Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes

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Jiddu Krishnamurti

Birthdate: 12. May 1895
Date of death: 17. February 1986

Jiddu Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the Theosophy organization behind it. His interests included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

Krishnamurti was born in India. In early adolescence he had a chance encounter with occultist and theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater on the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a 'vehicle' for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the Order of the Star in the East, an organisation that had been established to support it.

Krishnamurti said he had no allegiance to any nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life travelling the world, speaking to large and small groups, as well as individuals. He wrote many books, among them The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti's Notebook. Many of his talks and discussions have been published. His last public talk was in Madras, India, in January 1986, a month before his death at his home in Ojai, California. His supporters — working through non-profit foundations in India, Great Britain and the United States — oversee several independent schools based on his views on education. They continue to transcribe and distribute his thousands of talks, group and individual discussions, and writings by use of a variety of media formats and languages.

Krishnamurti was unrelated to his contemporary U. G. Krishnamurti , although the two men had a number of meetings. Wikipedia

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

Works

Krishnamurti to Himself
Krishnamurti to Himself
Jiddu Krishnamurti

„Do you decide to observe? Or do you merely observe?“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

5th Public Talk Saanen (26th July 1970); also in "Fear and Pleasure", The Collected Works, Vol. X
1970s
Context: Do you decide to observe? Or do you merely observe? Do you decide and say, "I am going to observe and learn"? For then there is the question: "Who is deciding?" Is it will that says, "I must"? And when it fails, it chastises itself further and says, "I must, must, must"; in that there is conflict; therefore the state of mind that has decided to observe is not observation at all. You are walking down the road, somebody passes you by, you observe and you may say to yourself, "How ugly he is; how he smells; I wish he would not do this or that". You are aware of your responses to that passer-by, you are aware that you are judging, condemning or justifying; you are observing. You do not say, "I must not judge, I must not justify". In being aware of your responses, there is no decision at all. You see somebody who insulted you yesterday. Immediately all your hackles are up, you become nervous or anxious, you begin to dislike; be aware of your dislike, be aware of all that, do not "decide" to be aware. Observe, and in that observation there is neither the "observer" nor the "observed" — there is only observation taking place. The "observer" exists only when you accumulate in the observation; when you say, "He is my friend because he has flattered me", or, "He is not my friend, because he has said something ugly about me, or something true which I do not like." That is accumulation through observation and that accumulation is the observer. When you observe without accumulation, then there is no judgement.

„From childhood we are trained to have problems. When we are sent to school, we have to learn how to write, how to read, and all the rest of it.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Source: 1980s, That Benediction is Where You Are (1985), p. 18
Context: From childhood we are trained to have problems. When we are sent to school, we have to learn how to write, how to read, and all the rest of it. How to write becomes a problem to the child. Please follow this carefully. Mathematics becomes a problem, history becomes a problem, as does chemistry. So the child is educated, from childhood, to live with problems — the problem of God, problem of a dozen things. So our brains are conditioned, trained, educated to live with problems. From childhood we have done this. What happens when a brain is educated in problems? It can never solve problems; it can only create more problems. When a brain that is trained to have problems, and to live with problems, solves one problem, in the very solution of that problem, it creates more problems. From childhood we are trained, educated to live with problems and, therefore, being centred in problems, we can never solve any problem completely. It is only the free brain that is not conditioned to problems that can solve problems. It is one of our constant burdens to have problems all the time. Therefore our brains are never quiet, free to observe, to look. So we are asking: Is it possible not to have a single problem but to face problems? But to understand those problems, and to totally resolve them, the brain must be free.

„When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Vol. VI, p 5, "First Talk in Rajahmundry (20 November 1949) http://www.jkrishnamurti.com/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=335&chid=4655&w=%22You+cannot+find+truth+through+anybody+else%22, J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 491120
Posthumous publications, The Collected Works
Context: You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end? If truth is a fixed point, it is no longer truth; it is then a mere opinion. Sir, truth is the unknown, and a mind that is seeking truth will never find it. For mind is made up of the known; it is the result of the past, the outcome of time — which you can observe for yourself. Mind is the instrument of the known; hence it cannot find the unknown; it can only move from the known to the known. When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that "truth" is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth. After all, an ideal is self-projected; it is fictitious, unreal. What is real is what is, not the opposite. But a mind that is seeking reality, seeking God, is seeking the known. When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth. The moment you think of the unknown, it is merely the self-projected known. So, God or truth cannot be thought about. If you think about it, it is not truth. Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. Truth is in every leaf, every tear; it is to be known from moment to moment. No one can lead you to truth; and if anyone leads you, it can only be to the known.

„The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Bombay, Second Public Talk (25 February 1962)
1960s
Context: The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing. That is a scientific fact, as well as a psychological fact. Because, your leaders — religious and political — and your books — sacred and profane — have all failed, and you are still confused, in misery, in conflict. So, that is an absolute, undeniable fact.

„But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

§ I
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: In all the world there are only two kinds of people — those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs — these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge — the knowledge of God's plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful. So, because he knows, he is on God's side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.
If he is on God's side he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he calls himself a Hindu or a Buddhist, a Christian or a Muhammadan, whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a Chinaman or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do, and they are trying to do it; all the others do not yet know what they should do, and so they often act foolishly, and try to invent ways for themselves which they think will be pleasant for themselves, not understanding that all are one, and that therefore only what the One wills can ever be really pleasant for any one. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God's side, and so this discrimination is the first step.
But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.

„Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

1960s, Freedom From The Known (1969)
Context: Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn't merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.

„Fear is always in relation to something; it does not exist by itself.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

There is fear of what happened yesterday in relation to the possibility of its repetition tomorrow; there is always a fixed point from which relationship takes place. How does fear come into this? I had pain yesterday; there is the memory of it and I do not want it again tomorrow. Thinking about the pain of yesterday, thinking which involves the memory of yesterday’s pain, projects the fear of having pain again tomorrow. So it is thought that brings about fear. Thought breeds fear; thought also cultivates pleasure. To understand fear you must also understand pleasure — they are interrelated; without understanding one you cannot understand the other. This means that one cannot say ‘I must only have pleasure and no fear’; fear is the other side of the coin which is called pleasure. Thinking with the images of yesterday’s pleasure, thought imagines that you may not have that pleasure tomorrow; so thought engenders fear. Thought tries to sustain pleasure and thereby nourishes fear. Thought has separated itself as the analyzer and the thing to be analyzed; they are both parts of thought playing tricks upon itself. In doing all this it is refusing to examine the unconscious fears; it brings in time as a means of escaping fear and yet at the same time sustains fear.
Beyond Violence (1973), p. 66, ISBN 0-06-064839-2
1970s

„Knowledge as function, mechanical function, is necessary.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Second Discussion in San Diego (18 February 1974) http://www.jkrishnamurti.com/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=1102&chid=806&w=, p. 27; J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. SD74CA2
1970s, A Wholly Different Way of Living (1970)
Context: Knowledge is necessary to act in the sense of my going home from here to the place I live; I must have knowledge for this; I must have knowledge to speak English; I must have knowledge to write a letter and so on. Knowledge as function, mechanical function, is necessary. Now if I use that knowledge in my relationship with you, another human being, I am bringing about a barrier, a division between you and me, namely the observer. That is, knowledge, in relationship, in human relationship, is destructive. That is knowledge which is the tradition, the memory, the image, which the mind has built about you, that knowledge is separative and therefore creates conflict in our relationship.

„It is important to understand from the very beginning that I am not formulating any philosophy or any theological structure of ideas or theological concepts. It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

1960s, Freedom From The Known (1969)
Context: It is important to understand from the very beginning that I am not formulating any philosophy or any theological structure of ideas or theological concepts. It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic. What is important is not a philosophy of life but to observe what is actually taking place in our daily life, inwardly and outwardly. If you observe very closely what is taking place and examine it, you will see that it is based on an intellectual conception, and the intellect is not the whole field of existence; it is a fragment, and a fragment, however cleverly put together, however ancient and traditional, is still a small part of existence whereas we have to deal with the totality of life.

„Many crimes have men committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

§ IV
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed, and by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food. Think of the treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood. Many crimes have men committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.

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„Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Fifth Talk in Bombay 1950 (12 March 1950) http://www.jkrishnamurti.com/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=352&chid=4672&w=%22Truth+is+not+something+in+the+distance%22, J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 500312, The Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 134
Posthumous publications, The Collected Works
Context: Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive. So there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.

„Thought itself must deny itself.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

1970s, You are the World (1972)
Context: Thought itself must deny itself. Thought itself sees what it is doing and therefore thought itself realizes that it has to come of itself to an end. There is no other factor than itself. Therefore when thought realizes that whatever it does, any movement that it makes, is disorder (we are taking that as an example) then there is silence.<!-- p. 135

„How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion?“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Source: 1980s, Mind Without Measure (1984), p. 97
Context: How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion?

„It is utterly and irrevocably possible to empty all hurts and, therefore, to love, to have compassion.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Talks in Saanen (1974), p. 71
1970s
Context: It is utterly and irrevocably possible to empty all hurts and, therefore, to love, to have compassion. To have compassion means to have passion for all things, not just between two people, but for all human beings, for all things of the earth, the animals, the trees, everything the earth contains. When we have such compassion we will not despoil the earth as we are doing now, and we will have no wars.

„He who is on the Path exists not for himself, but for others; he has forgotten himself, in order that he may serve them.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

§ IV
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they sin against love. But not only must you thus refrain from evil; you must be active in doing good. You must be so filled with the intense desire of service that you are ever on the watch to render it to all around you — not to man alone, but even to animals and plants. You must render it in small things every day, that the habit may be formed, so that you may not miss the rare opportunity when the great thing offers itself to be done. For if you yearn to be one with God, it is not for your own sake; it is that you may be a channel through which His love may flow to reach your fellow-men.
He who is on the Path exists not for himself, but for others; he has forgotten himself, in order that he may serve them. He is as a pen in the hand of God, through which His thought may flow, and find for itself an expression down here, which without a pen it could not have. Yet at the same time he is also a living plume of fire, raying out upon the world the Divine Love which fills his heart.
The wisdom which enables you to help, the will which directs the wisdom, the love which inspires the will — these are your qualifications. Will, Wisdom and Love are the three aspects of the Logos; and you, who wish to enroll yourselves to serve Him, must show forth these aspects in the world.

„Meditation is the emptying of the mind of all thought, for thought and feeling dissipate energy.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

They are repetitive, producing mechanical activities which are a necessary part of existence. But they are only part, and thought and feeling cannot possibly enter into the immensity of life. Quite a different approach is necessary, not the path of habit, association and the known; there must be freedom from these. Meditation is the emptying of the mind of the known. It cannot be done by thought or by the hidden prompting of thought, nor by desire in the form of prayer, nor through the self-effacing hypnotism of words, images, hopes, and vanities. All these have to come to an end, easily, without effort and choice, in the flame of awareness.
Source: 1970s, Meditations (1979), p. 105

„Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Fifth Talk in Bombay 1950 (12 March 1950) http://www.jkrishnamurti.com/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=352&chid=4672&w=%22Truth+is+not+something+in+the+distance%22, J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 500312, The Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 134
Posthumous publications, The Collected Works
Context: Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive. So there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.

„Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

Second Talk in Poona (10 September 1958) http://www.jkrishnamurti.com/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=588&chid=4907&w=%22Please+let+us+be+clear+on+this+point%22, J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 580910, Vol. XI, p. 20
Posthumous publications, The Collected Works
Context: Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by any sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought.

„The first of these Qualifications is Discrimination; and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal which leads men to enter the Path.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

§ I
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: The first of these Qualifications is Discrimination; and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal which leads men to enter the Path. It is this, but it is also much more; and it is to be practised, not only at the beginning of the Path, but at every step of it every day until the end. You enter the Path because you have learnt that on it alone can be found those things which are worth gaining. Men who do not know, work to gain wealth and power, but these are at most for one life only, and therefore unreal. There are greater things than these — things which are real and lasting; when you have once seen these, you desire those others no more.

„The individual is the little conditioned, miserable, frustrated entity, satisfied with his little gods and his little traditions, whereas a human being is concerned with the total welfare, the total misery and total confusion of the world.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti

1960s, Freedom From The Known (1969)
Context: I think there is a difference between the human being and the individual. The individual is a local entity, living in a particular country, belonging to a particular culture, particular society, particular religion. The human being is not a local entity. He is everywhere. If the individual merely acts in a particular corner of the vast field of life, then his action is totally unrelated to the whole. So one has to bear in mind that we are talking of the whole not the part, because in the greater the lesser is, but in the lesser the greater is not. The individual is the little conditioned, miserable, frustrated entity, satisfied with his little gods and his little traditions, whereas a human being is concerned with the total welfare, the total misery and total confusion of the world.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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