Wednesday, January 8, 2020

An interview with Swami Chidananda on aspects of J. Krishnamuti’s teachings that informed his journey of self-inquiry

I got an opportunity to catch up with Swami Chidananda at the KFI Study Centre in Valley School, Bangalore last Sunday. The topic was – Aspects of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings that informed my journey of self-inquiry. In the 45 minute interview, Chidananda-ji articulated three phases of his journey of self-inquiry, influence of spiritual teachers like Swami Chinmayananda and Ramana Maharshi before he began to appreciate JK’s teachings, 3 aspects of JK’s teachings (1) throwing light on the structure of self (2) power of seeing and (3) importance of being oneself, how he integrates it into daily life, and finally a few areas where he found JK less precise.

Here are notes from the interview:

00:00 Introduction
01:50 Q: Give us a brief sketch of your journey of self-inquiry
2:05 Drawn to Swami Chinmayananda
6:00 Phase-1: Charmed by Vedanta concepts and Sanskrit Shlokas (verses), joined Chinmay Mission Ashram in 1984,
7:18 Phase-2: Study of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings especially “Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in his own words”, hunt the ego, “Who am I?” inquiry
8:24 Ramana Maharshi as an important bridge between classical Vedanta and JK.
13:50 Phase-3: San Jose – Chinmay Mission Ashram, exposure to JK’s audio/videos/books, Visit Ojai centre.
17:55 Tell us a few aspects of JK’s teachings that influenced you
18:10 Aspect #1: How he threw light onto the structure of self
25:10 Aspect #2: Power of seeing – flame of attention
30:00 Aspect #3: Importance of being oneself – outer lifestyle doesn’t matter - what position you hold, married-not married etc. don’t have any bearing, man’s sorrow is in wanting to become
35:21 How did you integrate it in daily life?
37:20 Two minutes going deep into the structure of thought
38:38 Seated meditation vs observing oneself at unexpected times
40:40 Aspects of JK’s teachings which didn’t appeal as much: statements like faith necessarily breeds violence, all gurus are exploiters which appear exaggerated.

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