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An objective Krishnamurti biography

Has anybody read this biography about Krishnamurti, called : “J. Krishnamurti: A Life of Compassion beyond Boundaries” by Roshen Dalal. If so, what did you think about it, is it worth buying, is there anything controversial in it? She promotes it as a objective biography about Krishnamurti. She is a historian and was a teacher for several years at Rishi Valley School.

I have read the reviews of it on Amazon, but there are only a few reviews and not sure if I need another Krishnamurti biography.

Please if anyone has read this book or heard about it, please share some thoughts about it.

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This is what it says about the book on Amazon:

Among the most famous visionaries of our times, J. Krishnamurti (1895–1986) continues to transform thought, lifestyles, and education across continents more than three decades after his death. In this new biography, tracing the nine long decades of his life, from his growing-up years, his relationships to his writings and talks, Roshen Dalal provides a much-needed corrective – an objective and balanced view of his legacy. Adopted by Theosophists at the age of fourteen, and proclaimed a world teacher and messiah, in 1929, Krishnamurti dissolved the Order of the Star created for him and went on to develop his own philosophy. What is it about his ideas that draws the following of generations of people? Delivered to a divided world then, what makes his message so relevant now? While his ideas on education are idealistic, why do they continue to be everlasting in their contribution and appeal? Krishnamurti’s vision is of a world without boundaries or wars, a world where compassion and goodness predominate, and his message is that such a world can be arrived
at only through individual transformation. There is no direct path to transformation, yet
through intense perception and understanding, it is possible to achieve this goal. Carefully reconstructing the events and extracting the essence of his talks, Dalal dispels several myths, explains his teachings, and reveals the underlying theosophical and occult influence in Krishnamurti’s life. Here is the most complete biography yet, of one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century.

I wonder which myths they are and if they can be dispelled. Participants in this forum have stated that K could read minds and foretell the future.

I have read too that K could read minds, but not sure about him foretelling the future, that one i am sceptical of. But i have no problem with Krishnamurti having some psychic powers and being able to know what others are thinking or feeling.

As for the myths dispelled, i have not read the book, but here is a review from Amazon that talks about some of this:

“I was particularly fascinated by this account of Krishnamurti’s life and his teachings because Roshen Dalal provides an intimate view into his close relationships, and his life choices which some would consider to be questionable. I found myself having to juggle in my mind the life of a sage whose compassion and teachings were intended to free people from the constraints of imposed ideologies and some aspects of his life in which he deceived friends, wanted love without responsibility, and made destructive choices for himself and others. Somehow I had idealized the lives of sages and to find out that he was very human caused me some initial chagrin until I faced up to the fact that even wise me with the gift of wise teachings need to struggle through the same temptations and challenges that all of us face. Only Roshen Dalal could have undertaken such in depth research to provide us with such a personal view of the man. I still am struggling with understanding his teachings completely but her book has really helped me on my journey to fully embrace such a sometimes mysterious and always influential teacher. I loved the book. It is enthralling to read the beginnings because it is so personal as if Dalal was there living his life with him. I know that she has spent years and years following him and his teachings and all the wisdom she has gained certainly is reflected in her book. I have no doubt that this is the richest book written about his life and largely because Dalal writes as someone on the inside. I highly recommend it to all audiences.”

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David Moody, from his blog titled ’ Krishnamurti and Mental Telepathy II’

"Another incident bears upon the theme of Krishnamurti and mental telepathy. This incident occurred in his final days when he was confined to his bed in Pine Cottage. He had been conducting two or three meetings with trustees of his three foundations — America, England, and India — in order to finalize his wishes regarding which foundation would hold the copyright to his work.

At that time, I was serving as director of the Oak Grove School, and living with my wife in the upstairs apartment of Arya Vihara, on the same east end property where Pine Cottage was located. I knew that these meetings were taking place, but I was not sure who exactly was attending, or what was being discussed. It was clear, however, that something of grave import must have been on the agenda, in view of Krishnamurti’s illness and the people who had come to be with him at that time.

As a result, I felt I should have been included in these meetings, and wondered why I was not. I felt uneasy about it, left out, and disappointed. However, I didn’t discuss my feelings with anyone, not even with my wife.

Then one morning there came an opportunity to visit Krishnamurti by myself. The moment I walked into his room, as soon as he realized it was me, he said, rather emphatically, “Sir, don’t feel excluded!” It was so immediate, and so out of the blue, that it took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. Then I said, “How did you know?” And he said, “Oh — I can feel it.”

This all happened so suddenly when I entered his room that it could not have been based upon anything he observed at the time, such as my tone of voice, my demeanor, or anything else. Not two seconds had elapsed from the time I came into his room until he said, “Don’t feel excluded!” There is no doubt that it was something he had been aware of prior to my visit.

In her memoir, Mary Zimbalist reports a few other instances of a somewhat similar nature. I am inclined to be skeptical about stories of this kind, but, in this case, I was a witness to something incontrovertible."

I am not at all surprised re: mental telepathy. Meditation opens up the siddhis: clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. etc. Awareness yields to extended awareness, what is usually referred to as being psychic. Unfortunately or fortunately - depending on how one sees it - lol, clairaudience on a web site is very limited. People project very articulate posts: lots of words - words, words, words. What I am saying is that while K had the advantage of having everyone in front of him in real time, “I” don’t have that possibility, a fact that “I” have sensed for quite a while; and what I am trying to say and express is that the very framework of written posts limits the possibility of sensing what is really going on with the people who post, and hence responding to them in a manner that is constructive. K had the ability to ask questions, which I have always suspected were the very questions that his audience had on their minds - one can call it telepathy - clairaudience. As well, one has understood that K had no questions rattling around in his mind when he was alone. Neither do I. So, one has understood that it is fairly futile and unlikely to ask questions of others - asking the real questions that are really on posters’ minds - being unable to sense where they are really at, and hence easily participate in a form of written dialogue online. So, one has understood that dialogue per se would be highly unlikely to happen within the framework of written posts. Of course, people on this site can and do form friendships off this site, where some may have that very possibility of the kind of dialogue which K demonstrated.

Where did you read this and why do you believe it?

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I read it in all the biographies, they all say Krishnamurti was able to read minds, including reading sealed letters. Whether you believe it or not, that is up to you, but it is well known in the K community, in K books, that K had some psychic powers. I posted that short piece by David Moody too, which talks about his psychic abilities.

Me personally, i believe it, i see no reason not to. But this thread, i was more interested in hearing more about any Krishnamurti biographies that i have not read, like Roshen Dalals, if it is worth reading. Some on here i know feel it is the teachings is all that matters and not Krishnamurtis personal life. I am interested in both, but i am starting to realize it is my life that matters and not Krishnamurtis, plus Krishnamurti is dead, no longer here, and i am still alive. So i probably should be focusing more on my life than reading about his. If any have any comments on this, i would be interested in reading it.

What is the mind? What is it I take to be my mind? Isn’t this thought? Isn’t what I am thinking, in the day to day sense, memory, knowledge, thought? And all this is what is telling me, this is the mind, my mind, and what puts me in the position of working through my thinking, trying to figure it out? It is what I am using in reaction to other minds, to what others say or write. This aspect of life is technological, mechanical, intellectual, and full of my worries and concerns, my desires and ideals, but we think it is a totally necessary matter to rethink it all. Can I just understand, it is thought, and alert, not entertain thought, and not then take a position in thought?

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I’ve read the majority of Krishnamurti biographies, but not the one by Dalal, so I can’t comment on it.
I think the best is “Star in the East” by Roland Vernon.

After that I would suggest “Lives in the Shadow” by Radha Sloss.

Also well done is “Jiddu Krishnamurti: World Philosopher” by C.V. Williams, although I never quite finished it.

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Inquiry, what the heck did you write, i dont see anything? I took the time to respond to you, the least you can do is leave up what you wrote or email me it privately. Thanks.

I have read Roland Vernons bio and also read Lives in the Shadow. I have not read CV Williams bio but it looks interesting too. The thing is i am just trying to figure out if it is even worth it at this point, to learn more about Krishnamurti, when he has been dead for over 30 years now, why even bother? But another part of me is still interested in knowing everything about him and his life, for i find him so fascinating and interesting and a enigma.

I enjoyed Lives in the Shadow but i know many think it is a negative book and gossip. But i enjoyed Krishnamurtis humanity in it and made him more real and human to me. I tried writing the author years ago to ask some questions but she was not interested in corresponding and said everything is in the book.

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I like Harshad Parekhs review of Dalals book, it covers many interesting issues:

Dear Roshen

I have read your book -J.KRISHNAMURTI - A Life of Compassion beyond Boundaries - with great interest. It is written with simplicity and clarity after much research. It is easy to read and the story of Krishnamrti’s life moves ahead smoothly. Your views on Krishnamurti are balanced - neither praising him excessively nor criticising him but just stating what you have found about him from several biographies written before by people who knew him well.

Two chapters - chapter 3 (The Search for Truth) and chapter chapter 9 (Krishnamurti, Quantum Physics and the Natural World) I found a bit lengthy and tedious to read. That may be because I do not appreciate too much abstract intellectual ideas. I prefer simplicity and brevity. Spirituality is mostly non verbal looking at things and thoughts as they are in my view.

Probably this may be the reason why I do not agree that David Bohm came closest to understanding Krishnamurti’s teachings. It seems to me that it was verbal understanding only. He was not free from conflicts, fear, depression in spite of having many dialogues with K. He was highly intellectual with humility and gentleness and had ability to listen. But his listening did not penetrate his own being and did not make him free. He depended on Krishnamurti psychologically and K told him this in strong words in 1980s.

You have forgotten to mention beautiful dialoges K had with people of all backgrounds in the Commentaries of Living. These books are my most favourite. There are amazing descriptions of nature, penetrating insights into the human mind, simllicity and gentlness and poetic language. How through simple questions, K leads people to see directly their own minds!
You have also forgotten to mention two good and popular books of K - Freedom from the Known and Think on These Things. You must read K’s article - Valuing an Experience - from the Commentaries on Living Second Series - pp.132 to 137. You will find an amazing description of Rishi Valley before the dialogue starts.

You have ommitted all details regarding Krishnamurti’s final illness, the pain he had to go through due to cancer and how it affected his mind sometimes. This was very painful for me to read. I had imagined that K could step into death with full awareness. But that did not happen. It makes me feel that we are not the Master of our body and mind. We may feel like a Master when our body and mind are young and in good health. But we do not know the future.

The photographs of K selected for the covers and the title of the book are very good.

Wish you all the best
Harshad Parekh


I can’t recall verbatim what I said, but it had to do with being a follower of K rather than simply being interested in what he said and wrote.

A follower assumes things about K, the man, whereas someone interested in K’s teaching assumes nothing but the possibility that K may have been able to perceive directly, rather than distortedly.

Regarding following:

Wrong on both counts - the only thing to follow is what is happening inside, all answers are to be found/discovered within, by oneself, alone.

'Inquiry" yes thanks for responding. i get you and understand better where you are coming from and appreciate that view, approach. i too am not a follower of K but rather just a interested person.

Yes, so why come to a Krishnamurti forum?

Have you read “Thought as a System”? Do you know of anyone who has summarized K’s teaching as clearly and simply as Bohm did?

No one has been able to make the teachings as accessible as Bohm did. Many K sycophants (especially Mary Lutyens) don’t like Bohm because he helped K use more precise language.

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I havent read Thought as a System, 'Inquiry", but i have watched some of Bohms seminars from Ojai, which is where this book came from i believe, transcripts of those seminars.

I have read several of Bohms books and read Infinite Potential by F.David Peat and really enjoyed it.

I have a great respect for Bohm and agree that he summarized Krishnamurtis teachings better than anyone. He has asked K to clarify things and did a valuable service for all people interested in Ks teachings.

This book i asked about above by Dalal, she says the same thing, that Bohm probably came the closest to understanding Ks teachings and making it accessible. She has a chapter on K and Bohms dialogues, for she felt it was so important.

I take it you are not a K sycophant, but you do find Krishnamurtis teachings still very helpful and revolutionary, right?