Jiddu Krishnamurti

Quotations, personal remembrances and historical documents

Jiddu Krishnamurti - the guru who didn't want to be one

Jiddu Krishnamurti was famous in his lifetime for first being raised as a 'world teacher' and then renouncing the organisation founded in his honor. Paradoxically he spent the rest of his life teaching all over the world: lecturing, talking to people and writing inspirational diaries. All his talks and many of his private conversations have been published and are still in print.

His lectures are thought provoking and individualistic. Krishnamurti continually points out our own responsibility in changing our selves - as the only way to make this world a better place. Dependence on others - psychologically - may be human, but will not make us happy (or so he says - this is where I have to disagree a bit).

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Born a poor Brahmin boy in Southern India

Born a poor Brahmin boy in Southern India, Krishnamurti was saved from bad teachers, ill health and probably death by C.W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater, the then famous theosophical clairvoyant, saw Krishnamurti and his brother playing on the Adyar beach (near Madras). He saw something special in the boy and asked to be allowed to raise them. Since the father was poor and a working member of the Theosophical Society, he readily consented to his boys getting a decent English style education.

He was raised by Leadbeater, Annie Besant and other theosophists to see himself as a spiritual teacher. In 1929 Krishnamurti ended 'The Order of the Star of the East', which had been founded with the specific purpose of helping 'the world teacher'.

After this, Krishnamurti went his own way and the Theosophical Society another. Krishnamurti would lecture all over the world.

Jiddu Krishnamurti on relationships

Freedom & Love

Krishnamurti was on the one hand very compassionate. On the other quite critical.

His view of relationships was that they were often more based on memory, then on the actual people in it now. He challenged people in relationships to forget about the past and look at each other afresh.

He stressed that most marriages come about because the biological urge to get kids is very strong. This isn't love, it's desire. Only a few relationships passed his test of being so real that they can't be broken by anything. In those cases marriage itself isn't necessary. On other hand most relationships are based on habit, sexual urges and in it people find out how very different they are... how little they have in common.

Jiddu Krishnamurti on Love

Love as a spiritual concern

Love is one of the most basics spiritual concerns people have. Krishnamurti stressed how most of our concern with love is really concern about emotional security. We want to get love, consistently. We are not usually concerned about giving love. The very search for security kills real, spontaneous compassion.

As on many topics, Krishnamurti's discussions on love centre around questions:

Can love be divided into the sacred and the profane, the human and the divine, or is there only love? Is love of the one and not of the many? If I say,`I love you', does that exclude the love of the other? Is love personal or impersonal? Moral or immoral? Family or non-family? If you love mankind can you love the particular? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Is love pleasure and desire?

He stressed that to really find out what love is about, we have to let go of the words other people have taught us about love. We have to look afresh and find out for ourselves. The flame of love is something that can't be experienced through words, concepts or cliches.

Krishnamurti on Education

Jiddu Krishnamurti wasn't just a teacher, he started schools as well. His unique vision on education is closest to Maria Montessori (a theosophist). Usually Krishnamurti schools are also Montessori schools.

On Interpretation - or against it rather

Jiddu Krishnamurti...???

One of the hardest things to deal with in Jiddu Krishnamurti's teachings is his refusal to accept that people will interpret his teachings. He was vehement in warning against this tendency.

As a teacher myself, I have trouble accepting this attitude of his - I feel that one of the things that makes us human is our willingness to share and learn from each other. But this lens is about Krishnamurti, not Katinka Hesselink - so here is his opinion about interpretation, in his words:

If you need a mediator, an interpreter, then you are not seeking truth; what you want is comfort, gratification, and you might just as well take a pill.

(13 Jan 1957 Colombo)

On Krishnamurti and theosophy (by Katinka Hesselink)

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