A Selection of Krishnamurti Books
The body of Krishnamurti’s work is enormous: some estimate it at more than 100 million words. His talks and dialogues have been compiled and published in more than 80 books and translated into over 60 languages.
Here we present a selection of key books by Krishnamurti representing the breadth and depth of his work, from edited public talks, to dialogues, to his own writings, to theme books and the ever-popular Book of Life, which contains a Krishnamurti passage for each day of the year.
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Freedom From the Known
Drawn from a number of Krishnamurti’s talks and dialogues, Freedom From the Known explores many of the central themes of his teaching. The chapters include: Learning About Ourselves, The Pursuit of Pleasure, Justification and Condemnation, and the Dissipation of Energy. The vital need for change and the possibility of it are the essence of what Krishnamurti has to communicate in this book. Krishnamurti says, ‘To understand and to be free of any problem we need a great deal of passionate and sustained energy, not only physical and intellectual energy but an energy that is not dependent on any motive or psychological stimulus or drug.’
The Ending of Time
The Ending of Time is a series of important and enlightening dialogues in which J. Krishnamurti and David Bohm—men from vastly different backgrounds in philosophy and physics, respectively—discuss profound existential questions that illuminate the fundamental nature of existence, probing topics such as insight, illusion, awakening, transcendence, renewal, morality, the temporal, and the spiritual. Along the way, Krishnamurti and Bohm explore one’s relationship to society and offer new insights on thought, death, awakening, self realization, the problem of the fragmented mind, purity of compassion, love and intelligence that originates beyond thought and time.
The First and Last Freedom has sold more copies than any other Krishnamurti book. Aldous Huxley wrote the foreword in which he states, ‘Only choiceless awareness can lead to non-duality, to the reconciliation of opposites in a total understanding and a total love.’ Huxley ends his ten-page foreword with Krishnamurti’s powerfully insightful words, ‘Love is love, not to be defined or described by the mind as exclusive or inclusive. Love is its own eternity: it is the real, the supreme, the immeasurable.’
In this unique volume Krishnamurti lets us into the private world of his states of consciousness. Written as a diary, the day-by-day account moves with breathtaking swiftness from the sights and sounds of his immediate environment to those moments of bliss variously described as “immensity,” “benediction,” or “the otherness.” We are also privy to what Krishnamurti calls “the process.”
What Are You Doing With Your Life?
Who are you? What are you? What do you want from life? Krishnamurti, one of the world’s great philosophical teachers, offers his inspiring wisdom on many of life’s hurdles from relationships and love, to anxiety and loneliness. He answers such questions as ‘What is the significance of life?’ and ‘How do I live to the full?’ to reveal the best way of being true to yourself. Read by millions from all walks of life, he shows us there is no path, no higher authority, no guru to follow, and that ultimately it is our own responsibility as to how we live our lives.
The three volumes of Commentaries on Living are among the easiest of Krishnamurti’s books to read even though they discuss the major questions of ambition, the nature of wisdom, fear and what is true action. Aldous Huxley encouraged Krishnamurti to write these commentaries on life, which consists of a series of dialogues with those he met in different parts of the world. Set against a variety of landscapes, the encounters recorded here are both intense and illuminating. The series represents an entirely new genre of writing – a blend of lyrical descriptions of nature, philosophical reflections and psychological insights, all informed by a deeply religious sensibility and couched in lucid, absorbing prose.
The Awakening of Intelligence
This is one of the most comprehensive books of Krishnamurti’s teachings, containing discussions with various individuals, including Jacob Needleman, Alain Naudé, Swami Venkatesananda, and David Bohm. Professor Needleman asks about the present situation of the young, the role of the teacher, of tradition and its relation with direct perception, and the need for awareness of a “cosmic dimension.” With Alain Naudé he discusses the problem of good and evil, the fragmentation of consciousness and the possibility of psychological revolution. Venkatesananda puts important questions to Krishnamurti on traditional Vedanta methods.
The Book of Life
This book presents 365 timeless daily meditations, developed thematically during each week, illuminating the concepts of freedom, personal transformation, living fully awake, and much more. For everyone who has come to cherish the wisdom of this extraordinary spiritual sage, as well as anyone discovering Krishnamurti for the first time, The Book of Life is a profound collection of insights to treasure every day. ‘The story of mankind is in you, the vast experience, the deep-rooted fears, anxieties, sorrow, pleasure, and all the beliefs that man has accumulated throughout the millennia. You are that book.’
Education and the Significance of Life
This book is a probing inquiry into the need for a true education which can lead to freedom from conflict individually and so globally. Krishnamurti stresses self-exploration and the need for an environment free from fear to create an atmosphere in which real education can take place. He also speaks practically about such matters as class size and the function of leadership. Krishnamurti spoke of the role of the real educator as “the highest profession”. Krishnamurti had a lifelong interest in education and founded schools on three continents.
Violence is “like a stone” dropped in a lake: the waves spread and spread; at the centre is the “me.” As long as the “me” survives in any form, very subtly or grossly, there must be violence, says Krishnamurti in these talks and discussions which, apart from dealing with the problem of individual and collective violence, also contain frequent references to what is and what is not the religious mind. This book contains authentic reports of public talks and discussions held in 1970 in Santa Monica, San Diego, London, Brockwood Park and Rome.
Think on These Things
Think on These Things has sold more than three million copies and has been printed worldwide in 22 languages. According to Krishnamurti, real culture is neither a matter of breeding nor of learning, nor of talent, nor even of genius, but is ‘the timeless movement to find happiness, God, truth.’ And, ‘When this movement is blocked by authority, by tradition, by fear, there is decay.’ Some of the questions raised in the book are: What is shyness? What is jealousy? What is happiness? What is sorrow?
Theme books became possible in the 1990s with the ability to search Krishnamurti’s talks for the first time. Carefully compiled, these books cover central themes of Krishnamurti’s teachings, such as Love and Loneliness, Relationship, Nature and the Environment, Conflict, Fear, God, Living and Dying, Mind and Thought.
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