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You Are The World.

ONE OF INDIA’S GREAT EMPERORS was Akbar. There is an incident in his life recorded in AkbarNama– “the biography of Akbar.”

One day he was just chit-chatting with his friends…. And he had around him the very best, wisest, most creative people chosen from every part of the country. His court jester was standing just by his side….

By the way, you should understand it: in all the courts of all great emperors there used to be a jester (entertainer), whose whole function was to keep the court from becoming too serious, to keep the court light, playful — once in a while, an explosion of laughter. It was a great insight to have a court jester, and he used to be one of the wisest men of those days — because it was not an easy phenomenon. Birbal was Akbar’s court jester. And as they were discussing, Akbar slapped Birbal — for no reason at all. Now you cannot slap the emperor back, but the slap has to go somewhere — so he slapped the person who was standing next to him.

Everybody thought, “This is strange!” There was no reason in the first place. Suddenly, as if a madness had got hold of Akbar, he slapped poor Birbal. And that man is also strange. Rather than asking, “Why have you slapped me?” he simply slapped the man who was standing by his side! And that man, thinking perhaps this was the rule of the court, slapped the next person. In a chain, it went all over the court.

And you will be surprised: that night, Akbar’s wife slapped him! And he said, “Why are slapping me?”

She said, “That is not the question; a game is a game.”
He said, “Who told you that this is a game?”

She said, “We have been hearing the whole day long that a great game has started in the court. The only rule is you cannot hit the person back, you have to find somebody else to hit. And somebody has hit me — so your slap has come back to you, the game is complete!”
J. KRISHNAMURTI’S STATEMENT that “You are the world” is very simple; just a little intelligence is needed to understand it. We can try to approach the statement from a few different directions.

The world is only a name; the individual is the reality. You can go on trying to find the world all over the world, and you will not find it; you will always find the individual. Words like the `world’, the `society’, the `religion’, the `nation’, are mere words with no content behind them — empty containers.

Except you, there is no world.

This is one way of understanding the statement: that the individual is the only reality. And the world is nothing but the collectivity of individuals, so whatever it is, it is a contribution of individuals. If it is ugly, you have contributed to its ugliness. If it is full of hate, jealousy, anger, greed, ambition, you have contributed to this whole hell in which we are living. You cannot throw the responsibility on somebody else; you have to accept the responsibility on your own shoulders. That is another way of understanding the statement, “You are the world.”

We are continuously shifting the responsibility. If there is war, if there is an Adolf Hitler and others, it becomes easy for us to point to these people and say that they are responsible. But who creates them?

Adolf Hitler is our contribution. Without us, he is nobody. It is our vote, it is our support. So the moment you condemn anybody, remember: you are condemning yourself. However indirect your contribution may be, your contribution is there.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO LIVE like a Jaina monk or a Buddhist monk or a Catholic monk in a monastery, completely closed as far as the world is concerned.

The monastery at Athos in Europe is one thousand years old. In one thousand years, whoever has entered the monastery has not come out living. You only enter: once a monk, forever a monk. And the monastery does not allow its inmates to come out into the world; they are brought out only when they are dead.

Do you think they are not responsible for Adolf Hitler? they are not responsible for world wars? Apparently it looks… How can you make these people responsible? — who have left the world, who have never looked back, who have disconnected themselves with the world. But still I say to you they are responsible. They are responsible by escaping — they escaped their responsibility. It does not make any difference.

The Buddhist monks, the Jaina monks, the Hindu monks are not participating in worldly activities. But you can contribute in a positive way or you can contribute in a negative way. You can set fire to this house — that is the positive way, the active way. You can stand by the side of the road and not do anything to put the fire out — that is the negative way. But both are responsible.

The negative person does not look so responsible, but his responsibility is absolutely equal — because in life there is a balance.

YOU MAY BE AGAINST war, you may be a pacifist, you may be a chronic protestant — always with a flag protesting against war, against violence. Naturally you can say, “How can I be held responsible?” But life is a complex phenomenon. Your protests, your pacifism, your fight against warmongers is still part of war; you are not a man of peace. And you can see it when people protest — their anger, their violence is so obvious that one wonders why these people are protesting against war. They should join some camp in the war — they are full of anger, rage. They have just chosen to have a third camp behind a beautiful name — “peace”. A good mask, but inside is the same anger, the same rage, the same violence, the same destructiveness against anybody who does not agree with them. They are contributing as much violence to the atmosphere as anybody else. They may be talking about love, but they are also saying that you have to fight for love. You can choose beautiful words, but you cannot hide the reality.

J. Krishnamurti’s statement that “You are the world” simply emphasizes the fact that every individual, wherever he is, whatever he is, should accept the responsibility of creating this world that exists around us. If it is insane, you have contributed to that insanity in your own way. If it is sick, you are also a partner in making it sick.

And the emphasis is important — because unless you understand that “I am also responsible for this miserable and insane world,” there is no possibility of change. Who is going to change? Everybody thinks somebody else is responsible.

In this big world, thousands of insane games are going on, and you are all participants — of course in very small measures, according to your capacity. But remember, the slap is going to come back to you sooner or later. Where else will it go?

Whatever comes to you, remember, it is your doing.

Perhaps you have forgotten when you started it. The world is big, it takes time. But everything comes back to its source — that is one of the fundamental rules of life, not a rule of a game.

So if you are suffering, if you are miserable, if you are tense, full of anxieties, anguish, don’t just console yourself that this whole world is ugly, that everybody else is ugly, that you are a victim. J. Krishnamurti is saying you are not a victim, you are a creator of this insane world; and naturally, you have to participate in the outcome of whatever you have contributed to it. You are participating in sowing the seeds, you will have to participate in reaping the crop too; you cannot escape.

TO MAKE THE INDIVIDUAL aware so that he stops throwing responsibilities on others — on the contrary, he starts looking inwards to see in what way he is contributing to this whole madness — there is a possibility he may stop contributing. Because he has to suffer too. If he comes to know that the whole world is nothing but his projection on a wider scale….

Because millions of individuals have contributed the same anger, the same hatred, the same competitiveness, the same violence, it has become mountainous. You cannot conceive that you can be responsible for it: “I may have contributed just a small piece…” But an ocean is nothing except millions and millions of dewdrops. A dewdrop cannot think that it is responsible for the ocean — but the dewdrop is responsible. Without the dewdrop there is going to be no ocean at all. The ocean is only a name; the reality is in the dewdrop.

To accept your responsibility will change you, and your change is the beginning of the change of the world — because you are the world. However small, a miniature world, but you carry all the seeds.

If revolution comes to you, it heralds the revolution for the whole world.

And when J. Krishnamurti says “You are the world” he is not saying it only to you; he is saying it to everybody:

You are the world.

If you want to change the world, don’t start by changing the world — that is the wrong way humanity has followed up to now:

Change the society, change the economic structure. Change this, change that. But don’t change the individual.

That’s why all revolutions have failed. Only one revolution can succeed, which has not been tried up to now — and that is the revolution of the individual.

You change yourself.

Be alert not to contribute anything that makes the world a hell. And remember to contribute to the world something that makes it a paradise.

This is the whole secret of a religious man. And if every individual starts doing it, there will be a revolution without any bloodshed.

IN AKBAR’S LIFE there is another incident.

He had built a very beautiful marble pond. He was bringing swans from Mansarovar, from the Himalayas. And he decided that in the pond there should not be water. This is the emperor’s pond — instead of water, there should be milk. Everybody in the capital was to be informed that just one bucket of milk, not much, from every house had to reach the palace early the next morning, before sunrise.

Birbal told Akbar, “You don’t understand human mind at all. Your pond will be full of water.”

He said, “What nonsense…? It is my order!”

Birbal said, “Your order, or anybody’s order — I understand human mind.”

Akbar said, “Let us wait; tomorrow morning it will be decided who is right.”

And the next morning both went to the garden, and the pond was full of water.

Akbar said, “This is strange. How did it happen? Catch a few people from the street, whoever is available, and ask how it happened.” And the people were threatened: if they spoke any lie, their life would be at risk; if they said the truth, they would be set free.

They said, “The truth is, we thought the whole capital would bring buckets of milk. One bucket of water would be completely overlooked, nobody would ever know. But now I see that the pond is full of water; it seems that everybody had the same thought — the whole capital! Not a single man was different.”

The human mind functions exactly the same.

So if the world is such a tragedy, it is our human minds which are creating it; we are contributing our bucketful of misery.

No revolution can be successful unless the human mind is understood by human beings and they start behaving in a different way — not hoping that “My bucketful of water is not going to be noticed at all.” If everybody understands that this idea is what will come to every human mind, and decides, “At least I should bring a bucketful of milk. I should not behave in such an unconscious way as all human beings are behaving….”

It is possible to have the pond full of milk.

“YOU ARE THE WORLD” simply means: whatever it is, we cannot save ourselves from responsibility.

Our monks, our saints have tried only this. What they were trying to do, if you go deep into their psychology, was to say that, “We are no longer responsible for all this nonsense that is going on in the world.” But they depended on the same world. For their food they were dependent on the same people; for their clothes they were dependent on the same people. They were not in any way separate from the world; they had only stopped being active in the world. They were silent partners in the whole insanity that is going on.

And they should be condemned more, because they were more intelligent people, wiser people. Still they could not see the point that just standing aside is not enough; you have to do something against the normal human mind. Escaping to the Himalayas is not going to help, because even in the Himalayas your mind will remain the same, just you will not have the opportunity to know it. And it is better to know the enemy than not to know it, because by knowing there is a possibility to change.

Not knowing is very dangerous.

When a disease is diagnosed, it is half cured. When a disease is not diagnosed, then comes the real problem. Medicine is not the problem; diagnosis is the problem.

By escaping, they have not changed the world. By escaping, they have not contributed anything to make it more beautiful, more human, more intelligent, more meditative. Neither have they changed the world nor have they gone through any inner change themselves.

Hence I am against renouncing the world.

Be in the world, however difficult it is — because it is only in the world that you will be reminded on every step what kind of mind you are carrying within. And that mind is projected on the outside, and it becomes huge because so many minds are projecting in the same way.

“You are the world” is not a mathematical statement.

“You are the world” is a psychological insight.

And it can become the very key for the only revolution that can succeed.

Excerpts from OSHO : Sermons in Stones, Chapter 2
Like many amazing initiatives globally, we are inspired by GREEN HIMALAYAS project. Green Himalayas ( is a community of individuals that is passionately dedicated to create a compassionate, vibrant and healthy future through earth-care, people-care, and nature-care. My schoolmate and now our General Partner Rajesh Patel, Owner of Powerweave along with his dear friends Srini Srinivasan, Loney Antony and others have co-founded an NGO Golden Mile Learning ( ). In partnership with Go Green Go Organic, they have undertaken this project of harnessing water from melting glaciers of Himalayas and planted 25,000 trees in a cold desert at 15,000 feet, where the trees could not possibly have survived, but they have. And now, they want to make that to 1 billion trees across the Himalayas.

Today, on October 6th 2019, Go Green Go Organic and Golden Mile Learning are formally launching GREEN HIMALAYAS in New Delhi.

In the quest of knowing and understanding what J. Krishnamurthy said, “YOU ARE THE WORLD”, we need to realise what Green Himalayas so effectively put that ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’
रैगीस्तान भी हरे हो जातें हैं,
जब अपने साथ अपने खड़े हो जाते हैं।

Raigistaan bhi hare ho jate hain,
jab apane saath, apane khade ho jate hain.

With collaboration, even deserts can become green.

About rajivvaishnav

Rajiv Vaishnav Managing Partner Cornerstone Venture Partners Rajiv is Managing Partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners, a global tech VC fund focused on Consumer business enablers (such as Applied AI) and Enterprise / SME BI solutions (vertical SaaS, AR & VR applications, Blockchain for enterprise, etc.). Cornerstone is a Pre-series A / Series A fund, the first institutional support for promising tech ventures enabling growth and customer access in unique ways. Rajiv brings over 35 years of solid experience in building brands, developing teams, expanding the market share and building organisations from grass root upwards. He was heading the Ecosystem & Partnerships Developmentt at Jio-GenNext Hub, A Reliance Enterprise. In this role, Rajiv is responsible to evangelize the Start-Up ecosystem, identify and connect with the deserving start-ups, academia, government agencies, mentors, angel investors and VC networks globally. Since 2002 till end of 2015, Rajiv was an integral part of NASSCOM’s senior management team. He headed NASSCOM’s first regional office in Mumbai and grown to manage the membership outreach nationally. He initiated many path breaking initiatives at NASSCOM including Cyber Safety initiatives with enforcement agencies, start-up incubators with State Governments under 10K Startup programme, evangelised Animation and Gaming industry and nurtured it, lead the ISO Standards initiative to establish a Global BPO and Product Quality Framework Standards out of India. He helped establish NASSCOM’s emerge forum in its formative days. At NASSCOM, he was enthusiastic about developing new IT destinations in the country, and fostering platforms for Industry-academia interactions as he believed that these were the two most critical requirements for the Indian IT industry to maintain its globally advantageous position. Rajiv was a member of AICTE (WR) and of IQAC of the SNDT Women’s University and Trustee at Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust. With Harish Mehta, the first President of TiE, Mumbai and the first Chairman of NASSCOM, Rajiv co-founded TiE in India. He built the organisation bottoms-up and nurtured the start-up ecosystem in India since early 2000. He got early exposure to work with TiE in Silicon Valley and investors, entrepreneurs and mentors such as Kanwal Rekhi, Suhas Patil, Desh Deshpande, Sridhar Iyengar, Raj Jaswa, Shabir Bhatia, Raj Desai and many others… He has worked with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Franchising Association of India (FAI) and US- Environment Resource Center (US-ERC). In the corporate sector, his experience includes stints with two U.S. Freight Forwarding giants Emery Worldwide and Air Express International in sales & marketing. In 2000, Rajiv was invited by the U.S. Government to participate in their International Visitors programme on US Trade and World Market. Rajiv has administered several outward trade delegations including those to International Franchise Expo ’99, USA, Emerging Companies delegations to CeBIT Australia and Silicon Valley. He has represented NASSCOM in the International Advisors Council to the Mayor of Luwan District in Shanghai, China and E-Sports Symposium in Seoul, Korea. Rajiv is a Science graduate from Mumbai University. He is passionate about music and literature. His blog url:
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3 thoughts on “You Are The World.

  1. This article is way different than all your articles. Being a student of spiritual science I can see your inner journey which is so nice. This article has been written with lots of love and passion. I admire and touched by your vision and clarity.
    I want to add one point though ” every monk has tought the same in his way but we couldn’t understand him/her.which is ” Our Sanatan Darma had taught us that how one can be in a family, guide & contribute to the society and yet completely unattached to the world. Lord Janka is an example for that.
    Look forward for your next masterpiece!
    Warm regards

  2. Excellent behavioural insight, well articulated provocation to individuals forming the world. Wish people carry this in their behaviour every moment and bring change inside-out personally.. As this spreads, we can dream and realise new era for mankind. Thanks Dear friend Rajiv Vaishnav, for penning down your thoughts boldly, this article will continue to show direction to conscious human beings for years to come. Best wishes.

  3. The incidences from Akbar Nama especially at the beginning and in the middle are so well integrated. They lay down the path for the read thus creating that impact on J. Krishnamurthy’s – *YOU ARE THE WORLD*
    Excellent read.. 👌🏼🤘🏻

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