Jiddu Krishnamurti Birth Anniversary Special /The Violent Mind

As a wanderer, Jiddu Krishnamurti sought to decondition our minds. And in the age of violence, his reflections and revelations have acquired great relevance. Here is an excerpt from the lecture he delivered at the Benares Hindu University in 1969.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

It is also violence when we torture ourselves to fit into a particular pattern established by society, by religions, when we condemn ourselves, or discipline ourselves to conform to a pattern. The word ‘discipline’ means to learn, not to conform, not to obey, not to imitate, but to learn; and a mind that is learning and a heart that is looking, observing, is not in conflict. Conflict arises only when there is accumulation of knowledge as opposed to learning—knowledge as the Hindu or Muslim, the educated or the uneducated. This division must invariably breed conflict. So why is it that socially, that is in relationship between man and man, sexually and religiously, why is it that we have come to a period, to a crisis, when the response to the challenge is always in terms of violence?

There is a tremendous challenge in the world now, a new challenge, a great crisis, and our response to this crisis is violent. Our response to the challenge is according to our conditioning, and our conditioning is based essentially on violence, division, and pleasure. I think this is fairly obvious.

The tradition in this country plays an extraordinarily destructive part, and we respond to this enormous challenge as a Hindu, or a Buddhist or a Muslim… And so when we respond to this challenge inadequately—that is, when we respond traditionally or by seeking pleasure—the very inadequacy of our response breeds great harm, brings about great sorrow, not only to ourselves but also to others.

So what is necessary is a total mutation, a total transformation, of the whole structure and the nature of the brain and of the mind also, because the crisis is so vast, so complex, not only in the technological world but also in the human world, in the world of daily living. It demands a new mind, a new heart, and this cannot possibly come about through any system, through any leader, through any kind of organized education. It comes only when human beings—you—are awake, inwardly aware of what is going on within yourself, of how you have divided life into the business, scientific, religious, and family life—of this fragmentation of the whole structure of your life. And this fragmentation takes place when there is fear.

SOURCE: Jiddu krishnamurti, Why are you being educated? (Talks at Indian Universities), Krishnamurti Foundation, India, 2002   

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