This is the story of the attempted reincarnation by Buddha under the name of Maitreya. Buddha had said that he would take one more birth, with that name. A great deal of time had elapsed -- about two thousand five hundred years -- but still Buddha did not take birth. Indications had been received that Maitreya was not able to find a suitable mother or womb. Therefore, a different type of attempt was made. If it was not possible to find a suitable mother or womb, some selected individual might be developed and made ready through whom Maitreya could speak whatever he wanted to.
For this purpose, the large Theosophical movement was started -- to arrange for the selection of a suitable individual and prepare him in every way to deserve to be the vehicle for Maitreya. The soul which wanted to give a message through Mohammed found in Mohammed a ready-made vehicle; he did not have to prepare anyone. Even the soul that gave a message through Moses did not have to make a vehicle. They found the vehicles ready-made. Those times were simple, and people were more innocent and less filled with ego. It was easy to find a vehicle then because one could, in full humility, surrender one's body to another soul for use, as if that body did not belong to him. But now it is impossible. Individuality has become rigid and ego-centered; no one wants to surrender. Therefore, the Theosophists selected four or five small children -- because it could not be confidently predicted how each child would develop. They selected Krishnamurti as well as his brother Nityananda. Afterwards, they also selected Krishnamenon and also George Arundale. Nityananda died a premature death as a result of the intensive preparations to make him the medium for Maitreya. Krishnamurti became so mentally disturbed by his brother's death that he himself could not become the medium. Krishnamurti was selected at the age of nine by Annie Besant and Leadbeater.
But this world is a big drama; this experiment was done by great powers. The drama was played on an international stage by powerful individuals. When the possibility of Maitreya entering into Krishnamurti became very near, certain, the soul of Devadatta who had been Buddha's cousin, and who had for his whole life opposed Buddha and attempted several times to kill him, influenced the mind of Krishnamurti's father. Thus, a legal suit influenced by Devadatta was filed by Krishnamurti's father against Annie Besant and the other Theosophists, demanding back the possession of his son Krishnamurti who had been in their custody. This suit was fought up to the Privy Council. This fact has not been told before. I am telling it for the first time: Annie Besant fought the legal battle tooth and nail. But in the law courts, it was not possible for her to win because it was the father's right to claim possession of his minor child. Even if the child were to refuse to go to the father it was not possible for him to win because he was a minor. Therefore, it was necessary for them to run away from India taking Krishnamurti with them. In India, the suit was going on and Annie Besant ran away out of India with Krishnamurti. The suit went on up to the Supreme Court; there also Annie Besant was defeated. It was a legal battle and Devadatta was more powerful. Ordinarily, the law becomes more cooperative in the hands of bad men because a good man is not preoccupied with matters of law. The bad man first makes all the necessary arrangements for his legal battle. Afterwards, Annie Besant appealed the case to the Privy Council in London, and there the decision was reversed, against all legal provisions, to let the child remain with Annie Besant. There had never been any such precedent before, nor was the judgment just and proper. But there was no further appeal beyond the Privy Council. This judgment was made possible by the influence of the soul of Maitreya who did not interfere in the lower courts or the appellate courts. He reserved his powers of influence for the last court of appeal. Thus, on the lower plane, it was an enacted drama witnessed by big headlines in newspapers and legal battles fought in law courts. But on the higher plane, a great battle was fought between two powerful souls. Afterwards, such great pains were taken in Krishnamurti's preparation that had, perhaps, never been taken before with any other individual. Individuals may have taken greater pains in preparing themselves for certain achievements, but so many people had never staked so much on one person. But in spite of all this great effort, when the time came all hopes fell through.
Theosophists had gathered some six thousand people in Holland from all over the world, and it was scheduled to be announced that Krishnamurti had on that day given up his own personality and accepted that of Maitreya. All the preparations were made. The long awaited moment came when he was to climb up to the rostrum to announce that he was no more Krishnamurti, so that the soul of Maitreya might enter and begin to speak. Six thousand delegates from all over the world had gathered together from far and wide, in great expectation, to listen to the voice of Maitreya. A great unprecedented event was to take place. But nothing happened. At that crucial moment, Krishnamurti refused to relinquish his individuality. Devadatta had made his final attempt, and what could not be done in the Privy Council was made possible in that last court of the delegates. He made Krishnamurti announce that he was not a teacher -- not a world teacher, that he had nothing to do with anyone else's soul, that he was what he was, and that he did not want to tell anything more. A great experiment failed. But in one sense, it was the first experiment of its type, and there was a greater possibility of failure. So it is not possible for souls to communicate unless they can enter into someone's body. That is why a birth as a human being is indispensable.
Truth is for me the release of the mind from all burdens of memory.
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