Walpola Rahula: What the Buddha taught twenty-five hundred years ago you teach today in a new idiom, a new style, in a new garb. When I read your books, I often write in the margin, comparing what you say with the Buddha; sometimes I even quote the chapter and verse of the text—not only Buddha’s original teaching, but also the idea of the late Buddhist philosopher; those too you put practically the same way. I was surprised how well and beautifully you expressed them….
To begin with, I want to say that there is fundamental agreement on these things, and there is no conflict between you and the Buddha. Of course you are not a Buddhist, as you say.
Krishnamurti: No, sir.
WR: And I myself don’t know what I am. It does not matter. But in your teachings and the Buddha’s teaching; it is just that you say the same thing in a way that is fascinating today’s human beings, and for those of tomorrow. And
now I would like to know what you think about all this.
K: May I say, sir, with due respect, why do you compare?
WR: This is because when I read your books as a Buddhist scholar, as one who has studied Buddhist texts I always see it is the same thing.
K: Yes, sir, but if I may ask, what is the necessity of comparing?
WR: There is no necessity at all.
K: If you were not a scholar of Buddhism and all the sutras, and the sayings of Buddha, if you had not gone very deeply into Buddhism, how would it strike you reading this, without the background of all that?
…Does knowledge condition human beings—knowledge of scriptures, knowledge of what the saints have said and so on, the whole gamut of so-called sacred books, does that help humanity at all?
…I am not doubting what you are saying, sir. But I would like to question whether knowledge in its actual sense, has the liberating quality of the mind.
WR: I don’t think knowledge can liberate.
K: Knowledge can’t, but the quality, the strength, the sense of capacity, the sense of value that you derive from knowledge, the feeling that you know, the weight of knowledge—doesn’t that strengthen the self?
K: Does knowledge actually condition the human being? Let’s put it that way? The word knowledge all of us surely take to mean accumulation of information, of experience, of various facts, theories, and principles, the past and the present, all that bundle we call knowledge. Does, then, the past help? Because knowledge is the past?
WR: All that past, all that knowledge, disappears the moment you see the truth.
K: But can a mind that is burdened with knowledge see truth? (pp.3-8)
WR: Sir, you know the word arahant in Buddhist terminology. An arahant is a person who has realized the truth, who is liberated, who is free. It is a very well-known term. And the disciples of the Buddha, and various people,