On Jiddu Krishnamurti: Happiness and self-knowledge

Acharya Prashant
2 min readSep 2, 2020

“We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas and do not realise 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 stream?”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

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? 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 it’s 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 your self 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.

Watch the full video here.

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