Sadhguru on Jiddu Krishnamurti
Sadhguru tells the story of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and shares a precious anecdote of how he went to attend a handful of J. Krishnamurti study sessions as a teenager.
Questioner: Sadhguru, I was wondering if you could talk a bit about Jiddu Krishnamurti and his dismissal of Gurus in realizing the truth?Sadhguru: Jiddu Krishnamurti was born in a village called Madanapalle. I have been to his house where he was born and where he lived – a century-old house. It is a cute little house and a nice place. It is kept like a monument for him today. Madanapalle is a little village, but because Jiddu Krishnamurti built a school nearby, all kinds of people go there now because of the school.
Madam Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society
At one time, in the early 20th century and late 19th century, Theosophy spread across the world in a big way. This was begun by Madam Blavatsky, who had a great interest in occult and mysticism. Those were times when a lot of British and other European seekers of mysticism – Max Müller, Paul Brunton and many others – travelled to India and wrote lots of books. Blavatsky was even before them.
In those days, it was not like going to some place to learn. You really had to take off on horseback and go to a strange country, battle all kinds of things and try to meet the right kind of Gurus. It was a whole adventure. To go on that kind of adventure, one must have substantial longing, otherwise you cannot make such a journey where your life is at risk.
Madam Blavatsky travelled to all kinds of places, she went to Tibet, to India and then she came down to Tamil Nadu and set up the Theosophical Society there – which still exists today. Their dream was to produce a “perfect being”.
Maitreya or World Teacher
I do not know to what extent they went into it, but actually in the Yogic lore, there was a Yogi by the name Sunira, who lived approximately 40,000 years ago. Sunira saw that human consciousness could be evolved if you produce a perfect human being who could render this to all sorts of people. In a way, he came from the tradition of Shiva, so his dream was to build another being like that. He wanted to build a living Shiva once again – a perfect teacher for the world who is completely multi-dimensional, not limited to any kind of teaching. Shiva explored the whole human consciousness and human body in every possible way, so Sunira wanted that kind of a living being.
Sunira started building the energy body for that kind of being. He believed that he could then build a physical body on top of that and let him loose in the world with a lifespan of a few hundred or thousand years so that he will transform the whole world.
Sunira started working on this project – which he referred to as Maitreya, the ultimate friend of humanity – but he died unfulfilled. So here and there, down these 40,000 years, many ambitious Yogis picked up the same project that Sunira had left and tried to reconstruct this energy body of a perfect teacher who can transform human consciousness. It went on, off and on, off and on. Various Yogis picked it up and tried to build the same thing back any number of times.
Madam Blavatsky, Leadbeater and Annie Besant came together to power this Theosophy movement across the world, which they successfully did to a large extent. They gathered the most phenomenal occult library on the planet, which is still in the Theosophical Society of India. They gathered every kind of book on occult and they set up a whole study team.
Even now, Jiddu Krishnamurti's groups are called study circles or study groups because these study groups were set up by Annie Besant and Leadbeater. Annie Besant and Leadbeater were brilliant intellects, no question about that, but they had no inner experience.
They gathered a phenomenal amount of information about all these things and they believed that with this information and with their intellect, they would recreate all this. They started looking for appropriate bodies upon which this body of a super-teacher can be imposed. They chose Jiddu Krishnamurti, and started putting him through very severe training to prepare him physically and mentally.
Leadbeater left India along with Jiddu Krishnamurti and came to UK, where Jiddu Krishnamurti developed very Western tastes. He dressed in the finest suits, went to Piccadilly and wore the finest ties. He would take hours to choose a tie – a very meticulous man. He bought himself a BSA motorcycle and enjoyed riding the bike.
The meditative aspect of his training continued and he became a fantastic human being. We do not know what he was when he was in the UK, but at least in his later years he was something that nobody could decipher. But he was like a flower – his fragrance could not be missed.
Jiddu Krishnamurti Denounces the Title of World Teacher
When Jiddu Krishnamurti was about 32-33 years of age, the Theosophical Society decided to announce to the world that he is the world teacher. They arranged a huge meeting in the Netherlands, which they say was attended by thousands of people.
Jiddu Krishnamurti came on the podium and said, “I am not a world teacher, I am a nobody.” The whole Theosophical Society and their project went down the tube. They had prepared him for his whole life, and he came there and said, “I am not a world teacher, I am a nobody.” Most idiots would have said, “Yes, I am the world teacher, I am the reincarnation of Buddha and Jesus.” He had the sense, wisdom and vision to say that, “I am not this nonsense that they are trying to make me out to be.”
He then came out of Theosophy and began to speak in public gatherings. He was a brilliant speaker. People gathered around him and he always spoke about never depending on a Guru, because his own experience of his teachers was so horrid.
Because of his enormous wisdom and sense, when he spoke, people sat rapt. The way he speaks is quite magical. One thing you can see about him is that he is alert and clear. His very physical ambience is like that. If you are sitting there and listening to him, and you as much as move your hand, he will just get up and walk away!
When Sadhguru Attended a Jiddu Krishnamurti Session
When I was just 17-18 years of age, Krishnamurti study circles were fashionable. In the Indian intelligentsia, if you had not read J Krishnamurti, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky, you have no brain actually – that is how it was!
They had a study circle every Saturday afternoon where they used to play some audio tapes and read his books. Some of my friends invited me and I went. They were playing a short video. He was still alive at that time. In the video, he was talking and someone was sitting in the audience and just looking at him. He says, “Do not look at me like that.” That man says, “What can I do? My eyes are like that.” “No sir, please do not look at me like that.” The man says, “What can I do? Should I close my eyes? I am just listening to you. I am looking at you, that is all.” “No, you do not look at me like this. Take this man away.”
He did this on the first day I went and I really liked this. This man is straight. Too straight. Just the integrity of the person is spilling all over him. Just the sheer integrity of the man cannot be missed. I did not do much reading but I heard a few audios and watched a few videos. I enjoyed him, but I was too wild to listen to anyone. Life was calling me all the time. I had no time to listen to my parents or my teachers or to Krishnamurti. I had no time for anything, so I left the study circle and went on.
The Path of Gnana
For five weekends, I went there every Saturday afternoon just for about an hour-and-a-half. They would play one half-an-hour video or audio and then get into a discussion. It would be one big confusion because nobody around him understood what he is talking about. He is just talking about this, this and this. “What is this?” He will say, “This is this,” because he refuses to use any method, any example, any parable, story or joke. This is just intellectual dissection. This is pure Gnana Marga. Gnana means the path of the intellect.
If you ask me, in these over seven billion people in the world, you will not find even 10,000 people who would be suitable for this kind of process, who have that kind of razor-sharp intellect and can go on slicing things without any kind of context. Maybe you will find a thousand people and those thousand people may not be interested in the spiritual process, they may be trying to slice through the stock market or something else.
Around Jiddu Krishnamurti, everyone could feel the man is special, but no one could get what he was talking about because he refused to play the role of a Guru. He refused to initiate anyone into anything or give any kind of method or process.
Driving Your Car on One Wheel
He said, “It will anyway happen.” It is true. Anyway it will happen, but maybe after a million lifetimes. So if you are in a hurry, either you must have that kind of an intellect – which is rare – or you must be willing to use the other faculties of body, energy and emotion. He went driving on one wheel of his car. He is good at it but nobody else could do it.
How many of you can drive your car on two wheels? There are people who can do it, but is that the best way to drive a car? That man may go on recommending, “If you drive your car on two wheels, the tire-wear will come down, it takes much less space, you can make the lanes of the highway much narrower, there are any number of benefits,” but how many people can do it? And he is driving it on one wheel – worse.
He was a fantastic human being, but he lived like a flower and he withered like a flower. When he was there, there was a fragrance. When he is gone, only books remained because there is no living process.
Kahlil Gibran and Jiddu Krishnamurti
I happened to go to Kahlil Gibran’s house in Lebanon. It was a house worth visiting. It is a beautiful place in the mountains with a small little brook flowing inside the sitting room. Once, Jiddu Krishnamurti was at some place and Kahlil Gibran went to meet him.
Gibran later said, “When I walked into the room, I walked into a wall of love.” You would never associate Jiddu Krishnamurti with love. He definitely does not look loving, but he is very loving. His energies are absolutely compassionate, but his words are like a knife.
Around him, people felt something, but they could not get a hold on it, because he would not give them a hold. He said, “If you hold it, you may get stuck with this, so do not hold.” It is a certain approach. I am not saying it is wrong. It is a beautiful way. If there were millions of razor-sharp minds in the world, that would have been a fabulous way to do things, but in the existing way in which humanity is, the way peoples' intellects are entangled in a million things, that method is just not going to get most people anywhere. It is a beautiful process but there must be people who can digest it.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was like a flower whose fragrance was felt when he was alive. His words are good. If you want to use it as an intellectual exercise to drop a few things, they could be useful. His intellectual brilliance just comes out every moment of his life.
How Jiddu Krishnamurti Impacted Sadhguru
When I went to these five Saturday afternoons for an hour-and-a-half, on one of those days he spoke about education. It really gripped me because I had never thought of an alternative way of educating people. I was only thinking of how to dismantle all the education systems in my mind. I thought these education systems are the most horrible evil and I could grow up better under a mango tree – or upon a mango tree depending upon the season – rather than being in a school.
When he spoke about education, suddenly it struck me that there is another way to do this. I was maybe 17 or 18 and I was living wild and I had dreams of running away somewhere. I just thought that I would like to put children into the kind of education he was talking about.
It just so happened that when my daughter had to go to school, she got admission in some of the best schools in Ooty, which is where everyone would want to go, but then it just flashed in my mind, “Okay, there is a Jiddu Krishnamurti school. Why not send her there?” She went to that school and she spent eight years studying there.
So those five Saturday afternoons of an hour-and-a-half each had that much impact on me, that I handed over my daughter to his care in one way or the other. My contact with Jiddu Krishnamurti was just seven-and-half hours and that is the influence he had upon me.