KRISHNAMURTI: The Years of Fulfillment by Mary Lutyens

KRISHNAMURTI: The Years of Fulfillment

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the first volume of her authorized biography of Krishnamurti (The Years of Awakening, 1975), Lutyens had a bizarre and gripping story to tell: a young Brahmin boy was scooped out of obscurity by a group of British Theosophists, who proclaimed him to be the future vehicle of the new World Master, the Lord Maitreya; but somehow in spite of them he grew up with enough strength of mind to reject his messianic role, disband the order formed to follow him, and strike out on his own. From that point on, however--when this volume begins--the story is as fiat as Kansas. Apparently K, as he now prefers to be known, has led an exemplary, but rather boring adult life. His chief activities have been speaking engagements, illnesses, visits to friends, and bouts of ""the process,"" an experience involving physical pain and psychic release. To make matters worse, Lutyens presumes that K is something other than human--""a unique being,"" incomprehensible by ordinary minds--so normal biographical questions are precluded. Instead, we have chiefly places and dates, plus a few not-very-intimate personal details. (""He has had wonderful teeth but has worn away some of the enamel by overcleaning."" ""By Jove is an habitual expression of his."") Thus, no real impression of the man emerges. And, despite copious quotation, his thought is not much clearer; to understand him, supposedly, one must be in his physical presence. The only questions that Lutyens shows much enthusiasm for, in fact, are not biographical but theological. ""Who or what is Krishnamurti?"" Is he a vehicle for the incarnation of the Lord Maitreya? A conduit between human beings and some cosmic reservoir of goodness? And are his powers his own, or ""is K being used by someone or something from outside?"" Lutyens is inclined to believe that he is. But since K himself professes bewilderment on the subject, this question too remains open. Non-insightful, unrelievedly dull, and little help in understanding Krishnamurti and what, if anything, he means.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1983
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux