Truth is a Pathless Land -- Jiddu Krishnamurti
May 12, 2001 07:05 PM
The following is the famous speech by Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1929 when he
disbanded all the organizations he was the center of and since that day,
held steadfastly to this statement.
TRUTH IS A PATHLESS LAND
The Dissolution of the Order of the Star
The Order of the Star in the East was founded in 1911 to proclaim the
coming of the World Teacher. Krishnamurti was made Head of the Order. On
August 2, 1929, the opening day of the annual Star Camp at Ommen, Holland,
Krishnamurti dissolved the Order before 3000 members. Below is the full
text of the talk he gave on that occasion. What he said then is equally
We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the
Star. Many people will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It is a
question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is inevitable,
as I am going to explain.
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were
walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and
pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his
pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He
picked up a piece of Truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business
for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am
going to let him organize it."
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by
any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of
view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being
limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be
organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce
people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you
will see how impossible it is to organize a belief. A belief is purely an
individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it
becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be
imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting
to do. Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak,
for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought
down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You
cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the
mountain-top you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid
of the dangerous precipices. You must climb towards the Truth, it cannot be
"stepped down" or organized for you. Interest in ideas is mainly sustained
by organizations, but organizations only awaken interest from without.
Interest, which is not born out of love of Truth for its own sake, but
aroused by an organization, is of no value. The organization becomes a
framework into which its members can conveniently fit. They no longer
strive after Truth or the mountain-top, but rather carve for themselves a
convenient niche in which they put themselves, or let the organization
place them, and consider that the organization will thereby lead them to
So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of the
Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably form other
Orders, you will continue to belong to other organizations searching for
Truth. I do not want to belong to any organization of a spiritual kind,
please understand this. I would make use of an organization which would
take me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind of
organization, merely mechanical, like the post or the telegraph. I would
use a motor car or a steamship to travel, these are only physical
mechanisms which have nothing whatever to do with spirituality. Again, I
maintain that no organization can lead man to spirituality.
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a
weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from
growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for
himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason
why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve
it. No one has persuaded me to this decision.
This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean
this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not
concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a
certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering
concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set
man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to
found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new
philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world over,
continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this: not
because I desire a following, not because I desire a special group of
special disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men,
however ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I do not
want to encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either
on earth or in the realm of spirituality.
Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life,
which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not come
to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because I want
this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions
year after year.
One newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent
act to dissolve an organization in which there were thousands and thousands
of members. To him it was a great act because, he said: "What will you do
afterwards, how will you live? You will have no following, people will no
longer listen to you." If there are only five people who will listen, who
will live, who have their faces turned towards eternity, it will be
sufficient. Of what use is it to have thousands who do not understand, who
are fully embalmed in prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather
translate the new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? If I speak
strongly, please do not misunderstand me, it is not through lack of
compassion. If you go to a surgeon for an operation, is it not kindness on
his part to operate even if he cause you pain? So, in like manner, if I
speak straightly, it is not through lack of real affection-on the contrary.
As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him
towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that
alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned
realization of the self.
Because I am free, unconditioned, whole-not the part, not the relative,
but the whole Truth that is eternal-I desire those, who seek to understand
me, to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will
become a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all fears-from
the fear of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the fear of
spirituality, from the fear of love, from the fear of death, from the fear
of life itself. As an artist paints a picture because he takes delight in
that painting, because it is his self-expression, his glory, his
well-being, so I do this and not because I want any thing from anyone.
You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority, which
you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another
can, by his extraordinary powers-a miracle-transport you to this realm of
eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is based on
You have listened to me for three years now, without any change taking
place except in the few. Now analyze what I am saying, be critical, so that
you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. When you look for an
authority to lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically to build
an organization around that authority. By the very creation of that
organization, which, you think, will help this authority to lead you to
spirituality, you are held in a cage.
If I talk frankly, please remember that I do so, not out of harshness,
not out of cruelty, not out of the enthusiasm of my purpose, but because I
want you to understand what I am saying. That is the reason why you are
here, and it would be a waste of time if I did not explain clearly,
decisively, my point of view.
For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the Coming
of the World-Teacher. For eighteen years you have organized, you have
looked for someone who would give a new delight to your hearts and minds,
who would transform your whole life, who would give you a new
understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new plane of life, who
would give you a new encouragement, who would set you free-and now look
what is happening! Consider, reason with yourselves, and discover in what
way that belief has made you different-not with the superficial difference
of the wearing of a badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has
such a belief swept away all the unessential things of life? That is the
only way to judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to
every Society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way
have the members of this organization of the Star become different?
As I said, you have been preparing for eighteen years for me. I do not
care if you believe that I am the World-Teacher or not. That is of very
little importance. Since you belong to the organization of the Order of the
Star, you have given your sympathy, your energy, acknowledging that
Krishnamurti is the World-Teacher- partially or wholly: wholly for those
who are really seeking, only partially for those who are satisfied with
their own half-truths.
You have been preparing for eighteen years, and look how many
difficulties there are in the way of your understanding, how many
complications, how many trivial things. Your prejudices, your fears, your
authorities, your churches new and old- all these, I maintain, are a
barrier to understanding. I cannot make myself clearer than this. I do not
want you to agree with me, I do not want you to follow me, I want you to
understand what I am saying.
This understanding is necessary because your belief has not transformed
you but only complicated you, and because you are not willing to face
things as they are. You want to have your own gods-new gods instead of the
old, new religions instead of the old, new forms instead of the old-all
equally valueless, all barriers, all limitations, all crutches. Instead of
old spiritual distinctions you have new spiritual distinctions, instead of
old worships you have new worships. You are all depending for your
spirituality on someone else, for your happiness on someone else, for your
enlightenment on someone else; and although you have been preparing for me
for eighteen years, when I say all these things are unnecessary, when I say
that you must put them all away and look within yourselves for the
enlightenment, for the glory, for the purification, and for the
incorruptibility of the self, not one of you is willing to do it. There may
be a few, but very, very few.
So why have an organization?
Why have false, hypocritical people following me, the embodiment of
Truth? Please remember that I am not saying something harsh or unkind, but
we have reached a situation when you must face things as they are. I said
last year that I would not compromise. Very few listened to me then. This
year I have made it absolutely clear. I do not know how many thousands
throughout the world- members of the Order-have been preparing for me for
eighteen years, and yet now they are not willing to listen unconditionally,
wholly, to what I say.
So why have an organization?
As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I
maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self
which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This is the
absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself. I want therefore to set
man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened, independent,
ecstatic in that freedom . And I, for whom you have been preparing for
eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these things, free
from your complications, your entanglements. For this you need not have an
organization based on spiritual belief. Why have an organization for five
or ten people in the world who understand, who are struggling, who have put
aside all trivial things? And for the weak people, there can be no
organization to help them to find the Truth, because Truth is in everyone;
it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally there.
Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you
free; nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a
cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization, nor
throwing yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriterto write
letters, but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But that is what
you are doing when organizations become your chief concern. "How many
members are there in it?" That is the first question I am asked by all
newspaper reporters. "How many followers have you? By their number we shall
judge whether what you say is true or false." I do not know how many there
are. I am not concerned with that. As I said, if there were even one man
who had been set free, that were enough.
Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the
Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold
that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the
purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom
So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built,
looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your
happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.
So why have an organization?
You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is your
spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if you are
beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you are
incorruptible? You are not serious in these things.
So why have an organization?
But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find that
which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk together
with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is
unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they
will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we must create,
and that is my purpose. Because of that real understanding there will be
true friendship. Because of that true friendship- which you do not seem to
know-there will be real cooperation on the part of each one. And this not
because of authority, not because of salvation, not because of immolation
for a cause, but because you really understand, and hence are capable of
living in the eternal. This is a greater thing than all pleasure, than all
So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for two
years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse. I
have not been persuaded to it by anyone. I am not persuaded in such things.
For two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully,
patiently, and I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen to be
its Head. You can form other organizations and expect someone else. With
that I am not concerned, nor with creating new cages, new decorations for
those cages. My only concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.
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