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A Life Sketch
Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was born in Madanapalle, a small provincial town in south India. The eight of eleven children, when he was ten, his mother died and the family moved to Madras, where his father, a just-retired government servant, had secured a job at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society. When he was fourteen, Krishnamurti was identified by C W Leadbeater, a central figure in the Theosophy movement, as the potential vehicle for the coming of the new World-Teacher, and successor to Christ and the Buddha. Krishnamurti was then adopted by the leaders of the Society, carefully groomed and privately tutored in preparation for this extraordinary role. To herald the arrival of the World-Teacher,The Order of the Star in the East – an organization with a huge following and vast estates was formed around him.
In 1929, however, in a move that was to take the world by surprise, Krishnamurti publicly renounced this role of messiah, parted ways with the Theosophical Society, and instead proclaimed a new anti-authoritarian way of thinking, rejecting all messiahs, creeds and dogmas. He declared that his intention was not to found new religions, but to set man absolutely, unconditionally free. For the next seven decades until his death, Krishnamurti traveled ceaselessly around the world, giving public talks and holding dialogues with those who would care to listen and explore with an open mind.
The Krishnamurti Foundations were created to organize his busy itinerary and the publication of a vast quantity of literature that was born of his numerous talks, dialogues and discussions. His concern for the young as the future of humanity, lead him to start educational institutions in England, USA and India. Leading minds of the century, among them thinkers, poets, writers, artists, scientists and technocrats – were among his personal acquaintances and friends, with whom he engaged in probing the perennial questions of humanity.
A Tryst with Siam: An Introduction
It is known that Krishnamurti held a special place for the Buddha among the world teachers in human history. Considering that most countries of the Orient have been deeply affected by the Buddha gentle Teachings, one could surmise this region to be receptive soil for Krishnamurti and his Teachings. Yet, it is interesting to note that his long peripatetic career covering almost seven decades did not ever include the Orient.
However, at a closer glance, it appears that Krishnamurti and the Teachings did have a tryst with the Orient. Away from the glare of world events, and undeterred by socio-political upheavals and language barriers, the Teaching percolated gradually and surely, finding its own adherents and patrons among the peoples of the Far East and Southeast Asia.
Gleaned from sketchy early records at Anveekshana, and the fading memories of a generation of Thai to whom Krishnamurti was once a cult-hero, this document is at best an attempt to piece together the available data into a somewhat coherent picture of the impact of Krishnamurti and his Teachings in Thailand.