Sadhguru on Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Great Masters / Storytelling


Sadhguru speaks about Jiddu Krishnamurti's life and Sadhguru's brief association with him. Jiddu Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer. His interests included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society.


Duration: 16 min


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Sadhguru on Jiddu Krishnamurti

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

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, a cute little house, nice place. It’s kept like a monument for him today.

At one time in early 20th century and late 19th century, theosophy spread across the world in a big way. This was started by Madam Blavatsky – who had a great interest in occult and mysticism and she spent – late 19th century and early 20th century saw a lot of British and other European seekers of mysticism, travelling to India and exploring and writing lots of books, many of them, you know. Max Muller, Paul Brunton and many others. Blavatsky was even before them – these are all explorers of mysticism.

It was in those days, not like going to some place to learn, it was an adventure that you really have to take off on a horseback and go to a strange country, battle all kinds of things, try to meet the right kind of gurus and, it was a whole adventure. So they put themselves through all this. Madam Blavatsky travelled to all kinds of places, she went to Tibet, she went to India, and then she came down to Tamil Nadu and set up the Theosophical Society out there, which still is there, and then their dream became to produce a ‘perfect being’ – project. Then they unearthed this information.

I don’t know to what extent they went, but actually in the yogic lore, in the tradition there was a yogi by the name Sunira. 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 comes from the tradition of Shiva – somewhere it’s his dream to build another being like that. He wants to build a living Shiva once again, a perfect teacher for the world who is completely multi-dimensional, not this kind of teaching or that kind of teaching. As Shiva gave, explored the whole human consciousness and human body in every possible way, he wants that kind of a living being.

So he started building the energy body for that kind, and then he believed that he could 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 by the time his time is done. So, he started working on this project and of course he died unfulfilled. 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.

So Madam Blavatsky, Leadbeater and Annie Besant who came together to power this Theosophy movement across the world, which they successfully did to a large extent. And they gathered the most phenomenal occult library on the planet, 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 J. Krishnamurti’s groups are called study groups. Yes? Study circles or study groups, because these study groups were set up by Annie Besant and Leadbeater. These are brilliant intellects, no question about that, but they have no inner experience, but they have gathered phenomenal amount of information.

So somewhere they believed with this information and with their intelligence and intellect they can recreate all this, and they started looking for appropriate bodies, upon which this body of a super-teacher can be imposed upon. So Jiddu Krishnamurti, Rukmini Arundel, who else? One more, whatever. They started putting them through very severe training to prepare them physically, mentally, but they have no inner experience They’re reading books and trying to do this to these boys, and they put JK on all kinds of meditative processes. And he attained to a certain level of, he became a fantastic human being.

He was something that nobody could decipher, but he was like a flower – his fragrance could not be missed. Then they decided, when JK was about 27 or 28 years of age, this Theosophical Society decided to announce to the world that he is the world teacher. The perfect teacher has come . People gathered with great interest in this. JK came on the podium and he said, ‘I am not a world teacher,.’ Poof, the whole Theosophical Society and their project, everything went down the tube. He had the courage and the sense and the wisdom to say, ‘I am not.’ Most idiots would have said ‘Yes, I am the world teacher, I am the reincarnation of Buddha and Jesus and everything.’ Most idiots would have done that. He had the sense and the wisdom and the vision to say that, ‘I am not this nonsense, that they’re trying to make me out of.’

And, JK came out of Theosophy and he started speaking. He was a brilliant speaker. So people gathered around him, enormous wisdom and sense. So when he spoke, people sat rapt. Quite magical the way he speaks.

You know, somebody was talking to me – when I was just 17,18 years of age, someone was talking to me, JK study circles, it was fashionable. For all those people who think they’re intellectual, you have to read JK, you have to listen to JK’s audios, otherwise you’re not intellectual enough. In the Indian intelligentsia if you have not read JK, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky you have no brain actually – that’s how it’s treated. So it’s like fashion for everybody they should have read these, whether they get it or they don’t get it, you’ve read Dostoevsky, you read Kierkegaard, you read J. Krishnamurti means you got some brain working – that’s the gauge.

So people were talking JK, JK he is something – every Saturday afternoon they have a study circle, where they play some audio tapes and his books are there and things. Some of my friends invited me and I went. So they were playing a short video. The man was sitting like this [straight], this is the first time I’m seeing him, the first time I’m listening to him. He was still alive at that time. Just the integrity of the person is spilling all over him. Just the sheer integrity of the man cannot be missed. So I didn’t do much reading, I heard a few audios and watched a few videos. I enjoyed him, but I was too wild to listen to anybody. I had no time for anything, life was calling me all the time. So I had no time to listen to my parents or my teachers or JK or IJ or X, Y, Z, you know. I had no time for anything, so I left the study circle and went on.

Maybe I attended this for about five weeks, I remember very well. It was about five weekends, I went there every Saturday afternoon just for about an hour-and-half. They would play one half-an-hour video or audio, and then they’ll all get into discussion and one big confusion, because nobody around him understood what he is talking about. Because he refuses to use any method, he refuses to use any example, he refuses to use any parable, any story, any joke or anything. Just, this is just intellectual dissection.

This is called as Gnana Marga. This is pure Gnana Marga. Gnana means the way of intellect. Out of these seven billion people, if you find 10,000 people who have that kind of a razor sharp intellect, who can without any kind of context they can go on slicing things – you will not even find, I don’t think you will find 10,000, 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, they may be trying to slice through something else.

So around JK everybody could feel the man is special, but nobody could get what he was talking about, because he refused to play the role of a guru, he refused to initiate anybody into anything, he refused to give any kind of method, any kind of process. He said, ‘It’ll 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 that you have – of body, energy, emotion, all these things.

He went driving on one wheel of his car. He is good at it but nobody else could get to do it. Fantastic human being. When he was there, there was a fragrance. When he’s gone, only books because there’s no living process. So Kahlil Gibran said about J. Krishnamurti, ‘When I walked into the room…’ JK was sitting and Kahlil Gibran went to meet him, he said, ‘When I walked into the room, I walked into a wall of love. It just hit me in the face.’ See, you would never associate JK with love. He’s not a loving man. That’s not how he looks. He is like this [stone faced straight].

He definitely doesn’t look loving, but he’s very loving. His energies are absolutely compassionate, but his words are like a knife. So people felt something, but they couldn’t figure what it is. They couldn’t get a hold on it, because he wouldn’t give a hold. He said, ‘If you hold it, you may get stuck with this, so don’t hold.’ If there were millions of razor sharp minds in the world, that would’ve been a fabulous way to do things. But in today’s world, in the existing way the humanity is, the way peoples’ intellects are entangled in a million things, that method is just not going to get anybody anywhere. It’s a beautiful process but there must be people who can digest it, isn’t it?

So J. Krishnamurti was like a flower. His fragrance was felt when he was alive, and that’s all. His words are good. If you want to kind of use it as a intellectual exercise to drop a few things, they could be useful, brilliant. His intellectual brilliance just comes out every moment of his life. He started a few schools which are wonderful schools, which are still on.

I must tell you my association with him. When I went to this, you know, these weekends for five Saturdays, Saturday afternoons an hour-and-half, that’s my exposure to him. On one day he spoke about education, and it really gripped me and, you know, it really twisted me inside out because all the ideas, I had never thought of an alternative way of educating people. I was only thinking of how to dismantle all the education system in my mind. When he spoke about education, suddenly it struck me there is another way to do this. So just this thought came to my mind. I was just maybe 17, 18 and I was living wild and I have dreams of running away somewhere.

So, I just thought if at any time if a child comes under my control, I would like to put the child to this kind of education. So it just so happened when my daughter had to go to school, when she got admission in some of the best schools in Ooty, but then it just flashed me in my mind that, ‘Okay, there’s a JK school, why don’t I send her there?’ And she went to that school and she spent eight years studying there. So just those five Saturday afternoons, an hour-and-a-half, that much impact he had on me, that I handed over my daughter to his care, in one way or the other.

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