Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

About Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti at Adyar

Krishnamurti: A Short Biography

J. Krishnamurti, whose life and teachings spanned the greater part of the 20th century, is regarded by many as one who has had a most profound impact on human consciousness. Sage, philosopher and thinker, he illumined the lives of millions the world over: intellectuals and laymen, young and old. He gave new meaning and content to religion by pointing to a way of life that transcends all organized religions. He confronted boldly the problems of contemporary society and analyzed with scientific precision the working of the human mind. Declaring that his only concern was to "set man absolutely, unconditionally free", he sought to liberate man from his deep conditioning of selfishness and sorrow.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (11th May 1895 - 17th February 1986) was born to a pious middle-class family in the rural town of Madanapalle in South India. He was "discovered" in his boyhood by the leaders of the Theosophical Society, Mrs. Annie Besant and Bishop Leadbeater, who proclaimed that he was the World Teacher that the Theosophists were waiting for. As a young man Krishnamurti underwent certain mystical experiences that brought about a deep transformation and gave him a new vision of life. Later he dissociated himself from all organized religions and ideologies and embarked on a solitary mission meeting and talking to people, not as a guru, but as a friend.

From the early 1920s till 1986 Krishnamurti traveled around the world till the age 91 giving talks, writing and holding discussion. His teachings were not based on book-knowledge and scholarship but on his insight into the human condition and his vision of the sacred. He did not expound any philosophy, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday life: the problems of living in modern society with its corruption and violence, the individual's search for security and happiness and the need for man to free himself from this inner burden of violence, fear and sorrow.

Although he is recognized both in the East and the West as one of the greatest religious teachers, Krishnamurti himself belonged to no religion, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school, political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide man from man and bring about conflict and war. He emphasized time and again that we are first and foremost human beings and each one of us is like the rest of humanity and not different. He pointed to the importance of bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and religious quality. Only such a radical change, can bring about a new mind, a new civilization. Thus his teachings transcend all man-made boundaries of religious beliefs, nationalistic sentiment, and sectarian outlook. At the same time, they give a new meaning and direction to modern man's quest for truth, for the sacred. His teachings, besides being relevant to the modern age, are timeless and universal.