Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Do you believe in immortality?

Krishnamurti: ... What do we mean by immortality? We will perhaps understand it if we can understand what is continuity. If we can understand death perhaps we shall be able to understand immortality. If we can understand the ending of things, then we shall be able to understand that which is imperishable, immortal. And therefore to understand the immortal, the imperishable, we have to understand the ending which we call death. We say we understand death because we see a dead body. Surely that is not death. Death is the unknown, is it not? As reality, the imperishable, is the unknown, so death is the unknown and you do not know it. But you have searched for years, for centuries and given all your thoughts to truth which is also the unknown but you have avoided thinking about death. Why is that? I think, there is the problem, if we can understand it. Death, the unknown, you have shunned and put away, and you have pursued reality, you have pursued and you have written volumes about God; every temple has an image of Him or inscriptions about Him. By your thoughts you have given life to things. Why have we pursued reality, God, the Truth, the unknown? You do not know it. If you knew it the world would be different and we would love one another. Why do you shun one and accept the other? You shun death because you fear the cessation of continuity and pursue immortality because you want continuity. So you invest in God, not knowing what you are investing in. Is this not very odd? And after investing in God you ask, is there immortality, because you want insurance, a further guarantee and the man who assures you of immortality, will gratify you and you will be pleased.

Public Talk 23rd November, 1947
Madras, India