Born on May 12, 1895 (1895-05-12) in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died on February 17, 1986 (1986-02-18) (aged 90) in Ojai, California
Parents Narainiah and Sanjeevamma Jiddu
Jiddu Krishnamurti came from a family of Telugu-speaking Brahmins. His father, Jiddu Narainiah , was employed as an official of the then colonial British administration. Krishnamurti was very fond of his mother, Sanjeevamma, who died when he was ten. He was born on May 12, 1895 in the small town of Madanapalle in Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh. As the eighth child, who happened to be a boy, he was, in accordance with common Hindu practice, named after Sri Krish.
Krishnamurti’s father Narainiah retired at the end of 1907, and, being of limited means, wrote to Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society, seeking employment at the Theosophical headquarters estate at Adyar. Although he was an observant orthodox Brahmin, Narainiah had been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1882. He was eventually hired by the Society as a clerk, and he moved his family there in January
It was in April 1909, a few months after the last move, that Krishnamurti first met C.W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater, who claimed clairvoyance. Leadbeater remained “unshaken” that the boy would become “a great teacher”.
Following his “discovery”, Krishnamurti was taken under the wing of the leadership of the Theosophical Society in Adyar and their inner circle. Leadbeater and a small number of trusted associates undertook the task of educating, protecting, and generally preparing Krishnamurti as the “vehicle” of the expected World .
During this time, Krishnamurti had developed a strong bond with Annie Besant, and came to view her as a surrogate mother. The Theosophical Leadership in 1911 established a new organization called the Order of the Star in the East, to prepare the world for the aforementioned “coming”. Krishnamurti was named as its head.
The Theosophical Leadership in 1911 established a new organization called the Order of the Star in the East, to prepare the world for the aforementioned “coming”. Krishnamurti was named as its head.
Krishnamurti and Nitya were taken to England for the first time in April 1911. Between that time and the start of World War I in 1914, they also visited several other European countries, always accompanied by theosophist chaperones.
It was in Ojai, in August 1922, that Krishnamurti went through an intense, “life-changing” experience.
Finally, the unexpected death of his brother Nitya on November 11, 1925 at age 27 from tuberculosis after a long history with the disease, fundamentally shook Krishnamurti’s belief in Theosophy and his faith in the leaders of the Theosophical Society.
According to eyewitness accounts, the news “…broke him down completely”. He struggled for days to overcome his sorrow, eventually “…going through an inner revolution, finding new strength.
In the next few years Krishnamurti’s new vision and consciousness continued to develop and reached a climax in 1929, when he rebuffed attempts by Leadbeater and Besant to continue with the Order of the Star. Krishnamurti dissolved the Order at the annual Star Camp at Ommen, the Netherlands, on August 3, 1929 where, in front of Annie Besant and several thousand members.
From 1930 through 1944, Krishnamurti engaged in speaking tours and in the issue of publications under the auspice of the “Star Publishing Trust” (SPT), which he had founded with a close associate and friend from the Order of the Star, D. Rajagopal.
When in India after World War II, many prominent personalities came to meet with him, including the then young Dalai Lama and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In the early 1960s, he made the acquaintance of respected physicist David Bohm. In the 1970s, Krishnamurti met several times with then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, with whom he had far ranging, and apparently, in some cases very serious discussions.
Krishnamurti’s once close relationship with the Rajagopals had deteriorated to the point where Krishnamurti took D. Rajagopal to court in order to recover donated property and funds, publication rights for his works, manuscripts, and personal correspondence, that were in Rajagopal’s possession.
J. Krishnamurti died on February 17, 1986, at the age of 90, from pancreatic cancer. A few days before his death, in a final statement, he emphatically declared that “nobody” – among his associates, or the general public – had understood what had happened to him (as the conduit of the teaching), nor had they understood the teaching itself. He added that the “immense energy” operating in his lifetime would be gone with his death, again implying the impossibility of successors.