Skip to main content

What is a Spiritual Life - J Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti talking on "What is a Spiritual Life"


A religious life, not all the religions, not the monks and all that. They are not religious. I know they would abhor me when I say that. I will show it to you logically why it is not. It is all put together by thought. The invention of god is put there by thought. It is simple. All this is clear when you understand the activity of thought.

So what is a spiritual life? I am asking you. You have strange robes, you attend churches, mass, or do some kind of puja in India, or go to temples and mosques, what is a spiritual life? The word spiritual is not pleasant but we will use it for the moment. What is a spiritual life? Would you say a spiritual life is a life of total freedom? Freedom from sorrow, freedom from fear, freedom from all the conditioning - right? To be free. Most of us are in prison - prison of our own making of ideas, or other people's concepts, their own prejudices, their own experiences, they are like bars that hold us in prison. Most of us are slaves to tradition, slaves to some kind of belief, faith, or to experience. To be totally, completely free of all that. Freedom as we said before, that very word implies love. If there is no freedom there is no love. You cannot possibly achieve that freedom through some figure, symbol, person, idea. Freedom means the ending, the ending of the self, the me, the images I have about myself. Then when the brain is free, only then is there that supreme intelligence. Not all the rituals, all you know, all the trivialities, for god's sake, sitting in a posture, meditating, breathing, you follow? That is not - if one can use that word - spiritual. That is all the movement of memory and thought. And thought is limited, which we have gone into, I won't now. So we have reduced our life into a very small petty little affair. To be free of that entirely. And it is possible. Don't accept my word for it. I say it is possible. Find out. Do it. So that a religious, a so-called spiritual life, then there is no division between you and another. You won't kill another. Your country is the country of the world. The world is your country. The world is your religion. But when you say you belong to no religion, living a spiritual life, a life that is holy, it is not something for the elite, for the few, but if that is what is necessary work at it, not pretend and all that nonsense.

So a religious mind, a religious human being, one that doesn't belong to any religion, but a brain that is functioning with truth and therefore with great intelligence and compassion.

Jiddu Krishnamurti