By Michael Brine
In today’s world, would this be a voice crying in the wilderness?
Young Krishnamurti, image courtesy of Google images
Krishnamurti was born in Madanapalle, a small town in South India, on May 11, 1895. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by Dr. Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr. Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophical Society had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a worldwide organization called the Order of the Star in the East was formed and the young Krishnamurti was made its head.
In 1929, however, Krishnamurti renounced the role that he was expected to play, dissolved the Order with its huge following, and returned the money and property that had been donated for this work. From then on, for nearly sixty years until his death on 17th February 1986, he travelled throughout the world talking to individuals and large audiences about the need for a radical change in mankind.
Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual’s search for security and happiness, and the need for mankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed out the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first, not Hindus, Muslims or Christians, and that we each are like the rest of humanity—not different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend manmade belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they gave new meaning and direction to mankind’s search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.
Krishnamurti, Image courtesy of Google images
Krishnamurti spoke not as a guru but as a friend, and his talks and discussions are based not on tradition-based knowledge but on his own insights into the human mind and his vision of the sacred, so he always communicates a sense of freshness and directness although the essence of his message remained unchanged over the years. When he addressed large audiences, people felt that Krishnamurti was talking to each of them personally, addressing his or her particular problem. In his private interviews, he was a compassionate teacher, listening attentively to the man or women who came to him in sorrow, and encouraging them to heal themselves through their own understanding. Religious schools found that his words threw new light on traditional concepts. Krishnamurti took on the challenge of modern scientists and psychologists and went with them step-by-step to discuss their theories and sometimes enabled them to discern the limitations of those theories. If ever there was a message that needs to be heard in today’s world, it is his.
I lived and worked in Malaysia for several years in the late 1950s, during my banking career. Along with several others, we founded a Lodge of the Theosophical Society in that country, and I can say without reservation that we held Krishnamurti in the highest regard.
Please feel free to communicate with me. Past articles are also available at: www.missionignition.net/btb.