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Saturday, March 28, 2009

For the Violence Within

Book: Beyond Violence
Author: J. Krishnamurti
Publisher: Krishnamurti Foundation India
Price: Rs 20
Genre: Philosophy/ Religion
“If violence is like a stone dropped in a lake; the waves spread and spread, at the centre is ‘me.’ As long as the ‘me’ survives in any form, very subtly or grossly, there must be violence.”
These words by the great 20th philosopher J. Krishnamurti rings in one’s ears long after one has been done with this book. J. Krishnamurti’s take on violence is something which everyone, especially young minds, can relate to easily in today’s world of total mayhem and chaos. The content and theme of the book is taken from the talks of the book is taken from the talks that Krishnamurti held in the USA, London and Rome respectively. Most of the book is in the format of discourses while some are in the question-answer format a la an interview. The best part of this book is that it gets on in an interactive mood with the reader, with Krishnamurti’s discourses in the lead working as a soothing effect.
The theme of violence and Krishnamurti’s approach to it are as relevant today as they were when he spoke in 1970s to vast audiences. In discussing the nature of violence, Krishnamurti also unravels the other psychological factors such as hurt, competition, insecurity and fear, which are closely related to violence. He shows us a way of looking at the fact of violence directly, without condemning, suppressing, or analysing it, and thus going beyond it. In doing so, he calls for a fundamental change in the human psyche, which is the mark of a truly religious mind.
In today’s world, where we deal with violence on a daily basis, this book comes as a sort of comfort for the troubled mind with its practical approach and solutions. Reading this book only further affirms our faith in the fact that J. Krishnamurti was undoubtedly one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century, whose thoughts will influence more generations to come.
It will be best to conclude in the words of Krishnamurti himself: “Truth is not ‘what is,’ but the understanding of ‘what is’ opens the door to the truth.”
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