Jiddu Krishnamurti


Jiddu Krishnamurti was one of the greatest thinkers and religious gurus of the recent times. He was one of the finest modern day thinkers whose teachings were not based on any particular religion or philosophy, but rather he expounded on topics relating to everyday lives. His discourses were based on subjects concerning modern day lives for instance corruption and violence.

Krishnamurti had this inherent quality of explaining instances related to individual’s quest for happiness and security, and the urge for mankind to release itself from inner burdens of anger, hurt, fear and pains. His candid elucidation was often based on subtle working of human psyche where he pointed out the fact that meditation and spirituality is something which should be brought to our daily lives in a systematic manner.

In the early 20th century, young Krishnamurti was promoted by the leadership of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, India, as the ‘World Teacher’, a new messiah. In 1929, he renounced this role, dissolved the international society (the Order of the Star) formed to support it, and severed his ties with Theosophy and the Theosophical Society.


On 12th May, 1895, at Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, Jiddu Krishnamurti was born to Jiddu Narainiah and Sanjeevamma. They were Telugu-speaking Brahmins and strict vegetarians. Since he was the eight child of in the line, who happened to be a boy, he was named after Lord Sri Krishna. His family resettled later at Cudappah sometime after the birth of Krishnamurti.

Krishnamurti’s father Jiddu Narainiah was an employee of the then colonial British government. Krishnamurti was extremely fond of his mother who died when he was only ten years old. Krishnamurti had ten more siblings and their parents were second cousins. As a child, Krishnamurti was often taken be mentally retarded and beaten by his father and teachers.

In Krishnamurti’s biographical memoirs written by him at the age of eighteen, he has mentioned about his psychic experiences, for instances of seeing his deceased sister and mother, and his divine bond and intimacy with nature. Krishnamurti joined Theosophical Society headquarters estate at Adyar in the year 1882. He eventually joined the Society as a clerk. During this period, Krishnamurti and his family also had to face several hardships due to his association with the Society. From this time, to nearly 60 years i.e. till his death on 17th February 1986, Krishnamurti wandered all across the world spreading his spiritual teachings and stressing on the impending need for a strong radical change in mankind.

Spiritual Journey

In May 1909, Krishnamurti first got introduced to C.W. Lead Beater after which Krishnamurti assumed the leadership of the Theosophical Society in Adyar. C.W.  Lead Beater and his group members took the initiative of educating, sheltering and preparing Krishnamurti as the world Teacher of the Theosophical Society.

Krishnamurti and his younger brother Nityananda (Nitya) were secretly trained at the Theosophical compound in Madras (Chennai) and later were given an international platform of acclamation at European high society. It was at this time that Krishnamurti got introduced to Annie Besant. The two of them shared an unusual wavelength and Krishnamurti started regarding Besant as his surrogate mother. Before Krishnamurti officially took office, Theosophical Society at Adyar founded a new organization called the Order of the Star in the East and he was announced as its leader.

In April 1911 Krishnamurti and Nitya started for England where the former delivered his first speech to the young budding members of the Order of the Star. Throughout the World War I (1914-18), they traveled across major European countries with Theosophist chaperones. After the war was officially declared over, both the brothers again embarked on a world tour where, as the head of the Order of the Star Krishnamurti fulfilled his duties by conducting meetings, lectures and discussions to spread spiritual message of life to millions.

Later both Krishnamurti and his brother Nitya traveled across Sydney, California, Switzerland and many other nations. It was during their stay at Ojai Valley’s cottage in California that a trust formed by the supporters bought the cottage and its vicinity and the whole place later become the official abode of Krishnamurti.

Self Realization

In the later years of his life Krishnamurti’s past came haunting him and he finally decided to renounce leadership of the Order of the Star. He also gave away all the wealth and properties donated to him, including the Netherlands’ castle and a 5,000 acres land. He also made certain the way he would want to spread his message across to millions; neither accepting followers nor worshipers. All through his life he stuck to his belief that a teacher-disciple relation is such which encourages dependency and brings the best in the disciple. He spent the rest of his life publishing his teachings and transcriptions. In the words of Krishnamurti,

“And to take such a journey we must travel light; we cannot be burdened with opinions, prejudices and conclusions – all that old furniture…forget all you know about yourself; forget all you have ever thought about yourself; we are going to start as if we knew nothing.”

It is known to all the disciples of Krishnamurti that he had twice been through the process of spiritual and psychological awakening; one of them is linked to the death of his brother Nitya which completely shattered him and brought out from him all the remaining illusions from his psyche.

Printed works of Krishnamurti 

As of 2010, according to one source, Krishnamurti related materials numbered “1,899 works in 3,168 publications in 42 languages and 41,830 library holdings”.

Krishnamurti and associates organized a number of Krishnamurti Foundations, whose mission is to preserve and disseminate his work. Several of these institutions have established separate Krishnamurti Archives, located in India, the UK, and the United States, to “preserve an authentic record of Krishnamurti’s work”.

Printed works of Krishnamurti are as follows –

  1. Krishnamurti on Krishnamurti – Krishnamurti’s Notebook (1976).
  2. Krishnamurti’s Journal (1982).
  3. At the Feet of the Master (1910). The author of this book is also listed as “Alcyone”.
  4. Education as Service (1912). Another “Alcyone” book whose authorship has been questioned.
  5. The Immortal Friend (1928). Poetry. Krishnamurti composed over 60 poems, published in the official bulletins of the Order of the Star and in book form.
  6. The pool of wisdom (1928).
  7. Life in Freedom (1928). Compiled from camp-fire addresses given in Benares, Ojai, and Ommen, during 1928.
  8. The Dissolution of the Order of the Star: A Statement by J. Krishnamurti (September 1929). The speech by which Krishnamurti dissolved the Order of the Star. Originally delivered 3 August 1929 during the Ommen Star Camp, it was printed in its entirety in the International Star Bulletin.
  9. Early Writings Series (1969–1972). Seven-volume series of early works by J. Krishnamurti. The series compiles material from 1927 to 1933, originally in bulletins and journals published by the Star Publishing Trust (SPT). The SPT, established in Eerde, Netherlands in the 1920s, was an organization chartered to disseminate Krishnamurti’s teachings. It was reorganized and relocated to California following the dissolution of the Order.
  10. From Darkness to Light (1980). Poetry, prose, and parables originally published between 1923 and 1931.
  11. War abolished: One way to permanent peace (1943). Contains talks by Krishnamurti in Ojai and Pennsylvania during 1940.
  12. Education and the Significance of Life (1953). One of several books containing Krishnamurti’s educational ideas and concerns. This was the first Krishnamurti book to be published by a commercial publisher.
  13. The First and Last Freedom (1954). Includes a comprehensive foreword by Aldous Huxley, whom Krishnamurti befriended in 1938.
  14. Commentaries on Living Series (1956–60). A three-volume series subtitled “From the notebooks of J. Krishnamurti “, Series One (1956).
  15. Series Two (1958).
  16. Series Three (1960).
  17. This Matter of Culture (1964). Rajagopal Desikacharya, editor.
  18. Think on these Things (1970). Republication of This Matter of Culture with new title and publisher.
  19. Freedom from the Known (1969). Mary Lutyens, editor.
  20. The Only Revolution (1970). Mary Lutyens, editor.
  21. The Urgency of Change (1970). Mary Lutyens, editor.
  22. Question and Answer session, with questions posed by Alain Naude, Krishnamurti’s personal secretary in the 1960s.
  23. Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader (1973). This book compiles The Only Revolution and the Urgency of Change. Krishnamurti biographer Christine V. Williams credits this mass market two-volume Penguin Reader series – the first volume was published in 1970.

His passing away

Krishnamurti left his mortal body at Ojai, California on 17th February 1986 when he was 90 years of age. His remains were cremated and scattered equally at three distinct places – at India, England, and the United States of America where Krishnamurti had spent most part of his life.