Tag Archives: institutions


Jiddu Krishnamurti

Can the mind put away all its conditioning so that it is actually, not verbally or theoretically or ideologically, but actually free, completely? That is the only challenge, that is the only issue, now or ever. If you also see the importance of that, then we can go into this question as to whether the mind can uncondition itself. Can we proceed from there? Is it possible? In this question several things are involved. First of all who is the entity who is going to uncondition the conditioned mind? You understand? I want to uncondition myself, being born as a Hindu or brought up in a particular part of the world, with all the impressions, cultures, books, magazines, what people have said and what they have not, such constant pressure has shaped my mind. And I see it must be totally free. Now, how is it to be free? Is there an entity which is going to make it free? Man has said, there is an entity; they call it the Atman in India, the soul or the grace of God in the Occident, or this or that, which, given an opportunity, will bring about this freedom. It is suggested that if I live rightly, if I do certain things, if I follow certain formulas, certain systems, certain beliefs, then I will be free. So, firstly it is posited that there is a superior outer form or agency, that will help me to be free, that will make the mind free if I do these things right? But ‘If you do these things’ is a system, which is going to condition you and that is what has happened. The theologians and the theoreticians and the various religious people have said, ‘do these things, practice, meditate, control, force, suppress, follow, obey’ then at the end, that outer agency will come and bring a certain miracle and you will be free; see how false that is, yet every religion believes in it in a different way. So, if you see the truth of that, that there is no outer agency, God what you will that is going to free the conditioned mind, then the whole organized religious structure, of priests with their rituals, with their mutterings of meaningless words, words, have no meaning any more. Then secondly, if you have actually discarded all that, how is it possible for this conditioning to be dissolved; who is the entity that is going to do it; you have discarded this outer agency, the sacred, the divine, all that, then there must be somebody who is going to dissolve it? Then who is that? The observer? The ‘I’, the ‘me’, which is the observer? Let us stick to that word, ‘observer’; that is good enough. Is it the observer that is going to dissolve it? The observer says; ‘I must be free, therefore I must get rid of all this conditioning’. You have discarded the outer, divine agency, but you have created another agency which is the observer. Now, is the observer different from the thing which he observes? Please do follow this. You understand? We looked to an outer agency to free us God, Saviours, Masters and so on, the gurus if you discard that then you will see that you must also discard the observer, who is another form of an agency. The observer is the result of experience, of knowledge, of the desire to free himself from his own conditioning; he says, ‘I must be free’. The ‘I’ is the observer. The ‘I’ says, ‘I must be free’. But is the ‘I’ different from the thing it observes? It says, ‘I am conditioned, I am a nationalist, I am a Catholic, I am this, I am that’. Is the ‘I’ really different from the thing which he says is separate from him, which he says is his conditioning?

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Talks and Dialogues in Saanen 1968

(image source: krishnamurti.dk)

Who will free the mind?


I live by Your Name:
show me Your mercy,
my Lord.

If Allãh resides
inside a mosque,
then whose is the rest of the land?
Hindus claim His Name
inhabits an idol:
but God can’t be found
in either place.

The southern country
is Hari’s home,
the west is Allãh’s camping ground.
Search your heart,
your heart of hearts:
that’s His abode,
that’s His camp.

The brahmin fasts
once a fortnight,
the qãzĩ fasts for Ramadãn.
Each devotes
eleven months to himself,
then looks for rewards
in a month of fasts.

Why go off to Orissa
for ritual immersions?
Why bow your head in a mosque?
You’re a crook at heart,
you pretend to pray:
why go all the way
on a hajj to the Ka’aba?

These men and women,
The whole lot of them,
are nothing but Your forms.
I’m a child
of Allãh-and-Rãma,
everyone’s my guru-and-pĩr.

Kabir says, listen,
O men and women:
seek shelter with the One and Only.
Repeat His singular Name,
you creatures: for only then
will you be able
to cross life’s ocean.

Note from the translator:

The poem opens by compounding ‘Allãh’ and ‘Rãma’ into a single name, and addressing that compound God directly as a unified divinity. This pada attacks the ‘externalized’ rituals and institutions of both Hinduism and Islam. Its main strategy is to question the reasonableness of central Hindu and Muslim beliefs as well as practices; to point to the unacceptable contradictions within the two religions; to highlight the pretension and hypocrisy embedded in their actual practices; and to expose the absurdity of their practices in relation to their professed principles. The poem then rejects the actuality of Hinduism and Islam by proposing an alternative to both, which claims that God ‘exists’ in the human heart of Self; that all human beings therefore are ‘forms’ of God; that any human is hence God’s ‘child’; that we should therefore seek shelter with that one and only true God; and that we should repeat His divine Name as the sole mantra of mukti. ‘Allãh-Rãma’ is an instance of the ‘theological secularism’ characteristic of the Kabir poets.

— Kabir – Allãh-Rãma – The Weaver’s Songs (transl. Vinay Dharwadker)

Allãh-Rãma by Kabir the Weaver