Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: There are people who on the one hand exploit thousands of human beings. and on the other donate millions of dollars to religious institutions, Why? (Laughter)

Krishnamurti: You laugh at this question, but you, also, are involved in it. We exploit, we amass wealth, and then we become philanthropists. Perhaps some of you have not the ruthless cleverness to amass wealth, but you do the same thing in another way, in pursuing virtue.

So what is behind this false charity of the philanthropist, and this false eagerness to accumulate virtue? The philanthropist, through fear, through many defensive reactions, wants to repay a little to the victim whom he has exploited. (Laughter) And you honour him, you say how wonderful he is. That is not charity. It is merely egotism.

And why do you pursue virtue and try to store it up? It is a defensive protection. It is a safeguard against suffering. Your virtue, if you really examine it, is based on the egotistic idea of warding off suffering. This self-protection is not virtue. By knowing what you are and not escaping from it, through so-called virtue, you will discover the beauty, the richness of life.

The philanthropist, through his desire for security, entrenches himself in the power that possessions give; and the man who pursues virtue builds about himself walls of protection against the movement of life. The virtuous man and the philanthropist are alike. Both are afraid of life. They are not in love with life.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
4th Public Talk 22nd July, 1935