478 Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986, died age 90) was an Indian speaker and writer on philosophy and spirituality. His subject matters included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social … that change has to come from within, and it has to occur in every human being. I have been aware of Krishnamurti (I've quoted him in my essays  ENLIGHTENMENT 2,  MEDITATION 3  and  MIND 2) for many years, but only just these days have I paid more attention to him.

The reason Krishnamurti resonates so well with me is simple: For much of his early life he was built up as a teacher, a guru or master, even a messiah (by Theosophists C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant) but he eventually discarded the Theosophical baggage (in 1929, aged 35) in a speech before the Theosophical Society, and thus is one of the few “gurus” who returned from being idolized to becoming an independent proponent of his very own teachings, un-aligned with any system or organisation ... (when teaching Krishnamurti sought to give people the tools to think and learn, rather than teaching them knowledge):

“I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this ... the moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. And I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: To set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new philosophies.”

The key-message for me here is this: 

"I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: To set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new philosophies.”   (I have ordered K's books The First and Last Freedom and Freedom from the Known ... I expect I'll soon write a blog about K's concept of freedom ... so excited, can't wait.)

Furthermore, on the subject of meditation (see previous  blog 477):

"Joining one group after the other, this practice, that practice … for me all of those are totally unnecessary, because then meditation becomes religious ... meditation implies freedom from this method, that system … discard all that, have no burden. That is meditation.” 

And most pointedly, Krishnamurti expressly frees us from being followers: 

" Enquire ... without accepting any kind of authority … especially the authority of the speaker sitting on this unfortunate platform. It doesn’t give him any authority because he sits on a platform and talks. There is no authority in so-called … spiritual matters."  "I do not want followers, and I mean this."

Krishnamurti had previously described his awakening thus:

“I woke up early with that strong feeling of otherness, of another world that is beyond all thought... there is a heightening of sensitivity. Sensitivity, not only to beauty but also to all other things ...”

He talks here about something I am familiar with, in Zen it is referred to as SATORI ... I write about that experience also in my essay WHY MEDITATE? in my book with no title but instead three definitions for the term en.light.en.ment

My favourite quote in regard to enlightenment is by K; when asked in a Q and A session about the nature of his enlightenment, how it can be defined, he said simply: 

"I don't mind what happens."

Below is a documentary about Krishnamurti’s life … it is quite comprehensive, though - unfortunately - it focuses too much on his early years and not enough on the forty or so years he spent talking world-wide as an educator. 


As a sample of Krishnamurti's writings, here is a link to a booklet WAR ABOLISHED, One Way To Permanent Peace, from 1943, condensed from a series of talks in 1940. WAR,  PEACE  and  PACIFISM  are other favourite subjects of mine.

The gist of Krishnamurti's talks: There cannot be world peace, if we are not at peace as individuals ... I like it, and I say as much in the  EPILOGUE  to my book.

Here are some rather randomly selected quotes (since they are available on the net):