Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
krish5
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Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

I was wondering if anyone, but especially monastics, monks on here have read any J.Krishnamurti and if so, what you think of him and his teachings? Do you see any similarity with his teachings and Buddhism? Has it helped you in any way on your path?

Years ago, i met some Theravada Monks who have heard of Krishnamurti and read one of his early books called "At the Feet of the Master" They said his teachings were good.

Walpola Rahula, who wrote "What the Buddha taught" participated in several dialogues with Krishnamurti and others present. I have a high respect for Walpola and his grasp of Buddhas teachings.

I have read a lot on Buddhism but am not a formal Buddhist. But i resonate strongly with it. I have read some Tibetan teachers like Dalai Lama and Samdhong Rinpoche. I have read a little on Zen and some Thich Nhat Hanh. But i have read more of Theravada approach, including Achaan Chah, Dipa Ma, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Goenka, Sharon Salzberg, etc I resonate more to the Theravada, original path of the Buddha, than the later additions.

I would love to have some discussions with the monks, monastics on here about the above topic or Buddhism in general. Thank you so much.
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Kim OHara
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by Kim OHara »

There have been several threads about Krishnamurti here over the years. Have you searched for them? Read them?

:coffee:
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krish5
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

Thank you Kim and yes, i have read what i could. I was hoping to start one afresh, especially with some monastics.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by DooDoot »

krish5 wrote: Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:48 am I was wondering if anyone, but especially monastics, monks on here have read any J.Krishnamurti and if so, what you think of him and his teachings? Do you see any similarity with his teachings and Buddhism? Has it helped you in any way on your path?
Hi K. When I 1st found buddhism in thailand in the late 1980s, KM was extremely popular but also sort of mysterious, as though he taught some mysterious magic formula. These were the days when Buddhism was still very small in the West. KM was the big guru for those Westerners wandering around Asia doing their spiritual tourism.

I once had a few copies of his small pocket sized book called "Think on These Things", which i would give to friends. My impression is KM does not teach a defined path but taught a method where, by becoming inwardly aware of whatever is going on, forms of insight & homeostatic resolution will simultaneously occur. As a more knowledgable buddhist than back them, i now don't really agree with this sort of "magical homeostatic resolution of psychological issues via awareness" because i think it can only happen with a very small minority of naturally inwardly intuitive or sensitive people. I think most people need more clear & structured guidance, particularly for their moral conduct.

Note: once the mind has samadhi, yes, there is homeostatic resolution of breathing, feelings, subtle defilements, etc, occurring but KM appeared to take this samadhi homeostatic resolution and apply it to ordinary worldly mental neuroses.

But, yes, i recall the state of freedom KM used to describe was sort of similar to Buddhism. I don't at all want to infer KM was "contrived" but he was taught many different types of philosophy when he was young, which many have influenced his doctrine.

Kind regards :smile:
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krish5
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

Thank you for sharing this. "Think on these things" is a good simple book of his. It is his talks with children from what i remember. Very simplified, direct, easy.

You make very good points about his teachings. He does not present a system or techniques or methods. But i think/feel his approach to attention is similar to Buddhism.

I enjoy both, Krishnamurti and Buddha. Samdhong Rinpoche was a friend of Krishnamurti and has said he sees no difference between Krishnamurtis teachings and the Buddhas on the absolute level. Buddha spoke on two levels, conventional and absolute, Krishnamurti only spoke on the absolute level, he never talked to the audience at their level. Krishnamurti also dismissed all preparation or gradualness, which the Buddha taught.

I personally have found by reading and studying Krishnamurti, it is helping me to better understand Buddhism. I also heard in reverse, that Buddhists who read Krishnamurti easily understand him.

I am not on here trying to make this about Krishnamurti in any way, but was just throwing this out there in this thread in case any Monastics happened to know or read him, i would love to hear more about what they think of his teachings and if they benefit from them at all.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

If anyone is interested, heres a transcript of a dialogue Krishnamurti had with Walpola Rahula and a few others present. I will share the beginning of it, where Rahula compares Krishnamurtis teachings to Buddhas teachings and then a link for those interested in reading the whole thing. Enjoy:

Are you not saying what the Buddha said?

Rahula: Yes, sir, we know you so well and I have been following your teaching - if you allow me to use that word, I know that you don't like that word...

K: It's all right, sir.

R: ...from my young days and I have read most of your books with great interest, deep interest, and I have wanted to have this discussion with you for a long time, and I am very happy, very pleased that we have got this opportunity today, thanks to Mr. Narayan for arranging all this.

I must say that as I have followed your teachings, your books, for many years, I must say that for a person who knows Buddha's teachings sufficiently well, your teaching is quite familiar, and for a person like that it is not a new thing, it is quite familiar. And what the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago you teach today in a new idiom, a new style, and you put his teaching into a new garb. And that is what I feel always when I read your books. And I have written very often, I haven't got the books here, practically most of your books are with me, and when I read your books, very often I write in the margin, comparing such and such a teaching with the Buddha, sometimes I even quote the verse, or the chapter and verse, or the text - not only Buddha's teaching, the original ancient teaching, but even later Buddhist philosophers' ideas - I will discuss with you later - even those things you say practically exactly the same. I was surprised how you got these things so well and so beautifully.

And to begin with I want to mention very briefly a few points which are common between Buddha's teaching and your teaching. And, for instance, Buddha did not accept god who created the world and who rules this world and rewards and punishes people for their actions. You also don't accept that idea, I believe. Then Buddha did not accept the old Vedic, Brahmanic idea of eternal, permanent, everlasting, unchanging, soul, Atman - Buddha denied it. And you also, I think, don't accept that soul, that type of soul.

Then Buddha begins his teaching on the ground that human life is in predicament: suffering, conflict, sorrow. And I see in your books you always emphasise that. And then Buddha says that the cause of this conflict, suffering, all that is due to the selfishness which is created by the wrong idea of self - myself, my Atman. And I think you say the same thing.

And then Buddha says when one is free from that desire, attachment, self, he is free from suffering, he is free from conflict. And in fact you said somewhere, I remember: freedom means freedom from all attachment - you said somewhere. And that is exactly what the Buddha taught, that all attachment, there is no discrimination there, there is no good attachment and bad attachment - of course relatively there is in our ordinary, practical life, but ultimately there is no such division.

Then seeing truth, realisation of truth, that is to see things as they are; as the Buddha says, in the Buddhist terminology Yatha Bhutam, that means as things are...

K: Bhutam, yes sir.

R: ...when you see that, you see the reality, you see the truth and you are free from that conflict. I think this is what very often you say - in a discussion, I think, between you and Dr. Bohm, I think, 'Truth and Actuality', in that discussion you have discussed this question. When I read that recently I thought this is quite well-known in Buddhist thought as samvriti satya and paramarthasatya, samvriti satya is the conventional truth, and paramarthasatya is the absolute or ultimate truth. And so you can't see the ultimate truth, or the absolute truth without seeing the relative or conventional truth. That is the Buddhist attitude also. I think you say the same thing.

K: Yes, sir.

R: Then one of your... of course this is more on the popular level, but it is very important, you always say that you must not depend on authority - anybody's authority, anybody's teaching. You must realise it yourself, you must see it for yourself. This is a teaching very well-known in Buddhism and Buddha told the Kalamas, don't accept anything just because it is given by religion or scriptures, or by a teacher, or by a guru, only if you see for yourself that it is right, then accept it; if you see it is wrong or bad then reject it.

And I remember a very interesting discussion you had with Swami Venkatesananda.

K: Yes, sir.

R: And his point was very much that the whole idea of guru, the importance of guru, but you always said what can he do, it is your job, your business to do it, a guru can't save you. This is exactly the Buddhist attitude that you should not accept authority, and after reading I listened to that also. A friend of mine played that tape, later on I read the whole thing in your book 'The Awakening of Intelligence'. After reading, at the end I wrote as from the text - Buddha has said these things too, all this discussion is summarised by the Buddha in two lines in the Dhammapada: you should make the effort, the Buddhas only teach.

K: Quite.

R: This is in the Dhammapada you have read long, long ago when you were young because I found it in Mary Lutyens' book, you quoted it somewhere, not this line but another.

Then another very important thing many people don't understand when you say - I must say this openly, let them know it, if they don't understand it, your emphasis on awareness, mindfulness. This is a thing in Buddha's teaching which is very, very important, extremely important, this is given in the Sattipathana sutta, to be aware, to be mindful. I myself was surprised when I read in the Maha-parinibbana-Sutta, that is the discourse, sutta, about the last months of his life. At every point wherever he stopped and talked to his disciples he said always: be aware of things, cultivate awareness, mindfulness. It is called Sattipathana, that means really presence of awareness, the presence of mindfulness. This also is one of your very strong points in your teaching, which I appreciate very much and follow.

Then another interesting thing, your emphasis always on impermanence, suffering, impermanence. This is one of the fundamental things in Buddha's teaching, everything is impermanent, there is nothing permanent. And in one place you say exactly - I think it is in the book 'Freedom from the Known' - to discover nothing is permanent is of tremendous importance, for only then is the mind free. That is exactly in the four noble truths of the Buddha., that when you see that.

Then another very interesting small point I want to mention: how your teaching and the Buddha's teaching go together without any conflict. I think in one place, in 'Freedom from the Known' in that book, you say, control and outward discipline are not the way, nor has an undisciplined life any value. When I read this I wrote there also on the margin, Buddha told a Brahmin, a Brahmin asked the Buddha, 'How did you attain to these heights, of spiritual and intellectual heights, by what precepts, by what discipline, by what knowledge did you attain?' Buddha said, 'Not by knowledge, not by discipline, not by precepts, not by words, nor without them'. That is the important thing he said - not by these things, but not without them also. Exactly what you say: you condemn this slavery to discipline but without discipline life has no value. That is exactly in Zen, which is Buddhism, after all. There is nothing called Zen Buddhism, Zen is Buddhism. In Zen, discipline is attachment, and slavery to that is very much condemned, but there is no Buddhist sect in the world I think, where discipline is so much emphasised. I think Dr. Schlogel will talk about this later.

Therefore all these things - we have many other things to talk about but to begin with I want to say that these things, these fundamental things are quite in agreement, and there is no conflict between you and the Buddha. Of course you are not a Buddhist, as you say.

https://jkrishnamurti.org/content/are-y ... uddha-said
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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Not much of a dialogue, really. Krishnamurti barely opens his mouth.

My impression, rightly or wrongly is that Krishnamurti teaches "a path without a path". I'm not really sure how useful that is, as it's liable to lead people up the garden path, much like Zen Koans wrongly grasped.

Whilst I can't find the exact sutta at the moment, the Buddha said that the noble eightfold path is the highest of all fabricated phenomena. As such, I see more in his teachings than that of the non-teachings of Krishnamurti.

Your mileage may vary.

Metta,
Paul. :)
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

DooDoot wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:38 pm My impression is KM does not teach a defined path but taught a method where, by becoming inwardly aware of whatever is going on, forms of insight & homeostatic resolution will simultaneously occur. As a more knowledgable buddhist than back them, i now don't really agree with this sort of "magical homeostatic resolution of psychological issues via awareness" because i think it can only happen with a very small minority of naturally inwardly intuitive or sensitive people. I think most people need more clear & structured guidance, particularly for their moral conduct.
krish5 wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:47 pm Samdhong Rinpoche was a friend of Krishnamurti and has said he sees no difference between Krishnamurtis teachings and the Buddhas on the absolute level. Buddha spoke on two levels, conventional and absolute, Krishnamurti only spoke on the absolute level, he never talked to the audience at their level. Krishnamurti also dismissed all preparation or gradualness, which the Buddha taught.
I agree with the above.

When I started out with Buddhism, reading Krishnamurti was a revelation and I enthusiastically shared his work only to be met with baffled 'I don't get it' responses. At the time I approached spirituality in a very (actually too) scholarly way. Krishnamurti is alright for people who have an intellectual bent. Not so useful for all the others who may even find him off-putting.

It seems that he was highly realised and speaking from experience, but not a terribly good teacher of a method for others to get there regardless of where they're starting from. He was quite unhappy after his brother died and got disillusioned with the world, so I don't think he was an arahant.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

retrofuturist wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:27 am Greetings,

Not much of a dialogue, really. Krishnamurti barely opens his mouth.

My impression, rightly or wrongly is that Krishnamurti teaches "a path without a path". I'm not really sure how useful that is, as it's liable to lead people up the garden path, much like Zen Koans wrongly grasped.

Whilst I can't find the exact sutta at the moment, the Buddha said that the noble eightfold path is the highest of all fabricated phenomena. As such, I see more in his teachings than that of the non-teachings of Krishnamurti.

Your mileage may vary.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Yes, the dialogue begins after this opening section, of Rahula comparing Krishnamurtis teachings with the Buddhas. I just posted the opening part, before they start dialoguing. That was why i posted the link, for anybody interested in reading further.

You are correct, Krishnamurti teaches a path without a path. He has said "Truth is a Pathless Land." And yes, you are correct, it is not very useful for most people.

And yes you are correct, Buddhas teachings are much more practical and helpful for most than Krishnamurtis non teachings.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:43 am
DooDoot wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:38 pm My impression is KM does not teach a defined path but taught a method where, by becoming inwardly aware of whatever is going on, forms of insight & homeostatic resolution will simultaneously occur. As a more knowledgable buddhist than back them, i now don't really agree with this sort of "magical homeostatic resolution of psychological issues via awareness" because i think it can only happen with a very small minority of naturally inwardly intuitive or sensitive people. I think most people need more clear & structured guidance, particularly for their moral conduct.
krish5 wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:47 pm Samdhong Rinpoche was a friend of Krishnamurti and has said he sees no difference between Krishnamurtis teachings and the Buddhas on the absolute level. Buddha spoke on two levels, conventional and absolute, Krishnamurti only spoke on the absolute level, he never talked to the audience at their level. Krishnamurti also dismissed all preparation or gradualness, which the Buddha taught.
I agree with the above.

When I started out with Buddhism, reading Krishnamurti was a revelation and I enthusiastically shared his work only to be met with baffled 'I don't get it' responses. At the time I approached spirituality in a very (actually too) scholarly way. Krishnamurti is alright for people who have an intellectual bent. Not so useful for all the others who may even find him off-putting.

It seems that he was highly realised and speaking from experience, but not a terribly good teacher of a method for others to get there regardless of where they're starting from. He was quite unhappy after his brother died and got disillusioned with the world, so I don't think he was an arahant.
Thank you Dhamma Chameleon for chiming in. Yes, many dont get Krishnamurtis teachings or is met with bafflement. Also many who are intellectual and like to analyze are attracted to his teachings i think.

I also agree that he was not a very good teacher. He was probably realized himself, but not very good at teaching others how to arrive at the same understanding or realization. He doesnt offer any methods or practices or anything to do.

He was quite upset when his brother died, and suffered greatly for a few days, but supposedly came to understand death and suffering from that experience and came through it, with a new understanding and was at peace.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

krish5 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:30 am He was quite upset when his brother died, and suffered greatly for a few days, but supposedly came to understand death and suffering from that experience and came through it, with a new understanding and was at peace.
Thank you for this. That was unhelpful speculation on my part. :anjali:
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by krish5 »

Dhamma Chameleon wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:39 am
krish5 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:30 am He was quite upset when his brother died, and suffered greatly for a few days, but supposedly came to understand death and suffering from that experience and came through it, with a new understanding and was at peace.
Thank you for this. That was unhelpful speculation on my part. :anjali:
No problem, i didnt mind the speculation. And it is good to question and ask and what not. You are pretty spot on with most of this.

After his brothers death, Krishnamurti he was to say: " An old dream is dead and a new one is being born, as a flower that pushes through the solid earth. A new vision is coming into being and a new consciousness is being unfolded.... A new thrill and a new throb of the same life is being felt. A new strength born of suffering is pulsating in the veins and a new sympathy and understanding is being born out of the past suffering. A greater desire to see others suffer less and if they must suffer to see that they bear it nobly and come out of it without too many scars. I have wept but I do not want others to weep but if they do I now know what it means.... I know how to weep still, but that is human. I know now, with greater certainty than ever before, that there is real beauty in life, real happiness that can not be shattered by any physical happening, a great strength which cannot be weakened by passing events, and a great love which is permanent, imperishable and unconquerable."
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by SteRo »

Long time ago ... I recall one criticism raised against J.Krishnamurti by (some) buddhists has been that he didn't teach a path and thus didn't offer practical guidance. As far as I can remember the little bit I read of his texts that's a valid criticism. However considering the proliferation of buddhist teachings that criticism might also appear as praise.
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by Mr Man »

I went to see him speak at his school in England with monastics from Chithurst*, Ajahn Tiradhanmmo and Ajahn Chandapalo if I remember correctly.

He used to give large public talks at his school in the UK once a year. Every year monks from Chithurst would attend. It was not encouraged but those who were interested could go and would be taken by lay Buddhists. My abiding memory of the day was some truly wonderful trees in the grounds rather than the talk. This would have been about 35 or so years ago.

I've read a few books (some years back) and every now and then something resonated. I like how he talks about nature and then back to the mind and talks about the mind as part of nature (Krishnamurti's notebook).

His life story is very interesting in my opinion

I also remember this video being shown while I was at Chithurst. One of the lay supporters brought it in to show the community. I found it very interesting to see how he spoke to/taught children.




*Chithurst = https://www.cittaviveka.org/
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Re: Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and Monastics

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

Mr Man wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:40 am I like how he talks about nature and then back to the mind and talks about the mind as part of nature (Krishnamurti's notebook).

His life story is very interesting in my opinion

I also remember this video being shown while I was at Chithurst. One of the lay supporters brought it in to show the community. I found it very interesting to see how he spoke to/taught children.


Thanks for this video, I'll take a look later. He was a fascinating person and I appreciate his emphasis on nature and engagement with children.
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