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The Krishnamurti Connection and Buddhism

The following paragraphs were solicited and published in two articles by a small, American, Midwestern Buddhist newsletter. They record an attempt to think through a comparison between the example and teachings of Krishnamurti and the Buddha. This is a particularly relevant exercise, given the little known fact that Krishnamurti was known to have mentioned once or twice during his life, that he had been a pupil of the latter. Krishnamurti tried, more or less success fully, never to use this fact in public. At least once however, after a talk, one of his listeners was, by way of introducing a question, explaining to Krishnamurti that the Buddha had said such-and-such. On this occasion, before K could stop himself he blurted out a forceful: "He never said that." He did occasionally give the impression of not suffering fools gladly. Further information can be downloaded from the "K server" at tu-berlin.

(from Bob James: to in /pub/doc/krishnamurti/related/ and thence to Pannyavaro, BuddhaNet)

The paragraphs are inaccurate here and there and some needed comments have been introduced in {curly brackets}.

1. Background: The Krishnamurti Connection

Science and medicine tell us that humans are mammals and are therefore related to many other animals which share our environment. Among the things that we share in common with animals are certain characteristic bodily functions. More specifically these functions are grouped into systems such as the circulatory system, the muscular system, the digestive system, and the nervous system. All animals need these systems in order to survive. Some animals depend more on one system than on the others for survival. Most animals make heavy use of the muscular system and the digestive system to move about and to assimilate food, but parasitic worms have little need for muscles to move or a digestive tract to process their nourishment. Perhaps more so than any other animal humans depend on a highly developed nervous system which has evolved into a higher capacity for memory with an enhanced ability for abstract thinking.

So highly developed is the human ability for memory and abstract thinking that humans have given various names to the products {not products: just because tennis balls are delivered in cans and projected by racquets, does not enable us to conclude they are the products of either} of their nervous systems. Names such as concepts, theories, ideas, and beliefs have been applied to human thought processes. Over the ages the thoughts and beliefs of humans have grown more and more important to them, partly because thoughts were often heavily relied upon for survival, but also because the intense emphasis that was placed on thoughts and beliefs made them seem real to most all humans. As time went on many of the beliefs began to take on a reality and a life of their own, independent of the external reality that humans and other animals had hitherto known. Some of the beliefs became so real and so powerful to those whose nervous systems created them, that they became substitutes for reality. In the harsh struggle for survival suffering was frequently inevitable, and it could only be expected that humans would sooner or later learn to escape from the miseries of existence by living in a non-real world generated by their highly advanced nervous systems.

The enhanced ability of humans to think their way out of problems thus led to a surprising new activity -- escape from the realm of reality into a world inhabited by beliefs. In all likelihood this activity came about merely as an accidental byproduct of a superior brain stem. Thus the human animal separated itself from other animals by using its nervous system for something that it had never been used before to any great degree by any other animal -- for the sustenance of beliefs that had no basis in reality. Up to this point the use of beliefs and thoughts as a human diversion away from the acute struggle for survival seems somewhat innocuous. But another unexpected surprise was in store for that advanced human nervous system. Humans began to idolize and worship their beliefs. They grew attached to the thoughts that they felt could cushion them from the fearful necessities of living. Their thoughts became crutches which they could always fall back on. Like cripples, many humans began to cling to their beliefs desperately. Beliefs were treated as possessions. Fearful that some outside group with different beliefs might deprive them of their mental possessions, many people were prepared to fight and die for the products of their own nervous systems. Animals had fought and died for food, for territory, and for mates, but never before had animals engaged in deadly battles to preserve one set of beliefs over another. By this time the beliefs were given even more high-sounding names such as ideals, freedom, conscience, God, country, sacred path. Humans lacked the objectivity and insight to see that concepts such as "my ideal", "my freedom", "my God", "my path", and "my country" never appear walking down the streets in broad daylight, and that their reality was an illusory one that only existed within the brain stems of the humans who harbored the beliefs.

Most humans lacked the perspective to know and understand the dilemma that the human animal had inadvertently fallen victim to, but there were some. In human history mention is made of a few rare individuals who had the objectivity and the perspective with which to understand the human plight. Many of the words recorded from these prophets echoed again and again in one form or another: "Know thyself" was probably the most common advice offered by all prophets. And yet, this advice has been almost totally ignored, being drowned in one belief system after another throughout most cultures and religions of the world. Humans, being blinded by their possessiveness for their own thought creations, failed to pay attention to this most important dictum. Instead they took the words of their prophets and tried to interpret them as beliefs, almost literally. Rather than trying to look inward and trying to understand what they had created within their brain stems, they succumbed to the tyranny of their petty beliefs. They unwittingly followed paths which their nervous systems and its beliefs had laid to ensnare them.

We know too little about some of the prophets that may have had some insight into the human predicament. Those who may have had the gift {it is no gift} of this insight include the leaders of the major religions and a handful of gifted mystics. Jiddu Krishnamurti was one of these mystics. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was born of a Brahmin family of less than moderate means in southern India. His life might have been a much more uneventful one if it had not been for the Englishman, Charles Webster Leadbeater, who discovered the boy, dirty and undernourished, walking along a beach near Madras at the turn of the century.

Charles Leadbeater shared the prestigious position of being one of the two top leaders of the Theosophical Society with Annie Besant, its president. The Theosophical Society had evolved into a powerful organization {it has never been and is not now powerful in any ordinary meaning of that word} that had branches in every industrialized country throughout the world. Its members were often {occasionally, as in any other organization} wealthy and influential. Its goals were to form a sort of world order or religion that would ultimately combine all existing religions, both western and eastern, into one unitary world order. The Theosophical society was looking for a world teacher, a prophet of sorts, who would become the leader for this new world order. {Poorly phrased but more or less correct. As long as one understands this phrase "world order" to have nothing whatever to do with politics or religion. The number of secular organizations from Amnesty International to the United Nations who have adopted a portion of the goals of the Theosophical Society, without acknowledgment, are yet to be counted.} It was in Krishnamurti that Leadbeater saw an instrument for this new order. With the approval of Annie Besant and his parents Krishnamurti and his brother, Nitya, were sent off to England to be educated.

By the time he had reached the age of twenty Krishnamurti had become very fluent in English. As a gifted speaker and writer he had been introduced to the intellectual and social life of England. The Theosophical Society formed a new organisation named "The Order of the Star of the East" and made Krishnamurti its leader both in temporal and spiritual matters.

For a number of years Krishnamurti presided over large gatherings of theosophists from all over the world. He was acclaimed and accepted as the prophet of the new order. Then two unexpected events changed things forever in the life of Krishnamurti. His brother, Nitya, died of tuberculosis in 1925, and in 1929 while resting in the estate of a friend in the Ojai Valley of California, Krishnamurti was attacked by {what seemed to his friends to be} feverish dreams. One day he wandered into a nearby grove and stopped to rest underneath a pepper tree. It was while he lay under the tree that indescribable feelings of unity with nature overtook him. He claimed that he could in some sense merge with the insects and the leaves on the pepper tree. He claimed to be able to see things with greater clarity than ever before in his life and that he had touched the face of the infinite.

Within two years of these experiences Krishnamurti formally disbanded "The Order of the Star of the East". To the amazement and disappointment of Annie Besant and some of the other theosophists, he gave up all the power and prestige that he had gained under their tutelage. He proclaimed that truth could not be found through membership in any organization that was created by man and that no organization should be established by men to show others the correct path to truth. In short, each person would have to find truth for themselves.

2. "Truth is a pathless land.": The Teachings

For Krishnamurti the conglomeration of thoughts and beliefs that each human acquires and builds upon into adulthood go together to form the ego. A self-propagating thing, the ego is that bundle of nervous energy which strives to maintain the thoughts which it needs to identify itself. For example: I am white, I am black, I am Christian, I am a pagan, I am an Englishman, I am a Chinese, I am John, I am a republican. The ego thrives on labels such as these. Labels are thoughts, having no objective reality, but they do serve a purpose, to discriminate between what I am and what I am not. The use of labels facilitates the fragmentation of the universe. By virtue of labels and fragmentation the human nervous system (ego) has subdivided a universe which in its primeval innocence had hitherto only known oneness. Krishnamurti often refers to this process as one of divisiveness and insularity.

For Krishnamurti the ego is a process that consumes nervous energy in order to set itself apart from the rest of the universe. The ego owes its existence to fear of all that is unknown, and this fear is acquired after birth by all humans as soon as they begin to deal with the unknown. The energy tied up in the beliefs which comprise the ego serve as a buffer against the memories of hurt that each human acquires and subsequently carries as a burden. {Correct}

The divisive nature of mankind is responsible for all of the suffering which mankind endures. Divisiveness occurs both internally and externally. Within ourselves we build images of what we want to be or what we think we should be. But these images can never reflect what we truly are. A conflict exists between reality and mental images which cannot be resolved by thought, because it is thought that is projecting these images in the first place. Any attempt by thought to resolve the conflict ends in more confusion, frustration, and suffering.

External divisiveness occurs with thoughts, images or beliefs like "we are different from them" or "we are better than them". Comparisons are made, and in order to make comparisons we must first create mental scales of good and bad, black and white, smart and stupid, right and wrong, high and low. These, of course, are all examples of duality, and thus duality becomes a tool for subdividing and fragmenting external reality. As usual, fear is the prime motivation. We are fearful of the reality of knowing exactly what we are. To avoid this fear we find security by indulging in mental creations - images of being good as opposed to being bad or being right as opposed to being wrong. The process leads us gradually into a state of insularity or separation from that which causes the fear. For example, one might have Jewish blood and be fearful of learning the truth. To avoid having to acknowledge the truth one could go on a rampage of hate and destruction bent on a "final solution" of eliminating all the evidence that the Jewish race ever existed. Clearly, external divisiveness can be the cause of much suffering.

What are we exactly? According to Krishnamurti we are emptiness. In some of his writings he describes this emptiness as the nowhere from which joy emerges without a cause and the nowhere to which it returns. The nowhere is timeless - not having a beginning or an ending, but not having a duration either for duration would imply time.

Subjective time is a product of our advanced human memories. We can remember our pasts so well that we very readily form images of the past that seem real. We do this better than most other animals. But our superior ability for abstract thinking enables us to foresee certain events in the future, e.g. when the temperature drops low enough we may predict that water will freeze. We may become so obsessed with our ability to anticipate future events that our anticipations may seem to be real to us. We 'believe' that a past and a future exists because our nervous system has very real powers of making predictions for the future and our memory is likewise powerful in recalling the past. The flow of images that our nervous systems construct of the past and the future deceive us into thinking that there is something like a concrete past and a concrete future. Like many other prophets and mystics, however, Krishnamurti reminds us that the only reality lies 'now' in the present moment.

The illusion which we experience as the passage of subjective time is intimately tied into the ego. When we experience time we are always doing something of this sort:

1. Waiting to get something or to go somewhere. 2. Working (and waiting) to earn money. 3. Studying to become better in a skill or a discipline. 4. Growing impatient to achieve or obtain something.

In each case the ego is using its favorite tool, duality, and making comparisons to go from a state of lesser possessiveness to greater possessiveness. Krishnamurti points out that this process which has ego at its heart gives rise to the passage of subjective time. Egolessness, therefore, implies timelessness.

He acknowledges that there is a place for ego. Humans need ego to survive in daily living. Beliefs, thoughts, and memory are necessary to fend for our daily requirements. We need to earn a living and know when to cross a street safely by remembering what a green light means. The aborigine must use memory and thought in order to prepare the tips of spears or the shafts of arrows. But thoughts and beliefs are never sacred! They are not to be worshipped as things in themselves. Thought, no matter how elevated or holy it may seem, is no more a sacred product of the nervous system than defecation is a sacred product of the digestive system. How easy it is to be deceived by the illusion of sacred thoughts.

Krishnamurti has stated that there is only one way to achieve a deep, fundamental and permanent change in our personalities, and that is through a kind of profound, spontaneous insight into our inner nature -- "know thyself". This insight, it turns out, is the equivalent of meditation. In order to cause such a change, this meditation must be without concentration because concentration involves will power and this implies ego activity. Any activity involving concentration, discipline, effort, or force will only cause superficial changes. The underlying mechanism will remain unchanged. He describes a type of meditation where insight and revelation come to the meditator of their own accord as opposed to meditation which rigidly follows a path, a discipline, or a method set down by others. One cannot use the ego to force itself into inactivity because the use of force implies ego activity.

When Krishnamurti refers to insight he means an instantaneous insight. He means insight which does not require time, deliberations, or tedious analysis by the ego process. Krishnamurti's insight is so vivid and dynamic that it also becomes its own action. In other words action with a response takes place simultaneously with insight, and there is no passage of subjective time in which to think or invoke belief systems.

Experiences of this sort may be incredibly powerful:

1. A mother who steps between her child and a rattlesnake threatening to strike. She does this without a moment's hesitation to think about Christian ethics deploring suicide, whether she should say ten hail Mary's first, etc.

2. The many accounts of soldiers in combat who threw themselves upon hand grenades to save their comrades without wasting an instant on their belief systems. One may well guess that even some atheists may have been up to it.

3. Some years ago a passenger airliner lost part of its hull near Hawaii, a few passengers perished, but most landed and survived. A stewardess, interviewed on TV, said: "there was no fear -- no time for fear, we all acted spontaneously to the needs of each other without giving thought." She said it was all played out in slow motion. Time seemed to stop. There was no time for belief systems and no time to get out a handy-dandy bible or Koran or 'Gita'. No time for the Lord's prayer.

4. Young persons in love (perhaps for the first time) refer to dying for each other and moments when time seems to stop. One notices that love in this case crosses all artificial, man-made, religious boundaries. Not much thought given to the Christian, Hindu, or Moslem God when lovers meet. No time to waste on belief systems. A communist can love a capitalist, a Satanist a Christian, no time, no thought given to the 'rules', the 'covenants', the 'commandments.' Love cannot be constrained by rules that are taught at the foot of a guru.

5. Athletes in long distance racing sometimes attain a state where they are overcome with passion. They report experiencing feelings of such intense joy that they become overwhelmed and begin to cry. They report that they sometimes seem to be running in slow motion. Once again time seems to slow or stop. Their whole thoughts, minds, bodies are given up, surrendered, or sacrificed to the task at hand. There is no time to waste on belief systems. All energy must be sucked back out of belief systems and applied to the race.

The same pattern appears in all the examples above. The ego has been sidestepped because the effort and the task at hand are so intense that there is no time for ego involvement. In such moments the ego loses its authority and its energy. It is the same energy which is used to maintain divisiveness or insularity. The energy then becomes available to be channeled for more efficient use in accomplishing the task. Without ego time seems to stop. There is no doubt about the need to accomplish the task because doubt implies a divisive personality, and divisiveness has vanished with the ego. The act becomes an act of love, sacrifice, or surrender, because all the mental, physical, and psychic energy expended in maintaining the ego must be withdrawn from selfish pursuits and focused on the task at hand without any second thoughts. This act is unconditional, all-consuming and therefore, very passionate.

If one feels a need to hesitate and give a thought to the advice of Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha then one's whole being is not totally united in the act, because some ego with its divisiveness still remains. In that case one could not say that one unconditionally loved one's child, a comrade-in-arms, or the other airline passengers. In this manner love and compassion are negated by faith, belief, thought, and even hope.

We often hear testimony from persons, such as the stewardess, who stated that their lives were permanently changed by their experiences. They claim that because of their "peak experience" they feel that they live more fully now. It is much more common for us to feel that we love this person or that thing or some god, but no sooner is the statement made and our minds are already thinking about rules to follow, Christian rules, Hindu rules, conditions, etc. "You will love your God by not eating meat on Fridays" or "You will love your God by destroying the infidels."

Krishnamurti in his discussions and dialogues is not being theoretical or otherworldly. Denying any guru-like authority, he urges us not to take his word for anything he says, and urges us to find out for ourselves. His message, therefore, becomes very immediate and real.

3. The Krishnamurti Connection With Buddhism

In many ways Krishnamurti's message is similar to the one that Buddhism teaches. Both point to the ease and susceptibility of the human mind to succumb to conditioning as the origin of all our human problems. Both doctrines, therefore, prescribe the use of an intense awareness of all of our mental processes, thoughts, memories, beliefs, hopes, and fears in order to gain that state of enlightenment which Krishnamurti calls insight or complete and unconditional freedom.

On the surface there appears to be conflict between Krishnamurti and Buddhism on some points. To Krishnamurti the process of enlightenment takes place instantaneously, like a sudden awakening. To most Buddhists enlightenment would take place only after years of painstaking meditative practice and countless rituals.

In the preceding we examined the nature of human psychological time. Time is measured by humans usually through a process of increase or decrease. We sense that time is passing because we are growing older or earning more money or waiting to be promoted to a higher rank. More precisely, psychological time is our perception of the process of increase or decrease and nothing more. Without that perception there would be no sense of passage of time.

When we talk of working and meditating over a period of years to achieve enlightenment it is the same as saying, "I will create the passage of time by undergoing a process of 'increase' from a lower to a higher spiritual level". By taking this approach we will have avoided taking the discontinuous leap into enlightenment, and instead we will have created our own delay in achieving enlightenment. As we mentioned earlier, the human ego is involved with this process. In fact, one could say that the human ego is this process, i.e. perception (increase/decrease) = psychological time = ego.

It stands to reason that any Buddhist authority who urges others to work real hard over a long period of time in order to achieve enlightenment is selling an ego package. Yet, we sometimes hear such advice coming from Buddhists. Krishnamurti's view of enlightenment is not that of a gradual one which increases slowly over years of hard work, because that sort of ego-related process creates its own delay and thus insures that the end is never attained. In Krishnamurti's view enlightenment comes by its own accord where and when it chooses, and there is little that we can do about it. It comes to us at auspicious times like a major discontinuity in our lives, and it reminds us of some Buddhist accounts of awakening which were induced by an unexpected slap to the face or a blow to the body. Ego involvement in enlightenment (or meditation for that matter) is no more than an interference which will negate the process.

It is the author's opinion that Krishnamurti's views provide us with more insight into The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge than most explanations available from the Buddhist world. In the Sutra, Avalokitesvara states that there is no birth and no cessation, ... no decrease and no increase, ... It is the exact same process which Krishnamurti dwells upon in volume after volume of his works. Enlightenment is a state that is timeless which means that its chief attribute is one of no-time, meaning no involvement with ego or ego-created time. Once an acknowledgment is made by the ego that time is required to attain enlightenment, the search has gone off on a hopeless tangent and will end in failure. The ego has to surrender its jurisdiction in the matter of enlightenment and allow something which is infinite and unknowable to take its course.

To Krishnamurti any process of thought is unsacred. Thoughts of the dharma or Buddha are as unsacred as any other type of thought. The only thing remaining sacred in Krishnamurti's view is that which thought is incapable of capturing or the unknowable. All thoughts are mere human creations of the human brain stem and are forever incapable of capturing that which is infinite and unknowable.

At first it seems that most Buddhists would agree with the foregoing paragraph. But there is plenty of Buddhist literature available which encourages Buddhists to meditate upon sacred images or thoughts or The Eight-Fold path or some mandala or mantra. It is self-evident that a state of complete emptiness is impossible as long as any images whatsoever persist in the mind. The Sutra says that emptiness is form and all form is emptiness, yet many Buddhist leaders keep on encouraging others to fill this vast, wonderful emptiness with a product of the human nervous system as if that product is sacred enough to occupy space as long as it has received the authorized stamp of approval from a duly appointed Buddhist authority.

Some Buddhist groups conduct prayer meetings. Prayer is an obvious exercise of the ego, a deliberate, calculating way to gain an increase over a period of time. There are some who feel that more prayer results in more gain. It is another attempt to attain something despite the fact that there is no attainment.

4. No Path, No Progress, No Goal

"...the bodhisatvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajnaparamita."

To Krishnamurti there is no "path", no procedures, no organization, and no rules that should be laid down by men for other men to follow on the road to enlightenment. As part of the path, Buddhists must observe a very typical, man-made, structure which begins at the top with The Three Precious Ones: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Each of these pillars has subsets of rules associated with it: The Five Skandhas, The Eight Siddhis, etc. Some would have us believe that learning all these articles of faith are necessary for enlightenment.

Much Buddhist literature suggests that in following Buddhism there is a great object that one must attain and that one progresses towards this goal as one takes each step along the path. To Krishnamurti setting a psychological goal and working for progress in any direction will only lead to more confusion and suffering. Any attempts at psychological self-betterment will amount to no more than just one more futile duplication of many similar past efforts, all of which had previously failed.

The typical pattern of human behavior that we always seem to fall into, perhaps by virtue of conditioning, is the "work for a reward" stereotype. One finds a religion and sees something desirable in it which becomes an object of attainment. The next step is to devise a plan to acquire the object, and finally, with great deliberation we set about to carry out that plan with hard, unrelenting work.

Krishnamurti tells us that the "work for a reward" operandi has been tried countless times by homo sapiens, but it has never led us to anything new or different in the area of spiritual enlightenment. What do we make of all this? Buddhist leaders round the world tell us that there are Buddhist goals and a path of hard work and attainment for reaching these goals.

Here again Krishnamurti seems to be more in agreement with the very core of Buddhist teachings than the Buddhists themselves. The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge sounds more like Krishnamurti than does many of the Buddhist teachers: "There is ... no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no nonattainment ..." Here Krishnamurti is telling us to live up to the precepts of this great Buddhist Sutra. He is not telling us to follow a path, but to under stand that there is no path. He tells this just as bluntly and simply as the Sutra does. There is no apparent sympathy or embellishments for the benefit of those who either fail to understand or for those who have beliefs in goals to which they must continue to cling.

5. No Apostolic following

Buddhist teachers are prone to exhort us to believe in the principles that Buddhist leaders have laid down for them over the centuries, and there are authoritative Buddhist lineages with apostles who have been appointed to carry out this task.

For Krishnamurti even the faintest aroma of authority is totally detrimental to spirituality, because authority implies that someone has been placed in a position of acceptance. Anyone who accepts any truth from someone else has not yet found it within himself. As long as people are unwilling or for any reason unable to find truth within themselves there will be no possibility of obtaining any true spiritual insight.

According to Krishnamurti the person is not important, but what he says is. In many of his writings he pleads and begs the reader not to accept anything on his authority, but instead to undertake a profound inward search to verify the truth (or untruth) of anything he says. Advice with an uncanny similarity appears in the Kalama Sutra where the Buddha says, "Don't believe in me, don't believe in others, don't believe in something because it is written in books, but really see for yourself what practice is conducive to the weakening of greed and delusion."

If we are not to believe in the Buddha, other Buddhists, or Buddhist scriptures then of what value is a Buddhist lineage? Perhaps not much, but Krishnamurti has an answer to this. The only useful function that he could ever claim for himself was, as he put it, as a mirror. He felt that he could help those most in need by reflecting an image of themselves that would be so vivid that no one could fail to recognize the simple fact that our true nature was that of a vast, unlimited emptiness. If Krishnamurti's role for himself were also applicable to Buddhist leaders then the Buddhist clergy would serve better as instruments of reflection rather than reservoirs ready to spout endless dictums: The Six Realms of cyclic existence, The Ten Bhumis, The Four Performances, The Four Noble Truths, and so on and on and on.

What of all the rules that the Buddha has passed down to us over the centuries? Accounts have it that just before his death the Buddha entrusted his monks to discard all minor rules, saying he knew they were able to discern the essence of dharma. Overcautious, the monks decided they couldn't decide, and kept all the rules. In effect, they denied the Buddha's last wish. Had Krishnamurti sat in the place of the Buddha, and had he made but one rule, it might have been "know thyself", and all other rules would have been declared to be minor and therefore to be discarded.

Although Krishnamurti has left us with no apostolic succession to continue with his work, he did establish a foundation before he died. The Krishnamurti Foundation which has an office at Ojai, California, another in Brockwood Park, England, and a third in Madras, India, makes all of his work available either in print or on sound & video recordings, and on CD-ROM. Some of the tapes contain various impressions of Krishnamurti which were recorded during interviews with prominent world figures from many different fields.

In one such interview with Rinpoche Sumdung the Buddhist teacher stated that in his opinion the Buddha taught on two different levels. The first level was that of the average human being. This was the level that Buddha used when he spoke to the masses, and it was on this level that Buddha taught rules, dharma, rituals, etc. Rinpoche Sumdung went on to say that the second level, a higher level, was the one which the Buddha used to communicate in-depth wisdom as in the sutras. The "Heart Sutra" was such a higher form of communi- cation.

Finally, Rinpoche Sumdung said that the Buddha "compromised" himself by teaching on the two different levels, because eventually obvious discrepancies were sure to appear between the two levels. In the preceding paragraphs we have been dealing with some of these problems. Rinpoche Sumdung concluded by saying that in his opinion Krishnamurti never addressed the masses from the lower level like the Buddha did. He always taught at the level of the sutra and for that reason there is much agreement between Krishnamurti and "The Heart Sutra". Krishnamurti, therefore, never "compromised" {not quite the best choice of a word; perhaps what the Rinpoche meant would be better expressed by the word "overextended"} himself in the same manner as the Buddha did. Rinpoche Sumdung felt that on this second level Krishnamurti's teachings were identical with those of the Buddha. Krishnamurti remained true, at times obstinately steadfast, to the Sutra level of teaching during his whole life, and his teachings were consequently more difficult for the public to assimilate.

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