J. Krishnamurti : A Profile
"Is there love when
each one of us is seeking his own security,both psychological as well as
worldly, outwardly? Don't agree or disagree, because you are caught in
this. We are not talking of some love which is abstract, - an abstract
idea of love has no value at all. You and I can have a lot of theories
about it, but actually - the thing that we call love - what is it?"
The core of Krishnamurti's teaching is contained in the statement he
made in 1929 when he said: 'Truth is a pathless land'. Man cannot come
to it through any organisation, through any creed, through any dogma,
priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological
technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through
the understanding of the contents of his own mind . . . Statement by
Krishnamurti in 1981.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11th May 1895 in Madanapalle, a town in
south India, the eighth child in a middle-class family. At an early age
he was adopted by Annie Besant, then the President of the Theosophical
Society, with its headquarters in Madras. She took Krishnamurti and his
brother Nitya to England
where she had them educated privately.
Krishnamurti's return to India
while still in his teens, Theosophists proclaimed him to be the world
teacher whose coming they had been awaiting. They built a large and rich
order round him, with many thousands of followers, but in 1929
Krishnamurti disbanded the organisation, returned the estates and monies
that had been given to him and declared that his only purpose was to set
human beings unconditionally free from psychological limitations. From
that time he travelled throughout most parts of the world almost
ceaselessly speaking to large numbers of people, until his death on 17th
Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest religious
teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but
spoke of the everyday matters that concern all human beings—the problems
of living in modern society with violence and corruption, the
individual's search for meaning, security and happiness; and our need to
free ourselves from the inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt and sorrow.
He talked of the need to have a deeply meditative and religious quality
in our daily life.
Krishnamurti belonged to no religion, sect or country, nor did he
subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. Instead, he
stated that these are the very factors that divide us from one another
and bring about personal and social conflict and ultimately war. His
talks and discussions were not based on any authority of tradition or
academic knowledge, but arose out of his own insights into the human
mind and his own relation with the sacred. He consistently communicated
a sense of freshness and directness with his audiences, although his
message remained basically unchanged over the years.
Krishnamurti is unique in having left authentic written
and recorded materials of his public talks and discussions and his
conversations with scientists, philosophers, educators, children,
businessmen and "ordinary" people. Many of these have appeared in books
and on audio and videotapes and discs. His teachings are best approached
directly and not through any interpreters or commentators.
The Sage who wouldn't be GURU
Had he not abdicated, the throne of the biggest spiritual guru of
modern times would have been his. While other gurus struggle to
build their organizations, a worldwide platform, The Order of the
Star of the East, was offered to Jiddu Krishnamurti on a platter by
Theosophical Society chieftains
Annie Besant and H.W. Leadbeater. They had groomed him since
childhood to be a ready vehicle for Lord Maitreya to incarnate. The
twist in their script came when Krishnamurti had a profound
What he later taught stemmed from his personal realization: that
truth cannot be reached by any path, religion or sect. To find it,
the seeker must strive to ascend to it through his own discovery. It
is possible by casting aside past conditioning, and stilling thought
that impedes awareness of what is.
By 1930, Krishnamurti had dissociated himself from the Order and the
Theosophical Society. Ironically, though he had refused messiah
hood, he went on to become a world-renowned teacher, giving talks
occasioned by profound insights into the deepest questions of
humanity. He never quoted earlier masters, nor threw the scriptures
at you. His style, his compassion and the psychological nature of
his inquiry are reminiscent of the
A sage-like figure, Krishnamurti died in 1986 in Ojai, USA, at the
age of 91.
Today, Krishnamurti Foundations continue to disseminate his
teachings, and the seven Krishnamurti schools—five in India, set up
at his behest—offer his approach to learning and self-discovery. The
following excerpt has been taken from Krishnamurti's Commentaries
THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN
The long evening shadows were over the still waters, and the river
was becoming quiet after the day. Fish were jumping out of the
water, and the heavy birds were coming to roost among the big trees.
There was not a cloud in the sky, which was silverblue. A boat full
of people came down the river; they were singing and clapping and a
cow called in the distance. There was the scent of evening. A
garland of marigold was moving with the water, which sparkled in the
setting sun. How beautiful and alive it all was—the river, the
birds, the trees and the villagers.
We were sitting under a tree, overlooking the river. Near the tree
was a small temple, and a few lean cows wandered about. The temple
was clean and well swept, and the flowering bush was watered and
cared for. A man was performing his evening rituals, and his voice
was patient and sorrowful. Under the last rays of the sun, the water
was the color of newborn flowers.
Presently someone joined us and began to talk of his experiences. He
said he had devoted many years of his life to the search for God,
had practiced many austerities and renounced many things that were
dear. He had also helped considerably in social work, in building a
school, and so on. He was interested in many things, but his
consuming interest was the finding of God; and now, after many
years, his voice was being heard, and it guided him in little as
well as big things. He had no will of his own, but followed the
inner voice of God. It never failed him, though he often corrupted
its clarity; his prayer was ever for the purification of the vessel,
that it might be worthy to receive.
Can that which is immeasurable be found by you and me? Can that
which is not of time be searched but by that thing which is
fashioned of time? Can a diligently practiced discipline lead us to
the unknown? Is there a means to that which has no beginning and no
end? Can that reality be caught in the net of our desires? What we
can capture is the projection of the known; but the unknown cannot
be captured by the known. That which is named is not the unnamable,
and by naming we only awaken the conditioned responses. These
responses, however noble and pleasant, are not of the real. We
respond to stimulants, but reality offers no stimulant: it is.
The mind moves from the known to the known, and it cannot reach out
into the unknown. You cannot think of something you do not know; it
is impossible. What you think about comes out of the known, the
past, whether that past be remote, or the second that has just gone
by. This past is thought, shaped and conditioned by many influences,
modifying itself according to circumstances and pressures, but ever
remaining a process of time. Thought can only deny or assert, it
cannot discover the new.
Thought cannot come upon the new; but when thought is silent, then there
may be the new—which is immediately transformed into the old, into the
experienced, by thought. Thought is ever shaping, modifying, coloring
according to a pattern of experience. The function of thought is to
communicate but not to be in the state of experiencing. When
experiencing ceases, then thought takes over and terms it within the
category of the known. Thought cannot penetrate into the unknown, and so
it can never experience reality.
Disciplines, renunciations, detachments, rituals, the practice of
virtue—all these, however noble, are the process of thought; and thought
can only work towards an end, towards an achievement, which is ever the
known. Achievement is security, the self-protective certainty of the
known. To seek security in that which is nameless is to deny it. The
security that may be found is only in the projection of the past, of the
For this reason the mind must be entirely and deeply silent; but this
silence cannot be purchased through sacrifice, sublimation or
suppression. This silence comes when the mind is no longer seeking, no
longer caught in the process of becoming. This silence may not be
built up through practice. This silence must be as unknown to the
mind as the timeless; for if the mind experiences the silence, then
there is the experiencer who is cognizant of a past silence; and what is
experienced by the experiencer is merely a self-projected repetition.
The mind can never experience the new, and so the mind must be utterly
still. The mind can be still only when it is not experiencing, that is,
when it is not terming or naming, recording or storing up in memory.
This recording is a constant process of the different layers of
consciousness, not merely of the upper mind. But when the superficial
mind is quiet, the deeper mind can offer up its intimations. When the
whole consciousness is free from all becoming, which is spontaneity,
then only does the immeasurable come into being. The desire to maintain
this freedom gives continuity to the memory of the becomer, which is a
hindrance to reality. Reality has no continuity; it is from moment to
moment, ever new, ever fresh. What has continuity can never be created.
The upper mind is only an instrument of communication; it cannot measure
the immeasurable. Reality is not to be spoken of; when it is, it's no
longer reality. This is
was a powerful motor and well tuned; it took the hills easily,
without a stutter, and the pickup was excellent. The road climbed
steeply out of the valley and ran between orchards of orange and
tall, wide-spreading walnut trees. On both sides of the road the
orchards stretched for full 40 miles, up to the very foot of the
mountains. Becoming straight, the road passed through small towns,
and then continued into the open country, which was bright green
with alfalfa. Again winding through many hills, the road finally
came out on to the desert.
It was a smooth road, the hum of the motor was steady, and the
traffic was very light. There was an intense awareness of the
country, of the occasional passing car, of the road signals, of the
clear blue sky, of the body sitting in the car; but the mind was
still. It was not the quietness of exhaustion, or of relaxation, but
a stillness that was very alert. There was no point from which the
mind was still; there was no observer of this tranquility;
the experiencer was wholly absent. Though there was desultory
conversation, there was no ripple in this silence. One heard
the roar of the wind as the car sped along, yet this stillness was
inseparable from the noise of the wind, from the sounds of the car,
and from the spoken word. The mind had no recollection of previous
stillness; it did not say: "This is tranquility." There was
no verbalization, which is only the recognition and the affirmation
of a somewhat similar experience. Because there was no
verbalization, thought was absent.
There was no recording and therefore thought was not able to pick up
the silence or to think about it; for the word "stillness" is
not stillness. When the word is not, the mind cannot operate, and so
the experiencer cannot store up as a means of further pleasure.
There was no gathering process at work, nor was there approximation
or assimilation. The movement of the mind was totally absent.
The car stopped at the house. The barking of the dog, the unpacking
of the car and the general disturbance in no way affected this
extraordinary silence. The wind was among the pines, the shadows
were long, and a wildcat sneaked away among the bushes. In this
silence there was movement, and the movement was not a distraction.
There was no fixed attention from which to be distracted. There is
distraction when the main interest shifts; but in this silence
there was absence of interest, and so there was no wandering away.
Movement was not away from the silence but was of it. It was
the stillness, not of
death, but of
life in which there was a total absence of conflict.
With most of us, the struggle of
pain and pleasure, the urge of activity, gives us the sense of
life; and if that urge were taken away, we should be lost and soon
disintegrate. But this stillness and its movement was creation ever
renewing itself. It was a movement that had no beginning and so had
no ending; nor was it a continuity. Movement implies time; but here
there was no time. Time is yesterday and tomorrow; but in this
stillness all comparison ceased. It was not a silence that
came to an end to begin again.
If this silence were an illusion the mind would have some
relationship to it, it would either reject it or cling to it, reason
it away or with subtle satisfaction identify itself with it; but
since it has no relationship to this silence, the mind cannot
accept or deny it. The mind can operate only with its own
projections, with the things, which are of itself; but it has no
relationship with things that are not of its origin. This silence
is not of the mind, and so the mind becomes identified with it. The
content of this silence is not to be measured by words
On Problems of Living
dialogues are from the book Commentaries on Living Series 1
Desire and Conflict
possible to be free of all desire? Without desire, is there life? Is not
desire life itself? To seek to be free of desire is to invite death, is
be free from conflict? And what is beyond conflict?'
It was a
pleasant group; most of them were eager, and there were a few who
listened to refute. Listening is an art not easily come by, but in it
there is beauty and great understanding. We listen with the various
depths of our being, but our listening is always with a preconception or
from a particular point of view. We do not listen simply; there is
always the intervening screen of our own thoughts, conclusions and
prejudices. We listen with pleasure or resistance, with grasping or
rejection, but there is no listening. To listen there must be an inward
quietness, a freedom from the strain of acquiring, a relaxed attention.
This alert yet passive state is able to hear what is beyond the verbal
conclusion. Words confuse, they are only the outward means of
communication; but to commune beyond the noise of words, there must be
in listening an alert passivity. Those who love may listen; but it is
extremely rare to find a listener. Most of us are after results,
achieving goals, we are forever overcoming and conquering, and so there
is no listening. It is only in listening that one hears the song of the
possible to be free of all desire? Without desire, is there life? Is not
desire life itself? To seek to be free of desire is to invite death, is
desire? When are we aware of it? When do we say we desire? Desire is not
an abstraction, it exists only in relationship. Desire arises in
contact, in relationship. Without contact, there is no desire. Contact
may be at any level, but without it there is no sensation, no response,
no desire. We know the process of desire, the way it comes into being:
perception, contact, sensation, desire. But when are we aware of desire?
When do I say I have a desire? Only when there is the disturbance of
pleasure or of pain. It is when there is an awareness of conflict, of
disturbance, that there is the cognizance of desire. Desire is the
inadequate response to challenge. The perception of a beautiful car
gives rise to the disturbance of pleasure. This disturbance is the
consciousness of desire; the focussing of disturbance, caused by pain or
by pleasure, is self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is desire. We are
conscious when there is the disturbance of inadequate response to
challenge. Conflict is self-consciousness. Can there be freedom from
this disturbance, from the conflict of desire?
mean freedom from the conflict of desire, or from desire itself?'
conflict and desire two separate states? If they are, our enquiry must
lead to illusion. If there were no disturbance of pleasure or pain, of
wanting, seeking, fulfilling, either negatively or positively, would
there be desire? And do we want to get rid of disturbance? If we can
understand this, then we may be able to grasp the significance of
desire. Conflict is self-consciousness; the focussing of attention
through disturbance is desire. Is it that you want to get rid of the
conflicting element in desire, and keep the pleasurable element? Both
pleasure and conflict are disturbing, are they not? Or do you think
pleasure does not disturb?
is not disturbing.'
true? Have you never noticed the pain of pleasure? Is not the craving
for pleasure ever on the increase, ever demand- ing more and more? Is
not the craving for more as disturbing as the urgency of avoidance? Both
bring about conflict. We want to keep the pleasurable desire, and avoid
the painful; but if we look closely, both are disturbing. But do you
want to be free from disturbance?
have no desire we will die; if we have no conflict we will go to sleep.'
speaking from experience, or have you merely an idea about it? We are
imagining what it would be like to have no conflict and so are
preventing the experiencing of whatever that state is in which all
conflict has ceased. Our problem is, what causes conflict? Can we not
see a beautiful or an ugly thing without conflict coming into being? Can
we not observe, listen without self-consciousness? Can we not live
without disturbance? Can we not be without desire? Surely, we must
understand the disturbance, and not seek a way of overcoming or exalting
desire. Conflict must be understood, not ennobled or suppressed.
causes conflict? Conflict arises when the response is not adequate to
the challenge; and this conflict is the focussing of consciousness as
the self. The self, the consciousness focussed through conflict, is
experience. Experience is response to a stimulus or challenge; without
terming or naming, there is no experience. Naming is out of the
storehouse, memory; and this naming is the process of verbalizing, the
making of symbols, images, words, which strengthens memory.
Consciousness, the focussing of the self through conflict, is the total
process of experience, of naming, of recording.
process, what is it that gives rise to conflict? Can we be free from
conflict? And what is beyond conflict?'
naming that gives rise to conflict, is it not? You approach the
challenge, at whatever level, with a record, with an idea, with a
conclusion, with prejudice; that is, you name the experience. This
terming gives quality to experience, the quality arising out of naming.
Naming is the recording of memory. The past meets the new; challenge is
met by memory, the past. The respon-ses of the past cannot understand
the living, the new, the challenge; the responses of the past are
inadequate, and from this arises conflict, which is self-consciousness.
Conflict ceases when there is no process of naming. You can watch in
yourself how the naming is almost simultaneous with the response. The
interval between response and naming is experiencing. Experiencing, in
which there is neither the experiencer nor the experienced, is beyond
conflict. Conflict is the focussing of the self, and with the cessation
of conflict there is the ending of all thought and the beginning of the
Do We Truly Love Our Families?
are from the book What Are You Doing With Your Life ?
When we say, "We love the family," we do not really love that
family; we do not love our children-actually we do not. When you
say that you love your children, you really mean that they have
become a habit, toys-things of amusement for a while. But, if
you love something, your children, then you would care. You know
what caring is? If you care, when you plant a tree, you care for
it; you cherish it; you nourish itÉYou have to dig deep before
you plant, then see the soil is right, then plant, then protect
it, then watch it every day, look after it as if it were a part
of your whole being. But you do not love the children that way.
If you did, then you would have a different kind of education
altogether. There would be no wars, there would be no poverty.
The mind then would not be trained to be merely technical. There
would be no competition, there would be no nationality. And
because we do not love, all this has been allowed to grow.
The family as
it is now is a unit of limited relationship, self-enclosing and
exclusiveÉWe must understand the desire for inward,
psychological security and not merely replace one pattern of
security with another. So the problem is not the family, but the
desire to be secure. Is not the desire for security, at any
level, exclusive? This spirit of exclusiveness shows itself as
the family, as property, as the State, the religion, and so on.
Does not this desire for inward security build up outward forms
of security which are always exclusive? The very desire to be
secure destroys security. Exclusion, separation, must inevitably
bring about disintegration; nationalism, class-antagonism, and
war, are its symptoms. The family as a means of inward security
is a source of disorder and social catastrophe.
When you say you love somebody, don't you depend on him? It is
all right when you are young to be dependent on your father, on
your mother, on your teacher, or on your guardian. Because you
are young, you need to be looked after, you need clothes, you
need shelter, you need security. While you are young, you need a
sense of being held together, of somebody looking after you. But
even as you grow older, this feeling of dependence remains, does
it not? Have you not noticed it in older people, in your parents
and your teachers? Have you not noticed how they depend on their
wives, on their children, on their mothers? People when they
grow up still want to hold on to somebody, still feel that they
need to be dependent. Without looking to somebody, without being
guided by somebody, without a feeling of comfort and security in
somebody, they feel lonely, do they not? They feel lost. So,
this dependency on another is called love, but if you watch it
more closely, you will see dependency is fear; it is not love.
Because they are afraid to be alone, because they are afraid to
think things out for themselves, because they are afraid to
feel, to watch, to find out the whole meaning of life, they feel
they love God. So they depend on what they call God, but a thing
created by the mind is not dependable; it is not God, the
unknown. It is the same with an ideal or a belief. I believe in
something, and that gives me great comfortÉ It is right that you
should do so when you are young, but if you keep on depending
when you have grown to maturity, that will make you incapable of
thinking, of being free. Where there is dependence there is
fear, and where there is fear there is authority; there is no
Truth is a pathless land
following statement was written by Krishnamurti on October 21,1980.
Truth is a pathless
land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed,
through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic
knowledge or psychological technique.He has to find it through the
mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his
own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or
introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of
security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols,
ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his
relationships, and his daily life. These images are the causes of our
problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped
by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his
consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all
humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial
culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of
man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the
content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is
not an individual.
Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man’s pretense
that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation
without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is
without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but
lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to
discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless
awareness of our daily existence and activity.
Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge, which are
inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of
man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is
always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in
constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see
the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the
observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this
division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is
insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight
brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of
all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only
then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.
Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd.,Brockwood
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Krishnamurti Foundation of America
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538 Swanwick Road,
Foundation of America (KFA) began operations in 1969. It followed the
formation of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd. in England in 1968
and was followed in 1971 by the Krishnamurti Foundation India.
Its mission is to
“preserve and disseminate the teachings of Krishnamurti”. This work
includes the operation of the
School, the Foundation Business Office, the Krishnamurti Archives, the
Krishnamurti Study Center, the Krishnamurti Library, and Krishnamurti
Publications of America [KPA].
The foundation is
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important is not what is the goal of life but to understand the
confusion in which one is, the misery, the fears, and all the other
Some of the
postings on the site are :
David Bohm on Krishnamurti
My first acquaintance with Krishnamurti's work was in 1959 when I read
his book, First and Last Freedom. What particularly aroused my interest
was his deep insight into the question of the observer and the observed.
Krishnamurti On War
What the speaker is saying is: we have this problem of existence with
all its complexities - there is war, there is violence in our daily
life, there is the religious divisions, there are the divisions caused
by priests, by their idea of what god is and so on.
The Core of the Teachings
A passage written by Krishnamurti in 1980 when asked to summarize his
teaching. “Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is
man’s pretense that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure
observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward."
Also view this passage in
Truth is a Pathless Land
The speech Krishnamurti gave in 1929 when he broke from Theosophy. The
core of Krishnamurti’s teaching is contained in the statement he made in
1929 when he said: "Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it
through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest
or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological
Commentaries on Living
Aloneness and Isolation
this passage is presented in both Spanish and English. Se había puesto el sol, y la silueta
oscura de los árboles se recortaba en el cielo que se apagaba. El río,
ancho y poderoso, estaba tranquilo, quieto. La luna empezaba a asomar en
el horizonte . . .
Living Life Without Conflict
(Ojai 1975 Talk 1 of 4)
This talk is the first talk in the new 4-CD series titled Living Life
Without Conflict recently released by the Krishnamurti Foundation.
This series was selected for its depth and clarity and offers
listeners/readers the opportunity to delve into Krishnamurti's
teachings. Download PDF of the transcript: