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For nearly half a century the charismatic, strikingly handsome spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti gathered an enormous following throughout Europe, India, Australia and North America. From the age of eighteen he was the forerunner of the type of iconoclasm that would bring immediate fame to cult figures in the late twentieth century. Yet recent biographies have left large areas of his life in mystifying darkness.
This, however, is no ordinary study of Krishnamurti, for it is written by one whose earliest memories are dominated by his presence as a doting second father?tolerant of pranks and pets, playful and diligent. For over two decades in their Ojai California haven, where Aldous Huxley and other pacifists found respite during the war years,?Krinsh? developed his philosophical message. He also placed himself at the centre of her parents? Rosalind and Rajagopal?s marriage.
In a spirit of tenderness, fairness, objective inquiry, and no little remorse, the author traces the rise of Krishnamurti from obscurity in India by selection of the Theosophical Society to be the vehicle of a new incarnation of their world teacher. Breaking from Theosophy, Krishnamurti inspired his own following, retaining the dedication of his longtime friend Rajagopal, himself highly educated, to oversee all practicalities and the editing and publication of his writings.
How this bond of trust was breached and became clouded in confusion with a new wave of devoteeism lies at the heart of this extraordinary story. So does a portrait of intense romantic intimacy and the conundrum of Krishnamurti?s own complex character.
- iUniverse, August 2011
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