Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May, 1895, at Madanapalle, a small village
in south India. Soon after moving to Madras with his family in 1909, he was
adopted by Annie Besant, President of the Theosophical Society. She
was convinced that he was to become a great spiritual teacher. Three years later
she took him to England to be educated in preparation for his future role. An
organization was set up to promote this role. In 1929, after many years of
questioning himself and the destiny imposed upon him, Krishnamurti disbanded
this organisation, turning away all followers saying:
"Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path
whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned,
unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any
organisation be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path."
From that time until his death in February 1986 at the age of ninety, he
travelled round the world speaking, teaching - giving talks and having
discussions. Krishnamurti evolved his teaching from his own being and living,
for he had read no religious or philosophical literature. His aim was to set
people psychologically free so that they might be in harmony with themselves,
with nature and with others. He taught that humanity has created the
environment in which it lives, and that nothing can ever put a stop to the
violence and suffering that has been going on for thousands of years except a
transformation in the human psyche. He argued that if only a dozen people
are transformed, it changes the world.
Krishnamurti maintained that there is no path to this transformation, no
method for achieving it, no gurus or other spiritual authorities who can help.
He pointed to the need for an ever-deepening awareness of one's own mind in
which the limitations of the mind could drop away. Krishnamurti was a world
teacher. Although born of Indian parentage, he stated repeatedly that he had no
nationality and belonged to no particular culture of group. What he hoped his
audience would learn, he himself lived.
With thanks to a handy leaflet from the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust.