U. G. Krishnamurti

Indian philosopher (1918-2007)

Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (July 9, 1918March 22, 2007), better known as U.G. Krishnamurti, or just U.G., was a speaker and philosopher, often known as an "anti-guru" or as "the man who refused to be a guru."

If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place.


  • You think when you don't want to do anything. Thinking is a poor alternative to acting. Your thinking is consuming all your energy. Act, don't think!
  • A guru is one who tells you to throw away all the crutches that we have been made to believe are essential for our survival. He would ask you to walk, and he would say that if you fall, you will arise and walk.
  • It [thought] is a mechanical thing and can solve only mechanical problems. But you want to use it to understand something living; that is the problem. It is not intended for that. Human problems are something living. You cannot use thinking to solve those problems.
    • Stopped in Our Tracks, Book Two: Excerpts from U.G.'s Dialogues (2005) by K. Chandrasekhar
  • It is the body that is immortal. It is living from moment to moment. As a human body it is an extraordinary piece of creation. But as a human being he is rotten because of the culture.
    • Quoted in The Sage And the Housewife (2005) by Shanta Kelker, Ch. 3

The Mystique of Enlightenment (1982)

The Mystique of Enlightenment: The Radical Ideas of U.G. Krishnamurti (1982) edited by Rodney Arms
  • My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody.
    • Copyright release found in this and several other publications of his conversations (note: copyright restrictions apply)
  • 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.
    • Part 1: U.G.
  • To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you; nobody can take it away from you. He who lets that express itself in its own way is a "Natural Man".
    • Part 2: The Mystique of Enlightenment
  • I have one thing against medical technology. You see, the very desire to understand the human being is to control him — that is why I am not quite in sympathy. The day you control the endocrine glands, you will change the personality of man; you won't need any brainwashing. Brainwashing is a very elaborate process. If nature had been allowed to go on in its own way, everybody would have become a unique flower. Why should there be only roses in this world? What for? A grass flower or a dandelion flower has as much beauty, as much importance in the scheme of things. Why should there be only jasmine flowers, roses, or some other flower? So, the possibility is there of a change taking place which is sudden, not progressive. It has to happen in a very sudden and explosive way to break the whole thing.
    • Part 4: Betwixt Bewilderment and Understanding

Mind is a Myth (1987)

Mind is a Myth: Disquieting Conversations with the Man Called U.G. (1987) edited by Terry Newland
  • I have assumed that the goal, enlightenment, exists. I have had to search and it is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end.
    • Quoted in Introduction by Terry Newland
  • There is no such thing as truth. The only thing that is actually there is your "logically" ascertained premise, which you call "truth".
    • Ch. 1: The Certainty That Blasts Everything
  • Our mind (and there are no individual minds — only "mind", which is the accumulation of man's knowledge and experience) has created the notion of the psyche and evolution. Only technology progresses, while we as a race are moving closer to complete and total destruction of the world and ourselves. Everything in man's consciousness is pushing the whole world, which nature has so laboriously created, toward destruction. There has been no qualitative change in man's thinking; we feel about our neighbours just as the frightened caveman felt towards his. The only thing that has changed is our ability to destroy our neighbor and his property.
    • Ch. 1: The Certainty That Blasts Everything
  • It is the ones who believe in God, who preach peace and talk of love, who have created the human jungle. Compared to man's jungle, nature's jungle is simple and sensible! In nature animals don't kill their own kind. That is part of the beauty of nature. In this regard man is worse than the other animals. The so-called "civilized" man kills for ideals and beliefs, while the animals kill only for survival.
    • Ch. 1: The Certainty That Blasts Everything
  • Thought can never capture the movement of life, it is much too slow. It is like lightning and thunder. They occur simultaneously, but sound, travelling slower than light, reaches you later, creating the illusion of two separate events.
    • Ch. 3: Not Knowing Is Your Natural State
  • If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place.
    • Ch. 4: There Is Nothing To Understand
  • If you are freed from the goal of the "perfect" ,"godly", "truly religious" then that which is natural in man begins to express itself. Your religious and secular culture has placed before you the ideal man or woman, the perfect human being, and then tries to fit everybody into that mold. It is impossible. Nature does not exist at all. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals, whereas culture has invented a single mold to which all must conform. It is grotesque.
    • Ch. 4: There Is Nothing To Understand
  • I am simply pointing out that at the rate at which we are going the whole genetic engineering technology will end up in the hands of the political system to be used for the complete control and subjugation of man.
    • Ch. 4: There Is Nothing To Understand

Thought is Your Enemy (1990)

Thought is Your Enemy: Mind-shattering Conversations with the Man Called U.G. (1990) edited by Antony Paul Frank Noronha, J.S.L.R. Narayana Moorty, and Sunita Pant Bansal
  • Society or culture or whatever you might want to call it, has created us all solely and wholly for the purpose of maintaining its continuity and status quo.
    • Chapter II: Throw Away Your Crutches
  • To be an individual and to be yourself you don't have to do a thing. Culture demands that you should be something other than what you are. What a tremendous amount of energy — the will, the effort — we waste trying to become that! If that energy is released, what is it that we can't do? How simple it would be for every one of us to live in this world!
    • Chapter III: The Robot Is Dreaming

The Courage to Stand Alone (2001)

The Courage to Stand Alone: Conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti (2001) edited by Ellen J. Chrystal
  • Whatever pursuit you are indulging in, somewhere along the line it has to dawn on you that it is not leading you anywhere. As long as you want something, you will do that. That want has to be very, very clear. What do you want? All the time I ask you the question, "What do you want?" You say, "I want to be at peace with myself." That is an impossible goal for you because everything you are doing to be at peace with yourself is what is destroying the peace that is already there. You have set in motion the movement of thought which is destroying the peace that is there, you see. It is very difficult to understand that all that you are doing is the impediment, is the one thing that is disturbing the harmony, the peace that is already there.
    • Part I: You Don't Have To Do A Thing
  • You know the story of 'Alice in Wonderland'. The red queen has to run faster and faster to keep still where she is. That is exactly what you are all doing. running faster and faster. But you are not moving anywhere.
    • Part III: Nice Meeting You, and Goodbye
  • You can have the courage to climb the mountain, swim the lakes, go on a raft to the other side of the Atlantic or Pacific. That any fool can do, but the courage to be on your own, to stand on your two solid feet, is something which cannot be given by somebody. You cannot free yourself of that burden by trying to develop that courage. If you are freed from the entire burden of the entire past of mankind, then what is left there is the courage.
    • Part III: Nice Meeting You, and Goodbye

No Way Out (2002)

No Way Out : Conversations With U.G. Krishnamurti (different editions of this work arrange and title the material differently)
  • I am not anti-rational, just unrational. You may infer a rational meaning in what I say or do, but it is your doing, not mine.
    • Ch. 1: The Unrational Philosophy of U.G. Krishnamurti
  • Whether you are interested in moksha, liberation, freedom, transformation, you name it, you are interested in happiness without one moment of unhappiness, pleasure without pain, it is the same thing. Whether one is here in India or Russia or in America or anywhere, what people want is to have one without the other. But there is no way you can have one without the other. This demand is not in the interest of the survival of this living organism.
    • Ch. 2: Nothing To Be Transformed
  • We are not created for any grander purpose than the ants that are there or the flies that are hovering around us or the mosquitoes that are sucking our blood.
    • Ch. 4: You Invent Your Reality
  • Nature is interested in only two things — to survive and to reproduce one like itself. Anything you superimpose on that, all the cultural input, is responsible for the boredom of man.
    • Ch. 4: You Invent Your Reality
  • No talent is required to reproduce. Nature has done a tremendous job in creating this extraordinary piece — the body. The body does not want to learn anything from culture. It doesn't want to know anything from us. We are always interested in telling this body how to function. All our experiences, spiritual or otherwise, are the basic cause of our suffering. The body is not interested in your bliss or your ecstasies. It is not interested in your pleasure. It is not in interested in anything that you are interested in. And that is the battle that is going on all the time. But there seems to be no way out.
    • Ch. 4: You Invent Your Reality
  • We think that thoughts are there inside of us. We think that they are self-generated and spontaneous. What is actually there is what I call a thought-sphere. The thought-sphere is the totality of man's experiences, thoughts, and feelings passed on to us from generation to generation.
    • Ch. 6: Seeking Strengthens Separation
  • Thought creates frontiers everywhere. That's all it can do. ...it is thought that has created the world; and you draw lines on this planet, "This is my country, that is your country". So how can there be unity between two countries? The very thing that is creating the frontiers and differences cannot be the means to bridge the different viewpoints. It is an exercise in futility.
    • Ch. 7: What Kind Of Human Being Do You Want?
  • Political institutions and ideologies are the warty outgrowth of the religious thinking of the man; in a way responsible for the tragedy of mankind. We are slaves to our ideas and beliefs, and we torture ourselves in the hope of achieving something. All our experience, spiritual or otherwise, is the basic cause of our suffering... The body is not interested in anything "you" are interested in; that is the battle that is going on all the time.
    • Ch. 7: What Kind Of Human Being Do You Want?
  • The fact is that we don't want to be free. What is responsible for our problems is the fear of losing what we have and what we know. All these therapies, all these techniques, religious or otherwise, are only perpetuating the agony of man.
    • Ch. 7: What Kind Of Human Being Do You Want?
  • The plain fact is that if you don't have a problem, you create one. If you don't have a problem you don't feel that you are living.
    • Ch. 7: What Kind Of Human Being Do You Want?
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