Happy Birthday K
Today, on 11th May, India’s most outstanding spiritual leader J Krishnamurty was born. He was not a famous monk-like Osho, whom the ordinary audience could understand; he was different and misunderstood due to his abstract teachings. He was a distinct spiritual leader whose followers entirely misunderstood him.
If technology ever decides to develop an AI to train on spirituality. Only Krishumanruty teachings will help create the ‘model’ of spirituality; he was rational. I am not sure how many of his followers could understand him; he was very cryptic in his message and was trying to explain what was not explainable. His followers misunderstood his teachings, which led them to quit all types of mediation and seek, and many developed an atheist mindset that he always denied.
He always said that he was not sure if God existed, but he was very sure about the existence of ultimate Truth, which we call by different names, including Bhraman or super consciousness or whatever. Despite him (Krishnamurty) denying any influence of scriptures or religion, his entire teachings can be summarised in ऐतदात्यमिदं सर्वं तत्सत्यं स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि, श्वेतकेतो, of course, he purposely avoids to state other great statement अहं ब्रह्मास्मि, I am sure he knew this but always avoided.
Despite him (Krishnamurty) denying any influence of scriptures or religion, his entire teachings can be summarised in ऐतदात्यमिदं सर्वं तत्सत्यं स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि, श्वेतकेतो, of course, he purposely avoids to state other great statement अहं ब्रह्मास्मि, I am sure he knew this but always avoided.
During discourses, Osho was asked to name five great spiritual personalities, and he put Krishanmurty on his list along with the Krishna, Buddha and Gorkhnath. Of course, Krishnamurty never agreed with Osho, and he always laughed at his meeting with Osho. However, Osho had valid reasons for putting him on the top list,
Unlike Osho, K would hardly reference any spiritual book or story; he once talked about Upanishad and Nachiketa without referring to his name. During his discussion with one of the scholars of Buddhism, the monk kept connecting K with Budha, and Krishnamurti said, it may be correct, but I do not know, and I don’t care. He also requested the monk not refer to Bhudha and asked about his own/personal view of his journey.
If you believe in the incarnation and study chronology concerning the spiritual evolution process, you would easily consider J Krishnamruty as the next incarnation after Buddha. Sri Aurobindo developed a theory of evaluation and claimed that the subsequent evaluation would happen at the mind/consciousness level, and Krsihnamruty perfectly fits this theory.
Krishnamurty (Popularly Known as K) was selected/picked by Charles Webster Leadbeater, the founding member of the Theosophical Society, to establish him (K) as Maitreya, Office of the World Teacher, basically the next evolution of humankind. It is believed that Buddha told his disciples that I would be reborn again as ‘Maitreya.’
The story says that Charles Webster found an aura around K when he first saw him on the beach and knew that he could be Maitreya. He was then taken to London and was trained in all kinds of occult, philosophy and religious practice. He was trained by telepathy by a couple of great Gurus in the Himalayas. It is also said that Dr. Annie Besent will go to K every morning and will ask what has been implanted into his mind during his sleep. The theosophical society also published a book based on K’s experiences with Gurus, “At the Feet of the Master,” a classic book but a bit complex to comprehend the message.
Despite all spiritual training and teachings, in 1920, he refused to be part of the Order of the Star and left theosophical society. No one knows the real reason behind this, whether it was a spiritual or a logical decision. He did mention in a few talks that the people around him were capitalists, Marxists, Pops and K believed that this was right; the Truth cannot be confined to one path and cannot be designed.
In his own words
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. … This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone, you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned about whether you pay attention to what I say. I want to do a certain thing in the world, and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies.
He always believed that Truth is a pathless land and any systematic approach will not get you to the Truth; it is the same as Lao Tzu says in Taoism, “The way that can be named is not the way.” If you create an amalgamation of Lao Tzu and Ashtavakra, you will quickly arrive at Krishnamurthy.
On the day of his death, Buddha gave a final message to his disciples was like ‘Light your own lamp,‘ but in English translation, it reads, “Behold, O monks, this is my advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.”
This is precisely where K starts his teaching; he always says that it is your journey; no matter what the scriptures say, no matter what I (K) say or what any saint says, you need to find your Truth by introspecting yourself. He was very much against any Guru, religion, or systematic method of engagement or search. He says no methodology will take you there; it would happen accidentally.
Despite being trained in all scriptures and yogic practices, he never referenced it and even made an effort to avoid that, though he did refer to it indirectly. He says I do not deny God, but he never agreed on the definition of God established by religions; in one of his books, he is unsure if Upnishads talks about God. Despite his not agreeing with it, his understanding of God was the same as Upanishad, Vedant and other Indian scriptures. The majority of Indian philosophy does not claim God as a person or an entity,
K had a unique way of answering the questions. He would first try to define the question correctly and always say let us find out the answer together. He would never say I believe in this; he was always purposefully open-ended.
He was also against all the traditional meditation methods and said that meditation is just an exercise of concentration or focus; it has nothing to do with realizing the Truth. True meditation, according to K, is effortless complete silence where even your brain’s cell activity is on hold
K says we need to become free from every established rule, religion, or even nation; humankind will never find peace until we get Freedom from all we know. He says ‘conditioning’ is the only problem we have; we easily believe our conditions as Truth, what we read, what we are taught, etc. He said self-actualization is the only way.
He also wrote many books on this, The total Freedom, Freedom from known, the first and last Freedom etc. According to him, seeking is also bondage, and we need to become free even from seeking the Truth. Guru Ravidarath Tagore also worked on the same philosophy and wanted us free from all conditioning.
K kept saying that he has not read any scripture, but the majority of his teaching is very close to Vedant and Astawakra; the conclusion of his teaching is to believe in “Tatvamasi.”
If you watch K’s teaching many times, you will find people laughing whenever he refers to God or something established, and K requests them not to laugh. However, I don’t think the majority of his followers could understand what he was trying to say, and the only result was that many of them left all meditations and other practices and did nothing. The followers assumed that he was mocking God, which was not valid.
He was the most intelligent spiritual leader India has given to the world so far, and his spirituality was so contemporary, but that was also his problem.
We all have a friend in school who kept saying that you can learn without going to school, and there are examples around us who become a super genius without school, and K is like that genius. However, most of us need to go to school; we need formal education.
He was like a genius student in the class, trying to explain his ideas to an average student without coming down to an intellectual level of an average student. All his followers believed that he was trying to teach us that do not do anything, the Truth will come to us, and I don’t think that was his message.
I guess for K, it was easy to assume all paths and methods were useless because he tried all; he was against the Guru, but many gurus worked on him and trained him, and he could find that all these were nonsense only after he tried all. In the case of Budhha, it was easy for him to say that all this material life is useless because he experienced all; he was a King/prince, but if you take the example of Kabir, it was not easy for him to know the Truth, he must have put lots of efforts.
K was trying to establish the final Truth which he could know. Still, he forgot that everyone has their own journey; not everyone wants enlightenment or may not be interested in learning the ultimate Truth.
Sometimes as a human, our requirements might be the peace of find or maybe solving our anxiety; we need something which allows us to face the reality of life with faith and confidence. This is only possible by following some established rules and meditation methods or religions.
Everyone needs to follow the journey and do baby steps; of course, all those Genius like K can surely jump, but if you ask an average student to jump, he will fail, and the majority of us are intermediate students.
K could not gain more followers like Osho; of course, he taught the ultimate Truth, and everyone could not believe; that he was unique, divine, and a Buddha. He was too intelligent for an ordinary person; you need lots of context before understanding his psychoanalysis and definition of Truth. If you follow his method of analyzing your thoughts blindly, it will cause many mental problems.
When he says the Truth is a pathless land, isn’t that also a path? When do you say there is no rule? Isn’t this a rule? K also says to get free from all conditioning, but can we say this is not conditioning?
I do not doubt that he was Buddha, and I would agree with Osho to put him on the top three list, but following his method, I would also dare to ask questions about his teaching; K kept saying that do not believe; always questions!
He is the natural next incarnation of Budhha, and he starts where Buddha ends; the last statement of Buddha was “light your own light,” and this is precisely what K says, be your Guru or authority. He denies any authority/religion or God.
He is so uniquely enlightened, and if you read or listen to him, you would initially find it very difficult to understand him, and you cannot start your spiritual journey with him; he is your last resort.
Traditionally in India, gurus used to train and educate their disciples and at the last stage, when he is ready, they will ask him to speak अहं ब्रह्मास्मि ( I am the ultimate Truth) and say तत्त्वमसि (You are also the ultimate Truth). If you start with these without training, you will misunderstand it, and K starts with this directly. Of course, he never claimed any authority or enlightenment, but he knew that he was at the last stage of human knowledge. He was always humble, and he clearly said तत्त्वमसि; of course, he kept saying that he never read any spiritual book.
I think he was a little early for humanity to understand his teaching, but eventually, we will start understanding his statements as we become more complex and need to make all this simple!