Quotes by Krishnamurti

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For centuries we have been spoon-fed by our teachers, by our authorities, by our books, our saints. We say, ‘Tell me all about it, what lies beyond the hills and the mountains and the earth?’ and we are satisfied with their descriptions, which means that we live on words and our life is shallow and empty. We are second-hand people. We have lived on what we have been told, either guided by our inclinations, our tendencies, or compelled to accept by circumstances and environment. We are the result of all kinds of influences and there is nothing new in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves; nothing original, pristine, clear.

From Freedom From the Known

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The mind chatters because it has to be occupied with something or other; this occupation varies from the highest occupation of the ‘religious’ man to the lowest occupation. The mind is occupied because otherwise it might discover something of which it is deeply afraid, something which it may not be able to solve.

From Beyond Violence

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The understanding of living, with all its complications, is one thing, and the search for God is another. In saying that God, the ultimate end, will give meaning to life, you have brought into being two opposing states: living and God. You are struggling to find something away from life. You are serious about achieving a goal, an end, which you call God; and is that seriousness? perhaps there is no such thing as finding God first, and then living; it may be that God is to be found in the very understanding of this complex process called life.

From Commentaries On Living III

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By being fully aware of ourselves in all our relationships we shall begin to discover those confusions and limitations within us of which we are now ignorant; and in being aware of them, we shall understand and so dissolve them. Without this awareness and the self-knowledge which it brings, any reform in education or in other fields will only lead to further antagonism and misery.

From Education and the Significance of Life

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Way down in the valley were the dull lights of a small village; it was dark and the path was stony and rough. The waving lines of the hills against the starlit sky were deeply embedded in darkness and a coyote was howling somewhere nearby. The path had lost its familiarity and a scented breeze was coming up the valley. To be alone in that solitude was to hear the voice of intense silence and its great beauty. It was quite dark by now and the world of that valley became deep in its silence. The night air had special smells, a blend of all the bushes that grow on the dry hills, that strong smell of bushes that know the hot sun. The rains had stopped many months ago; it wouldn’t rain again for a very long time. The great silence with its vast space held the night and every movement of thought became still. The mind itself was the immeasurable space and in that deep quietness there was not a thing that thought had built. To be absolutely nothing is to be beyond measure. The path went down a steep incline and a small stream was saying many things, delighted with its own voice. It crossed the path several times and the two were playing a game together. The stars were very close and some were looking down from the hill tops. Still the lights of the village were a long way off and the stars were disappearing over the high hills. Be alone, without word and thought, but only watching and listening. The great silence showed that without it, existence loses its profound meaning and beauty.

From Krishnamurti’s Journal

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Is it that we are so caught up in our own network of problems, our own desires, our own urges of pleasure and pain that we never look around, never watch the moon? Watch it. Watch with all your eyes and ears, your sense of smell. Watch. Look as though you are looking for the first time. If you can do that, that tree, that bush, that blade of grass you are seeing for the first time. Then you can see your teacher, your mother and father, your brother and sister, for the first time. There is an extraordinary feeling about that: the wonder, the strangeness, the miracle of a fresh morning that has never been before, never will be.

From The Whole Movement of Life Is Learning

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In the understanding of meditation there is love, and love is not the product of systems, of habits, of following a method. Love cannot be cultivated by thought. Love can perhaps come into being when there is complete silence, a silence in which the meditator is entirely absent; and the mind can be silent only when it understands its own movement as thought and feeling. To understand this movement of thought and feeling there can be no condemnation in observing it. To observe in such a way is discipline, and that kind of discipline is fluid, free, not the discipline of conformity.

From Meditations

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Thought is limited and so creates conflict. The self, the ego, the persona, is a bundle of complicated, ancient and modern memories. We live by memories. We live by knowledge, acquired or inherited, and that knowledge is what we are. The self is the knowledge of the past experiences, thoughts and so on. The self is that. The self may invent that there is something divine in one; but it is still the activity of thought. And thought is always limited. You can see this for yourself, you don’t have to study books and philosophies; you can see for yourself clearly that you are a bundle of memories. And death puts an end to all that memory, therefore one is frightened.

From Meeting Life

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Have you ever realized that you have created all the rituals, these gods, out of your fear, out of your wanting security? Your mind is conditioned, afraid, wants some kind of security, but a religious man does not belong to any group, to any religion, has no belief because his mind is free. Intelligence is the highest, supreme form of ultimate security, not the intelligence of the cunning thought. There is the intelligence of compassion. In that intelligence there is no doubt, no uncertainty, no fear. That intelligence is something immense and universal. And where there is attention, there is silence. If you attend now to what the speaker is saying, attend with your ears, with your eyes, with your nerves, with your whole body, if you so attend then in that quality of attention there is silence, unfathomable silence. That silence has never been touched by thought, and only then that for which man has searched from time immemorial, something sacred, something nameless, supreme, comes. It is only that mind that is so utterly free from all the travails of life; it is only such a mind that can find the supreme. That means meditation, which is the expression of daily activity.

From Mind Without Measure

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The new is absorbed into the old and the old destroys the new, so long as there is background, so long as the mind, the thinker, is conditioned by his thought. To be free from the background, from the conditioning influences, from memory, there must be freedom from continuity. There is continuity so long as thought and feelings are not ended completely. You complete a thought when you pursue the thought to its end and thereby bring an end to every thought, to every feeling. Love is not habit, memory; love is always new. There can be a meeting of the new only when the mind is fresh; and the mind is not fresh so long as there is the residue of memory. Memory is factual, as well as psychological. I am not talking of factual memory but of psychological memory. So long as experience is not completely understood, there is residue, which is the old, which is of yesterday, the thing that is past; the past is always absorbing the new and therefore destroying the new. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.

From The First and Last Freedom

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The flowering of meditation is goodness. It is not a virtue to be gathered bit by bit, slowly in the space of time; it is not morality made respectable by society nor is it the sanction of authority. It is the beauty of meditation that gives perfume to its flowering. How can there be joy in meditation if it is the coaxing of desire and pain; how can it flower if you are seeking it through control, suppression and sacrifice; how can it blossom in the darkness of fear or in corrupting ambition and in the smell of success; how can it bloom in the shadow of hope and despair? You will have to leave all these far behind, without regret, easily, naturally. Meditation has not the strain of building defences, to resist and to wither; it is not fashioned out of a sustained practice of any system. All systems will inevitably shape thought to a pattern and conformity destroys the flowering of meditation. It blossoms only in freedom and the withering of that which is. Without freedom there is no self-knowing and without self-knowing there is no meditation. Thought is always petty and shallow however far it may wander in search of knowledge; acquiring expanding knowledge is not meditation. It flowers only in the freedom from the known and withers away in the known.

From Krishnamurti’s Notebook

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One is everlastingly comparing oneself with another, with what one is, with what one should
be, with someone who is more fortunate. This comparison really kills. Comparison is degrading, it perverts one’s outlook. And on comparison one is brought up. All our education is based on it and so is our culture. So there is everlasting struggle to be something other than what one is. The understanding of what one is uncovers creativeness, but comparison breeds
competitiveness, ruthlessness, ambition, which we think brings about progress. Progress has only led so far to more ruthless wars and misery than the world has ever known. To bring up children without comparison is true education.

From Letters to a Young Friend

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Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to yourself, but this belief conditions your experience. It isn’t that the experience comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always experience what you believe and nothing else, and this invalidates your experience. The Christian will see virgins, angels and Christ, and the Hindu will see similar deities in extravagant plurality. The Muslim, the Buddhist, the Jew and the communist are the same. Belief conditions its own supposed proof. What is important is not what you believe but only why you believe at all. Why do you believe? And what difference does it make to what actually is whether you believe one thing or another? Facts are not influenced by belief or disbelief. So one has to ask why one believes at all in anything; what is the basis of belief? Is it fear, is it the uncertainty of life, the fear of the unknown the lack of security in this ever-changing world? Is it the insecurity of relationship, or is it that faced with the immensity of life, and not understanding it, one encloses oneself in the refuge of belief? So, if you had no fear at all, would you have any belief?

From The Second Krishnamurti Reader

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As one looked at that dead leaf with all its beauty and colour, maybe one would very deeply comprehend, be aware of, what one’s own death must be, not at the very end but at the very beginning. Death isn’t some horrific thing, something to be avoided, something to be postponed, but rather something to be with day in and day out. And out of that comes an extraordinary sense of immensity.

From Krishnamurti to Himself

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