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Children Questioning Krishnamurti

One of my favorite books by J. Krishnamurti is "Think on These Things", first published in 1964. Krishnamurti often spoke of the importance of education and helped found schools in India, England, and the U.S. In "Think on These Things," Indian schoolchildren ask Krishnamurti questions. Coming from children, the questions have a simplicity and directness. They are not afraid to ask questions that an adult might overlook. Krishnamurti responds with seriousness and care, never talking down to the children. Here are some of the questions they ask:

Why do men fight?
What is jealousy?
Why am I never satisfied with anything?
What is shyness?
Why do we want to be famous?
What is happiness in life?
Sir, why do we want to have a companion?
For the sake of what we love to do should we forget our duty to our parents?
Why are we naughty?
What makes us fear death?
What is the difference between you and me?
Why did the British come to rule India?
Is man only mind and brain, or something more than this?

Of course, these questions have as much relevance to the old as the young. Here is Krishnamurti's response to the question "Why are we interested in asking questions?"

Very simple: because one is curious. Don't you want to know how to play cricket or football, or how to fly a kite? The moment you stop asking questions you are already dead—which is generally what has happened to older people. They have ceased to inquire because their minds are burdened with information, with what others have said; they have accepted and are fixed in tradition. As long as you ask questions you are breaking through, but the moment you begin to accept, you are psychologically dead. So right through life don't accept a thing, but inquire, investigate. Then you will find that your mind is really something quite extraordinary, it has no end, and to such a mind there is no death.

March 21, 2005 | Meditation | Permalink


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