Chennai’s Gifts to the World: #6 – Jiddu Krishnamurti

“I maintain that no organization can lead man to spirituality.

If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it”

That was Jiddu Krishnamurti, disbanding the Order of the Star of the East, the Order that was specifically formed to declare him as the Maitreya Buddha, the World Teacher.

Born in the village of Madanapalle in Chitoor district, Krishnamurti was literally discovered by the Theosophists in a private beach in Adyar, Madras. The controversial theosophist C.W. Leadbeater played a significant role in the early years of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s life.

Leadbeater declared that JK was the second Maitreya Buddha, the world leader. JK became a protege of Annie Beasant, then President of the Theosophical Society, Adyar. JK and his brother Nitya were taken under the tutelage of the Theosophical Society and taught what the future World Teacher should know.

JK’s father was slowly alienated from his sons and he filed a suit against Annie Beasant for custody of his sons.The Theosophical society dragged the case till the boys became adults at the age of 18.

After breaking with the Theosophical Society, JK roamed the world as a Free Thinker giving speeches at various forums. Even for his most ardent follower, it is difficult to encapsulate JK’s philosphy in a few sentences. In his own words

“‘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”

About Organised Religion
“When Krishnamurti dies, which is inevitable, you will set about forming rules in your minds, because the individual, Krishnamurti, had represented to you the Truth. So you will build a temple, you will then begin to have ceremonies, to invent phrases, dogmas, systems of belief, creeds, and to create philosophies. If you build great foundations upon me, the individual, you will be caught in that house, in that temple, and so you will have to have another Teacher come and extricate you from that temple. But the human mind is such that you will build another temple around Him, and so it will go on and on.”

His critics were numerous. Their contention was that he spoke in circles, sounding philosophical when actually it meant nothing. One of his most harshest critics was another Krishnamurti – UG Krishnamurti. who accused JK of not really getting out of the Theosophical Society conditioning.

JK was awared the UN Peace Medal in 1984 and spoke on World Peace during the 40th anniversary of the UN. In 1985 he gave a series of Farewell speeches in India and UK before retiring to US where he breathed his last. You can learn more about him in Krishnamurti foundation website

5 Comments so far

  1. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2006 @ 7:23 am

    I second that.

    JK was, without any doubt, the finest mind ever produced by the city of Madras.

  2. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

    On Chennais contributions, I had proposed Madras Medical College, as it holds the pride of place in having the FIRST LADY DOCTOR in the English speaking WORLD and the first Indian lady Doctor to graduate from this School. It had an illustrious past, and people like Ronald Ross, who discovered the causation of malaria have worked here.

    My post did not appear on metblogs, and I wonder why.

  3. Chenthil (unregistered) on December 2nd, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

    Parthasarathy – there were many places / things / names we discussed before finalising these 7. This list can never be unanimous. Madras Medical College and Ross is an interesting connection. We will write in detail about it soon

  4. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2006 @ 3:39 am

    Hi Chenthil, I am new to chennai.metblogs, and love this site.

    Thank you for the prompt reply.

  5. Lavanya (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    Chenthil, enjoyed reading this post. Among several JK’s quotes, what has stood out for me is this one:

    During one of his lectures, JK asked his audience if they wanted to know what his secret was. Naturally, the crowd wanted to. In response JK is supposed to have said, “My secret is this: I don’t mind what happens”

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