Jiddu Krishnamurti

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If an organisation be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing
—Krishnamurti on organized religion[1]

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a California-based philosopher and author. Born to a Brahmin family in colonial India, he was "discovered" and promptly kidnapped adopted by members of the woo-tastic Theosophical Society who became convinced that he was the messiah. Upon reaching adulthood, Krishnamurti disavowed that he was the messiah, turned his back on the Theosophical Society, and became an outspoken critic of organized religion (and organizations in general).[note 1] Ironically but perhaps unsurprisingly, his followers have since formed the Krishnamurti Foundation to propagate his teachings.

Major works[edit]

Truth is a Pathless Land[edit]

In 1929, when Krishnamurti decided to dissolve the organization that the theosophists had built to support his position as messiah-elect, he delivered a speech now titled "Truth is a Pathless Land"[note 2] where he laid out his perspectives on religion and spirituality that would inform most of his writings for the rest of his life. In the speech, he emphatically claimed that he had no interest in forming or belonging to any sect, religion, or new-age organization, nor did he have any interest in accumulating followers or disciples. He also confirmed that he would continue to travel and speak on spiritual matters nonetheless. This emphasis on the individualistic search for truth has made Krishnamurti a favorite with the spiritual but not religious crowd.

The First and Last Freedom[edit]

In his book The First and Last Freedom Krishnamurti laid out many of his arguments in support of individualism and against dogmatic religious belief. He describes organized religion, and especially monasticism, as essentially masturbatory experiences. Krishnamurti claims that the love felt by monks towards their god (or whatever) is merely a reflection of their own narcissism.

Influence[edit]

The major theme of Krishnamurti's œuvre is his own version of anti-authoritarianism that is deeply rooted in Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. Most writers that claim to follow his teachings seem to have ignored the first part in favor of endlessly re-hashing the "Eastern Mysticism" aspects of his work. Despite his avowed distaste for religious and "truth-seeking" groups, Krishnamurti's works have heavily inspired the new-age movement in the 20th century. Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle[2] both cite Krishnamurti as a major influence.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. As a result, many theosophists have serious grudges against Krishnamurti. This author made the mistake of referencing Krishnamurti in a job interview for a position with the Theosophical Society, resulting in a rather unpleasant reaction from the interviewer.
  2. Full text available here: [1]

References[edit]

  1. Pupul Jayakar, J. Krishnamurti: A Biography (1986), p. 78, Penguin Books, New Delhi, ISBN 978-0140103434.
  2. "there were other teachers who were just as meaningful whom I never met in person that I feel a very strong connection to. One is Krishnamurti… I feel a deep link. And I feel actually that the work I do is a coming together of the teaching "stream," if you want to call it that, of Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi. They seem very, very dissimilar, but I feel that in my teaching the two merge into one… so Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi, I love them deeply. I feel completely at One with them." [2]

External links[edit]