Jiddu Krishnamurti


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Jiddu Krishnamurti was a philosopher, speaker, and writer. In his early life, he was groomed to be the new World Teacher, an advanced spiritual position in the theosophical tradition. However, he later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the organization behind it. His interests included psychological revolution, the nature of the mind, meditation, holistic inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about a radical change in Society. He stressed the need for a process in the psyche of every human being. He emphasized that any external entity cannot bring about such a revolution, be it religious, political, or social.

Krishnamurti was born in South India, now the modern-day Madanapalle of Andhra Pradesh. In early adolescence, he met occultist and theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater on the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a 'vehicle' for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the Order of the Star in the East, an organization that had been established to support it.

Krishnamurti said he had no allegiance to any nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy. He spent the rest of his life traveling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals. He wrote many books, including The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti's Notebook. Many of his talks and discussions have been published.

His last public talk was in Madras (now known as Chennai), India, in January 1986, a month before his death at his home in Ojai, California. His supporters — working through non-profit foundations in India, Britain, and the United States — oversee several independent schools based on his educational views. In addition, they continue to transcribe and distribute his thousands of talks, group discussions, and writings using various media formats and languages.

Krishnamurti attracted the interest of the mainstream religious establishment in India. He engaged in discussions with several well-known Hindu and Buddhist scholars and leaders, including the Dalai Lama. Several of these discussions were later published as chapters in various Krishnamurti books. Notable individuals influenced by Krishnamurti include George Bernard Shaw, David Bohm, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dalai Lama, Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, Henry Miller, Bruce Lee, Terence Stamp, Jackson Pollock, Toni Packer, Achyut Patwardhan, Dada Dharmadhikari and Eckhart Tolle.

Interest in Krishnamurti and his work has persisted since his death. Many books, audio, video, and computer materials remain in print and are carried by major online and traditional retailers. In addition, the four official Foundations maintain archives, disseminate the teachings in increasing languages, convert images to digital and other media, develop websites, sponsor television programs, and organize meetings and dialogues of interested persons worldwide.

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