‘At the Feet of the Master’: The Maiden Book Written by J Krishnamurti in His Young Age, an Analysis

AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER.

J.Krishnamurti was adopted in his youth by Madame Annie Besant, the then President of The Theosophical Society, the International Organisation with its head quarters at Adyar, Chennai (the then Madras) Dr Besant and other leaders of the organisation proclaimed that J.K would soon be the World Teacher, whose coming the Theosophists had been proclaiming for a long time.

The three declared objectives of the Theosophical Society were:

To form a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour;

To encourage the study of comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.

To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

He was a student of Theosophy and other schools of thought till 1922. In 1922, J.K underwent some mystic experiences and some years later he dissolved the Order with a huge following and gave up all the money and the huge property collected by the Order. In a historic rather the prophetic talk in 1929 he categorically declared “Religious organisations cannot lead man to truth and his only concern to set man absolutely, unconditionally free.”

Thus the years up to 1922 were his learning years and the years in between 1922 to 1929 were becoming years (though he never believed in becoming) He attained total wisdom in 1929 and the years after 1929 to 1986 were His propagating years. There is some difference in the contents of his teaching during the two periods (before attainment of total wisdom and after attaining the same). “At the feet of the master” is a small book like Tirukural preaching how to follow the footsteps of the Master scripted in the first decade of 20th century first published in 1910.

In his foreword itself, he makes it clear that those were not his words but those of the master who taught him. A man who wishes to succeed must do exactly what was told. one must do what He says, attending to every word, taking every hint.

For this pathway, four qualifications are needed;.

1. Discrimination 2. Desirelessness 3. Good conduct and 4. Love

1. Discrimination:

The first of these qualifications is Discrimination;

The discrimination between the real and the unreal.which leads men to enter the path.,This path is to be followed at every step until the end. The really important thing is the knowledge of God’s plan for man. Because a man knows this he is on God’s side.

The person who knows to discriminate will be able to find the difference between the physical body and himself. He is different from even the mental body. He is able to differentiate between what is to do and what not to do.

He is able to discriminate between the important and the unimportant. He distinguishes the useful from the useless and also between the more useful from the less useful.

One must distinguish between truth and falsehood. He must learn to be true all through, in thought, word and deed. He must be true in action. He must discriminate between selfish and the unselfish.

Learn to distinguish the God in everyone and everything. You can help your brother through that which you have in common with him and that is the Divine Life.

2. Desirelessness.

A person who has mastered the art of discrimination already knows that the things which most man desire, such as wealth and power are not worth having and when this is really felt, all desire for them ceases.

When all desires for self are gone, there may still be a desire to see the result of one’s work. One must do right for the sake of the right, not in the hope of reward.

One should not desire for psychic powers. One must guard against certain small desires too which are common in daily life.

Another common desire which one must sternly repress is the wish to meddle in others’ business. One should learn the virtue of silence and should talk only when absolutely needed.

3. Good Conduct

The six points of conduct which are specially required are given by the Master as:

1. Self-control as to the mind

2. Self-control in action

3. Tolerance

4. Cheerfulness

5. One-pointedness

6. Confidence

We are a spark of God’s own fire, and God, who is Almighty, is in us, and because of that there is nothing we cannot do if we will.

4. LOVE

Of all the qualifications, Love is the most important. It forces man to acquire all the rest. It is indeed the will to be one with God. Because He is Love, one would become one with Him when he is filled with perfect unselfishness and Love.

The three sins against love are gossip, cruelty and superstition and against them one must watch ceaselessly.

The wisdom which enables one to help, the will which directs the wisdom, the love which directs his will are the qualifications of those who wish to enrol themselves to serve Him.

In conclusion, it may be stated though this is the maiden writing of J.Krishnamurti, it contains some teachings he spread till 1986.

Though the book is small in size, the contents are very rich. Though it was recorded during a period when English writing was making inroads in India as against Sanskrit and Tamil which were timelessly old, the contents are at par with classical writings.

Finally the beauty of the teachings can be realised in full when the entire book is studied not leaving even a single word as advised by J.Krishnamurti himself.