Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 9th November, 1947 | Madras, India

Question: Are you not becoming our leader?

Krishnamurti: There are several ideas involved in this question; that I should enter politics; that I should help to lead India out of this present chaos and so on. Let us examine this question and see what it means. First of all, why do you want a leader; the question is not whether I am a leader and you are a follower. Why does one become a leader and why does one wish to be a follower, whether the leader be a man or a guru? We want a leader because we are uncertain. We do not know what to think; we are confused and because in our confusion we do not know what to do, we want somebody to protect us. Politically it becomes the tyranny of a dictator. That is what is happening and what is going to happen. When there is confusion, and psychologically we are confused, we want somebody to lead us. In the world there is confusion, misery, chaos, exploitation by the rich, by the capitalist, by the clever, by the intelligent, by those who have got a system and these become leaders, create a party and because we do not want anarchy we let them lead us. We do not want to be confused, we want somebody to tell us what to do. And so, we create leaders. Why do we create them?

Why do we hanker after leaders; why are we looking for leaders? Is it not because we want to be secure? We do not want to be uncertain about anything. Now, what happens? You not only create a leader but you become the follower. That is, you destroy yourself by following another. When you follow a tradition blindly, or follow a leader or a party, when you discipline yourself, are you not destroying your own thinking process? Instead there is confusion but nobody is going to bring order except yourself. Here is a marvellous state of confusion and you do not want to look at it. We want somebody to take us away from it. Then what happens? What do the leaders do? They get up and talk and they become leaders. But what they promise they must fulfil in action and when they cannot they feel frustrated.

So, exploitation exists not only between the worker and the owner, but also between the follower and the leader, because if the leader does not lead he feels lost. If the leader does not get up and talk on the platform what is he? You not only create the leader but because of his own frustration and confusion you are also exploiting him. Exploitation is mutual. Haven't you noticed this? As the leader depends upon you and you depend upon the leader where are we going to be led to?

This desire to create a leader is a form of self-fulfilment. You fulfil yourself in a leader and he fulfills himself in you, by seeking to save you, to guide you. But he is the leader you have created and therefore it is mutual exploitation, mutual self-fulfilment and therefore it is leading nowhere. Obviously it is exploitation, when it is only a self-fulfilment through organization. If there is self-fulfilment then it must lead to frustration and as we do not want to be frustrated we are always trying to watch for the inevitable. And therefore the leader becomes very important. He has to be the leader and you have to be the follower.

Now, I do not want to fulfil myself in that way. I do not believe in self-fulfilment, it leads to misery. It leads to chaos and as I do not depend on you financially or for my psychological demands, I am not your leader. It does not matter to me whether there is one or many or none to listen to me. I do not believe in mutual exploitation, it leads to such absurd indignities and intrigues and therefore I am not your leader and you are not going to make me your leader. That is very simple, because there must be the two, those who want to lead and those who want to be led. As I do not want to lead, nor to follow anybody I am out of that class. Because true reality is not found through following anybody, it is not self-fulfilment. It comes into being only when the self is absent, when there is freedom from psychological demands, when the mind is free to act in pursuing anything. The pursuit is indicative of creation and when all desires cease then there is reality.