, is eternal. And one who encounters the universal consciousness ceases to be an ego; he disappears as he is and turns into that universal intelligence itself. You can call it by the name of Krishna, Christ, or Buddha, or whatever you like. Names don't matter; the choice of name depends on the cultural background of the one who encounters it. And once someone comes in contact with this supreme intelligence -- provided it is real, not imaginary -- he is lost in it forever. Come what may, he cannot stage a comeback to his old life of misery and pain. Once someone really comes to this ultimate intelligence, he can never be deprived of it,

The irony is that Arvind's whole spiritual life begins after this incident of his prison days when he is said to have seen visions of Krishna. It is after his release from the prison that he meets Yogi Lele, who is referred to in your question, and learns meditation from him. It is unbelievable that a person who has yet to learn meditation can come in contact with the universal form of Krishna. If one has already attained to Krishna consciousness, he does not need to learn meditation. For what? And does such a man need a master or a guru?

And the kind of meditation that Arvind learned from Yogi Lele is nothing special; it is an ordinary technique of meditation which does not have much depth. And he practiced it for only three days; perhaps this was his first and last meditation. And we know on Lele's authority that Arvind did not make any headway, any progress.

Arvind sat for meditation only three days, when Lele gave him the simple technique of witnessing, watching his thoughts. Lele asked him to watch his thoughts as if he is watching a beehive swarming with bees within and without. Arvind was frightened to see the swarm of his teeming thoughts, but Lele persuaded him to watch patiently. If someone watches his thoughts he will find that by and by their movement slows down and then disappears. But Arvind did not pursue this technique beyond three days and thought it was enough. And this was the greatest mistake of his life.

Witnessing is the beginning of meditation; attainment of unity with the non-dual, with the supreme intelligence is its culmination. Witnessing is a means to the ultimate unity. One has to go beyond witnessing; even the witness should cease to be. Be cause as long as someone is a witness and there is something to be witnessed, as long as the observer and the observed are separate, duality will remain. A moment of meditation comes when both the observer and the observed disappear, and only pure conscious ness remains. It is difficult to say who is the subject and who is the object, where the knower and the known melt and disappear into each other. As long as there is the slightest separation between the witness and the witnessed, know well that you have yet to transcend the mind.

That is why I say Arvind's experience is not real. That which comes and goes can never be real; it is sheer imagination, a dream, a projection,

Then what is a true experience of reality? One that is everlasting and indestructible is a real experience; all else is a mind game. Arvind did not go beyond witnessing, he just stopped at that. And then he severed his relationship with Lele who had so fat taught only the rudiments of meditation. And this man had something of meditation in him; he was capable of leading Arvind further.

Arvind's second meeting with Lele happened at a time when he himself had become a master. And his behavior during their second meeting was marked by a lack of respect and gratefulness towards Lele. Arvind tried to show that what Lele had taught him was of no consequence and might as well be forgotten.

Arvind is not alone. This situation has happened many times when seekers have stopped with their very first experience of meditation. The very early experiences of meditation are so blissful, so exhilarating and exciting, that a seeker comes to believe he has achieved all there is to be achieved. The most formidable obstacles in the spiritual path do not come in the form of the seeker's attachments to his family and possessions, they invariably come in the form of his first experiences of meditation itself. The dangers that a seeker faces are more internal than external. These experiences are so delightful, so blissful that one wants to cling to them forever. Not only Arvind. but thousands of people have mistaken the stopover for the destination. If a caravanserai gives a traveler such comforts and happiness that he has never known before, it is not surprising if he quits his journey and makes a home of the caravanserai.

There is plenty of evidence that Arvind's meditation never went an inch beyond what he had learned from Lele. For the rest of his life he taught his disciples and others the same rudiments of meditation that Lele had taught him in those first three days. Whoever went to him for guidance in meditation received Lele's wine in Arvind!s bottle. There was nothing of his own, except that he, being an accomplished intellectual and a master of words, explained them in a sophisticated way and elaborated them into thousands of pages. I have scanned all his writings to see if he has said anything more than what he had borrowed from Lele, and I say he does not add anything worthwhile to Lele's teachings. Lele was a simple man and said what he had to say simply. Arvind, on the other hand, is a complex man who can turn even a simple idea into a complicated treatise. But all he taught was simple witnessing.

And I believe Arvind lost even that which he had learned from Lele, and got involved in useless sophistry. You will be amazed to know what Lele later said to Arvind: "You are a fallen man. You have lost whatever meditation you had achieved and now you are engaged in a jugglery of words -- which is what doctrinaire discussion is -- and it has nothing to do with real experiencing."

This statement of Lele's is very revealing, but Arvind's followers do not mention it in their discussions and deliberations about their master. It comes from the person who gave Arvind his first lessons in meditation, and perhaps the last too. And therefore it says a lot about him.

When Lele met Arvind for the second time, he advised him not to get entangled in writing philosophical treatises. He had yet to know truth, about which he had started writing volumes. But Arvind paid no attention to Lele; he just brushed him aside. So it is natural that his followers ignore Lele's comments about their master.

I said a little while ago that because original ideas are discovered by individuals they are likely to go haywire. This does not mean they invariably go wrong, but the chances of their going wrong cannot be minimized. I also said that the contrary is the case with traditional ideas and beliefs. It is true that with the passage of time such ideas and concepts become fossilized and dead, but there is every possibility that even these stinking fossils hide in themselves some great truths. Otherwise it would be impossible for a people to carry on with dead and stinking fossils of belief for centuries upon centuries. Undoubtedly a diamond lies buried in them, but we fail to see it. For this reason people cling to traditional beliefs with such tenacity that we are baffled.

I would like to explain another thing which is very relevant here. Arvind says that his concept of the supramental has its source in the Vedas -- which is simply a travesty of truth. Down the centuries a very corrupt practice, an immoral act, has been perpetrated by persons who would least be expected to take part in it. Whenever someone has discovered something new and original he has not had the courage to claim it as his own. Why? First, because this country knows that new ideas carry with them the possibility of being wrong. So it became a tradition to find corroboration and support for every new idea from old and respectable scriptures. Everyone who came upon something new had to claim its origin in the Vedas, the UPANISHADS, the Brahmasutra. And for this reason right interpretations of these scriptures became difficult. Everyone indiscriminately imposes his own ideas and interpretations on these helpless scriptures. This is no different than a new business using the "good will" of old and established firms.

Evidently no one cared to know what the Vedas or the UPANISHADS really had to say; everyone imposed his own interpretations on them with impunity. So Shankara interprets the UPANISHADS in one way and Nimbarka interprets just the contrary way. So Dayananda interprets the Vedas to conform to his own ideas, and Arvind does it quite differently to suit his beliefs. which are different from Dayananda's. They have made a mess of these great scriptures; they have virtually debauched and defiled them. The Vedas, the UPANISHADS and the Brahmasutra have suffered terribly down the ages at the hands of their interpreters. The same has been the fate of the Geeta. Whoever wants to have his say claims the support of these scriptures, and does everything in his power to impose his meanings on them.

In my view this is nothing but intellectual prostitution, and it has existed in India for thousands of years. Because no one had the courage to say his thing, on his own authority, they had to take shelter in the VEDAS, the UPANISHADS, and the Geeta. And this dishonest practice stemmed from a lack of self-confidence on the part of the great minds of India. Honesty demands that if Arvind has stumbled upon a truth, he should say it on his own regardless of what the VEDAS say. Even if all the scriptures say the opposite, he should fearlessly state his own vision. But if he is not certain of his own ideas, he has no way but to seek the support of the VEDAS, the UPANISHADS and the GEETA. Then he will have to use them as his soldiers to win the battle of debates.

Please bear in mind that the seers of the VEDAS and the UPANISHADS do not seek any such support for themselves, they say on their own whatever they have to say. Their statements are straight, bold and emphatic. The author of the Brahmasutra does not quote authorities to support his viewpoint; he says positively this is his vision of truth. But after the Vedas, UPANISHADS and the Brahmasutra, the intellectual standard of India began to decline and it makes a long, sad story spanning thousands of years. Since then no one dared say his thing on his own authority as the seers of old had. Then everyone sought the support of the trinity of the UPANISHADS, the Brahmasutra and the Geeta. Straightforward and honest utterances became rare. And Arvind is the last link in that long chain of India's intellectual decline.

For this reason, I say Raman and Krishnamurti are much more honest; they don't seek support from the Vedas or anything else. Honesty means that when you err you take the responsibility, instead of passing it on to others, to the Vedas. Honesty means that when you find some right thing, some truth, you say it even if the whole world is against it. Only then will posterity be in a position to judge if there is substance in what you have known. But until recently, utter confusion has prevailed in the world of philosophical ideas and concepts.

In my view, India's philosophy has failed to follow the honest course of development of its counterpart in the West. If Socrates says something, he says it on his own authority; he does not try to prop himself up by the weight of his predecessors. Similarly, if Kant and Wittgenstein say something, they do so on their own; they don't claim the authority of Socrates or anyone else. Western philosophy is much more honest than ours. And it is out of this honest way of thinking that science was born in the West. Science is the child of that honesty. In fact, science cannot come out of dishonest thinking; it is impossible. India could not create science because we have been victims of a deep-rooted intellectual dishonesty; here it is difficult to decide who says what. Everybody is quoting scriptures, everybody is citing authorities; everybody is mimicking the voice of everybody else.

Arvind's excessive dependence on the VEDAS comes from his inferiority complex. It does not reflect his profundity; it only says he is not certain if what he says is true, so he is seeking authoritative support for his shaky ideas.

And the mind of India has been deeply influenced by the VEDAS, the UPANISHADS and the GEETA. India's mind has been heavily conditioned by Mahavira and Buddha. The Indian mind is a prisoner of tradition; we accept anyone who says something on the authority of the VEDAS or the DHAMMAPADA. We don't care about scrutinizing him independently and finding out if what he says is genuine. We blindly accept anything and everything that is said under the cover of the VEDAS.

But the question is: Why take cover behind the VEDAS? Does truth need a cover? If I find some truth I will say it in plain words. And I will also say that if the VEDAS see it the same way as I see, they are right, and if they don't, they are wrong. My perception of truth is self-evident; it is enough unto itself. I am not going to be right or wrong on the authority of the VEDAS. For me, the Vedas have to be right or wrong on my authority.

If someone comes and tells me that what I say is different from what Mahavira says, I will tell him Mahavira is wrong. I cannot even be certain whether or not Mahavira really said it, but I am very certain about what I am saying. Even if the whole world says the way I see it is wrong, I will say that the whole world is wrong -- just because I see it differently. I can be a witness to my own perception, I cannot be a witness to the perception of others.

But it is a very simple and convenient way of putting oneself in the right place. If you encounter truth directly, on your own, and say it exactly as you see it, history will take thousands of years to judge if you have found something real. But if you take cover behind the Vedas, you receive cheap and immediate recognition. Because you say the same thing the Vedas say, you become right on the authority of the most ancient of scriptures. It is a very simple trick and a very dirty trick at that.

I would like to explain it with the help of a story.

A French countess was known for her demanding nature and extravagant lifestyle. Once she visited China, brought home an ashtray from there, and she decided to have her living room painted in the color of the ashtray. She invited the country's greatest painters for this grand job. But no one could match the paint for the walls exactly to the color of the ashtray, which contained a special Chinese pig ment available nowhere in France. So all her efforts failed. Any number of renowned painters came and went away defeated. Then came a painter who said he would do the job on the condition that no one should enter the room for the month during which he would be painting it. The countess agreed to his condition, and the man began his work in earnest.

For a whole month the painter came every day in the morning, closed the living room &om inside and worked there till evening. After the month was over, he invited the countess to visit her living room, and she was immensely pleased to see her desire fulfilled: the room had exactly the color of the ashtray. And the painter happily went home with a million francs in his pocket.

Later the painter wrote in his autobiography that he first painted the walls of the countess' living room and then repainted the ashtray in the same color. And the job was done

Arvind and Dayananda and the rest of the tribe first paint the walls and then they paint the ashtray in the same color. First they create their own doctrines and then they impose those doctrines on the Vedas and claim their infallibility.

All the ancient languages like Sanskrit, Arabic, Latin, and Greek, were meant for poetry, not for science. And such languages have both their advantages and disadvantages. Their advantage is that their words have more than one meaning; their words are pliant and tender. And this is their disadvantage too. Because their words have more than one meaning, it becomes difficult to uncover the meanings with which they were first used.

But they are most suitable for poetry; they lend tenderness and color, depth and richness to poetry. That is why poetry casts its spell on so many different types of people, who all discover their own meanings reflected in them. But these languages are not suitable for science, which needs definitive words with absolutely precise meanings. In science "a" should accurately mean a, and nothing else.

None of the ancient languages is scientific; and science did not develop in them. For the exact sciences, which require absolute or qualitative precision, an altogether different kind of language is needed, and scientists are busy creating it.

You will be surprised to know that physics, which is the most advanced of the sciences now, has gradually given up the use of words and instead begun to express itself through arithmetical formulas like H20. Mathematical formulas are much more exact than ordinary words with more than one meaning. So to understand Einstein it is necessary to be well acquainted with higher mathematics. It is not enough to know a language if you want to understand advanced physics; proficiency in mathematics is essential. So scientific language is taking the form of mathematics And men like Einstein think the language of science in the future will consist more of signs and symbols than of words and phrases; otherwise it cannot be exact and precise.

Not only in India but all the world over, languages in the past had only one form -- their verse. Most ancient scriptures were composed in verse form. It is amazing that even books on ancient Indian medicine were written in verse. And there is a reason for it. In the past, all knowledge had to be communicated orally from the teacher to the taught, and from one generation to another -- writing came much later. For this kind of communication, verse became essential; verse could be easily committed to memory. Prose could not be memorized so easily. That is why the UPANISHADS, the GEETA and the KORAN were composed in verse form, to keep the oral tradition going for thousands of years. But this tradition is also responsible for a lot of confusion about the meanings of words and phrases. And so everyone was free to interpret the VEDAS the way he liked.

As I see it, the work they are carrying out at Pondicherry is the most sterile work ever undertaken in the field of spiritualism. We need not leave it for the future to decide whether it has any value or not. It can be decided here and now.

If someone is heating a bucket of water over a burning furnace, it can be said now and here that the water is going to turn into steam. We need not leave this decision to be made by future generations. And if the person is trying to heat water by placing the bucket on a slab of ice, we can immediately say that this water will never turn into steam. We need not wait for the future to decide what is what. Spiritualism is a whole science; it is not something pseudo like astrology and palmistry. And spiritualism has its own laws and rules. Therefore if someone puts the cart before the horse in the name of spiritualism, I will immediately tell him he is doing something foolish, And if the future has anything to decide, it will be whether what I say or what Arvind says is right.

All growth in this world happens at the level of the individual. The journey of consciousness and its progress begins with individuals, while its attainment, its culmination is cosmic. The source of all consciousness is universal, but its expression is always individual. The cosmos is like the ocean and the individual is like a wave. Consciousness is always seen in the form of individuals. You are an individual consciousness at the moment, and when you will lose your identity as individual consciousness, you will attain to universal consciousness. But then your experience of universal consciousness cannot become everybody's experience, it will remain yours.

There is an old controversy that needs to be rightly understood in this context, When for the first time someone said that there is one soul permeating each and every being, those who believed in the existence of individual souls countered it by saying, "In that event all persons should die when one person dies, and all people should be happy when any one of them feels happy." And there is some force in their argument. If the same consciousness, like electricity, abides in all of us and there is no separation between one and another, then how can you remain happy if I am unhappy? How can you live if I am dead? It is on the basis of this argument that they believed in the multiplicity of souls.

But I don't think their argument is entirely right. It is true that electricity is the same all over, but that does not mean that the destruction of one light bulb should lead to the destruction of all bulbs in a town. Electricity is regulated with the help of transformers and switches, wires and bulbs, and every bulb is attached to a switch of its own. So it is not necessary that with the extinction of one bulb or its switch all bulbs or switches will become inoperative.

The ocean is one and waves are many, arising from the same ocean. But you cannot say that with the disappearance of one wave all other waves will disappear. Maybe, when one wave is dying many other waves are being born. There is no difficulty in it whatsoever.

Looking at it another way, one can imagine that the universal, the supreme consciousness or God will descend on us and he will descend on all of us without discriminating between you and me. This is Arvind's fantasy -- I deliberately call it a fantasy. It is pleasant, but it is a fantasy nonetheless. Many fantasies are pleasurable, but they don't become true just because they are pleasurable. It is exceedingly pleasant to fantasize that God will descend on us, but if I am determined to remain ignorant it is not in the power of Arvind or God himself to dispel my ignorance. He must allow me this much freedom: I can remain ignorant if I choose. And the day my freedom will be gone, to remain ignorant or whatever I choose to be, God and the descent of God's light to the earth will have no meaning. Then even wisdom will turn into a bondage, an imposition. So although Arvind's idea of the supramental appears to be pleasant, in reality it is frightful. And I don't agree with him. Human history does not testify to it.

History says it is always individual consciousness that ascends to divine consciousness and merges into it. Of course, when individual consciousness is ready for ascent and merger with the divine, the divine moves halfway to meet it. This is another way of saying the same thing, but it is always the individual who has to take the initiative. After they have met and merged into each other, it is difficult to say whether the drop merged into the ocean or the ocean merged into the drop. But up till now there is no evidence to say that the ocean on its own descended on some drop which was not prepared for it.

It is always the river which flows to the ocean and not vice versa. Arvind desires that from now on the ocean should flow to the river. But I am afraid if the situation arises, the river will refuse to accept the ocean. It is the river's responsibility and its prerogative too, that it should travel to the ocean and merge into it. The ocean never denies this merger; it is so vast the merger does not make any difference. Even if all the rivers go and merge into it -- and they do -- it makes no difference whatsoever. But if the ocean comes to a river, it will simply destroy it.

It is always an individual person who says that he has attained to divine consciousness; God never says that he has become one with an individual person. And I am certain man will resist any such efforts on God's part, because it will be a trespass on his freedom. And freedom is of the highest.

I am not prepared to accept that cosmic consciousness is ever going to descend on man, as Arvind thinks. The experience of all mankind will testify to what I say, and therefore I can speak for the future.

Arvind is no more on the earth, and nothing like the descent of the supramental happened in his lifetime. Arvind made many such stupid statements. For example, he declared that he was physically immortal, he would not die. And his blind followers believed that their master would eternally live in his physical body. They believed it in the same way they still believe that divine consciousness is going to descend on them. They argued, "How can he die who is the recipient of divine consciousness?"

It is strange how Arvind came to believe that the descent of divine consciousness will not only include one's spirit but also his physical form. He believed that with the descend of the divine, every atom of his body will become divine. How can such a body ever perish? So logically Arvind seems to be right. Many people have spoken about immortality in the context a man's soul, but Arvind is the first person on this earth who talked in terms of physical immortality.

One who stakes his claim on physical immortality has an advantage. You cannot prove him wrong as long as he is alive, and there is no point in proving after he is gone. As long as Arvind was alive his claim was valid. And now that he is no more, there are none who will listen to your accusation that he was wrong. It is not surprising that for twenty-four hours after he died, the lady of Pondicherry ashram, known as the Mother, refused to believe that Arvind was dead. She believed he had entered a deep state of samadhi. For three days she refused to cremate his body in the hope that it might revive. She also believed that a yogi's dead body does not decompose, and Arvind was a yogi. But after three days when Arvind's dead body began to stink, his disciples hurriedly cremated it. They had to hurry through the whole thing because they did not want the country to know that their master's dead body had decomposed. Then India would refuse to accept Arvind as a great yogi.

The irony is, some people of the Pondicherry ashram still believe that Arvind will return to life, because he is physically immortal. It is foolish to think so, but India's mind is stuffed with such rubbish. All kinds of beliefs and superstitions have made this country their home. Now this belief that a yogi's dead body should not decompose is utterly stupid; nonetheless it should be examined.

I don't accept that a yogi's dead body does not deteriorate and disintegrate. It does and it should. And if a yogi's body is immune to decomposition there is no reason why it should not be immune to death itself. In fact, degeneration, deterioration of a body is the beginning of its death. What is old age but a deterioration of one's body? And a yogi is no exception to the law of life. When a yogi's body obeys all other rules of life -- it grows from youth to old age and dies -- why should it defy only one rule: that it cannot decompose after death? It will decompose as any other body does. It is inevitable!

If one is a yogi, his soul, not his body will achieve enlightenment. And the soul is present in every body, whether he is a yogi or not. Of course a yogi becomes aware of it; he comes to know that he is a soul. But this knowledge does not alter the chemistry of matter -- which is his body -- in any basic way. Even a yogi falls sick, but because of such beliefs we have to invent stories about our great ones.

Mahavira died of dysentery. He suffered from this disease for a full six months before his death. So the Jainas had to fabricate a story to explain away the whole thing. How can they accept that a great yogi like Mahavira, who had undergone so many fasts should suffer from a disease like dysentery? His stomach should have immunity from such a disease. Jaina scriptures say that in a period of twelve years' time Mahavira took food for only three hundred and sixty-five days. For months at a stretch, he could go without food. How could a disease overcome him? In my view he was an ideal case for dysentery, because he had tortured his stomach so much. But all those who believed that he was a great yogi could not reconcile with this disease overtaking him. I have no such difficulty; to me a great yogi remains a great yogi whether he suffers from dysentery or not.

But the Jainas had to invent a story that Mahavira's dysentery was not an ordinary dysentery. They said that Goshalak had tried to inflict this disease on him through a special esoteric device, a mantra, and Mahavira had taken and absorbed it out of his great compassion. It is like stories going around the country that such and such yogis were sick because in their compassion they took upon themselves the diseases of their devotees. It is funny that we don't allow our yogis even to get sick on their own. These are stupidities that have pursued us down the ages.

Arvind was dead and his body decomposed and all talk of physical immortality became meaning less. I say they were meaningless even before his death. Physical immortality has never happened on this earth, and there are reasons for it. As Buddha says, whatever is put together is bound to fall apart, because every such togetherness is transitory. If I throw a rock it is bound to fall to the ground. It is my hand's energy that makes it move and when that energy is spent the rock falls to the ground. There is no rock in the world which is going to stay in space forever after it is thrown by me or anyone else. Distance can be extended, but the fall is certain.

One who is born is destined to die. One can be physically immortal only if one does not come to the earth through a regular process of birth, who materializes in physical form from nowhere without seeking the medium of a mother's womb. It is amusing that while you accept birth, which is one end of life, you deny death, the other end. Both ends are together; whoever is born will die. No mortal parents can give birth to a child with an immortal body. They will have to obey the laws of life which make birth inseparable from death. It is such a simple arithmetic. But one can argue that you cannot say Arvind is wrong as long as he is alive.

But I can say without waiting for his death. These laws of life are so simple, clear and self-evident, that Arvind's imaginations, his speculations, cannot make a difference for them. The irony is now he is dead; there is no way to argue with him.

And you say that Pondicherry's work in this regard will be judged by the coming generations. But what will happen to those of the present generation who are engaged in this act of crass stupidity at Pondicherry? Should we allow them to make fools of themselves in the meantime? Granted that the future generations will judge, but should we allow the pre sent generations to perish? No, it cannot be left to the future. All those who are chasing this mirage at Pondicherry are very good people; they have to be cared for. And so we have to warn them against their folly and ask them to reconsider what they are doing. God never descends to us; we have to ascend to God. It is different; when one reaches him he has the feel ing that God has descended on him. But this feeling is different from Arvind's theory.

There is a question about Alice Bailey, who claims that some Master K. has been sending messages to her from Tibetan mountains. This is quite possible, and Alice Bailey may be right.

In fact, there are bodiless souls in the universe who are very compassionate and loving to us and who try to help us even from their ethereal existence. And they do send messages if they come across some suitable medium.

Alice Bailey is not the first person on this earth to have received such messages. Many people like Madame Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Colonel Olcott and Leadbeater have worked as mediums for such bodiless souls in the past. And by contacting such souls who have attained higher states of spiritual growth many things can be known and communicated.

The Theosophists carried out a great experiment of this kind in relation to J. Krishnamurti. Many efforts were made to put Krishnamurti in contact with souls in search of right mediums. Krishnamurti's earliest books, AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER and LIFE OF ALCYONE belong to the period when he was in contact with Tibetan Masters. That is why Krishnamurti disowns their authorship. He did not write them in his conscious state; they were really communicated to him by Tibetan Masters. AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER is an extraordinary book, but it is not written by Krishnamurti he was only a medium who received it in the form of messages, Alice Bailey claims to be such a medium who receives messages from bodiless souls. Western psychologists will not accept Bailey's claim, because they have no way to verify it. Western psychology has absolutely no knowledge of anything beyond the life available to us on this planet. When I say western psychology, I mean the conventional psychology being taught at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, not the parapsychological sciences that have been developing in the West for some time. Conventional psychology is not at all aware that man can live in a bodiless state, and that bodiless souls can communicate with us. But such souls have always existed and they do communicate with us.

There is an episode in Mahavira's life: Mahavira is standing on the outskirts of a forest, alone and silent. A cowherd comes to him and asks him to take care of his cows for a while, because he has to go to his village on some urgent business. Since Mahavira is in silence, he cannot say yes or no, but the cowherd takes his silence as his consent and hurries away to his village.

On his return he is shocked to find that all his cows have disappeared, while Mahavira is standing there as before. The cowherd believes his cows have been stolen with the connivance of this man who is now pretending to be deaf by not answering his questions. He curses Mahavira and beats him mercilessly; he even sticks an iron rod into his ears, telling him, "You are pretending deafness -- so have it for good." Mahavira does not say a word; he remains standing motionless and silent.

Legend has it that Indra, king of the gods, comes to Mahavira and offers protection but Mahavira declines the offer. This Indra is not a person, he is one of the bodiless souls who is grieved to see an innocent and defenseless person like Mahavira being tortured. But Mahavira emphatically says "no" to Indra. It is amusing that the one who does not say a word to the cowherd torturing him, says "no" to Indra. In fact this dialogue between Indra and Mahavira takes place at some inner level where Mahavira has received Indra's message psychically. If he spoke to Indra, he could have also talked to the cowherd and explained his situation. But he maintains his vow of silence in spite of all the tortures he is subjected to. His vow of silence is for twelve years. Evidently he does not have to refuse Indra verbally -- it is an inner dialogue, that can be carried without words and language. There are such channels of esoteric communication where neither words nor sense organs are needed.

Mahavira's followers have been in difficulty explaining this episode. But it is quite possible. There are bodiless souls who can communicate with us astrally and without words.

Mahavira is reported to have said to Indra, "No, if I agree to be protected by you I will lose my freedom. Leave me undefended so my freedom re mains intact. Your help will surely bind me to you, and I don't want bondage even in return for my protection." Mahavira means to say that the cowherd will not do him as much harm as Indra's protection because it will bind him with the king of gods. Tortures inflicted on him by a keeper of cows will not bind him in any way, but the security provided by Indra certainly will. He would not like to give up his freedom at any cost.

Another legend says when Gautam Siddhartha first attained to Buddhahood, gods came to greet him. Buddha did not say a word for seven days after his enlightenment -- as if he had lost his voice. It happens often when one attains to the supreme knowledge; he loses his speech.

It is easy to speak in a state of ignorance. When one does not know the truth he has no sense of responsibility for what he says; he can say anything he likes. There is no difficulty in speaking about something we don't know, because we are not afraid of being wrong. But when one comes to truth, he becomes speechless, because truth cannot be said.

So when Buddha became Buddha, he kept absolutely silent for seven days, and it is said the gods became disturbed and implored him to resume speak ing. It would be calamitous for mankind, the gods thought, if Buddha did not share his priceless wisdom with those who needed it. It is after millenia that a man like him is born on this planet. "Pray, speak for the sake of the suffering humanity," the gods begged him.

These gods are bodiless souls, not persons. They are highly evolved souls, aware that what Buddha has achieved is rare. And fortunately for the world he is in a human body, so he is in a position to communicate with the world. The gods cannot communicate, they lack bodies. Gods also know what Buddha has known, and they are anxious to communicate it to the world, but they are helpless. Here is a person who has known the ultimate truth and is still in his body and in the world. And it is only rarely that a member of the human race stumbles upon the ultimate truth. Therefore these bodiless souls insist that Buddha must speak, and speak without any further delay. And with great difficulty they succeed in persuading Buddha to speak, and they rejoice at their success.

But these astral souls are not going to use Buddha as their medium. It is not that Buddha will convey their message to the world. Buddha has his own message, his own speech.

What Alice Bailey says is right. But it is difficult for her to assert that what she says is right because she is only a medium, the messages belong to somebody else. A medium can say only this much; the messages are received at the level of his inner space. But he cannot claim that whatever he receives is right, that it is not his own mind game, a trick of his unconscious. A medium cannot assert that he is not a victim of self-deception, because countless people are deceived by their own unconscious into believing that they are mediums of great souls or gods. It is really hard for a medium to assert his authenticity, and the psychologists can easily corner Alice Bailey.

And lastly you want to know if I am in contact with any such masters.

No, I don't believe in borrowing knowledge. I am not in contact with any of these masters; I stand wholly on my own. What I am saying, right or wrong, is my thing, and I am wholly responsible for it. I have nothing to do with any bodiless masters. And if I accept someone as my master, then there is every danger of my becoming somebody's master in turn. I don't indulge in such games. I am no one's disciple, nor do I want to be anyone's master. Therefore I say only that which I know, and I am not interested in the masters. If I speak about them it is only in passing, and by way of reference. I have nothing to do with their authenticity or otherwise.

All I want to say in this context is that there are both good and evil souls; good souls are known as gods and evil souls as ghosts. In the West these gods are known as masters: the word "master" has become a synonym for god in the current use in the West. These gods have always sent messages, and they continue to do so. Similarly, even evil souls send messages; they are also looking out for suitable mediums. If ever you are in a frame of mind that suits the evil souls, they will not fail to utilize you.

Many times people do things they would not do on their own. They become just instruments in the hands of evil spirits. So when a murderer swears before a judge that he committed the crime in spite of himself, he is not necessarily Lying. It is possible. There are spirits that use people to commit heinous crimes on their behalf. There are buildings all over the world haunted by evil spirits, and if you go to live in them you will be compelled to commit murders at their behest. Feuds and vendettas are carried on not only from one generation to another, but also from one life to another.

A young man was brought to me recently. The house he has been living in was bought three years ago. And ever since, a process of deterioration in his personality set in and by and by he became a different man altogether. Before coming to this house this young man was known for being very gentle and meek; now he is arrogant and haughty, irritable and violent -- ready to fight at the slightest provocation. This metamorphosis, this mutation in his personality took place the very day he entered the new house. If it had happened gradually over time his parents would not have been so frightened. And even more intriguing was that as soon as he was taken from the new house for a while he was his old self again. He was okay when he was brought to me. The young man himself said that in my presence he was feeling fine but the moment he entered that house everything turned upside down.

I put the young man under hypnosis and questioned him for a while. A harrowing story emerged from the session and it stretches over a period of eleven hundred years.

This new house where the young man lives is a haunted house. The spirit which haunts it happened to be the owner of the land on which the present house stands. And for these eleven hundred years this spirit has been continuously engaged in getting members of a particular family murdered. He has, up to now, thirty five murders to his credit, spread over many generations. The spirit said that he would not leave this young man until he committed a murder for him.

Eleven centuries ago, members of the family that happen to be targets of the ghost's vendetta had murdered him on this very farm. Since then his ghost has been continuously camping here busy avenging his own death. And the ghost takes every care to trace the members of the family as they are born and reborn and gets them killed through such mediums as this young man.

Evil souls send their own messages and do their own things. Many times you are made to do things, good or bad. You think you did them. No, you are made to do these things by bodiless souls that lurk around everywhere. Sometimes you are amazed at your own performance. Never mind others, you yourself refuse to believe that you could do such a great thing. In fact some bodiless soul is behind it; he is getting it done through you.

There is nothing wrong in Bailey's statement, but she cannot prove its authenticity. No one can, Not even Madame Blavatsky could do it with the large volume of such messages she had received.

In this context I will explain further an event which I mentioned a little while ago. I said that a great experiment was being carried out with Krishnamurti and it failed. The venture was such that any number of godly souls got themselves involved in it in a concerted way. They were trying to see to it that a consciousness of the height of Buddha, Mahavira or Krishna enters the person of Krishnamurti. In fact, such a consciousness was already waiting for an opportunity like this. A promise given by Buddha before he left his physical body was close to its time of fulfill ment. Buddha had said that after twenty-five hundred years, he would visit this earth once again in the name of Maitreya.

So Buddha's own soul, his own incarnation, has been waiting to come here in the form of Maitreya But a suitable body, a right medium for his incarnation was not available. Theosophy's whole planning and efforts for a hundred years were consecrated in the search of a medium for Maitreya's incarnation. So they worked on four or five persons, but they failed in every case. They spent most of their attention and energy on Krishnamurti, but they could not succeed.

The most important reason for the failure of this great effort was the effort itself; the theosophists really overdid it. All those who were involved in this venture concentrated their efforts on Krishnamurti and pressured him so much that his individuality revolted against them. Krishnamurti reacted and said a big No.

Forty years have passed since, but Krishnamurti has not been able to go beyond his reaction against the theosophists and all others who were after him. He continues to speak against them -- who are now no more in this world. Whatever he says is tinged with the bitterness the old experience has left in him. Deep down the wound remains unhealed.

It was really a mistake to have selected Krishnamurti as a medium for Maitreya's incarnation. No doubt he was a very suitable soul, but he was much too evolved for being a medium for another soul -- however high it may be. He could not be persuaded to be a medium. A weaker soul than Krishnamurti's should have been chosen. In fact, the theosophists had also worked on some weaker souls, but they were much too weak to be a vehicle for Maitreya. This was their dilemma: a superior soul like Krishnamurti's did not consent to be the vehicle, and inferior souls lacked in the requisite qualities. As long as Krishnamurti was in his teens he conformed to their wishes and demands, but as he grew in age and awareneSS, he began to resist their efforts and ultimately walked out of their court.

Thus a great venture failed, Maitreya's soul is still wandering, and it is difficult to say how long it will take to find a suitable vehicle for his incarnation. Those who are suitable as mediums don't agree to be vehicles for others. They are mature enough to be on their own And those who agree are not that worthy So the possibility of his incarnation is diminishing as time passes by. And there seems to be no more any organized efforts being made in this direction. Maybe some accidental planning will work, as it has in the past. Nobody had to be persuaded for the soul born first as Gautam Siddhartha, who later transformed himself into Bud&a, the awakened one. He found an appropriate womb and became embodied. Similarly Mahavira came to this world through another womb. But then wombs of such superior quality are becoming rarer and rarer.


Next: Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 2


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Chapter 16


  • Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 1

  • Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 2

  • Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 3

  • Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 4

  • Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 5
    Krishna, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter 16: Atheism, Theism and Reality, Question 5, DID KRISHNA HAVE TO PASS THROUGH ATHEISM IN ORDER TO ATTAIN TO THE HIGHEST IN THEISM? at





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