Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 9th Public Talk 9th July, 1944

Questioner: In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna urges Arjuna to enter into battle. You say right means to right ends. Are you opposed to the teachings of Krishna?

Krishnamurti: Perhaps some of you have not heard of this book; it is the sacred book of the Hindus in which Krishna, supposed to be the manifestation of God, urges Arjuna, the warrior, to enter into battle. Now, the questioner wants to know if I am opposed to this teaching which urges Arjuna to fight. This teaching can be interpreted in many ways, each interpretation creating contention. We can think of many interpretations but I do not want to indulge in speculation which would be futile. Let us think-feel without the crippling burden of spiritual authority. This is of primary importance to understand the real. To accept authority, especially in matters that concern right thinking is utterly foolish. To accept authority is binding, hindering and the worship of authority is self-worship. It is a form of laziness, thoughtlessness, leading to ignorance and sorrow.

Most of us desire to have a world in which there is peace and brotherhood, in which ruthlessness and war have no place, in which there is kindliness and tolerance. How are we to achieve it? To bring about right ends surely right means must be employed. If you would have tolerance, you must be tolerant, you must put away intolerance from you. If you would have peace, you must use right means for it, not wrong methods, brutality and violence. This is obvious is it not? If you would be friends with another, you must show courtesy and kindliness; there must be no anger, no cause for enmity. So you must use right means to create right ends, for in the very means is the end. They are not separate; they do not lie distant. So if you would have peace in this world, you must use peaceful methods. You may have right ends but wrong means will not achieve them. Surely this is an obvious fact but unfortunately we are carried away by repetitive authority, by propaganda, by ignorance. The thing in itself is simple and clear. If you would have a brotherly, unified world, then you must put away the causes of disruption: enmity, jealousy, acquisitiveness, nationality, racial difference, pride and so on. But very few of us are willing to put aside our craving for power, our specialized religion, our ill will and so on; we are unwilling to abandon these and yet we want peace, a non-competitive and sane world!

You cannot have peace in the world except through peaceful means. You must eradicate in yourself the causes of enmity by right and intelligent means, by right thinking. Self-knowledge cultivates right thinking. But as most of us are ignorant of ourselves and as our thinking-feeling is self-contradictory our thought is non-existent. So we are led, driven and made to accept. Through constant awareness of every thought-feeling the ways of the self are known, and out of self-knowledge comes right thinking. Right thinking will create the right means for a sane and peaceful world.

Tags: intelligence, virtue

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