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 Excerpt from
The Pleasantries of Krishnamurphy
Revelations from an Irish ashram
Gabriel Rosenstock


The Evolution of a Flea


Disciple:                       The other day, when you had a flea in your ear … we were discussing it among ourselves … and it appeared to some of us that you had lost your cool …


Krishnamurphy:             Appeared, did it?

Beware of appearances.

 Osho never lost his cool?


Finn Mc Cool?

J. Krishnamurti?

U G Krishnamurti?


Lost my cool, did I?

Where did I lose it?

Will you help me find it?

All of you!

Go look for it!

Anyone who finds it will be rewarded – with sudden enlightenment!


Disciple:                       Well, when you put it that way … though comparing Cook to Jesus is a bit much.


Krishnamurphy: You might tell me why, sometime ...

                                    Discussing a flea in my ear, then, were you?

Have you nothing better to discuss?


Disciple:                       Well …


Krishnamurphy: There was no flea!

There was no me!

There was no cool to lose …


Disciple:                       Oh!  Cool … I get it.


Krishnamurphy:           You get it or you think you get it?


Disciple:                       I think I get it …



Krishnamurphy: Here’s Cook.

I will ask him.

Cook, do you think they are getting it?


Cook:                           Getting what?


Krishnamurphy: The message.


Cook:                           Massage is good.


Krishnamurphy: No – message, message.


Cook:                           Message?

No, message no good.

Massage very good.


Krishnamurphy: Cook is quite right.

Give yourselves an abhanga massage and take the rest of the day off.


Disciple:                       May we not ask Cook a few questions?


Krishnamurphy:           Cook?


Cook:                           They can be asking anything until the crows come home. But it is all a matter of syadvad!


Krishnamurphy: Which is what?


Cook:                           Relativity.


Krishnamurphy: Oh, do you really think so?


Cook:                           Relatively speaking. This is what we are being told.

This, also, is what I am seeing and smelling and so forth.


Disciple:                       He can smell relativity?

Excuse me, Cook, who founded your religion?


Cook:                           Perhaps you are hearing of the most famous one, Lord Mahavira?


Disciple:                       Afraid not.


Cook:                           Well, he was – how are you saying it in English?

Top notch chap.


Also his mother top notch.

Tip top!

If all of you were having her for a mother you would not be here trying to find out about the meaning of life.

You would be living your lives in the odour of sanctity.


Disciple:                       What did Mahavira do?


Cook:                           What did he not do?

What is he not doing all the time?


Disciple:                       OK. What did he not do?


Cook:                           Nothing that he did not do.


Disciple:                       What does Jainism mean, exactly?


Cook:                           It is coming from ‘jina’ which is conqueror.

We are conquering the woes.

All  the woes.

Old woes.

New woes.

                                    You are seeing me wearing a mask in the kitchen? This is not for hygienic purposes.

No. Not at all.

It is for keeping out the flies.

A Jain is not swallowing a fly.


Disciple:                       What is your view of the universe?


Cook:                           It is coming and going.

Now I am thinking it is going.

But it will be back.


Disciple:                       You believe in the transmigration of souls, I believe?


Cook:                           Correct.

Very much.

There are many different categories, you see.

The nigoda – these are without the senses, you see? Then we have beings having just the one sense – touch – and here we are putting the stones, edible roots of the tasty vegetables and such things, you see? No touch.

Also there are beings with two senses – touching and tasting, see? Tasting and touching. 

Our good friends the little pink worms are crawling into this category.

 Two senses.



                                    The candle-loving moths and the bug-eyed bugs?

Two senses they are having, too – and a third!

What is this? 

Anyone guess?



Don’t be silly.

Answer in front of nose.


Yes! Smelling it is.

                                    And so it goes you see.

On and on.

Are we adding another sense?

Of course.

The wasp and the mosquito – also the wily scorpion, which we do not find here in Ireland but he is very much  existing, did not Sai Baba step on him – all with sense of  what?


Of course.

And all of you people are belonging to the category of the five senses.


Disciple:                       Could I come back as a scorpion?


Cook:                           In your case I am thinking a goat.


Disciple:                       Thanks …


Cook:                           Don’t be thanking me.

Be thanking your good self.

Goat, pig, scorpion, human, what does it matter as long as you are awake?


Disciple:                       What do you think of Krishnamurphy’s Spiritual Anarchy?


Krishnamurphy: You don’t have to answer that!


Cook:                           Is that what he is calling it now?

It is just having a name.

A new name. 

It is not my cup of chai.

Then again, we mustn’t be condemning because, as I say, it is all a matter of syadvad, relativity.

What Krishnamurphy means, as far as I am gathering his methods, is that spiritual anarchy is the dynamic way:

We must be bringing down the government of ego!

 We must be storming the bastions of lethargy, custom and habit.

We must know ourselves to be awake and declare it with an overflowing heart.

                                     But for me, you see, the storming of bastions is a crude metaphor:

the supreme religion is non-violence – ahimsa parmo dharma.

This is the crux.

The core.

The heart of the matter.

The centre.

The hinge.

All is hinging on this.

Yes, the core.

How are you having an apple without a core?

                                    And Tagore, he is saying it, too, in a different way, ‘There is no higher religion than that of sympathy for all that lives.’

This is what he is saying and this is pure Jainism. Even though he is a Bengali intellectual, always painting and composing songs and so forth and winning Nobel Prizes with the help of Mr Yeats and all that.

But he is immaculately correct in this matter of sympathy.

Not so much God and ritual and all that – which is often causing violent  headaches –

 no,  simply no more himsa, no more violence.

Ever again.

Which is why we are not swallowing the fly.


Disciple:                       This is the essence of your scriptures?


Cook:                           We are having modern scriptures as well as old scriptures you know.

With many old scriptures, people are scratching their heads all of the time or throwing them out with the bathwater – not the heads, the scriptures.

Sometimes I am feeling it would be good to be throwing out the heads too.

                                    What is the meaning of this and that?

Who is saying what?

Because a lot of these gods and demons and treatises and sutras and what are you having, all are relating to another cultural background, you see, and another time.

                                    We are adding to our scriptures.

The Atma-Siddhi by Shrimad Rajchandra, for instance. He was not a prophet in the wilderness, wearing the loincloth and eating the locusts, you see.

Which is also bananas – because it was not locusts but carob.

Like chocolate.

 Anyway, we mustn’t criticise.

                                    Shrimad Rajchandra was a successful jeweller.

Tops! But this did not matter.

He saw the most precious jewel of all!

 Top notch fellow, hopped into the world in 1868. Taught Mahatma Gandhi all that is worth knowing. And hopped off again.

                                    Understand what this hopping is all about.

Do not hop in if you don’t know how to hop out.

So, you have come here, to this place, for Self-Realisation?

The Atma-Siddha says this:


Kashaay ni upashaant taa maatr moksh abhilaash

Bhave khed antar dayaa te kahiye jignaas:


You wish I am translating this shloka for you?

I will try.

 But it is difficult.

 I learned my English from an Irish nun, Sister Assumpta, and my syntax is not without sin.

But the heart is immaculate, in so far as I am seeing.

Sister Assumpta was teaching me a Christmas carol.

I am remembering this now.

Bitter sweet I am telling you.

Christmas carol, and it wasn’t even Christmas.

‘The first Noel the angels did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay …’

And for a long time I am speaking English like that. Here is the shloka:


‘One in whom passion has subsided, who is only desiring liberation,

For whom rebirth is sorrow, who is having compassion in his heart, he is the true candidate for Self-Realisation …’

We must be awake to this.


Krishnamurphy: Thank you, Cook! That was pukka! Excellent translation too, I might add.


Cook:                           Ripe fruit, Krishnamurphy.

That is all.

Ripe fruit falling into my hands.

I am only passing it on again.


Krishnamurphy: Any more questions?


Cook:                           I am having one for you!

What is this Spiritual Anarchy of yours?


Krishnamurphy: The heart is already brimful with divine love, is it not?


Cook:                           Um.


Krishnamurphy: But it requires an act of understanding and an act of will to subvert the ego –

 and even the biological identity itself –

in order to allow the heart to rule, spontaneously, with loving kindness.


Cook:                           Then I too am becoming a spiritual anarchist …



Disciple:                       Cook, in my country –


Cook:                           What is the country of your origin precisely?


Disciple:                       The United States of America.


Cook:                           I have heard of it. But it is not your country.


Disciple:                       I beg your pardon?


Cook:                           Do you own it?


Disciple:                       No … of course not.


Cook:                           It will be very good to own less and less.

And less.

Be like Mahavir.

He is ending up with nothing.

Not even the cloak on his back.

Naked as a frog.

You have a question?


Disciple:                       Well, yes … as a matter of fact.


Cook:                           Matters of fact are not always matters of fact.


Disciple:                       That relates to my question actually. In my country – that is to say, in the USA, there is a raging debate going on between creationists and evolutionists. What is your stand on this?





Cook:                           There are too many raging debates going on.

People are not learning anything from debates.

                                                Silence is needed.

Anyway, one group is looking to science, no?

The other is looking to Judaeo-Christian scriptures, yes?

It is my belief that both science and scripture are evolving.

Or should.

They may well evolve to the point of almost meeting. And then they are going their separate ways again. Perhaps.

Who knows? 

You are a Christian?


Disciple:                       Yes …


Cook:                           You must read Teilhard de Chardin. He was a priest – a Jesuit –

 but he also knew a thing or two about evolution.

He could see something spiritual in evolution.

Top notch!



Disciple:                       I see. So neither science nor scripture are fully developed at the moment?


Cook:                           What matters science?

What matters scripture?

What matters is the eternal soul – not the karmic vehicle it may have now, or might have had in the past.

                                    Many creationists are racists.

They cannot conceive of an immortal soul occupying a hairy ape.

It is a cosmetic argument they are having.

The evolution of a jaw-bone is of no great significance.

What matters is the ascent of the soul.

This is a cosmic matter – not cosmetic.


Disciple:                       But the soul of an ape – if it has a soul – is not the soul of a human, surely?


Cook:                           You are knowing this? For a fact?

You have seen the soul?

You are seeing enough souls to be comparing them all?

Suppose there is only one soul.

Then this one soul is in everything.

Hairy ape too.

Ape’s brain is different.


But ape’s spirit?

How different?

                                    You have seen ape’s spirit?


Disciple:                       No …


Cook:                           Of course not …

When soul is occupying man, so to speak … or when man is occupying soul … when man is ensouled at birth … the greatest longing is for the soul to awaken to its own divine intelligence, its timeless origin in divine love – limitless, undivided love that was shining forth before dinosaurs were plodding through the thickets and roaring their heads off all over the place.

                                    All the himsa – the violence – all the sorrow of this world is coming about through the frustration or the neglect of Self-Realisation as soul. In such a state of frustration and neglect, how is it possible to see the soul in another?

                                    Impossible, except fleetingly in a smile, in a bride’s kiss, a mother’s embrace, in the echoes of a poem.

So, external wars, internal wars, all of these are boiling down to one thing: a lack of utilising the spontaneous creativity of the awakened soul – the soul awakened to itself.

The soul was not created – the creationists are stuck in a time warp about this and the very concept of the soul is meaning little, of course, to a lot of the evolutionists.

                                    Now, once you understand that the soul is ever-existent, then your life is changed utterly – the focus, the meaning, the intensity of your life suffers a sea-change. You become the ocean that you always were and always will be.


Krishnamurphy: Seaweed-flavoured Ocean Soup for lunch then, Cook?


Cook:                           It will be giving me the rarest of earthly pleasures.