So many people are searching for their path, looking to others for the answers to life’s big questions. I am introducing you today to a fellow countryman, Jiddu Krishnamurti, a man who believed that “truth is a pathless land.” He was a philosopher, a great thinker, teacher, spiritualist, who did not wish to be categorised in any of these terms. He was not a Guru in the traditional sense, in fact he was emphatic that he was not a Guru and did not want followers, saying: “The moment you follow someone you cease to follow truth.” He was a man of great and clear vision, who made it his mission to “set people absolutely, unconditionally free.” Before I speak further on this, let me give a very brief biography of this great Soul.
Krishnamurti was born into a relatively poor Brahmin family in a small town in Southern India in 1895. His father was a civil-servant and also worked part-time with the Theosophical Society.
When his mother died in 1905 his father took up full time employment with the Theosophical Society, moving the family to Madras. It was around this time that Annie Besant, the head of the Society began to take notice of the young Krishnamurti, his commitment to his meditation and yoga practices. She saw in him the spark of spirituality that she believed would make him what the Society called the “World Teacher”. She arranged private education for him and his younger brother, Nitya, in England and France, in preparation for the role she created for him.
She founded the Order of the Star in the East (OSE) in 1911, with the young Krishnamurti as its head. By the early 1920s he was leading conferences for the OSE in France and India. He based himself in Ojai, California, feeling the climate would benefit his brother, who suffered from tuberculosis. In 1929 he broke away from the OSE, finding the restraints of the institution too much for a Soul that could not be caged. For the rest of his life, until he left his body in 1986, he travelled the world as a speaker and wrote many books on the nature of the mind, consciousness, freedom from fear and all constraints, meditation, psychological, spiritual, and philosophical themes. He believed passionately that there could be no fundamental change in society without fundamental change, freely made, at an individual level. If you have a wish to expand your mind, I encourage you to read his work. It will challenge your intellect and reasoning powers.
You might be wondering why I chose the title “It is beautiful to be alone” for this blog. Let me bring you back to the earlier quote that “truth is a pathless land.” I always say, God is Truth and Truth is Love. Krishnamurti believed no-one, no Guru, religion, or ideology can bring us to the Truth, to God. The journey requires a totally unfettered, fearless, critical, inward and personal exploration. There is no method. To his mind, as long as we bind ourselves to some kind of authority, we are looking for a result that will satisfy, give us a sense of security, and guarantee us what we desire. Self-Knowledge is a journey we must take alone, a journey that will involve climbing mountains, falling off the cliff edge, walking down pathways that lead nowhere, until we finally emerge, whole, free, and beautifully alone in Truth.
Bruce Lee, a man I have great respect and admiration for, studied Krishnamurti’s intently, and was inspired by this truism that “truth is a pathless land.” He referred to it once, when asked in an interview about how he reached his extraordinary level of technique. He said: “The only way to achieve the ultimate technique was to be free from it. No way is the way. The perfect fighting style was to have no style.”
I did not have the good fortune to meet Jiddu Krishnamurti during his lifetime, but a few months after his passing, in May 1986 I met someone who was a follower of his, just five minutes before that person died. His last words were: “Thank you Jiddu for coming to take me.” Krishnamurti may not have wished to be known as a Guru because of the constraints he felt that put on a person’s journey, but that is what he was. When you are a true disciple, the Guru comes at the end of your journey in this lifetime to bring you home.