“Philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti was a boy aged 9 when he was spotted by an Englishman who proclaimed him as the next ‘World Messiah’. As an adult he rejected this as religious mythology, declaring freedom from dogma as a goal and spiritual truth a ‘pathless land’. By the time Krishna visited Australia in 1922, he was world renowned. Then in 1970, a crowd of 3,000 members of the public packed into Sydney Town Hall, keen to hear his words of wisdom. And all Krishnamurti ever did was tell people to follow their own sense of divinity – not to accept what others told them.”
Quote (above) from ‘Krishnamurti in Australia, Six visits 1922 - 1970’ by Christine Williams
My friend Will Robertson and I had made the twelve-hour drive to Sydney in 1970, to listen over a period of three days to the words of Krishnamurti. Will and I used to spend many hours in discussion of religion and spiritual ideas, and had heard that Krishnamurti was a very important philosopher who we really must listen to.
We were expecting the usual Indian guru, in traditional dress, but onto the stage came this beautifully groomed gentleman in a Western suit. He sat in silence for quite a long time, while the crowd settled down. When he started to speak, he wasn’t simply addressing an audience; he was speaking directly to each individual. For quite a lot of the time, I sat with my eyes closed. He was dealing with all of the questions I had been pondering for years, as though he was speaking to me alone. I am sure every member of the audience had the same extraordinary experience.
His approach was very simple and perfectly straight forward. He would ask what do we mean when we talk about subjects such as love, fear, hatred and so on. It was up to the individual to really probe their own mind to arrive at any understanding.
When the time came to leave, I still had a question I desperately wanted to ask him. Will and I made our way down towards the stage, and I nervously approached him. He held my left wrist, ever so gently, and very quietly said “Don’t worry, boy”. It was like a bolt of lightning to my brain! From that moment, I was put into a state where thought became unnecessary. Will had the same experience.
We filed out into George Street, in a state of total bliss. Pacing up and down was the fellow in the picture (above) with his dire warning for mankind. He looked so strangely out of place among the crowd, a forlorn presence. The concept of Hell was the furthest thing from my mind, merely a human invention. This may have been his regular beat, or he may have been there to warn the crowd of 'heathens'; I’ll never know.
Will and I ambled back to where we were staying in Paddington without speaking a word to each other. We were perfectly at peace, for the first time in either of our lives.
Shortly after the Sydney visit, I read two of Krishnamurti’s books, ‘Freedom From The Known’ and ‘The First And Last Freedom’. These can be found online as free downloads, and I highly recommend them to anyone who is on their own spiritual quest.
Having written the above, I thought I should fact-check some of my statements. I was astonished to find the following about Krishnamurti, which is uncannily like the experience I had with him.
"The room became full of that benediction.... It was the centre of all creation; it was a purifying seriousness that cleansed the brain of every thought, and feeling; its seriousness was as lightning which destroys and burns up; the profundity of it was not measurable, it was there immovable, impenetrable, a solidity that was as light as the heavens.... There was impenetrable dignity and a peace that was the essence of all movement, action. No virtue touched it for it was ... utterly perishable and so it had the delicacy of all new things, vulnerable, destructible and yet it was beyond all this.... It was 'pure', untouched so ever dyingly beautiful".
"... of a sudden that unknowable immensity was there, not only in the room and beyond but also deep, in the innermost recesses, which was once the mind ... that immensity left no mark, it was there, clear, strong, impenetrable and unapproachable whose intensity was fire which left no ash. With it was bliss.”
from ‘The pathless journey of Jiddu Krishnamurti’, by Bette Stockbauer