guha youthSoon after, he left Varanasi, quit his political activities, went home to Hindmotor and completed his undergraduate studies, then went on to Rourkela Engineering College in Orissa to complete his Master’s degree.  Then, while pursuing his PhD in Bangalore, he came across the writings of J Krishnamurti and was immensely influenced by him. Guha writes in 14 Days in Palm Springs with U.G: “I was in Bangalore for seven years. I did my doctorate in the Indian Institute of Science for five years, after that I worked for a few months there as a project assistant. I later joined the Indian Space Research Organization and worked there as a scientist. In my free time I used to read books by philosopher and spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. His writings attracted me greatly and had a strange intoxication, as if freedom beckoned me through the pages of his books.”

While in Bangalore, Guha married Lakshmi Rao from Andhra Pradesh,PhD from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, in1985. He met and fell in love with her while he was studying in Rourkela a year earlier. She had also moved to Bangalore and joined the Indian Institute of Science as a researcher. Shortly thereafter, Lakshmi left for Rutgers University in New Jersey, as a post-doctoral Fellow. Guha joined her some months later.

A recent photo of Lakshmi and Guha
A recent photo of Lakshmi and Guha

A few years rolled by and Guha was living the life of a family man with his wife and two young daughters, Shilpa and Sumedha. As Guha never did anything “halfway” he was thoroughly involved in educational and extracurricular activities of his daughters. Guha says, “I enjoyed spending time with my daughters. I would drive them to school, pick them up after school, always making sure they didn’t have to wait even for a minute. I never missed their games or dance or music performances.” Guha then joined Rutgers, first volunteering his time as a research scientist and then Rutgers offered him the post of Project Manager in the Physics Department. This position ultimately helped them in getting US citizenship.  During this time Guha co-authored more than forty publications, which appeared in prestigious scientific journals.

Even though Guha was immersed in family life and work the “fragrance of freedom” that he was sensing from JK’s writing still beckoned. “The monkey on my back would not leave me alone.”  Although JK’s writings continued to have a profound effect on Guha, they failed to resolve his core conflicts. On the one hand, he says in 14 Days…, “My love and respect for JK had reached such high levels as to equal  Buddha, Ramakrishna, Rabindranath, Einstein and Mao Tse Tung in my hierarchy of important human beings.” But on the other hand, he admits, “My disappointment kept increasing. The ghost of the spiritual search for truth did not leave me alone, and my mind was in a state of unrest.  Every night I thought of such things before I fell asleep. Suddenly, one day at dawn I had a strange dream. JK appeared before me wearing a white long tunic and loose trousers. With a serious face he sat down on a chair next to me with his hands on his cheeks for some time, looked me in the eye and said in clear English, ‘It is no longer possible for me to help you. You will have to make some other arrangements to help yourself. You search for something else and start working.’”

Guha was devastated but he felt the urgency to “do something”. For the next four years he did just that. He became deeply involved with a spiritual organization, the Ram Chandra Mission. He intensely and systematically practiced Raja Yoga as taught by the preceptors of the mission. Although he had phenomenal spiritual experiences, Guha conceded that none of these helped resolve his core conflict until he finally met U.G. Krishnamurti in 1995.

Meeting U.G. Krishnamurti

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