Stopped In Our Tracks: Dr. Desiraju

Stopped In Our Tracks

Stories of U.G. In India from the Notebooks of K. Chandrasekhar
Translated and Edited by J.S.R.L. Narayana Moorty
 2d/3d Series


Dr. Desiraju

The day was October 10, 1992. Suguna arrived in Yercaud with Mr. and Mrs. Satyanarayana and Sashidhar, all friends of U.G. Suguna said, "Dr. Desiraju died from a heart attack. They announced it in the papers." I was shocked to hear the news. He was a renowned neurophysiologist with the National Institute of Mental Health. He was from Andhra. Although I didn't know him well, the reason for my shock was that, seventeen years ago, he was the one who was responsible for letting U.G.'s view of life be known to the public in U.G.'s own words.

I can never forget that event in my life. It happened on December 23, 1976. That year U.G. had set up his camp on the street opposite the Mallikarjuna temple in an old building. The rooms upstairs were big. In the long hall-way the red-cemented floor was polished well and covered with a rug. Dr. Varma, Dr. Desiraju, Dr. Kapoor (the former director) and six other doctors came from NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience) to talk to U.G.

My friends and I were waiting eagerly for a discussion to take place. U.G. spoke continuously for two and a half hours, answering the doctors' questions. After hearing U.G.'s description of his Natural State and how his senses functioned in that state, Dr. Desiraju asked, "I would like to know precisely how all these things happened to you. I will be happy if you could tell us about them in as much detail as you can remember. Just assume I am a Nachiketa." U.G. smiled in a mild manner and said, "That's a long story. It's not so easy."

Dr. Desiraju: We would like to hear it.

U.G.: I can't. I'll have to tell you the whole story. It takes a lot of time. My biography goes only so far; then it stops. After that, I have nothing to report.

Any of my biographers' aim is only to establish that my childhood upbringing, my education, the spiritual practices I performed, all brought about this Natural State. If I try to tell them that all those things were only obstacles and that whatever happened to me happened in spite of them, they don't want to listen to me, because then they can't make their story juicy. They all want to know how this sort of thing happened, and in what way it happened. When I tell them that this is acausal, they become disappointed. My background is of no value to me. How can this be a model for you? Your background is different. Each background is unique.

Dr. Desiraju: It is not that I want to make your biography into a model. It's just like looking at the sun and the moon or the pole star flickering in the distant skies. I am not necessarily requesting this in order to imitate you. That's why I said I am a Nachiketa. I shall not leave this place until I learn the truth from you.

U.G.: I am not opposed to your request, but I am unable to tell you. I don't know where to start. It looks like I have to tell you the whole story.

Dr. Desiraju: We are ready to hear it all.

That was how Dr. Desiraju, the veritable Nachiketa, provoked and persuaded U.G. to tell his whole life story. We recorded all of it on tape. Rodney Arms edited the material and published it as the first chapter in the book The Mystique of Enlightenment.