Total helplessness: A critical reconstruction of the concept of enlightenment in the philosophy of Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti




Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti; Jiddu Krishnamurti; Theosophical Society; enlightenment


This paper provides a critical analysis and reconstruction of the concept of enlightenment in the thought of the Indian philosopher Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (1918–2007). The importance and significance of Krishnamurti’s philosophy lies in the fact that he was one of the few Eastern thinkers to engage in a critical discussion with the traditional concept of enlightenment, while offering his alternative views on the subject. Over the centuries, the notion of enlightenment has significantly changed its meaning, becoming increasingly mythologised, just as the figure of the enlightened being has been deified. The title character sheds new light on the concept of enlightenment, pointing in the direction of a systematic rejection of the traditionally religious superstructure that had clung to it over time. The analysed views constitute a rendering of this religious phenomenon from the perspective of the naturalistic paradigm, pointing to its physiological aspect. Thus, from the point of view of the history of Eastern philosophy, his ideas have a strongly innovative character and their introduction to philosophical discourse may significantly change our understanding of the startling concept of enlightenment.