The Sage And the Housewife, the title of the book is intriguing as it is meant to be I am sure, but after having read the book, I would say that UG is more human than most
and most sages. This book is a beautiful journal narrating Shanta, the housewife's encounters with the sage UG. Very candid, it is a book that made me call up the author as soon as I finished reading it! Reclusive now, Shanta's voice livens up still on the mention of the name 'UG' and it is the same lively banter one reader throughout the book. After talking at length, as though we had known each other for decades, Shanta was also surprised as others that I had still not encountered UG!
I have not met UG as yet, but the mention of his name softens up my entire being, as though I have known him forever. Does one really have to meet someone in order to known them? I certainly do not think so. I read The Courage to Stand Alone, and wanted to publish his work/words. I felt that whatever I had been thinking all my life has been put into words by this man and I wished to tell this to the whole world. The opportunity came my way and I grabbed it. There is no end now to what has begun
Thought Is Your Enemy. No Way Out, Mind Is A Myth, Mystique Of Enlightenment
and then Robet Carr's Godmen conmen, Chandrasekhar's Stopped In Our Tracks, Peter Maverick's The Natural State and this one Shanta Kelkar's The Sage and The Housewife. There are more unnamed books on their way.
I must thank Mahesh Bhatt for introducing UG into my life. All our initial conversations centered on UG and how he affected Mahesh. Then Robert was sent to me by him with advice. 'do the book only if you want to, and not to oblige me'. While doing Robert's book I got to listen to UG and watch him on video talking to his friends all over the world. Mahesh also gave me Julie Thayer's journal on UG to read, and more pictures. Then Chandrasekhar was sent to me by Mahesh. On the release of his book Chandrasekhar introduced more of UG's friends to me in Bangalore. Frank Noronha was one of them. Frank, like many others, was reeling under the UG effect.
Frank gave me this book to publish and asked me to write the foreword. As I began to write, I remembered Mahesh as he has written the forewords for nearly all of UG's books published by me
. Giving an intensely personal touch to them, born out of his experience with UG.
I have yet to experience UG
so far all my experiences are second-hand. I can only write what I feel about this 'raging sage' as some people call him. One thing is for sure, that I somehow do not see any 'rage' in this sage. I think that he is like a vast ocean, towards whom so many rivers are flowing. All his friends flow river-like through life's ups and downs, in rage at times, flooding with emotions at others, meandering here and there, but heading ultimately towards the vast all-encompassing welcoming ocean. Those who merge with him are at peace
they may claim otherwise
'devastated, shattered' etc are the words they prefer to use; but if they look within themselves, they would find rock-like stability in the understanding that there is nothing to understand. Then, like sand they would flow, along with the flow of the ocean.
UG to me is neither a spiritual master, nor a guru
he is the voice of my soul. Your soul is within you you do not need to see or meet it to feel its presence.
Shanta's journal reflects the inner turmoil of any human who is trapped in the maya and is trying to get out-needs a helping hand, in this case of UG. As you read on, you will see the extraordinary unfolding from the ordinary
The overwhelming response from the readers to the first title, Thought is Your Enemy (Mind-shattering conversations with the man called U.G.) and the encouragement and goodwill from my friends and well-wishers could not hold me back from going in for a second one on U.G. Krishnamurti. The Sage and the Housewife by Shanta Kelker. In fact, the second title should have been the first in coming. But it does not always happen the way you want it.
However, I would like to mention two incidents which triggered the process of publishing this book. They, in themselves, are not of much importance but still might interest the readers when viewed in the context of what the subject of the book U.G. means to me. Of course, all this is my interpretation.
First incident: it was the year 1989 sometime in June when I was with U.G. in Bangalore, the conversation drifted along the topic of money. I was vociferously stating that I would like to be very rich. Chandrasekhar who was U.G.'s host in Bangalore was also present at the scene. He said, "if you are really serious you have an opportunity. There is a book written by a lady which is in need of a publisher. Whoever inherits it will be a rich man one day." I heeded his word and at once offered to publish it. But U.G.'s reaction was cold. He said, "Neither the subject nor the author is famous. I don't know how you are going to sell it."
To another, who was sitting with a religious air around him, he said, "Whether you are after riches or enlightenment or God it is all the same." But my mind stuck on to Chandrasekhar's words and I pressed on to inherit the publishing rights for the book. As though to make my dream come true, U.G. at once summoned the author of the book. No time was lost in signing the deed of the transfer of the rights of the book in my name. Said U.G., "You want money and she wants fame and let us wait for the outcome." Thus the drive for fame and money, at last, brought this book in print.
Second incident: Delhi, December 1989. U.G. was my guest. One day we were going shopping when he suddenly burst out (we call it a cloudburst), "You know, what has happened to me, in a way, is very extraordinary. The whole of the past has been wiped out of my system. What is left is the simple energy of life. Do you think it depends on anyone? In this scheme of things neither you nor me nor anybody matters. But it will certainly have its fully glow and disappear one day. There is not much time life now, Sri. It is like a lamp which burns the brightest at its end."
Interpretation: The single most question that some of us constantly pose to U.G. is whether he affects us in some way or not, whether he helps us wishes or not. In no uncertain terms does his answer come: "I don't know and I have no way of knowing it," and thereafter, a rider: "I think I don't. Whatever happens to you is your own making.
This is not the right place to be sentimental or indulge in a marathon narrative to say that whatever I am today I owe it to this man called U.G., who (I do not get the right word) is more than a mere person. He is a phenomenon, a continuum of consciousness and several other things that are ascribed to the indescribable.
Many of us who have known U.G., including the author, cannot easily deny his playing the role of a catalyst to unearth the potential of everyone who comes in close contact with him. The book and its publication are the result of this catalytic action. Setting aside the talk of fame and money as causes of the book and its publication (which is more like a new peg to hang your real story), those who have known him are witnesses to the fact that their latent energies and potential receive a solid kick from the uncontaminated and explosive energy of U.G. and stir us to action. (I can hear U.G. chuckling and calling it unadulterated nonsense.)
U.G. does affect us all, but in a strange way. Layers upon layers of dust gathered over you are wiped clean (your hypocrisies are completely exposed) and then there is an unobtrusive, gentle but a mighty push by him to be yourself. Thereafter, whatever the potential is within you flowers. No rational explanation for all this is possible nor is it necessary. Take it or leave it.
I hope the readers will enjoy the book, which is a veritable goldmine; not only that, but also that it will remain a most precious ornament in your lives.
For the benefit of those who indulge in serious philosophical cogitations, at the end of the book, a chapter on U.G. and his unteachable teachings has been devoted. It is written by J.S.R.L. Narayana Moorty, a teacher of Philosophy in the Monterey Peninsula College in California. The article is an attempt to capture through thought that which cannot be captured or expressed by thought.
My I conclude with a short piece of conversation that took place between the author and me.
Me: I am going ahead with the book.
Shanta: At last
.he! I have given you a goldmine.
Me: Let's see how it will all work out to be.
Shanta: Every action of mine has a source in U.G. Every cell of mine has U.G. Nothing will I say or do without his bidding.
Me: Some here. But how long have you known U.G.? I know him since fifteen years.
Shanta: The time does not count. It is more a matter of how much U.G. has affected you. One second with him may be enough.
Yes, I agree. One second is enough. A word, an episode in the book, may be enough to be affected by U.G. it depends on you.
Back of the Book
The Sage and the Housewife brings a whiff of fresh air in an atmosphere infested with self-proclaimed godmen, gurus and pseudo-religious seekers. If you like to tread a path of adventure, risking your pet beliefs, assumed certainties and habitual hypocrisies, you will love this unique work by a simple and ordinary housewife. Her spontaneous encounters with the enigmatic sage are full of wit and humour. The amusing episodes transport you to newer heights of crystal-clear vision of yourself. U.G.'s straightforward but ego-shattering statements give you no scope to duck out of real life situations, leaving you to face life as it comes. Within these pages, U.G. Krishnamurti emerges not as a guru or a godman dishing out homilies and commandments but a person in flesh and blood.
About the Author Shanta Kelker's devout parents and brahmanical background were to a great extent responsible for her very early spiritual quest. As a housewife, it was in Bangalore that she chanced to meet many saints and philosophers. Her mind continued to be intrigued with the mysteries of life till she met U.G. in the year 1980. U.G. seemed to be an answer to most of her questions. This book is a collection of some of the amusing incidents from her diary.
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