J Krishnamurti – A Biography by Pupul Jayakar

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.

Ultimate Reality

The highest wisdom known is to understand the Ultimate Reality. This Ultimate Reality has no form, no shape, no color, no dimension, no sound, no space, no time, indivisible etc. The biggest question is whether we can call this God, especially when a personal god is more or less invoked in the traditional aspects of religion?

The personal god is not just in traditional religions but has found its place in spiritual circles. You may call it the universe, it is still the personal god. To this god, we place our faith, our devotion as long as whatever we want is received. If it isn’t then there are two options. One is that we lose faith and become atheist sand settle in the belief that there is no god, or second is that we say we don’t have enough faith and that is why god didn’t give it to us. In fact, we make god into a transactional deity where He, the patriarch dishes out rewards and punishments. Why do some get more or less? Well, build up your faith is always the clarion call!

So back to the original question, can we call this Ultimate Reality – God? I don’t think we can. It is interesting that in Hinduism, they see the need for the personal God so this is called Ishwar or Saguna Brahman. The Hindu mystics were smart enough to understand that the majority will not have time to contemplate, to wonder, to pay attention and to focus on what Reality is but in fact, they are drawn to their primal fears and desires – therefore, Ishwar or Saguna Brahman deliver this. But remember – Sat Chit Ananda (Truth Consciousness Bliss) – cannot be experienced here! The Truth or the Reality experienced is only a part – it isn’t the whole. Saguna Brahman is also subject to destruction as it is part of the Universe. Consciousness is experienced by all, but here we are talking about Pure Indivisible Consciousness as the Ultimate Reality. This is only partly experienced. Therefore, bliss cannot be attained with the completeness of Truth and Consciousness. We can experience happiness, extreme happiness but not bliss.

So the ones who contemplate on this Ultimate Reality, who wonder about it, who want to see it as it is, without our interpretation, without our thoughts, without our emotions, we find that they experience Sat Chit Ananda. This Ultimate Reality is referred to as Nirguna Brahman and this means Brahman without attributes. This is the Purest of the Pure. Right now, I can feel It’s presence that seems infused into everything, yet distinct from everything too. I can feel that there is bliss and if I must use the analogy of the ocean, I am only at the shore, and haven’t gone to it’s depths yet. Some of you, may have gone there and are there right now and can feel the uncreated, unbreakable, undiluted bliss. This Ultimate Reality cannot belong to any religion and can only be personally experienced, therefore a spiritual group or organization will not be able to contain such a Force. It’s impossible because once the spiritual group loses focus on this Ultimate Reality, which it inevitably will because people are too attached to primal fears and desires, they will lose focus on where to direct their contemplation. This Ultimate Reality doesn’t care for praise or criticism – therefore It doesn’t negotiate. So we cannot win this like we can do with the personal god. This Ultimate Reality is always here, within us, we just need wake up to it. It doesn’t need to do anything, we need to discover it by contemplation, by inquiry, by discussion and by meditation.

So, after discussing this with you, I find that Nirguna Brahman cannot be referred to as god because that will give it unrealistic expectations that It will not follow. This can only be referred to as the Ultimate Reality and is literally defined as having no form, no shape, no color, no dimension, no sound, no space, no time, indivisible etc. If we are to truly experience the essence of spirituality, it is only with understanding and knowing this Ultimate Reality without any duality within us – the observer.

Planning

Planning is an essential tool to being prepared for the present but more so, live the present so the plan is executed. Nothing ever goes to plan but the effort never goes to waste. Being prepared, understanding what failed and what succeeded provides hints to what the future beholds.

Our behavior changes when we understand that we are liable for our own self. How much can we blame the outside society, our genes for who we are. If we think we can change, then you can change. It is as simple as that. If you can imagine it, then all you need to do is take one step forward to make it a reality.

Live life but make sure you are always safe – physically, mentally and financially. Eat wisely, think wisely and spend wisely. Spend time or money on what increases your intelligence more than anything else. More knowledge can mean a better planner, an imagination that reaches far and wide and being in the present brings an awareness that only a few ever encounter.

Mirages and Spiritual Awakening

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Growing up with a thirst for spiritual awakening was not easy as I had to study and build a life thereon. Studying for me was boring because it was forced upon me and inside I knew that I would probably never use half of the things I learned in high school. I was right about that but my thirst for spiritual awakening was also growing, as I became more thirsty, several mirages appeared in my life to distract me – whether it was women, intoxicants, wealth etc.

Eventually these mirages were ignored after several years of going through these experiences as if they were true. I look back at the past and think I was so sure I was doing the best thing for me and now I almost regret some of it. However, what has been done has been done. I have to move forward.

As several mirages appeared again, I knew it was right to let them be as they were but not be allured towards them. I was then clear for spiritual awakening, so I thought but such experiences never come easy even if you have the tool to instantaneously get it.

The mirage of concepts was very heavy and while I got rid of some concepts through careful analysis on their validity, I ended up created some more concepts and down again I went down the rabbit hole. From saying there is a god to know saying there isn’t a god – I was firm on both these concepts at one time and now – I don’t know even though the answer is very, very clear to me.

Two things I had never let go of: One was my love for my Spiritual Master and two was my meditation. Even though, I tried to stay clear from my Spiritual Master, I understood that something else was being played. Even though I disagreed a lot with some of the philosophy that His organization taught, it was later discovered through my own meditation that those were my philosophies and not His. This was when I realized that our perception had to be cleansed in order to truly understand a philosophy as it is and not how you interpret it.

Let’s just say that the way I see the philosophy now is very simple – the realization of the Formless Self, is the realization of your True Self. The Spiritual Master just points at that Formless Self. It is up to you whether you look at the Formless Self or take a little detour with looking at the Spiritual Master. If you do take the detour, it becomes dangerous territory because you may love the Master but your mind has not realized it’s true self so therefore, your Master will be judged by you – even if it is a positive judgement. Any judgment will not let you see something clearly.

As I mentioned, I stayed away from my Master while I was going through this major analysis, but I was very devoted to meditation and meditated a lot. I was working and would wake up as early as 4am and meditate for an hour, then read for two hours and then get ready for work. It so happened, that on a Saturday, I started meditating again around 9am and as I was focussing on empty space for a while, I saw the tiniest dot of Light appear and I was amazed at this. I floated in this empty space and went near it and I heard a sound that simply said ‘Before this, I am,’ and I just saw this dot expand and the whole of creation was presented to me. I couldn’t contain myself and took myself out of the meditative state. I didn’t know what I experienced other than there had to be something before creation.

I have never forgotten this experience but it came back to me three weeks ago. This time, the tiniest dot was not seen but empty space was taken away from me and I came to an absolute stillness and centered my whole focus on that stillness. I was so taken aback by it that it felt like I had been there for 10 minutes when in fact, it had only been around 30 seconds. It was an intense experience. I realized one major thing – it didn’t matter whether this is god or not – there is only stillness. Call it whatever you want now to personalize it. I totally understand why we name it. Yes, it certainly dilutes what It Is but people need something to relate to and the easiest thing to do is to name it.

I enjoyed this experience and I have noticed how it continuously presents itself to me without any desire from my side. It’s presence cannot be ignored by me. It only then occurred to me that my Spiritual Master had told me about this around 5 years ago. He held his right hand out, His palm facing His stomach, maybe 15 cm away from His stomach and with His left hand waving in between the right hand and the stomach said “You have to be aware of this, it is stillness. Keep focusing on this awareness.” Little did I know that after almost 3 years of His departure from His physical form would this golden nugget of wisdom make sense to me and I would understand it.

The mirage I had then was that a Spiritual Master is only the physical body, this is a massive illusion. The teachings are of an eternal nature and so is the presence of the Master. It is now that I truly appreciate everything that has been taught to me. I am still learning, discovering and in fact, I am more eager to learn than I probably was in my teens. Spirituality has no end in terms of literature but in the end it is your own experience that matters. Use the literature to inspire you, refuse to let it be a concept.

A few weeks ago, I had my second spiritual awakening, the sight towards enlightenment is also on the horizon. All gratitude goes to my Spiritual Master.

 

 

Insight and discovery

The insight to be discovered in our own mind is extremely important as it shows us where we need to grow and what we need to let go of.

Many times we hold on to limiting beliefs and they block us from moving forward, we keep making the same mistakes again and again. Or we get the same results again and again. The only way to let go of limiting beliefs is to understand who we really are.

If we see ourselves as the creator of our lives, then we will reprogram our mind to think differently, to respond differently.

Limiting beliefs is simply those beliefs that keep you at square one, no matter how much you think you are moving forward.

Therefore, see yourself as a Creator and if that is done then watch how you take every thought and intention with so much awareness that they can never escape you. Hence, meditation is so important because we get to that clear space where we are open to making changes to our beliefs.

Nothing lasts forever, so why should our vices?

Don’t give up!

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The spirit of a spiritual aspirant is one that doesn’t give up trying and always knows that enlightenment is the end point of the beginning of a great journey into the Eternal.

The issue today that I find is that many people like talking about spirituality but how many truly desire something spiritual? How many truly want enlightenment? Do they want a life which leaves them vulnerable and sensitive? I don’t know if it is everyone’s cup of tea.

Being vulnerable to other people disappointing you and even betraying or cheating you is not an easy future to face with. Yes, there is bliss and joy but the enlightened experience is the experience of everything in stability and stillness. Therefore, I would like to say that being enlightened, the observation of the end of the journey seems to be disturbing for many.

A lot of times, especially in the age of so-called rational intellectualism, we overthink certain concepts and this takes us away from one key thing – practice. We should practice and practice whenever we find ourselves consumed with rational intellectualism. It is not bad to be rational or intellectual, this is a necessary part of the spiritual journey so we stay away from dogma, doctrine and superstition but when we overthink on whether a practice of self-discovery is right or not, we just delay the actual practice of it. I was very guilty of this and now I have let go to simply experiencing and practicing.

Practice and the determination to attain the greatest heights helps us to move forward. Instead of focusing on the material acts that are done out of a spiritual or religious spirit, but to have positive wishes of global peace and compassion is just as important. Physical acts of service towards others is just as important as the spiritual prayer for healing others. We have to appreciate that help comes in many ways and all ways should be celebrated.

The essence is to always help materially as well as spiritually in perfect balance and harmony. This is only achieved if we understand that human beings are physical and emotional beings.

To truly move forward, I recommend that practicing meditation or self-remembrance will take you leaps and bounds. First, discover your true self before you think of helping another. Helping with awareness is holistically sound.

Mentors

Having mentors is incredibly important and having had my fair share of mentors, I feel my whole life has been incredibly enriched by them.

It is not always about the lesson that you have learned but more about how you grow and evolve as a person from the lesson. If you have evolved then you know the lesson has benefitted you in many ways and you can continue to grow and enhance your life.

We all want a life that is holistically enriching and we can do this with the help of getting different mentors. You can have one for finance, for health, for spirituality etc. Making sure that you can make your life the best that you can is what will always make you wake up in the morning full of gratitude.

Choosing your mentors has to be a thought out decision because you need to make sure that your mentor will always be there for you to help you grow and see unique perspectives. When someone has your best interests first, you know that they are worth keeping in your life.

I have benefitted a lot from my mentors and some are not alive today, but they have helped me grow so immensely that I cannot think of my life without them. I have learned valuable lessons and this has allowed me to have a broad-mind, filled with compassion and understanding.

Mentors show you the path and walk along with you. This is why mentors have a great positive effect. They are not like role models, where images of their greatness can be shattered. However, a mentor is someone where even their flaws have something of great value about them.

I hope you have a mentor and let me know your experiences with mentors?

The Body is a Gift

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Today, I was thinking about how important it is to look after our bodies. Where I go for my spiritual practice, it is said there that the body is a gift from the Formless and it can go back to the Formless at any time. It is interesting when I think about this. If everything is the Formless then this body is also the Formless. To understand this simple concept, this actually gets rid of the fear of death, if we see this body that we have as a gift. This way, we understand it is temporary and needs to be utilized to it’s best potential.

We never abuse gifts. If we receive a potted plant as a gift, we place it in the house and we provide water to it, give it ample amount of sunlight and we give nutrients now and then. We ensure it is kept in the best condition.

The question is do we do that with our body? Do we think about what we are consuming and what harm it is doing to our body? Do we exercise enough?

You see, the belief that we should just ‘eat, drink and be merry’ is no way in seeing this body as a gift. In fact, we are actively saying that we can harm it and what affect will it have as I am not the body. However, this is not the way to think, if we truly find the body to be a gift.

I have had to make radical changes in my diet, be firm on exercising enough a day so that I keep my body at its best. In fact, with a good body, it leads to a good mind and they both lead us to have a strong spiritual life.

Hope you enjoy this gift of the body.

3 ways that wonder has helped me

The ability to wonder is truly what makes life worth living. I am sure there have been moments for you when you have seen the world through the eyes of wonder. You see things with a new vision, you see things in a new light and nothing ever looks repeated.

Sometimes, I feel that I lack wonder when it is such a natural state to be in. I tend to judge things or interpret things when really if I truly saw it with wonder, it could open new doors to perception.

It may be that words are never enough to express the importance of wonder but let me give you three ways that being in wonder has helped me so far:

  1. I understand the limitations to my perception when I view things with the past or the future.
  2. I gain new insights and can express creatively.
  3. Love flows not only freely but endlessly too.

Being in wonder has been a spiritual goal of mine for quite some time now, it is the letting go of the ego which is so important if we want to live a life of wonder.

Being a slave to the ego only harms what wonder can bring. Like I said, that open-mind, that creative mind is what makes the world a better place.

The Beauty of Laughter

Laughter is an important part of a relationship, it enhances it a great deal. It is truly beautiful to just laugh and look into each other’s eyes and be playful to the moment. It is something of tremendous importance that we sometimes overlook because of the seriousness of every day life.

We are constantly worried about the bills, about the next pay check, the next grocery shopping that we forget that even if we are on top of things and comfortable, without any laughter or joy, our relationships would matter very little for us.

Laughter has a quality of bringing you closer to your friends and loved ones. There is an intimacy with laughter that nobody can truly explain except that it makes relationships and their bonds stronger and more resilient to negative forces.

Laughter brings about a positivity that makes a dark room light up, a dark mind light up, a dark soul light up.