Wednesday, 7 December 2016

What is Religion? (Krishnamurti)

In January 1986, at the age of 91, Jiddu Krishnamurti gave his final talk, at Madras in southeast India, near the place where he was born.

The full transcript may be found at the link. 
What follows is a summary of what he said.

What is Religion?

From the beginning of time, man has always thought in terms of religion. What is that which is nameless? What is the supreme intelligence which has no relationship with all our prayers and gods and temples?

We are going to investigate — together, please bear in mind always together — not only the nature of religion, but also the computer. Genetic engineering on the one side and the computer on the other, and when they meet as they're inevitably going to, what are you as a human being?

What is creation? Invention is totally different from creation. Invention is based on knowledge. So what is life? We are going to enquire into the absolute, something that's really marvellous. You can't take it home and use it.

What is meditation to you? The word means to ponder, to not let your brain wander all over. Is it a mechanical effort to achieve something? Is there a meditation that has nothing at all to do with the energy that says, "I must meditate!" The speaker says there is. You don't have to accept it, but he says that the ordinary meditation is self-hypnosis, deceiving yourself. When you stop self-deceiving, is there a different kind of meditation one which is not effort, not measurement, not routine, not mechanical? The speaker says: Yes. It is something that has to be absolutely silent.

First of all, begin very humbly, very very humbly, and therefore very gently. It requires a tremendous sense not only of aloneness, but a sense of — I mustn't describe it to you. I mustn't describe it because then you'll go off on descriptions, and the description is not real. The description of the moon is not the moon, nor a painting of the Himalayas the Himalayas. So we'll stop describing. It's for you to play with it, or not play with it, going your own way. The brain is quiet, not made quiet by will or by intention.  And, being quiet, it has infinite space. Are you waiting for me to explore and follow what I explain? What kind of people are you?

So, is your brain ever quiet? Not made quiet by various forms of drugging yourself, by drugs, whiskey and other forms of drugging yourself. You drug yourself when you believe without questioning. Then you have no energy of that kind demanded for the penetration of something immense.

So, we're now going back to find out what creation is. What is life? What gives life to that blade of grass in the cement? Why are you listening to me? What is your motivation? Is there a brain, your brain, which is not muddied up by environment, society and the rest of it? What is creation behind all this? Are you waiting for me to describe it, to go into it? No description can ever describe the origin. The origin is nameless, the origin is absolutely quiet, it's not whirring about making noise.

Creation is something that is most holy, that's the most sacred thing in life, and if you have made a mess of your life, change it. Change it today, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain, find out why and be certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically. Unless all that is settled, you can't enter into this world of creation.

It ends [barely audible]. This is the last talk.

Do you want to sit together quietly for a while? ...

Painting: The Muse at Sunrise by Alphonse Osbert.

Originally posted on Buddhist Travellers in 2011.

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