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Krishnamurti and His Shadow by Debbie Elliott

It was half past midnight that Jiddhu Krishnamurti came into the world at Madanapalle. In the Indian dating system, the day started at dawn so Krishnamurti was born on the 11th of May, in the West it would have been the 12th.

As a young lad he was recognised by CW Leadbeater to be the vehicle for the World Teacher that he & Annie Besant wanted to bring into the world. This world teacher would have been trained to be able to take on both the Christ and the Maitreya impulses.

Jiddhu Krishnamurti took on that role in his early years only to step back from the society that made him into it. Being a world teacher was a role he never gave up as he states “I am a teacher and I go about the world.”

What he did turn away from was the idea of the World Teacher that Annie Besant & C W Leadbeater envisaged; that he would be overshadowed by the Christ and Maitreya. It has been written about in many biographies about the initiation processes he went through, some of them very painful physically.

He was aware that people were following him for help, spiritual help but many of them seemed to just want to follow a leader rather than walk the spiritual path themselves.

“What is the kingdom of happiness?…I do not want you to obey blindly or listen without thought…I invite you to my window and I ask you to quit your small opening, to come and look through a bigger opening, at a beautiful view…it is not a kingdom that lies far off, nor an abode for which we need make a voyage to the ends of the earth. You must find the key that opens all the gates of heaven.. and that key is your inner Voice…if that voice is the only tyrant you obey, then that Kingdom of Happiness is within the reach of every one of you.” Krishnamurti

The quote is from the speech he gave when he dissolved the Order of the Star, an organisation created to aid him with his role as the World Teacher. Why did Krishnamurti do this; turn down the role that he had been prepared for?

There are countless books and articles about the story of Krishnamurti and how he became the world teacher so I need not go too much into detail here. What I want to write about is the process to it, to ask is it something that anybody can attain too? This article will have a lot more questions than answers.

The wording ‘overshadowed’ intrigues me, it seems to mean some kind of takeover of one’s self. It seems ominous to me because being over shadowed sounds like a darkening.  Why must the World Teacher be overshadowed by these two impulses; the Christ consciousness and the Maitreya, whom many of you know is the Buddha yet to come.

In my own spiritual path research, it is something I have wondered for many years-should one be overshadowed by these impulses or should we be reaching up to the Divine ourselves? What I mean is; can we contact the masters ourselves; can we find the god spark within us? Do we need to be overshadowed to contact the masters and feel the force? Is it the right thing to do to offer ourselves to other forces? What could this lead too? Can we trust these forces or is this something we can transform within ourselves?

I have always been wary of the rituals that suggest invocation, how do we know what we are invoking is real and not the dark forces deceiving us? Should we be attaining to contact these other forces or should we be attempting to reach our higher selves? Do we need teachers or enlightened masters to aid us? Krishnamurti advised:

“There are two types of gurus, teachers or master’s, those with whom the pupil is directly in contact on this plane of existence, and those with whom the pupil is supposed to be in contact indirectly.”

I suppose it depends on what practice you do. I am going to use the word God in this article and what I mean by God is the Divine Source of all.

Krishnamurti reminds us that truth is a pathless land and I wonder if he means there are many ways to the truth or does he mean one’s own way is the only way to the truth? Yet for many, we need guidance, we need role models and there does seem to be many paths to choose from, many ways to help one in one’s own spiritual development. I think that if we are true to ourselves then we are being true to God.

It reminds me of Swami Vivekananda’s speech about finding god and the relevant words “Find God, nothing else matters.”

In the Gurdjieff Work, George Gurdjieff reminds us that God gave us free will then Gurdjieff goes on to tell us that god is within us all, it is our conscience but it is up to us as to whether we listen to it or not. Surely one has to be present to hear one’s conscience?

I have to ask myself ‘am I present?’ How can I affirm my presence? Usually, we affirm our presence by being with others, so how can we affirm God’s presence? Do I feel it? Do I sense it? Do I need to be ‘overshadowed’ to feel God? Surely, I can reach up and sense the divine? If the Divine is always there, waiting for us to look up to make that connection then it is down to us to make the move, we must develop ourselves to receive that holy spirit, divine impulse or whatever name you wish to give it. We play roles in our everyday life; parent figure, work personality, social life head etc but to connect with the Divine, with God, one has to be present.

Do we need to be overshadowed to attain contact with Christ, Buddha or any of the Masters? Or should we be finding the Christ impulse or the Buddhi spark within our self? As St Paul wrote “Not I, but Christ in me.” We can all attain enlightenment if we can find and connect with that Buddhi spark within.

Krishnamurti always helped people on their spiritual path, and there are many teachers out there for us to learn from but he was telling us that we must make our own path to our truth and that way we will find Divine Truth.

“You want to know what is the right kind of ceremony you should perform, what gods you should worship, what prayers you should say, what kind of beliefs you should hold, with these things I have nothing whatever to do.” Krishnamurti

We all want assurance that we are doing the right thing and sometimes we become too independent on teachers, guides, as Krishnamurti says:

“You have become 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.”

Yet there is hope for us all, if we really desire transformation, it is there for us to attain too.

“But those who really wish to desire, who are looking to find what is eternal… will walk together with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is unessential, to unreality, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they will become the flame.” Krishnamurti

The Age of Pisces is coming to an end, the fish years brought us many teachers to learn from; Christ, Buddha and many more. The Age of Aquarius is upon us, the age when we take the teachings from the last epoch and learn from them, imitate them, become like them.

Debbie Elliott is a writer and podcasters, more of her work can be found at



Published by hermesrisen

writer, theologian and broadcaster, my work can be found at Colyn Boyce is co-editor for Hermes Risen and is a writer, photographer and all round good guy.

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