Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 23rd November, 1947 | Madras, India

After all when you see a picture or a painting, do you make an effort? If you want to criticize, to compare, or to find out who painted it, then you have to make an effort. If you really want to understand, you sit quietly in front of it, if the picture appeals to you. In that quietness in which there is no distraction, you understand the beauty of the picture.

So, surely virtue comes without any effort. But since our whole existence is based on effort, we must find out why we are making an effort, why this constant trouble, why this incessant battle to be something. To be something is what we are striving all day long, consciously or unconsciously. We strive to become something. I wonder if you have ever asked yourself why we are striving. Is striving inevitable? Is striving part of existence and what do we mean by making an effort. Essentially it is to be something other than what we are. Is it not so? You see what is and you do not like it and you want to be something else. The essential reason behind all effort is the desire to transform what is into something which is to be. I am stupid and I am striving to become clever. Can stupidity ever become cleverness or must stupidity merely cease? If we can understand that, we shall understand the whole significance of making an effort. That is, we are afraid to face what is. We are afraid to understand what is and therefore we always strive to transform, to move, to change. Surely a rose is not striving. It is what it is. In the very being there is a kind of creation. It does not desire to be other than what is. It knows no strife other than the natural strife to live. With us, there is not only the natural struggle to survive, that is, for food, clothing and shelter, but there is the struggle to transform that which is. Yet we do not understand that which is.

Tags: endeavor, striving