Thoughts on J Krishnamurti’s teachings – I
Notes on “Freedom from the Known”, J Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti Foundation India, 1969)
Ch – 1, pp. 3 – 4:
“Throughout the theological history we have been been assured by religious leaders that if we perform certain rituals, repeat cetain prayers or mantras, conform to certain patterns, suppress our desires, control our thoughts, sublimate our passions, limit our appetites and refrain from sexual indulgence, we shall, after sufifcient torture of mind and body, find something beyond this little life. And that is what millions of so-called religious people have done through the ages, either in isolation, going off into the desert or into the mountains or a cave or wandering from village to village with a begging bowl, or, in a group, joining a monastery, forcing their minds to conform to an extablished pattern.“
I do not seek anything beyond life. I do not seek an escape route. I have questions pertaining to life itself, and I seek answers. I seek reason behind the apparent chaos . . .
“But a tortured mind, a broken mind, a mind which wants to escape from all turmoil, which has denied the outer world and been made dull through discipline and conformity – such a mind, however long it seeks, will find only according to its own distortion.“
Outright denial of the outer world is akin to closing my eyes at the sight of blood. The blood is real; and the stains shall remain there as a reminder no matter how long I keep my eyes shut.
Discipline. Of what? Of my mind. So that my thoughts are not lost in the turbulences of this outer world. It is the process of focussing on the inner self, not denial of the outer world that is required. To claim that denial is a part of the traditional pedagogy is a most disastrous misinterpretation of tradition.
Conformity. To what? To the teachings and to the tradition which impose this discipline.
I rest my quest for reason for a moment and give in to discipline. I see the distortions rendered vacuous. The mind has, thus, not only not been rendered dull and insensitive, but, in fact, acquired the sharp precision of the point of a surgical needle, that, in spite of the chaotic surroundings, is able to understand the exact problems of the mind and formulate the correct questions.
I cannot but stress on the supreme importance of this first step. I cannot expect to find satisfactory answers without posing the appropriate question.
© Ritwik Banerjee
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