The Order of the Star in the East was founded in 1911 to proclaim the coming of the World Teacher. Krishnamurti was made Head of the Order. On August 2, 1929, the opening day of the annual Star Camp at Ommen, Holland, Krishnamurti dissolved the Order before 3000 members. Below is the full text of the talk he gave on that occasion. What he said then is equally valid today.
We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of
the Star. Many people will be delighted, and others will be rather sad.
It is a question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is
inevitable, as I am going to explain.
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were
walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down
and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in
his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick
up?" "He picked up a piece of Truth," said the devil.
"That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend.
"Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to let
him organize it."
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it
by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point
of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth,
being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever,
cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or
to coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand
that, then you will see how impossible it is to organize a belief. A
belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize
it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a
sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout
the world is attempting to do. Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything
for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented.
Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort
to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If
you would attain to the mountain-top you must pass through the valley,
climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices. You must climb
towards the Truth, it cannot be "stepped down" or organized
for you. Interest in ideas is mainly sustained by organizations, but
organizations only awaken interest from without. Interest, which is
not born out of love of Truth for its own sake, but aroused by an organization,
is of no value. The organization becomes a framework into which its
members can conveniently fit. They no longer strive after Truth or the
mountain-top, but rather carve for themselves a convenient niche in
which they put themselves, or let the organization place them, and consider
that the organization will thereby lead them to Truth.
So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of
the Star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably form
other Orders, you will continue to belong to other organizations searching
for Truth. I do not want to belong to any organization of a spiritual
kind, please understand this. I would make use of an organization which
would take me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind
of organization, merely mechanical, like the post or the telegraph.
I would use a motor car or a steamship to travel, these are only physical
mechanisms which have nothing whatever to do with spirituality. Again,
I maintain that no organization can lead man to spirituality.
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch,
a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent
him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the
discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that
is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of
the Order, to dissolve it. No one has persuaded me to this decision.
This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and
I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.
I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I
want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with
unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential
thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all
fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories
and new philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world
over, continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this:
not because I desire a following, not because I desire a special group
of special disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men,
however ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I
do not want to encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles,
either on earth or in the realm of spirituality.
Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life,
which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not
come to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because
I want this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions
year after year.
One newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent
act to dissolve an organization in which there were thousands and thousands
of members. To him it was a great act because, he said: "What will
you do afterwards, how will you live? You will have no following, people
will no longer listen to you." If there are only five people who
will listen, who will live, who have their faces turned towards
eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is it to have thousands
who do not understand, who are fully embalmed in prejudice, who do not
want the new, but would rather translate the new to suit their own sterile,
stagnant selves? If I speak strongly, please do not misunderstand me,
it is not through lack of compassion. If you go to a surgeon for an
operation, is it not kindness on his part to operate even if he cause
you pain? So, in like manner, if I speak straightly, it is not through
lack of real affection-on the contrary.
As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge
him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations,
for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned
realization of the self.
Because I am free, unconditioned, whole-not the part, not the relative,
but the whole Truth that is eternal-I desire those, who seek to understand
me, to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which
will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all
fears-from the fear of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the
fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from the fear of death,
from the fear of life itself. As an artist paints a picture because
he takes delight in that painting, because it is his self-expression,
his glory, his well-being, so I do this and not because I want any thing
You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority,
which you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that
another can, by his extraordinary powers-a miracle-transport you to
this realm of eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook
on life is based on that authority.
You have listened to me for three years now, without any change taking
place except in the few. Now analyze what I am saying, be critical,
so that you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. When you look
for an authority to lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically
to build an organization around that authority. By the very creation
of that organization, which, you think, will help this authority to
lead you to spirituality, you are held in a cage.
If I talk frankly, please remember that I do so, not out of harshness,
not out of cruelty, not out of the enthusiasm of my purpose, but because
I want you to understand what I am saying. That is the reason why you
are here, and it would be a waste of time if I did not explain clearly,
decisively, my point of view.
For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the Coming of the World-Teacher. For eighteen years you have organized, you have looked for someone who would give a new delight to your hearts and minds, who would transform your whole life, who would give you a new understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new plane of life, who would give you a new encouragement, who would set you free-and now look what is happening! Consider, reason with yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has made you different-not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief swept away all the unessential things of life? That is the only way to judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every Society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way have the members of this organization of the Star become different?
As I said, you have been preparing for eighteen years for me. I do
not care if you believe that I am the World-Teacher or not. That is
of very little importance. Since you belong to the organization of the
Order of the Star, you have given your sympathy, your energy, acknowledging
that Krishnamurti is the World-Teacher- partially or wholly: wholly
for those who are really seeking, only partially for those who are satisfied
with their own half-truths.
You have been preparing for eighteen years, and look how many difficulties
there are in the way of your understanding, how many complications,
how many trivial things. Your prejudices, your fears, your authorities,
your churches new and old- all these, I maintain, are a barrier to understanding.
I cannot make myself clearer than this. I do not want you to agree with
me, I do not want you to follow me, I want you to understand what I
This understanding is necessary because your belief has not transformed
you but only complicated you, and because you are not willing to face
things as they are. You want to have your own gods-new gods instead
of the old, new religions instead of the old, new forms instead of the
old-all equally valueless, all barriers, all limitations, all crutches.
Instead of old spiritual distinctions you have new spiritual distinctions,
instead of old worships you have new worships. You are all depending
for your spirituality on someone else, for your happiness on someone
else, for your enlightenment on someone else; and although you have
been preparing for me for eighteen years, when I say all these things
are unnecessary, when I say that you must put them all away and look
within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the glory, for the purification,
and for the incorruptibility of the self, not one of you is willing
to do it. There may be a few, but very, very few.
So why have an organization?
Why have false, hypocritical people following me, the embodiment of
Truth? Please remember that I am not saying something harsh or unkind,
but we have reached a situation when you must face things as they are.
I said last year that I would not compromise. Very few listened to me
then. This year I have made it absolutely clear. I do not know how many
thousands throughout the world- members of the Order-have been preparing
for me for eighteen years, and yet now they are not willing to listen
unconditionally, wholly, to what I say.
So why have an organization?
As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for
I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the
self which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This
is the absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself. I want therefore
to set man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened,
independent, ecstatic in that freedom . And I, for whom you have been
preparing for eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these
things, free from your complications, your entanglements. For this you
need not have an organization based on spiritual belief. Why have an
organization for five or ten people in the world who understand, who
are struggling, who have put aside all trivial things? And for the weak
people, there can be no organization to help them to find the Truth,
because Truth is in everyone; it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally
Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you
free; nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for
a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization,
nor throwing yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriterto
write letters, but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But
that is what you are doing when organizations become your chief concern.
"How many members are there in it?" That is the first question
I am asked by all newspaper reporters. "How many followers have
you? By their number we shall judge whether what you say is true or
false." I do not know how many there are. I am not concerned with
that. As I said, if there were even one man who had been set free, that
Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the
Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold
that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the
purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom
So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built,
looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for
your happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.
So why have an organization?
You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is
your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if
you are beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you
are incorruptible? You are not serious in these things.
So why have an organization?
But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find
that which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk
together with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that
is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate,
they will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we
must create, and that is my purpose. Because of that real understanding
there will be true friendship. Because of that true friendship- which
you do not seem to know-there will be real cooperation on the part of
each one. And this not because of authority, not because of salvation,
not because of immolation for a cause, but because you really understand,
and hence are capable of living in the eternal. This is a greater thing
than all pleasure, than all sacrifice.
So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for
two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse.
I have not been persuaded to it by anyone. I am not persuaded in such
things. For two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully,
patiently, and I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen
to be its Head. You can form other organizations and expect someone
else. With that I am not concerned, nor with creating new cages, new
decorations for those cages. My only concern is to set men absolutely,
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Krishnamurti Foundation of America,
founded in 1969 by J. Krishnamurti