Jiddu Krishnamurti


82 Drayton Gardens
London, SW10 9RT
United Kingdom
51° 29' 23.694" N, 0° 10' 56.4168" W
Date of birth: 
11 May 1895
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
17 Feb 1986
Location of death: 
Ojai, California, USA
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Mar 1911
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 

Jiddu Krishnamurti was 'discovered' by C. W. Leadbeater near Madras in 1910 and taken under the wing of Annie Besant and the Theosophical Society, along with his younger brother, Nityananda. Besant and Leadbeater undertook to educate the two boys, and were involved in a protracted legal battle with their father, Naraniah, over custody. Besant took the boys to England in 1911 where they were met by a crowd of Theosophists at Charing Cross.

Having come to England to be educated, Krishnamurti was looked after by a number of Theosophists, including Emily Lutyens who developed a deep 'devotion' for him. The two brothers shared a love of fashion and motorcycles. They were tutored at various stages by C. Jinarajadasa and George Arundale. Krishnamurti failed all his exams for London University in 1919 (for the third time) and was then sent to Paris to study languages in January 1920 and returned to India in 1921. He then took on a more involved role in the Theosophical Society.

Leadbeater had proclaimed Krishnamurti to be head of the Order of the Star in the East in 1911 to prepare for the 'coming' of the incarnation of Lord Maitreya. Various publications were produced in Krishnamurti's name regarding Theosophical teachings, although the role of Krishnamurti in writing these is in dispute (i.e. At the Feet of the Master (1910) and the journal, Herald of the Star). Although Annie Besant proclaimed that the 'coming' had taken place in 1927, Krishnamurti dissolved the Order of the Star in 1929 and drew away from the Theosophical ideology (resigning from the Society in 1930), lecturing on his own brand of philosophy. He spent most of his time in Ojai, California, and died there in 1986.


George Arundale, Gertrude Baillie-Weaver, Harold Baillie-Weaver, Annie Besant, Esther Bright, Lady De La Warr, Charlotte Despard, Mary Dodge, Aldous Huxley, C Jinarajadasa, C. W. Leadbeater, Edwin Lutyens, Emily Lutyens, Mary Lutyens, Ratansji Moraji, Jiddu Nityananda, Rajagopal, Rama Rao.

Secondary works: 

Blau, Evelyne, Krishnamurti: 100 Years (New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1995)

Bright, Esther, Old Memories and Letters of Annie Besant (London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1936)

Jayakar, Pupul, J. Krishnamurti: A Biography (1986)

Lutyens, Emily, Candles in the Sun (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957)

Lutyens, Mary, To Be Young: Some Chapters of Autobiography (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1959)

Lutyens, Mary, Krishnamurti, 3 vols. (1975–88)

Archive source: 

Theosophical Society Archive, Adyar, Chennai, India

Krishnamurti Foundation of America, Ojai, California

Krishnamurti Centre, Brockwood Park, Hampshire