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I can see why the Dalai Lama likes Krishnamurti. His own autobiography tells a story that is similiar in many respects -- a lonely young god-king who finds himself, but also shows an attractively human side along the way. (In the D. L.'s case, he tinkered with watches rather than cars.)
The author knew Krishnamurti when both were young, and she was in love with him. She's evidently still in love, yet manages to tell Krishnamurti's story in an honest manner, including faults and errors as well as a bit of hero-worship. While I sympathized with him and found him an attractive human being in some ways, I can't say I came away admiring K quite as much as the author clearly does. As a youth, he seemed to me (being bourgois at heart) like a lonely and mixed up young man who needed a real job and a real family more than anything. After a long, slow build-up, K's mystic experience is described in painful detail. Like Mohammed gurus like Muktananda and Sai Baba, it was a painful and bizarre experience that even the principles thought might involve evil spirits. But then the story takes an unexpected twist. Rather than launching jihad, or founding an ashram with himself as God, K sets out to teach the world that God -- or "life" -- is no more (or not much more) his monopoly than that of anyone else.
Given Occam's razor, where should we slice? The author gives little reason to assume that K's grand pronouncements at this stage are true. She points out, for example, that after his experience, he was still capable of accusing her, falsely, of having an affair with a married man. Nor do the "un-dogmas" given in this book, at least, strike me as extraordinarily deep. Truth is "unconditioned" and "pathless," organized creeds are "crystalized" and "dead." "There is neither good nor evil. Good is that of which you are afraid; evil is that of which you are not afraid." These are cliches in some circles, and strike me as the kind of sophism that is just iconoclastic enough to seem profound to mild intellectual rebels. One can only be called bold for questioning one's own dogmas, not those of someone else.
Many of K's ideas given here appear to me to have been influenced by the Dharmapada and Zen Buddhism. People couldn't live with such an individual self-help form of Buddhism 2600 years ago. The author seems to show (see what happens to the other characters in the book) that they can't live with it today, either. (Even if self-salvation "works" -- or is the highest goal -- which I doubt, especially the latter.) Tell myself, "I am one of the strong ones. I can save myself." Or is that my pride speaking? Which means, I am most lost of all? K himself seemed to entertain similar doubts, at least early on. His mystic experience may have assured him, while I, frankly, was left wondering why.
This book is mainly the story of K's early life, not his teachings, however. It is a well-told and touching story. It gives an inside view of the Theosophy society, and portrays the main characters with sympathy and, most the time, kindness. (Sometimes to the point of naivitee.)
author, Jesus and the Religions of Man
Mary Luytens, the author of this biography, was a close friend of his and she refers to herself in the third person several times through the book. Her mother was active in the Theosophical Society directed by Mrs. Besant during J. Krishnamurti's childhood and young adult years.
As the eighth son born to a family of the Brahmin caste in India, he was automatically given the name of Krishnamurti. A horoscope was immediately cast for him by an Indian astrologer, and needless to say, it predicted that he would be a singularly important spiritual influence.
This is a fascinating account of those early years, and of how the Theosophical Society gained control of his upbringing, and cast him in the role of the great world spiritual leader whose advent the society predicted. The author details events of this period and the reader will see how Krishnamurti, although under the tutelage of this group, developed an independent spirit and an independent philosophy, and eventually stepped out of the role created for him.
The emphasis throughout the book is on the biographical events and not on the eventual philosophy. For this reason, I feel that the person familiar with the philosophy will get more from this book than will one who hasn't read this man's writings.
I believe anyone who is spiritually attuned will gain a tremendous insight through this book.
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Also, it is curious to see how K`s attitude towards his life evolves with time. In her previous biography, M.L says how she - and also Mary Z - are encouraged by K to write about his life and how was to live with him. He even suggests that people should make hundreds miles to talk to those who knew him. This approach changes with time conveniently to the one we hear today: what matters are the teachings, not the man. In my view, this puts K on the same level as most of the conventional espiritual leaders or Popes, who only are supposed to tranmit the truth when they talk about it but not in their day to day behaviour (by the way, the roman philosopher, Seneca, used to say his disciples: do what I say not what I do. This is a very old trick). The question is not to make K a perfect being but to see whether the teachings work on real life or not. He could make mistakes but the truth is suppose to reveal also through the way he faced them. The teachings may be like a beatiful architectural design, nice to see and talk about it, but impossible to translate into a real building. And one has a bit of this feeling when sees how so many people fought and even tried to kill (if we rely on K`s account on an attempt to kill him by R.R) for the property of these teachings. One feels that to live them did not matter at all but to have their property, as they proved to be an article with a profitable, loyal and wide market.
What is evident for me is that M.L. was unable to gather from K enough data on this affair. I think K did not try to hide it even though he did not help to put more light on it. It was his right, as a private and personal matter but, extrangely, it indicates a priority given to his image instead to the defence of the teachings (which - no doubt about it - will be damaged later or sooner by this issue). On the other hand, I do not share the views on K`s cheating by proyecting a false chastity image. Read his books and talks. Nobody can find an assesment supporting that view. As far as just this matter is concerned, I do not see any contradiction with the teachings.
Finally, I find no excuse to the fact that M.L. did not mention it in his K`s biography, even though she recognised she knew about it by this time (another "kind" suggestion not to mention it, like "the process" removal from her mother's book?). The fact is that she only wrote about it when she had to react to R.S`s book. Too late and too incomplete.
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