Jiddu Krishnamurti


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Jiddu Krishnamurti
BirthplaceMadanapalle, Madras Presidency, British India
Died
Occupation
public speaker, mystic, author, philosopher

Krishnamurti, Jiddu

(jĭd`o͞o krĭsh'nəmo͝or`tē), 1895–1986, Indian religious figure whose message centered on the need for maximum self-awareness. In 1909, Annie BesantBesant, Annie
, 1847–1933, English social reformer and theosophist, b. Annie Wood. She steadily grew away from Christianity and in 1873 separated from her husband, a Protestant clergyman.
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 met him and proclaimed him an incarnation of Maitreya, the messianic Buddha. Krishnamurti repudiated these claims in 1929, following a two-year tour of England and America with Annie Besant, and dissolved the World Order of the Star, a religious organization he had founded in 1911. He retained some connection with the theosophical movement, however, and continued an active career of lecturing and writing. He finally settled in Ojai, Calif., where from 1969 he headed the Krishnamurti Foundation. His writings include Commentaries on Living (1956–60), Freedom from the Known (1969), The First and Last Freedom (1975), Life in Freedom (1986), and Think on These Things (1989).

Bibliography

See biographies by P. Jayakar (1986) and M. Lutyens (1991).

Krishnamurti, Jiddu

 

(pseudonym, Alsion). Born May 25, 1895, or 1897, in Madanapalle, state of Madras. Indian thinker and poet. Born into a poor Tamil family.

As a boy in 1909, Krishnamurti amazed the members of the Theosophical Society (in which his father served) by his ability to enter unwittingly into a state of ecstasy. He was brought up under the observation of A. Besant, the leader of the society, and was accepted as a messiah by the Theosophists. In 1929, however, Krishnamurti rejected any participation in organized religious activity and adopted the basic goal of “nurturing freedom in the search for truth.” Some of Krishnamurti’s talks have been written down and published. He is also the author of two books of poetry and several collections of essays.

His thinking is intentionally improvisational, consciously avoiding fixity in its terms. Rejecting all finalized concepts of being and all systems, Krishnamurti demands participation rather than memorization from listeners. According to him, genuine understanding of the truth puts an end to the activity of the intellect, which seeks refuge from the fear of death in religious and philosophical symbols, and it puts an end to every other causally determined “activity,” giving way to the noncausally-determined “action” arising from the free depths of the personality. While suggestive of European existentialism in a number of the problems of his philosophy, Krishnamurti treats these problems in the spirit of traditional Oriental religious thought going back to negative definitions of the absolute in the early Upanishads and in Buddhism.

WORKS

Education and the Significance of Life, 2nd ed. London, 1956.
The First and Last Freedom. London, 1954.
Commentaries on Living, [vols.] 1–3. New York, 1956–61.
Talks in Paris. Paris, 1962.
This Matter of Culture. London, 1964.
Freedom From the Known. London, 1969.
The Only Revolution. London, 1970.
In Russian translation:
U nog uchitelia. St. Petersburg, 1911.
Vospitanie kak vid sluzheniia. St. Petersburg, 1913.

REFERENCES

Pomerants, G. S. “Krishnamurti i problema religioznogo nigilizma.” In the collection Ideologicheskie techeniia sovremennoi Indii. Moscow, 1965.
Suarès, C. Krishnamurti and the Study of Man, 2nd ed. Bombay, 1955.
Niel, A. Krishnamurti, the Man in Revolt. Bombay, 1957.
Fouéré, R. Krishnamurti ou la révolution du réel. Paris, 1969.

G. S. POMERANTS

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