From Kabir To Krishnamurti (referred to in the book as Krishnaji) is a far cry. For, they are separated one from the other by over five centuries. But quantitative measurement of this distance in terms of time is extremely mis-leading. This distance has a qualitative aspect which cannot be measured in any time-scale. Two great seers lived in two completely different worlds-with no comparison between the two. And yet they expressed their thoughts and experience not only in a similar language but almost in identical terms. In this book we are not so much concerned with looking at Krishnaji's philosophy in an exhaustive or a detailed manner. Nor are we concerned to examine Kabir's approach to life at length or in a systematic manner. That is not the purpose of this book.
In these two streams of thought represented by Kabir and Krishnaji, we have noted a fascinating parallelism. These streams run parallel to each other-and yet they meet from time to time. These are intersections between the two approaches to life. At these intersections they meet and again move along their own distinctive ways. Their teachings seem to be similar and yet they are different. We have been interested in these intersections of two streams of thought and expression. And in this book we have focused our attention on these meeting points between the two approaches to life.
So far as Kabir is concerned, the contribution in this book is mainly be my wife, Shrimati Shridevi Mehta. She has compiled and collected the songs and poems of Kabir. Not only that, she has adapted them to music, the classical and semi-classical style of North Indian music. But more than that, she has sung these songs to a large and varied audiences spread over the five continents of the world-Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States of America. Those who listened to these musical renderings were thrilled and could not believe that five hundred years ago there could have been a seer who was so deeply versed in the depths of human psychology. I and my wife have evolved a special technique of presenting a subject through musical discourses. My wife would sing and I would supplement the music with my comments. It has proved very successful. And among our various musical discourses, which we have presented to people all over the world, Kabir is a must. In this book we have presented the intersections between the writings and sayings of Kabir and Krishnaji. In the appendix we have presented the songs in the original Hindi language and in the order in which they appear in the text. They have been translated into English for the benefit of non-Hindi knowing readers. There has to be a free translation because word for word translation is impossible, nor would it sound pleasing. The Hindi version has been given for those who can understand that language. A translation. However lucid and faithful can never take the place of the original. As the songs in Hindi are in the same order as they appear in the text, their inclusion would be a distinct advantage Kabir was introduced to the English-knowing people by the translation of Rabindra Nath Tagore, the great and illustrious poet.
Both Kabir and Krishnamurti are truly revolutionary in their approach. They appear almost iconoclastic and completely non-traditional. It is this which is common to both the approaches. This would make the teachings more acceptable to the modern age. Both Kabir and Krishnamurti insist that no dogmas or creeds should emerge out of their teachings. Kabir. Said:
Unfortunately with the passage of time, the followers of Kabir have made his teachings imprisoned in creeds, dogmas and sects. Will this happen to Krishnamurti also? His friends and admirers will have to be very careful to see that such a thing does not happen. But it is like walking on a razor-edged path. Let us hope that teachings of Krishnamurti are not imprisoned in dogmas and creeds.
That this should not happen is the most essential thing for keeping his teachings pure and unsullied. This will require putting his teachings in proper perspective. We have tried to give this perspective so that Kabir is seen in a perspective of Krishnamurti and the latter in that of the former. A thing, a teaching, lives when it is seen in the proper teachings, in the perspective of ancient wisdom and modern thought. It is this perspective that imparts to the teachings vitality and a liveliness-without which the teachings become dead. No teachings get blurred and lifeless by exploration-they get vitiated by interpretation. To see the teachings in perspective is to keep them pure and unsullied. It is with this intention of exploration that we present Kabir and Krishnamurti in the perspective of each other. We hope that many such attempts will follow so that we are able to preserve the freshness and the liveliness of these most precious teachings that humanity has inherited. It is the humanity's most precious treasure.
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