Question: Do you advocate renunciation and self-abnegation as a means of finding personal happiness?
Krishnamurti: Personal happiness does not exist. So there are no means to it. There is only the creative ecstasy of life, whose expressions are many. This idea of sacrifice, renunciation, self-abnegation, is false. You think that happiness is to be found through giving up certain things, following certain actions. So you are really trading in, exchanging your sacrifice, your abnegation, for happiness. There is no abnegation or renunciation, but only understanding; and in that there is creative happiness which is not personal, individualistic.
Let me put it differently. I begin to accumulate because I think happiness lies through accumulation, but I find at the end of a certain time that possession does not bring me happiness. Therefore I begin to renounce possessions and try to possess and pursue abnegation; which is only another form of acquisitiveness. But if I discern the inherent significance of possessiveness, then in that there is creative happiness.
New York City
3rd Public Talk 15th March, 1935