Jiddu Krishnamurti was a spiritual writer, speaker and philosopher from India. Born on May 12, 1895, Krishnamurti wrote and spoke extensively on nature of knowledge and mind, human relations, change, psychological revolution and meditation.
His inspiration in philosophy comes as result of a fateful meeting with a prominent theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater at the Theosophical Society headquarters in Madras. Subsequently, Leadbeater and Annie Besant provided him with guidance and saw in him a potential World Teacher. He rejected the idea and disbanded the Order of the Star of the East in 1929, an institution meant to support the idea. For him truth could be attained in any way, through any means.
For him, philosophy wasn’t a debate of ideas, beliefs and notions but the affection and selfless love for gaining knowledge which is unbiased and true in nature. Philosophy, according to Krishnamurti, is a firm grasp on the truths of life, such truths which are beyond our preconceived thoughts and notions about life. He believed that philosophy is not limited to debates and speculations, but the ultimate aim of philosophy is the quest of what is true. He distinguishes between truth and reality and says that truth cannot be attained through the path of reality. Reality is limited by our thoughts, while truth remains complete and unaffected.
The crux of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings lies in his definition of truth being a pathless territory. For him, truth can be reached without the assistance of religious institutions, political leaders and any sort of moral policing. Truth is present not in the past or the future, but it is here and now. He believed that if an institution is set up for the purpose of attainment of truth, it may cripple the person seeking truth and prove fruitless in the long run. It blocks the growth of a person which results when he discovers things for himself and forms his own opinions.
Observing phenomena critically, without biases and thoughts of past experiences is, according to Krishnamurti, the most direct way to reach and understand truth. ‘Choicelessly’ scrutinizing events, minus remembrance, recognition and recollection, free from opinions, motives and prejudice is the only way forward towards the truth.
In his book The Only Revolution, Krishnamurti stresses on the idea that change in society results solely from changes in ones’ mind. Society and individuals are connected through minds and the thoughts they contain. To bring about a change in any society, a revolution of the mind is necessary. Social change cannot be brought about by changing the existing political system or the government; neither is it affected by acts of charity and goodness. Only the will of the mind will change an individual, which will lead to greater diversity and progress overall.
Krishnamurti also worked considerably in the field of education. He founded a number of schools around the world, which include the international education centre, Brockwood Park School. He emphasized on a holistic approach towards spreading education; sects, castes, ethnicities and religious backgrounds play no role in the working of any of his institutions.
He along with Annie Besant established the Krishnamurti Foundation in the 1920s which works towards the cause of education in India and abroad. Many schools around the world have being set up and supported through this foundation and Krishnamurti’s supporters.
Jiddu Krishnamurti died on February 17, 1986. His teachings, sayings and lectures play a vital role in guiding humanity towards the attainment of truth and have helped individuals think above prejudices and biases.