The Trail to Enlightenment

Life and Teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti

Mr. Jagmohan

Mr. Jagmohan is a distinguished scholar, author, and a former Indian civil servant, who has received several national honours including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and also the much coveted Padma Vibhushan from the President of India. He has served as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, and Goa, Daman and Diu, as well as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha and has served as a Union Minister. 

At its pinnacle, is deep spirituality an alternative to science? Does either of the two hold the key to the nature of the cosmos and the pattern of human existence on our planet and beyond?

To my mind, the answer to both the above questions is in the negative. However, perhaps it is the unique synthesis of these two elements, which constitutes the ever-burning candle at the top of the hill that manifests the Ultimate Reality. In that candlelight, myriads of paths are visible to those climbers who seek to reach the top. But, even to the steadiest and the strongest of them, the goal proves elusive. They may reach very near the top but never the top itself. Perhaps, it is in the nature of the top to make itself unattainable. “It is”, as J. Krishnamurti put it in one of his discourses, “moving all the time and dynamism is ingrained in it”.

From time immemorial, from the ages of Upanishad, Buddha and Mahavira, from the times of Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi, Aurobindo Ghosh and the like, India has produced a galaxy of saints, sages and philosophers, with powerful and profound minds, who have taken one or more of the paths referred to above to climb to the top. Though different in many respects, Jiddu Krishnamurti’s appearance on the scene in the early twentieth century was essentially in line with this hoary tradition of India.

He was propelled by the inner strength of his mind to fathom the Ultimate Reality in its larger and deeper dimensions. As a solitary pilgrim, the journey that he undertook on diverse paths, including those of occult sciences and super-consciousness, and the lived experience and thought-processes that he underwent during its course, find simple, yet scintillating, expression in Shuvendu Patnaik’s magnum opus, The Trail to Enlightenment. This penetrating and painstaking study is in three volumes.

In Volume I, titled The Hidden Side of Life, the author has shed copious light even on the darkest corners of what is usually labelled as ‘pre-creation void’ but the secret knowledge of which is known only to ‘the initiated’ and ‘the aroused’.

Volume II, titled The Great Coming, is replete with the gems of Krishnamurti’s thoughts that lay bare the multi-pronged roots of the multi-faceted crises of contemporary civilisation. To meet these crises, mired as they are in greed, violence and hatred, man must set himself “free, absolutely free, unconditionally free” of all current dogmas of religions and ideologies, and engage himself perpetually with a new endeavor to search for, “beauty, truth and loveliness of living”, through “self-inquiry and self-knowledge”.

The Third Volume, titled The Key to Super Consciousness, unfolds the ‘Consciousness model’ and its hidden spiritual role in evolving a happier and more harmonious pattern of living. The planks and contours for building up this pattern are also delineated.

Nevertheless, the Ultimate Question about the Ultimate Reality remains. Is the top reachable, realisable? Or does humanity have to find contentment by observing that the candle at the top has become more luminous after Krishnamurti’s Great Venture into “What Was, Is, and Could Be”?

In scale, sincerity and scholarship, the three volumes together make an invaluable contribution to the study of philosophic literature on J. Krishnamurti.


New Delhi, 17 August 2017