Krishnamurti: To be or not to be a guru? That is the question.


Jiddu Krishnamurti as a child

Jiddu Krishnamurti left a lasting impression on the people who met him which was one of light, love, affection, purity and simplicity.  He was first noticed on a beach by Charles Leadbeater of the Theosophical Society. It was his aura which inspired veneration. Upon encountering his teachings however people could be confused, because his way of talking was so radically and deceptively simple which left people feeling robbed of their usual structures of knowledge.  Simplicity and peaceful contemplation are characteristic of the sign of Taurus and he was born on or around May 12th, 1895 and lived a full life of travel and being thrust reluctantly into the  public eye by his legal guardian Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society.

Krishnamurti in a suit

When he walked in a room people felt his light, his care, his quality of complete attention of his being, and to what he was doing or saying.  He said often that consciousness is one, and therefore to hold on to your nationality, creed, caste, rituals or religion would create divisions and attachments, even violence, and thus more suffering. He encouraged people to question all authority and he has a very probing Uranus in Scorpio. He said seek to become one’s own authority within oneself- Uranus is the ruler of his chart with Aquarius rising- but he  also wanted others to experience this inner authority for themselves.  To him “truth is a pathless land” which befuddles those seeking a path. People with vested interests in power like Annie Besant were challenged by this, but he had developed a strong bond with her and that continued.

Uranus is significantly placed in the ninth house of philosophy, religion and belief, so Krishnamurti brings a fresh, sharp eye to all the cant and dogma that had infected religious beliefs. Like Socrates, Kirshnamurti used a probing, dialectical style of enquiry into the truth, never offering easy answers, because it is more honest to acknowledge limits, and all that we do not yet know.  The Sun opposing Uranus too would lend a strong edge, giving him a constantly challenging and original way of thinking.

Annie Besant, Krisnamurti, Nitya and Ernest Wood
Annie Besant with Krishnamurti and Nitya

He lived until he was 91 and longevity has been noted in Taureans- perhaps they do not like to leave behind life’s physical pleasures? One biographer said that Krishnamurti began where Buddha (another Taurus) left off, but he also went beyond. He did not use book knowledge to apprehend all that he knew. People thought he was empty headed and simple-minded as a child.  Yet, in 1929 in Holland, positioned between his Sun/Descendant and Uranus Ascendant astro-cartography lines, he shocked everyone when all eyes were indeed on him. He calmly began his now famous ‘dissolution’ speech. He deconstructed the guru-worship system by declaring categorically that any organized religion is a set of chains that enslave a person’s inner freedom and inner authority.  This dismantling of the ‘guru’ system of privilege was a direct rejection of the hierarchical attitude to life. This was striking for multiple reasons: he was appointed leader of Order of the Star of the East, a branch of The Theosophical Society, inheriting the mantle of Madame Blavatsky in whose tradition he had been cultivated into the longed-for leader.  But he stood down and dissolved the order. He had finally decided not to be one of the ‘secondhand’ people he identified as not living authentically.

Uranus, the destroyer, is ruler of his chart, but even more striking is that Pluto is conjunct Neptune in the 4th House which underscores this powerful deconstruction and reexamination of  the entire world of spirituality. He went as far as asking “Is belief actually necessary?” and dared to say things like “society is immoral,” and “Be your own teacher” and “Christianity is the result of 2,000 years of propaganda,”  but did not spare other religions too. He also said “Questions about death and reincarnation are meaningless if you don’t know how to live.”  And the quote that would bring everyone down to Taurus

Krishnamurti Taurus Quote
Have No Illusions

Earth is ‘Supreme intelligence is to have no illusions.” His Saturn in the 9th is trine to Jupiter in the 5th , another house of teachers, and this might hint that a grandmaster had incarnated.  But also a founder  schools which focussed on a holistic type of schooling for children.  Yet that same role of Maitreya, reluctant or not, was difficult to shrug off as his followers could not help but elevate him above the normal, even to the point of adulation. His attempts to prick the bubble of ‘great teacher’ may thus have failed.

Freedom from the Known
Freedom From the Known (1969) Krishnamurti

He encouraged people to wipe away the accumulated layers of thought that obscure a more pristine awareness of the world. This perception is like ‘beginner’s mind’ non-judgmental; it is sensory without entanglement with so called ‘rational’ processes;it is not polluted by language and is quite fearless. He said we are the enemy to ourselves unless we enter willingly on the process of ceaseless inquiry. He also said that if your mind is not calm, organized, discerning and strong then no amount of action would ever bring about any change in the outside world. The world will not change until people became free inside, but few people wish to do that tough inner work.  The reason we are still talking about him now is that his legacy is profound, as what he triggered was not based on any set of beliefs but on offering a DIY key to open the long process of enquiry into the nature of your own mind. Even physicist David Bohm found parallels in Krishnamurti’s approach to his deep knowledge of the patterning of the universe, and they became friends. Krishnamurti also met and had talks with  Aldous Huxley, Indira Ghandi, Fritjof Capra and Rupert Sheldrake.

Krishnamurti at the Ojai Estate, California

I hesitate to use the usual methods of matching up telling biographical facts to the placements and aspects his chart in the case of Krishnamurti because he is not the typical sun sign Taurus. From one perspective he could even be the antithesis of the materialist, sensation-addict type of Taurus. However, we could point to the fact that he had a Venusian look – Venus rules Taurus – with lustrous white hair brushed upwards across his domed forehead, and he wore simple, but high-quality shirts and tailored suits, he travelled and lived in luxury, and knew all the British and European aristocracy and lunched at Fortnum and Mason’s when in London. There is a bovine feel to him, and he was at his best in bucolic scenes, under the Pepper tree in Ojai, California where he had his out-of-body kundalini awakening experience or walking in lush green grass enjoying the smell of the flowers. He was clearly placid, calm, soft and gentle, contemplative, yet also resolute, powerful, consistent in his friendships which had longevity. He was even stubborn, with that palpable presence of his. All of these qualities align with those of the sign of Taurus. In his chart however the cardinal energy is  surprisingly low, and water high, and he was notoriously vague operating at a purely intuitive level – and a vague Taurean can mislead their friends and partners most about money.  Bitter legal disputes over possessions surrounded Krishnamurti towards the end of his life from the involvement of Rosalind Rajagopal and the Happy Valley school. Rosalind had been appointed as a nurse and carer for him and his brother Nitya as early as 1922, and had a romantic involvement with Krishnamurti, all of which came out in a tell-all memoir (1991) by her daughter Rahda Rajagopal Schloss.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

To go along with Krishnamurti’s mode of questioning for the sake of argument, I would have to start by asking “but why use astrology to understand the world?”… “Is it not another chain to hold back your inner freedom?” This may be true, as to look through an astrological lens could be tainting him with astrological jargon, which is just a means to an end. But since this happens to be the topic here, I can’t help noticing that on the day of this ‘enlightenment’ said to be  17th August, 1922, there is a ‘mystic rectangle’ present in the chart. This shape is formed by two sets of planets in opposition, cross-linked by two sextiles and two trines. This is if Chiron is included, but it also creates a neatly enfolded kind of geometry, sometimes called an ‘envelope,’  that contains a symbolic message. Perhaps it is a coincidence? Or, more of a ‘divine symmetry’ as Blake might say?  A holistic and internally integrated kind of energy comes into being here with a mystic rectangle as all the energies work together in a harmonious way. The mystic rectangle might be enough to suggest a transformative experience was imminent that day, but just to add that Pluto was conjunct his Mars/Jupiter in Cancer, and the North Node/Saturn/Venus conjuncted his natal Chiron. The exact time may be disputed but it looks like the astrology offers a tantalising ‘objective correlative’ suggesting a major download occurred for him around that period -August and September.

It is good to remember that language whether astrological or not can not ever capture the whole of a person- and Krishnamurti argued that once you label something it becomes a ‘dead’ thing. Consciousness is beyond a person’s chart, and the quality of that individual consciousness can bring a different expression to the way that astrological aspects symbolically parallel events in a person’s life. What manifests may be enhanced or only develops into psychological change, depending on the level of consciousness that individual uses to perceive what is happening. Krishnamurti was definitely transformed by this experience, and claimed he was never the same. In fact he could not remember his former self.

When actor Terrence Stamp (Cancer) who has been strongly influenced by Krishnamurti finally had the opportunity to ask directly what exactly happened that day in 1922 under the Pepper Tree, Krishnagi considered the question a long time. Then he stared into Terrence’s eyes and said “The ocean fell into the drop.”


© Proteus Astrology, May 12th,  2019.

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6 thoughts on “Krishnamurti: To be or not to be a guru? That is the question.

  1. I have just discovered your blog – it came up when I was doing some research on GOT archetypes.
    I wrote you an email in response to you posting on GOT archetypes but I think it is no longer an active address. I was inquiring as to your field of study and work.

    Now that I know you are an astrologer, it helps me put your publishing in context.
    We seem to have a lot in common:
    1. I studied at the CA Institute of Integral Studies for 5/years, which was founded on the educational philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. My advisor was a Gurdgieffian, and a Krishnamurti scholar. I went to Ojai with her one year. Wow it was amazing.

    2. I have gone to an astrologer for 40 years – once a year. She lives in Colorado, Nan DeGrove. She is somewhat of an expert On Chiron. BTW, I have both a grand cross and a grand trine in my chart.

    3. I also studied with with Richard Tarnas, who I think should get a Nobel prize for his astrology/culture work. It centers on Archetypes cosmology. Cosmos and Psyche is his most famous work.

    3. I have also studied the Tarot and the Kabbalah with Pamela Eakins, who wrote the Tarot of the Spirit and developed all the meditations for the Fool’s Journey, an inner knowing year long experience. We worked on a class called the Cosmology of Love.

    Anyway, I thought it might be fun to exchange some ideas. Let me know if you are interested.
    Barbara Parker


    1. Hi Barbara,
      Thank you so much for your email. Yes, I love to exchange ideas, not just because the sun will move into Gemini, but usually. Being in California positions you very well to work with Richard Tarnas. The impact of that book is immense, though when I said how much I admired it to a friend she said she knew it all already- she said she’d read it but I wasn’t sure. But the painstaking thoroughness of his building up the evidence, historical development by historical development was epic in scale, and some people just do not have the patience to wade through all that. So that’s great that you have worked with him. If you scroll back in the archives on my blog i did a video review of that book a while back. Perhaps archetypes are piercing the veil and getting some recognition as I am meeting up with a Swiss Artist next Tuesday to discuss archetypes and to see where that goes, perhaps an article will come out of it.
      Tell me more about the ‘Cosmology of Love’ that sounds very intriguing.

      I will have to go back and see which comment you made on the GOT article. I remember it I think, so sorry if I did not reply directly. I am doing an archetypes in reflection workshop this Friday at my university where it is impossible to discuss astrology openly without opening yourself up to knee jerk reactions, ridicule and academic prickly defensiveness so I never bring it up, but somehow the word archetypes can slip by the robotic censorship barking dogs. But I go carefully never to assume they still do cling on to hyper-rationalised justifications for everything.

      Please do tell me more about what you do there and how it was in Ojai for Krishnamurti. My friend Aswin Balaj has just written a response to my article on him with his own but delving into the vedic astrology.
      So that’s great.
      All the best


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