Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Jiddu Krishnamurti
BirthplaceMadanapalle, Madras Presidency, British India
public speaker, mystic, author, philosopher
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.