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An Interesting Talk by Krishnaji

May 02, 1997 09:57 PM
by M K Ramadoss


I ran in to the following interesting talk by Krishnaji. It appears that
many things he touched upon in 1921 seem to be relevant even today. No
matter whether one considers Krishnaji as the vehicle for the World Teacher
or not, it appears that there is message of practical significance to anyone.


Delivered at Benares, India on December 28th, 1921,  by J. Krishnamurti

As it is December 28th, you are all probably expecting something miraculous,
and I am afraid you will be rather disappointed, because I am a very
matter-of-fact person, and I want to present you with a common-sense point
of view. I want you to leave this meeting to-day, to go away, with a perfect
understanding of what a World- Teacher is.

As you will notice in the principles of the Order of the Star in the East,
we   specially declare that a World Teacher is coming, not a particular
Teacher. We to be universal, and not sectarian; we want to be international,
not national; we want to embrace all nationalities - it does not matter what
our colour, religion or evolution may be. What does matter is that we should
have a common goal, a common ideal for which to work, and a common
inspiration to give us energy, creative force, without which we as an Order
can do nothing in the world.

I am not going to say anything this morning which will give mere happiness,
mere satisfaction to the suffering soul, because no individual, it does not
matter who he is - a Buddha, a Christ, a Krishna - can give that happiness
from the outside. What He can do - and does do - is to awaken the Divinity
which abides in each one of us, a Divinity which shows the path to true
Enlightenment, to true happiness.

Now, it is of no avail to read books, as we Brahmans are apt to do, and to
practice meditation, which lulls our conscience to sleep; what is wanted,
and what we must do, if we are going to do anything in the world as an
active body to make the world better, is to dig deep down into ourselves
first; we must make ourselves perfect before we can make the world perfect.
What I mean by that is that we must think out for ourselves, in the light of
the knowledge that we already possess, the various problems that exist in
the world nowadays. Any problem, of whatever dimensions it may be, will
dwindle down to this: Do we regard it personally or impersonally? If we take
it personally, I think we are not acting as true Star members. We must study
all our questions impersonally.

Each one of us has that Divinity within which shows us the path to
Enlightenment. Why is it that Divinity is more often asleep than awake?
Because we are children, not men who can suffer. We do not like to face
suffering; not one of us is capable of real suffering. We hold up a coloured
glass before the sun because we dare not look the sun in the face. We like
to hide the truth which cleanses, which purifies, which makes us big, which
makes us supreme and happy; we like to cover up our Divinity with
trivialities. We like to busy ourselves the whole day long with the little
things of life, little things that are of no consequence, little angers,
little worries, little happinesses that we shall be ashamed of in a few
years' time. We like to pacify the waking consciousness with false ideas and
false conceptions of greatness. How many of us are earnestly longing for
true enlightenment? Very few. We think we are longing for it, but the moment
suffering comes we shrink back. We prefer to be of the multitude which goes
on slowly, century after century.

You may smile and nod your heads in agreement with what I say, but the stage
of  passive acquiescence has passed; it has lasted for the past ten years.
What is wanted to-day is action. A sword must be put into us. This is the
truest compassion. Compassion must hurt if it is to rouse the Divinity
within. You cannot kindle a fire by covering it with damp wood and dirt,
and, metaphorically, this is what we have been doing; we have quenched the
Divinity within us by covering it with all kinds of impurities, with little
smallnesses, with little pleasures which we call happiness. We have been
children, content to play with toys. Do not let us be children any longer,
but with powerful effort set ourselves seriously to climb the mountain
without looking back. At present we are always looking back to the things of
the world, because we do not understand the things of another world. All the
books have taught us that perfection is to be reached by looking within
ourselves, yet is our gaze ever turned outwards.

Now, we have all joined the Order of the Star in the East, and the
Theosophical Society, because we are looking for happiness which is not of
this world, and yet, when the other happiness looms for a moment in front of
us, we are incapable of seizing it. We are afraid, because we are not quite
sure that it is really happiness, and because we like to cling to something
that is near and that we know.

Every member of the Order of the Star in the East should develop a special
attitude towards life. He should look at all things pleasant or unpleasant,
through impersonal eyes. Most of us are inclined to take a personal view
about people and questions we do not like, and yet to pride ourselves about
our impersonal attitude towards what pleases us. This is the first attitude
to develop - to be impersonal towards all questions of life, and I should
like us to exercise it every moment of life; for that is where the test
comes. The great opportunities are rare. It is in training ourselves in
daily life that we can  compass the great things. We cannot be great
suddenly; through slow and painful processes only can we become great.

Now, the second point is that we all realise that the World-Teacher is the
personification of Compassion and Wisdom. We know it instinctively; and,
consequently if we are to imitate that Supreme Being, we must develop the
qualities which He Has. First let us take the quality of pity. We must
develop that peculiar kind of pity, the pity that changes what needs
changing. We all pity people from a distance. We pity the poor, and we pity
the suffering; but what are we doing for them? We get up on platforms, and
we read books; but what are we *really* doing to abolish this abomination of
starvation which exists all around us? What do we do as a body, as the Order
of the Star in the East?

What we want, and what we must have, is a body of people able to go to the
root of the evil. It is not sufficient just to give food; you must also
bring inspiration to the man who is at present starving - mentally, as well
as physically. We have so to change social conditions that this same man may
not only be fed, but may have leisure to think and to develop himself. This
brings us back, as always, to education. We, as a body, must proclaim this
principle, that education is the right of every person born into the world,
and we must work to realise it.

If you do not deal with the root, how can you kill I a poisonous thing?
Therefore I hope the National Secretaries will occupy themselves with this
question: a you must help them, not by merely subscribing to the principle,
but by doing, in your little places, where you are, great things; by being
active, not passive. "Passive as the Indian" - that must cease. We must be
active - like the Americans are, like the Western people are. They are far
more Theosophical than we are, for they are trying to remove this suffering
of the poor. What are we doing in this country ? As you go down the streets
of Benares you see some awful and painful sights, and we Star members have
existed years in this country, yet that sight of pain has not been stopped.
It will be stopped, because compassion and pity will conquer everything in
some far-off future. But do not leave the suffering man to the far-off
future. He does not want his suffering to last so long; and it is our duty,
who are a little happy, to share our happiness with the man in the street."

The main thing that we want to develop is the pity that understands, that is
dominated by tolerance - a tolerance that is full of imagination. We all are
tolerant towards those with whom we agree. That is easy. It is because we
have no imagination that we lose tolerance. We Indians boast that we have
imagination, but I am sorry to say that the majority of Indians are
intolerant people. We are all about the same - English and Indians, East and
West. We must evolve together. We must train this imagination along
particular lines, the line, that makes us realise another person's feelings,
look at questions from another's point of view - not through our own eyes.
We have been too long accustomed to that habit.

We must train ourselves to look from an English point of view from time to
time. The moment has come when there is surging a wave of international
feeling throughout the world. We must show to people that there is a greater
ideal than nationalism. That is our duty - to show to the world that the
goal of internationalism is eventually the goal for humanity. India must,
naturally, pass through nationalism, but let that nationalism be clean, be
devoid of bloodshed.

Then I want to deal with politics here for a moment, if you will allow me.
We must be able to co-operate with the Co-operator and with the
Non-Co-operator. I myself am a Co-operator, but I respect the man who
non-co-operates, because that is his point of view; I respect him because he
has grit enough to think for himself. I do not want you to think that,
because I am a Co-operator, the Order is expected to adopt that point of
view. It cannot; it is international body, and I, who am for the moment at
the head of the Order, cannot, and will not, make the Order either one or
the other, and you will not force me I am sure, to put myself in a very
awkward position.

There are people in the Order of many nationalities; English, French,
German, etc.; and if we make the Order either one or the other through our
little foolishnesses, the Order will crumble: it will cease to be the
fountain of inspiration to so many, as it is now. So I beg you to be
careful. Do not make the Order sectarian, either be careful. Do not make the
Order sectarian, either Co~operator or Non-Co-operator. Let each individual
choose for himself; and leave the other, respect the other, who thinks
differently from him. This is what I mean by tolerance. He is as big as you
are: do not make him as little as you are. And from those who are
Non-Co-operators I would ask the same. What we want in the Order is
Co-operation with all the world. We cannot stand alone. If we stand alone we
shall fall. We cannot evolve without guidance from all people. Consequently
I beg you to be very careful about this. Do not rush to conclusions with
unnecessary precipitation. Think carefully over what you should do and what
you should not do; and if you decide one thing or the other, respect the man
who thinks the contrary, and treat him like a gentleman and not like an
inferior being, but as your equal. Treat him as you would treat a God;
respect him as you would respect yourself.

Next, to find in the Order throughout the world - it does not matter where -
a lack of common sense. People think that they can leave common sense
outside when they join the Order. When we are dealing with spiritual force,
you must have all the common sense which you can, and more. You must be
positive and not negative. And if you want to be spiritual - and each one of
us must be spiritual -  we must have common sense, for without common sense
we are apt to be credulous, to believe anything that comes along. And if the
Order is to be a body of great spiritual force - which I hope it will be -
it must possess more common sense than the ordinary business man of the
world possesses. If we had more common sense, we should laugh at ourselves
from time to time.  At present we take ourselves too seriously. We do not
laugh at our ideas. I laugh at my own ideas very often. It does sometimes
help to laugh at one's self. It brings us down to realities and makes us
face the truth. Sentimentality and grave faces do not imply spirituality;
but common sense we must have, or we shall fall, and fall heavily.

The other day a French member told me that the coming Teacher would
certainly be a white man, probably a Frenchman. I smiled and wished it as a
joke; but I want to ask you a question. Would you receive the World-Teacher
if He was in a white skin, if He put on trousers instead of a dhoti and
kurtha? Think it out. Would you? We are full of little prejudices that stand
in our way. What does it matter of what nationality He is, of what colour,
so long as He is great and shows us the Path? But unfortunately we are so
carried away by our little emotions that we forget all these things when the
moment of trial comes - like a friend of mine, who is a great Theosophist
when a friend of has died - a very dear friend - he was so overwhelmed with
sorrow that he forgot Theosophy and all its teaching, and crumpled up like a
flower in the sun. That is where we must be careful. When the moment of
trial comes, we must stand up like Theosophists and Star members, and not
like the snow that disappears with the ray of sunshine.

Therefore, I'd would ask you: Would you receive the Christ, the
World-Teacher, if He were in a Chinese body? People may laugh, I know; but I
want you to think it over, to examine yourselves, and think it out. What
will be your attitude? I do not know what He is going to be. He may be a
woman; and I can see men smile, especially Indians, who treat women - well,
I will not go into it, because it is a painful subject. What will they
think? So be prepared; that is what we want. Be prepared to look at
everything from an impersonal point of view.

There here is a vague idea throughout the Order that it is sufficient to put
on a star, and to believe vaguely in the Coming of a World-Teacher. I tell
you it is not enough. Symbols are outside things. Do not put them on and
look sentimental. That is not enough. What we want is that we should have
the Star impressed on the heart, where it can bleed and make us suffer, and
make us realise that there is a World-Teacher Who looks at us every moment
of the day, from the far-off mountain top, Who watches every moment of the
day our daily life. Imagine that He is standing beside you every moment -
as, indeed, I am sure He is. And with that point of view, with that idea in
your mind, behave as though He were standing by you, as though His blessing,
His compassion,  were always with you. Do not put Him on the top of the
mountain and merely look at Him from time to time. Treat Him as your friend,
treat Him as a Man. Do not always put your head down and look at His big
toe. That will not help you. Ask Him, as a man should ask a man, to give you
strength, to give compassion. We have not lived enough: our soul is little,
and we must be great to understand greatness.

Treat the World-Teacher as an example to be followed not as an image to be
looked at. He is the Leader, and you must show that you are His followers,
but not the blind followers that we are at present. We shall into our turn
be leaders, great leaders; and to be His followers to be His real friends,
we must be greet ourselves, not small. We must be an example to others who
do not see the  World-Teacher. We must be a lighthouse on a dark and
perilous shore; we must give light to others. Then only shall we be worthy
of really being a member of the Star


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