Krishnamurti with with Pupul Jayakar 3

Episode Notes

This conversation between Krishnamurti and Pupul Jayakar was recorded at Brockwood Park in 1981. Jayakar begins by asking if they can discuss and investigate into the nature of God. They go on to question whether we can negate completely the whole movement of knowledge – except the knowledge of driving a car, speaking a language, technological knowledge? Can one totally empty the whole accumulation of a million years? We never say, ‘I don’t know.’ That is an absolutely motionless state of mind, because I don’t know. One of our difficulties is that we all want to know; which means put what God is into the bag of knowledge. Can we have an insight into the movement of knowledge, so that the insight stops the movement? It’s not that we stop the movement or the brain stops the movement; the very insight is the ending of knowledge and the beginning of something entirely different. Is it possible to quieten thought completely? Is it possible to be free of the meditator? Then there is no problem. Then there is no question whether there is God or no God – because it doesn’t matter. Then meditation is the meditation of the universe.

Pupul Jayakar, who died in 1997, was an Indian cultural activist and writer, best known for her work on the revival of traditional and village arts, handlooms, and handicrafts. She was a close friend of prime minister Indira Gandhi, and was her cultural advisor and biographer. Having been to a school established by Annie Besant, Pupul became involved with Krishnamurti’s work in the 1940s, becoming a trustee of the Indian foundation.


Pupul Jayakar: Shall I start? Krishnaji…

Krishnamurti: Relax (laughs).

PJ: I want to ask you a question, which I don’t think we have ever discussed; and yet, perhaps you will say that it is not possible to discuss it, and yet I think it is right the question should be asked, and that is: can we discuss and investigate into the nature of God? Whenever the word has been used, you have said, ‘The word is not the thing. The word is not God,’ and you have never proceeded to explore into the nature of that which lies behind it.

K: Are you asking a question, what is creation? Or is there a reality or truth as God?

PJ: You see, God is a word…

K: Yes.

PJ: …behind that word have been millennia of man’s inquiry and search for something which is absolute, total, untouched…

K: And universal – quite.

PJ: Yes. Now, I’m asking you whether it is possible to investigate into it. If you can investigate into everything else…

K: Why can’t we?

PJ: …why is it not possible to investigate into the nature of – call it God, call it creation…

K: Quite, quite.

PJ: …call it the ultimate reality, the ground?

K: I think it is possible, isn’t it, really? Could we clear our minds of all belief, of all traditional acceptance of that word and the implications and the consequences of that word? Could the brain and the mind be totally free to investigate into this thing called… the Israelis call it the nameless, the Hindus call it the Brahman, the highest principle, and the whole world – western and perhaps some of the eastern world – believe in the word God. Could we put away all those beliefs altogether? That’s the only… then only it is possible to investigate.

PJ: But being a word it is a storehouse of content – the content which man has put into it – …

K: Yes.

PJ: …and therefore when the mind says it is free of belief, what does it exactly mean?

K: A person says, ‘I believe in God, He is the omnipotent, omnipresent, He is eminent, He exists in all things,’ as the Hindus would say, and so on. There is this deep, traditional acceptance of that word with all its content, with all its sequence, as in the Christian world the son of God and the worship of the son who has… and so on, so on, so on. Could we really be free of the burden of a million years of this tradition – conscious as well as unconscious burdens of that word – because that word that has played a tremendous part in the world, both in the Islamic world, in the Christian world and so on?

PJ: You see, at one level it is possible to say one is free. If you were to ask me do I believe in God, do I believe in Krishna, Rama…

K: Ah, that’s…

PJ: …Raman, I would say…

K: Ah, that’s all silly.

PJ: But that is not the final thing,

K: No, no.

PJ: There is a feeling which goes much beyond this, which… the factor of life itself.

K: Are you asking, if I may, what is the origin of all this?

PJ: Before I go into the origin of it, I’m trying to comprehend the state of my mind which says the outer beliefs are…

K: Out.

PJ: …out. But is there not still that sense that without this nothing could be; that this is the ground?

K: This… Now, Dr Bohm and we discussed this: what is the ground from which everything originates?

PJ: The ground… Yes – the ground of being.

K: Yes. Now, again I must… if I may repeat, how does one find that out? One can only find it out or come to it when one is absolutely free, otherwise you cannot, because our conscious as well as unconscious being is loaded, crowded, burdened with all this.

PJ: Sir, we have… We are at a point where any movement of the mind as belief – outer – in a particular God is negated.

K: I understand that.

PJ: Negating that…

K: Ah, does one negate it verbally, intellectually or deeply at the very root of our being, which says, ‘I know nothing,’ and start from there?

PJ: I can’t say I know nothing.

K: Ah, I think…

PJ: You see, it’s a little… Let me…

K: Yes, yes; naturally.

PJ: I can’t say I know nothing but I can say that even the movement of thought as belief does not rise in my mind, even the movement of thought as belief does not rise, so that there is nothing left to be negated outwardly as such. But I still do not know the state where I know nothing, which is a very different state…

K: Of course, negation…

PJ: …from an outer movement as belief.

K: Of course. So could we…?

PJ: So how does one proceed from there?

K: That’s what I want… Let’s go into that a little bit. Can we negate completely the whole movement of knowledge – except in knowledge of driving a car, speaking a language, technological knowledge and all that; we won’t go into that; that’s fairly simple and clear – but the feeling that one knows, the feeling that there is somewhere deeply within one the whole accumulated experience of man, which says, ‘There is God,’ or there have been prophets, there have been seers say that there is no such thing as God? I mean, the knowledge of all that, that’s what I want to get at.

PJ: Yes. You see, one has comprehended – if I may use that word – the way of negating the rising movement, let me put it this way. The thing which…

K: The arising of… yes.

PJ: The rising movement one has comprehended the negation of, but the depths, the dormant billion years which lie… which form the matrix of my being…

K: I think that is what one…

PJ: How does one touch…?

K: That’s what one has to deny.

PJ: But how does one touch it? How does one…?

K: All right, could we begin… not inquire into what is the nature of God, if there is God, etc., could we begin by asking why the human mind has always worked or struggled with becoming? Becoming not only outwardly but inwardly; based essentially outwardly on knowledge, inwardly also on knowledge: ‘I am, I will be, I’ll…’ so on, so on, so on – the everlasting, mounting, up-rising, being somebody.

PJ: Now, if I may ask, are the two related in any way?

K: The two? Which is two?

PJ: We started with this question of an investigation into the nature…

K: Of God.

PJ: …of God, and we said belief, the rising is over.

K: Yes.

PJ: Now, this matrix which I was talking about and this movement of becoming…

K: Aren’t they related together?

PJ: Yes, that’s what I’m going into.

K: I think they are. Let us look at it – I may be wrong – let’s look at it. My being is essentially based on what I have understood – understood not intellectually, verbally – the feeling that there is in me a deep understanding of this something enormous, or something incredibly immense, that part of my being, part of my knowledge, part of my tradition and so on – that’s what I’m talking about. If one has that as the matrix, as the ground on which one stands, then one is not actually free to investigate into the whole nature of God, the universe and so on, so on, so on.

Mary Zimbalist: Sir, may I ask: there is a heritage, as you put it, of that in probably every human mind. Is that heritage different from what we would perhaps incorrectly view as a sort of human instinct in every species of human; throughout history there has been a movement toward this thing, to which heritage attaches? Is it only heritage handed down or is it a deep, human movement that is innately in the human mind, apart from all influence?

K: Are you saying, this is inherent in man?

MZ: Is it? Or is it what we think of…?

K: You’re asking is this inherent in man or heritage has given him this feeling?

MZ: Yes. Which?

PJ: We were referring to the movement of becoming or the thrust towards that, the existence of that, which is ultimate – which?

MZ: Is there an inherent movement in every human mind toward some unknown something which is sought? Is it beyond what one is taught, what one somehow picks up through one’s heritage?

Questioner: Is it genetic, in other words, practically?

MZ: More or less, yes.

K: You see, in genetics, as far as I’ve understood it, time is involved. Right?

PJ: Yes, genetics is the matrix. I mean, that’s not different; genetics is the heritage.

K: Time, and a movement to growth, evolution – right? – that… and so on.

Scott Forbes: Yes, it’s a biological movement though.

K: Right? As far as I… Correct me if somebody… if I’m wrong. But all that, Pupulji – that’s what I want to get at – can one totally empty all that: the whole accumulation of a million years? It may be… because that may be totally wrong.

MZ: Even if there is an inherent thing, even that too?

K: Even that too, because that may be implanted in us from childhood, from centuries and million years that there is something beyond this. I think that is the most deep-rooted bondage, if we can… deep-rooted, something the unconscious, deep thing holds to – otherwise you’ll have nothing. And that… I think if you want to investigate, that must go too.

PJ: No.

K: I mean, hasn’t… what is the name? The Buddhist scholar – what is the name? – Nagarjuna, hasn’t he… has he ever said this?

PJ: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know exactly, but they talk of the river of sorrow, dhukka.

K: River of sorrow…

PJ: …which is the river of life in which everything is.

K: I know all that. I mean, I have been told all that, but I’m trying to find…

PJ: I mean, that goes right to the last movement of an unconscious mind, it is a total thing. But again, sir, to even… You see, is it possible, without a thing being exposed, for it to end?

K: Let’s expose it.

PJ: Now, how does one expose it?

K: I mean, after all…

PJ: How does one expose this which one cannot formulate, which is beyond the total particulars of any one person’s knowledge?

K: Ah!

PJ: Listen, sir – yes.

K: I understand what you’re saying. I know; carry on.

PJ: I can go through the whole of my knowing and yet it will not contain it.

K: Oh no, you can’t. I agree.

PJ: It will not contain this.

K: But don’t you have the feeling or the insight – if I may use that word insight – into the feeling… into this question that there must be total elimination of everything man has put together?

SF: Well sir, part of the, as I see it, part of the problem, if we totally deny all of this…

K: Ah, not deny.

SF: …or if we… You see, our perceptions – you ask if we have some small insight into the need to do all of this – if we begin to reject everything, we need to reject our small perceptions, our small insights, even the small things which bring us here and which show us that there’s something in what you’re saying.

K: No, but Pupulji is asking quite a different question, sir. She’s asking could we investigate, explore into what is called God, which is the origin of all things or the beginning of all things.

SF: But aren’t you saying that even to begin that we need to put aside all the beliefs and all of this matrix, this ground that we stand on? And I’m wondering if our small insights and perceptions are not all mixed up with that.

PJ: But insights have to go.

SF: So everything has to go, even our…

PJ: So insights, that I comprehend, insights have to go – what we consider insights. I think…

SF: Then how even does one begin to investigate this?

PJ: By…

SF: Even our… You deny even the basis for our perceiving something.

PJ: No. The insight is over, so it’s part of that… (inaudible). It is as much that as any other… To take an insight which is over, is as much part of belief. So I mean, that I comprehend, I comprehend all the movement of that which arises in the brain being… But this layer of… And the question then arises, perhaps one is asking the wrong question. Perhaps there can never be a negating of that. How can one negate that?

K: No, I am just… Wait a minute. Man has tried in so many ways to find this – right? – he has fasted, he has tortured himself, he denied physical… everything to find this. Right? But there is always… he is always anchored to something.

PJ: Yes.

K: Like the great Christian mystics and so on, they were always anchored in Jesus – you know? – they were anchored, and from there they move. Right?

PJ: May I ask you a question? Do you think we are anchored to you?

K: Maybe. That’s… that’s…

PJ: No, but I have to ask that question, Krishnaji.

K: Yes, you may be. You… But that’s rather trivial, if you don’t mind.

PJ: It is not. It is not. It is not.

K: It’s not. But if you are, brush it aside.

SF: Are we not anchored to the few things which we see as true?

K: Ah, of course. If you are then put away… weigh the anchor (laughs).

MZ: Sir, one can see being unanchored from all the answers. Can one also be unanchored from the question?

K: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

MZ: In other words, all the answers to what reality, God, etc., that are deeply in us, that perhaps can be negated, but can…?

K: I wouldn’t even ask… You see…

MZ: …can one not stop the search? I mean, can one stop the search?

K: I wouldn’t even ask that question: what is God? Because then my brain starts spinning a lot of words.

MZ: Yes, but as… It seems to me we’ve already quickly gone beyond the replies because that’s obviously what’s been put upon our minds, one way or another, but behind that remains the inquiry. Now, is that…?

K: What do you mean, inquiry?

MZ: The inquiry, where… is there something else? Is there this thing, call it whatever you want. The movement towards that seems to be innately in us. Is that…?

K: A movement towards that?

MZ: Toward finding out something: a question only…

K: Ah, then that movement is wrong.

MZ: …not an answer.

K: Ah, wait a minute, wait a minute. If my investigation is a movement into the understanding of what is called God – right? – that movement itself is a bondage.

MZ: Why?

K: Obviously. Movement means towards something; action. Movement implies time, so when you’re introducing all that…

MZ: No sir, I don’t mean to. I’m trying to get behind that, otherwise…

K: All right.

MZ: …what are we all doing; what are you talking about, what are we asking?

K: Then don’t let’s use words that have implications of time…

MZ: No, never mind that.

K: – just a minute, let me explain – implications of time, implications of going towards something, leaving something behind and moving forward. Any of those… of such movements imply time, trying to find something, all that. I say all that must stop.

MZ: Then how can Pupul ask her question or any of us ask the same question?

K: Ah! That’s the whole point. No, that’s the whole point. Can one do such a thing, first of all? Is that possible, to be so totally non-movement?


Otherwise movement is time, thought and all that… complicated things involved in it. First of all, why do we want to find the meaning of God – the word, we deny the word but the meaning behind all that – why do we want to find it?

PJ: Because there is a part of us, there is still…

K: There’s part… Go ahead.

PJ: …there’s a part of us…

K: Which is seeking, searching, asking, demanding, ‘Is there, is there not?’

PJ: …which feels that there is.

K: Ah, that’s it. That’s it. We never say, ‘I don’t know.’


That’s a state of mind that’s absolutely motionless, because I don’t know.


I think that’s one of our different… We all want to know. Which means: put into the bag of knowledge what God is.

PJ: But sir, isn’t the ear listening, the eye seeing, the word said with the whole volume of actuality in it – of what God is – necessary to wipe out this matrix?

K: Oh yes, absolutely.

PJ: Then should not the ear listen?

K: Ah; then it’ll listen to what is already known.

PJ: No, I am asking you now that…

K: No, can…

PJ: …can there be a listening…?

K: No, wait, wait, wait. Can you wipe out the matrix?

PJ: I don’t know.

K: Which is what?

PJ: I really don’t know.

K: When you use the word – now, wait a minute – when you use the word matrix what do you mean by that?

PJ: I only know – I do know – that beyond the risings in my mind of the obvious beliefs and all that…

K: Cut out all that silly stuff.

PJ: …that there are depths and depths and depths to me. You use a very significant phrase, in somewhere or the other, I remember reading it: ‘play’ – play, you used the word play – ‘play round with the deep.’

K: Yes, yes, yes.

PJ: So you also posit a depth which is beyond the outer risings. So this depth, which is really not within the matrix of… within the…

K: No, no. No, no, no – can’t be. That’s why, Pupulji and others, I’m just asking myself, why do I want to find out if there is something beyond all this?

PJ: Because, Krishnaji, let me tell you. I’m putting aside everything else now and I’m repeating what I said earlier. I said, this matrix I can do nothing about.

K: I wonder what you call matrix; would you explain to me what you mean?

PJ: This depth, which I cannot bring to the surface of daylight, of consciousness, of perception, of attention, that which does not come within the purview of my eyes and my ears but still is there. It’s still there. I know it is there. I can’t help it; I carry it, it’s part… it’s me. I say, not being able to do it, not being able to touch it, I have a feeling that perhaps if there’s a right listening and seeing…

K: To that; of that?

PJ: …to that which is true…

K: You mean, of that depth?

PJ: Yes – that will wipe it out.

K: Yes. Just a minute, just a minute. I’ve got what… I understand what you’re saying. Now, just a minute, let’s go into it. Is that depth – if I may use… let’s use that word for the moment – understandable?

PJ: No.

K: Measurable?

PJ: No.

K: Then is it… why do you use the word depth? That means measurable; that means…

PJ: I am using the word depth to connote… You see, if it was within the contours of my horizon, available to my senses, available to my senses…

K: I understand all that.

PJ: …then it is measurable. But it is not available to my senses; I can do nothing about it. I do not have the instruments to deal with it.

K: How do you know – just a minute; I’m not being impudent or disrespectful – how do you know it is not imagination? How do you know it…? Do you know it as an experience?

PJ: Yes.

K: Ah, then it’s… Ah, careful, careful, careful.

PJ: Yes. Sir, you see, you used a word which immediately can… If you say, ‘Yes,’ it’s a trap; if you say, ‘No,’ it’s a trap.

K: So I want to be clear that we both…

PJ: So that’s why… lets’…

K: Pupulji, forgive me, I want to be quite clear that we both understand the meaning of that word depth.

PJ: I am talking of a feeling… Surely sir, a word can be said from the surface mind and a word can be said which has a great volume behind it. And I’m saying that even at the level… with my… even me, that there is this ground which contains the whole history of man alone. If you take the history of man, it’s not a light thing; it has got great weight and depth to it.

K: Yes, yes.

PJ: Now, one can feel that weight and depth without your asking me, ‘Is it imagination?’ Can’t you feel that… (inaudible)?

K: I understand, Pupul, but you see…

PJ: You see, if I… then there is… you see, then there is nothing to be done, but to just look and listen. There is no question you can ask yourself.

K: I mean, that depth, is it depth of silence?


Which means the mind, the brain is utterly still.


Not something that comes and goes. You are following what I’m saying?

PJ: How can I answer that?

K: I think one can, if there is no sense of attachment to it, with no sense of memory involved in it. Pupulji, this… let’s begin again. Whole world – practically the whole world – believes in God. When we were in Ceylon, they were terribly upset when I talked about – do you remember? – that God was just put together by thought. But the whole world believes in God. The Buddhists have slipped into it, unfortunately. I don’t know what God is. I start with that: I really don’t know. Probably, I can never find out. And I’m not interested in finding out, even. But what I am concerned is whether the mind – mind including the brain and all that – mind can be totally, completely free from all the accumulated knowledge, experience and so on, of humanity. Because if it is not, it’ll function always within that area: expanded, contracted, vertically, horizontally – it’ll always be within that area. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge one accumulates, it will still be within that area. And if the brain… if the mind moves from that area and says, ‘I must find out,’ then it is still carrying that area to a further dimension. I don’t know if I’m making myself clear.

So my concern is whether the brain and the mind can be completely free from all taint of knowledge. Knowledge… Of course, I need knowledge for… – technological knowledge – I’m not talking of that. So can it be free? That to me is tremendously significant, because if it is not, it will never be out of that area – never.

PJ: And any movement of the mind, any movement…

K: …out of that area to find out, is still moving… anchored in knowledge trying to add further knowledge about God. It is logical. So I would say my concern is that: whether the brain, the mind is capable of this.


You see, when you put a question of that kind, either you say it is not possible or it is… if you deny both the possibility and the probability of it, then what is…? Now – you follow? could I have an insight, I’m talking – the depth of insight – into the movement of knowledge, so that the insight stops the movement? Not I stop the movement or the brain stops the movement, the very insight into that is the ending of this knowledge and the beginning of something entirely different. So I am concerned only with that… the ending of knowledge, consciously, deeply, over – you follow? – all that. Please, not the ending of knowledge in examinations and all that, please don’t misunderstand.

Harsh Tankha: Sir, virtually everyone at some time has some kind of a religious experience, if I can call it, maybe a feeling of oneness or something.

K: Yes, yes.

HT: Now, where does that come from? Is that also part of the conditioning of man’s brain over centuries?

K: Sir, hasn’t it? Isn’t it? After all, there is this enormous feeling that we’re all one, essentially. Right?

HT: Yes.

K: There’s a feeling with nature, with human beings, with each other, that there is actually no separation.

HT: And there seems to be a strong sense of reality about it.

K: There is great… – yes – and it’s something extraordinary, the feeling about it.


But that feeling, that sense of tremendous, harmonious unity, if it’s not… if it is intermittent, it’s useless – you follow what I mean? – there’s no point.

HT: Well, where does it come from then, this feeling?

K: But it’s a part of… When you look at the sky, the green earth – you follow? – just for the moment you forget yourself. Right? You forget that you’re… your troubles, your problems, your sex demands… forget completely yourself for a second, the whole thing is there.

Doris Pratt: But Krishnaji, has the me, the me which has created all the religions of the world, which has built all the beauty of the world, the culture of the world, the art of the world, has that no – that me – no relationship whatsoever with what may be called God?

K: Probably, that is the real… maybe the real problem: can one be free from the me? The me is the essence of knowledge. No? I’m not being too cryptical (laughs).

Shakunthala Narayan: Sir, then what about all the experience of the past saints, who say that they have dissolved the me and that they are… I mean, what would you say? Would you say that’s imagination?

K: Who says this?

SN: I mean, their words.

K: But are they anchored in something else? I may say I am free but I adore Buddha. I am anchored deeply in the teachings of the Buddha, in the persons of the Buddha, in all that, or in the Christian – you know? – counterpart of that. That may be another substitution of the self by a name.

SN: Yes, but I was also thinking of the poets who haven’t spoken in terms of a Christ or a Buddha.

K: Who?

SN: There are some poets who have not talked in religious terms.

K: Yes. That may be partial insight.

SN: They’ve talked about feeling one with nature and…

K: Yes, that may be… Yes, for a moment, for a period. You see, I doubt all these things, personally. I question… I doubt everything man has put there, including myself. You follow what I’m saying? I think that’s a very cleansing attitude, feeling. So you start with extraordinary feeling of not knowing about anything.


You see, if you could say, ‘I know nothing’ – in the deepest sense of the word, not just intellectual and all the rest of it – you are the universe. You follow what I’m…? Not, you are not – it is there. I don’t know if you follow what I mean. I don’t even have to explore.

Raman Patel: Sir, I think our difficulty arises that even momentarily we have that insight that again becomes knowledge.

K: Then it becomes, you know…

SF: Krishnaji, could we talk a little bit more about this… understand that’s not temporary, this questioning which you talk about, which seems to be so complete, and which I would have to say I know nothing about it. It’s… Could we talk a little bit…?

K: What are you saying, sir? What are you asking?

SF: Well, this questioning of everything that you talk about; this having no anchor that you speak of…

K: Well, I mean, can’t you see the importance of it?

SF: Yes, I can, sir, as you speak.

K: No, no, wait a minute. Do you see the importance of it, intellectually, verbally or a great feeling that…? You understand what I mean?

SF: Yes sir. But that’s not enough.

K: No, begin… No, wait. Ask yourself whether it’s intellectual, emotional, verbal and so on, so on. What are we talking about at the moment? (Laughs)

SF: Well sir, this having no anchor, this putting… this…

K: Complete…

SF: …absolute complete putting aside of things. And it is something…

K: Don’t you see the importance of it?

SF: Yes sir, I do.

K: No, not…

SF: But…

K: Wait a minute, sir – be careful.

SF: But apparently that’s not enough because it’s still not done.

K: Ah, therefore… that’s it.

SF: All right; now, that is the situation.

K: No, don’t you…? Isn’t it a tremendous bondage to always live in this area?

SF: Yes sir. Yes. And I can see that it’s the source of…

K: Not distortion.

SF: It’s the source of distortion, it’s the source of suffering, it’s… But still there must be more; there must be a larger perception or understanding of it than the one that I now have.

PJ: Somehow, somewhere, one is missing something, some little…

K: Missing a link (laughs).

PJ: I’m just trying to find what it is that is missing. I understand what you’re saying, sir.

K: Look, Pupulji, just a minute. Suppose this person is not here, how would you deal with this problem? How would you deal with the problem of God, the problem of belief, the problem of saying, ‘Absolutely no anchorage – is that possible?’ How would you, as a human – just a minute, just a minute – not verbally but actually deal with it? If each one of us, could we deal with it without any reference to anybody?

PJ: Yes, even that is possible.

K: Now, move from there, move from there.

PJ: Yes, that is possible.

K: Let’s move from there; let’s move from there. Each one of us is totally responsible for ourselves – ourselves in the sense that we are not referring to the past authorities, to saints, to other people – totally responsible to answer these questions.


You have to answer them. You can’t say, ‘Well, I’ll think about it.’

PJ: You see, this is where… Why should I have to answer?

K: You have to.

PJ: You see, why should I have to answer?

K: I’ll show you why: you’re part of humanity and humanity is asking these questions. The philosophers, the saints, every human being somewhere in his depths is asking these questions.

MZ: But sir, you said that those questions all, in a sense, are wrong, in that they come from…

K: Wait. I said so…

MZ: Yes.

K: …but you answer it, without any reference to what K has said, has not said. I come to you with these questions. I’m a stranger, I come to you. I say, ‘Please, as a human being, and you’re also a human being, apparently you have gone into this more, tell me, answer me.’ I put you these questions. To me, these questions and the answers are tremendously important to me.

PJ: May I ask you one thing? How does one take a question like this, and leave it in consciousness? Please sir, please… How does one take a question like this?

K: Like what?

PJ: What we’ve been discussing.

K: Yes, I am humanity. I’m asking this…

PJ: Question of man – how does one take a question like that? One has to hold it in consciousness. It has to be…

K: Either, Pupulji, either you have never thought about it – just a minute, let’s go step by step – either you have never thought about it, or you have thought about it in the sense that you have gathered tremendous information, knowledge from books… all the rest of it, or you say, ‘Let’s… now, perhaps it’s the first time I’m facing this question without any reference to anybody.’

PJ: Sir…

K: Wait, wait, wait. Slow, go slow, go slow.

PJ: No, I would like to pursue this. You have a way of taking a question, asking it and then, without any movement of the mind…

K: Yes.

PJ: …remaining with it.

K: Yes, that my peculiarity.

PJ: Yes. That’s what I want to know.

K: That’s my… perhaps that’s a peculiar idiosyncrasy, whatever it is.

PJ: Because what one does when one asks a question, there’s a movement of the mind.

K: Yes, that’s right.

PJ: Now, with you, when such a question is put, there is no… it is there but there’s no movement.

K: That’s right; you’re right. Now, you’re asking me how to get that (laughs).

PJ: No, I don’t… I’m not saying… I know I can’t get it.

K: No, you can have… No! You are right to ask that question.

PJ: Because that seems to be…

K: You’ve understood what she said, sir? Go to it. Do it.


I’m asking you, as a human being and as a human being who has asked these questions for a million years, I come to you and put these questions. Are you ready to answer, or react to it, or hold the question quietly – hold it – you understand? Do you understand what I mean? And that very holding and quiet – holding, you know what I mean, in the sense without any response, without any reaction, just hold it – and out of that vessel comes the answer. Right? That’s impossible. I know.

SF: Could you say something, Krishnaji, about the nature of that holding?

K: A cup holds the water – right? – a pond is held by the earth – you know, holding, you know – this sense, without any wave, without any movement, without any sense of trying to find an answer for it.

MZ: But sir, with most of us, perhaps, we may not try to find an answer, we may just stay quietly with an unanswered question, but sooner or later into that comes some sort of an answer which may not be a real answer, it may just be some¬thing from a very deep part of the subconscious, wells up and fills that space.

K: I know. Now, just a minute, let’s… I ask you a question: do you believe in God?


I ask you that question. Can you say, ‘I don’t know,’ or, ‘I don’t believe,’ or, ‘Maybe,’ without saying anything about it, just look at the question? Can you? It’s a good discipline. If you ask a devout Christian who goes to church every morning and sings praises of God and all that, songs of praise, he immediately will say, ‘Yes, of course I believe in God,’ or if you go to India and ask those people, they reply also the same thing. That is their reaction to a well-programmed mind, like a computer which has been programmed to believe in God and you press the button, it replies instantly. Right? Now, I don’t want to reply instantly; I don’t know. I really don’t know if there’s God or not.

Q: Sir, but even that holding which you’re talking about, there could be another kind of holding which people do; is the kind of holding when people say, ‘Sleep over a problem’…

K: Ah!

Q: …which is different from the holding you’re talking about.

K: Of course, of course, of course.


PJ: It demands tremendous muscle in the mind. At one level.

Q: Are you saying that holding is not of this area?

K: Of course.

PJ: What do you mean ‘not of this area’?

Q: The area we’re talking about, of coming from all the knowledge which we have already.

RP: Krishnaji, but in holding isn’t there any kind of inquiry? In holding something, isn’t there any…? We understand that there is no movement really as knowledge, but isn’t there an inquiry in it.

K: No (laughs).

RP: It’s the same game again.

K: No sir; no sir. Just let’s be clear. I’m afraid, unless you understand this it’ll lead to a lot of misunderstanding. Sir, computers which have been programmed by ten different professors, with their tremendous information, the computer analyses all these professors’ questions… I mean responses and their attitudes, their ideals, what they say, and it makes a synthesis of it – right? – and replies. Now, our brains are trained that way: we have been programmed to be Christians, Hindus, Buddhists or British or this or that. We have been programmed for thousands of years, and that programmed brain replies immediately. Right? Right? Of course, this is known, this is what we are doing. Now, if the brain is not programmed, it hesitates – right? – it says, ‘I’m looking, I’m watching; I don’t know.’ It is – what? – it is looking around. Now, can our brains be not programmed?

SF: But this activity of the brain looking around, this kind of activity, is not the kind of holding that you were speaking about before?

K: No, of course not; of course not.

SF: Can we say something more about this holding? Perhaps…

K: Go on, sir, you say it. You go ahead.

SF: I have nothing to say about it, Krishnaji. (Laughs)

K: Go on, inquire. Push, push.

SF: Well, I’m trying to… You see, there’s a couple of questions which come to mind and which probably are improper questions, but you say, for instance, ‘as the cup holds the water’ or ‘as the earth holds the pond,’ is there something that does this holding, like the cup and like the earth?

K: No, no, no, no. Say, for instance, you asked… Now, Pupulji asked me a question, which was: depth. I just – what? You do the same. Now, go… I asked you that question, you listened to that question, what was your reaction to that question?

SF: Which question exactly, sir?

K: From the depth… you layer after layer, go to the very deep depth, which is the ground from which…etc., etc. You heard that. Now, what’s your reaction to that? I’m using the word purposely – reaction.

SF: I was just trying to understand what was being talked about. I was trying to listen to what you were meaning by it and what Pupulji was meaning by it; I had no… I was just listening to it. I don’t think that answers your question.

K: No. No.

PJ: You see, sir, when a question…

K: Listen carefully now; let’s see.

PJ: …when a question normally is put to the mind, it’s like a drop of sugar being dropped on the ground and ants coming from all over towards it.

K: (Laughs) That’s right.

PJ: So all the movement is awakened and there’s a movement of all the hidden layers move towards that question. Now, the question is: can that question be put, remain without the movement of these…

K: Without the ants (laughs).

PJ: (Inaudible) …that.

Q: Sir, I was wondering, one question: would you say that, when we think of the mind or the brain, would you say that… you could say perhaps it’s for thinking but that also there’s something in the brain that’s not thinking. In other words, an important function or faculty of the brain is not thinking.

K: Sir, I believe – I don’t know if I may be wrong; I would like to be corrected about this – I believe the brain, when it is quiet, without the operation of thought, problems, and all that, when thought is not operating, the brain itself has its own movement. Right?

SN: Do you mean conscious thought, sir, or…?

K: Both, conscious, unconscious.

Q: Any thought.

K: Any form of pressure, conscious or unconscious pressure of thought – this is what I’m saying – the brain has its own quiet movement. That is natural: blood going to it – you follow? – moving it and all the rest of it, nerves, all that is operating. Now, I’m not talking [about] quietening that part – you understand? – you can’t.

SN: That’s the physiological part.

K: That’s… it’s a muscle. Right. Now, we are talking about the brain which is in constant movement, the energy of which is thought. Right? To quieten thought is the problem. I wonder if you… You understand my question? Now, the problem is: how will you deal with this question? Is it possible to quieten the thought completely? Not for a few seconds – completely; go out for a walk and not have a single thought in your head.

MZ: Krishnaji, is it correct to say that the brain, just plain physiologically, is always recording, even in sleep, even in unconsciousness?

K: The recording process goes on.

MZ: But can we differentiate, just for this discussion, between the incoming recording, whatever it is, very low level, and the stirring of the already established content which would be thought. Now, are you saying that in this empty…

K: Non-recording, only observing.

MZ: …there isn’t the… – well, now, wait a minute – there wouldn’t be the stirring of the content, which is thought.

K: Yes. Yes; that’s right.

MZ: But there would still be the incoming thing, that the brain never…

K: Naturally; you see the tree, that thing called tree, the bird, but there is no… I won’t go into it. This is…

MZ: There’s no reaction out of…

K: This leads to something else.

SF: Is this related to this holding that you’re talking about, Krishnaji?

K: Sir, I haven’t… Don’t complicate it, sir, just take it easily (laughs). Which is: I put to you a question, don’t try to answer it instantly, just, you know, look at it, play… hold it. It isn’t an examination you have to answer within an hour, certain ten questions. It is a mind that is capable of not reacting immediately; delaying the reaction perhaps indefinitely.


Now, to go back, Pupulji, let’s go a little further. I have no anchors – suppose I have no anchors at all – neither in belief, in knowledge – all that is absolutely meaningless to me. I’m a stranger, I’ve come to that point; I see it has no meaning. Is that – the sense of not giving any meaning to anything, you follow? – is that a state of mind which is out of time? You follow what I’m asking? Because… You know what I’m talking…

PJ: Yes, that…

K: So is that the state of real, profound meditation? A meditation that in which there is no sense of achieving – all that rubbish goes out of it, completely. And that meditation may be the ground, the origin of all things; not the meditator – you follow what I’m…?

PJ: Now, may I ask…?

K: Ah! We are getting something.

PJ: The meditator is not the ground?

K: Of course, not. Throw him out.

PJ: But without the meditator, can the ground be?

K: Without the meditator? Yes; if the meditator is, the ground is not.

PJ: The ground is not. But without the meditator, without…

K: I said, very carefully, meditation.

PJ: No. That is true, sir.

K: Without the meditator.

PJ: Meditation is a human process.

K: No, no.

PJ: Let me investigate you a little now, if I may. Because I feel…

K: Yes, go to it. Let’s carefully go into this.

PJ: Meditation cannot be free of the individual. Individual means…

K: The meditator; keep to the word meditator.

PJ: Meditator. There is no meditation without the meditator. You may say the meditator is not the ground…

K: No, no. Just a minute, just a minute, just a minute. As long as I am trying to meditate – just… I want to go slowly into this – as long as I’m trying to meditate, meditation is not.

PJ: Yes.

K: Right? Following systems, methods – throw it all out. Therefore there is only a brain, mind which is in a state of meditation.

PJ: Yes.

K: Now, that is the ground. The universe is in a state of meditation. Sorry to… (laughs). And that’s the ground; that’s the origin of everything. That is only possible when the meditator is not.

PJ: And that is only possible when there are no anchors.

K: Absolutely.

PJ: Now…

K: That means there is absolute freedom: from problems, conflict, sorrow or fear. That state of meditation has come about because there’s complete ending. So beginning may be the eternal process – the beginning – never… You understand what I’m…? Am I…?

PJ: Yes sir.

K: You’re catching something? It may be eternal beginning. Now, wait a minute. How is this possible? Is it at all possible for a brain, for a human being, to be so completely, utterly free of the meditator, which is essentially the self? Right? The meditator, he is trying to meditate to get somewhere, to find something in order to put his life right; or he meditates in order to put life in order – you follow? – put it either way. ‘Either way’ in the sense you meditate to put life in order, or you watch, put your life in order, then meditate, it is still the meditator. Right? Is that possible to be free of the meditator? Then there is no problem then. Then there is no question whether there is God or no God – who cares? Then that meditation is the meditation of the universe.


How do we…? Is it possible, Pupulji, to be so utterly free of the meditator? Now, I’m asking that question. Don’t reply, don’t react; keep it – you understand what I mean? – hold it. Let it operate. You follow what I mean? In the holding of it, the energy is being accumulated and that energy is beginning to act; not your acting but… Do you understand what I’m saying?


It’s half past twelve. Should we go on?

Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park, 27 May 1981

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