Commentary of an Academic
(Copyright @ 2013 by Chester B Cabalza. All Rights Reserved).
There are dispositions where Khrisnamurti has exposed that gurus and spiritual disciplines are counterproductive. He deems that conventional education makes independent thinking extremely difficult. Thus, if we have fears to learn and acquire knowledge, he says that fear blocks intelligent understanding of life.
In most of his dialogues, he says that the self and every people must not conform to any formal religion or spiritual disciplines because by conforming to gurus there is a possibility and attempt to condition their minds. And by conditioning them, there is blindness to truth and liberation of the body and mind.
It is prevalent in his dialogues that J Krishnamurti has denounced the concept of gurus, spiritual leaders, and teachers advocating instead the unmediated and direct investigation of reality.
Furthermore, he claims that we may be highly educated, but if we are without deep integration of thought and feeling, our lives are incomplete, contradictory and torn with many fears; and as long as education and religion do not cultivate an integrated outlook on life, it has very little significance. And if we are being educated by gurus merely to achieve distinction and have a wider domination over others, then our lives will be shallow and empty (Education and the Significance of Life (1992), page 9).
For example, he says that love must begin with the educator, the teacher. Although that is true. Beyond this context, parents are also regarded as first teachers and educators of children. Thus he expounds, a society without rivers, it is a desert, but where there are rivers the land is rich, it has abundance; it has beauty. Most of us grow up without love, and that is why we have created a society as hideous as the people who live in it (Think on These Things (2007), page 20). Therefore, if love must begin with gurus and if gurus have myriad of disciples, then why our society sometimes ends up to conflict and chaos.
But gurus have exceptional powers to transform society. But Krishnamurti accuses gurus and spiritual disciplines as counter-productive by stating that, the mind makes and unmakes gods, it can be cruel or kind. The mind has the power to do the most extraordinary things. It can hold opinions, it can create illusions. However, even if the gurus have exceptional gifts of intellect and mind, Krishnamurti again cautions that, the mind cannot create truth. What it creates is not truth; it is merely an opinion, a judgment. So it is important to find out for yourself what is true.
To counter his thoughts, I still deem that a guru is indispensible for any spiritual practice. “Gu” means invisible while “ru” means visible. Therefore, the invisible uses the visible as its instrument. And the relationship between the guru and his disciples is eternal and maybe the guru is responsible for his disciples until the disciples attain liberation.
On the other hand, guru can be our collective knowledge and experience. A guru may not be a physical form, but it can be energy, the learning in life, and others that flow to others.
If gurus and spiritual disiciplines are counter-productive, how come people continuously try to seek and believe in truth, light, and salvation. Why formalized religions are still formidable and increasing in numbers, oftentimes, fighting for their faith and belief to spread the kind of truth inculcated and conditioned in them. These are exceptional realities that we still witness in our lives. There may be different religions with their exceptional gurus and disciples, the multitude of faithful are becoming stronger to pronounce all the good things and bad things they may have learned from their gurus.