Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895 in Madanapalle, a small
town in south India. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by
Dr Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr Besant
and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose
coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this
coming, a world-wide organization called the Order of the Star in the
East was formed and the young Krishnamurti was made its head.
In 1929, however, Krishnamurti renounced the role that he was
expected to play, dissolved the Order with its huge following, and
returned all the money and property that had been donated for this work.
From then, for nearly sixty years until his death on 17 February
1986, he traveled throughout the world talking to large audiences and to
individuals about the need for a radical change in mankind.
Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and
religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or
religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our
everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its
violence and corruption, of the individual’s search for security and
happiness, and the need for mankind to free itself from inner burdens of
fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the
subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing
to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country,
nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought.
On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that
divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his
listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not
Hindus, Muslims or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and
are not different from one another.