J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) did not expound any philosophy or religion …


J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) did not expound any particular philosophy, ideology, or religion but rather talked of the matters that concern all or many of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society, of the individual’s search for security and happiness, and the need for humankind to free itself from the inner burdens of sorrow, fear, anger and hurt. He explained with considerable precision the subtle workings of the human mind and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply contemplative quality that can unlock the full human potential and bring about a different society.

Krishnamurti is widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers and teachers of all time. He spoke throughout the world to large audiences and to individuals including writers, scientists, philosophers, and educators about the need for a radical change in humankind. Asked to describe what lay at the heart of his teaching, he said:

Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest, or ritual, nor through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.

Krishnamurti did not belong to any religious organization, sect, or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict within and between us.


Krishnamurti reminded his listeners over and over again that we are all human beings first, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not fundamentally different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man-made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment, and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to humankind’s search for truth and reality. His teaching is timeless and universal, including its relevance to the modern age.

He spoke not as a guru or an expert authority, but as a friend, and his talks and discussions are based not on the weight of tradition-based knowledge but on insights into the nature of the human mind, so he always communicated a sense of freshness and directness of enquiry and exploration, although the essence of his message remained unchanged over the years. When Krishnamurti addressed large audiences, many people reported feeling that he was talking to each of them personally, addressing their particular problem. In his individual meetings he was deeply compassionate, listening attentively to those who came to him in sorrow and encouraging them to heal themselves through the light of their own understanding. Various scholars found that his words threw new light on traditional concepts. Krishnamurti took on the challenge of modern scientists and went with them step by step, discussing their theories and sometimes enabling them to discern the boundaries or limitations of those theories.

Krishnamurti left a large body of literature in the form of public talks, writings, discussions with teachers and students, scientists, psychologists, and religious figures, conversations with individuals, television and radio interviews, and letters. Many of these have been published as books, in over 50 languages, along with hundreds of audio and video recordings.