I have no name (from The Song of Life)

by Jiddu Krishnamurti




I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

-- from From Darkness to Light: Poems and Parables, by J. Krishnamurti

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I have no name...
I have no shelter...


Whoever this "I" is that is speaking, is formless, fluid, impossible to define.

I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains...
I am as the wandering waters...


Very quickly Krishnamurti contrasts this "I" against the trappings of religion:

I have no sacred books...
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars...


It seems obvious that the speaker is God or, perhaps, one's own true Being. Krishnamurti is reminding us God in the truest sense is the living, flowing, unbound Reality that underpins all existence. When the deep mystic has a direct experience of the Divine, religion, in its superficial aspects, crumbles. The reality of God is far too immense to be contained in our ideas of God. Our ceremonies and writings about God at best can point us in the right direction, but they cannot contain or absolutely define the Reality they describe any more than a printed map of a country can actually contain the living reality of that nation.

Does that sound impious? Well, let's be bold and explore a few steps further...

I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies...


I don't read this as a condemnation of religion or belief; rather, it is telling us something about the greater Reality.

I understand it this way: A great soul comes along, someone with keen eyes and a pure heart. Through this individual the human consciousness has opened itself to Great Reality that we may call God. Compassionate, and a member of the human community, he or she naturally seeks to communicate what has been witnessed in ways that may be understood that the experience of truth may spread.

But there is an unavoidable dilemma here: Even the most honest, heartful, and pure description of reality falls short of the actual experience, always. To make it even more problematic, we humans have a very bad habit of confusing our descriptions of reality for the reality itself. We confuse our thoughts about reality for actuality. We confuse other people's descriptions of reality for reality. Far too easily, we mistake religion for God. In its best expressions, religion may be profound, deeply meaningful, inspiring, and, hopefully, enlightening -- but what we call God is a fluid, living Reality that is much too big to be contained by any one religion or philosophy, or even all of them together.

There's another element to this dynamic that I think is worth mentioning as it relates to religious extremism. Those of us who believe that sincere religion and spirituality must incorporate an open mind, a compassionate heart, and a willingness to be of service in the world, we naturally see religious extremism in all its forms as a terrible corruption. I certainly have my moments when I am deeply offended by the cruelties and foolish beliefs of people who call themselves religious. So many people thump their Bible/Quran/Torah/Gita and shout "God!" yet, clearly, they have only a thin and strangled relationship with the great living Reality that is God. But here's the thing: No matter how tortured and twisted their ideas about God may be, the basic nature of God remains untainted. We can only corrupt our ideas about God, not the reality that is God. Human ideas about God may blossom or collapse within culture, but even when large portions of the population succumb to very limited and cold ideas about God, the living, shining Reality remains, ready to be discovered anew -- and communicated anew -- by sincere souls.

I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.


Have a beautiful day!



Recommended Books: Jiddu Krishnamurti

From Darkness to Light: Poems and Parables
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I have no name