Last night, I finished reading J. Krishnamurti: A Biography by Pupul Jayakar and I really enjoyed the great thoughts of this phenomenal mystic. I was introduced to Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) through Osho, who deeply respected JK and I feel Osho propagated JK’s teachings in his own wonderful way too. However, it was my late Pritam Uncle ji who had asked me to read this book.
Pritam Uncle ji was an enigma to be around. I met him for the first time in 2014 and I will never forget his eyes that seemed to look right into my soul and a smile that emanated warmth. Whenever he spoke, he would speak of total awareness and how to really know our true self. He told me that only I could get there, no one else can help. He gave me three books and two of them were of JKs. One is the biography and the other one is the First and Last Freedom – which I am currently reading.
I wondered why my Uncle would ask me to read JK as I felt I couldn’t intellectually understand him back in 2014. But today, the teachings seem to make sense, I am able to follow them and even meditate upon them.
I strongly recommend the book if you want to know about the philosophy of J Krishnamurti and the life that he lived. From advising Prime Ministers, to discussing philosophy with scientists and most of all, he inspired many people like Bruce Lee, Aldous Huxley, Satish Kumar and I know Alan Watts loved him.
I want to share a few learnings from the book that really stood out to me and I hope you will like them too:
- For the mind to be creative, there must be stillness. A deep stillness that can only come into being when you have faced your loneliness.
- Only a total, non-fragmented perception can negate the observer and the observed. The seeing of “what is,” is the transformation of “what is.”
- The mind which is the vessel of movement, when the movement has no form, no ‘me’, no vision, no image, it is completely quiet. In it there is no memory. Then the brain cells undergo a change.
- In silence what is there to experience? Silence can only experience silence. Can silence leave an imprint?
- There is an experience of silence and the mind remembers the feel, the perfume, the essence.
- “If you knew that you were about to die, what would you do? Can you live one hour completely—live one day—one hour—as if you were going to die the next hour? But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, there is enormous vitality, tremendous attention to everything. You look at the spring of life, the tear, you feel the earth, the quality of the tree. You feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find in that attention that the ‘me’ is not. It is then that the mind, being empty, can renew itself.”
- ‘Nothing’ contains the whole universe. Not my petty little fears, anxieties, sorrows. After all, Pupul ji, ‘nothing’ means the entire world of compassion. Compassion is ‘nothing’, and therefore that ‘nothingness’ is supreme intelligence.
- We offer a hundred commentaries but the actual fact is, we are ‘nothing’ except a lot of words. Can one grasp that the zero contains all the numbers? So in ‘nothing,’ all the world exists.
- We have all been trained to be highly intellectual. A poor man who does not seem bright, he will understand a simple statement.
The above are a few words which I wanted to share and there are many many more. The greatest thing about Krishnamurti was that he never wanted to be a guru and never acted like one. It was in the book that whenever someone would touch his feet, he would touch theirs too. I found this beautiful and humble of him.
Another teaching of his that really captured my attention was that he talked about how memory doesn’t allow us to be totally aware of ‘now’, of the present moment, of ‘what is’. We cling to a past, to an image that may not have been there at the time. We could have manipulated it even if it was a pious memory. Krishnamurti guided that in order to have a clear mind, it was important to let go of memory. I find this to be true when I think deeply about it. I hold onto the memories of people I have worshipped but they are no longer here. I cannot physically perceive them and if I do, it is through a photo. Therefore, the journey is one that I have to take alone. I can respect the past but I cannot live in the past.
It is a wonderful book and one that I definitely recommend.