Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895 in Madanapalle, a small town in south India. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by Dr Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a world-wide organization called the Order of the Star in the East was formed and the young Krishnamurti was made its head.
In 1929, however, Krishnamurti renounced the role that he was expected to play, dissolved the Order with its huge following, and returned all the money and property that had been donated for this work.
From then, for nearly sixty years until his death on 17 February 1986, he travelled throughout the world talking to large audiences and to individuals about the need for a radical change in humankind.
Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual's search for security and happiness, and the need for humankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Krishnamurti belonged to no 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 and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not 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 belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to humankind's search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.
Krishnamurti spoke not as a guru but as a friend, and his talks and discussions are based not on tradition-based knowledge but on his own insights into the human mind and his vision of the sacred, so he always communicates a sense of freshness and directness although the essence of his message remained unchanged over the years. When he addressed large audiences, people felt that Krishnamurti was talking to each of them personally, addressing his or her particular problem. In his private interviews, he was a compassionate teacher, listening attentively to the man or woman who came to him in sorrow, and encouraging them to heal themselves through their own understanding. Religious scholars found that his words threw new light on traditional concepts. Krishnamurti took on the challenge of modern scientists and psychologists and went with them step by step, discussed their theories and sometimes enabled them to discern the limitations of those theories. Krishnamurti left a large body of literature in the form of public talks, writings, discussions with teachers and students, with scientists and religious figures, conversations with individuals, television and radio interviews, and letters. Many of these have been published as books, and audio and video recordings.
Krishnamurti was one of the most influential and fascinating spiritual thinkers of the twentieth century, and by many accounts, one of history's most important philosophers. This book is inspired by his perception that "truth is found through life itself and not away from it." It deals with self-Knowledge, attachment, passion, transformation, etc. The book is orderly and divided into all the months of the year covering 4 lessons each. The book of life summarises the philosopher's idea in a beginner-friendly format. The book is published by Krishnamurti Foundation India. it is an initiative by the foundation to keep alive and spread his teaching among all of us.
I truly enjoyed and got enlightened reading this book. Each theme is very well explained. The tone throughout is conversational. It is presented in the form of 365 quotations, one for each day of the year. I found the October part to be most resonating, it consisted of lessons like time, perception, brain and transformation. Although the book is written in easy language the material is heavy. I suggest you read it slowly and let things sink properly. I highly recommend this book to each individual to get clarity about life.
Relationship based on mutual need brings only conflict. However interdependent we are on each other, we are using each other for a purpose, for an end. With an end in view, relationship is not. You may use me and I may use you. In this usage, we lose contact. A society based on mutual usage is the foundation of violence. When we use another, we have only the picture of the end to be gained. The end, the gain, prevents relationship, communion. In the usage of another, however gratifying and comforting it may be, there is always fear. To avoid this fear, we must possess. From this possession there arises envy, suspicion, and constant conflict. Such a relationship can never bring about happiness. A society whose structure is based on mere need, whether physiological or psychological, must breed conflict, confusion, and misery. Society is the projection of yourself in relation with another, in which the need and the use are predominant. When you use another for your need, physically or psychologically, in actuality there is no relationship at all; you really have no contact with the other, no communion with the other. How can you have communion with the other when the other is used as a piece of furniture, for your convenience and comfort? So, it is essential to understand the significance of relationship in daily life.
I am completely amazed by this book. To wrap up, the book is an invitation to know and listen to ourselves in order to find equilibrium in life in general. The more I read, the more I realized how socially constructed our lives are. We do things without thinking if they really fit us, sometimes the society requires them to be done in a certain way... I totally recommend it..
To those who seek. Krishnamurti doesn't bluff, he doesn't give you an answer or suggestions, he adds no fluff to his words. He gets right to the point. It's easy to see that he has put a lot of thought into understanding the things a person goes through. The book covers everything, that happens in your life, his understanding of religion is incredible. Krishnamurti is blunt, he is straight forward, about truth, he says, not your truth or my truth that we can agree with, but the honest to goodness bottom-line truth that never changes. And that's all I want, the actual truth, even if it hurts. So if you're serious about knowing who you really are and ready to go through whatever it takes to get there. For him meditation is awareness, he won't ask you to breathe in a certain way, he says, when you watch a flower, simply watch it and nothing else. My words simply can't describe this rare gem from a highly evolved person. One is set on an ard journey of truth while trying to understand this beautiful piece of recollected work word by word.
After attempting reading of other works by the author over the years, including his diary, I did not esteem his work highly. I tend toward finishing books, but did not finish any of Krishnamurti's. After reading other high reviews and accolades of Krishnamurti's teachings and the man himself, I decided to try this work and be open to the possibility that I had not been receptive rightly before to Krishnamurti's teaching.
I found the book to be unlike many I read, as Krishnamurti posits a spellbinding insight and manner of saying something, at times an entire entry in this selection. Yet, this forthcoming of captivating expression and profound insight is amidst much more that, to me, is a detracting atmosphere. Simply put, much of what the author presents is a 5 star, this work itself not near that.
I will posit some concerns as to Krishnamurti's style of and teaching itself. I will conclude, however, with an affirmation of why I recommend the reading of this book, and other of his works.
1) absolutist language.
Here, I mean a perfectionism that one must have arrived at in order to ascend to the esteemed heights to which the author summons the reader. While the author presents, as in Buddhism, a path not of effortfulness, his words oft do not comply. One could be left wondering, "Is what Krishnamurti teaches possible for anyone?"
This nondual spaciousness, the absolute freedom, we are told is beyond egoic grasp and known in the climate of a pure silent, openness. If so, why the repeated affirmations of reasoned effort, along with the instruction that the mind must be purged of all group belief, the body of all personal feeling? And this move to freedom, Krishnamurti presents frequently as happening suddenly, as though once the last iota of impurity is released, suddenly one is free. He negates, it seems, that freedom is not merely a perfectionistic state suddenly received, but freedom is, as well, a matter of degrees. Emergence is an acclimation slowly from the egoic state to the non-egoic non-state. And one could logically inquire, "Is such a perfection any different from the egoic grasp of escape from fallibility reflected in much dogmatic, fundamentalist religion?" Does Krishnamurti present us any beauty in being imperfectly human?
2) authoritarian tone.
Krishnamurti, first, denies the role of teaching and that he is a teacher: this is common among nondual 'teachers,' it seems. Yet, he did a lot of teaching. Indeed, more than being invitational in approach, which he is at times, mostly he presents as authoritarianly parental toward his listeners. He will even inform them that they are not living what he says, that they just are not 'there' yet, and as though he knows no one listening is. Of course, apparently, he sees himself, among them, as the beacon that alone is.
If no one can be taught the Truth, why such authoritarianism? If one questions this assessment, one may choose to look at the choice of language usage, such as the frequent use of 'must.'
A close friend, at his bedside near death, reported the author bemoaned how no one had understood his teaching. One simply cannot, in consistency, claim Truth is the authority and he or she is no teacher and, as well, project as a teacher living in the heights above the misled minions, even his immediate followers.
Possibly, Krishnamurti reflects a being beyond most others, yet, how one presents that is vital. Spiritual inflation is a subtle form of temptation to persons guiding others toward Truth. Indeed, the profound humbleness of sagacious beings is one aspect that seems to empower their teachings. They present as 'with' others, not 'above' them.
3) anti-belief, religion, tradition, ...
The first two points relate to this. Krishnamurti seemed to have a personality that led him to see in extremes. All religion is bad and to be avoided (all Buddhism, all Christianity, all Islam, all anything religion from ancient times to modern times is useless), for example, he says. Yet, he does, elsewhere, choose to redefine religion to suit his thought. Can one denounce all religion and religions, and, at the same time, in integrity redefine it to encourage it as descriptive of the freedom he espouses as the height of human evolution?
Sages tend to integrate, for that is how they "see." Krishnamurti appears to have seen more from polarity, opposites, even while teaching nonduality, or transcendence of opposites.
The denial of one extreme from the position of another extreme is still an extreme; in this sense, the author appears extremist, denoucing the gurus of this world, he seems to see himself as a modernized guru, disrobed of tradition but not role. One could refer to Krishnamurti as mirroring for us a fundamentalist nonduality, that is, if he had been consistent in applying his own premise. One, also, wonders of anyone who can so annul the entire history of any movement, including religions and governments, that like all, reflect our common shared humanness, and propound that he is showing us the way from it all to what he has to say to us: his vision of utopia. Better, it seems, and more truthful, an integrative, rather than dismissive posture.
Nonduality is generally presented as invitational, likewise as seeing into the strengths of the fallible systems we live through, not dismissive in total.
One example I offer, referring again to belief. The author informs us, often, of the evils of belief. I cannot help see in his work his own belief; and, as to belief, he speaks against dogmatism, still he speaks as dogmatically from his certainty as any dogmatic theologian or reverend I have ever heard. The contradictions, again, are linked to his tending to see in opposition not integration, and denouncing all belief leaves one with the impression that anyone who believes anything is simply wrong. One is left with the claim, also, by Krishnamurti that he is devoid of any belief. Or does he mean something other than others mean by belief? Has he redefined belief, as he did religion?
Rather, would a nondual approach not be to see that in belief one finds that which both reflects mere mentality and, also, that instrumental in inspiring and informing one toward Truth? That is, belief includes a spectrum of truthfulness, from total illusion to the threshold of transcending belief itself, truths potentially being guides to Truth.
We cannot escape belief, for we believe something about so many things, maybe all things. Even to deny belief intimates a belief that leads to such denial, meaning only through belief can I deny belief. Krishnamurti does not escape the inevitability of belief, and one could wonder what inspired him to be so against that inevitability? Why not take a middle path, not an against path, in this matter and others?
Krishnamurti's approach is different, more rational, than most guides in his general venue of philosophy. While he speaks of Truth arising only when the mind is quieted and our need to drop the mind, his pointing is highly logical and markedly reasoned out. Indeed, he stresses employment of the mind. I am not saying the approach is wrong, and each guide manifests his or her own style; yet, the guidance does not comport with the confirmations that Truth is not mental, is not conceptual.
Regardless of concerns above, I recommend this book, or others by Krishnamurti, for insight into the man and his teaching, and for his teaching. Historically, the man does hold an esteemed place. I am glad to have read this opus, and use his work in my work, for at times he soars above most guides in illuminating an aspect of Truth that can leave one in awe. In these moments of being captivated by the illumination and style of Krishnamurti, one can see why his works still speak so avidly of Truth to so many. For that, I am thankful. Krishnamurti reminds use Truth soars above all who point to Truth.
It's not easy to understand him, for he is from another world. But to digest and to live up what he said is tremendous bless, if we could only listen. He is a great and true observer, with wonderful sensitivity and intelligence. I am grateful to him.
I have been using this book for a year now and it challenges the conditioned mind afresh each day. Recommended. If you want it free on- line (which I do anyway) get it in a daily email form from JKOnline RSS
The Book of Life - Daily meditations with J krishnamurti _____________
🌿The Book of Life is a book full of 365 quotations from J Krishnamurti's talks and writings, one for each day of the year. Each quotation can be read per day to feel motivated and give a boost to our changing perspective towards ourselves and the world.
🌿The story is in you, the vaast experience, the deep-rooted fears, anxities, sorrow, pleasure and all the beliefs that man has accumulated thorughout the millenia. Inspired by Krishnamurti's perception that truth is found through life itself, and not away from it.
🌿 These timeless daily meditations shed light on the truthful fact that happiness resides in us and the inner journey is the best journay one can make to get to their real destination by compelling us to introspect.
🌿This book can be read at the morning hours or even at night to calm down our random flow of thoughts and give them a meaningful direction.
This book is meant to be read one page everyday, and that's how I read it, from 1 Dec 2020 until 1 Dec 2021. Every page contains an excerpt from Krishnamurti writing or talks (maybe they're all talks, not sure), and divided into themes for each month. Some excerpts are great, others are a bit mundane and repetitive. Overall it's a good book, full of wisdom. I marked some of my favorite pages, and will revisit them later. One general theme in this book is to be aware of the influence that the society and education has on us, to be conscious of what's true and what the society tells us to be true, to clear our minds, and to cultivate stillness, so that we could live life based on our perception of reality and truth rather than the society's prescription.
Brilliant and spiritual. I literally fell silent after reading this book. There's so much truth inside, so much that it's hard to process them.
Here's what I found out about the philosophy of Krishnamurti upon reading this: it is a combination of Stoism, Buddism, and Trancendentalism.
Stoism, in a sense that he instructed the readers not to escape from pain or any negative emotion, but to dwell in it so as to understand everything about it.
Buddism, because he gave emphasis to impermanence of everything; life, feelings, emotions, relationships, and worldly possessions in general.
And finally, Trancendentalism, clearly because the repeated teaching all throughout is not to allow oneself to get involved in any societal, political, and religious institutions which have conditioned and continue to condition the mind and therefore creates many kinds of conflicts.
As a reader, I honestly find it almost impossible to attain such newness of the mind which is the main goal according to him. But then again, our mind as he said, is conditioned and we are undeniably indolent. One thing's for sure though, one has to read this book many times before one can absorb everything that was written inside.
P.S. Would definitely read this book again and would make a more detailed review because I honestly have a lot of other things to say (I just needed to organize my thoughts first).
I read this book and the prior one in parallel. While the previous one focussed on explaining life from a scientific perspective, this one gave insights from the philosophical lens. More than a year ago, I suddenly started receiving YouTube recommendations on some lectures given by Jiddu Krishnamurti. I particularly liked his style of delivery, his speech and his words of wisdom. While I may not necessarily agree with all of his sharing, I love how his learnings have transcended the realms of the organised religions and beliefs that we see around us in our daily life. From topics ranging from spirituality, meditation, relationships, sex, etc. the book brings a lot of meaning to life. The book is written in a lecture style with one section for each of the 365 days in a year. The last day of every month is deliberately left blank for us to ponder and synthesise. I read one month’s worth of content in every sitting as the topics were thematically arranged.
I’ll leave you with a few quotes that I liked: “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” “You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
This book contains helpful and insightful wisdom that is timeless and offers practical reflections on spiritual, emotional and social perils of the human condition.
However, the way the ideas are expressed makes them not the most straight forward or easy to absorb and understand. He is at times vague and offers little real life stories or examples so I would not recommend this as a beginner's introduction to spirituality, many of the concepts Krishnamurti discusses requires some mental gymnastics to understand and apply to one's personal experiences.
Overall, I believe this is the type of book where the more its contents are meditated upon and thought through, the more you will gain from and reap its rewards.
Please don’t think twice or more. Simply get this book and commit yourself totally for a page a day. And please do it for one year. And see what happens. For yourself. At the very least, you will surely see the beauty of it.
With these, I don’t think anything further needs to be said. But, if you still are more curious, then I have more to say in the following two paragraphs, in the brackets.
(J.Krishnamurti’s writing will make you stunned, in the most simple and straightforward words; it will make us question everything we have known and will eventually show us everything that is false, which we most certainly and likely have failed to see as a false.
And one may then ask, what’s more? Well, once you see something which is clearly false as a false then what are you left with?)
A good book about Krish's philosophy. I consider his ideas and teachings radical for this modern age. However, these ideas are eye-opening and worth contemplating. I learn a lot from this book and would recommend it for those who want to learn from Krish.
This - i wouldn't call it a book- these teachings have shown me the way when i asked for directions, have miraculously opened up just the right page to answer that particular nagging question, have helped me feel like somebody knows what i am thinking. This is magic.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was a philosopher, speaker and writer. He has written many books on meditation which are being read and loved by many people. This was my first book written on meditation and would love to experience it. Do you think Meditation helps concentrate the mind and has the power to transform a person’s negative feelings into positive feelings???I haven't experienced this but yes after reading this one, I can surely say that it will help you to maintain perfect balance in life. This book is 365 daily meditation quotes from author's talks and writing. It's divided in to topics like marriage, self acceptance,love, desire,perception, reality etc. Four topics has been covered in each month where author has talked about various techniques of meditation. Each topic's deeper discussion is written brilliantly which will make you think over it. One thing I learnt is that Meditation is not only closing your eyes and thinking but it's process of freeing the mind from system and of giving attention without either being absorbed or making an effort to concentrate. When you read this book, you will feel like you are sitting with him and doing one on one conversation. It will bring meaning to your life. One thing I understood that if we change our thinking about small things, then we can bring a lot of change in life. I loved his writing style as he was straight forward. He has spoken about what he thought with honesty. Since this was my first experience of reading spirituality and meditation,some concepts were difficult to understand. You need to read it really slowly so that you can absorb what he is trying to say and try to implement it. If you are into meditation or want to start do read this one as it's really helpful and informative book.
"To a person in sorrow, I explain in words, sorrow is inevitable, sorrow is the result of fulfilment."
The Book of Life is a precious collection of 365 quotations inspired by the talking of J.Krishnamurti which inspire one to find the true meaning of life, its perception and seeking happiness from it. For the people who do not know who he was, I would love to tell you that he was regarded as one of the greatest philosophers and religious teachers of all time. He widely travelled around the world and preached about life and human existence.
In this book, one can find a timeless daily meditation, developed thematically over seven days, and shed light on the problems of daily life as well as on the illusions that we get into while solving them. This book is a source of enlightenment, introspection, wholesomeness and much more. It's like giving oneself a daily dose of affirmations which tend to bring many changes in life if followed and abided by. I have read a few chapters on a daily basis since the time I got my hands on this book and believe that it is a great boon for anxious minds like me.
You can grab this book as it's timeless. Read it anywhere and anytime. Highly recommended.
I found it unreadable. I powered through the first 35% of the book, hoping it would get better, but the writing was too cryptic and difficult to follow. Strong assertions were made without providing sufficient explanations and there are many logical leaps. I don't know if this is because of the way the content is organized. There is a passage for every day of the year and every month explores a few themes. Clarity has suffered because of the intention to keep every passage brief. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday is organized in the same way but is crystal-clear because of the author's commentary on every passage.
I picked this book up as an introduction to Krishnamurti's philosophy but it proved to be a failed exercise. I will probably pick up Krishnamurti's Total Freedom next to educate myself about his philosophy.
kata temen saya, penulis kaya gini mah udah kaya dewa, apapun yang diomongin dan ditulis emang bagus karena hidupnya sudah banyak makan garam, tapi kita sebagai orang awam, ya ngerti apa maksudnya tapi gak bisa lantas sok melakukan apa yang disebutnya. Seperti kalo kata orangtua kita menasehati, "jangan malam-malam ya pulangnya nanti sakit", kita anak muda gak langsung gak pulang malam, kudu maen dulu sampe kerasa badan udah gak enak karena sakit, barulah kita mengerti apa maksud orangtua kita itu. HEHEHE...Namanya juga buku, ya dibaca dan dimengerti aja...
A great daily reading book if you don't mind having to go back and re-read phrases, sentences, and paragraphs to be sure that you understand what the author is saying. One of my friends called him 'inscrutable," and I think this is an apt description. I'm pretty sure that I understood at least 80% of what he had to say in this compilation of quotes. Most of the other 20% are likely ideas that can't penetrate my current world-view shell.
This is one of the few daily reading books that I will likely go back to and read again in some future year. The quotes are very well selected.
You really need above-the average mental abilities to understand the full depth of this book, unfortunately at this point of time I have to occasionally skip some parts because I can't follow it. J was colossal thinker (or maybe Im so mediocre?)
Questo non è un libro che si può leggere una volta e poi lasciarlo "invecchiare" sullo scaffale. NO. e' davvero un compagno di vita quotidiano, da tenere sempre con se ovunque si vada. Io mi ripropongo di rileggerlo ancora più e più volte...e non ne avrò mai abbastanza!
You have to read one page at a time and REALLY think on what the speaker is saying. You don't have to accept/agree or disagree on what he has said -- just reflect. Do this for an entire year to understand the value of this book.