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Is Krishnamurti unique?

What I think our friend is saying, though, is that even if K were the Buddha of our time (not her words, but mine), that would not grant him a monopoly on the expression of truth. Others might be able to express it differently and it might still mean the same. By this she also means to warn against turning K’s impressive teaching into the exclusive doctrine of a particular sect. Implied in this is the sense that no matter how deep K may have gone, at certain levels he is saying very much the same thing that others have said. When it comes to inquiring into the human condition, K certainly touches on many things that others have also investigated and his insights are not unique, for others have also had them, no matter how differently expressed. The depth and range of K’s understanding, however, is so total and complete that it is hard to find anything resembling it anywhere. So, while there is a great deal of ground that has been covered by many others, there is quite a different dimension to K because of the all-encompassing nature of his insight. That is for me the difference. 


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://kinfonet.org/articles/is-krishnamurti-unique

Thank you for interesting observations.

And of course one can embrace everything from Shakespeare to Confucius and discover profundity. K did not own truth. K was, as he claimed, a passer-by who pointed something out. And one can only go there first-hand and open-minded to discover the truth of it - or not.

K was being totally honest when he discouraged followers. To follow is to NOT discover first-hand and with an open mind, but to turn K into an authority and hand over all one’s own responsibility to him. To make the teaching a doctrine - a dogma - is to kill it. It lives only when it is lived.

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Yes approach it in our own life and follow where it leads. Discuss with others who are interested and maybe see the ‘traps’ you have fallen into.

No one else can help you with this. You have to see for yourself what thought is. And that can’t be done by evaluating thought, judging thought, analyzing thought. See thought as it arises without any reaction to it. Reaction is thought, it is the past, it is our conditioning our tradition. Do you see that?

I agree totally with what Mr Rodriguez says which can be summed up in the sentence: “truth can be found everywhere”, and yet I do think K. is unique in one very important aspect which we don’t find in other religious teachers.

When I stumbled upon K. I was already familiar with Eastern spirituality, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and I had studied the teachings of various famous Indian gurus. Therefore, most of what he said was not new to me. However, from the first moment I had this sense of delightful absolute freshness. Quite a relief from the often-stale teachings of the past. Not only the wording was new and fresh but the whole way of explaining things was new and original despite the similarities I could see with the Buddhism (especially Zen). The uniqueness of K. is to have done a much needed and deep cleaning of all the rubbish which the traditional doctrines had accumulated throughout the centuries.

Not surprisingly this is the feature that most of the traditionalists fail to see. We can observe this blindness in many dialogues K. had with Hindu pundits or Buddhist scholars, they are so attached to their doctrines that are no longer looking for the truth. They praise K. only because most of what K. says confirms their beliefs but seem unable to understand the necessity to put aside all one knows.

Having delved deeply in the traditional approach to spirituality I could see its ineffectiveness and often its incoherence, in short it showed a deep-rooted superficiality. K. had to destroy this traditional approach from the foundations in order to introduce a more profound approach. The new implies the destruction of the old and the new is always unique.

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K is not unique, maybe so for a western mind not accustomed to the intricacies of eastern philosophy, especially of Hinduism. K likely have absorbed it from his Theosophical upbringing. Setting that aside, the very idea of comparison is beside the point for the readers or listeners, especially past the point of realizing that a change in direction is inevitable in the course of one’s life.

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In 1985 I was in Lonavla (or Lonavala as sometimes it was spelt) attending a yoga course in one of the best institution in India for this discipline. At least I was assured so by Dr Parchure who seemed to know.

One of the subjects of study was the traditional theory about kundalini, chakras, etc. Something I had studied already on my own at home and so I was curious to know it better from the voice of the “experts”. The teacher read aloud to the class the two most important ancient treatises on this matter. In one of those books the author said that kundalini lay in one particular chakra, while the other book placed it in a different chakra. I raised my hand and asked to the teacher: " But where is actually Kundalini?". The teacher looked at me silently as if he had not understood the question. After a while he said" According to this author is here, according to the other author is there". I was astonished… I repeated my question but the teacher was imperturbable and repeated his previous answer… to him the question was closed. I understood that those “experts” had nothing to teach me but a second hand and confused knowledge.

This is just a small example, there have been several of those episodes which comfirmed my impression. I had wasted my money, time and passion in India, but perhaps my “western mind was not accustomed to the intricacies of eastern philosophy”?

P.S. 25 July

What has this to do with K.'s uniqueness? A word to the wise…

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When I was young I questioned my reality a lot and early on I came to understand that most adults (family, friends, priests, teachers, etc) were either did not know, not interested in questioning, crass in their answers, too busy or etc. Whatever the case, I pressed on and seeked answers from my personal education and books. With every new idea, I would die to what I knew previously and try my best to begin fresh without bias. But once I would get to the core ideas, with my limited conditioning, I would find faults, contradictions, issues with the logic or get nowhere and so then search continued yet again. Before K’s conditioning, I thought that this approach was appropriate. I thought I could accumulate as much knowledge from those who have dedicated their entire lives to finding the truth and then I can pick and choose what was reasonable, experiment with it and integrate it into my life. I have tried understanding different philosophies, travel, Yoga, ordained as a Buddhist nun, several long Vipassana retreats, etc. Ultimately, this approach allowed me to be open to new ideas, skeptical of conclusions but then find myself in the same place over and over again. Seeking.

From my limited conditioning, what made K unique, was that his teachings inspired me to investigate everything for myself through my own observation. To investigate why I desire this very search, the effort, and etc. I didn’t find complete methods or answers in K’s teachings as I was used to but more like the motivation to stop in this direction and perhaps to really look all around. In this all around observation, in some moments, I feel insecure and hence the reason why I find myself on this forum, but at other moments I feel empowered and content in my very own investigation. He may have not been the only one saying what he has stated but he was the only one to have deeply moved me as he did.

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I had been following traditional approach like bhakti, meditation yoga etc from around age of 19/20, till around age of 42 when one of my friend introduced me to K by handing over a book ’ Bird in flight". After reading about 2/3 pages I threw it saying what K is saying about thinker and thought are one is rubbish. But something in me kept saying pickup and read again. After few days feeling bored, I picked it up again and lo my whole world of spiritualism came crashing down. However much I tried to convince my self that my old tradional approach was correct, I could not find a single way to convince myself what K is telling is wrong. After reading K, I became aware of problem with traditional way, even though mind becomes calm , it becomes dull too and also ego does not weaken. Ego keeps comparing howuch I have progressed, how attractive and peaceful I became, all traps.

But one problem I faced with K’s teaching is that one tends to fall into trap of intellectual understanding of teaching and live in illusion that one has understood. It took me quite a long years to come out of this trap and actually ‘see’ what K was pointing to. To me K is unique, more than other eastern Gurus, Buddha with his eightfold path ( or was it his followers who created this 8 fold path and attributed it to him).

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Why say Krishnamurti was unique if you can’t give your reason for saying it?

It is unique in the sense there is no goal to achieve or method to reach it, unlike other systems had come across.

If we observe - why the Bhakthi/vedas may be invented is - intellectually people may be low on those days. So, crimes/fight/etc… may be much higher. So to control that - The Kings(Manus,etc…) may have invented laws - but crimes does not stop - so the gurus(Vyasa,etc…), may have invented a person - that is seeing us - there is heaven,hell,purgatory based on our karma(till date we don’t know whether it is there or not) - so one may fear about that - so that one may adhere to rules(vedas,bible,quran,paths) & temporary peace may be achieved in the world. But as the intellect grows/learns day by day - ‘you know what happened’

Yes, we doesn’t know whether Krishna,Jesus,Allah,Buddha,Sikh guru - had told any way. They just expressed their observation in their view of ‘what is there permanent’ (in Upanishads,Bhagavad gita,etc…) - as K did. But the followers - may have changed it into rules and started to follow it.

May be in few years - there will be some compiler and put forth every enquiry/observations of K - into a steps, and preach the path and become followers of K too.

Speaking truth is definitely unique.

Whatever happened to standing alone, stepping out of one’s own way, and simply allowing truth to manifest?

Pain.

These teachings are not clearly observed by the people(who called themselves - disciples) - and they change from previous attachment to this new attachment. On this attachment - they got pride,money,fame,satisfaction,‘business’,etc… So, this does/will not stop - whoever ‘K,a,b,c,d’ says - until each & everyone observes the actuality.
i.e.
In-depth observation of sufferings.

As per Gautama’s history, he was once a prince. Astrologers predicted that the King’s son - may become a big king or spiritual teacher(sankhya). Hearing this king - gave all comfort to the prince and kept him within the castle. One day he escaped the castle - and found every people he met was starving(suffering) to death. So he renounced that life - and went to a forest - to observe within - why this all happens. Then “Bang” - everything vanished psychologically. You may have seen his/‘Buddha’ sayings - are mostly based on desires,sufferings. So many scholars cling to those words - compare it with K’s & proclaimed that K is a ‘buddhist’.

The same happened to Rama too. In India - once a prince learned all the scriptures - he has to visit many kingdom’s to learn the actuality. After seeing all this(sufferings until death) - he returned back to kingdom - and hadn’t ate much. The King(Dasaratha) found his position much worse. Then the history says - Vashista - a sage - teached Rama - the actuality of this Universe(outer) and Brahman(inner) - which is called ‘Yoga Vashista’.

Many Sages - had written down their observations of that ‘Infinity’ - and explained them to people. But they(disciples) formed a sect - called Advaita Vedanta, and became a scholar - in those writtings(Upanishads) & the business goes on. Here noteworthy is - Ramakrishna & Swami Vivekananda is an exceptions from all the Vedantists. They too observed and expressed their opinions - and are against the ideals/way. (If you have time - just read “Practical Vedanta” of Vivekananda, not as a disciple, but as a story/history).

In case of K - he was teached about Bible,yoga - in Theosophical Society. But it’s of no use, when his brother(who he is much attached to) died - he couldn’t come out from the pain. He observed the actuality. Then “Evanesco” - everything vanished psychologically.

At last - what remains there - which has neither birth or death is the ‘Love,Compassion,The One,Truth,Permanent,Unlimited,God,Conscuiousness,Emptyness,Brahman,etc…’ which cannot be expressed in words - and can only be felt.

Here we can see the mythology forming in real time - beliefs and conclusions projected as truth for other believers to integrate into our world view (usual human stuff - no wicked conspiracy needed)

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Looking to the past for solutions brings only more of what we have already. Does it not?

Of course. Of course. The world we live at present, with all it’s sufferings,fear,etc… is itself enough. If we cling to past - then the circus goes on.