Saturday, December 24, 2011

Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals


Here's a review of Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals that I will place on Amazon.com:

As others have pointed out, "Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals" is Mary Lutyens' reply to Radha Sloss' book and adds more to the picture of Krishnamurti. Indeed, it adds so much more that one must consider why Lutyens' original biography of Krishnamurti was so incomplete. The original biography did not mention Krishnamurti's sex life and his adulterous affair. That book was very detailed, so space wasn't an issue. The current book reveals that this was a huge part of his life, yet Lutyens ignored it in the original biography. Why?

Lutyens' excuses for not including Krishnamurti's adultery with Rosalind Rajagopal in the original biography are disingenuous. She writes, "I… did not realize that Rosalind wanted her adultery broadcast to the world." This is a lame excuse. The more likely reason is that she didn't want Krishnamurti's adultery broadcast to the world. She wanted his image to remain untarnished. Indeed, later in this book we see another Krishnamurti follower - Mary Zimbalist - protecting him in a similar way (see a few paragraphs below).

In her original biography of Krishnamurti, Lutyens feigned dismay at Rajagopal's bad behaviour towards Krishnamurti. But imagine Rajagopal's point of view. Krishnamurti presented himself on stage as being spiritually and morally superior and he let others treat him as special, yet all along Rajagopal knew Krishnamurti was having an affair with his wife. Ding, ding, ding! Of course, he is going to behave "badly" towards Krishnamurti. How can Lutyens say she doesn't understand Rajagopal's behaviour? Why did Krishnamurti approve a biography that presents such a patently false dismay?

Regarding Krishnamurti's celibate image, I have heard people say, "Of course, he had a normal sex life." On the other hand, I have heard others say, "Of course, he was celibate." So it seems that people were projecting both views and that Krishnamurti let the issue remain ambiguous so that he could have it both ways. He would have been happy to be seen as sexually cool in the swinging 60s, and he would have been happy to be remembered as a celibate saint. After all, he was supposed to be the Lord Maitreya incarnate, and the Lord Maitreya doesn't have sex with lowly mortals, does he?

Back in the day, I searched every book Krishnamurti wrote for clear statements about his sex life and his spiritual experiences. Notably, both topics were treated in a vague way. The closest I could find to a clear statement on his sex life was when he once answered a sex question with, "I wouldn't know." From that, I concluded that he was claiming to be celibate. Nevertheless, Lutyens writes in the present book, "I have always stressed that Krishnamurti was physically a perfectly normal man." That is untrue. Firstly, she claimed repeatedly that he was uniquely special. Indeed, in the original biography she wrote:

"Mary had made Marpessa's choice, yet it was with a sense of betrayal that she married her mortal; not betrayal of K, who, she knew, had no personal need of her or of any other individual, but betrayal of the view from the mountain top he had shown her."
Clearly, she was portraying him as being beyond mere mortal interests such as marriage and sex. Secondly, if she "always stressed that Krishnamurti was physically a perfectly normal man", then why is his non-celibacy a revelation to so many people who have read the original biography?

One commenter here said that s/he doubts that Krishnamurti tried to cover up the affair. Yet we have clear evidence to the contrary - most obviously, Krishnamurti approved the biography that covered up the affair! And I suspect that Krishnamurti didn't push Rajagopal in their legal battles because he knew that Rajagopal was ready to expose him as an adulterer. Similarly, Lutyens didn't directly attack Rajagopal in the biography because she didn't want Rajagopal to return fire with information about the adultery. But once the information about the adultery was out, Lutyens let loose in the current book because there was no false image of Krishnamurti left to defend.

I believe that the reason Lutyens wrote this book was to defend Krishnamurti by attacking Rajagopal, and to justify herself for not including these issues in the original biography, but it backfires because we learn so much new disturbing information. One example is that we see Krishnamurti freaking out in a most unenlightened way. He calls the Rajagopals "evil, dirty" - and don't forget he just had an adulterous affair with one of these "evil, dirty" people. Another example is that we see the blind devotion of his followers. Immediately following his freak out, Mary Zimbalist wrote in her diary:

"I said I had one motive from the very beginning: to protect him and the teachings, to see that what he wants done happens. He said that wasn't enough, 'You are part of me, you must see and feel this in the same way.' He was making it clear that he wants to end the dispute and that in itself counts totally for me. ...At one point he said, 'I would grovel to end this'."
Isn't that shocking? Obviously he was panic-stricken. He was afraid to let his spiritual image and spiritual career collapse. And while he was freaking out and demanding that Zimbalist's view be replaced by his view, instead of re-evaluating him, she said her one motive is to protect him and the teachings. That is an astounding response. Presumably, many other insiders had the same overriding desire to blindly protect him. Clearly, that desire to protect Krishnamurti resulted in the hiding of many unpleasant facts about him.

I agree that Sloss' book was dreadful, but at least it forced Lutyens to fill out her hagiography of Krishnamurti with some earthy truth. It forced her to spill the beans on The World Teacher's adultery, the freak-out described above, and the blind obedience of his followers. One wonders how many other famous spiritual leaders throughout history have benefited from having hagiographers like Lutyens to polish their images? It is ironic that Krishnamurti's main message was to not follow others but he surrounded himself with blind devotees who idolised him and "the teachings" and he demanded that their views be replaced by his views.

Although I don't expect spiritual teachers to be perfect, I do expect their biographers to be honest since biographies often create the enduring image of their subjects. "Krishnamurti and the Rajagopals" fills out Krishnamurti's image and also reveals the deluded mindset of his main biographer and his close followers.

18 comments:

  1. Bit like Adam & eve that Krish & Rosalind,Guess he was just a man with a mans needs after all the hype. He bit the apple . Then Life itself is a contradiction.The more interesting fact is he never left anyone clued up to his teachings.Or any so called saints to carry on. No enlightened souls. He seemed to confuse people completely with his style of esoteric intelligence. Now he is gone its a bit like an onward machine. He blinded people with his style that was surrounded my his own mystic,bit like a smoke screen. The followers must be desperate people for an answer.

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  2. malcy700,

    Thanks for commenting.

    I have met many of his followers at video screenings. They are totally mindy and they adore him. It is easy demolish many of his ideas, but all I saw in the videos were sycophants trying to "understand the teaching".

    BTW, Vimala Thakar is supposed to have been enlightened by Krishnamurti.

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  3. I am a big fan of JK . I never came across a teaching where he claimed he was celibete. I always thought he had pretty open views towards sex and that it was something that was supposed to be discussed honestly. I always thought JK was preet human and he always did try to potray himself as just human.Atleast thats the impression I got so far.

    U raise valid points about Lutyens not being completely honest with Jk's life and hence ,ended up writing hagiography about Jk which is pretty ironical . but i read Radha's book and it does come pretty biased to me.

    Ultimately , what matters is was Jk a hypocrite . Did he claim something and did something else behind the curtains. I dont think so.He followed what he claimed.

    Jk always gave me the impression of being very human and not a holy guy beaming sunshine all round

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    1. "Ultimately , what matters is was Jk a hypocrite . Did he claim something and did something else behind the curtains. I dont think so."

      No offense, but beliefs stop you from seeing the truth. He said not to follow anyone, yet we see he is a hypocrite in this regard:

      Mary Zimbalist wrote in her diary:

      "I said I had one motive from the very beginning: to protect him and the teachings, to see that what he wants done happens. He said that wasn't enough, 'You are part of me, you must see and feel this in the same way.' He was making it clear that he wants to end the dispute and that in itself counts totally for me. ...At one point he said, 'I would grovel to end this'."

      The hypocrisy is glaringly obvious:

      "Don't follow anyone."

      VS

      "You are part of me, you must see and feel this in the same way."

      He was obviously protecting himself by having devout believers in Krishnamurtiism.

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    2. Krishnamurti's life and the teachings cannot be soiled by someone who he helped to raise, and who was defending her father who did something indefensible.

      Someone who commented said the teachings could be demolished, but such a statement only shows this person knows little or is incapable of comprehending the teachings. They can and will stand on their own, for truth needs no support.

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    3. Like yourself, I was an admirerer of Krishnamurti for a couple of years during my lifetime. I read a lot of his books, the early speeches, listened to lectures etc. But I have outgrown him now. I think that he was a hypocrite, he was a terrible teacher with no didactic talent whatsoever, and his speeches are disorganized, chaotic and after a certain time increasingly dull. He uses rhetoric tricks how to avoid questions, he repeats himself ad nauseam, there are contradictions in his own statements.

      I myself experienced enligtenment periods in my life. Enlightenment is real, but it is not what most people think. Enlightenment is freedom from thought, freedom from concepts. It is like this - you have thougths, you have feelings, you can have ego, you have conditioning, but at the same time you are able to transcend these by making your mind still. And it is these intervals of pure stillness which you can call enlightenment. In these intervals of pure stillness you understand yourself, you are free. Thoughts are the shadows. Enlightenment is not permanent, it is not a state without ego, it is not a state of some supermoral superhuman wisdom. Dualities like enlightenment/nonenligtenment, permanent/impermanent, ego/selflessness are created by thought. If you try to keep yourself in the egoless state, your are maintaining the opposite.

      There are much better teachers than Krishnamurti - I would suggest Hui Hai and Huang Po. In a small book of 100 pages you can find clear statements of what Krishamurti tried to teach in 10 000+ pages of confused talks. I believe Krihnamurti had insight, but at the same time he had his shadow side which he tried to conceal. Enligtenment doesnt mean that the person is beyond this world, that the person is pure, egoless and devoid of flaws.

      Follow Krishnamurtis advise and reject all authority, including his own, and follow your own way. If you try to understand yourself accoring to Krishnamurti, you are only making yourself to fit in his cage.

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    4. Some of the comments I read here are sad to read. They are written by those who are trying to say, Krishnamurti was just a regular man and that he never claimed a saintly life. Are you kidding me!!!! When he claims that his truth comes from the pathless land and that it is timesless and without space, it means what he has come in contact with is God. He has in some of his notes refers to the God as "the otherness". He also, claimed that this is the only way for man to liberate himself and create a different world. Yet, he goes and had a mistress, sex, and etc. Your words are your own proof. How can you come forth and say you have the only solution in transforming humans, and yet, you yourself are part of the problem. The hypocrisy of all this beyond belief. Admit that your don't work, because you yourself could not put them into practice. Be honest!

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    5. and what exactly are J Krishnamurti's teachings ?

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    6. "and what exactly are J Krishnamurti's teachings ?"

      They are a pile of waffle and questions.

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  4. I am also a fan of K and still think that his teaching is consistent with what Budda would say. He asked people to drink the water without looking at the bottle, which in a way is true but on the other is very difficult (maybe for the enlighten mind it is possible). K lights up my life and I even went to Ojai his center to get more information of him. But, I was deeply shocked after reading Sloss's book, not shocked by his secrete love with beautiful and poor Rosalind but by his lying. He asked people to face the fear but how can he himself is not living out of his own fear. If we were lost, K showed me the map and asked me to follow this map, but what I see is he himself is lost too sometime, what does that mean, is this map a true map? He asked no followers but clearly even from other devotee's book you can clearly tell he enjoyed that much of his fans, followers and devotees. I would not see he is hypocrite, no, human nature is complex and has many faces for almost everyone. I would only see we really have to enlighten our own life following his teaching. In a way, he is very right. His teaching, not K, ourselves not the teacher will finally save us

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  5. I think Krishnamurti's ideas are a big distraction from the real issues. He seems to appeal to mindy types who like to get into endless analysis. Such analysis is just pruning the leaves of the tree of illusion. We need to cut to the root of the problem. He is presented as the World Teacher and is supposed to be a reincarnation of, or channel for, the Lord Maitreya, but I think he was quite deluded.

    My philosophy is ten times better than his philosophy.

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  6. I recently read the RS book but not the ML book yet as it is tough to find it here in India. Iam convinced Sloss speaks the truth as far as the affairs with her mother are concerned. Even the mean spirited fights and law suits with Raja are also believable.

    However Sloss loses her integrity as a writer in 2 ways : She is unable to be critical of her parents who were part of the crime(dont take the word literally) that she accuses K of. She says his " awakening process" was fake and K "made up" his teachings, rather than it being a revelation. Now Raja knew this all along as mentioned in the first phase of the book. Why in the world did Raja play along for 30 years? Is that not the same as abetting a criminal. Sitting and editing somebodys teachings which you dont believe and selling them to the world. And why cant RS be critical of Raja for this. What does that make her.? She comes up with all kinds of explanations (dharma etc) to defend Raja. And you Martin Gifford the author of this blog defends her.

    Also when Rosalind sleeps with K for 20 years she does not seem to mind the fact that she is married. This is called cheating in common man's terms. Then the abortions behind her husband's back. RS defends that too with amazing words. Guess she finds it difficult to find fault with the parents(one abetter of crime and the other the cheater).

    I still believe RS account of K's affair and his petty fights with Raja. But why not throw all 3 in Jail instead of just K. That would show more integrity as a writer.

    So , looks like nobody is perfect here. I dont know who to believe. That will be my journey.

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  7. Ultimately, everybody is innocent. Before he was born, Krishnamurti didn't ask to be discovered by Leadbeater and taken to the West as the World Teacher. He didn't ask to have sexual instincts. He didn't ask to be in a world that pressures people to be phoney. He didn't ask to be restricted by Victorian morality. None of us asked for these things.

    However, the topic I'm interested in - in this thread - is Krishnamurti, his biographer, and the implications that has for all the supposedly great spiritual figures of the past. If his biographer could cover up the truth and create a holy image of her hero, even while he was still alive, imagine how easy, or even natural, it was for people to do the same for spiritual figures in the past after their deaths.

    Regarding your personal journey, my suggestion, FWIW, is to avoid any kind of romantic journey. The basics of our situation are clear: we seek happiness, and the world is totally deluded about the source of reliable happiness.

    Happiness is our nature not in objects, circumstances or states. But for this to reach its' needed potential we must end ignorance in the world.

    By saying this, don't think I'm depriving you of finding your own way of life. There is no merit in the romantic spiritual quest. What I am saying is just the simple basics to get out of the swamp of illusion caused by the ignorant world at every turn. It is only when you are out of the swamp that you can find your own way of life. Then it will be free of romance and desperation because you will know that primary reliable happiness is your nature. Getting out of the swamp of human ignorance so that we can simply be ourselves is all that needs to happen.

    BTW, I wrote this in a few minutes, and it's better than Krishnamurti's long boring distracting books.

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    1. "BTW, I wrote this in a few minutes, and it's better than Krishnamurti's long boring distracting books."

      Just... wow... dude, really?
      I dont care for K, I came here while looking for research material, but I just had to stop, point, and laugh at this...

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  8. I never find Krishnamurti boring because he never has any axe to grind or any philosophy to peddle. As for being a great spiritual figure, that is entirely up to those people who seek such silly things. For himself, in his own words, he is nothing, nobody, as you can hear for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G-7-ZiiM-o

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  9. Whatever one thinks about the affair, ultimately we don't know the truth. I ask whether I want to be interested in what he has to say , like Allan Anderson , Jealous like Osho or bitter like UG. Which would be the preference ? Which seems like the healthier mind? Happy learning and Godspeed !

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  10. A deeply honest man is a man of profound wisdom. Truth is not what the morals of our world would force us to confess or refute. Surely, we must be inward looking in our interaction with the world in that it must mot betray the quality of our intimate relationships. He did not fail to do so.

    The revelations do sort a few things out, though. But I remain hugely impressed and indebted to K.

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    1. "Truth is not what the morals of our world would force us to confess or refute."

      Agreed.

      But he went to the other extreme by allowing a hagiography to be written about him. He let people believe he was the Lord Maitreya and The World Teacher. He also demanded absolute obedience in private while publicly saying, "Follow no one". And his "teaching" largely confused people and put them too much in their heads because he kept pruning weeds rather than getting to the root of our problems.

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