Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Madras, India | Public Talk 26th October, 1947

Question: You deride the Brahmins. Have they not played an important part in the culture of India.

Krishnamurti: Perhaps they have. But what of it? Surely such a question indicates hereditary pride. Does it not? It is like saying that I was something marvellous in my past incarnation but now I am a boot-black. This idea that you are the exclusive race of Brahmins, this idea that you have a master-creed which cannot be handed down, is detrimental to society. So what matters is not whether you are a Brahmin or not, but what you are now, not what you were in the past. Originally every society in the world had a group of people who were devoted to something real. You call them Brahmins, somebody else calls them Hebrews, Christians, and so on. But what they were essentially concerned with was the pursuit of the real, irrespective of what the society around was doing. By what name they are called does not matter. it is they who gave to society, culture, and not the people who were embroiled in society whether politicians, lawyers or warmongers. These do not make society, they do not make culture, but the people who really preach culture are those who are peaceful and not the politicians. So in the past there were such people who were not concerned with ambition, with power, with position, with property, with systems. Not only here but right through the world. There were few who were not concerned, here, and in China there were large groups, and practically everywhere throughout history. And here now, what has happened to the hereditary Brahmins, who are supposed to guide society, to help man to think rightly? They have become merchants, they have become lawyers, they have become politicians. Do you think culture can exist on that kind of basis? On a structure that is really destructive to men?

So, what matters is, not the past, but the result of the past which is the present. To understand the past you have to look through the present, psychologically and factually. The present is the passage of the past to the future. If you do not change in the present, the future will be biased, which means chaos. So we are concerned with the present, not with the Brahmins of old times who were concerned with something far greater than merely grabbing for money, for position, and coding up systems. So since the present is of the highest importance, what are we doing? In what way are we changing ourselves and guiding culture, not Indian culture or Christian culture, but human culture. It is only by setting up peaceful thinking in daily life that we can realize Truth. There is a responsibility for those who are not themselves immediately concerned with food, clothing, and shelter. It is your responsibility to ensure food and clothing for the naked and the starving; instead you are intellectually indulging in verbiage. You must completely shed your opinions and that means revolution in your mind.

Tags: culture

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