Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 12th November, 1984
I will continue with what we were talking about yesterday morning. We were asking what is a religious life. What does the word religious mean? The word, what does that word mean to you or how do you react to that word? The origin of that word, the etymological meaning is not very clear. And in enquiring into a religious mind, if we are at all serious, and I hope we are, one can see obviously that the present structure, or the nature, or the organization of religions throughout the world, have really no meaning at all. They are just a jumble of words, either in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek and so on. They have really no meaning. The present ironical structure of Catholicism or Buddhism or the many aspects of Hinduism or Sikhism and so on, they have no depth. There are rituals, a kind of emotional stimulation and a lot of words that have no significance at all.
So can we in enquiring into what is a really religious mind, brain, could we put aside actually, not verbally, all the implications of organized, sectarian, limited religions of the world? Could we do that first? Not accept any guru, because in the world of religion there is no authority, neither of a book, nor of a person, nor of an idea, a concept. So could we put aside all that: the authority in spiritual matters, with all its tradition? And when we can put aside all that literally, not verbally, not follow any guru - sorry, this may be rather troublesome for most of you - not accept any book as the authority; according to the Christians the Bible, the Islamic world the Koran, or in India with their many other books.
I think it is important to realize that in spiritual matters, in matters of the psyche, in matters of the subjective understanding, there is no authority. Would you agree to that? Do we see the truth of it? You have to have the authority of a surgeon, of an expert in computers or the authority of a policeman, limited though they be, there we have to have the authority of one who knows technological subjects. But in the matter of the psyche, in the matter of the so-called spiritual world, there is no authority. The authority is only that which is true. And we are going to find out for ourselves in enquiring into what is a religious mind, we must discover for ourselves what is truth. And we are going to enquire into that.
You don't mind talking about all these matters? Or would you like to talk about politics, or yoga, or some particular idol you worship? But if we are serious and go into this question, which we must because religion has been the origin, the beginning of a new civilization, a new culture. And now all the present day cultures are falling apart, being destroyed. We must enquire. It seems so urgently important to understand, to discover and to live it - the truth of religion. If we go into it we must ask what is the first most important thing in a mind, in a brain. Here let us differentiate between the brain and the mind: the brain is all the reactions, nervous responses, biological urges and all the fears, human hurts, anxieties, loneliness. All the activities of thought are centred in that which is called the brain, which is within the skull - that is the brain. And the mind surely is not all that: the mind is something unrelated to the brain. That is what we are saying, what the speaker is saying. We have discussed this matter with many scientists, and biologists and so on, but they are rather hesitant about it. Naturally to them it must be a proof either under the microscope or destroying some animal and so on, and so on.
To the speaker the mind is entirely different. Please as we said, don't accept anything the speaker says. Question it, doubt it, but enquire, go into it. Otherwise it becomes meaningless. As we were saying, the first demand or necessity to have a religious mind, is beauty. Beauty, not in a particular form - a beautiful face, a beautiful way of living and so on. What is beauty? Without that there is no truth, there is no love; without beauty there is no sense of morality. Beauty in itself is virtue. Now, we are going to enquire together what is beauty. The speaker may put it into words, but you may have to take the responsibility of enquiring for yourself what is beauty. Is beauty in a painting, the marvellous old sculptures of the Egyptians, the Greeks, and Mahesha Murthi of Bombay and so on? What is beauty? What does it mean to you? The dress with the beautiful patterns of a sari, or the beautiful sky in the evening, or early in the morning, the beauty of the mountain, the fields and the valleys, the meadows, and the streams, the beauty of a bird, or the marvellous old trees. So does beauty depend on a particular culture or a particular tradition? The weavers of India have a tradition; they produce marvellous clothes, designs. Is that beauty? Or beauty is something totally different. When one observes great mountains with their snow-cap, the eternal snows, the glaciers and deep valleys, the outlines of a magnificent, majestic mountain against a blue sky, when you perceive that for the first time or the hundredth time, what actually takes place?
Are we going together or am I talking to myself. I don't mind talking to myself, but if we are listening to each other we must naturally ask this fundamental question: what takes place when you see the river in the morning light with the sun just coming up and making a golden path along the waters. When you look at it, what takes place, or are you repeating some mantra, or for the moment you are completely silent? The beauty of that light on the water pushes aside all your problems, all your anxieties, everything else for a few seconds or a few minutes or for an hour, which means the self is not there: the self, the egoistic, self centred activity, the self-interest. All that is banished by the great beauty of a cloud full of light and dignity - at that moment the self is absent. So, does not beauty exist when the self is not? Don't agree with it, or nod your head and say, he's quite right, how marvellous, and then go on with your ugly ways, go on with our selfishness and self-concern and then talk logistically or theoretically about beauty. Beauty is something that must be perceived, and not held in the mind as a remembrance. So, beauty is something far deeper, much more profound and extensive than a mere picture, a design, a beautiful face or graceful manners. There is beauty only when the self is not. And that is the first thing that is required in understanding what is a religious mind.
And also enquiring into it one can see it must be a global brain, not a provincial brain, not a sectarian, limited brain, it must be global, understanding the vast human, complex problem. That is, a holistic mind, a brain that comprehends the whole of existence. Not your particular existence, your particular problems, because everywhere you go, whether in America, Europe or in India, or in Asia, we human beings suffer - we human beings have so many destructive and creative problems. We are lonely people, we are anxious, fearful, seeking comfort, unhappy, sad, depressed, irritated: the whole human existence is this, with occasional their joy, their pleasures, sexual and so on. So to live with this feeling of wholeness - you understand all this, or are you being mesmerized by the speaker? Are you sure you are not being overwhelmed by words?
And we are saying a brain that is holistic is concerned with the whole of humanity, because we are all alike, whether we live in America or in England, or France or in Italy or in this country. We may express it differently - different gods, different angels, but we human beings suffer whether you suffer, or an American suffers, or Europeans, or Russians or Chinese; we all suffer. It is common to all of us. Therefore a religious brain is concerned with an holistic way of living.
And also we must find out for ourselves what is the relationship between nature and each of us. That is part of religion. You may not agree but consider it, go into it. Have you any relationship with nature, with the birds, with the water of that river - not that the river is holy, all rivers are holy, getting more and more polluted: you may call it Ganga, or the Thames, or the Nile, or the Rhine or the Mississippi, or the Volga, but they are still rivers. What is your relationship with all that - with the trees, with the birds, with all the living things which we call nature? Aren't we part of all that? So aren't we the environment? I wonder, am I talking nonsense and you are just listening casually? Does it mean anything to you - all this - or am I a stranger from Mars talking about something with which you are not really related at all. Does it mean anything, all this? It is up to you.
Q: Please explain relationship of nature and exploitation.
K: Obviously, that is nothing new. Nature has been exploited by man for thousands of years They are destroying the forests, they are polluting the rivers, they are polluting the air, they are killing animals for pleasure, for food. This has been going on for millions of years. And so when one asks, what is your relationship with nature, is it merely exploitation that you are interested in? Digging coal, getting gold out of the earth or finding diamonds, or cutting down trees to build houses: is that all your relationship with nature? If you have no relationship with nature have you any relationship with your wife, with your husband, with your neighbour? Have you any relation at all? Have you enquired into that? Oh Lord, isn't that part of religion to find out what is true relationship? You all look so dazed. Are you asleep or what? I don't know why you sit here.
Let's enquire what is relationship. To be related to another. Not only with nature and all the beauty of the earth, but also what is relationship What is your relationship with the speaker? What is your relationship with your neighbour, with your wife, with your daughter, with your husband? Have you any relationship? Have you ever asked this question? When you say, yes, she is my wife, or my husband, or my girl friend, what does it mean to be related? How can there be a relationship with another, however intimate or not, when each one of us is pursuing his own way? Right? The husband goes to the office. Aren't you all familiar with all this? Your husband goes to the office from nine to five, working, sweating, being bullied, insulted, adding up figures, or being bureaucratic, ambitious, seeking more money, a higher position, concerned with his own activity. Aren't you doing that? No? And the wife either is cooking, bearing sex and children, or going to an office too. So the husband and wife are running parallel lives. Perhaps they meet in bed. Don't be shocked. Or occasional or daily quarrels, nagging, bullying each other, saying, she is my wife, my husband, they mustn't look at anybody else - jealousy. This is your life. So where is your relationship with your wife, when each one is pursuing his own line of thought, ambitions and desires? In that is there any love? Oh, for God's sake what are we talking about.
Is there love in your life? If there is no love, there is no religion. You may go to the temple three times a day. If you are a Muslim, pray five times a day, and worship all kinds of silly gods, but if there is no love, life has no meaning. So, we also have to find out what is love. Is love desire? Is love pleasure? Is love sorrow and pain and anxiety, jealousy, hatred? Or is love something totally divorced from all this? You see you hear all this - if you do hear at all, all this - and you know this is a fact, not imagination, not something that thought has invented, and you will go back to your old life, to your old ways. You say it is too difficult, we cannot live in the modern world with all this. Right? And so you carry on. Then what is the point of listening to all this? Have you ever thought about all these matters? Or is all this something totally new? Somebody talking in Greek?
So, let's proceed. At least some of you will give your attention to what is being said. So, a religious mind, or religious brain, is that which has a great sense of beauty. Beauty is truth, beauty is morality, the way we behave, how you talk, how you walk. Beauty is that which is eternal, everlasting, beyond time. And also there is beauty in relationship, not attachment. There is no beauty in attachment. Do you understand? Probably you will repeat this saying, beauty has no attachment, love has no attachment. You will repeat it and it becomes a slogan. And you think by repeating you will reach heaven. It is quite funny, isn't it, all this? So, a religious brain has this quality of beauty. And it implies a relationship that is real, not selfish, not limited. I may love my wife, but that doesn't mean I only love my wife. I doubt if you love your wife. Again, without love there is no religion. Love has compassion. Where there is compassion there is intelligence; not the intellectual cunning intelligence of thought - which is limited. Where there is love, compassion, there is limitless intelligence. And when there is that intelligence, whatever it does is right, correct, precise.
And also, as we said, most human beings are frightened. And when there is fear there is no beauty. So, can human beings be free of fear? We went into it briefly yesterday morning. As we said, fear is time and thought. You know, just to look at it and not to say how, to stop time and thought. That is impossible, you can't stop time and thought, but you can observe it. Do you understand what the word 'observe' means. Have you ever observed, looked, looked at your wife? Have you ever done it? You shake your heads all the time. Have you ever looked at your wife? Now, you stop shaking your head? I am glad. Have you ever looked at a tree, the clouds, the rivers, the child on the road? Have you ever looked at this, observed it?
So one has to enquire into what is observation? Sir, please. To observe without prejudice, without opinion, without any judgement, without any value, just to observe. To observe how you sit. To observe your own thoughts, not condemn your thoughts, right or wrong, I shouldn't think this, this is ignoble thought, this is noble thought: just to observe your thinking. To observe the way you dress and so on. When you so observe your fear, not condemn it, not run away from it or transmute it to something else, but just to observe it, in that observation you bring all your attention in that. Observation means complete attention - can you so observe? Observe a tree completely, listen to the sound of the breeze in the trees, the birds fluttering, landing on the tree, calling of an evening. Just to listen, to observe. When you do that the implication in that observation is that you bring all your attention to it. It is like focussing strong light on something. Then that very light, that very flame destroys that which it is turned on. Do you understand what I am saying? Will you do it or just shake your head and carry on?
If you give your whole attention to fear, then you will find fear goes completely. But if you try to escape from it, try to run away from it, try to avoid it and say, how terrible to be afraid, then that activity is lacking attention. But when you give your complete attention, it is like turning on a great light. Then the whole pattern of fear is shown, the beginning and the ending of fear.
And attention is not something to be practised. Have you noticed how we are becoming mechanical? Does this interest you? Have you noticed in yourself how your brains are becoming mechanical? You repeat, don't you? You are traditionalists, aren't you? And where there is tradition in this limited sense, or in an extensive sense, it is constant repetition. You get up in the morning at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time, repeat, repeat, sexually, repeat, repeat, repeat. Are you acquainted with computers, some of you? The modern computer does almost everything that the human brain can do. It is a machine put together by thought. And that machine has mechanical intelligence. In certain ways it is far superior to the human intelligence. It can calculate, remember, analyse - a million memories. You people don't know all this. And the computers with robots are building cars. They can write poems, paint, do extraordinary things. I won't go into all that, because that is a different matter.
So our brains are becoming - are mechanical. This is a fact. You are a Hindu, you repeat that everlastingly, or you are English or French or this or that. So our brains have become mechanical. And as we said, thought is limited. And to find out, for ourselves, the limitations of thought and go beyond it; not imaginatively, fantastically or romantically, but actually find out. That is part of religious activity. We have to do certain things mechanically: all our biological, nervous responses are mechanical. I say something to you - you call me a fool - I react - or you put a pin in me - I react. That is mechanical, that is natural. Not when you call me a fool and I call you another, that is partly mechanical too. But to be aware of all this - not practise. Do you understand? You know - oh, for god's sake you are so childish. I mean, to pay attention to your toe and gradually become, you know... don't dome of you do all these kind of tricks? No? Awareness it is called, practising awareness. You are all smiling, some of you. Can you practise awareness? If you do, it becomes mechanical, when you sit down and concentrate on your toe, and then from your leg and all the rest of it, your breath, it is a kind of monkey trick. I am not insulting you, please. Practise for twelve hours a day: think of your brain, what is happening to your brain. You are becoming dull. Your brain has got extraordinary faculty. Look what they have done - they have gone to the moon. It is the activity of the brain. The extraordinary surgery that is going on, transforming hearts, limbs and so on. The brain has capacity, immense capacity. What they have done in the technological world is incredible. I am not going into all this. But if the brain becomes mechanical then that mechanical attitude limits the activity, and the faculty of the brain. It becomes conditioned, limited. And where there is limitation there must be conflict. Don't you know all this?
Would you like to discuss conflict, why human beings live perpetually in conflict, perpetually have problems? Have you gone into it? Shall I also sit like you, apathetically and just listen casually? Why do we live in conflict? What is conflict? Your lives are in conflict - aren't they? Honestly, be simple. Aren't you in conflict? Aren't you? Be honest and simple for once. Why? What is conflict? Opposing desires, right? Right sir? Opposing demands, opposing opinions: I think this, and you think that. Right? My prejudice against your prejudice. Right? My tradition against your tradition; and deeper still, my selfishness against your selfishness. No? Yes? My meditation against yours. My guru is better than your guru. So there is this contradictory process going on in us which is the dualistic attitude towards life. Right? The good and the bad. Right? Have you ever enquired whether there is a relationship between the good and the bad? Is this all something new? I am asking you gentleman and ladies: is there relationship between the good and the bad? That is duality, you understand, hate and not hate. Let's take one thing: violence and non-violence. Is there a relationship with violence and a brain that has no violence? Do you understand? Is there a relationship between the two? If there is relationship between violence and that which is not violent, then that relationship implies a connection between the two. Do you understand what I am saying? If there is a relationship between violence and that which is not violence - then one is born out of the other. Right? I wonder if you see this. Do give your mind to this for a while, will you? Two opposites: violence, or if you don't like violence, envy and not envy. If envy has relationship with non-envy - right - then one is born out of the other. Right? Is this clear? No. Is this clear, sir? Right?
Look sir, if love is related to hate or to jealousy - that is better. Let's take a very ordinary daily fact. If love is related to hate, then it is not love is it?
K: That's just an idea, for god's sake, don't say things that you don't know what you are saying. Look sir, if violence is related to that which is not violent, violence is still part of that which is not violence. Do you understand some of this? So violence is something entirely different from that which is non-violence. So if you see the fact, then conflict ceases. Look: if I am blind, I accept it, I can't keep struggling, saying I must have more light, I must see. I am blind. But if I don't accept it and say I must see, I must see, I must see, then there is conflict. You understand this very simple fact? I accept I am blind. Then that acceptance that I am blind, the fact that I am blind, then I have to cultivate different senses. Right? I can feel how closely I come to a wall. Seeing the fact that I am blind has its own responsibility. But if I say constantly to myself, I must see, I must see, I am in conflict.
This is what you are doing. If I accept that I am dull. If I accept that I am dull, not because I compare myself with you who is clever. Do you understand what I am saying? I know only dullness through comparison, don't I? I see you, very bright, very clever, intelligent - all the rest of it, and I say, compared to her how dull I am. But if I don't compare, I am what I am. Right? I can then begin from there. But if I am comparing myself all the time with you who are bright, intelligent, nice looking, capable and all the rest of it - I am in perpetual conflict with you. But if I accept what I am - I am this and from there I can begin. Do you see this? So, conflict exists only when we deny the actual fact of 'what is'. Look: I am this but if I am trying all the time to become that, I am in conflict. Right? But you are like that because you all have a psychological becoming. You all want to become holy, saints or business men or meditate properly, don't you? So there is conflict. When you realize the fact and not move away from the fact: I am violent, but I pretend not to be violent, but when I pretend not to be violent, conflict begins. Right? So, will you stop pretending - and say, I am violent, let's deal with violence? It's like when you have a toothache, you go to a dentist, do something about it, but when you pretend I have no toothache... So conflict ends when you see things as they are, and not pretend something which is not. It is a much more complex problem, conflict, we won't go into it more deeply.
And so, we are saying, as this is the last talk here, the last discussion rather, communication, we ought to talk briefly about sorrow and meditation. Man has lived with sorrow from the beginning of time. Right? Man has suffered, he is in sorrow. And nobody has faced the fact, we are asking whether sorrow can end. Your sorrow, you understand sir? If I have lost a son, or a child whom I have loved or had affection for, I suffer. Don't you suffer? Is this something strange to you?
K: Then what do you do about it? Sir, this is a serious question, I am not trying to harass you. But, we suffer and we go on suffering, we never ask whether suffering can end. And when you suffer all the time, your brain becomes dull, your life becomes dark, ugly; when you suffer you can't love. So, can you find out whether sorrow can end? Part of sorrow is self-pity. Right? Isn't there in sorrow self-pity? That means you are concerned about yourself. I have lost my son, in whom I have invested a lot of money. My son and he dies. I am becoming old - nobody to look after me. I had hoped that my son would grow up and look after me. Don't you know all this? And he dies, and I suffer. In suffering there is loneliness, attachment, feeling that I have lost something that can never be replaced. And loneliness is emphasized, brought into my consciousness directly. All that is part of suffering.
So, can all that end? Can you end your attachment to your gods, to your beliefs, to your faith, to your house, to your attachments? You understand, sir? Can you end it? That is what death means doesn't it? Death means the ending. Not the continuity in the next life - that may just be theory. And if you like theories and that gives you comfort - all right, but there is nothing real about theories or beliefs. What has reality is your attachment to your family, to your beliefs, to your gods, to your tradition. And death comes along and says, wipe it. Right? So can you, while living, be free of attachment, to your guru, to your belief, to your bank account, if you are lucky enough, or unlucky enough to have a bank account? Can you be detached, free of all attachment, and live in this world? Be free of attachment, can you? That means living with death all the time - not fifty years later, or frightened of death. I won't go into the question of death because it is too complicated. We have no time this morning. But death means not only biological and physical ending of the organism, but to also to all the memories, attachments, your reputation, to your fulfillment, that all ends. So, can you live with death? Not commit suicide. I don't mean that. Live with death, ending every day all the things that you have psychologically accumulated. That requires tremendous care, attention, to every thought so that you are living all the time with that shadow, with that thing called death, then you have immense vitality. Not to do more mischief, not to get more money, more fame and all that rubbish, but a brain that becomes extraordinarily alive, free.
Also we have to talk for a few minutes about meditation. Do you want to talk about it? Are you sure?
K: Because what I am going to say about your meditation is, it is nonsense. What is the difference between a man who wants to accumulate money, working, working, working, getting richer and richer or poorer, whatever it is, working day after day to be rich, famous as a politician, guru or something or other - what is the difference between that and your practising daily to become something, to achieve enlightenment? What is the difference? Is there any difference? The man who pursues, day after day to acquire money, position, status - status, you know, as a big man, works, works, and the other man who says, I am going to meditate in order to achieve something or other? What is the difference between the two?
K: Then why do it? Don't agree with this, this is a very, very serious subject. Don't play around with this. I say, conscious meditation, deliberate meditation, which means daily practice, daily repetition of a mantra, all that is like any other business, like any other activity, nothing noble about it. So, deliberate, conscious practice, following a system, repeating some words, in order to pacify the mind, to become quiet, pay attention, is like any other man who says, I must have status. Right? So we are saying, please listen carefully, we are saying that any deliberate, conscious meditation is not meditation at all. Do you like what I am saying? No, you don't.
So we have to find out what is meditation, which is not deliberate action, sitting in a certain posture, breathing regularly and following a system. Have you observed what happens to your brain when you do all this? It becomes more and more mechanical. Right? You so easily agree, but you don't really agree at all, you just play with words. So, there is a meditation which is totally different, which is not if you put aside the deliberate activity of meditation, which is, to say, I will do this. Meditation is not the activity of will or determination. Right sir?
So is there a meditation that is not all this? We are saying there is, totally different, because this is all rather immature, rather obvious. And you have practised, practised for generations this kind of meditation, where are you at the end of it? Right? Where are you? On the contrary your brains have become extraordinarily dull. So we are saying, there is a meditation - meditation implies a state of the brain in which there is no measurement. Do you understand? No measurement. That means no comparison; that means no becoming - you don't become enlightened. That is a horrible idea: I am going to become enlightened. That is a reward. If I do this I will get rewarded. If I don't do it I will get punished. You see that brings in another: we live on reward and punishment.
Sir, after all to have great silence - and that silence is not brought about by deliberate, purposeful activity, without having a silent brain there is no meditation. Meditation is to give attention to everything daily, to everything that you do. You begin there: how you dress, how you talk, how you eat, how you walk - pay attention to all that. Then as you pay attention you will know what it means to give complete attention. That is, to observe, to watch, to listen. Thereby you become highly sensitive. Not 'become' - you are highly sensitive when there is attention. And that is why beauty is important.
Q: Will death automatically grant me freedom from pain and sorrow and attachments?
K: Who are you? Who are you sir? Are you different from sorrow? Are you different from your anger, are you different from your greed? So if you end your greed now, that is part of death. Are you different from all this?
Q: No, sir. Suppose I am not able to do that just now?
K: That is a wrong question. You are saying, if I don't do it now...
Q: I will never do it
K: Yes. The same thing. Are you unable to do this now - be honest sir, are you unable?
Q: I am trying.
K: When you have toothache or pain you go to the dentist, don't you? You don't say, I am trying to go to the dentist. Sir, you are all playing games. Sir, we have the idea, a concept, a tradition that I am different from my anger. I am the atman and all that kind of stuff, I am different from everything, I am the watcher. Right? I am the controller As that gentleman points out very clearly, that if I don't do anything now, that is, I won't do anything about my attachment, I won't do anything about my anger, envy, will death end all that? That is his question. Yes sir. That means that if I don't stop all that now, I will be like that tomorrow. I will be like that till I die. Right? Then what happens after that?
Q: That I don't know.
K: As you don't know, why don't you do this first? Do you understand my question sir? You don't know actually what happens after death. You may believe in reincarnation, you may believe in the future. Right? You may believe. Sir, please I am an ordinary person.
Q: It may be.
K: May be. You don't know, so why not begin now. Sir, if I don't know what I am going to be in a years time. I may die. And if I am going to die in two years time, why don't I begin to die now, which means, don't be attached Can you, will you? Not try - do it? This is our trouble, we always say we are going to try. You don't say that when you are hungry. When you are sexually demanding, you don't say, I will think about it. So, sir, don't play with these kinds of things.
Q: I have to become a dead body just now.
K: Do we realize what out life is?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: What is you life sir?
Q: Hunger, anxiety, fear.
K: All that, why not end it now?
Q: I can't end hunger.
K: I never said that, those are biological demands. But psychologically, anger, envy, jealousy, hate, attachment, can't you end all that? Of course one can, then do it. Talk to your wife or your husband, to your neighbour, gently, quietly, with affection, with care. Sir, you make me cry. You don't listen to all this. Well sirs, sit quietly, shall we, for a few minutes.
Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 12th November, 1984
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