Communication: Jean Overton Fuller's Response to Govert Schuller Regarding the Krishnamurti-Scott-Anrias Issue

Naperville, February 27, 2011

Recently the following communication was published by Theosophical History:

"Communication: Jean Overton Fuller's Response to Govert Schuller Regarding the Krishnamurti-Scott-Anrias Issue."

In the summer of 2006 I discussed with some Theosophical friends the paper on Narayan on which I was working then (1). As we knew that Jean was getting frail we came to the conclusion that it would be fair to send her my draft in order for her to be able to respond if she so wished. At that moment the basic argument of the paper, i.e. that Narayan could not be identified with Nagaratnaswami, was already fully formulated and argued. She promptly sent me a rejoinder dated August 12, 2006, with the request to have it published with the paper.


1. [Editor's Note: The article appeared in Theosophical History, Vol. XIV, No. 1-2 (Jan.-Apr. 2008): 11-46.]

The focus is on a relatively unknown Theosophical master who was known to H.P. Blavatsky and H.S. Olcott under the name of Narayan. Around 1910 some Theosophists in Adyar thought they had met this master in the person of a blind yogi named Nagaratnaswami in the little village of Tiruvallam about 70 miles west from Madras. Almost a 100 years later Jean Overton Fuller in her biography on Krishnamurti revived this claim in the context of an extended and open discussion she and I conducted about the Theosophical writers Cyril Scott and David Anrias, who both provided very critical Theosophical assessments of Krishnamurti.

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Comment by M K Ramadoss on February 28, 2011 at 6:07pm

There was something about K that attracted very large crowds for his lectures. I recall when he visited Bangalore and gave a couple talks in 1970, there were 2,000 to 3,000 attending his lectures. In this audience there were men, women and children and many of the women were not literate in English and still they attended. I know of no other theosophical or spiritual lecturer that drew this kind of response.

Personally speaking there were a couple of points that helped me. Firstly, he emphasized the importance of each individual and secondly his emphasis on the need for not being second hand. Many religious and spiritual schools insist on blind following of a "leader" and many are very comfortable in this environment. Traditional theosophists have difficulty in this kind of independent environment.


It will be several decades before we can come to a conclusion whether his message had a transforming effect on the society and it may not be even in our life times.

Comment by Michael A. Williams on February 28, 2011 at 5:45pm

Thanks, M K, and Govert, for your info and comments. As for the criticisms of K, those are all well taken and I remember reading those on that site. I would put it that his "teachings" will not bring people to the level of high consciousness he attained at his best. Certainly, statements and sections of his writings and lectures can be insightful and helpful, but not transformative.

It's somewhat sad that even K must have realized that toward the end of his life. His deathbed statement that no one had understood him or been transformed indicates this. Even his education approaches had fallen short, shown by his statement about a year before his death, that reflecting back on his many schools he'd founded around the world, said; "after 50 years, no new mind."

Mary Lutyens reveals several important points, perhaps not even realizing it herself. When she asked him to write down his "teachings," he responded he really couldn't do it, and that he'd leave it up to others to figure it out. Plus, toward the end of his life, he sat down with his "inner circle" and answered questions about subjects he didn't want to go into in his writings and lectures. These private meetings were transcribed in shorthand by Stephanie Zimbalist, his long time personal assistant. Mary Lutyens only let out a tiny portion of these in her last bio book on K. ("Krishnamurti: The Open Door") It's very probable he went into "The Masters" and other "taboo" topics in these sessions.

She also hints of cryptic statements K was making in the last two weeks prior to his death. Mary Lutyens wasn't there, but got this through Stephanie Zimbalist, who was. Ms. Zimbalist has so far seen fit not to reveal any details of K's statements in his last days(except the previous one mentioned) that would shed further light on the mystery surrounding him.

Add to this K's psychic and healing powers, that were kept from the general public throughout most of his life(by his insistence), a

Comment by Govert Schuller on February 28, 2011 at 3:24pm
Whatever one thinks of her, the only person with charisma in the (neo-)theosophical movement in the 1975-2000 period was Elizabeth Clare Prophet. K had charisma because he was more or less born with it. Probably the outcome of his long-term, multi-incarnational commitment to the Masters. After the failed world teacher project the TS lost its connection with the Masters and kept an ambiguous relationship with Krishnamurti. It did not give sufficient attention to Scott and Anrias, nor Hodson.

Comment by M K Ramadoss on February 28, 2011 at 2:35pm
Re K, I would like to add another viewpoint.

After K started lecturing, there has been no other theosophical leader of charisma or leadership and theosophical organizations have been more or less on a maintenance mode. Nor have we seen anyone since his passing away and even today. Does this say something about the importance of his message?
Comment by Govert Schuller on February 28, 2011 at 1:07pm
William asked:

"what exactly were J. Krishnamurti's views on the "Masters" toward the end of his life? "

Again, the best thing is the following from "Krishnamurti and the World Teacher Project: Some Theosophical Perceptions":
Comment by Govert Schuller on February 28, 2011 at 12:49pm
William asked:

"could you get us a presentation of exactly what these criticisms of J. Krishnamurti were that came through, whether psychically or from someone in the flesh?"

Best thing to do is to follow the footnotes and links in the following paragraph from "Krishnamurti: An Esoteric View of his Teachings"

"Aside from the serious and grave warnings inferred from Blavatsky’s writings, the Masters themselves made some specific comments on Krishnamurti’s teachings. Lord Maitreya, for example, pointed out that Krishnamurti made a mistake in assuming that anyone could reach his level of consciousness immediately.(9) An English Master indicated that Krishnamurti is teaching an erroneous version of Advaita Vedanta (10), confirming indeed what was gleaned from Blavatsky. Furthermore, this Master warned for some serious dangers in Krishnamurti’s teachings, notably his rejection of an esoteric system of spiritual evaluation and his invitation to intense meditation without occult protection.(11) According to this Master, engaging in Krishnamurti’s brand of Advaitism might lead to hypocrisy and self-delusion.(12) Krishnamurti’s former Guru, Kuthumi, likewise expressed a stern warning about the consequences of his philosophy.(13)"

Comment by M K Ramadoss on February 28, 2011 at 1:49am
Almost two decades ago, I spoke to a very highly regarded theosophist who had known him for several years and inquired about the issue of Adepts and K. From the conversation, it was clear that while K has not make any yes or no statements about Adepts, when one reads between the lines of some of his private comments to his close circle, there was no denial of the existence of Adepts. K laid emphasis on transformation of the individual and less on beliefs.
Comment by Michael A. Williams on February 27, 2011 at 11:40pm

The "Krishnamurti-Scott-Anrias Issue" would seem to be not a well known concern, as far as I know. I read the two articles Mr. Schuller presents and, like Jean Fuller, was a little "dizzy" from all the names and dates! As far as it looks to me, since all the persons directly involved with the issue are deceased from the physical plane, it's something that will not be resolved.

Two other issues were brought up that can be looked into. Govert, could you get us a presentation of exactly what these criticisms of J. Krishnamurti were that came through, whether psychically or from someone in the flesh? I have read the critics of J.K. on your fine site and have presented some of my own here in the past. Let's get a fair airing of these particular ones here, since they seem to be an important element of this issue.

And second, Govert, and pertinent to another forum here that just began, by Kirk Walker, is what exactly were J. Krishnamurti's views on the "Masters" toward the end of his life? I'm familiar with J. K.'s "teachings" - even he himself confessed he couldn't define what they were - and he accepted them early on in his Besant/Leadbeater upbringing, but denounced them when breaking away in 1929. As far as I know he never mentioned them publicly in his last 20 or 30 years, though I did run across a short article where he was reputed to have referred to them favorably in a private conversation with two close lady friends in the early 1960's.

I may add, as far as I know about J.K., it would not have been a matter of "belief," but either a direct experience of them or not.

Comment by M K Ramadoss on February 27, 2011 at 9:00pm

There have been discussions among theosophical students about the Adept known as Rishi Agastya also knows as Master Narayan. Very little is known about Him, which should not surprise anyone.


Here is an account of an inquiry by Hodson about Him. This is extracted from - LIght of the Sanctuary - his personal diary. Due to the length of the narrative I have given a link to a msg I posted on theos-talk. Click here for the account.

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