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RE: Theos-World Jiddu Krishnamurti Book - Vernon

May 06, 2001 11:43 AM
by ramadoss

Dear Peter:

Yes. But the book costs around $15.00 and hence would try to get it from a library or wait until a less expensive paperback is available. There was one comment on Internet that her talk was more impressive than the book. The reason I posted the msg is that she seems to have gotten to the core of Buddha's philosophy and very practical approach to life and when I listened to her, it sounded like a theosophist talking about Buddha without all the SD jargon. Her talk is available on video tape and would be interesting to view.


PS: She was a Roman Catholic Nun and any one exposed to their system is likely to be love hierarchical system (with its controls from top downward). Some on the list may know some "theosophists" exposed to the system and can vouch for this. But in her case, it is very refreshing to see the open minded (democratic) approach and I was very impressed.

At 07:27 PM 5/6/01 +0100, you wrote:
Dear Doss,

Did the review leave you feeling you wanted to read the book?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: 06 May 2001 19:19
> To:;
> Subject: Theos-World Jiddu Krishnamurti Book - Vernon
> I am reposing after reformatting to make it easily readable.
> ___MKR___
> A Star in the East :Krishnamurti, the Invention of a Messiah
> by Roland Vernon
> Hardcover - (March 2001) 336 pages
> Editorial Reviews
> Roland Vernon's biography of Krishnamurti, subtitled The Invention of a
> Messiah, could also have been called simply Understanding the
> Man.Krishnamurti's life has been well chronicled, but Vernon keeps his
> sights on the people and events that shaped Krishnamurti's life. We learn
> about Charles Leadbeater, the allegedly pedophilic discoverer of
> and tutor
> to Krishnamurti; Annie Besant, the notorious social activist and
> Krishnamurti's second mother; and the mysterious and painful
> "process"that
> brought Krishnamurti to enlightenment. Besides the influences on
> his public
> persona, Vernon is also fascinated by the sometimes contradictory
> and less
> well-known private side of Krishnamurti. He had close ties to his brother
> Nitya, whose death galvanized Krishnamurti to forsake the
> organization that
> created him. And he carried on an extended clandestine affair
> with Rosalind
> Williams Rajagopal, his early companion and later wife of his friend and
> business partner. Not quick to pass judgment,Vernon looks at various
> perspectives of these people and events,unafraid finally to come
> down with
> his own well-reasoned opinions. Star in the East depicts
> Krishnamurti as a
> complex man who encouraged everyone to think for themselves. --Brian Bruya
> From Publishers Weekly
> Vernon, a professional writer educated at King's College,
> Cambridge,offers
> the most comprehensive Krishnamurti biography to date,
> promising"water-tight impartiality." He presents detailed accounts of the
> New Age teacher's life (1895-1986) and career in chronological
> order, using
> primary and secondary sources scrupulously quoted as well as un
> attributed
> interviews with students, friends and colleagues. However,Vernon's
> objectivity is a fairly unreflective one that often fails to
> systematically
> interpret and connect the details of Krishnamurti's life and career to
> important trends of his time. Vernon fails to recognize, for
> example, that
> Krishnamurti's story does not so much herald the arrival of Eastern
> mysticism in the West as it clearly describes and anticipates the
> construction of a unique Eastern mysticism by the West. Also, Vernon does
> not detect the apparent influence of Victorian notions of sexuality and
> hygiene on Krishnamurti's early trance inductions and later physically
> punishing purification experiences (known collectively as the
> "Process").The custody and training of young Krishnamurti by the
> Theosophist Charles Leadbeater clearly involved what would today
> be viewed
> as child sexual abuse, and the author's reluctance to acknowledge it as
> such precludes a more comprehensive and accurate psychological
> interpretation of Krishnamurti's important religious experiences.However,
> this biography is still the best available, providing a wealth of detail
> that will be appreciated by followers of Krishnamurti.
> From Library Journal
> Vernon offers a compelling account of the legendary Krishnamurti,groomed
> from childhood as the Theosophical Society's messiah and spiritual savior
> of the world. With penetrating analysis, the author sifts through
> controversies surrounding Krishna's tutelage under the notorious Annie
> Besant and Charles Leadbeater, who initiated the transformation of a shy
> and apathetic boy into a dynamic and spiritual genius. The author
> carefully
> handles Leadbeater's infamous sexual perversion, misogyny, and various
> deceits (such as forging "At the Feet of the Master," purportedly
> penned by
> Krishna). The author candidly but fairly examines the life of a molded
> messiah whose travels, emotional development, and maturing
> spiritual views
> culminated in his astonishing 1929 dissolution of the Order of the Star,
> declaring that "Truth is a pathless land, unapproachable by any path,
> religion, or organized belief." This is a balanced study of a
> world teacher
> who, in denying his own messianic role and spiritual authority, became,
> ironically, even more influential and left behind a legacy of schools in
> the decades to come. Recommended for all libraries to fill the void of
> comprehensive treatments of this figure. Loren RossonIII, Nashua P.L., NH
> Book Description
> The extraordinary story of Krishnamurti, hailed early in life as the
> messiah for the 20th century, is told here in the light of a century of
> changing spiritual attitudes. It is a tale of mysticism, sexual scandals,
> religious fervor and chicanery, out of which emerged one of the most
> influential thinkers of modern times. Krishnamurti was "discovered" as a
> young boy on a beach in India by members of the Theosophical Society,
> convinced that they had found the new world leader, a spiritual savior as
> historic and as influential as Jesus himself. By the 1920s he was
> attracting worldwide press attention and people flocked to his
> talks in the
> thousands. In 1922,Krishnamurti broke with the society and set out on a
> teaching mission of his own as a secular philosopher of spirituality. He
> ultimately had a career that spanned six decades, founded seven schools,
> published 50 booksand encompassed thousands of talks. This extraordinary
> story is told forthe first time by Roland Vernon in the full light of
> 20th-century attitudes ina narrative that is as compelling as any novel.
> About the AuthorRoland Vernon lives in Somerset, England with his
> wife and
> children.
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