Rajghat 8th Talk to Boys and Girls 18th December 1952
As you know, we have been talking a great deal about fear, because it is a very strong element in our lives. Let us now for a while talk about what is love, what it means and whether behind this word which to us has so much meaning, so much significance, whether behind this word and feeling, there is also that peculiar quality of apprehension, of anxiety, of the thing which grown up people know as loneliness. So, let us talk about the word or the feeling that we call love.
Do you know what love is? Do you know how to find it? Do you love your parents? Do you know how to love your father, your mother, your guardian, your teacher, your aunt, your husband, or your wife? Do you know what it means? When I say I love my parents, what does it mean? You feel safe with them, you are familiar with them? Find out as I talk, whether this applies to you and to your love for your parents. You think your parents are protecting you, they are giving you money, shelter, clothes and food, and you feel a sense of close relationship. Don't you? Also, you feel you can trust them. I do not know if you trust them, but you feel you can. You understand the difference. You feel you can, but you may not. Probably you do not talk to them as easily, as happily as to your own friends; and yet, you respect them - respect being looking up to, being guided by them and obeying them, feeling that you have a certain responsibility towards them, feeling that you have a duty to support them when they grow up, when they are old. They in turn love you, they want to protect you, they want to guide you, they want to help you - at least they say so. They want you to be married off, so that you will lead a so-called moral life. so that you have no troubles, so that a man will look after you or there is a wife to look after you, to cook, to look after your children. All this is called love, is it not?
We cannot find out if it is real love, because love is something which cannot be so easily explained by words. It is not something that comes to you easily. It is much more complex, and cannot be easily understood. Without it, life is very barren; without it, the trees, the birds, the smile of men and women, the bridge across the river, the boatmen and the animals have no meaning. Without it, life becomes shallow. Do you know what `shallow' means? Like a pool. In a deep river many fish can live, there is richness. But the pool that is by the roadside, it soon dries up with the strong sun; and nothing remains except mud and dirt. For most of us, love is an extraordinarily difficult thing to understand. For most of us, it is very shallow. Behind that word, there is a lurking fear. We want to be loved and also, we want to love. So, is it not very important for each one of us to find out what this extraordinary thing is? You can only find out if you know how you regard human beings, the trees, the birds, the animals, the stranger, the man who is hungry and also how you regard your friends if you have any, how you regard your gurus if you have any, or how you regard your parents. When you say, `I love my father, my mother, my guardian, my teacher', what does it mean? When you look up to somebody, when you feel it is your duty that you ought to obey them, and when they feel that you must also have a duty towards them and that you must obey them, is that love? Do you understand what I am talking about? When you look up to somebody, when you respect him tremendously, is that love? When you look up to somebody, you also look down upon somebody else. Don't you? There is always that. Is it not so? Is that love? When you feel you must obey, you have a duty, is that love? Is love something which is apprehensive, in which there is the sense of looking up or looking down, in which there is the obeying of somebody?
When you say you love somebody, don't you depend on him? It is alright when you are young, to be dependent on your father, on your mother, on your teacher, or on your guardian. Because you are young, you need to be looked after, you need clothes, you need shelter, you need security. While you are young, you need a sense of being held together, of somebody looking after you. But even as you grow older, this feeling of dependence remains, does it not? Have you not noticed it in older people, in your parents and your teachers? Have you not noticed how they depend on their wives, on their children, on their mothers? People when they grow up still want to hold on to somebody, still feel that they need to be dependent. Without looking to somebody, without being guided by somebody, without a feeling of comfort and security in somebody, they feel lonely, do they not? They feel lost. So, this dependency on another is called love; but if you watch it more closely, you will see dependency is fear, it is not love. Because they are afraid to be alone, because they are afraid to think things out for themselves, because they are afraid to feel, to watch, to find out the whole meaning of life, they feel they love God. So they depend on what they call God; but a thing created by the mind is not dependable; it is not God, the unknown. It is the same with an ideal or a belief. I believe in something and that gives me great comfort; I love that ideal and I hold on to it; but remove the ideal, remove the belief and my dependency on it, and I am lost. It is the same thing with a guru. I depend, I want to receive; so, there is a fear, an ache. It is the same when you depend on your parents or teachers. It is right that you should do so when you are young; but if you keep on depending when you have grown to maturity, that will make you incapable of thinking, of being free. Where there is dependence there is fear; and where there is fear there is authority; there is no love; when your parents say you must do this, you must obey; you must follow certain traditions; you must take certain jobs or do some work; in all these, there is no love. And when you depend on society and accept the structure of society as it is, it is not love, because society is very rotten. You do not have to investigate it very deeply; for when you walk down the road, you see poverty, ugliness, squalor.
An ambitious man or woman does not know what love is, and we are ruled by people who are ambitious. Therefore, there is no happiness in the world. It is very important for you, as you grow up, to see all this and to find out if you can ever discover this thing called love. You may have a very rich house, a marvellous garden, a good position, many saris or clothes, a good job; you may be the great Prime Minister; but without love, all these things have no meaning.
So, what you have to do is to find out now - not when you grow old, you will never find out then - how you love your parents or your teacher or your guru, you have to find out what it all means, not to accept any word, but to go behind the word, to find out what lies behind the meaning of words and see if there is any reality behind them - the reality being that which you actually feel, not what you are supposed to feel - to feel the real when you are jealous, when you are angry. The moment you say `I must not be jealous', that is a varying wish that has no meaning. If you can find out exactly, be very clear, be very honest to yourself to find out exactly what you feel, what the actual state is - not what the ideal state is, not how you should act or how you should feel at some future date, but what you actually feel at the moment - then you can do something about it. But to say, `I must love my parents, I must love my guru, I must love my teacher', has no meaning, has it? Because, behind those words you are quite different; you say a lot of words and behind those words you hide. So, is it not intelligence to go beyond words, beyond the accepted meaning of words? Words like duty, responsibility, God, love, have acquired a lot of traditional meaning; but an intelligent person, a really deeply educated person goes beyond the words. For instance, if I told you that I do not believe in God, how shocked you would be. Would you not? You would say, `Goodness, what an awful idea'. You believe in God, don't you? At least you think you do. That has very little meaning - your belief or non-belief.
What is important is to go behind the word, the word that you call love, and to see actually whether you do love your parents and whether the parents actually love you. Because if you really loved your parents or your parents actually loved you, the world would be entirely different. There would be no wars, there would be no starvation, there would be no class differences. There would be no rich and no poor. Without this thing called love, you try to arrange society economically to adjust economically, to put right; but without love, you cannot bring about a social structure which is without conflict, without pain. So, you have to go into this very very carefully; and perhaps then you will find out what love is.
Question: Why is there sorrow in the world?
Krishnamurti: I wonder if that boy knows what that word means. Probably, he has seen the donkey carrying an over-weight with his legs almost breaking; probably he has seen some child crying; probably he has seen the mother beating the child, the father scolding the child. Probably, he has seen people quarrelling or fighting each other. There is death, the body being carried to be burnt; there is the beggar; there is disease; there is poverty, old age, not only outside but inside of us; so perhaps, he says, `Why is there sorrow?'. Don't you want to know too? Have you searched, not only outwardly but inwardly, your own sorrow? What is it, why does it exist? Suppose I want something and I cannot get it, I feel miserable, I want a few more saris, I want to be a little more rich, a little more beautiful, and I cannot be that; without it I feel unhappy. I want to be friends with that boy or girl and I cannot be, and I feel unhappy. I want to love that person and that person does not love me, and I am miserable. My father dies, I am in sorrow. Why?
Why do you feel unhappy when you cannot get what you want? Why should you get what you want? We think we have a right to get what we want. If you want a sari, you say that you must have it. If you want a coat, you feel that you must have it. But you never ask why you should have it when millions have not got it? Why should you have what you want? And besides, why do you want it? There is your need for enough clothes, food, shelter; but you go beyond that and want some more. Suppose you have what clothes, what food, what shelter you need; you are not satisfied with that, you want more power, you want to be respected, you want to be loved, you want to be looked up to, you want to be powerful, you want to be poets, saints, you want to be Prime Ministers, Presidents, good speakers. Why? Have you ever looked into it? Why do you want all this? This does not mean that you must be satisfied with what you are. I do not mean that. That would be ugly, silly. But this constant craving, the desire, the longing for more and more and more, why? This indicates that you are dissatisfied, discontented; but with what? Discontent, dissatisfaction with what you are? I am this, I do not like it, I want to be that. I think I look much more beautiful in a new coat or a new sari, so I want that. What does that mean? That means I am dissatisfied with what I am. I think I can escape from the discontent by having something more, more clothes or more power and so on. But the dissatisfaction is still there, is it not? I only cover it up with clothes, with power, with cars. I just cover it up.
So, until you find out how to understand what you are, to merely cover yourself with words, with power, with position, has no meaning. You will still be unhappy. Seeing this, the unhappy person, the person who is in sorrow, does not run away to gurus, to position, to power; he wants to know what is behind that word, what lies behind that sorrow. If you go behind it, you will find that it is yourself, yourself who are very small, yourself who are miserable, unhappy, struggling to achieve greatness. So, this struggle to be something is the cause of sorrow. But if you can understand the thing, that which you are, go deeper and deeper behind it, you will find something quite different.
Question: How can we wipe out sorrow?
Krishnamurti: I have just explained it to you. You had better talk it over with your teachers afterwards. I just explained how sorrow comes into being and how it is possible to wipe it out.
Question: If a man is starving and I have a feeling that I can be useful to him, is it not with ambition that I am loving the man? Krishnamurti: It all depends with what motive you help him. The Politician says he helps you and gets to New Delhi, living in a big house and speaking and showing himself off. He is helping the poor man, he says so. Is that love? Do you understand? Is that love?
Question: If I relieve him from starvation by my usefulness?
Krishnamurti: He is starving and you help him with food to relieve starvation. Is that love? Why do you want to help him? This means, have you no motive, have you no incentive, do you not get any benefit out of it? Think it out, do not say yes or no. If you get any benefit out of it, politically or inward benefit or outward benefit, then you do not love him. You feed him in order to become more popular, or in order that your friends may help you to reach New Delhi. Then that is not love, is it? But if you love him, you feed him without any incentive, without any motive, without wanting anything in return. If you feed him and he is ungrateful, do you feel hurt? If so, you do not love him. If he says to you and to the villagers that you are a wonderful man, you will feel very flattered. Then it means you do not love him, because you are thinking about yourself; surely that is not love. One has to be very careful to find out if one derives any kind of benefit and what the motive is that makes one feed him.
Question: Suppose I want to go home and the Principal says `no'. If I disobey him, I will have to face the consequence. If I obey the Principal, I break my heart. What am I to do?
Krishnamurti: Do you mean to say that you cannot talk it over with the Principal, that you cannot show him your problem, that you cannot take him into your confidence? If the Principal is the right kind of Principal, you can trust him, talk over your problem with him; and then if he is obstinate and says `you must not go', then something is wrong with the Principal, or he may have reasons which you must find out, So, it requires mutual confidence. That is, you must have confidence in the Principal and the Principal must have confidence in you. Life is not just a one-sided relationship. You are a human being, so is the Principal a human being. He may make a mistake. So, both of you must talk it over. You may say that you want to go but that may not be quite enough; your parent may have written to the Principal not to send you home. It must be a mutual thing, must it not? So that you do not get hurt, so that you do not feel that you are ill-treated, brutally pushed aside; and that can only happen when you have confidence in the teacher and he has confidence in you. That means real love; and that is what this school should be.
Question: Why should we not do puja?
Krishnamurti: Have you found out why old people do puja? Because they are copying? The more immature you are, the more you want to copy. Have you noticed how you love uniforms? So, before you ask why you should not do puja, ask the old people why they do puja. They do it because, firstly it is a tradition, their grandfathers did it. Then the repetition of words gives them a certain sense of peace. Do you understand that constantly repeated words dulls your minds and that they give you a sense of quietness, if the words have significance? Especially, Sanskrit words have certain vibrations which make you very quiet. People also do puja because everybody is doing it; because their grandmother, their grandfathers, their aunts did it. For all these reasons, they do puja. You being very young, you copy them; and you say you must also do puja because your father, your mother, your guru, your teacher does it. Do you do puja because somebody tells you to do it or because you find a certain mesmeric hypnotic effect in repeating certain words? Should you not find out why you do anything, before you do it? It does not matter even if millions believe it to be so. Should you not find out without accepting anything, should you not use your mind to find the truth or the significance of puja?
You see that the mere repetition of Sanskrit words or of gestures will not really help you to find out what truth is, what God is. To find that out, you must know how to meditate. That is quite a different problem, quite different from doing puja. Millions of people have done puja and has it brought about a happier world? Are people creative? By `creative', I do not mean the bearing of children. I mean `creative' in the sense of being full of initiative, of love, of kindness, of sympathy, of consideration. So, if you as a little boy do puja and repeat it, you will grow merely like a machine. But if you begin to question, if you begin to doubt, to enquire, to find out, then perhaps you will know how to meditate. Meditation is one of the greatest blessings if you know how to do it properly.
December 18, 1952
Rajghat 8th Talk to Boys and Girls 18th December 1952
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.