Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: I would like to help you by doing propaganda for your teachings. Can you advise the best way?

Krishnamurti: To be a propagandist is to be a liar. (Laughter.) Don't laugh, Sirs. Because, propaganda is merely repetition, and repetition of a truth is a lie. When you repeat what you consider to be the truth, then it ceases to be the truth. Say, for instance, you repeat the truth concerning man's relationship to property, the truth which you have not discovered for yourself; what value has it? Repetition has no value; it merely dulls the mind, and you can only repeat a lie. You cannot repeat truth, because truth is never constant. Truth is a state of experiencing, and what you can repeat is a static state; therefore it is not the truth. Please do see the importance of this. We are so used to being propagandists, to reading newspapers, to telling others about everything. The propagandist is a mere repeater, not a teller of truth; therefore, propaganda does infinite damage in the world. The lecturer who goes out doing propaganda for an idea is really a destroyer of thought, because he just repeats his own or somebody else's experience. But truth cannot be repeated, truth must be experienced from moment to moment by each one.

Now, with that understanding, what can you do to help this teaching, to further this teaching? All that you can do is to live it; however little you understand, however tiny a part, live it completely - not superficially, but deeply, fully, as vitally, as intrinsically, as enthusiastically as possible. Then, like a flower in a garden, that very living spreads its perfume. You don't have to do propaganda for the jasmine. The jasmine itself does the propaganda; its beauty, its perfume, its loveliness, tells the story. When you have not that loveliness, that beauty, you do propaganda for it, but the moment you have understood a little, you talk about it, preach it, shout it; because of your own understanding, you help another to understand, and therefore understanding spreads more and more, it moves further and further afield. Surely, that is the only way to do what you call `propaganda' - which is an ugly word.

Sir, how does a new thought spread, a living thought, not a dead thought? Surely, not through propaganda. Systems spread through propaganda, but not a living thought. A living thought is spread by a living person, one who lives that thought. Without living it, you cannot spread a living thought; but the moment you live it, you will see. It is like the bees coming to the flower. The flower need not do propaganda for its honey - the bees know it, they come because there is nectar. But without that nectar, to do propaganda is to deceive people, to exploit people, to cause division among people, to create envy and antagonism. But if there is that nectar of understanding, however little, then it spreads like fire. You know how honey is secured, how many journeys a bee makes from the beehive to the flower, how it collects honey a little at a time. Similarly, if there is nectar, if there is beauty, if there is understanding in our hearts, that itself will perform the miracle of completely revolutionizing the world.

Bombay, India
10th Public Talk 14th March, 1948