Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: Do you consider that karma is the interaction between the false environment and the false "I"?

Krishnamurti: You know karma is a Sanskrit word which means to act, to do, to work, and also it implies cause and effect. Now karma is the bondage, the reaction born out of the environment which the mind has not understood. As I tried to explain yesterday, if we do not understand a particular condition, naturally the mind is burdened with that condition, with that lack of understanding; and with that lack of understanding we function and act, and therefore create further burdens, greater limitations.

So one has to find out what creates this lack of understanding, what prevents the individual from gathering the full significance of the environment, whether it be the past environment or the present. And to discover that significance, mind must really be free of prejudice. It is one of the most difficult things to be really free of a bias, of a temperament, of a twist; and to approach environment with a fresh openness, a directness, demands a great deal of perception. Most minds are biased through vanity, through the desire to impress others by being somebody, or through the desire to attain truth, or to escape from their environment, or expand their own consciousness - only they call this by a special spiritual name - or through their national prejudices. All these desires prevent the mind from perceiving directly the full worth of the environment; and as most minds are prejudiced, the first thing that one has to become conscious of is one's own limitations. And when you begin to be conscious, there is conflict in that consciousness. When you know that you are really brutally proud or conceited, in the very consciousness of conceit it begins to dissipate, because you perceive the absurdity of it; but if you begin merely to cover it up, it creates further diseases, further false reactions.

So to live each moment now without the burden of the past or of the present, without that crippling memory created by the lack of understanding, mind must ever meet things anew. It is fatal to meet life with the burden of certainty, with the conceit of knowledge, because, after all, knowledge is merely a thing of the past. So when you come to that life with a freshness, then you will know what it is to live without conflict, without this continual straining effort. Then you wander far on the floods of life.

Ojai, California
3rd Public Talk 18th June, 1934