U.G. Krishnamurti: The negating guru

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u.g. krishnamurtiU.G. Krishnamurti and the phrase “lobbing grenades” go hand in hand. He made a name for himself by bashing spiritual traditions, teachers, and seekers. He had his reasons though:
Q: You seem bent upon demolishing everything other teachers have taught….
U.G.: My interest is not to knock off what others have said (that is too easy), but to knock off what I am saying. More precisely, I am trying to stop what you are making out of what I am saying. This is why my talking sounds contradictory to others. I am forced by the nature of your listening to always negate the first statement with another statement. The second statement is negated by a third, and so on. My aim is not some comfy dialectical thesis, but the total negation of everything that can be expressed. Anything you try to make out of my statements is not it.
U. G.’s style is reminiscent of the dialogues in The Zen Teaching of Huang Po where the hapless disciples ask all manner of questions in the hope of getting an affirmative answer, but it never comes. The master negates everything they say. At least Huang Poe hinted that there was an answer, it just wasn’t something they could conceive. U.G. Krishnamurti seems intent on quashing every hope.

Is there method to his rants? After reading the diary entries (available at www.well.com/ user/jct/mahesh.html) of a fellow who spent a month with U. G., I think perhaps. My impression is that U. G. did care about at least some of the people he berated.

U.G. Krishnamurti passed away in Vallecrossia, Italy on March 25th, 2007. Here’s an excerpt from the Daily News and Analysis – India:

Thinker and philosopher U.G. Krishnamurti has died at Vallecrossia in Italy aged 89.
Krishnamurti, lovingly called UG by his friends and admirers, had slipped and injured himself seven weeks ago and was bedridden, his friends said.
UG’s longtime friends filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Larry and Susan Morris and a few other friends were by his side when he died two days ago.
Krishnamurti, who had moved to Italy in January, suffered from “cardio spasm” for many years which became quite severe in the last days of his life.
As per his advice, no rituals or funeral rites were conducted, and he did not leave instructions on how to dispose of his body, his friend and admirer AP Frank Noronha said.
The cremation was carried out by Mahesh Bhatt on Friday.
UG is survived by two daughters and a son.

“Why bother hanging around me?”

The closest thing to an official U.G. Krishnamurti website.

A site with audio and video of U.G.

A biography of U.G. Krishnamurti.

17 thoughts on “U.G. Krishnamurti: The negating guru”

  1. I came across UG about two months ago. I’ve listened to everything I can get my hands on. This Man is magic.

    Trish. – Australia

          1. Sorry. The date is 22nd Mar 2007. And not as the article says 25th Mar 2007. This is the date on which “The Hindu” reported the death.

    1. Trish , I agree !
      I’m in Australia also and would love to connect with someone here to share inspiration.. I don’t come across anyone who knows UG !
      if your interested, please email me at

  2. In his own way, he says the same things as Ms Bernadette Roberts minus the dogma. Also similar are the views of Linda Clair, Richard Rose, Nisargadatta and Ramana himself. UG’s ego took a severe battering from Ramana’s mild admonishment. But UG secretly held Ramana in high esteem after his own “calamity”.

  3. I am big fan of Mr.UG. But please share with me any book or words of Mr.UG where he talks about social problems that human faces in this human framed society?. In other words what should I do if..
    – A rape is happening right infront of me?
    – A theft infront of me?
    – A blind man (handicap) trying to cross road or looking for job?
    – A helpless or a less fortune (less intellectual) guy struggling for basic needs in this rude society?
    I have listened to various lectures of Mr.UG talking against thinking process which I admire, but that doesn’t bring solution to the social problems.

    1. Keshav, Do you necessarily need anybook or words of UG? Or do you mean any book or words that would provide you answers to this question.

    2. Your question what should I do? It is in the domain of thought(thinking).
      As UG puts it “this system is unparalleled” Our system has inbuilt flight/fight/freeze mechanism. it will act. leave it to your body, whatever it will do it will do? Go along with that!

    3. Hi. I appreciate your question. I’m going to reply but please don’t take anything personally.

      He doesn’t speak to those questions because there is no answer.

      What will “I” do if there is a rape in front of me? “I” may subdue the rapist and be a “hero”, I may run in terror and hide, I may call the police and leave anonymously, I may…… but I don’t know.

      Am I what thought tell’s me I am? When I was young I believed I was better than everyone, more careing, more brave, more…..and then I looked closer and to my horror I was selfish, narcissistic, even delusional. One moment I acted like a hero and the next like a zero.

      We believe we know who we are and what we will do. We push away all of the times our actions don’t match our image OR we build an image out of our failures.

      We forget that we don’t know anything. Everything we know, especially through words and concepts is monumentally false. Our so called experts, teachers, saints, sinner’s are as important as a blade of grass in December. We literally live in a complete world of make believe and spend our entire lives arguing over which lie seems better.

      UG didn’t talk to those things because the answer is always you will act, but you won’t know why. No worries, thought will come in later an make up a story and you will go back to sleep.

      We think we know but we don’t. If there was ever a time where any of those things happened to you (or any life threatening situation), look back and see that you acted before you had time to think (is there such a thing as time without thought) and thought had nothing to do with it.

      I think it was Buddha that said “deeds are done but there is no doer thereof”. Sounds about right . ?❤️

    4. You exercise common sense!!
      That’s what he would tell you !

      UG never told people to not think ,
      You need to listen more carefully to him

      All your concepts and imagination type thinking is what must go !

      Not your intelligence, which is common sense

  4. A graphic novel of UG’s life was recently published. ‘This Dog Barking’ by James Farley and Nicolas Grey. I recommend it. Very cool seeing his life presented through that medium. Beautifully illustrated.

  5. UG’s main point was (imo) that there is absolutely no way that any teacher, way, discipline or path can be of any use to any seeker. Anything one thinks of getting out of his talks is wrong. Any hint of how to achieve enlightnenment, how to live or whatever is wrongful hearing.
    Perhaps there is one thing: All ways, disciplines and practices imply that a solution is needed for a problem. Hereby falsely confirming the existence of a problem. All is fine and only the assumption of a problem is false. People are fond of solutions, and we have plenty of them. But they have not solved the problem, because there is non.
    So he was very consistent in telling people that they could not get anything from him or others spiritualy. Anyone who claims otherwise is mistaken or a sham. The mind is simply not capable of getting this. The mind can only handle worldly problems and their possible solutions.
    Greetings from Rob

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