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Jiddu Krishnamurti (Telugu:జిడ్డు కృష్ణమూర్తి) or J. Krishnamurti (May 11, 1895–February 17, 1986), was born in Madanapalle, India and discovered, in 1909, as a teenager by C.W. Leadbeater on the private beach at the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar in Chennai, India. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater within the world-wide organization of the Theosophical Society, who believed him to be a vehicle for a prophesied World Teacher (see Second Coming; Maitreya Buddha). As a young man, he disavowed this destiny and also dissolved the Order established to support it, and eventually spent the rest of his life travelling the world as an individual speaker and educator on the workings of the human mind. At age 90 he addressed the United Nations on the subject of peace and awareness, and was awarded the 1984 UN Peace Medal. He gave his last talk in India a month before his death, in 1986, in Ojai, California.
His supporters, working through charitable trusts, founded several independent schools across the world—in India, England and the United States—and transcribed many of his thousands of talks, publishing them as educational philosophical books.
His official biographer, Mary Lutyens wrote a book about Krishnamurti's early life in India, England, and finally in Ojai, California, entitled Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening. She was a close associate of his from the Order of the Star, and knew him from the early days until the end of his life. This book contains many insights into this period of his life, about which he rarely spoke. Lutyens wrote three additional volumes of biography: The Years of Fulfillment (1983), The Open Door (1988), and Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals (1996). Additionally, she published an abridgement of the first three volumes, The Life and Death of Krishnamurti (1991). Other published biographies of Krishnamurti include: Krishnamurti, A Biography (1986), by associate Pupul Jayakar and Star In the East: Krishnamurti, The Invention of a Messiah (2002), by Roland Vernon.
Jiddu Krishnamurti came from a family of Telugu-speaking Brahmins. His father, Jiddu Narianiah, graduated from Madras University and then became an official in the Revenue Department of the British administration, rising by the end of his career to the position of rent collector and District Magistrate. His parents were second cousins, having a total of eleven children, only six of whom survived childhood. They were strict vegetarians, even shunning eggs, and throwing away any food that the "shadow of an Englishman crossed". (Lutyens, Awakening, p 1)
He was born in a small town about 150 miles (250 km) north of Madras, India. His birthdate has been also stated as May 12, however Mary Lutyens, points out, that the Brahmin day is calculated from dawn and he was born at 12:30 AM, so therefore on May 11. It's only the Western world who would state this was May 12. "As an eighth child, who happened to be a boy, he was, in accordance with Hindu orthodoxy, called after Sri Krishna who had himself been an eighth child."
In 1903, the family moved to Cudappah and Krishna contracted malaria, a disease with which he would suffer recurrent bouts over many years. In 1904, his eldest sister died, aged twenty. In his memoirs, he describes his mother as "to a certain extent psychic" and how she would frequently see and converse with her dead daughter. Krishna also states that he saw his dead sister on some occasions. In Dec 1905, his mother, Jiddu Sanjeevamma, died at Cudappah, when Krishnamurti was ten years old. Krishna says: "I may mention that I saw her [my mother] after she died" (Lutyens, p 5)
"Narianiah, though an orthodox Brahmin, had been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1881 (Theosophy embraces all religions)." (Lutyens, p 7). This was while Helena Blavatsky was still its head in India. Narianiah had retired at the end of 1907 and wrote to Annie Besant to recommend himself as a caretaker for the 260-acre Theosophical estate at Adyar. He had four boys and Annie thought they would be a disturbing influence and so turned him down. He continued his requests and finally was accepted as an assistant to the Recording Secretary of the Esoteric Section. His family which included, himself, his four sons, and a nephew moved there on Jan 23, 1909. It was a few months after this last move that Krishna was discovered by C.W. Leadbeater, who believed him to be the awaited vessel for Maitreya.
This discovery created a bit of a problem, as there was already a conflicting claim made for Hubert van Hook (b 1896), son of Dr Weller van Hook, a surgeon in Chicago, and the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in the United States. Hubert was also chosen by Leadbeater and after she left her husband, his mother brought him to India for special training. After Krishna was found, Hubert was soon dropped. (Lutyens, p 12)
Leadbeater had a history of being in the company of young boys, and gossip about that was vehemently denied by Annie Besant. The gossip erupted into a scandal in 1906 and led to Leadbeater's resignation from the Theosophical Society, however at the end of 1908 he was re-instated on a vote. (Lutyens, p 15)
Hubert and Mrs Van Hook, his mother, also arrived at Adyar and stayed there for some time.
Separation from father
Krishna (or Krishnaji as he was often called) and his younger brother Nitya were educated at the Theosophical compound and later taken to England to finish their education. His father, pushed into the background by the swirl of interest around Krishna, ended up in a lawsuit against the Society to try to protect his parental interests. As a result of this separation from his family and home, Krishnamurti and his brother Nitya became extremely close and in the following years they often travelled together.
A philosophical awakening
Lutyens states that there came a time when Krishnamurti fully believed that he was to become the World Teacher. The death of his brother Nitya on November 11, 1925 at age 27 from tuberculosis, however, shook his fundamental belief in the masters, the leaders of the Theosophical Society and the whole idea of the world teacher (Lord Maitreya) project. He had prayed for his brother's life to be spared and it was not. The experience of his brother's death shattered his remaining illusions.
From The Song of Life (1931):
- My brother died; We were as two stars in a naked sky. He was like me, Burnt by the warm sun...
- He died; I wept in loneliness. Where'er I went, I heard his voice and his happy laughter. I looked for his face in every passer by and asked each if he had not met with my brother; But none could give me comfort. I worshipped, I prayed, But the gods were silent. I could weep no more; I could dream no more. I sought him in all things, in every clime. I heard the whispering of many trees Calling me to his abode. And then, in my search, I beheld Thee, O Lord of my heart; In Thee alone I saw the face of my brother. In Thee alone, O my eternal Love, Do I behold the faces Of all the living and all the dead.
From 1925 onward things were to never be the same again.
- ...An old dream is dead and a new one is being born, as a flower that pushes through the solid earth. A new vision is coming into being and a greater consciousness is being unfolded. ...A new strength, born of suffering, is pulsating in the veins and a new sympathy and understanding is being born of past suffering---a greater desire to see others suffer less, and, if they must suffer, to see that they bear it nobly and come out of it without too many scars. I have wept, but I do not want others to weep; but if they do, I know what it means. (from The Herald of the Star, January 1926)
This new vision and consciousness reached a climax in 1929, when Krishnamurti rebuffed attempts by Leadbeater and Besant to continue with The Order of the Star, the section of the Theosophical Society devoted to the coming of the World Teacher. Krishnamurti subsequently disbanded the Order, whose head he was. On the opening day of the annual Star Camp at Ommen, Holland, August 2, 1929, in front of several thousand members, he gave a speech disbanding the Order, saying:
- You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of the truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to help him organize it."
- I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.
After disbanding the Order and drifting away from the Theosophical Society and its belief system, he spent the rest of his life holding dialogues and giving public talks on his observations on the nature of truth, sorrow and freedom. Krishnamurti did not accept followers, because he saw the relationship between a guru and a disciple as essentially exploitative. He asked people to explore together with him and "walk as two friends". He accepted gifts and support given to him (his main residence being on donated land in Ojai, California) and continued with lecture tours and the publication of books for more than half a century.
Later years and "farewell talks"
In November of 1985, he revisited the places in which he had grown up in India, holding a last set of "farewell talks" between then and January 1986. These last talks were on fundamental principles of belief and lessons. Krishnamurti commented that he did not wish to invite Death, but was not sure how long his body would last, he had already lost some 6 kg (13 lb) and once he could no longer talk or teach, he would have no further purpose. He said a formal farewell to all four points of the compass, the so-called 'elephant's turn', on the Adayar shore where he had long ago come to the attention of others. His final talk, on January 4, 1986, invited his co-participants to examine with him the nature of inquiry, the nature of life, and the nature of creation. It ended:
- "So we are inquiring what makes a bird. What is creation behind all this? Are you waiting for me to describe it, to go into it? ... Why? Why do you ask [what creation is]? Because I asked? No description can ever describe the origin. The origin is nameless; the origin is absolutely quiet, it's not whirring about making noise. Creation is something that is most holy, that's the most sacred thing in life, and if you have made a mess of your life, change it. Change it today, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain, find out why and be certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically. Unless all that is prepared, all that is settled, you can't enter into this world, into the world of creation."
- "It ends." (these two words are hardly audible, breathed rather than spoken)
- "This is the last talk. Do you want to sit together quietly for a while? All right, sirs, let us sit quietly for a while."
- (quotes in this section from "The Future Is Now: Last Talks in India")
J. Krishnamurti passed away one and a half months later at the age of 90 from pancreatic cancer. His remains were cremated and scattered by friends and former associates in the three countries where he had spent most of his life, India, England and United States of America.
The core of Krishnamurti's teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said: 'Truth is a pathless land'. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security — religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man's thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.
Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity. Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experience and the experiencer. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.
In "The Last Talks", Radhika Herzberger comments,
- "He had set his face against the whole paraphernalia of organized religion - its dogma, churches, rituals, sacred books and gurus - since 1929 when he had written: 'When Krishnamurti dies, which is inevitable, you will set about forming rules in your minds, because the individual, Krishnamurti, had represented to you the Truth. So you will build a temple, you will then begin to have ceremonies, to invent phrases, dogmas, systems of belief, creeds, and to create philosophies. If you build great foundations upon me, the individual, you will be caught in that house, in that temple, and so you will have to have another Teacher come and extricate you from that temple. But the human mind is such that you will build another temple around Him, and so it will go on and on.'
A tremendous volume of material exists documenting the philosophical investigations of Krishnamurti (or simply "K" as he is sometimes referred to) mostly in the form of recorded conversations and talks, although K also wrote several series of short essays and kept a personal journal at least twice in his life. He had dialogues and personal meetings with a wide variety of people from all kinds of backgrounds. An example of the far-ranging and probing dialogues he had is a series of conversations recorded in 1980 with theoretical physicist David Bohm that resulted in the publication of The Ending of Time and The Future of Humanity. These conversations are also available on audio tape and a subset of them on video and DVD as well.
Observation without reward
Questioner: "I have listened to you for many years and I have become quite good at watching my thoughts and being aware of every thing I do, but I have never touched the deep waters or experienced the transformation of which you speak. Why?"
Krishnamurti: "I think it is fairly clear why none of us do experience something beyond the mere watching. There may be rare moments of an emotional state in which we see, as it were, the clarity of the sky between clouds, but I do not mean anything of that kind. All such experiences are temporary and have very little significance. The questioner wants to know why, after these many years of watching, he hasn't found the deep waters. Why should he find them? Do you understand? You think that by watching your own thoughts you are going to get a reward: if you do this, you will get that. You are really not watching at all, because your mind is concerned with gaining a reward. You think that by watching, by being aware, you will be more loving, you will suffer less, be less irritable, get something beyond; so your watching is a process of buying. With this coin you are buying that, which means that your watching is a process of choice; therefore it isn't watching, it isn't attention. To watch is to observe without choice, to see yourself as you are without any movement of desire to change, which is an extremely arduous thing to do; but that doesn't mean that you are going to remain in your present state. You do not know what will happen if you see yourself as you are without wishing to bring about a change in that which you see. Do you understand?
I am going to take an example and work it out, and you will see. Let us say I am violent, as most people are. Our whole culture is violent; but I won't enter into the anatomy of violence now, because that is not the problem we are considering. I am violent, and I realize that I am violent. What happens? My immediate response is that I must do something about it, is it not? I say I must become non-violent. That is what every religious teacher has told us for centuries: that if one is violent one must become non-violent. So I practise, I do all the ideological things. But now I see how absurd that is, because the entity who observes violence and wishes to change it into non-violence, is still violent. So I am concerned, not with the expression of that entity, but with the entity himself. You are following all this, I hope?
Now, what is that entity who says, `I must not be violent'? Is that entity different from the violence he has observed? Are they two different states? Do you understand, sirs, or is this too abstract? It is near the end of the talk and probably you are a bit tired. Surely, the violence and the entity who says, `I must change violence into non-violence', are both the same. To recognize that fact is to put an end to all conflict, is it not? There is no longer the conflict of trying to change, because I see that the very movement of the mind not to be violent is itself the outcome of violence.
So, the questioner wants to know why it is that he cannot go beyond all these superficial wrangles of the mind. For the simple reason that, consciously or unconsciously, the mind is always seeking something, and that very search brings violence, competition, the sense of utter dissatisfaction. It is only when the mind is completely still that there is a possibility of touching the deep waters."
6th public talk Ojai, 21st July 1955 from the booklet "Surely, Freedom From the Self is the True Function of Man".
- Choiceless Awareness
- The liberating process must begin with the choiceless awareness of what you will and of your reactions to the symbol-system which tells you that you ought, or ought not, to will it. (Foreword to The First and Last Freedom)
- The Problem
- If, living in the world, you refuse to be a part of it, you will help others out of this chaos--not in the future, not tomorrow, but now. (The First and Last Freedom, p25)
- Real revolution is not according to any particular pattern, either of the left or of the right, but it is a revolution of values, a revolution from sensate values to the values that are not sensate or created by environmental influences. (The First and Last Freedom, p43) To bring about a fundamental revolution in oneself, one must understand the whole process of one's thought and feeling in relationship. (p49, The First and Last Freedom.)
- "So, to meditate is to purge the mind of its self-centered activity. And if you have come this far in meditation, you will find there is silence, a total emptiness. The mind is uncontaminated by society; it is no longer subject to any influence, to the pressure of any desire. It is completely alone, and being alone, untouched it is innocent. Therefore there is a possibility for that which is timeless, eternal, to come into being. This whole process is meditation."
- The state of creativeness comes only when the self, which is the process of recognition and accumulation, ceases to be because, after all, consciousness as the 'me' is the centre of recognition, and the centre of recognition, and recognition is merely the process of the accumulation of experience. (p40, The First and last Freedom.) The creative release comes only when the thinker is the thought -- but the gap cannot be bridged by any effort. (p140, The First and Last Freedom.)
- Anything that springs from thought is conditioned, is of time, of memory; therefore it is not real. (p139, The First and Last Freedom.)
- If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration between us, there would be no wars. (p183, The First and Last Freedom.)
- To live peacefully means not to create antagonism. (p184, The First and Last Freedom.)
- Love is not different from truth. Love is that state in which the thought process, as time, has completely ceased. Where love is, there is transformation. Without love, revolution has no meaning, for the revolution is merely destruction, decay, a greater and greater ever-mounting mystery. Where there is love, there is revolution, because love is transformation from moment to moment. (p288, The First and Last Freedom.)
A good "first book" to gain an understanding of his teachings is Freedom From the Known, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1969, ISBN 0-06-064808-2.
- Love and observation : "I must love the very thing I am studying. If you want to understand a child, you must love and not condemn him. You must play with him, watch his movements, his idiosyncrasies, his ways of behaviour; but if you merely condemn, resist, or blame him, there is no comprehension of the child. Similarly, to understand what is, one must observe what one thinks, feels, and does from moment to moment. That is the actual."
- "Observation without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence"
- "The pursuit of authority only breeds fear." (p75, The First and Last Freedom.)
- "Thought is nothing else but reaction." (p117, The First and Last Freedom.)
- "Freedom is always at the beginning and not at the end." (p118, The First and Last Freedom.)
- "If we are to discuss this question of a fundamental change in ourselves and therefore in the world, and in this change to awaken a certain vision, and enthusiasm, a zeal, a faith, a hope, a certainty which will give us the necessary impetus for action--if we are to understand that, isn't it necessary to go into this question of consciousness?" (p136, The First and Last Freedom.)
- "Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection."
- "If one can really come to that state of saying, 'I do not know,' it indicates an extraordinary sense of humility; there is no arrogance of knowledge; there is no self-assertive answer to make an impression. When you can actually say, 'I do not know,' which very few are capable of saying, then in that state all fear ceases because all sense of recognition, the search into memory, has come to an end; there is no longer inquiry into the field of the known."
- "Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and not on the leaders – not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank account, big or little, and we say, 'For God’s sake, don’t disturb us, leave us alone'."
- "The description is not the described."
- "Freedom from the Known is death, and then you are living."
- "To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life."
- "If I see very clearly the label 'poison' on a bottle, I leave it alone. There is no effort not to be attracted to it. Similarly - and in this lies the greatest difficulty - if I realize that any effort on my part is detrimental, if I see the truth of that, then I am free of effort." (p47, On God.)
- "It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
It is important to view Krishnamurti in the context of his legacy. Throughout his long life, Krishnamurti exerted a great influence at the confluence of educated philosophical and spiritual thought. Because of his ideas and his era, Krishnamurti has come to be seen as an exemplar for modern spiritual teachers - particularly those who disavow formal rituals and dogma. His conception of truth as a pathless land, with the possibility of immediate self-realization, is mirrored in New Age teachings as diverse as those of est, Bruce Lee, and even the Dalai Lama.
Krishnamurti was close friends with Aldous Huxley. Huxley wrote the foreword to The First and Last Freedom. Krishnamurti was also friends with, and influenced the works of, the mythologist Joseph Campbell and the artist Beatrice Wood.
Criticism of Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti has been criticized, sometimes as to whether he practiced what he preached. A number of people who knew him through the years pointed out that Krishnamurti’s life expresses something of the Indian Brahmin lifestyle, for he was supported, even pampered, through the years by devoted followers and servants. The questions then arise as to whether his attitudes were conditioned by indulgence and privilege.
In her 1991 book, Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti, Radha Rajagopal Sloss, the daughter of Krishnamurti's associates, Rosalind and Desikacharya Rajagopal, wrote of Krishnamurti's relationship with her parents including the secret affair between Krishnamurti and Rosalind which lasted for many years. The public revelation was received with surprise and consternation by many individuals in the Krishnamurti community, and was also dealt with in a rebuttal volume of biography by Mary Lutyens (Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals, 1996).
Sloss's allegations were centered around the notion that the secret liasion indicated that Krishnamurti had lead a deceptive double life in that he was believed to be celibate by his public following. A later biographical volume by Roland Vernon (Star in the East: Krishnamurti, the Invention of a Messiah), questions the ultimate impact of the revelations when compared to Krishnamurti's body of work as a whole.
Krishnamurti's once close relationship to the Rajagopals deteriorated to the point that Krishnamurti in his later years, took Rajagopal (head of Krishnamurti Writings, Inc.) to court in order to recover certain rights, manuscripts and personal corespondence being withheld by Rajagopal. The resulting litigation and cross complaints continued for many years, and were not resolved until after the death of Krishnamurti in 1986. Krishnamurti's biographer Mary Lutyens placed the preponderance of responsibility for the acrimony of the lawsuits and resulting damage to Krishnamurti's reputation on the personal animosity of the Rajagopals resulting from their loss of influence in Krishnamurti's life. (see Lutyens below).
Perhaps the harshest critic of Jiddu Krishnamurti, the way he operated, the things he taught (such as "choiceless awareness" and "the art of listening"), is U. G. Krishnamurti.
Partial list of published works
Except for a few noted exceptions - see especially the first three works - Krishnamurti's books are transcripts of his talks and discussions. (Title, year of first publication, different editions: ISBN, notes)
- Krishnamurti's Notebook, 1976, Krishnamurti Publications of America expanded 2004 edition: ISBN 1-888004-63-0, one of the few books that Krishnamurti wrote himself, from June 1961 to March 1962
- Krishnamurti's Journal, 1982, Harper & Row ISBN 0-06-064841-4, LCC B5134.K765A34 1982, a personal journal, written from 1973 to 1975
- Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal, 1987, HarperCollins 1993 paperback: ISBN 0-06-250649-8, transcribed from audio tape recordings made at his home in the Ojai Valley;
Following works ordered by year of publication:
- At the Feet of the Master: Towards Discipleship, 1910, Quest Books 2001 edition: ISBN 0-8356-0803-4 (Disputed authorship, see Lutyens below)
- The Immortal Friend, 1928, Boni & Liveright New York: no ISBN, poetry
- Life in Freedom, 1928, Satori Resources 1986 reprint: ISBN 0-937277-00-2
- Verbatim Reports of Talks and Answers to Questions by Krishnamurti Italy and Norway - 1933, 1934, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Verbatim Reports of Talks and Answers to Questions by Krishnamurti Adyar, India - 1933-34, 1935, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Reports of Talks and Answers to Questions by Krishnamurti New York City - 1935, 1935, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Authentic Report of Twenty-five Talks given by Krishnamurti in Latin America, 1936, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Authentic Report of Twenty-five Talks given in 1936 by Krishnamurti, 1937, Krishnamurti Writings Inc.: no ISBN
- Revised Report of Fourteen Talks given by Krishnamurti Ommen Camp 1937 & 1938, 1938, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Authentic Notes of Discussions and Talks given by Krishnamurti Ojai and Sarobia 1940, 1940, Star Publishing Trust: no ISBN
- Authentic Report of Ten Talks given by Krishnamurti Ojai 1944, 1945, Krishnamurti Writings Inc.: no ISBN
- Education and the Significance of Life, 1953 (Krishnamurti Foundation Trust), HarperSanFrancisco 1981 edition: ISBN 0-06-064876-7
- The First and Last Freedom, 1954, HarperSanFrancisco 1975 reprint: ISBN 0-06-064831-7
- Commentaries on Living: Series One, 1956, Quest Books 1994: ISBN 0-8356-0390-3
- Commentaries on Living: Series Two, 1958, Quest Books 1967: ISBN 0-8356-0415-2
- Commentaries on Living: Series Three, 1960, Quest Books 1967: ISBN 0-8356-0402-0
- Life Ahead: On Learning and the Search for Meaning, 1963, Harper & Row, New World Library 2005 edition: ISBN 1-57731-517-0
- Think on These Things, 1964, Harper Perennial 1989 reprint: ISBN 0-06-091609-5.
- Talks with American Students 1968, 1970, Shambala Publications: ISBN 0-87773-021-0
- Freedom from the Known, 1969, HarperSanFrancisco 1975 reprint: ISBN 0-06-064808-2
- You Are the World: Authentic Reports of Talks and Discussions in American Universities, 1972, Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-080303-7, Krishnamurti Foundation India 2001 edition: ISBN 81-87326-02-6
- The Awakening of Intelligence, 1973, Harper & Row paperback 1987: ISBN 0-06-064834-1
- Beyond Violence, 1973, HarperCollins College Div., ISBN 0-06-064839-2
- Truth and Actuality, 1977, London: Victor Gollancz, ISBN 0-575-02325-2, HarperSanFrancisco 1980 edition: ISBN 0-06-064875-9
- Krishnamurti on Education, 1977, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-064794-9, Krishnamurti Foundation of America 2001 edition: ISBN 81-87326-00-X
- The Wholeness of Life, 1978, HarperCollins 1981 paperback: ISBN 0-06-064868-6, abridgement of discussions held between Krishnamurti, David Bohm, and psychiatrist David Shainbert
- Meditations, 1979, Shambhala Publications 2002 edition: ISBN 1-57062-941-2
- From Darkness to Light: Poems and Parables: The Collected Works of Krishnamurti Volume One, 1980, Harper and Row Publishers, ISBN 0-06-064832-5, This is completely different from the Collected Works Volume 1 listed below
- Exploration into Insight, 1980, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-064811-2
- The Ending of Time (with David Bohm), San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985, ISBN 0-06-064796-5
- The way of Intelligence, 1985, Krishnamurti Foundation India, ISBN 81-87326-47-6
- The Future of Humanity: A Conversation (with David Bohm), HarperCollins, 1986, ISBN 0-06-064797-3
- Last Talks at Saanen, 1985, HarperCollins, 1987, ISBN 0-06-064798-1
- The Future Is Now: Last Talks in India, HarperCollins, 1989, ISBN 0-06-250484-3
- Meeting Life: Writings and Talks on Finding Your Path Without Retreating from Society, 1991, HarperSanFrancisco, ISBN 0-06-250526-2
- Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti, 1996, HarperSanFrancisco, ISBN 0-06-064880-5, introduction to Krishnamurti and selections from the breadth of his works
- Limits of Thought: Discussions, 1999 (with David Bohm), London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-19398-2
- This Light in Oneself: True Meditation, 1999, Shambala Publications, ISBN 1-57062-442-9
- The Concise Guide to Krishnamurti: A Study Companion and Index to the Recorded Teachings, 2000, Krishnamurti Publications of America, ISBN 1-888004-09-6
The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti
- Volume I (1933-1934): The Art of Listening, 1991, Krishnamurti Foundation of America, ISBN 0-8403-6341-9
- Volume II (1934-1935): What Is the Right Action?, editor Edward Weston, 1991, Krishnamurti Publications of America, ISBN 1-888004-32-0
- Volume 3 (1936-1944): The Mirror of Relationship, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8403-6236-6
- Volume 4 (1945-1948): The Observer Is the Observed, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6237-4
- Volume 5 (1948-1949): Choiceless Awareness, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6238-2
- Volume 6 (1949-1952): The Origin of Conflict, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6262-5
- Volume 7 (1952-1953): Tradition and Creativity, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6257-9
- Volume 8 (1953-1955): What Are You Seeking?, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6266-8
- Volume 9 (1955-1956): The Answer is in the Problem, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6260-9
- Volume 10 (1956-1957): A Light to Yourself, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6268-4
- Volume 11 (1958-1960): Crisis in Consciousness, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6272-2
- Volume 12 (1961): There is No Thinker, Only Thought, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6286-2
- Volume 13 (1962-1963): A Psychological Revolution, 1992, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6287-0
- Volume 14 (1963-1964): The New Mind, 1992, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6288-9
- Volume 15 (1964-1965): The Dignity of Living, 1992, Krishnamurti Foundation of America, ISBN 0-8403-6282-X
- Volume 16 (1965-1966): The Beauty of Death, 1992, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6307-9
- Volume 17 (1966-1967): Perennial Questions, 1992, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, ISBN 0-8403-6314-1
- Pupul Jayakar, Krishnamurti: A Biography, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1986. (Jayakar was commissioned by Krishnamurti himself to write a book on his life, see Preface)
- Mary Lutyens, Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening, London: John Murray, 1975, Shambhala reprint edition 1997: ISBN 1-57062-288-4 (covers 1895 to 1935)
- Mary Lutyens, Krishnamurti: The Years of Fulfilment, London: John Murray, 1983, ISBN 0-7195-3979-X, Farrar, Straus, Giroux paperback: ISBN 0-374-18224-8, Avon Books 1991 reprint: ISBN 0-380-71112-5 (covers 1935 to 1980). (Lutyens was also commissioned by him to write a complete, authorised biography, see p201)
- Mary Lutyens, The Open Door, London: John Murray, 1988, ISBN 0-7195-4534-X, (covers 1980 to 1986, the end of Krishnamurti's life)
- Mary Lutyens, The Life and Death of Krishnamurti, London: John Murray, 1990, ISBN 0-7195-4749-0, Nesma Books India 1999: ISBN 81-87075-44-9, ISBN 0-900506-22-9, also published as Krishnamurti: His Life and Death, St Martins Press 1991: ISBN 0-312-05455-6, (An abridgement of her trilogy on Krishnamurti's life).
- Star In The East: Krishnamurti: The Invention of a Messiah - Roland Vernon, Sentient Publications, 2002, ISBN 0-9710786-8-8
- Krishnamurti: 100 Years - Evelyne Blau, Stewart, Tabori and Chang; Reprint edition, 1995, ISBN 1-55670-678-2
- A Vision of the Sacred: My Personal Journey with Krishnamurti - Sunanda Patwardhan, South Asia Books; 2nd edition, 1999, ISBN 0-14-029447-3
- The Kitchen Chronicles: 1001 Lunches with Krishnamurti - Michael Krohnen, Edwin House Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-9649247-1-4
- Loving and Leaving the Good Life - Helen Nearing, White River Jct., VT: Chelsea Green, 1992
- Krishnamurti: The Reluctant Messiah - by Sidney Field, and Peter Hay, Paragon House Publishers; 1st edition, 1989, ISBN 1-55778-180-X
- The Inner Life of Krishnamurti: Private Passion and Perennial Wisdom - Aryel Sanat, Quest Books, 2000, ISBN 0-8356-0781-X
- Truth Is A Pathless Land: A Journey with Krishnamurti - Ingram Smith, Theosophical Publishing House; 1st edition, 1989, ISBN 0-8356-0643-0
- The Beauty of the Mountain: Memories of Krishnamurti - Friedrich Grohe, The Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd, 2001
- One Thousand Moons: Krishnamurti at Eighty-Five - Asit Chandmal, Harry N Abrams, 1985, ISBN 0-8109-1209-0
- As The River Joins The Ocean: Reflections about J. Krishnamurti - Giddu Narayan, and Chandramouli Narsipur, Edwin House Publishing, 1999, ISBN 0-9649247-5-7
- Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti, Radha Rajagopal Sloss, London: Bloomsbury and Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1991. (A critical look at the private life of Krishnamurti)
- Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals - Mary Lutyens, Ojai, CA: Krishnamurti Foundation of America, 1996, ISBN 1-888004-08-8. (Contains a detailed refutation of the allegations contained in the Sloss book, by Krishnamurti's authorised biographer).
- Official J. Krishnamurti inter-organizational website An international joint venture of the Krishnamurti foundations. Includes daily quotes and an RSS news feed.
- Krishnamurti Foundation of America
- Krishnamurti Foundation of India
- Krishnamurti Foundation Trust
- Krishnamurti Foundation of Latinoamerica. Includes daily quotes and an RSS news feed.
- Works by J. Krishnamurti at Project Gutenberg: (only a single book as of May, 2006): Education as Service, 1912, Rajput Press, Chicago
- Disbanding the Order of the Star of the East - 1929 lecture in which Krishnamurti rejected his anointed status as "World Teacher" by Theosophists
- Krishnamurti and David Bohm - Inquiry into the nature of thought
- David Bohm and Krishnamurti by Martin Gardner from July, 2000 Skeptical Inquirer
- Krishnamurti directory
- Krishnamurti Information Network
- Meeting Jiddu Krishnamurthy:Truth is a Pathless Land - Nadesan Satyendra
- Krishnamurti Quotes and Stories
- Alpheus - Theosophically oriented articles on K
- Krishnamurti Quotes and Photos
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