J Krishnamurti (K): Just listen to what I am saying because I have got something more to say. Right?
Student (S): Yes.
K: You don’t mind?
S: No sir.
K: You see, you are going to enter a different world when you leave this marvellous valley, with all the rocks and the shadows and the trees and the flowers and the really peaceful campus; you are going to face a world that is terrible. There is violence, kidnapping, shooting, bribing. The world is becoming more and more dangerous. And there is corruption all over the world, not only in India where it is quite blatant. You know what the word ‘blatant’ means? Quite open. They say, ‘Give me something before I do something for you.’ Not only here in this country, but in America, in France, in England there is corruption - political corruption, social corruption, black market, and so on. We say that corruption is bribing, passing money under the table, paying cash without giving an account. All that is called corruption, right? But that is only a symptom. Do you know what ‘symptom’ means?
S: Yes, sir. Signs.
K: ‘Symptom’ means: I have eaten very heavy food, and I have tummy ache. The tummy ache is the symptom, but the cause is my eating the wrong food. Got it?
S: Yes, sir.
K: So I want to go into the cause of corruption. I hope you are listening because you are all going to face the world when you leave Rishi Valley.
S: Sir, suppose I don’t take the money someone is giving, sir, he might do something worse.
K: If I give you money under the table, I become corrupt. And then you also become corrupt because you accept the money. Right?
S: Yes. But if I don’t take the money, he might do something to me.
K: I know, I know. If you don’t take it, he will hurt you. Just listen. Understand what the cause of corruption is. Corruption isn’t merely passing money under the table, bribing, black market; the cause is something entirely different. I will go into that if you are interested. Corruption begins with self-interest. Do you understand this? If I am interested in myself, in what I want, in what I must be; if I am greedy, envious, harsh, brutal, cruel, there is corruption. Corruption begins in your heart, in
your mind. Not just giving money—that also is corruption, but the real cause of corruption is inside you. Unless you find that out and change that, you will be a corrupt human being. Corruption is when you are angry, when you are jealous, when you hate people, when you are lazy, when you say, ‘This is right’ and stick to it. You understand what I am saying?
S: Sir, it seems everything comes under selfishness.
K: Everything comes under selfishness. You are quite right! Corruption begins there. You understand, old boy?
K: So don’t be corrupt. It doesn’t matter if you die for it. Wait, listen to me. We are all so frightened. You say, ‘How will I live, what will I do if I am not corrupt when all the people around me are corrupt?’ You understand what I mean by ‘corruption’? Not just the outward sign, but the deep inward sense of corruption that human beings live with—selfish, thinking about themselves, wanting success, being envious. So corruption is inside, in your heart, in your brain. And being violent is part of what is called corruption. That is what is happening in the world. You are now growing up, so don’t be like them. Don’t become angry, don’t be envious, don’t always seek success.
S: Sir, how can we stop all that? How can we stop being envious?
K: If you want to be envious, be envious and see what happens. If you don’t want to be envious, don’t be envious. Don’t ask, ‘How do I stop it?’ If you see something dangerous, like a cobra, nobody has to tell you; you run. So corruption inside is most dangerous. So don’t be corrupt. Begin here first, not out there. Will you do it? Don’t promise. Don’t ever promise anything unless you are going to carry it out absolutely. So please, I am just pointing out to you: whether you are grown-up, or whether you are leaving this marvellous valley, or staying here for another two or four years, don’t be corrupt, inside: don’t seek vanity, don’t be proud, don’t say, ‘I am superior to somebody else.’ You know, you learn a great deal when there is humility. You know the word ‘humility’? You learn a great deal if you are really humble. But if you are merely seeking success, money, money, power, position, status, then you are beginning with corruption. You might be poor—be poor; who cares? That’s why it is important for all of you to find your own talent and stick to it even though it doesn’t bring you success, fame, and all that.
S: Sir, why don’t people realize this?
K: Because they don’t think, they don’t feel; they are thinking about themselves all the time—their job, their administration, their work. They are not interested in this.
S: How do you stop being selfish?
K: How do you stop being selfish? Don’t be selfish! Just listen. Don’t ever ask anybody ‘How?’ Then they will tell you ‘how’ Then you are lost. That is the biggest corruption.
S: You mean we must find out for ourselves?
K: Find out, inquire, use your brain, doubt, question. Don’t merely accept. Suppose I am your teacher: I want to see that you have a very good brain. To have a good brain means not to have conflict in yourself or with somebody else.
Rishi Valley, 1984
© Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd., England