Last month I finished reading a book on Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurthi is one of those personalities who we may encounter once in a life time if we are lucky. To those acquainted with Krishnamurti’s teachings or to be more precise his thinking, will know and acknowledge that he was someone who was a very different kind of teacher. Krishnamurti called himself a “Non Guru” and differred fundamentally from most philosophers in that he resisted the tendency to wave his insights into a system.
Krishnamurti’s life is quite an extraordinary one. He was adopted by Mrs Annie Besant who prophesied Krishnamurthi to be the next World-Teacher in line with Krishna, Buddha and Christ!. Quite a tall prophecy you would think. Krishnamurti had very different thoughts and completely rejected this prophecy and renounced every adventitious aid and wealth and approached life directly instead of through the thoughts of the learned. He refused to accept the role of a teacher. “I cannot teach another” he would say. His simple principle behind this was that the perception of Truth, of reality is essentially a very individual process. In other words each one of us has to discover OUR truth and reality. Krishnamurthi did not read many books, did not practice any religion nor did he preach from any scriptures. His motto in life was very simple. Learn to experience the truth and reality through your own experience.
When you first start listening to Krishnamurthi, like most people you will come out of it more confused. You may find his talks full of contradictions.The very simplicity of Krishnamurti’s teachings confuses the sophisticated minds. I read over 300 pages of text dedicated to the mind a life of J Krishnamurti and what I took out of it were a mere 10 pages. Mind you,these 300 pages are not Krishnamurti’s own words; but these are words by people who have attempted to describe the mind of J Krishnamurti. Those 10 pages were quite thought provoking for me to be motivated to share them with you.
The central theme is around Modern Society and Thought . Here are some of the key points I gathered during the read.
One of the features of modern society is a sort of aggressive individualism. Instead of being a centre of affection and intelligence, we have become a pattern of insistent and excessive demands. Such demanding individuals are the natural results of a an outlook which makes human growth less important than the ever growing possessions both material and intellectual. Our civilization is now at a stage where the quality of the civilization is measured by the quantity of material or intellectual goods we are able to produce. No wonder that we are obsessed with trying to be more efficient and effective. The breaking of records has become a passion.
Our inner poverty makes us crave for possessions and distractions. Once the thing is divorced of its legitimate use, it becomes merely a source of entertainment. Stimulation and evasion have become universal and human thought is devoted to amusements and escapes. An ever growing demand for things accelerates still further an industrial development already excessive and man is crushed under the burden of his own accumulations, yet always asking for more and more. People are fighting viciously for raw materials, markets, for territories and political power to the point that we live in constant fear of our lives.
The total mechanisation of human existence proceeds rapidly gaining impetus from its own results. Man has become increasingly automatic in his actions, increasingly demanding in his distractions, for he cannot find any meaning in his cog-wheel existence.
Science and Modern Society
Science has been incredibly successful and has acquired prestige in the eyes of the masses; the worship of science is now almost idolatrous. Science is expected to be the panacea for all our evils, dreams and desires. We live in the hope that science will resolve all our problems and put an end to the conflict between individuals themselves and between man and society. We expect a well qualified technocracy to bring order even into the universe of human relations. A great example in my opinion is the over reliance on technology like mobile phones, computers, etc to have a better social life. We really need to ask ourselves, have these technologies really made us more social?
Rational thought, the mother of science is believed to be the only instrument for finding the ultimate truth (if u believe that there is such a thing). We also believe that rational thought can be formulated and impressed through education on the minds of the young and when it suits the experts.
A search for Fulfillment
We seem to be in a constant search of something. We seem to be striving to live in a perfect society as perfect human beings. Thus perfection has become a thing for the future, not for the present. We sacrifice a living generation to a definite but distant goal. The man of today is sacrificed for the superman of tomorrow. Every individual wants to expand to accumulate more and more physically and mentally at the cost of everybody else. He may include within the circle of his egoistic urges a few of his family and friends, but the rest of the world is his legitimate prey.
Love today appears to be felt as a mutual dependence, a search for each others company, a craving for mutual possession in which the desire to possess and be possessed merge. The greater the mutual dependence, the stronger the bonds that bind, the more perfect love is considered to be. We have developed very naive approaches to love. For example we have a rosy picture summed up in such a phrase as “Motherly Love” and do not dare to uncover this and look into the real interplay between he psychologies between Mother and son or daughter.
We say we love, but there is jealousy we hold and destroy. Is it love to say ,” I love you on the condition that you do not forsake me, do not fail to please me,to support me, to comfort me? If we tell someone that we love you and you are free to do as you please, this is seen indifference to the other. This is not indifference, rather it is profound inner discipline and deep respect for oneself and the other person.
To some temperaments Krishnamurti’s and his philosophy will sound like so much of high falutin mystical nonsense. Patently bogus. One would ask, Of what use is this mumbo-jumbo anyway? This is the most common charge brought against Krishnamurti – that his philosophy is not sufficiently positive. Call him what you like, a philosopher, theosophist, psychologist, spiritualist or a teacher he has carved a place for himself amongst the greats. As humans we are quick to judge someone. We like to pass opinions and judge people if they are good or bad, useful or waste or any other such labels. Krishnamurti has always said that agreeing or disagreeing with him is irrelevant. But understanding him is the essence. But even here, Krishnamurti never pretended to try and make you understand. He merely hopes to provoke you into understanding yourself., into seeing through yourself. To see your own reality, your own truth!
You Will Like to Read: How to Love Unconditionally
If this article did not make sense to you, don’t lose heart. You are amongst many others who have tried to understand Krishnamurti. The problem is that we have been so conditioned to apply our rational mind to everything, we find it extremely difficult to just simply understand. We are eager to pass a judgement. We have closed our minds .If you want to read more about J Krishnamurti, you could start form one of the below