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Paperback Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti Book

ISBN: 0201627019

ISBN13: 9780201627015

Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti

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"Radha Sloss has a distinctive voice, which is exactly suited to her material. It is a tone of gentle skepticism that never quite becomes sardonic."London Review of Books

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Krishnamurti was a good guy, but he wasn't perfect--are you surprised?

This is a delightful book. Krishnamurti had always seemed forbidding and austere and not fully human to me, which of course made his enlightenment, if that's the word for it, seem very remote and unlikely of attainment by ordinary men. (So you'd think a book which humanizes K would be welcomed by his followers--but you'd be wrong.) Anyway, we see in Radha's book that he _was_ in fact an ordinary man--and a very likable one, in my own opinion. It's very clear that Radha had a conflicted view of her "Krinsh," who, through her childhood was much more of a father to her than D. Rajagopal. A certain disillusion with K informs the later part of the book, but I think it's evident that she also had a deep love for the man. That very fact would certainly explain the sense of betrayal she has about K after the breach between her parents and K, because that breach also alienated her from this man who had been a kind and devoted father-figure to her when she was young. Obviously that hurt, as did the discovery that K did not deal very well with quotidian human conflict and trouble--which is part of what made him an ordinary human. It must have hurt K too, who, lacking the psychological resources to deal with it, withdrew from Radha as well as her parents. (After enlightenment, the laundry, as they say, and K chose to hide the laundry rather than wash it and air it out. But, given his upbringing and background, how could anyone have expected otherwise?) So Krishnamurti had flaws, and serious ones. Are we shocked? Well, some people are, but I don't see why. I mean, the overall depiction of K in this book is of a good and kind man who has failings that are not in the nature of things shocking at all. Do any of the revelations here invalidate K's "teaching," as he called it? Not at all. So why the outrage? Puzzling, isn't it?

Reply to John-on-maui: Who could set us free?

In 1929, Krishnamurti said, "Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free; nor can organised worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organisation, nor throwing yourselves into work, make you free." As far as I could see, he was consistent with his theory through out his life.My own finding about a great teacher is that after your emotional moment faded for him/her, the most valuable thing remains with you, and that valuable thing is the inspiration and the effect of his/her teachings. Once you realize the truth in the teaching, you are able to walk your own path independently. And that truth remains true regardless what perception you have toward your teacher.This book is a good challenge to Krishnamurti's usual readers, which forces you to re-think K's teachings in many levels, and for that reason I gave it 5 stars.

An Honest Historical Account of Fascinating People!

Radha Rajagopal Sloss's unique book is something of an unofficial biography of 20th century philosopher J. Krishnamurti and the events surrounding his career as a religious/philosophical teacher. The daughter of Rosalind Williams Rajagopal and husband D. Rajagopal, Radha Rajagopal Sloss's book is not a sordid expose, it is not graphic or insulting. It is simply a sincere account of her very real experiences growing up in amazing circumstances among amazing people. There is a lot of information here which isn't included in "official" biographies of philosopher J. Krishnamurti, which helps the reader get a better idea of the politics and humanness which even great men may be affected by. Author Sloss in fact, mentioned this tendancy of official biographies to ignore or excuse certain parts of Krishnamurti's life as a reason for penning this work. Some of the controversy this book generated is due to the fact that certain students and followers of Krishnamurti believe that he was a living example of a perfect human. This volume disspells that myth, indeed, he looks quite human throughout this writing. It was interesting to find how Krishnamurti dealt with some of his biggest stressors, including financial disagreements with friend D. Rajagopal, and the pregnancy (by him) of his dear lover Rosalind Williams Rajagopal. Radha describes her love of "Krinsh" (Krishnamurti), who was like a second father to her, and how his increasing unwillingness to deal with problems damaged many relationships and people. Included are numerous letters to and from Krishnamurti, D. Rajagopal and Rosaling Rajagopal, and numerous other individuals who were active on the Theosophical movement or Krishnamurti's teachings. A very worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in history, philosophy, or the full history of J. Krishnamurti.

Hypocrisy and Ego Exposed

This book brings a much needed balance to the legacy of Krishnamurti. I am amused by the reviews below that implore us to separate the man from his teachings, as if this would maintain the purity of the teachings. So much for wholeness and integrity then. What are we to make of teachings that even the teacher cannot be touched by? What are we to make of a teacher who near the end of his life says that no one has ever "got it" and that he alone understands the "truth"? Such people are called egotistical. Read this book and de-program yourself.


Howdy,This book is very interesting indeed. Of course no one can say for sure if the book is correct or not but given that the Rajagopals knew Krishnamurti as well as anyone on earth I think there is grounds to give credibility to Mrs. Sloss' account. I've asked the Krishnamurti Foundation of America about the book. Their response wasn't "the book is a lie" but rather their response was "K's personality wasn't important, what he taught was important". They told me once K was asked "are you living the teachings yourself", K's response was "how would you know?"As a long time admirer of Krishnamurti I can say that these sorts of answers are unacceptable. Krishnamurti soooo many times would speak about the transcendent state of chastity and then say "these are not the problems of the speaker, these are your problems."Well, it seems like they were the problems of the speaker. If he had been honest about where he was in his grounded life with all of this I could be more accepting, but he wasn't. This, at least in part, makes Krishnamurti a hypocrit and makes me question everything else he has written. If K wasn't living his own teachings, is it any wonder he seemed to never find any of his "students" living them either.All "friends" of Krishnamurti owe it to themselves to read this book, in fact I consider it the most important book about Krishnamurti written because it dares to step outside of the carefully crafted Krishnamurti mystique. If the man can't walk the talk, how could he expect anyone else to. I don't judge him for his womanizing, I do feel that the "persona" he crafted over 60 years was, to be blunt, a partial lie. If his personality isn't important than neither are his insights about our personalities. No teacher's teaching is greater than the teacher's ability to actualize or "walk" the teaching.This has really burst my bubble about J. Krishnamurti, I always thought he was one of the ones carrying the flame, but alas his flame wasn't nearly as bright as we thought.Peace,John ( )
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