Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On J Krishnamurti

Exhibit A1:
"If you are free of violence in yourself the question is, 'How am I to live in a world full of violence, acquisitiveness, greed, envy, brutality? Will I not be destroyed?' That is the inevitable question which is invariably asked. When you ask such a question it seems to me you are not actually living peacefully. If you live peacefully you will have no problem at all. You may be imprisoned because you refuse to join the army or shot because you refuse to fight, but that is not a problem; you will be shot. It is extraordinarily important to understand this" (Freedom From The Known, J Krishnamurti)

Exhibit A2:

K was persuaded not to go to India that winter because of the state of Emergency which had been declared by Ms Gandhi in June; during this, nothing could be published or publicly spoken without submission to the Censorship Committee. The last thing K was prepared to do was to water down his denunciation of authority and tyranny; there was no point in going if he did not speak and a real danger of imprisonment if he did. After the Brockwood gathering, therefore, he returned to Malibu, spending every weekend at the Pine Cottage, talking to the parents and teachers of the Oak Grove school. (The Life and Death of Krishnamurti, Mary Lutyens)

Exhibit B1:

Meanwhile, Krishnamurti's once close relationship with the Rajagopals had deteriorated to the point where Krishnamurti took D. Rajagopal to court in order to recover donated property and funds, publication rights for his works, manuscripts, and personal correspondence, that were in Rajagopal's possession. (Wikipedia article on J Krishnamurti)

Exhibit B2:
... the Krishnamurti Parties acknowledge that the documents they sought to recover from the Rajagopal Parties in the prior lawsuits are, in fact, Rajagopal’s documents and may be kept by Rajagopal. (Case No. 79918, D. Rajagopal, et al. v. J Krishnamurti et al., Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Ventura).

Exhibit C1:
So are we, the elder people, prepared to bring about through education a good human being, a human being who is not afraid - afraid of his neighbour, afraid of the future, afraid of so many, many things, disease, poverty - fear? And also are we prepared in the search of the good, or in establishing the good, prepared or help the child and ourselves to be integral - integrity? The word 'integrity' means, to be whole, and integrity also means to say what you mean and hold it, not say one thing and do something else. Integrity implies honesty. And are we prepared for that? Can we be honest if we have got any illusions, any romantic, speculative ideas, or ideals. If we have strong beliefs, can we be honest? (First public Q&A meeting of J Krishnamurt in Ojai, 1980)

Exhibit C2:

Following this, Roslaind's letter, written in June, was an account of her and Krishna's former relationship and was sent in a sealed envelope to Vanda Scaravelli for Krishna to read in her presence. Krishna handed it to Mary Zimbalist to read and she made a note of the scene in her diary, saying the letter was titled, "A Sad, Sad Story". Mary wrote that it was a self-serving account and a justification of what Rosalind might be "driven in desperation" to say in court. Regarding an accusation in the letter that Krishna was a "congenital liar", Krishna told Mary that he had lied "they" attacked and brutalised him. he was revolted by the letter, saying it was "unclean". Mary said that she felt sickened by its tone and would never have anything to do with "these two people" after the case had ended. The letter was later reported to have been torn up in front of Vanda. (Jiddu Krishnamurti: His Life and Thoughts, C V Williams)

Exhibit C3:

(when asked why he hid his relationship with Rosalind Rajgpoal, the wife of his friend D Rajgopal. This was a relationship involving multiple surreptitious abortions, as detailed in the book by Rajgopal's daughter, Radha Rajgopal Sloss.
Q: Still, I must admit that, for me at least, I have to believe in the integrity of the teacher.

K: Wait a minute, Sir. What do you mean by integrity? How do you know?

Q: Well let me put it this way. What the teacher teaches must be applicable to what happened to him.

K: How do you know? Wait a minute. Let’s see. How do you know?

Q: I don’t know but I feel that this has to be true for me to feel motivated by his teaching.

K: Ah, ah. I’m not interested. I am only interested in the teaching. Nothing else - who you are, who you’re not. Whether you’re real or honest. It is my life that I am concerned with, not with your life.

Q: Well, but this is a teaching that states things about human beings. The man who made these statements must know of what he speaks by his life.

K: Apparently. No. What I am trying to say is this, Sir. How do you know whether he is honest or dishonest? Wait. I’m just going seriously into this. How do you know whether what he is saying is out of his own life or he is inventing? Inventing in the big sense? Or he’s leading a double life?

Q: Let me put it the other way round. I can’t know whether he is leading a double life, but if at any moment I believe that he is, that affects his teaching for me. Do you see the difference?

K: I understand. I would say: “Please, leave the personality completely alone.”

Epilogue:

Generally speaking, the anger that the various saints, sages and seers have come out with from time to time has been designated as 'Divine Anger', for example, and I was allowing the possibility that any anger displayed by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti may have thus been exempt from the normal or garden variety. Specifically written into the question is, basically, that there is the ideal (sitting together as two friends under a tree discussing matters) and there is the reality (taking out several lawsuits to obtain legal possession of a former associate's documents) of course there is implicit in the question that anger was involved ... it is anger that clouds clarity.

Which is why I suggested that you look again at what I wrote because the issue I was addressing is the distinction between the ideal (under a tree) and the reality (a litigious relationship) and the distinction between the ideal (having eradicated anger) and the reality (of pacifistically sitting out a war). I was drawing a parallel by providing an example to demonstrate the issue in action in real-life ... and a pacifist is a person who changes their behaviour in lieu of eradicating the anger (or aggression, hatred and etcetera) which causes the behaviour in the first place. As law and order is everywhere maintained at the point of a gun a person that is free of malice and sorrow can both utilise physical force/restraint (be involved in a war) and take out lawsuits (be involved in litigation) where clearly applicable ... there is no difference in kind between the physical force used in a war and the physical force used in a court-case. Lastly, what is indeed 'hypocritical' is advising others to do what one has not done oneself. Vis.: [Hermann]: 'K, when asked during WWII to condemn the enemy, always advised the questioners to look into themselves and eradicate anger there. Not many people listened'. [emphasis added].

And it is the 'not many people listened' statement which is the telling comment ... Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti did not listen to his own 'Teachings'. But, then again, he oft-times distanced himself from the 'Teachings' ... as do the many and varied saints, sages and seers (popularly phrased as do not look at the finger but look at what the finger is pointing to). Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti made it very clear where his peace lay ... the 'answer' to all the ills of humankind is not to be found in the world: [quote]: 'I have found the answer to all this [violence], not in the world but away from it'. (page 94, Krishnamurti 'His Life And Death'; Mary Lutyens; Avon Books: New York 1991).

Eastern spirituality is fundamentally all about avoiding re-birth ... not about peace-on-earth.

(From a discussion on the Listening-L mailing list about J Krishnamurti, written by Richard circa 2001)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is your goal to debunk spirituality or spiritualists---can there exist, hypothetically, a genuine one?

Harmanjit Singh said...

J Krishnamurti was a genuine spiritualist, and hence a duplicitous human being.

Genuine spirituality, as epitomized by Jiddu Krishnamurti, is an enterprise in intellectual dishonesty towards oneself and in being disingenuous towards others.

Anonymous said...

What is spirituality, in the sense you employ the term?

Harmanjit Singh said...

http://nonspiritual.net/Spirituality

Anonymous said...

"Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and faith, a transcendent reality, or one or more deities. Spiritual matters are thus those matters regarding humankind's ultimate nature and purpose, not only as material biological organisms, but as beings with a unique relationship to that which is perceived to be beyond both time and the material world. Spirituality also implies the mind-body dichotomy, which indicates a separation between the body and soul.[1]"

This is from your referred link. Evidently you link spirituality to God or his equivalent. But surely many understand it in a much broader sense as an evolutionary view of consciousness. Your definition of god, which you needlessly debunk, is in Einstein's words that of a "gaseous vertebrate"

Anonymous said...

We have the Sun of Krishnamurti on one side and then we have this human enveloped in darkness who has probably taken everything out of context and probably believed people with ulterior motives.

Anonymous said...

Re: J. Krishnamurti

I find it hard to believe that Krishnamurti would have said that (leave the personality out of it). The remarks seem to have been misquoted---it's out of character (so to speak)for K. One clearly feels that he has lived the teachings, based upon his remarkable life and his utterances. The incident with Rajgopal has been misrepresented here. Rajgopal was given the privilege to record various conversations that K had with people who came for guidance. As Rajgopal was k's friend he was trusted with these recordings and therefore it was understood that they would be used to promulgate K's teachings. Instead, Rajgopal misappropriayed them for his own selfish reasons. This is why the lawsuit was launched. The implication that K did this out of anger is probably false. There can be punitive and litigous action without the element of anger; e.g Krishna's exhortation to Arjun to fight the Kurukshetra war. Do you think that Krishna was full of anger?

Also the whole case of Krishnamurti's affair with Rosalind has never been proven. This would not be the first time that someone has tried to defame and malign a holy and saintly figure. Again, as we have already cited Krishna's example, we all know that many people were Krishna's sworn enemies. In the U.S. also, the fanatics tried to destroy Sw. Vivekananda's image by stating that he used to frequent brothels etc.

Harmanjit Singh said...

http://nonspiritual.net/KFA_Response_to_the_Radha_Sloss_Book

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have just read the link 'nonspiritual.'Again I would say that Radha Rajgopal Sloss is the daughter of Rajgopal, and she must be very bitter about the conflicts between her father and K. Is it any wonder that she would write something like this? Her bitterness can be felt in every sentence that she has written.I have also read that the relationship between Rajgopal and his wife Rosalind was non-existent. If then there was a relationship between K and Rosalind, as Radha would have us believe, perhaps one may approve it. As K says who is to say exactly what a spiritual person may or may not do? Of course he should not murder anyone, but didn't most of the ancient Rishis have a wife? Would there be a calamity if a spiritually transformed individual had a loving relationship with someone? Obviously not. A relative celibacy may be important in spiritual sadhana, but once the higher consciousness is reached is it still necessary? Of course that is assuming that any carnal relationship would be occurring in the context of spiritual love. I read excerpts of Radha's book on the websites---they didn't impress me. Her bittreness could easily lead her to exaggerate and lie. What I have gathered of Krishnamurti doesn't match Radha's account of 'Krinsh.' I have read Pupul Jaykar's biography of Krishnamurti. There isn't even a trace of any of this stuff there. All one has to do is read even one page of Krishnamurti to realize the depth of K. It's tidal-wave force would immediately drown the absurdity of Radha's utterances. I would not at all be surprised if some individuals or groups decided to smear Krishnamurti's name.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

As K says who is to say exactly what a spiritual person may or may not do?

I am sure you have heard of the word "hypocrisy".

Her bittreness could easily lead her to exaggerate and lie.

The facts of the matter have not been disputed by the Krishnamurti foundation. Their style and presentation may be criticized on aesthetic grounds, but significantly there has been no denial of the essential facts presented in Radha Sloss' book.

I would also refer you to the following:

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsamplechapters/krishnamurti.asp

Please note that I am not trying to hurt you, just presenting some incidents from K's life to illustrate the divide between his life and his teachings, and the historical basis of his teachings. Radha Sloss, as well as the author of "Stripping the Gurus" may be bitter towards K, but if I may suggest, ignore the bitterness, and focus on the factual content.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Also, I would recommend to you Mary Lutyens' "The Years of Awakening".

Read it objectively as it is written by a devotee (just as Sloss' book is written by a bitter person), and make your own conclusions about the historical roots of K's persona, and the way he was brought up by Leadbeater and company, and kidnapped away from his father.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Mary Lutyens' book is available here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/12794540/Mary-Lutyens-1-Krishnamurti-The-Years-of-Awakening

Anonymous said...

I did read some of the 'stripping the gurus.' I think that what K was saying is that one cannot have some sort of Guru yardstick to see if someone measures up. We would only measure based upon our own conditioning. However, there cannot be hypocrisy---if K says that ego or thought is the root of our problems then if he has really lived his words, then one shouldn't see egoistic or narcissistic traits in him. However the examples quoted: that he had a relationship with Rosalind, or that he litigated Rajgopal do not point to hypocrisy as I've tried to explain.

As for KFA: the website you indicated doesn't give the full KFA response, only a partial version of it, unfortunately. KFA website doesn't have anything whatsoever about it. So, it's hard to say. As I said, even if K did have a relationship with her, it may not mean much. I believe I have read Mary Lutyen's book, but it was while ago. However, I do not recall the enormous vitriol that Radha is trying to project, in that book.

I agree that K's childhood and adoption are something to reflect on, but I would point out that Annie Besant was exceptionally intelligent, and she would not associate with idiots. Hence, Leadbeater must have had some saving traits and qualities. After all K did become a world teacher, and did attract extremely intelliegent and sophisticated people to him. That's not an easy task. One can easily see how he's head and shoulders higher than let's say Dalai Lama.

As for content: I'm saying that content is colored by the biases of the writer, and of course a good liar can make for somewhat believable statements.

When all is said and done, the teaching speaks volumes and nullifies all the 'bullshit.' More thoughts later.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

Some excerpts and information (mainly) from Lutyens' book:

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1KSHeZt5NfTeLOEHgmb22J60GLppk0jaTpu6gJN-TRNM

Anonymous said...

I have definitely read Mary Lutyens book before, but I read the excerpts that you suggested. Do you feel that Leadbeater and Besant had any talent to see the occult (or the hidden) and auras and the like? I have a feeling that they had some ability. Perhaps they did see K's aura and its magnificence. Perhaps they could see higher beings (I'm not a theosophist by the way). These higher beings (not necessarily the same names however) have been mentioned in other works, and by reputable people. I'm not sure about their veracity, but neither am I preoccupied by trying to prove or disprove them, or speculate about their existence. I don't feel that they were just purely imagining them. If someone says they were, then one could say similiar things about the Hindu and Greek Devas, the Christian angels and for that matter the millions of believers who claim they have personal relationships with Krishna or Christ etc.

I do feel that they were right about Krishnamurti however. In his work and works, we see a stupendous insight, which seems rather genuine. So that dull, vacant and stupid boy was hiding a giant within him. Of course arguments will be made that he was just trained and created to a large extent by the theosophists. I don't accept this argument. I believe that the disparity between the thesophists and K is just too great. Also, I don't feel that just anyone could be cultivated to become a K like figure.

In addressing K's apparent dullness when he was a child , I would mention that even Paramhansa Yogananda was not academically gifted. Perhaps these peoples' minds and hearts are just in another place. For that matter even Raman Maharshi had very little interest in academic matters. Einstein was also felt to be somewhat dull by his teachers when he was younger.

Of course many have considered Lead beater to have been a homosexual. I'm not sure whether K was subjected to any of these tendencies, if L had them, and if so to what extent that may have impacted upon him. Apparently, if K had a significant affair with Rosalind, then at least he seemingly did not have homo. tendencies. And by the way, I hope that people don't believe that masturbation is a gateway to hell!
The whole issue about sex and spirituality is a very complex issue anyway.

The other question is: Did K lose all memory about this part of his life (full of masters and sexually deviant people) because it was too
painful? I would answer in the negative. I would rather say that K's consciousness became so enormously transformed and elevated, that all these prior incidents became devoid of any significance for him. They simply did not matter and he didn't spare even a thought on them. More later.

Anonymous said...

The other question is: Did K lose all memory about this part of his life (full of masters and sexually deviant people) because it was too
painful? I would answer in the negative. I would rather say that K's consciousness became so enormously transformed and elevated, that all these prior incidents became devoid of any significance for him. They simply did not matter and he didn't spare even a thought on them. More later.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Do not be easily impressed by Krishnamurti's erudition. I regard him best as a poet (for his nature descriptions).

His philosophical talk is mostly:

- rewording again and again of some basic assumptions/thoughts.

- jumping from one facet of consciousness (e.g. love) to another (computers)

- too definitive and unequivocal at times and making propositional statements about fuzzy concepts ("when the self is not, then the other is"), with rhetorical devices to bring the reader/listener to his point of view

- having a farce of a dialogue, when it is clear he has the "knowledge" and others are questioners ("sharing as a friend" is both a rhetorical device, as well as a rather interesting device to not have to defend what one is saying, since one is not an authority)

i don't think there is a single paragraph of krishnamurti's philosophical writings about mind/conditioning etc. that can stand on its merits.

he was a spiritualist but wrote in an intellectually rigorous style. only the style, mind you. the actual writings are not rigorous at all.

some long standing companions of krishnamurti have told me in private that his words don't mean a THING, and it is his PRESENCE which had an effect. i tend to agree. i acknowledge that he had a charismatic, aristocratic, authoritative air, (and he COULD be, at times, extremely warm and affectionate as well, which people would be so grateful for, given his general sternness in dialogues) and given his reputation (like a celebrity) naturally drew psychologically potent responses from his meetings.

martin gardner wrote rather dismissively about krishnamurti thus:

http://thinkg.net/david_bohm/martin_gardner_on_david_bohm_and_krishnamurti.html

K's writings cannot withstand scrutiny, in my considered opinion.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit:

The link which you provided (Martin Gardner) is interesting. If great people George Bernard Shaw and J. Campbell saw something remarkable in Krishnamurti, don't you think that there may indeed be something remarkable. I mean these people were luminaries themselves, deep thinkers!! Who is Mr. Gardner? A skeptic !! Not a deep profound thinker. It is easy to be suspicious and skeptical. It is much more difficult to appreciate a truly profound work. The excerpts of Krishnamurti that Mr Skeptic quotes are wonderful--they further attest to K's greatness. But only for those who can see his depth. Do not get carried away by utterances of skeptics, and bitter people. The skeptic (Mr Gardner) seems to have accepted Radha Sloss's and Mr. Peat's pronouncements at face value. Should he also not be skeptical about them and scrutinize their words and works? Who knows actually what went on between Bohm and K? These are just two accounts. Bohm himself has not written anything about it has he? May I ask you Harmanjit whom you regard with respect--as far as spirituality and philosophy goes? More later.

Anonymous said...

I perused what Wikipedia had to say about Gardner. He had a rather nebulous theist philosophy.

He was obviously not a man who had experienced samadhi or higher consciousness. He was mainly a believer who was speculating about various things. No higher knowledge here ! From his remarks about J. Krishnamurti, it's obvious that he had no deep insights into spirituality. Otherwise he would have understood the deep implications of K's statements. He was probably also highly prejudiced. He should have confined himself to Math riddles and puzzles, which he obviously had an affinity for.

Lia Olson said...

Why does anyone have a problem with K's longterm loving relationship with Rosalind Rajagopal? Even Radha agrees that the relationship between the two spouses had become distant and non-physical--so much so that Rosalind and K slept together nightly, raised Radha jointly, and entertained as a couple WHILE RAJAGOPAL lived in the same house. This sounds like a dead marriage to me, and the connection between K and R sounds like a truly loving one for an extended time. Previous love connections had failed because K's first commitment was to the teaching and the travel it entailed. Because of the war, he was able, for the first time, to experience sustained intimate contact with someone he loved without betraying his mission. I am glad that he had that time, but I also understand the loss and jealousy that Rosalind felt when it ended and he resumed travelling. That it became vitriolic is too bad, but not incomprehensible.
K, by the way, never preached celibacy--I heard him speak many, many times and discussed sexuality with him in a private interview and he always maintained that it was not healthy to damn up one's energies in order to comply with conditioning about what the "spiritual" life is. Instead, he told me to bring my attention into the present moment and forget the ideas.
With Rajagopal, the issue is different and apparently misunderstood. Neither he nor K had any private money--everything R administered was donated specifically for the work. He became wealthy in his role, while K remained penniless. Eventually he interfered with K's free travel to sites where he was to give talks and barred K from any say in how the money given by benefactors was spent. K didn't instigate litigation on his own behalf, but on that of others who were concerned that their contributions were being controlled and used inappropriately. K had an obligation to those people who supported the work to make sure that it was spent as they would wish. Rajagopal barred him from any participation at all and aroused general suspicion. In a situation like that, K had to involve himself in highly aversive action, but did so nevertheless. Nothing that he asked to regain control of belonged to Raja. And when he regained it legally, he didn't use it for his own benefit, but turned it all over to KFA to be used to perpetuate the teaching--which is exactly what is happening today.
I don't expect spiritual teachers to be perfect, just that their teaching shed light and help others awaken. That said, I don't know if K was perfect, but I do have enough information to know that he did the only honorable thing he could in making sure that the support for his teachings was used for just that. And I have great compassion for two people found love together for at least a number of years. Perhaps Rosalind should have divorced Rajagopal to be with K, but Raja had control of the money and K had nothing. Are you surprised that she took the best of both worlds while she could.
K knew he would be off travelling soon and that she would not be able to follow since she had a school she had started to administer in Ojai--so should he have urged her to leave the security of a legal tie with Rajagopal? I think they all did the best they could with the situation and that judgement of such a complicated situation is a spiritual failing itself. Perhaps those engage in it would be better off looking within.

Anonymous said...

All the characters mentoined in the JK saga above are long gone. What remains of JK are his words. His deeds/actions died with him. It is really upto each one whether they want to see any benefit in remembering his words or his deeds or forgetting them all. It is amazing how people think actions are superior to words and words superior to silence. If one looks at all the Greats of the yester year, Gandhi,EInstein,Ramakrishna....etc etc their actions in private are hardly aligned with their Greatness and none of them deserve to be role models for Moral or Ethical behavior.If one were to use Morality and Ethical behavior as a yardstick for defining Greatness wonder if there would be any Great leaders or Role Models in the world. As Bernard Shaw said Morality is a very Middle Class/level thing so it is valued most by average folks. It is certainly not expected to be found in people who are either below or above average.

Anonymous said...

Lia Olson,
Love is not wrong, if two people (homo or hetero) find love and want to live for each other it is great, if they had sex it is not wrong, if they broke up it is not wrong and any of these are not our business. Only thing that can be questioned in this context as JK is a public figure is, why the secrecy? Why could they not fearlessly keep their relation open? If JK really had the relation, why with a married woman? Why did she not divorce? I am not questioning to malign him or his philosophy or I am not questioning just for the sake of gossiping or argument. As JK himself pointed to question everything, have we ever questioned what JK spoke? Did we try to find the answers on our own? Or we just took the face value of what JK said and judged or doubted other spiritual Gurus and paths? I presume many of us must have judged or doubted various spiritual masters and practices based on the face value of what JK said. Then who is to be blamed if we judge JK? Him or us? The only lesson is never judge as JK judged other gurus or paths. His talks might have appealed to western audience and some in east, but all he said was not different from several other masters who spoke much before him. If he said don't fall for the orange garbs and their pomp, now, if at all JK had clandestine affair then the phrase is "don't believe the simplicity" either. You never know what is the secrecy behind those simplicity and the so called truth behind. He should have understood that better. But well, the lesson is that I should understand before I judge, yet, better stop judging. Again, If I have to judge JK, he is indeed a great philosopher. If he had a clandestine relation with a friend's wife, he was not able to comprehend the so called truth he taught (the word key words or Clandestine and Friend's Wife).

Anonymous said...

Hi Harmanjit,
Keep up your good work. Don't get discouraged. However much you/we try, some idiots don't see it. I am especially responding to an idiot's posting about being skeptical. Being skeptical is a great virtue and it gives you freedom to keep exploring life/existence/reality instead of revering someone's teachings, as most postings here suggest, and mostly wrong with the current day advances in particle physics(quantum, M-theory etc.,), evolutionary biology, neuroscience ( things like brain-imaging techniques ) and many more....

Anyway, thanks again to harmanjit
Alex