Narrative - Part 3
J. Krishnamurti on his arrival in Ceylon at the Ratmalana Airport for Talks in January 1957. (L to R) H. P. Siriwardena, Krishnaji, Mrs. Iriyagolle, Kewal Motwani, W. H. Bodhidasa, J. P. Gunawardena, Shan, D. A. Abeyasekera, I. M. R. A. Iragolle, Minister of Education
The earlier parts of this Narrative (Parts 1 & 2) dealt with the writers personal meetings with Sri Ramana Maharishi at Tiruvannamalai in 1943 and 1946 and his gracious reply to the spiritual queries placed before him for elucidation at that time.
The current Part 3 of the Narrative endeavours to deal with incidents connected with the writer's personal meetings with J. Krishnamurti originally at an interview 'With him in 1947 at his Sterling Road residence in Madras and later in 1949, 1957 and 1980 in Sri Lanka as a continuing member of the official Reception Committee that arranged his talks in Colombo under the chairmanship of the late Dr. E. W. Adikaram, the well known Buddhist scholar and votary of Ahimsa.
Incidentally Dr. Adikararn was one of the very few persons who as a postgraduate student in London had crossed over to Holland and was present at the famous meeting of the Order of the Star of the East held at Ommen in Holland in August 1929, where Krishnaji (having been hailed earlier as the coming Messiah in 1925 at Adyar in India , where the Christ spoke through him and blazed forth a message of hope to all humanity) now dissolved the Order of the Star of the East established by Dr. Annie Besant, the great Theosophical leader, and returned to the donor the huge castle and the vast acres that had been donated to the Order of the Star of the East to propagate the work of the new Messiah, with the stirring declaration:
"Truth is a Pathless land and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion or by any sect. Truth being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organised nor should any organisation be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If there are only five people who have their faces turned towards Eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is it to have thousands who do not understand, who do not want the new but would rather translate the new to suit their own sterile stagnant selves."
Since then Krishnaji has been going round the world as a lone Awakener for over 55 years talking to people and carrying this message of liberation. It is said that Krishnaji has ploughed the human consciousness in the 20th century, and prepared the ground for the advent of the new Aquarian age with its predicted potential of a great leap in spiritual progress for mankind. Sage Vimala Thakar of Mount Abu in India and intellectuals Aldous Huxley and David Bohm have in their own way endorsed this view.
Another illuminating view of Krishnaji's role as a unique revolutionary spiritual Teacher was expressed by the well known saint Yogi Ram Surat Kumar of Tiruvannamalai (as told to Sri V. Ganesan, a former editor of the Mountain Path and a grandnephew of Sri Ramana Maharishi) as follows:
"Krishnaji is for non-believers. For us believers there are any number of Masters to follow. But for genuine nonbelievers, Krishnaji chooses terms that are different. He gives us the same essence as any of the great Masters, but he couches it in opposite terminologies! I was perplexed with the two diametrically opposite made by Swami Ramdas, my Master, that the Name (of God) is everything and by Krishnaji in his writings that there is nothing in the Name.... Early one morning I waited (all alone) in the garden, Of Vasant Vihar at Madras where Krishnaji was residing, hoping that he would come down (from his upstair room) and meet me. Krishnaji came down straight to me. I prostrated fully before him. After some time he lifted me up affectionately and put both his hands on my shoulders tenderly. I could not speak a single word as I was in a state of spiritual awe, physical wonder and mental exhilaration! He said in his ever sweet voice 'Both of us say the same thing'. I was in ecstasy. My doubt was eradicated. Both the statements 'Name is everything' and "Name is nothing' convey the same truth. Poornam and Sunya (Plenum and Vold) mean and signify exactly the same indivisible Oneness."
The large Ashram at Tiruvannamalai of Saint Yogi Ram Surat Kumar, who has now attained Mahasamadhi, is managed by retired Justice T.S. Arunachalam as sole Trustee and the writer has met him on several occasions in recent years and discussed spiritual topics with him.
Reverting to the subject of the first interview that the writer had with Krishnaji in 1947, the writer recalls rushing to Madras from Colombo in a small Dakota plane with great expectations and presenting Krishnaji with a written list of 33 queries on spiritual themes for his gracious elucidation. Krishnaji was pleasantly surprised at the writer's over-enthusiasm and said "Sir, Sir, shall we discuss just one question for the time being?' The writer learnt very soon Krishnaji's technique of never answering a question directly but throwing it back to the questioner in the course of discussion to enable him to work on it himself with awakened Awareness.
On the return journey to Colombo by the same Dakota plane a few days later, the writer had a pleasant surprise, when he scanned the passenger list and found that there was a fellow traveler by the name of Hon. S. Bunder Naicker. The writer happened to meet him when he boarded the plane as the last passenger and suddenly recognised him as the Hon. S.W.R.D Bandaranaike, who was then Local Government Minister in the Ceylon Cabinet of the State Council returning after an official visit to India.
The writer knew the Minister personally as he had invited him on several occasions as guest speaker to participate in the Union debates at the University College, Colombo in 1939, when he was Secretary of the Students Union, and joked with him that the Indian staff at the Madras Airport had re-christened him as "Naicker". He enjoyed the joke and laughed it off while continuing to smoke his pipe.
S.W.R.D had not met Krishnaji at anytime, to the writer's recollection, but Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake and Presidents R. Premadasa and J. R. Jayawardena had sought interviews with him on one -or two of his visits to Sri Lanka. It is a well known security secret that Jawaharlal Nehru who was on an official visit to Ceylon in 1949 and staying at President's House, sneaked out on his own without security arrangements and visited Krishnaji who was accommodated at a residence in Kollupitiya by Dr. E. W. Adikaram and the Reception committee. Nehru had a great admiration for Krishnaji and earlier for Dr. Annie Besant the veteran Theosophist and National Congress leader of India.
Another aspect of Krishnaii's revolutionary spiritual teaching came to light when the writer invited his senior Mr. H.V. Perera Q.C the leading brilliant lawyer of the Ceylon Bar to attend one of Krishnaji's talks at the Town Hall, Colombo, in January 1957, with the expectation that one great thinker would greatly appreciate the thought process of another great mind. But H.V "s reaction to the talk was otherwise. He said that the talk was cryptic and very confusing and the reasoning was anything but logical. The underlying fact is that Krishnaji's talks are akin to those of a Zen Buddhist master who presents paradoxical statements called 'Koans' to his listeners, in order to bring the thought process to a grinding halt and give rise to pure Awareness, without the consciousness focusing on any object.
This revolutionary approach is seen again in one of Krishnaji's last talks of his life delivered at Saanen in Switzerland in 1984 where he asks the question 'If all Time is in the Now, what is action?' He then explains that if one understands that the past is only memory and the future only ideation and the present conscious moment or Now is the only reality, then there is observation and instant action in a state of pure Awareness without waiting for the thought process to initiate action based on the illusory past or future.
All these revolutionary teachings, however, including the Sakshi meditation of T. M. Guru Mahesh Yogi, constitute part of the Ancient Wisdom which has been consistently taught by the Rishis of old, such as Sri Agastya Mahamuni, the ageless primordial Guru of Gurus, and the head of the Saptha - Rishis and of the Chit - Purushas, who can still be contacted on the physical plane through proper sensitive channels.
During the three visits of Krishnaji to Ceylon in 1949,1957 and 1980, the writer was functioning as an active member of the Reception Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. E.W. Adikaram and on some occasions personally escorted
Krishnaji to and from meetings in the writer's car. Krishnaji was a dominating figure on the stage demolishing traditional superstitions, prejudices and conditionings of his listeners with iconoclastic fervour, but off the stage he was a charming personality, often shy and effeminate and full of compassion, humility and loving care for all around him.
Krishnaji is a born healer of mind and body, but he does not acknowledge that he does any deliberate healing. He says that unexpectedly sometimes healings take place in his presence on their own. His nephew Narayanan and his other associates -have vouched for this.
When Krishnaji arrived at the Ratmalana airport in January 1957 to give a series of talks in Ceylon, he was met by Hon. I .M. R. A. Iriyagolle', Minister of Education, and some of the other members of the Reception Committee. A journalist asked him for a brief message and he obliged by immediately uttering a perplexing truth, namely "'Reality is in the silent interval between two thoughts" and it was splashed in the newspapers the next day.
On one occasion during his last visit to Sri Lanka in 1980, the writer recalls a somewhat humorous incident. When the writer was escorting Krishnaji out of the hall, after a talk, to his car, it started raining and the writer was holding an umbrella over Krishnaji's head. Suddenly Krishnaji lost one of his slippers while climbing down a few steps and lurched forward and the writer gripped Krishaji's left arm with his right palm while holding umbrella over Krishnaji's head with his left hand and steadied him. In the meanwhile one of the persons who had lined up to greet him, as he was leaving, picked up the slipper and helped Krishnaji to wear it again. Thereafter when we walked a few yards in the drizzle, with Krishnaji still under the umbrella, the persons who had lined up on both sides greeted Krishnaji with folded hands in oriental fashion. Krishnaji endeavoured to respond to their greeting by trying, to lift both his hands and folding them likewise. But my protective grip on his left arm had not yet been relaxed and he exclaimed to me Sir Sir, my arm It was then that I realised that I was still gripping his arm tightly and I immediately apologised to him and released my grip, and all had a hearty laugh at Krishnaji being released from the protective custody of his absent - minded escort!
The next article by the writer, namely Narrative - Part 4, will focus on the 1800 years old Kriya Babaji of the Himalayas visiting Kataragama as a youth in 214 A.D. and receiving his final initiation from Sri Agastiva Mahamuni at Kuttraalam in India and recently miraculously healing Yogi S.A. Ramaiah the scion of a wealthy family in Madras, after a 6 year stint in plaster cast in 1952 and also the writer's interview with Yogi Ramaiah in 1956 and again in 2007 when he arranged a historic broadcast by Yogi Ramaiah on Sri Lanka Rupavahini about Kriya Babaji.