- Krishnamurti, U. G.
- (1918– )unorthodox teacher of philosophy of “no self ”U. G. Krishnamurti is an original teacher in the Hindu tradition, who believes that conscious thought is the enemy of true knowledge.Born into a BRAHMIN family on July 9, 1918, in Andhra Pradesh, India, U. G. Krishnamurti was exposed by his family to many forms of Hindu-ism as well as the philosophy of the THEOSOPHI-CAL SOCIETY. His childhood home was visited by monks, SWAMIS, pundits, GURUS, and religious scholars, who engaged in constant conversations on philosophy, religion, occultism, and metaphys-ics. He studied classical yoga with Swami SIVANA-NDA of Rishikesh and visited Sri RAMANA MAHARSHI in Tiruvannamalai.At the University of Madras (Chennai), U. G. Krishnamurti studied philosophy and psychol-ogy. He married in his 20s and had four children. He became a public speaker and delivered ora-tions for the Theosophical Society, becoming acquainted with J. KRISHNAMURTI (no relation), the person chosen in 1914 by Theosophists as the “world teacher.”U. G. Krishnamurti’s teaching centers around a radical notion that so-called SELF-REALIZATION is actually the discovery that there is no self to discover. There is a “natural state” for humans that simply happens, without thought and with-out effort. Thought is an enemy because thought cannot touch anything living and cannot capture, contain, or express the quality of life. Further, religious and spiritual teachings that reduce the quality of life to thought and systems of thought are polluting to the spirit of humanity. Anything based on knowledge through thought is an illu-sion. Any moment of experience cannot be cap-tured or given expression. Once the moment is captured, it is made a part of the past. In this way, U. G. Krishnamurti challenges the way that society is organized, in its political ideologies, legal structures, and religious institutions. What is necessary for survival of the human organism are an intelligence of the body and awareness of the moment of existence.U. G. Krishnamurti continues to teach in Swit-zerland, India, and the United States.Further reading: Mahesh Bhatt, U. G. Krishnamurti—a Life (New Delhi: Penguin India, 2001); U. G. Krish-namurti, Mind Is a Myth—Disquieting Conversations with the Man Called U. G. Edited by Terry Newland (Volant: Dinesh, 1988); ———, The Mystique of Enlightenment: The Unrational Ideas of a Man Called U. G. Edited by Rodney Arms, 3d ed. (Bangalore: Sahasramana Prakashana, 2001); ———, Thought Is Your Enemy: Mind-Shattering Conversations with the Man Called U. G. Edited by Anthony Paul Frank Noronha and J. S. R. L. Narayana Moorty (Bangalore: Sowmya, 1991).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.