Happiness and self-knowledge || Acharya Prashant, on Jiddu Krishnamurti (2018)

Acharya Prashant
2 min readJun 14, 2024


“We seek happiness through things, through relationships, through thoughts, ideas and do not realize their impermanence. To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to a stream? Every drop of water from the beginning to the end makes the river. To imagine that we will find happiness at the source is to be mistaken. It is to be found where you are on the river of self-knowledge.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: Acharya Ji, can you please explain what JK said in the above paragraph? JK mentioned that exploring the river of self-knowledge, and also happiness is to be found where you are on this river.

Acharya Prashant: What Krishnamurti is referring to here is — Joy, not happiness that is linked to pleasure. So, not your usual meaning of ‘happiness’ is to be applied to Krishnamurti’s words here. I would have loved it, had he been a little more precise with his choice of words. Joy is what he is talking of.

As far as worldly happiness is concerned, it is available at all points in the river. In fact, the river is flowing just for the sake of happiness. Otherwise, why would the river flow at all? The source would have been sufficient.

So it is not really happiness that is to be found through self-knowledge. In fact, self-knowledge often is a danger to happiness.

Self-knowledge dissolves both happiness and sadness, and you are left with nothing but a naked and silent Joy.

Now the next point.

“It is to be found, where you are, on the river of self-knowledge.”

What does ‘self-knowledge’ mean? Self-knowledge is about seeing the self in its activities in motion, constantly.

‘You’ are the little self. And self-knowledge is about seeing yourself — What do you do? How you behave? What your instincts are? What your reactions are? And such things.

If you can see yourself clearly, without motivation, then the seeing itself is great fun.

That I call as ‘Joy’.

Just the seeing is great fun.

Nothing more than that is contained in this excerpt.