“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
Jiddu Krishnamurti was found one day as he was picking through trash. Just another poor Indian boy forgotten by the world. This one would walk a very different path. His aura gave him away. Pure and white, it spoke of greater spiritual destiny. Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater had finally found their Buddha.
Theosophists had long been waiting for the reincarnation of Buddha. The ancient texts promised his return where he would appear as the Maitreya – the friend. Theosophists believed that Buddha had not reincarnated because he was unable to find a suitable host. Why not hasten his return by creating one for him? A plan was set in motion.
Krishnamurti was raised and bred to be that perfect host. No expense was spared. He was given the best education in England. He was supported and surrounded by some of the world’s most advanced spiritual practitioners. All their eggs were in this one basket. Destiny awaited.
It all came to a climax on the 3rd of August 1929. Theosophists worldwide gathered in the Netherlands to see the holy vessel that was Jiddu Krishnamurti. It was a meeting of the Order of the Star – an organization whose sole purpose was to usher in the new era.
The moment was perfect. As thousands sat around him, he shocked his audience by announcing the dissolution of the Order. It was a radical break from his past and a bold affirmation of his own Being.
“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…” — Krishnamurti, on that fateful night
Thus began Jiddu Krishnamurti’s career as a world teacher. He travelled from place to place and delivered teachings to anyone that would listen. With the Cold War at its peak, these were heady days for humanity. In Krishnamurti many found inspiration for a better world – proof that we could live very differently on this fragile planet.
Krishnamurti tirelessly preached that spiritual enlightenment was at hand for anyone who wanted it. He abhorred all gurus, masters, spiritual practices and religions. The truth was found within and no where else. Given his life experience, his antagonism to organizations and prescribed paths is understandable.
The rebelliousness that seeded his independence colored the entirety of his teaching. He spoke the truth but it was not very practical for the spiritual seeker. How many of his close disciples reached the same heights as he? None.
Krishnamurti was not wrong. It is possible for one to realize one’s true nature by simply recognizing the fact, but it is perhaps 1 in 100 million that is prepared for such a feat. For the rest of us, spiritual practices are useful tools to help us get up that mountain. Without them we are not prepared to make the journey.
Towards the end of his life, Krishnamurti lamented that his decades of preachings had all gone to waste. He feared that his talks were treated as a form of spiritual entertainment. The people around him had not really changed. They could quote him at length, but none could share in his experience of our true nature.
Then, on the 17th of August, I felt acute pain at the nape of my neck and I had to cut down my meditation to fifteen minutes. The pain instead of getting better as I had hoped grew worse. The climax was reached on the 19th. I could not think, nor was I able to do anything, and I was forced by friends here to retire to bed. Then I became almost unconscious, though I was well aware of what was happening around me… Read the rest of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s enlightenment story.