LIFE IN FREEDOM
by J. Krishnamurti
COMPILED by J. Krishnamurti from campfire addresses given in Benares, Ojai, and
Ommen during 1928. It shows a sign of light in his message. Krishhnamurti talks from
highlands since 1927, while so many stay downhill, creating illusions, and walking
around, never climbing.
Krishnamurti reaches the heights and his message is a song of harmony, life and freedom.
But freedom, as he says, it is not the end but the beginning, the beginning of life in
«If you find truth you must put aside all those things upon which you have leaned for
support and look within for that everlasting spring. It cannot be brought to you through
any outward channel.» -J. KRISHNAMURTI, Life in Freedom
«Invite doubt, for doubt is as a precious oinment: though it burns, it shall heal greatly -by
inviting doubt, by putting aside those things which you have understood, by transcending
your acquirements, your understanding, you will find the Truth.» -J. KRISHNAMURTI, Table of Contents
ABOUT THIS TITLE
LIFE IN FREEDOM
LIFE IN FREEDOM
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
HAPPINESS AND DESIRE
STAND IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH
THE HIDDEN WELL
BE IN LOVE WITH LIFE
LIFE IN FREEDOM
Copyright © 1928 Star Publishing Trust
T HE teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti can be found in books, films, university courses,
workshops, progressive schools that he started, and a dynamic foundation that bears his
name. As of 1990, his works have been translated into forty-seven languages, including
Swahili; through them his influence is felt worldwide. His ideas, which revolved around
the centrality of individual consciousness free from the programmed filters of religion
and culture, attracted people as varied as George Bernard Shaw, Greta Garbo, Bertrand
Russell, Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Albert Einstein, Alan Watts, Jackson Pollock,
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Christopher Isherwood and Charlie Chaplin.
Krishnamurti saw a world that was rapidly degenerating and disintegrating, where there
is no sense of morality, where nothing is sacred, and where people do not respect each
other. He sought to explain the nature of thought that created this condition. In his book
The Network of Thought, Krishnamurti pointed to the continuing threats of war and
ecological destruction and stated: «You cannot any more think as Christians, Buddhists,
Hindus, and Moslems. We are facing a tremendous crisis which the politicians can never
solve because they are programmed to think in a particular way. Nor can scientists
understand or solve the crisis; nor yet the business world, the world of money. The
turning point, the perceptive decision, the challenge, is not in politics, in religion, in the
scientific world. It is in our consciousness.»
Krishnamurti was born in May 1895 in a small town in South India near Madras. As the
eighth child of a Brahmin family and a boy, he was called Krishnamurti in honor of Sri
Krishna, a Hindu divinity who was also born an eighth child. Krishnamurti’s father, a
civil servant, later moved to Madras with his four sons.
At the age of eleven, the young Krishnamurti was «discovered» on a beach by C.W.
Leadbeater of the Theosophical Society. Popular in the early 1900s, this was an
international organization concerned with the betterment of mankind through study of the
world’s various metaphysical, religious and philosophical teachings. It was led by Annie
Besant, a noted English parliamentarian, writer, and promoter of Indian emancipation.
Because he was perceived to possess extraordinary spiritual qualities (his physical beauty
didn’t hurt either), Krishnamurti was chosen to be the “vehicle of the Lord” Maitreya,
who, according to Buddhist tradition, comes to earth every 2000 years as the «World Teacher». In 1911 the Theosophical Society brought the fifteen-year-old to England,
where he was privately educated under the guidance of Annie Besant in preparation for
the «Coming». But his life took a different turn.
In 1922, Krishnamurti established his lifelong home in California’s Ojai Valley. Under a
tree in an oak grove there, he would talk informally with people who were drawn by his
ideas. As the years went by, thousands would assemble on the annually designated May
weekend for his outdoor talks. These gatherings have continued after his death.
In 1929 Krishnamurti made a dramatic break with the organization which had sponsored
him and began to emerge as one of the 20th century’s most iconoclastic and influential
teachers. He repudiated not only all connections with organized religions and ideology,
but denied his own spiritual authority as well. Travelling constantly, he also rejected ties
to any country, nationality or culture. Although he wrote and lectured widely, he accepted
no fees for his talks, nor royalties on his books and recordings.
«Truth is a pathless land», he proclaimed, and set out to offer his vision of love, spiritual
integrity and perfect freedom.»The speaker», as he called himself, also questioned the
pre-eminence of thought in today’s technological world, emphasizing unencumbered
observation and questioning as the keys to perception and problem solving. This quality
of attention to «what is», to the actual thing itself, is at the core of his work.
Krishnamurti’s aim was to set humanity free. He maintained that the individual is freed
by becoming aware of his/her own psychological conditioning, and that this awakening
will enable him/her to give love to another. «If you want to spread these teachings», he
went on to say, «live them, and by your life you will be spreading them».
Life in Freedom
Talks in Benares, Ojai and Ommen, 1928 J. KRISHNAMURTI
LIFE IN FREEDOM
THE STAR PUBLISHING TRUST FOREWORD
WE ARE happy to be able to make this valuable book again available to serious readers.
Not only does it give a glimpse of Krishnamurti’s early views (the book was published in
1928), but it has a challenging line of thought that is somewhat different from what we
know of this great man’s outlook in more recent years.
It is a little surprising to read «I have found and established for myself that which is
Eternal», and «I would show you how I have found my Beloved.» This brings to mind
Lao-Tzu’s statement that «He who knows does not speak.» However, no one can doubt
Krishnamurti’s attainment; it is just that in later years such statements do not appear.
Similarly, the emphasis on «choiceless awareness» is not made known in these pages,
although Krishnamurti’s stance as an iconoclast is firmly put forward.
It is interesting to trace these beginnings and see how they matured into Krishnamurti’s
later unique realizations. It is our belief that the re-emergence of this book will prove
valuable to Krishnamurti’s admirers.
LIFE IN FREEDOM
LIFE IN FREEDOM
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
AS THE SHADOWS were awakening and a scent of the morn was carried on the breeze,
I saw an eagle descending from the mountain-tops. It came down without a flutter of the
wings into the valley, and there disappeared among the shadows of the black mountains.
At the end of the day I saw it return again to its abode among the mountain peaks, far
away from the strife, the struggle and the jostle of the world.
So is the man who has seen the vision of the Truth, who has, during his strife in the
world, established for himself the eternal goal. Though he may wander among the
transient things, and lose himself among the shadows, yet all his life will be guided by
that goal. As the eagle soars to its abode, so will he soar beyond all sorrows, beyond all
fleeting pleasures and passing joys.
The establishment of that eternal goal is of primary importance for one who desires to
disentangle himself from all the complications of life -not the goal of another, nor the
vision of another, but the goal that is born of his own experience, his own sorrow,
suffering, and understanding. Such a goal, when once it is established, will throw light on
the confusion of all thought, and thereby make clear the purpose of life.
As a ship that is lost at sea without a compass, so the man without the perception of the
goal which is constant and eternal is lost in this world of confusion. As the captain of a
ship establishes the destination of his vessel and by the compass is able to guide his
course through stormy nights and dark waters, so the man who has knowledge of his goal
can guide his life by that compass of understanding.
Because the individual does not know his purpose, he is in a state of uncertainty and
chaos. Because the individual has not solved his own problem, the problem of the world
has not been solved. The individual problem is the world problem. If an individual is
unhappy, discontented, dissatisfied, then the world around him is in sorrow, discontent
and ignorance. If the individual has not found his goal, the world will not find its goal.
You cannot separate the individual from the world. The world and the individual are one.
If the individual problem can be solved by understanding, so can the problem of the
world be solved. Before you can give understanding to others you have first to
understand for yourself. When you establish the Truth in your heart and mind, there it
will abide eternally.
One day in Benares I was going in a boat down the sacred Ganges, watching the people
on the river banks worshiping God in search of happiness, in search of their goal and the
way of its attainment. I saw one man in deep meditation, forgetting everything around
him, holding but the one thought in his mind -to find and to attain the goal. I saw another
performing rites required by his system of yoga. I saw another repeating chants, lost to
the world and to himself. They were all seeking what you are seeking, what everyone in the world is seeking in moments of deep thought, and of great desire.
As the boat is carried down the stream by the current, so is every one carried away by his
desires, by his passions and longings, because not one has found or established his
purpose. Because the goal has not been established, because the path that leads to that
goal has not been found, there is confusion and chaos, there is questioning and doubt in
the mind. As long as there is doubt in the mind there is no peace, nor certainty and
ecstasy of purpose.
This condition exists throughout the world, but everywhere there is a heart beating and a
mind capable of thought. Man everywhere is unconsciously seeking a way to free himself
from his narrowness, his pettiness. The end of this search is freedom and eternal
happiness. He experiments along many paths, and every path leads to complications.
From life to life he wanders, from shrine to shrine, from one creed to another -gathering
experience, accepting, rejecting, and again accepting- thus he goes forward towards that
goal which awaits him as it awaits all men.
In the process of accumulation and rejection, he does not know which way to turn for
comfort, and when he seeks comfort through any particular channel he is enmeshed and
entangled. Because there are many interpreters of the Truth, because there are many
conflicting paths, beliefs and religions, man is lost in their complexities. As a butterfly
that knocks against the windowpane, struggling to escape into the fresh air and the open
sky, so do men struggle when they have not caught a glimpse of the goal -but it is not
hard to establish. It is because they are in darkness that the goal seems far away.
As the potter molds the clay to the delight of his imagination, so can man mold his life
through the desire of his heart. As the earthen vessels are fashioned into beautiful or ugly
forms, so life can be made beautiful or ugly according to the purpose which you have
established for yourself.
I would help you to that goal which you are seeking, which you desire to attain -the goal
which awaits all the peoples of the world, whatever their experiences, thoughts or
feelings. Then you will be able to guide yourself through the darkness of the world as a
man guides himself of a dark night by the stars.
If you once establish such a goal -which is happiness and hence freedom- life becomes
simple. There is no longer confusion, and time, and the complications of time, disappear.
It is because you have not established your goal that the present is as the mountain when
the sun has set -the light fails and the darkness of the mountain overshadows the valley.
Time is only a binder of life and the moment you are free you are beyond time.
Then you can guide yourself without depending upon any authority. Then you will no
longer have fear. Then for you there will be no conflict of good and evil. When you have
set life free you will find happiness, which is the only goal, the only absolute Truth.
HAPPINESS AND DESIRE
BECAUSE man has forgotten that the true purpose of his being is to cultivate happiness
within himself and in those around him, there is confusion and chaos, and his actions but
add to that chaos.
What is it for which everyone in the world is craving and longing? To find happiness.
True happiness is neither selfish, nor negative. It is intelligence, the accumulation of all
experience; it is Truth which is eternal. No cloud can hide it nor can any sorrow lessen it.
It is such happiness that every one desires. It is such happiness that I have always desired.
I have seen people weighed down with labor, performing great works, accumulating
knowledge, struggling to be spiritual and yet they had forgotten the one thing -happiness-
which alone gives life to the mind and nourishment to the heart. There can be no health
except in happiness. He who has not found it will never find Truth, will never bring life
to its fulfillment, will never have tranquillity in this world of travail.
If you desire to establish that happiness within yourself, you must make it your goal and
then your life will be as the flame which soars heavenwards.
People in search of happiness resort to many things -they will worship at temples and
churches, they will gather from books the knowledge of others, they will perform
religious rites in the hope of establishing in their minds peace and tranquillity. The desire
for happiness is ever gnawing at their hearts.
In the great continent of America they are making the physical predominant in search for
happiness. They say that without physical comfort, without a body that is strong and
healthy, there cannot be a right development of the emotions. But in trying to establish
perfect physical conditions they are losing sight of other essential things. In India, they go
to the opposite extreme and in search for happiness they neglect altogether the physical.
Look where you will, every human being is seeking happiness. He begins his search in
the mere pleasures which come from physical excitement. Then discovering that this
excitement does not satisfy his craving for the lasting happiness, he experiments with
other experiences, mental and emotional.
Life is a process of accumulating and discarding, of gathering and setting aside. What
you gather you reject, and the more you reject the nearer you are to liberation. By setting
aside what you have gained, you acquire the knowledge which will give you strength to
shape your purpose, which will give you power ultimately to reach the Kingdom of
Happiness which each one of you seeks.
As there is sap in the tree which brings forth foliage for the glory of its being, so in each
man there is the spark of divinity which through sorrow, through ecstasy, through
struggle, through all the processes of life, grows to perfection, to that state of eternal
happiness which is the goal for all, which is the truest spirituality -the greatest gift that
anyone can give to another.
You will find this undying, unalterable happiness when you are liberated from the
tyrannies of the self -its desires and longings. This is not a goal imposed upon you by
another. It is the longing of every human soul, of every individual who is striving, who is
in sorrow, who is seeking. It is the spark of this desire which grows into a flame and
becomes part of the Eternal Flame, and when you are able to lose yourself in that Flame,
then you are in the Kingdom of Happiness.
Each must discover his own way of attainment. There is no other truth or other god but
that goal which each one has established for himself, which cannot be destroyed by the
breath of man or by the passing whims of any god.
In what way can you attain this goal and hold this happiness eternally in your heart? If
you are a thoughtful person, you will recognize that in every one there are three different
beings: the mind, the emotions and the body. And if you observe you will find that each
of these beings has a separate existence of its own and tries to create and to act
independently of the others, thus causing disharmony. Absolute happiness comes from
the establishment of harmony between these three. If you are driving three horses -each
desiring to run independently of the other two- unless you are able to control them and
drive them all together, you will not reach your destination.
The mind must have a goal of its own, but it must be a goal created by you yourself;
otherwise it will lead to superstition.
What is the ultimate goal for the mind?
It is the purification of the self, which means the development of individual uniqueness.
As the seed is forced by the life within it to break through the heavy earth and come into
light, so if you are urged by the desire to find freedom, you will break through all
limitations which bind you. To gain freedom, great desire is needed. People are afraid of
desire, thinking that it is something evil which must be destroyed. But this is a mistaken
attitude. Desire is the motive power behind all action. If you would light a great fire to
warm and comfort you, you must give fuel to it, feed it with great logs of wood. So if you
would fulfill life you must have great desires, for desire brings experience and experience
leads to knowledge. If a man knows how to use desire it will bring him to the freedom for
which he longs. If desire is killed or suppressed, there is no possibility of freedom. Most
people in the world have intense, burning, vital desires but instead of utilizing them and
training them, they either suppress them or are controlled by them. Without desire there
can be no creative work. If you kill desire you become like a piece of dead wood, or else
you become an automaton, a machine. Machines have been invented to minimize human
labor. Physical problems perhaps may be solved in this way, but mental and emotional
problems are more difficult to solve, and because the way to solve these problems is so
little understood, religions, creeds, and dogmas have been invented.
If desire gives life it should be encouraged. If desire creates sorrow, through understanding that sorrow must be overcome. Because man does not want to be free, he
kills his desires; because he does not want to attain true liberation, he is making of
himself a machine. Use desire as a stepping-stone to kindle greater desires, to awaken
greater delight and longing.
But intelligence is necessary in order to develop your individual uniqueness, to purify
your desires, to realize that self which is the self of all -that absolute union with all things
which brings to an end the sense of separation. It is necessary for the mind to be simple,
but simplicity does not mean crudeness. We should not turn our back upon the results of
progress and evolution, but on the contrary we should utilize them.
A mind that is simple will understand perfection because it is part of perfection itself. A
mind that is crooked cannot understand the Truth. A mind that is complicated, that is full
of the knowledge of books -though they have their value- is apt to become crystallized. In
all great architecture, painting and sculpture, in all the greatest forms of beauty, there is
simplicity and there is restraint. Simplicity of the mind is the greatest and most difficult
thing to acquire, but in order to be simple you must have had great experience. Simplicity
of the truest kind is the highest form of spirituality.
What is the ultimate goal for the emotions?
It is affectionate detachment. To be able to love and yet not be attached to anyone or
anything is the absolute perfection of emotion.
As a barren tree in winter without leaf or flower to give scent to the morning air, so is a
man without love. Those who would attain to Truth must cultivate -as the gardener
cultivates his garden- this flower of affection, which is to give delight, which is to be a
source of comfort in disappointment and sorrow. Love -however envious, jealous,
tyrannical, selfish it may be at first- is a bud that will grow into great glory and give the
scent of its perfection to every passer-by. Without love man is as a desert of dry sand, as
the river in the summer time, without water to nourish its banks. Those who would attain
the perfection of happiness, the beauty that is hidden from the human eye, must cultivate
this quality of love. You must love all and yet be detached from all, for love is necessary
to the unfoldment of life. To cultivate it you must learn to observe, you must gather
experience -vicariously, or through your own treading of the sorrowful paths of
experience. It is through experience that you know sympathy, that you are able to give
affection to those who desire it, for if you have never experienced sorrow then your heart
is incapable of sympathy and understanding.
This does not mean that you should taste of everything. There are many ways of
acquiring experience -one is by living in the life of everyone, looking through the eyes of
every passer-by and experiencing in imagination his sorrow, his transient pleasures.
When you see a drunken man in the street, it should be sufficient to give you the
experience of drunkenness; if you see a man in tears, that should give you the experience
of grief; if you see a man in joy and ecstasy, that should give you the experience of joy.
We need not all follow one road of knowledge. We give and take from each other. We can gather knowledge from the experience of the whole world and that is sufficient for
progress, for culture and refinement. If you would attain to the fulfillment of life, you
must have this accumulation of experience, for without experience you cannot arrive at
the goal, you cannot unite the beginning and the end. While there is separation, there is
pain, and it is only in the union with the goal that there is happiness, that you establish
lasting Truth within yourself. To do that, you must from the very beginning gather
experience as a man gathers the grain of the field.
If you have no sympathy, no affection, you can never achieve, you can never identify
yourself with the goal. A mind that is contented and satisfied will never acquire sympathy
or affection or give understanding to others. I have watched people who have greatly
desired to help others but they do not know how to help. They are incapable of putting
themselves into the place of another and so envisaging his point of view.
Those who would understand the life around them, who would see the goal and thereby
establish the Beloved in their hearts, must develop great love and yet be detached from
the bondage of that love. They must have great sympathy and yet not be bound by that
sympathy. They must have great desires and yet not be slaves of those desires.
What is the ultimate goal for the body?
Everyone in the world is seeking for beauty but they seek without understanding. It is
essential for the body to be beautiful, but it must not be a mere shell of beauty without
beautiful thought and feeling. Restraint is necessary for the body -control without
These are the essentials for the absolute harmony of the three beings in each of us.
The desire for freedom, the desire to escape from all things, or rather to transcend all
things, is necessary for the attainment of perfection. You can only free yourself if your
mind and heart have determined their purpose in life and are continually struggling
towards it, never yielding to those things which create barriers between yourself and your
To attain perfection, to walk towards the goal of Truth which is eternal happiness for all,
at whatever stage of evolution you may be, it is necessary to be rid of the binding narrow
traditions that are born out of blind belief and have no touch with life.
As, when the rains come, only those who have prepared their fields and removed the
weeds will have the full produce of their labor, the full benefit of the rain, so, if you
would have the Beloved always with you, you must remove from your mind and heart the
complicated ideas, traditions, and narrow points of view, which are as weeds that kill true
understanding. For without understanding there can be no cooperation with life.
FOR the well-being of the mind and heart, understanding is as essential as a warm fire on
a cold night.
People imagine that they can attain by some miraculous process, that they can find Truth
by the mere outward form of worship, that they can discover their goal by the continual
repetition of prayers and chants, or by the performance of yoga, puja and other rites. You
can only discover that which you desire, that for which your heart longs, and for which
your mind craves, by yourself, through the purification of the heart and mind.
If you would understand Truth you must remove from your heart those stones and weeds
which strangle its full growth.
Where there is narrowness of mind and limitation of heart, Truth cannot enter. If you
would climb to that height where there are eternal snows, you must leave behind you the
accumulation of your possessions, you must be hardened and well trained; and your heart
must be filled with the desire of attainment.
For those who have no fixed purpose there is renunciation and self-sacrifice; there is
sorrow, grief and pain, endless struggle and violent dissatisfaction. But for those who
have the fixed purpose to attain the Truth which is the unfoldment of life -though they
may dwell in the valley of the shadows- there is no sacrifice, there is no struggle.
Because you have no fixed purpose all the shadows of the valley entice you, wrap you in
their soft fogs, so that you lose the ecstasy of life. But if you have established your goal,
which is the goal of the world -the attainment of the Kingdom of Happiness through
freedom from all experience- then you can control the future, then you are the creator of
that which you desire. If you can pass through the valley of the shadows with eyes
eternally fixed upon the mountain-top, then you can have all experiences without creating
barriers between yourself and the goal. This is the understanding of life which will bring
order out of chaos and it is for that purpose that the Beloved has come. As the true artist,
who by his imagination creates beauty out of the chaos around him, out of the confusion
which exists in the world, so the Beloved, Truth, creates order in the mind and heart of
those who understand. When you understand, you will have solved the problem of your
daily life. If there is no struggle within to free yourself from the cage of sorrow and pain,
from the limitations which cause confusion, then, however much I may knock at the door
of your heart, there will be no response. But the moment you yourself are dissatisfied, the
moment you yourself desire to escape and to attain liberation, then you yourself seek the
source of Truth.
Those who seek for an understanding of life must fix their inward perception on eternal
Truth which is the unfolding of life.
To those who live and have their being in the valley, the mountains are mysterious, hard,
cruel, eternally aloof. The mountains never change; they are ever constant, never
yielding. So it is with Truth. To those who live in the valley of shadows, of transient things, Truth seems terrible, hard and cruel.
Everywhere, among all people, there is a search for something hidden, for some
realization which will give wisdom, greater knowledge, greater vision, greater
understanding; this the people call Truth.
They think that Truth lies hidden in some distant place, away from life, away from joy,
away from sorrow. But Truth is life, and with an understanding of life there is born an
understanding of Truth. When you are fulfilling life with understanding you are the
master of Truth.
Though there is at the present time a revolt against tradition and the established order of
things, against morality in the narrow sense, yet the majority of people still judge and try
to understand life from the prejudiced point of view of a limited and settled mind. A
Hindu will only recognize Truth when it is presented to him through the medium of
Hinduism, and so it is with the Christian and the Buddhist. But Truth is never contained
in a particular form or medium. Truth can only be understood with an unbiased mind,
capable of detachment and pure judgment.
As every human being is divine, so every individual in the world should be his own
master, his own absolute ruler and guide. But if he would guide himself intelligently, he
must be able to judge all things with an open mind and not reject what he does not
understand because he is prejudiced.
Truth is the power within each one of you which urges you on to attainment. It is the
consummation of all intelligence. It is Absolute. There is no god except the man who has
purified himself and so has attained to Truth.
When you bind life to beliefs and traditions, to codes of morality, you kill life. In order to
keep alive, vital, ever changing, ever growing, as the tree that is ever putting out new
leaves, you must give to life the opportunities, the nourishment which will strengthen it
and make it grow. When life desires to find its freedom the only way by which it can
attain is through experience.
There can be no understanding of life, which is Truth, when there is not the thrill, the
agony, the suffering, the continual upheaval, discouragement and encouragement of life.
In the olden days, especially in India, those who desired to find Truth imagined that they
could discover the way by withdrawing from the aching world, from the transient things,
from the shadow of the real, by the destruction of the physical. But now you have to face
life as it is, for you can only conquer life when you have a complete and not a partial
understanding of it.
Once there was a man who kept all the windows of his house well closed except one,
hoping that through that window alone the sunlight would come, but it never came. That
is what those people are doing who are bound by tradition, by narrow sectarian beliefs, and who think that Truth is contained in any of those beliefs. You cannot bind life, which
is the Truth, by anything, for life must be free and untrammeled. If you do not understand
that the purpose of life is freedom, then you are only gilding the bars of your cage by the
invention of theories, of creeds, of philosophies and religions.
The basis of all these innumerable beliefs is fear. You are afraid for your salvation, you
are afraid to test your own knowledge, and hence you rely on the assertions, on the
authority of another.
In order to be happy need we have religions? In order to love need we build temples? In
order to fulfill the self need we worship a personal god?
You must give to the suffering world, not beliefs, creeds, dogmas, but new understanding
which comes from intelligent cooperation with Nature, through observation of all the
events of daily life.
Those who would understand Truth, who would give of their heart and their mind to that
Truth, must first have grown in experience. Then experience will guide them, for
experience gives intelligence, and intelligence is the accumulation of all experience. The
web of life is spun out of common things and the common things are experience.
Learn from every event, from every activity in daily life, and assimilate the experience
every moment of the day.
You go to temples or to churches or to other places of worship and there you imagine that
you are purified. But does that purification stand the test of daily life?
Your theories, your superficial knowledge of life, do not help you at moments of crisis.
When death comes and takes away your friend, your beliefs and theories do not help you
to overcome your loneliness and the sense of separation. You will only overcome it if the
poison of separation has been destroyed, and you can only destroy that sense of
separation by observing others in sorrow, in pain and in pleasure like yourself, and
finding that in suffering as well as in pleasure there is unity.
No one can develop that power which dwells within you but yourself, for that power
grows by experience. But experience alone, undirected by the goal you would attain,
produces chaos, the chaos which prevails in the world at present. Without the
understanding of the purpose of life there is bound to be chaos.
The first demand upon those who would seek the understanding of true happiness, is that
they should have the burning longing to be free from all things, to gain that freedom
which comes when you are beyond the need for further experience because you have
passed through all experience.
If you would understand what I mean by the freedom of life, you must establish for
yourself the goal which is liberation even from life itself.
For the understanding of life you must have revolt, dissatisfaction and great
discontentment. Many people in the world imagine that they have found Truth by
adopting some theory or other, and hence that they have solved the whole problem of life.
Contentment without understanding is like a pool covered with green scum, which does
not reflect the bare eye of heaven. It is very easy to be ignorantly discontented, but to be
discontented and to revolt intelligently is a divine gift. Revolt with intelligence, with
understanding, is as a great river that is full of power.
Revolt is essential in order to escape from the narrowness of tradition, from the binding
influences of belief, of theories. If you would understand the Truth, you must be in revolt
so that you may escape from all these -from books, from theories, from gods, from
superstitions- from everything which is not of your own.
If you would understand the meaning of my words, then throw aside all your mental
conceptions of life and begin again from the very beginning. Then you will see for
yourself how life works, how life which is the accumulation of all experience speaks
through that voice which we call intuition, which guides you and helps you on the
I would urge you to be free -free from the very gods whom you worship, from the very
beings whom you hold dear, because freedom is necessary for the growth of the soul and
without freedom there is decay.
Because you do not wish to be free, you seek comfort, and comfort is like the shadow of
a tree, it varies according to the sun from moment to moment, and those who seek
comfort must move from one abode to another. Comfort cannot dwell with
The man who seeks comfort, who searches for the satisfaction of the moment, will never
find real and lasting joy, for the momentary comfort is as transitory as the flower that is
born of a morning and withers at the ending of the day.
When a pond is not touched with the breath of air, the waters become stagnant, and no
animal comes to it to slake its thirst. But when the fresh winds come and breathe on its
face, then animals and human beings alike can quench their thirst.
So if there is not in you the fresh wind of desire for freedom from all things, you will not
find the Truth which alone can remove the thirst of the world.
When you are free, as the bird in the skies, your life becomes simple. Life is complicated
only when there is limitation. Then you need traditions and beliefs to uphold you.
But when you desire to be free from all things, then you break away from the old order
and enter upon that new life which will lead you towards perfection which is liberation and happiness.
When you are able to become a flame of revolt, then the means to reach the Kingdom
will be found.
We have to create a miracle of order in this century of chaos and superstition. But first we
have to create order in ourselves, a lasting order which is not based on fear or on
I have found and established for myself that which is eternal, and it is my work to create
order in your mind, so that you will no longer depend on outward authority, no longer be
the slave of superstition or of those trivialities which hold life in bondage, and divide you
from your goal.
Because you have no true purpose in life there is chaos within you; there is misery
without understanding, strife without purpose, struggle in ignorance. But when you have
established the goal of the Beloved in your heart and mind there is understanding in your
life. There may still be struggle but it will be with understanding, and there will be
greater love and greater happiness. Establish, therefore, within you that which is eternal,
and the present shadows will pass away.
When you have established the Beloved in your heart, the source and the end are united
and time no longer exists, for you hold eternity within you.
When you have established the Beloved in your heart, you are ready to face the open
seas, where there are great storms, and the strong breezes which quicken life.
Because you have the Beloved in your heart, you must be a lighthouse on a dark shore, to
guide those who are still enshrouded in their own darkness.
Of what value is your understanding, of what value are your high and noble thoughts,
your pure life, if you do not help those who are in constant pain, who are in darkness, and
in confusion? Of what value is the Truth you have seen if you are not able to give of that
Truth to those who are hungering and thirsting after the eternal?
Because you have understood, be courageous with that understanding, and give of your
life to those who are in darkness.
IF you would see life as a clear picture you must, by discriminating and selecting from
your many experiences, gather the knowledge which will help you to the attainment of
your goal. Life cannot be separated from thought, feeling and action, and when you
understand life as a whole, using all experience as a ladder on which to climb, you attain.
My purpose is to make clear to you your own desires, to strengthen your own unique
growth towards perfection. But if you merely obey me or use me as an authority, as a
stepping-stone towards your goal, you will fail, because it will not be your own desire
that urges you. Whereas, if you strengthen the understanding of your own desire and use
all experience to that end, no one can destroy or take away that which you have gained.
As from out of a fire there comes forth a spark which can in its turn light a great flame,
springing heavenwards, so in every man there is born the spark of desire, and I would
strengthen that desire in you that you may be able for yourself to light the fire which is
necessary for the fulfilment of life.
To follow another, whosoever he may be, is to me the very negation of what I hold to be
true. Worship is contrary to all my ideas, especially worship of individuals, and if you
regard me as an authority when this form of mine passes away you will again be bound to
the same wheel of limitation. I do not want followers, I do not want disciples, I do not
want praise or worship of any kind. I need nothing from anyone.
The time when one left the world and went away to a secluded spot, to a monastery, is
past. The time for open life and clear understanding has come and I would speak of that
understanding which I have found. I would show you how I have found my Beloved, how
the Beloved is established in me, how the Beloved is the Beloved of all and how the
Beloved and I are one so that there can be no separation either now or at any time.
I have long been in revolt from all things, from the authority of others, from the
instruction of others, from the knowledge of others; I would not accept anything as Truth
until I found the Truth myself. I never opposed the ideas of others but I would not accept
their authority, their theory of life. Until I was in that state of revolt, until I became
dissatisfied with everything, with every creed, with every dogma and belief, I was not
able to find the Truth. Until I was able to destroy these things by constant struggle to
understand what lies behind them, I was not able to attain the Truth I sought. Naturally, I
did not think of all these things while I was young. They grew in me unconsciously but
now I can place all the events of my life in their proper order and see in what manner I
have developed to attain my goal, and have become my goal.
For long I have searched for that goal, and during my search I have watched people
trapped in their desires, as a fly is caught in the web of a spider. Ever since I was able to
think I have watched people absorbed in their own thoughts, suffocated by the futility of
life. Wherever I went I saw people who believed that their happiness consisted in the
multitude of possessions. I saw people who had all the comforts of this world, and yet
their lives were in confusion because they were enslaved by these things. I saw people
who loved greatly and yet were bound by their love, for they had not found the way to
give love and yet be free. I saw people who were wise in knowledge; and yet they were
bound by their very learning. I saw people who were steeped in religion and yet they
were bound by their traditions and by their fear of the unknown.
I saw the wise withdraw from the world into their own seclusion, and the ignorant caught up in their own labors.
Watching people thus I have seen that they build for themselves walls of prejudice, walls
of belief, walls of credulous thought, walls of great fear against which they fight, trying
to escape from the very walls they themselves have built. Watching all people I have seen
how useless is their struggle if they are not free from the very gods they worship, from
the interpreters who would guide them. Each guide, each interpreter of the Truth
translates that Truth according to his own limited vision. If you depend on the interpreter
for your understanding you will only learn the Truth according to his limitations. But if
you establish the goal for yourself, if you strengthen your own desire for Truth and test
the keenness of that desire by observation, by welcoming sorrow and experience, then
you need have no mediators, then there need exist nothing between you and your goal,
between you and the Truth.
I would that I could make you certain of the Truth, for Truth is greater than every book of
every religion, greater than every belief that you hold dear. But because you do not
understand, Truth appears to you as something fearsome, an enemy to be conquered, and
because of this fear you seek a mediator. But if you have a pure heart and a mind that is
full with understanding, you do not need gurus, mediators who must inevitably condition,
limit, the Truth.
Ever since I was young I have observed these things and I have never allowed myself to
be caught up in any of these confusions. Because I have established my goal, because I
have always regarded myself as a boat on the stream, having no connection with the land,
where there is confusion, I have attained, and now I would share my experience with
others. I would help those who are confused to make their minds and hearts simple in
their desire for attainment.
Ever since I was a boy I have been, as most young people are, or should be, in revolt.
Nothing satisfied me. I listened, I observed, I wanted something beyond mere phrases,
the maya of words. I wanted to discover and to establish for myself a goal. I did not want
to rely on anyone. I do not remember the time when I was being molded in my boyhood!
But I can look back and see how nothing satisfied me.
When I went to Europe for the first time I lived among people who were wealthy and
well educated, who held positions of social authority; but whatever their dignities or
distinctions, they could not satisfy me. I was in revolt also against theosophists with all
their jargon, their theories, their meetings, and their explanations of life. When I went to a
meeting, the lecturers repeated the same ideas which did not satisfy me or make me
happy. I went to fewer and fewer meetings, I saw less and less of the people who merely
repeated the ideas of Theosophy. I questioned everything because I wanted to find out for
I walked about the streets, watching the faces of people who perhaps watched me with
even greater interest. I went to theaters, I saw how people amused themselves trying to
forget their unhappiness, thinking that they were solving their problems by drugging their hearts and minds with superficial excitement.
I saw people with political, social or religious power -and yet they did not have that one
essential thing in their lives, which is happiness.
I attended labor meetings, communist meetings, and listened to what their leaders had to
say. They were generally protesting against something. I was interested but they did not
give me satisfaction.
By observation of one type and another I gathered experience vicariously. Within
everyone there was a latent volcano of unhappiness and discontent. I passed from one
pleasure to another, from one amusement to another, in search of happiness and found it
not. I watched the amusements of the young people, their dances, their dresses, their
extravagances, and I saw that they were not happy with the happiness which I was
seeking. I watched people who had very little in life, who wanted to tear down those
things which others had built up. They thought that they were solving life by destroying
and building differently and yet they were unhappy.
I saw people who desired to serve going into those quarters where the poor and the
degraded live. They desired to help but were themselves helpless. How can you cure
another of disease if you are yourself a victim of that disease?
I saw people satisfied with the stagnation which is unproductive, uncreative -the
bourgeois type which never struggles to be above the surface or falls below it and so feels
I read books on philosophy, on religion, biographies of great people and yet they could
not give me what I wanted. I wanted to be so certain, so positive, in my attitude towards
life that nothing could disturb me.
Then I came to India and I saw that the people there were deluding themselves equally,
carrying on the same old traditions, treating women cruelly. At the same time they called
themselves very religious and painted their faces with ashes. In India they may have the
most sacred books in the world, they may have the greatest philosophies, they may have
constructed wonderful temples in the past, but none of these was able to give me what I
wanted. Neither in Europe nor in India could I find happiness.
Still I wandered always in search of this happiness which I knew must exist. This was not
a merely intellectual or emotional conviction. It was like the hidden perfection, which
cannot be described, but of whose existence you are certain. You cannot ask a bud how it
opens, in what manner it gives forth its scent, at what time of the morning it unfolds itself
to the sun. But if you watch carefully, if you observe keenly, you will discover for
yourself the hidden beauty of perfection.
Still lacking the fixed purpose from which comes the delight of living, I went to
California. Circumstances forced me there because my brother was ill. There among the hills we lived in a small house in complete retirement, doing everything for ourselves. If
you would discover Truth you must for a time withdraw from the world. In that retired
spot my brother and I talked much together. We meditated, trying to understand, for
meditation of the heart is understanding.
There I was naturally driven within myself and I learned that as long as I had no definite
goal or purpose in life, I was, like the rest of mankind, tossed about as a ship on a stormy
sea. With that in my mind, after rejecting all lesser things, I established for myself my
goal. I wanted to enter into eternal happiness. I wanted to become the very goal. I wanted
to drink from the source of life. I wanted to unite the beginning and the end. I fixed that
goal as my Beloved and that Beloved is Life, the Life of all things. I wanted to destroy
the separation that exists between man and his goal. I said to myself that as long as there
is this void of separation between myself and my goal there is bound to be misery,
disturbance and doubt. There will be authority which I must obey, to which I must yield.
As long as there is separation between you and me there is unhappiness for us both. So I
set about destroying all the barriers that I had previously erected. I began to reject, to
renounce, to set aside what I had gathered and little by little I approached my goal.
When my brother died, the experience it brought me was great, not the sorrow -sorrow is
momentary and passes away, but the joy of experience remains. If you understand life
rightly then death becomes an experience out of which you can build your house of
perfection, your house of delight. When my brother died, that gap of separation still
existed in me; I saw him once or twice after death but that did not satisfy me. How can
you be satisfied alone? You may invent phrases, you may have great knowledge of
books; but as long as there is within you separation and loneliness, there is sorrow.
Because I desired to establish life within myself, because I desired to become united with
the goal, I struggled. Life is a process of struggle, of continuous gathering of the dust of
If you are lost on a dark night and you see a distant light, you make your way towards
that light with bleeding feet, through bogs, through pitfalls, through difficulties, because
you know that the light indicates a human dwelling. So have I walked and struggled
towards that light which is my goal, which is the goal of all humanity because it is
humanity itself. All the pitfalls, all the things which entangle, all the things which hurt,
are transient and pass away. I suffered but I set about to free myself from everything that
bound me, till in the end I became united with the Beloved, I entered into the sea of
liberation and established that liberation within me.
The simple union with the Beloved, the direct way of attainment, which is the eternal
way, gives ecstasy to life. If you search for Truth in the realms of maya, in the realm of
the intellect or of mere emotionalism, or in the physical sense-world alone, you will never
find it. Yet when you have found it you realize that it is contained in them all. You cannot
separate life from any expression of life and yet you must be able to distinguish between
life and its expressions… Because at first I tried to separate life from the goal, because to
me life was one thing and knowledge another, everything became confused and I turned
for support to tradition, to comfort, to self-contentment and satisfaction. When you perceive the light of your goal you are guided by it as a ship is guided by a lighthouse on
a dark shore. When you have seen that vision of perfection, that hidden beauty which
cannot be explained in words, which is beyond intellectual theories and mere emotional
excitement, it will act as your eternal guide, it will shed its light upon your path and
whatever your experience or lack of experience may be, you will attain. Attainment is not
for the few but for all, at whatever stage of evolution they may be. You can perceive the
Beloved when you have learned to translate the ordinary sorrows and pleasures of life
into terms of eternal Truth. If you can interpret all experience in the light of your goal,
then you will become united with that goal.
Because I am united eternally, inseparably with my Beloved -who is the Beloved of all,
who is yourself- I would show you the way, because you are in pain, in sorrow, in doubt.
But I can only be a sign-post for you. You must have the strength of your own desire to
attain. You must experience the pain and the sorrow in your own self. You must strive for
yourself. Your desire must come from your very soul. It must be the result of your own
experience, for by that alone will you attain.
By telling you of my attainment I do not wish to create authority because if I create
authority in your mind I shall destroy your own perception of the Truth. I want to make
you breathe the fresh air of the mountains, but if you seek my authority you will remain
in your dark valley of limitation. It is much easier for you to follow and worship blindly
than to understand and so become truly free.
Until I was able to identify myself with the goal, which is the Beloved of all, which is the
Source and the End of all, I did not want to say that I had found and in finding had
become the Beloved. Till I was able to unite with the eternal I could not pass on the Truth
to others; till I was certain of having found the lasting goal I did not want to say that I
was the Teacher. Now that I have found, now that I have established the Beloved within
myself, now that the Beloved is myself I would give you of the Truth -not that it should
be received with authority but with understanding. It does not matter whether you accept
or reject it. When a flower opens and gives its scent it does not heed if the passer-by does
not delight in its fragrance.
I have painted my picture on the canvas and I want you to examine it critically, not
blindly. I want you to create because of that picture a new picture for yourself. I want you
to fall in love with the picture, not with the painter, to fall in love with the Truth and not
with him who brings the Truth. Fall in love with yourself and then you will fall in love
In order to attain liberation it is not necessary to join any organization, any religion,
because they are binding, they are limiting, they hold you to a particular form of worship
and belief. If you long for freedom you will fight, as I have fought, against authority of
any kind, for authority is the antithesis of spirituality. If I were to use authority today and
you accepted my authority, it would not make you free, you would be merely following
the freedom of another. In following the freedom of another, you are binding yourself
more strongly to the wheel of limitation. Do not allow your mind or your heart to be bound by anything or by any one. If you do, you will establish another religion, another
temple. While destroying one set of beliefs you will establish another set of beliefs. I am
fighting against all traditions that bind, all worship that narrows, all following that
corrupts the heart. If you would find that freedom to which I would point the way, you
will begin, as I began, by being discontented, by being in revolt, in inner dissent with
everything about you. You frequently use the phrase, «We will obey our leaders.» Who
are your leaders? I never want to be a leader. I never want to have authority. I want you
to become your own leaders.
Life is simple and magnificent, lovely and divine, but you want all the beauty and the
freshness of the dawn and of the still night to be caught and held in a narrow circle so that
you can worship it. Go down to the sea-beach of an evening when the fresh breezes are
blowing and all the blades of grass are in motion and the particles of sand are flying
about and the trees are waving their branches, and the waves of the sea are breaking over
each other. You want to gather and bind all that beauty into a narrow temple. You need
have no beliefs in order to live nobly. And yet you say, «I must worship Gods, I must
perform rites, I must go to shrines, I must follow this and do that.» It is an eternal must.
That way of living is not living at all.
Whatever you do, do not create another temple around me. I shall not be held within it. I
want to be your companion with the freshness of the breeze. I want to free you from your
own limitations, to encourage within you individual creation, individual perfection,
individual uniqueness. The self can only be purified and truly transcended when it has
developed its own individual uniqueness to perfection; not when it is held in limitations,
bound by traditions, by forms, and by all the unnecessary paraphernalia which you think
essential to your well-being.
I remember a story written by a Norwegian. The hero of that story, in search for freedom
and happiness, joins one religion after another and worships one God after another,
performs one ceremony after another, and still he cannot find what he seeks. At length he
becomes a Buddhist and drops his physical body and enters Nirvana. He enters the
Nirvana of the books and there he sees all the Gods of all the religions seated and
conversing with each other. They offer him a vacant seat. This hero appears as a flame,
but this flame does not want to be caught and while all the Gods try to catch hold of him
he disappears. The Gods cannot follow him because even Gods themselves are bound.
Do not be bound by me or by any one. Happiness is within yourself.
I set out to find for myself the purpose of life and I found it, without the authority of
another. I have entered that sea of liberation and happiness in which there is no limitation
or negation because it is the fulfilment of life.
Because after my long journey towards attainment and perfection I have attained that
perfection and established it in my heart, and because my mind is tranquil and eternally
liberated as the flame, I would give of that understanding to all.
STAND IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH
EVERYONE in the world is concerned with the search for that Truth which will satisfy
him eternally, but in that search each one contends against another; and hence there is
confusion, struggle and pain. They lack the certainty of purpose which will determine
their course through life and so rely on another for their comfort, well-being, and
Because they admit that they are weak, because they maintain that they cannot stand
without the support of another, they have been given crutches that will support them
momentarily, instead of developing their own strength to go forward in search of the pure
waters of Truth.
If you would find that Truth you must put aside all those things upon which you have
leaned for support and look within for that everlasting spring. It cannot be brought to you
through any outward channel.
In search of the Truth that shall sustain, uphold, and guide you, you have looked
outwards and sought for it objectively, and thus have been lost in the shadows of
manifestation. To find that spring of Truth you must look within, you must purify your
heart and mind.
You say to me, «You are different; you have attained, and because you have attained,
these comforts are unnecessary for you.» No, friend, because you desire to attain, these
things are unnecessary for you. Because I have leaned on crutches to support me, I know
the uselessness of crutches. When you have passed along a dangerous narrow path, and
you have often slipped, and had to climb again, surely you would say to your fellow
travelers, «Beware of these things, do not walk on the edge, walk rather in the middle,
keeping your balance, and do not be led away, so that you fall over the precipice.»
Because I know that your comforts only weaken you, I tell you to throw them away.
Because I have been entangled in complexities, because I have been held in bondage, I
urge you to escape into freedom. Because I have found a simple and direct path, I would
tell you of it. If I had relied for my happiness on others, if I had been caught up in
grandiloquent phrases, or in the worship of images, or persons, in the shadows of
temples, I should not have found that Truth which I sought. Not in the worship of
externals do you find the spring of Truth, but in the adoration of Truth itself.
Because you imagine that without all these complications of beliefs and systematized
thoughts which are called religions, you cannot find Truth, that very thought is
preventing you from finding it. If you would climb to a great height, if you would go far,
you do not carry on your shoulders great burdens. In like manner, if you would attain
liberation you do not cling to the burdens which you have accumulated throughout the
ages. You must put aside those things which you have gained and reach out for further
In search of the waters that shall quench your thirst, if you are wise, you will not act in
haste. Through haste you find nothing. By patient understanding, by careful watching that
you may not be caught up in things that are trivial, non-essential, you find that which you
seek. It is difficult for you to realize that your own understanding dwells within, that your
happiness lies within yourself, because you have been accustomed to look to objective
things for your understanding and your Truth.
Invite doubt; for doubt is as a precious ointment: though it burns, it shall heal greatly and
by inviting doubt, by putting aside those things which you have understood, by
transcending your acquirements, your understanding, you will find the Truth.
THE HIDDEN WELL
WHEN the fountain is sealed and the spring is shut up, to open that fountain and release
that spring you must dig deep, and thereby disturb the earth. In like manner and for the
same purpose there must be disturbance within you if you would find Truth. As the
waters are hidden in the dry lands, so is Truth hidden in your heart. I would dig in each of
you a well that shall nourish and sustain you, but to dig deep you must uproot greatly, to
have great depth of water you must delve deeply into the earth. The process of digging
creates discontentment and revolt, and the destruction of useless things. Love Truth for
its own beauty, do right because you yourself desire to do it, and develop the inward
perception of true understanding. If you follow without understanding, you will betray
the Truth, and because I hold the Truth with such care, with such gratitude for its
loveliness, I want you not to betray it. For this reason I am creating revolt within you, I
am digging deep to discover the waters that shall nourish you, the Truth that shall give
you tranquillity, the Truth that shall give you ecstasy of purpose in this world of
confusion. If you merely repeat after me new phrases instead of the old, that repetition
will not show the way to Truth. There must be a vital change in the mind and in the heart
before that inward perception of Truth which is the true understanding of life can be
developed. Do not settle down more comfortably in your already comfortable attitude of
mind, for satisfaction and contentment do not lead to the Truth, neither do they bring
happiness. Become a genius by developing your own individual uniqueness. The genius
of one man can never be complete; the genius which is the outcome of the individual
uniqueness of many, which all have helped to produce, will alone be perfect. If you
would create greatly, if you would have that creation last eternally, you must develop
your own individual uniqueness, your own perfection, with the understanding of the
Truth, and not imitate the perfection of another.
BE IN LOVE WITH LIFE
DURING the time of winter, every tree looks forward to the warm airs of the spring, but
when that spring comes, if there is no life in the tree it will not put forth green foliage,
flowers and fruit. I am telling you of that life which is in all things, and in keeping that
life pure, strong and vital, you will find happiness -not in limiting that life and placing it in bondage. Everyone in the world is more concerned with the branches and leaves of the
tree than with the sap which gives vitality to the whole tree. I am concerned with the life
of the tree, and not with the branch, the leaf, the flower and the fruit; because I hold that
as long as the life in the tree is healthy, its expression is bound to be beautiful. In the
same way if the life in you is strong, vital and pure, you will attain to that Truth which is
unlimited and cannot be conditioned. If you seek to condition it, it is betrayed.
You are all concerned with the appearance of the tree, with the pruning of its branches,
with the examination of its leaves, you are intoxicated with its perfume and you are not
pleased when you are called back to the consideration of that which produces your tree,
with its perfume, its leaves and its branches. As there is no life in a dead branch, it is
broken by the winter winds and drops away. Such will be the man who does not put life
before all lesser things, who does not release life from its bondage, from the trivialities
that have been imposed upon it. In order to free life you must be in love with life. You
would much rather adore an image than worship life itself.
Do not put aside what I am saying with a shrug of your shoulders, but listen diligently,
and you will understand greatly. If you are prejudiced, if you are determined to twist life
to suit your particular beliefs, your particular branch of the expression of life, then you
will not find the Truth.
In order to release that spring which will develop into a torrent and hence carry you to the
attainment of liberation which is Truth, which is the fulfilment of life, you must discover
what is essential for your understanding, and set aside all those things which are of
You will be unhappy; you will struggle; you will have to go through disappointments,
anxieties, great agonies, if you place the unessential before the essential. That is what you
are all doing, because to you life and the freedom of life is not important. When you are
in love with life you will invite sorrow, doubt, every experience, in order that you may
conquer every experience, that you may break the bandages which you have placed on
To find the Truth, you must give up the worship of the image and fall in love with life.
Then you will become immortal. The fear of death disappears in him who is in love with
life and who sees that life in the eyes of his neighbor. Be in love with life, and loyal to
life and not to persons, because the worship of personalities does not lead you to Truth.
Truth does not belong to any individual, Truth does not belong to any religion, Truth
cannot be found in the dark sanctuary of temples, nor in the well-lit halls of organized
societies, neither can it be found in books, nor in ceremonies. I would bring you to the
understanding of Truth, but you would much rather have me repeat what you have heard
a hundred times. You would much rather that I put you to sleep, lull you in comfort, than
awaken in you the desire to shatter all things, to discover life.
If you would discover the cause for all the beauty of the world, for all the dancing
shadows, do not be caught up in the illusion of the expressions of life, but rather seek for that Truth which is life itself by being in love with life.
FOR those who have discovered Truth and attained the fulfilment of life -which is
happiness and liberation- time and the complications of time have ceased. But those who
are still bound to the yoke of experience are limited by the past, present and future.
You who would discover the Truth which is absolute and infinite must realize that you
are the product of the past, and the outcome of your own creation. You are bringing forth
out of yourself that which you have sown in the past. And as man is the product of the
past, so by his actions of today he can control the future. Tomorrow depends upon today,
and therefore today determines tomorrow. By controlling the future you become the
master of the future. You bring the future to the present.
Everyone throughout the world is bound by the traditions, the fears, the shame, the
beliefs, the morality, of the past. If you are constantly looking backwards, you will never
discover Truth. The discovery of eternal Truth lies always ahead of you. If you truly
understand this, you will not cling to the past. You will not be always conditioned by the
thoughts, the actions, the feelings, the ethics of the past, because therein is stagnation and
the bondage of life. Cut away the bondage of the past as a woodman cuts his way through
a dark forest to find the open spaces and fresh breezes. For the past always binds,
however glorious, however well seasoned, however fruitful it may have been, and the
man who would be free must look eternally forward.
If you would walk, and build, and create in the shelter of eternity, you must not bring the
past into conflict with the present, but must invite the future and thereby bring that future
into conflict with the present.
Because your mind and heart are bound by traditions and beliefs, by the sacred books of
the past, by the dark shadows of temples and remembered gods, you do not understand
either the present or the future. Time, as man understands it, is dividing you from your
goal. Therefore, to bring time to naught, you must so live now that you are the master of
the future, so that the future becomes the present. People love to think of themselves as
being glorified in the future, or resting on the laurels of what they have been in the past.
What a comforting idea! The belief in your greatness in some distant future will not help
you to deal with life in the present, when you are struggling, when there is confusion in
your mind and heart.
Not in the distant future did I want to be great, but I desired to be happy in the present, I
wanted to be free in the present, I wanted to be beyond all the limitations of time. So I
invited the future into the present, and hence I have conquered the future.
Do not live in the future, nor in the dead things of yesterday, but live rather in the
immediate now, with the understanding that you are a product of the past, and that by your actions of today you can control tomorrow and so become the master of time, the
master of evolution, and hence the master of perfection.
Then you will live with greater intensity, then every second will count and every moment
be of value. But you are frightened of such a present. You would much rather be
conditioned by the past, because you have a dread of the future. But the future is not
fearsome to those who walk in the way of understanding. If you would attain to the
fulfilment of life, you must invite the future to the present and thereby create a conflict
within yourself. Through contentment you do not find happiness, but a state of
stagnation. If you would know true happiness there must first be that inward conflict,
which will bring forth in you the flower of life.
Put aside the past with all its glories, beautiful and terrible, all its traditions, wide and yet
so conditioned, all its moralities that strangle life, and look into your own heart and mind
to discover what lies before you in the future. For as you are the product of the past, and
as you can control the future, so the future becomes the present and you live in that
FROM these Camps you will go away to all parts of the world carrying with you that
which you have understood, and carrying with you, alas, also that which you have not
understood. If that which you have not understood be the stronger, because of its
strength, it will pervert that which you have understood. I would give you the flower of
understanding which shall know no decay, so that you may keep it ever with you.
Truth is like a flame without definite form, it varies from moment to moment. No man
can describe it, but by the light of Truth alone you must walk, if you would keep that
flower of understanding with you always.
Because you will go away with phrases, with words, with half ideas, the full beauty of
manifestation will escape you. I have heard people say, «I must give up music. I must no
longer admire painting. I must no longer enjoy the shade of a tree and the glory of sunset;
nor the reflection of the swallow on a still evening on the face of the waters.» If that is
what you understand when I say that life is more important than its expressions, you will
destroy the beauty of the expression, and then you will have to create that beauty again.
Do you think that there is so much beauty around us in expression, in manifestation, only
to be destroyed, to be put aside and not to be admired?
As the water is necessary for the beauty of the lotus, and as the lotus makes the waters
beautiful, so, when the expression of life is destroyed, when it is made hideous and
horrible to behold, then life itself, which is in each one, becomes perverted, mutilated and
ugly. So, friend, do not cease to admire beauty. Do not hold back the laughter that
awakens in your heart when you see a dancing leaf. Do not thwart the expressions of life
by misunderstanding the purpose of life. To bring that expression to perfection, to its fulfillment, life must be free, life must not be bound by traditions, by your stagnating
moralities and beliefs. The expressions of life will then be naturally beautiful.
There have been many thousand people at these Camps, and what could they not do in
the world if they all understood? They could change the face of the world tomorrow. Its
expression would become different because new life had been brought to it.
That is what I long to do. That is the only desire that burns in my heart. Because I see
sadness and corruption, pain and suffering, passing ecstasies and passing fantasies, I
would awaken life and bring it to its perfect fulfilment. You who are going away must
realize your responsibility. Truth is not to be played with, nor to be corrupted by
misunderstanding, but to be developed with full understanding of the purpose of life. If
you have caught a glimpse of Truth, if you are walking on the path of understanding, you
can change the thought and feeling of the world; but before you can change the world,
you must change your own heart and mind. For this reason you have gathered together,
for this reason you have been shaken to the very foundation -as I hope- of your structure.
You have come to discover, in the light of the Truth, that which is lasting, which shall
stand against the storm, and distinguish it from that which is unimportant, trivial and to
be set aside.
For that reason I have urged you to invite doubt, and to examine with understanding all
that you have gathered through the ages. Adversity is as a furnace through which
everyone must pass. Great struggles, great sorrows and great ecstasies unfold the Truth in
its sublimity, in its simplicity. To welcome adversity -not thrust upon you by another-
you must invite doubt. If doubt unconsciously insinuates itself into your heart, it will not
purify it. You can only purify it by deliberately inviting doubt.
Those who would attain greatly, who would understand truly, must invite the future, and
let that future come into conflict with the fruit of the past, which is the present. But you
do not want to do that. All your questions, all your thoughts and feelings have been about
the past. You have judged everything that I have put before you by the past; but, friend,
Truth is neither bound by the past nor the present nor the future. To understand Truth,
you must put aside all things that you have accumulated and not cling with fear to the
past, however beautiful it may be. If the past seems so fruitful to you, if the past in its
decay is so dear to you, if the past holds such sway over you, why are you here? You are
here because you are faced with the future. To understand the future you must put aside
the past and take the future to your heart and mind, and cling to it desperately as a
drowning man desires air. Not merely to dwell in some distant future, but to bring that
future into the immediate present is the glory of man. I tell you, friend, One greater than
your books, your rites, your religions and your beliefs, is here, and if you would learn to
understand the Truth, you must put aside the past, however comfortable, however
pleasing, however delightful it may have been, and welcome the future. If you worship
and cling to the past, you will be like the dead stumps of yesterday; no waters can revive
their green shoots.
As you have to build greatly, you must bring that future Truth and life in its fulfilment to the present. To create greatly, to create lastingly, you must understand, and so I say, «Do
not follow, do not obey, do not be loyal to any person except to yourself, and then you
will be loyal to every passer-by.»
Do not repeat after me words that you do not understand. Do not merely put on a mask of
my ideas, for it will be an illusion and you will thereby deceive yourself.
I would build in your heart and mind that Truth which is of no form and hence eternal. I
would change your heart and mind in the shadow of eternity. When you change and build
on the love of life and its understanding, what you build will be everlasting. I do not want
to concern myself with the molding of a door, which is but an expression of life. You can
always change the expression of life, but if you would build eternally in the light of the
Truth, you must ever give love to life, with new ideas and understanding to nourish it.
The only eternal creation is that which is without form, with life itself and not with the
expressions of life. You want me to create your expressions, to lay down disciplines for
you to follow; you want me, who am the Life, to deal with the moldings of the door.
Because I do not concern myself with the expressions and manifestations of life, you are
not satisfied. You want me to deal with the transitory instead of with the eternal.
Friend, I want to lay the foundation of Truth in your mind and heart. That is the work of
life and therefore of the eternal. You have not so far been concerned with that foundation,
you have not taken to heart and pondered over that Truth, you have all the time occupied
yourself with the past, with small misunderstandings, with the corruption from obedience,
with petty loyalties to individuals, with the adoration of passing mediators and gurus. Is it
not better to seek the Life eternal that shall nourish you always, than to seek shelters that
vary from moment to moment, inviting you to their decay and stagnation?
Friend, believe me, I am saying all this out of the fullness of my heart. Because I am in
love with that life which is in everyone, I would free that life; but you do not want that,
you want the passing love, the fleeting comfort and the balm that shall heal your
momentary pain. You desire what you perceive, but if your perception is limited and
conditioned, your desire will be the cause of your sorrow. But if your perception has no
limitation, if it is beyond all beliefs and traditions, then your desire will have no
limitations, it will be life itself. You are not in love with life; you are in love with the
past, and life is not concerned with the past. Life, like the swift running waters, is always
going forward and is never still and stagnant.
Because One greater than all these is with you, I hold it dear and precious that you should
understand in the fullness of your heart and mind, and so create the light which shall be
your guide, which is not the light of another but your own. Go away with the mirror of
Truth which shall reflect your life, with the love that is detached, and with the
understanding of the Truth.