Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: May we request you to state clearly whether there is God or not?

Krishnamurti: Sir, why do you want to know? What difference does it make if I state it clearly or not? Either I will confirm you in your belief, or shake you in your belief. If I confirm your belief, then you will be pleased, and you will go on with your sweet, ugly ways. If I disturb you, you will say, `Well, that is not important', and unfortunately you will still carry on as you are. But why do you want to know? Surely, that is more important than to find out whether there is God or not. To know God, Sir, to know truth, you must not seek it. If you seek it, then you are escaping from what is; and that is why you are asking whether there is God or not. You want to get away from your suffering, escape into an illusion. Your books are full of gods, every temple is full of images made by the hand; but there is no God, because they are all escapes from your actual suffering. To find reality, or rather for reality to come into being, suffering must cease; and merely to search for God, for truth, for immortality, is an escape from suffering. But it is more pleasant to discuss whether there is God or not than to dissolve the causes of suffering, and that is why you have innumerable books discussing the nature of God. The man who discusses the nature of God, does not know God; because, that reality cannot be measured. It cannot be caught in the garland of words. You cannot catch the wind in your fist; you cannot capture reality in a temple, nor in puja, nor in innumerable ceremonies. They are all escapes, like taking a drink. You take a drink, get drunk, because you want to escape; similarly, you go to a temple, do puja, perform rituals, or whatever it is you do - they are all escapes from that which is. And that which is, is suffering, the constant battle with oneself, and therefore with another; and until you understand and transcend that suffering, reality cannot come into being. So, your enquiry whether there is God or not, is vain, it has no meaning, it can but lead to illusion. How can a mind that is caught in the turmoil of daily sorrow and suffering, in ignorance and limitation, know that which is illimitable, unutterable? How can that which is a product of time, know the timeless? It cannot. Therefore, it cannot even think about it. To think about truth, to think about God, is another form of escape; for God, truth, cannot be caught by thought. Thought is the result of time of yesterday, of the past; and being the result of time, of the past, being the product of memory, how can thought find that which is eternal, timeless, immeasurable? As it cannot, all that you can do is to free the mind from the thought process; and to free the mind from the thought process, you must understand suffering, and not escape from it - suffering not only on the physical level, but at all the different levels of consciousness. That means being open, vulnerable to suffering, not defending yourself against suffering but living with it, embracing it, looking at it. Because, you are suffering now. You are suffering from morning till night, with an occasional ray of sunshine, with an occasional gap in the cloudy sky. Since you are suffering, why not consider that, why not go into it fully, deeply, completely, and resolve it? And that is not difficult. The search for God is much more difficult, because it is the unknown, and you cannot search for the unknown. But you can seek out the cause of suffering and eradicate it by understanding it, being aware of it, not running away from it. Since you have run away from suffering through various escapes, look at all those escapes, put them away and come face to face with suffering. In understanding that suffering, there is a release. Then the mind becomes free from all thought, it is no longer the product of the past. Then the mind is tranquil, without any problem; it is not made tranquil, but is tranquil, because it has no problem, it is no longer creating thought. Then thought has ceased - thought which is memory, which is the accumulation of experience, the scars of yesterday; and when the mind is utterly quiet, not made quiet, reality comes into being. That experience is the experience of reality, not of illusion, and such experience gives a blessing to man. Truth, love, is the unknown, and the unknown cannot be captured by the known. The known must cease for the unknown to be; and when the unknown comes into being, there is a blessing.

Public Talk 28th March, 1948
Mumbai, India