Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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On Happiness and Religion

This Matter of Culture | Chapter 4

Happiness does not come when you are striving for it - and that is the greatest secret, though it is very easily said. I can put it in a few simple words; but, by merely listening to me and repeating what you have heard, you are not going to be happy. Happiness is strange; it comes when you are not seeking it. When you are not making an effort to be happy, then unexpectedly, mysteriously happiness is there, born of purity, of a loveliness of being. But that requires a great deal of understanding - not joining an organization or trying to become somebody. Truth is not something to be achieved. Truth comes into being when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody; it is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything that is happening. You may listen to these words but, for happiness to be, you have to find out how to free the mind of all fear.

As long as you are afraid of anyone or anything, there can be no happiness. There can be no happiness as long as you are afraid of your parents, your teachers, afraid of not passing examinations, afraid of not making progress, of not getting nearer to the Master, nearer to truth, or of not being approved of patted on the back. But if you are really not afraid of anything, then you will find - when you wake up of a morning, or when you are walking alone - that suddenly a strange thing happens: uninvited, unsolicited, unlooked for, that which may be called love, truth, happiness, is suddenly there.

That is why it is so important for you to be educated rightly while you are young. What we now call education is not education at all, because nobody talks to you about all these things. Your teachers prepare you to pass examinations, but they do not talk to you about living, which is most important; because very few know how to live. Most of us merely survive, we somehow drag along, and therefore life becomes a dreadful thing. Really to live requires a great deal of love, a great feeling for silence, a great simplicity with an abundance of experience; it requires a mind that is capable of thinking very clearly, that is not bound by prejudice or superstition, by hope or fear. All this is life, and if you are not being educated to live, then education has no meaning. You may learn to be very tidy, have good manners, and you may pass all your examinations; but, to give primary importance to these superficial things when the whole structure of society is crumbling, is like cleaning and polishing your fingernails while the house is burning down. You see, nobody talks to you about all this, nobody goes into it with you. As you spend day after day studying certain subjects - mathematics, history, geography - so also you should spend a great deal of time talking about these deeper matters, because this makes for richness of life.

Questioner: Is not the worship of God true religion?

Krishnamurti: First of all, let us find out what is not religion. Isn't that the right approach? If we can understand what is not religion, then perhaps we shall begin to perceive something else. It is like cleaning a dirty window - one begins to see through it very clearly. So let us see if we can understand and sweep out of our minds that which is not religion; don't let us say, ''I will think about it'' and just play around with words. Perhaps you can do it, but most of the older people are already caught; they are comfortably established in that which is not religion and they do not want to be disturbed.

So, what is not religion? Have you ever thought about it? You have been told over and over again what religion is supposed to be - belief in God and a dozen other things - but nobody has asked you to find out what is not religion; and now you and I are going to find out for ourselves.

In listening to me, or to anyone else, do not merely accept what is said, but listen to discern the truth of the matter. If once you perceive for yourself what is not religion, then throughout your life no priest or book can deceive you, no sense of fear will create an illusion which you may believe and follow. To find out what is not religion you have to begin on the everyday level, and then you can climb. To go far you must begin near, and the nearest step is the most important one. So what is not religion? Are ceremonies religion? Doing puja over and over again - is that religion?

True education is to learn how to think, not what to think. If you know how to think, if you really have that capacity, then you are a free human being - free of dogmas, superstitions ceremonies - and therefore you can find out what religion is.