Did Yogananda Speak About Krishnamurti?


Hello! I am very interested to know if sri Yogananda ever spoke about Jiddu Krishnamurti? J. Krishnamurti was a great soul and a master in his own right even though he passionately denounced all Gurus! I have often felt that perhaps JK's mission was to bring spirituality to the intellectuals and skeptics of the world. JK was also very famous in America and worldwide around the same time as Yogananda. Can you please comment on this? thanks!

—A, Cananda


Hello A!

Yogananda wrote about Aurobindo, Anandamoyi Ma, Ramana Maharishi and other saints, but I can’t find a single mention of Krishnamurti in his talks and writings, even though they were almost exact contemporaries (Krishnamurti lived much longer, though).

Krishnamurti traveled and spoke in the US at the same time as Yogananda in the 1930s – and had quite an impact, so Yogananda must have known about him. (Indians teachers were a rarity back then.) Probably he talked about him privately; I just don’t know.

My guess is that he wasn’t too fond of Krishnamurti’s teachings where sincere God-seekers are concerned, since Krishnamurti, the “anti-guru,” denounced all Gurus. This of course goes against the whole of India’s ancient teachings, against what Adi Shankaracharya called “the greatest blessing in all three worlds.” It goes against devotion toward Buddha, Christ, Krishna, and all great Masters.

Krishnamurti taught that people use Gurus as “crutches,” but that seems like saying “breathing is bad because people don’t use the breath correctly.”

In the very first sentence of his Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda makes this statement: “The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship.” So that tells you what Yogananda might have said, probably even quite strongly, at least about the “guru” part of Krishnamurti’s message.

This being said, my guess is that Yogananda still respected the positive influence Krishnamurti had, maybe as you say for intellectual and skeptical people.

From what I read he was, in his own way, a great teacher and a great soul. He had deep inner experiences, but maybe wasn’t a liberated Master. Many people have found life-changing inspiration in his teachings. For example, I just read about one devotee who found his path to Yogananda through Krishnamurti.

God bless you,