International Self-preparation Group

Message from Krishnaji IV

In the last three Messages I have tried to explain what I mean by the Master and why the ideal of perfection is a constant source of inspiration to all of us.
I often ask myself why I do certain things, why I eat in a particular way, why I am kind to others, why others are kind to me, why I am polite, - in fact all the usual questions that one sometimes asks oneself. And I think the answer, at least for myself, is that I want to try to achieve in all that I do during the day, the perfection of the Master. I will tell you what I mean: I want - and surely everybody in the world wants - to be like some ideal, for example, to be like the Master, or to be like some great poet, some great painter or some great musician. Ever since I was a small boy, I well remember, I have wanted to be something along spiritual lines. I remember a friend asking me when I was a small boy what I wanted to do when I was grown up. He said to me: "I am going to be a shop-keeper, I want to keep a shop." I do not remember what I replied, but I know it gave me a shock to think that I might become like him a shop-keeper, because all the time I wanted to become something else.
Now, I want to be like the Master, but my idea of the Master is not a very individualistic one. As I said at the beginning, to me the Master is like myself, but much more wonderful, much more beautiful. All the things that I can attribute to Him are not enough to describe Him. For, I, Krishnamurti, do not always see the Master as He is, and I do not always have Him in my mind, because I know that clouds of my own making come between me and the Master. On a cloudy day there are shadows and certain trees are darkened by the shadows but others remain lit up. There are clouds in the sky but the sun is always shining. It is the clouds that intervene, it is the clouds that come between the sun and the trees. And it is the same with us. I know that I shall be a Master, that I can be a Master if only the clear space of the sky was ever between me and the Master, with nothing to obstruct, or to make false shadows, nothing to move or come between us.
But it does not depress me to know that the clouds are sometimes there, for I feel my Master must once have had His shadows and clouds and He will understand my shadows and clouds. It is very difficult to explain all this because I have never thought about these things very precisely; I do not like to think too precisely about the Master, for thereby I feel the ideal becomes rather common, loses its serenity, its dignity, its distinction. That is my personal opinion.
I do not have the ideal of the Master consciously and purposely with me throughout the day, and yet unconsciously the ideal is always there in front of me. I have not read books about the Masters, probably because I have been brought up in Theosophy and therefore, perhaps, my instinct has been to keep off those subjects. But to me the Master is just as real as to anyone else. I have not striven consciously, I have not said to myself, "To-day and to-morrow I am going to acquire certain qualities, the day after to-morrow I am going to try to develop others." I have grown naturally. I am not setting myself up as an ideal for you, I am not putting myself upon a pedestal for you to worship. That would be absurd. But I want you to see my point of view, and perhaps it may help some of you. If it does not, it does not much matter.
You know, if you have a brother who is always correcting you when you do what is wrong, your instinct when he is not there, is to think, "Am I doing the right thing?" If you have a certain thought, immediately you find yourself thinking the opposite thought. If you are angry you say, "How absurd to be angry." If you are jealous you think immediately of the opposite of jealousy. I have watched people and when I see people angry, I say, "must not do that." When I see people really nice, I say, "I must copy certain things those people do." So all day long one is adjusting oneself quickly and steadily. You have a determination to go along a certain path, and you can only do that if you can keep the sky clear in front of you - that absolutely cloudless blue sky which is the Master. And if each one of us feels the nearness of the Master in the beautiful things around us, in pictures, in individuals, in trees, in clouds, or in anything we see, at once there is the immediate response. Instead of waiting for the Master to come and open us up, we open ourselves up and we become like those beautiful things. This has been my experience.
Why do we all want to be happy? Because happiness is the only thing worth achieving in the world. I receive knocks, I struggle, I have difficulties of every kind, but I do not think I have ever been deeply depressed, except on the day when I heard that my brother had passed away. My natural instinct is always to be happy. I always cultivate that, because if we are not happy, nothing in the world is worth while. There is nothing in the world to be miserable about, really; not even in the death of someone who means everything to us, nor in all the little things which we think matter so much. And that is why the moment you feel happy, you really see beauty in all things. The moment you are enthusiastic in your happiness you will see the real Master, but not otherwise. We are all struggling to be happy, and that is why we do not see the Master. In a way unhappiness always brings ugliness; it is not beautiful; it is not natural. But if you are happy, in the real sense of the word, if you are joyous, then you will see everything in a new light. Then you will want to create this happiness for others, and it is by bringing it to them that the Master comes nearer to you.
Happiness is a thing which should be second nature to us; it should be as easy to be happy as to be depressed. Watch people's faces. They get depressed so quickly. I do not see why it should not be easier to be happy than to be depressed. I am talking about something which I have experienced personally, because I too have had to struggle. My nature is not unhappy or depressing but I have experienced certain things in my life which have made me say: "Am I really happy?" "Have I really conquered?" And I think I can honestly say that I am happy and that I have really conquered. Now I am not struggling to be wonderful or to become a great disciple. Joy is in my nature, I cannot help being happy. If I am depressed I see at once how absurd it is to be depressed, so immediately I change. If we have the sunshine, at once we notice the shadows. So I am able to keep my balance over things. This happiness is a really quiet happiness; it does not mean that we should be skipping about the place like young gazelles, or that we should go up and pat everyone on the shoulder, but it is a kind of dignified happiness; and I should say that it is the first requirement for the comprehension of the Master or of anything beautiful.
If you are feeling depressed and with that feeling of misery you approach anything beautiful you will never see its real beauty. It will be superficial; just the outside may appeal to you but you will not perceive the real inner beauty. And that is why most of us do not understand what we are talking about when we get up on platforms and talk about the Masters. We have just seen the superficial dignity and greatness and we think we have understood it and are capable of explaining it to others. But if you are happy, if you are really intensely joyous, then you will see and feel and know the reality. Perhaps you will not talk so much about it, but you will know what it means. You will gain every quality in the world if you are happy in this way. For this happiness is the source of true happiness to others; it is the stream that will go through every land, that will bring new life to all living things, refresh all creation, and ultimately merge itself in the eternal sea.
Nothing can stop us if we have that attitude. For if we are happy, we shall be able to take so many more along with us, we shall make others see what it means to be happy, we shall be able to enjoy life and make others enjoy it. You can take away my Master, you can take away everything I prize in life, but if I thought you were going to take away from me this sense of happiness I should feel really lost. When I am happy, the idea of being separate, of being individualistic, of being proud and conceited entirely disappears, because I want to make others happy, I want to make everything right and help to put everything in its proper position and place.
I think, for those of us who are struggling, who are learning to walk, it takes years and years and years to learn these things. We are just beginning to discover what shadows and lines mean, what the whole world means, what little things mean and what big things mean. And if you do not have clearly in front of you this view of happiness and possess it yourselves, you may study for centuries and yet you will not get the right attitude, the right sense of proportion in life. Happiness brings you to the goal. Happiness makes you enlightened, makes you big, makes you really one with the Master, one with beauty. Without it you cannot really help others when they get depressed. You may have sympathy, you may want to put your arms round them, but you will not have the real sympathy that can truly help.
And for me the Master not only embodies all these things, but He is a kind of friend with whom I can go out for a walk and to whom I can explain my point of view. Not that I actually go out for a walk with the Master, but that is my attitude towards Him. I do not put Him on a pedestal merely and go on my knees and worship Him, but I take Him as my real friend. I dislike the word 'Brother' because it has been so much misused; for me, anyhow, it has lost its beauty. The idea of a 'friend' is to me much more beautiful. That is why I treat the Master as though He were a real Friend of mine.
If we treat the Master in that way, how simple it becomes, how dignified, how distinctive and how real, instead of something superficial, something artificial. The Master will become part of us, one with us, instead of a separate someone to whom we give and from whom we receive. If you think of it, you do not receive anything really, from the sun; you are surrounded by the sun, you are part of the sun. There is his life in every part of the solar system, and it is the same with the Master. Try to realise what a drop of water must feel in the sea. Its sense of separation is lost; it is absolutely one with the sea and there is no idea of "here am I, a drop of water, and there is the huge sea". By identifying itself with the sea, it enjoys the power, the strength, the beauty and the dignity of the sea, because it is part of it, and not simply a separate drop of water. That idea to me is inspiring. I want to be like the sea, I want to be like the Master, because then I feel so much happier. That is why; not because I want to help so and so. I will naturally help if I am happy.
That is why I lay so much stress on being happy. The idea that we must go out and help and serve and work, out of a forced and artificial sense of duty, is appalling to me. It is depressing. But look at it from the other point of view. Because you are happy, because you are clean, because you are really big and feel things, you will want to bring others to be as you are and feel as you do. You must not begin from the wrong end of the stick. Do not think that by going and working in slums and by worrying other people with work that you are going to obtain happiness. That may come later on, or it may come at the end of life, but if you are instinctively happy, naturally happy, then you will go and work in the slums far better, and you will make other people really like you. Other people will want to be your friends because they feel and know you are happy, because they know you are really different. You are an example instead of being merely like them, and yet you are one of them.
That is why those people who get depressed, who feel weak or sentimental or anything of that sort, miss the real beauty and fun of life, and cannot come near the Master. They cannot come near the beauty of life. You see, if you are happy, then your attitude, your desires, the way you act, your gestures, your life, everything changes. These things become real, they become natural, and therefore they become really beautiful. At present we are trying to do things, to simulate things which we do not understand. We are trying to mould ourselves into something, and we do not know what it is we are trying to achieve. We have read about it, we have thought about it, but it is not part of us, and that is why it is not real to us, and that is why it is of no permanent value in our lives. You may meditate and read, but if you are not natural, if you are not instinctively beautiful you will not achieve your goal, you will not come near the Master.

J. Krishnamurti

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