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Kabir mysticism osho

Key to Happiness : A Few Insights from Ashtavakra Mahageeta

Ashtavakra Muni can be said to be one of the most rational sages we ever had in India. We often think that spirituality is very thinly related to rationality. The root of this misconception lies in the fact that we, our relationships and our society primarily works through a false structure. The structure itself is irrational and hence, we often find spirituality irrational. In very simple words, if my ruler itself is bent, I will find every straight line skewed. Some of the fundamental truths which Ashtavakra Muni explains in a very straight-forward language, might appear to be absolutely illogical to us. Yet, I am going to talk about a few of them. 

Throughout his Mahageeta, Ashtavakra talks about Sakshibhava (साक्षीभाव) which simply means to be a witness. He calls this witness Drashta (द्रष्टा). Who is witness? A witness is that part of us, or rather that state of being where we just observe things and events without getting affected by them or their outcomes. A witness is concerned about witnessing what is happening and has zero attachment to what happens. Generally, whenever we look at something, we look at it with some sort of attachment. We are concerned more with the outcome as it might either be favourable to us or might also be detrimental to us. When we truly become a witness, Ashtavakra highlights, we move in a state where nothing can affect us; there is nothing favourable and nothing harmful or detrimental. 

Osho, in his volumes of Ashtavakra Mahageeta has explained the concept of ‘Drashta’ or witness in a very unique way. With little help from him, I would be trying my best to simplify what Ashtavakra is hinting at when he says be a Sakshi or Drashta. 

We normally exist in three states. The first mode of being is a Drishya (दृश्य) which means ‘object of someone’s attention’. In this state of being, we strive to be an object of someone’s attention. Most of us are in this state most of the times. We want to get noticed, we want to be talked about. All of us in some way or the other, keep trying to be an object of people’s attention. Our interactions and updates on social media are a testimony to this thirst of almost all of us. The root of our desire to be a ‘Drishya’ is the hollowness that we find within ourselves. We want people to look at us so that we can portray we have some ‘substance’ and we are not hollow. 

The next state of being is Darshak (दर्शक) or the viewer. For someone to be a Drishya, there have to be at least a few Darshaks. While some people try becoming Drishya to fill up their hollowness, some try doing that by being a Darshak. Being a Darshak is far easier than being a Drishya and that’s why, whenever people find a Drishya, they gather around him or her. A Darshak looks at things out of his or her boredom and out of inability of looking within oneself. When a child is bored with one toy, it chases the other; in same way, a Darshak keeps moving from one Drishya to the other. 

When a child is bored with one toy, it chases the other; in same way, a Darshak keeps moving from one Drishya to the other. 

The third state of being is a Drashta (द्रष्टा), the Sakshi or the Witness. A witness is not an ordinary viewer like Darshak. For Drashta, Darshak is Drishya. Which means, a true witness is no more interested in looking at others. He is no more concerned with what happens outside. He observes how the Darshak in him/her is eluded by the Drishya/s outside. 

What Ashtavakra says about being a Drashta, the same thing has been said by Sant Kabir, in a very different language:

बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा न मिलिया कोई। 

जो मन खोजा अपना, तो मुझसे बुरा न कोई।।

(I started searching for the devil but could not find anyone. When I searched inside me, realised, the devil is inside me!)

This is the whole gist of being a witness. Looking at oneself; closely observing how we get dragged away and get attached to what we see around us. Once we start understanding how we attach our personal interests to each and everything happening around us, we start realising how being detached from these things leads us to acceptance.  

The outcome of being a Sakshi is to arrive at the magic key to happiness : acceptance. 

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Dohe of Kabir

How Can Indians Become Tolerant? By Understanding Kabir!

हिन्दू कहें मोहि राम पियारा, तुर्क कहें रहमाना,
आपस में दोउ लड़ी-लड़ी  मुए, मरम न कोउ जाना।

(Hindus say we worship Rama and Muslims say Rahman. They both die, fighting with each other without even getting a glimpse of him.)

Look at Facebook walls, flooded with posts about intolerance, religious hatred and you will realize the significance of what Kabir said many centuries ago.

As Kabir says, we have converted gods into our possessions and we have brought into limits the limitless.

If one looks at it closely, we stick to a god or a religion because it  makes us part of a tribe, or a group. Belonging to a group gives us a feeling of tremendous amount of safety and security. Religious people are not at all interested in god, they are rather interested in this feeling of security that being part of a cult brings.

I can surely say that the intolerance is born out of a false understanding of religion. Rather, a deliberate and wrong understanding of religion which is born out of our insecurity as an animal.

All the spiritual masters spoke about religion at an individual level. Some masters like Osho and Buddha did talk about being part of a community of seekers; but there focus was always an individual.

It is quite clear that the kind of religions we have today, will lead to more and more tension and intolerance. As the times become more difficult, due to increasing population, limited resources, uneven distribution of wealth, people will be more concerned about their own religion and less tolerant about the others.

tolerance

On a different level, the issue of tolerance is not only about religion. I would rather say, in this particular view, we are rather over tolerant- we tolerate it when people have no water to drink, work in unhealthy and unsafe work conditions, die without getting a morsel of food, are subjected to forced labor etc.

We discuss religious tolerance so much simply because we belong to a particular religion and are afraid of some other religion becoming more powerful than ours.

I look at the above couplet of Kabir in a much wider sense. A Hindu loves Rama, Muslim loves Rahman, Christian loves Christ and so on. Similarly, a capitalist loves situation to make money, a social worker loves the problems in the society, political leaders love divide among the people.

As Kabir rightly says, everyone loves what gives him security and a true religious man is one, who dares to face this insecurity, discovers his individuality and ceases to be a part of a cult.

 

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Current Issues

Are We Tolerant, Intolerant or Fools?


Suddenly, everyone is commenting about how tolerant or intolerant India as a nation is. Social networks, media houses, individuals and groups of individuals; everyone wants to be listened. I don’t know, how tolerant or intolerant we Indians are, I can certainly say, we are all fools. It is quite easy to provoke us, make us verbal about something and then using all the tides to fulfil some vested interest. This has been happening here for years and the trend will remain so for many coming years or even centuries.

Do we even know what does the word tolerance mean? We keep on living our cunning everyday life as usual, without bothering about compassion, tolerance, love and what not. When something or someone makes us feel insecure, or tries to take away our piece of pie or threatens our existence or interests, then only we become sensitive and verbal about all these topics.tolerence

I am least bothered to comment on what some film star or his wife has said somewhere. I am least bothered about the truth and falsity of the claims made. As a meditater, I am only concerned about one fundamental question- is a normal person walking on the streets around tolerant? Am I or my friends tolerant? If no, what is the way towards tolerance? It makes me worry that tolerance today is not something which makes up an essential part of our life but a weapon to trigger violence and hatred.

I have a question worth giving a thought- why do we need a movie to tell us how superstitious our lives are? Can’t we know that just by looking at our lives? The basic problem with all of us today is, we do not have time to observe and think about our own actions and our own lives. We need a movie to tell us that we are living a superstitious life which is worth laughing upon. We need a TV show to tell us the problems in our immediate neighbourhood. We like to run a marathon to create awareness about some problem but we take no efforts to face the problem and solve it. Are we becoming more intelligent as the time is progressing? I doubt. We are rather becoming shallower, quickly triggered by some piece of news which might be distorted as well. We are very eager to express ourselves without caring even a bit about do we really have anything worth sharing.

The problem with social media is, it gives us a feeling that we have accomplished something without us doing anything in the reality. I don’t know, if the lacs of comments and thousands of discussions will actually do anything to make us more tolerant or even intolerant. Within next two days, we would have happily forgotten everything. The second question worth asking is, who is benefitting from all this? Media companies, brands, politicians, social networks? I think all of them but not the individual who is wasting his time and energy in all of this.

 

Categories
Lifestyle

What Will Change Your Life: Access or Desire to Get Changed?

Does access assure that there will be an impact? I was thinking on this question for quite some time. Many times we feel that we do not have access to many valuable resources. The other part of the story is, what are we doing with the resources to which we already have an access?

access impact

Take the case of Kabir and his literature as an example. Saint Kabir’s literature is available across the internet free of cost. I have myself visited dozens of website to collect more and more Dohas i.e. couplets of Kabir. On one particular website, I found a PDF which has more than 900 verses of Kabir.

To cut it short, Kabir’s literature is easily accessible to the majority of us at our fingertips. So, there is 100% access. What is the impact but? Sadly, though we have good access to Kabir’s literature, the impact which it has made is independent of the access. We all quote Kabir and his couplets quite often. Has it made an impact so deep that we live Kabir in our lives?

This highlights a very basic rule about access and impact- Access does not necessarily guarantee an impact. Impact is made when you are ready for it. Impact is made when you are ready for a change. Everyone around- human beings, organizations, companies, not for profits are trying to make access easier. No one stands for doing the hard job- making people willing and passionate about the change and the impact.

Leave Kabir and his wisdom aside, but same is the case with almost everything. We have thousands of mobile Apps which aim at making us more productive. Have we become more productive? Hardly.

This rule holds true in almost all the fields- In music, we have better instruments and acoustic equipment; but today’s music hardly has the magic.

It is very easy and hence common that most of the people always cry about not having access to something. Instead of cribbing for things which they do not have an access to, change makers are more concerned about the impact they make with whatever resources they have. What about you?

 

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Dohe of Kabir 1

Kabir Doha on Relationship: Kabir Khada Bazaar Mein

कबीर खडा बझार में, मांगे सबकी खैर

ना काहु से दोस्ती, ना काहु से बैर

Kabir says: “I stand in a market place and I desire the welfare of all.
I am neither looking for any friendship, nor am I an enemy to any one.”

I am sure this is the right time to share this doha of Kabir on relationship and networking with you all. The insight which Kabir shares from this Doha, is absolutely valid even today and will certainly remain so. This Doha of Kabir is certainly most relevant when it comes to networking.

Today’s world moves around relationships. Everyone tries to connect with more and more people. Everyone is ‘networking’ for a ‘mutually beneficial’ relationship. We have hundreds of social networks at our disposal to do it. We are active there; posting updates and waiting for others to like or retweet these updates. Then we have some more serious stuff like LinkedIn and Meetups. The utterly big number of social networks highlights the human instinct to connect with others.

But honestly, we are all using social networks for our own benefits- you to share some pictures which tell how different you are from others, pictures which tell how you are more successful or happier than others etc. and maybe I to promote my blog and capture more readers. Most of the times, we connect out of our psychological need or some selfish motive. Hardly someone becomes a Seth Godin and writes purely for others to learn something from it.
Kabir, through this Doha on relationships, is touching upon this fallacy. See how wonderfully Kabir has described today’s situation. He says,

Kabir Khada Bazar Me
(Kabir is standing in a marketplace)

True, we are also standing in marketplace, in a Bazaar where everyone has come to get more in less money. The fact about market place is, most competitive ones become the most famous ones and make more money. Social networks or all our relationships for that matter are like marketplace where everyone wants more publicity, more likes and ultimately more fame and money. So, it might be digital in nature but we are also standing in the same market place about which Kabir is talking. But, these is a big difference between the ways we stand. This difference is made clear in the second half of the first line.

The difference is, Kabir is in marketplace for everyone’s welfare.
Kabir was a weaver by profession. He used to weave and sell fabric in the market. He could have easily wished for selling more fabric than his competitors; he instead wished for everyone’s welfare. It is this tendency that makes the difference. This is what makes Kabir different from us. If we sit down honestly and open up the boxes of our relationships, what are they filled with? It’s all about taking. We like someone because he makes us laugh, someone other because we become more knowledgeable, someone other because he makes us feel safe or protected and this goes on. There might be some relationships where we give; but we give for some subtle gain- the subtle satisfaction which our ego gets.

Kabir is not interested in all this, he is just concerned with welfare of others. The next line-
Na kaahu se dosti, naa kaahu se bair

Though Kabir is for everyone’s welfare, he is not interested in any kind of friendship with anyone, nor does he want to make an enemy with anyone. To put it simply, he is talking about a relationship which is beyond friendship and enmity. I guess almost every one of us might have been through the ‘best friend’ ships. Most of the times, these relationships fail. Why is it so? The relationships fail because they are built to take something from the other. Kabir is no more interested in give and take. He is no more bothered about the relationships- where people come together to give and take.

Kabir is talking about the attitude which brings about the change. The activities which are done without any kind of expectations bring about phenomenal change. Take example of Baba Amte, the Magsaysay Award winner. He started without without any expectation, not at all bothered about fame, publicity and money.

We need change makers who will work without any selfish motive; Kabir is certainly a lighthouse!

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Dohe of Kabir Dohe of Kabir 1

Kabir on truth – Doha #8 [Truth and Falsity]

सांच बराबर तप नही, झूठ बराबर पाप ।
जाके हिरदय म साच है, ताके हिरदय हिर आप
[There is no meditation is effective as truth and no sin as grave as falsity. Lord is present in the heart of one, whose heart is filled with truth.]
Once again, Kabir left me speechless. I have a collection hundreds of dohas of Saint Kabir. I make it a point to go through them once a few months and then elaborate one of them. Today, in the process of finding a doha, I stumbled upon this piece, a Doha of Kabir on truth . What makes these two lines so special?
Being truthful brings a joy along with itself and that is enough reason to be truthful. Hence, there is no point in describing the benefits of speaking truth. We are many times told to speak truth for some particular reason. The one, who speaks truth for some reason is not a truthful being. Saint Kabir deliberately says ‘the one whose heart filled with truth’. He did not say the one who always speaks truth. Speaking truth is not important but it is important to have a heart full of truth.
When we decide to speak truth, it is a decision of our mind. It is a calculated decision- as we speak truth only if it benefits us in some form or the other. This doha of Kabir on truth is not talking about such superficial truthfulness. Kabir here is talking about a heart which is full of truth and hence, has no space left for falsity.
At the same time, Kabir says that there is no sin as grave as falsity. This sounds quite contradictory with the everyday experience- where telling lies is the easiest way to cope up. Infinite are the occasions where one is tempted to tell lies. Kabir says, Hari (Lord Krishna) stays in the hearts which are full of truth. But, as we all know, Lord Krishna’s life was itself full of diplomacy and lies. When we give it a bit of thought, we realize that Kabir is not talking about the truth and lies in ordinary sense. He is talking about being true to yourself. You can tell lies to people and still be truthful to yourself. This does not justify frequently telling lies, but just emphasises that being truthful to yourself is the most important thing.
I remember beloved Osho saying that it can be tolerated if you cheat others but never cheat yourself, the Buddha inside.
This may suddenly trigger the question- “Is it okay if we tell lies?”
My take is, why bother about lies? As Kabir says, try to have a heart full of truth. In your sincere and honest journey, there might come an inevitable occasion where you need to lie. Just ensure that you are truthful to yourself!
As Saint Kabir says, having falsity in your heart is the sin. These two lines of Kabir make me think- we have so many people who are always right and always speak true. How many of them have authenticity in their hearts? Speaking truth is very easy, but attaining is a heart full of truth is meditation, an outcome of awareness. Such truthfulness is not an outcome of fear, pretention or anything else but it is born out of a clarity- a clarity about yourself. When one clearly understand who he is and what his way is, truth becomes his basic nature.

See the Complete Collection of Kabir ke Dohe

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mysticism

The magic of relaxed control

Generally, people look at life in two different ways. They either assume that everything which happens around is for the sake of good, inevitable and cannot be changed or they assume that everything around us can be and needs to be changed. On the occasions of different talks, given to different audiences, I always receive one common question –

What is the correct way of looking at life? Do all the things which happen with us are good? If yes, then should we accept the things which are wrong, not so favourable?

Each one of us has this conflict inside him or her. People either want to change things which are around them or they just give up trying to change the things. While I was in engineering, I had many friends who had surrendered their lives and had stopped taking any efforts. It is very surprising to see these brilliant students sleeping in their rooms- saying that nothing is in our hands. On other hand, we had even a bigger number of students who tried to change everything. One may wonder, what is wrong if someone tries to control things around him? The problem with second group of people is very subtle- they become very insecure when things start going beyond their control. As we all know, very few things are truly under our control and we human beings are unable to control even smallest of the things around us in spite of advancements in technology. So, I always used to wonder, what can be the right attitude? I think, we have to treat the physical world around us and the turbulence inside our minds in different ways.  I have come up with a golden rule-

In case of external affairs, we should always assume that they are happening for something better. In case of internal matters, we should always keep on looking for improvement.

At first sight, this may sound very absurd and impractical. My experience says, this is the best way to sail ahead. As far as outer events are concerned, we should always carry the approach that it is happening for making things better. But, while doing so, we should always have a keen eye matters inside us- our thoughts, our desires, ego and should always try to improve. As far as our mental and emotional status is concerned, we should always have a sense of incompleteness which calls for continuous improvement. The differentiation helps in many ways. First of all, it tells us that not many things are in our hands. It makes us comfortable with this reality. At the same time, it allows us to focus our energy on what’s there in our hands- self improvement. In most of the cases, we keep on wasting our energy thinking about things which are not in our hands and keep on neglecting the things which are under our control. This golden rule helps us to focus our energy on what can be improved by us and keeps us relaxed about things are anyway not in our control.

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osho Society

Osho: Ahead of all the crackpots

Thanks to Mr. Rajinder Puri, I came to know one of the most interesting quotes I have ever read. The first person whose face flashed in front of my eyes when I read this quote for the first time was Osho. He is beyond that quote. The quote reads like this-

 ‘People who can see 10 years ahead of the present are called as leaders. Those who can see 20 years ahead, are visionaries. Those who can see 30 years ahead of the time, are called as crackpots.’

This comment was made keeping in mind the politicians around. I was just wondering, where does Osho fit in this scale? I think this scale is not long enough to map him. The reason is, Osho had an eternal vision, which is not just 30, 40 or even 100 years ahead of his time. He goes beyond that.

In general, as it can be seen, human race is very short sighted. Just look around and try to feel- what the most prominent worries of people around us are? Are they bothered about the status of humanity and this earth after ten, fifteen years? Or are they bothered about the value system in our society after 50 years? It is too much to expect them thinking about biodiversity and the humans inside the humans. Though it sounds very harsh, most of the human beings are bothered about availability of food the next day. As we know, many of us are bothered about clothes, perfumes, shoes, goggles and bikes and cell phones. Not all of us are so short sighted, as many of us keep on thinking about their second home or holiday home at Lonavala or somewhere else. The question which still remains is, how many of us think about future of not himself or herself, but of everyone together? I don’t think I need to tell the numbers.

The quote talks about politicians. We might have some politicians around who contemplate may be even 100 years ahead of the present times. How many of them think about a combined future of all the universal representatives? In the present times, we cannot manage with politicians who think of even all of the human race. We need to have leaders, visionaries and the crackpots who think about everyone present here- humans, animals, birds, rivers and many indirect parameters which influence our lives.

In this context, Osho had a complete vision. He thought not only about humans, but also about all the other factors mentioned above. What separates him from others is, he did not keep his wisdom only to himself. He tried that everyone becomes capable of having this vision. He never preached or lectured, he always gave us an opportunity to give birth to this vision inside all of us. Osho is ahead of all the crackpots. Where do our politicians stand?

Back to the Osho Section

Other articles about Osho-

 Do not make wicked jokes

Do not play drums with hammer

 

Author- Mandar Karanjkar

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Dohe of Kabir Dohe of Kabir 1

Dohe of Kabir # 6

Saint Kabir makes us stop still with the helps of his two liners, called Doha. This beautiful Doha of Kabir is worth a thousand lines-

माँगन मरण समान है, मत माँगो कोई भीख ।
माँगन से तो मरना भला, यह सतगुरु की सीख

English Translation-

(Do not ask for anything. To ask for anything is like being dead. My master teaches me that it is better to die than to ask for something. )

It can be seen that Saint Kabir is very much against asking. Saint Kabir is not saying that asking money is not desirable or asking for favors is bad. He simply says that all the demands should be stopped. Saint Kabir refers to all demands as begging  There must have been some reason behind these lines of Kabir. It is interesting to see the mind of a person who is asking for something. He is not satisfied. All of us are unsatisfied and hence we keep on asking for many things. One more thing is, asking comes out of insecurity. The persons who are insecure are more demanding. Many times, we ask out of our greed. Saint Kabir says, simply drop all the insecurities, greed and leave this habit of asking.

Saint Kabir equates this habit of asking for favors to death. He firmly says that asking for anything is just a sign of being dead. At the end, he says that it is better to die rather than asking favors. The question my come up in the minds of the reader that is it not justified if a really needy person asks for something? The answer is also very clear- when you need something really, you get it without even asking for it. So, if you need something and you ask for it, it shows that you do not have the trust in the existence. If you need something and you do not get it, the conclusion to be drawn is, you do not need it.

Saint Kabir has very rightly said that it is better to be dead than asking for favors. The very process of asking and demanding shows that you do not trust the existence

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J. Krishnamurti

J. Krishnamurti : the most perfect

There is a beautiful story about Buddha. It is said that when Buddha attained enlightenment, he reached the gate of heaven. When guards at heaven opened the doors to welcome Buddha, it was found that Buddha was standing there with his back pointing to the entrance of heaven looking at the earth. The door keepers were surprised. People die to enter heaven. And here was a madman, who deserved heaven and still was standing with his back pointing to the heaven. The guards asked Buddha why he was not entering into the heaven. Buddha said, “I cannot come unless all my fellows on earth do not come here. I will enter only when all of my fellows enter the heaven. I will be the last person entering heaven.”

I think, J. krishnamurti is one of those very few masters who care so deeply for humanity. J. Krishnamurti is the pick of sincerity. It is often said that J. krishnamurti writes very complex. It is always told that you will end up having frustration if you go on reading him. These are all immature comments. J. Krishnamurti when talks to laymen, he talks very simply. I would say as simply as Osho. His descriptions of nature and human behavior have intrinsic beauty and rhythm which any poet will strive to attain.

The most important and striking point about J. Krishnamurti is he thinks at the same time for individual and also for the whole life on earth. Most of the mystics always point out that one should always think for oneself first and then for the society. It is true. When you see light yourself only then you can lead others towards light. So, almost all the mystics try an individual to cut away from the society and look for himself. Many of them advice to go in seclusion and contemplate. J. Krishnamurti is among those very few mystics who approach this problem on both the levels- individual and social. Many persons used to visit him. Many of these had political interests and many of them were social reformers. J. Krishnamurti always used to say if you are doing  all this for the benefits of your self, your ego, you will end up in misery. He would even say that such social reforms will only give birth to more reforms and in continuity, will make the situation even worse.

J. Krishnamurti was easily accessible to all- from poor to rich, from young students to old fellows. He used to make the most honest effort to show individuals how they are again becoming victims of their fragmented minds. He was very patient with all of these people. Many a times, his questioners were poor villagers, illiterate, uneducated fellows. He never tried to just give them some difficult answer and cut them away. He would go with their pace. Many times, his questioners would say that they were not able to understand what he said. J. Krishnamurti would not leave them so. He used to go even slower, simplifying his language till the questioner understood.

J. Krishnamurti

One more point to note is, he used to talk to people of all backgrounds- from scientists like David Bohm to small kids of different schools and cities. While putting forward his point, he never hurt anyone, never hurt anyone’s feelings. Though his points were very true, genuine, showing fragmented nature of thought which everyone has, he never bluntly hurt anyone. He said it so truthfully and with so much affection that the questioner would understand that fact without hurting himself.

One more blame which people accuse J. Krishnamurti of is  that he was a dry man having lost all of his interests. I, along with other also thought on similar lines. But when I started reading J. Krishnamurti, I in moments came to know how false this blame is. J. Krishnamurti was a lover of all sorts of arts. He had a deep understanding of beauty. Descriptions of nature and humans written by him at Rajghat and other places are highest level of poetry. In these descriptions he made, one can easily see the totality of his being.

He used to go for a walk, would mix in common people, would chat with students and teachers, would sit observing rivers and nature. All this has a beauty which can be felt when you read J. Krishnamurti. All this shows his genuine concern, his sincere efforts, his sincere affection not only for humans but for everything that is really makes him most perfect for today’s times.

This is the time that more and more people, especially students turn to his writings, his dialogues, discussions and all. The life today is full of self centered activities which finally bring misery. I can see J. Krishnamurti standing very close to me holding cup of bliss for all in his hands.