The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
Part 1. The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
Chapter 1. Krishnamurti describes his long journey towards attainment and perfection and of finally entering into that sea of liberation and happiness which is the fulfilment of life.
I would show you how I have found my beloved, how the beloved is established in me, how the beloved is the Beloved of all, and how the Beloved and I are one so that there can be no separation either now or at any time. Naturally, I did not think of all these things while I was young. They grew in me unconsciously. But now I can place all the events in my life in their proper order and see in what manner I have developed to attain my goal and have become my goal.
Ever since I was a boy I have been, as most young people are, or should be, in revolt. Nothing satisfied me. I listened; I observed; I wanted something beyond the mere phrases, the maya of words. I wanted to discover and to establish for myself a goal. I did not want to rely on anyone. I do not remember the time when I was being moulded in my boyhood, but I can look back and see how nothing satisfied me.
When I went to Europe for the first time I lived among people who were wealthy and well-educated, who held positions of social authority, but whatever their dignities or distinctions, they could not satisfy me. I was in revolt also against Theosophists with all their jargon, their theories, their meetings, and their explanations of life. When I went to a meeting, the lecturers repeated the same ideas which did not satisfy me or make me happy. I went to fewer and fewer meetings; I saw less and less of the people who merely repeated the ideas of Theosophy. I questioned everything because I wanted to find out for myself.
I walked about the streets, watching the faces of people who perhaps watched me with even greater interest. I went to theatres. I saw how people amused themselves trying to forget their unhappiness, thinking that they were solving their problems by drugging their hearts and minds with superficial excitement. I saw people with political, social or religious power, and yet they did not have that one essential thing in their lives, which is happiness.
I attended labour meetings, Communist meetings, and listened to what their leaders had to say. They were generally protesting against something. I was interested, but they did not give me satisfaction. By observation of one type and another I gathered experience vicariously. Within everyone there was a latent volcano of unhappiness and discontent.
I passed from one pleasure to another, from one amusement to another, in search of happiness, but found it not. I watched the amusements of the young people, their dances, their dresses, their extravagances, and saw they were not happy.
I watched people who had very little in life, who wanted to tear down those things which others had built up. They thought that they were solving life by destroying and building differently and yet they were unhappy. I saw people who desired to serve going into those quarters where the poor and the degraded live. They desired to help but were themselves helpless. How can you cure another of disease if you are yourself a victim of that disease?
I saw people satisfied with the stagnation which is unproductive, uncreative -the bourgeois type who never struggles to be above the surface or falls below it and so feels its weight. I read books on philosophy, religion, biographies of great people, and yet they could not give me what I wanted.
Then I came to India and I saw that the people there were deluding themselves equally, carrying on the same old traditions, treating women cruelly. At the same time they called themselves very religious and painted their faces with ashes. In India they may have the most sacred books in the world; they may have the greatest philosophies; they may have constructed wonderful temples in the past, but none of these were able to give me what I wanted. Neither in Europe nor in India could I find happiness.
Still lacking the fixed purpose from which comes the delight of living, I went to California. Circumstances forced me there because my brother was ill. There among the hills we lived in a small house in complete retirement, doing everything for ourselves. If you would discover Truth, you must for a time withdraw from the world. In that retired spot my brother and I talked much together. We meditated, trying to understand, for meditation of the heart is understanding.
There I was naturally driven within myself, and I learned that as long as I had no definite goal or purpose in life, I was, like the rest of mankind, tossed about as a ship on a stormy sea. With that in my mind, after rejecting all lesser things, I established for myself my goal. I wanted to enter into eternal happiness. I wanted to become the very goal. I wanted to drink from the very source of life. I wanted to unite the beginning and the end. I fixed that goal as my Beloved and that Beloved is life, the life of all things. I wanted to destroy the separation that exists between man and his goal. I said to myself that as long as there is this void of separation between myself and my goal there is bound to be misery, disturbance and doubt. There will be authority which I must obey, to which I must yield. As long as there is separation between you and me there is unhappiness for us both. So I set about destroying all the barriers that I had previously erected.
I began to reject, to renounce, to set aside what I had gathered and little by little I approached my goal. When my brother died, the experience it brought me was great -not the sorrow- sorrow is momentary and passes away, but the joy of experience remains. If you understand life rightly then death becomes an experience out of which you can build your house of perfection, your house of delight. When my brother died, that gap of separation still existed in me. I saw him once or twice after death but that did not satisfy me. How can you be satisfied alone?
You may invent phrases; you may have great knowledge of books, but as long as there is within you separation and loneliness, there is sorrow. So I have walked and struggled towards that light which is my goal, which is the goal of all humanity because it is humanity itself.
You cannot separate life from any expression of life and yet you must be able to distinguish between life and its expressions.
Before I began to think for myself, I took it for granted that I, Krishnamurti, was the vehicle of the World Teacher because many people maintained that it was so. But when I began to think, I wanted to find out what was meant by the World-Teacher, what was meant by the taking of a vehicle by the World-Teacher, and what was meant by His manifestation in the world. When I was a small boy, I used to see Shri Krishna, with the flute, as He is pictured by the Hindus, because my mother was a devotee of Shri Krishna. When I grew older and met with Bishop Leadbeater and the Theosophical Society, I began to see the Master K. H. -again in the form which was put before me, the reality from their point of view- and hence the Master K. H. was to me the end. Later on, as I grew, I began to see the Lord Maitreya. That was two years ago, and I saw Him then constantly in the form put before me. Now lately, it has been the Buddha whom I have been seeing, and it has been my delight and my glory to be with Him.
To me 'the Beloved' is all -it is Shri Krishna, it is the Master K. H., it is the Lord Maitreya, it is the Buddha, and yet it is beyond all these forms. What does it matter what name you give? You are fighting over the World Teacher as a name. My Beloved is the open skies, the flower, every human being. I said to myself: until I become one with all the Teachers, whether They are the same is not of great importance; whether Shri Krishna, Christ, the Lord Maitreya are one is again a matter of no great importance. I said to myself: as long as I see Them outside as in a picture, an objective thing, I am separate, I am away from the centre; but when I have the capacity, the strength, the determination, when I am purified and ennobled, then that barrier, that separation, will disappear. I was not satisfied till that barrier was broken down, till that separateness was destroyed. Till I was able to say with certainty that I was one with my Beloved, I never spoke... I never said: I am the World-Teacher; but now that I feel I am one with the Beloved, I say it, not in order to impress my authority to you, not to convince you of my greatness, nor of the greatness of the World Teacher... but merely to awaken the desire in your own hearts and in your own minds to seek out the Truth.
If I say, and I will say that I am one with the Beloved, it is because I feel and know it. I have found what I longed for. I have become united, so that henceforth there will be no separation, because my thoughts, my desires, my longings -those of the individual self- have been destroyed. Hence I am able to say that I am one with the Beloved -whether you interpret it as the Buddha, the Lord Maitreya, Shri Krishna, the Christ, or any other name... I have always in this life, and perhaps in past lives, desired one thing; to escape, to be beyond sorrow, beyond limitations, to discover my Guru, my Beloved -which is your Guru and your Beloved, the Guru, the Beloved who exists in everybody, who exists under every common stone, in every blade of grass that is trodden upon. It has been my desire, my longing, to become united with Him so that I should no longer feel that I was separate, no longer be a different entity with a separate self. When I was able to destroy that self utterly, I was able to unite myself with my Beloved. Hence, because I have found my Beloved, my Truth, I want to give it to you... My purpose is not to create discussions on authority, on manifestations in the personality of Krishnamurti, but to give the waters that shall wash away your sorrows, your petty tyrannies, your limitations, so that you will be free, so that you will eventually join that ocean where there is no limitation, where there is the Beloved.
The term World Teacher is only a name and as a label it has no value. But it has great value to those who are held in bondage by labels, by the maya, the illusion of words. For the creation or the coming into being of the flower of humanity, for the attainment of that fullness of life everyone is responsible. By that I mean that for the creation of the individual who attains the life eternal, without beginning or end, in which the source and the goal have their being, all conditioned life has helped. By its longing to be free, conditioned life has helped to produce this Flower. As the lotus makes the waters beautiful and as the waters are necessary for the beauty of the lotus, so the bondage of every individual and the cry of every individual in bondage helps to create the one who is eternally free. Hence when that being, individual or life -do not make it concrete and personal- when that life which has been separate, held in bondage, attains to that life which is as the ocean without limitation, then that conditioned life becomes the World Teacher. I am using words that you can twist and utilize according to your belief or non-belief, but Truth has nothing to do with belief or with non-belief. The fragrance of the flower of the lotus does not depend upon the passer-by. The beauty of the Flower is created by the tears of the world.
Life is eternal and when after many centuries there is a being who attains and fulfils that life, it is his delight and glory to make that unconditioned life understood by those who have not yet attained.
Whether you call that being the World Teacher, the Buddha, the Christ or anything else, is not of importance. To give waters to the thirsty, to open the eyes of the blind, to call out the prisoners from their prison and to give light to those who sit in the shadow of their own creation, is the delight of the one who has attained. And whether the waters that shall quench that thirst are contained in a particular vessel or the voice of him who calls is sweet or musical is of very little importance. So long as there is the awakening desire within each one to answer, to take to their lips the waters that shall quench their thirst, to tear away the covering from their eyes, and to hear the cry in their prison -that is of value. Life is the fulfilment of all things, and in the freedom of that life is the attainment of Truth. And the individuals who have attained that life are life themselves. It is humanity that places a limitation on that life, and looks at that life through its limitations.
This life which is the flower of humanity, which is the freedom of humanity, which is the attainment of humanity, which is the beginning and the end of humanity, this life which is the eternal Truth, cannot be described in words. This world has no words, it is and it is not. And from the point of view of limitation from which every one of you is looking, there cannot be an understanding of the immensity which is without limitation. When a being enters into that life, he is life, he is the flower of humanity. I hope I have made it as vague as possible because if I made it clear for you, I should have placed a limitation on truth, I should have betrayed truth.
The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
Part 1. The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage
Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Pilgrim and his Holy Pilgrimage is a very rare selection of Krishnamurti writings.