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Lives in the Shadow: with J. Krishnamurti Paperback – September 18, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Radha Rajagopal Sloss grew up in Ojai, California, where her parents and J. Krishnamurti shared a home. She attended Swarthmore and Scripps Colleges and received her M.A. in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley. Radha lives in Santa Barbara with her husband James, a mathematician, and continues to write.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (September 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595121314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595121311
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,628,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Hardman on January 12, 2003
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Radha Rajagopal Sloss's unique book is something of an unofficial biography of 20th century philosopher J. Krishnamurti and the events surrounding his career as a religious/philosophical teacher. The daughter of Rosalind Williams Rajagopal and husband D. Rajagopal, Radha Rajagopal Sloss's book is not a sordid expose, it is not graphic or insulting. It is simply a sincere account of her very real experiences growing up in amazing circumstances among amazing people. There is a lot of information here which isn't included in "official" biographies of philosopher J. Krishnamurti, which helps the reader get a better idea of the politics and humanness which even great men may be affected by. Author Sloss in fact, mentioned this tendancy of official biographies to ignore or excuse certain parts of Krishnamurti's life as a reason for penning this work.
Some of the controversy this book generated is due to the fact that certain students and followers of Krishnamurti believe that he was a living example of a perfect human. This volume disspells that myth, indeed, he looks quite human throughout this writing. It was interesting to find how Krishnamurti dealt with some of his biggest stressors, including financial disagreements with friend D. Rajagopal, and the pregnancy (by him) of his dear lover Rosalind Williams Rajagopal. Radha describes her love of "Krinsh" (Krishnamurti), who was like a second father to her, and how his increasing unwillingness to deal with problems damaged many relationships and people. Included are numerous letters to and from Krishnamurti, D. Rajagopal and Rosaling Rajagopal, and numerous other individuals who were active on the Theosophical movement or Krishnamurti's teachings. A very worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in history, philosophy, or the full history of J. Krishnamurti.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Quotidian on August 20, 2001
I read this book many years ago and was quite shattered by it. It paints a vastly different picture of Krishnamurti the man than the one we are presented in the comparitively hagiographical accounts of Lutyens et al. However over time my view has changed. Krishnamurti never encouraged followers or worshippers of himself or anyone else. He never extolled chastity as an ideal and had a relatively liberal attitude to sexual relations. So I no longer feel that this account makes him a hypocrite. Also the author is plainly, clearly biased. She has an ax to grind and a score to settle. This, obviously, affects the entire account. Finally, however, the lesson is - don't project your ideal of perfection on ANYONE. It is reassuring for us to have a hero, someone we can tell ourselves has 'made it' and whose accomplishments we can hope to emulate. Well, don't! Krishnamurti himself always deprecated this. Much or even most of what he taught still stands. Just don't expect anything from it - which is a major part of the teaching. The hard part of modern spirituality is NOT to have beliefs WITHOUT falling into nihilism or materialism. This book is part of that hard teaching. There is the 'middle way' between the extremes of adulation, on one hand, and cynicism, on the other. This is what we must find. [If that sounds Buddhist, it is.]
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Monika on August 27, 2007
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Radha Sloss wrote this book primarily to expose Krishnamurti's affair with her Mother, Rosalind Rajagopal, therefore if someone is looking to learn more about K's life, this book will not provide him/her with much insight. It is obvious that Radha is basically a spokesperson for her Mother and her attitude towards Krishnamurti, though he was like a Father to her, turns into contempt and resentment as the affair begins to fall apart. Rosalind's letter exchange with K. is not available for legal reasons and though it seems conceivable that they did have an intimate and affectionate relationship that lasted for many years, it also becomes quite obvious that Rosalind was extremely jealous, possessive and obsessed with K. and this book served her as a way to vindicate her pain after the affair ended. It's sad that such private matters had to be exposed, especially for K., who was already dead when the book was published and could not respond to any of the allegations. Krishnamurti himself never claimed he was chaste; he just claimed his private life wasn't important. His intimate relationship with Rosalind based on mutual love and friendship shows no contradiction or hypocrisy in his teachings. It is important to understand that it wasn't really an affair, since Rosalind and Raja never had a true marriage (right after Rosalind gets pregnant Raja in fact announces to her that there is no need to live as man and wife anymore, and many passages refer to Raja's tacit consent to this romantic relationship between his wife and K.). Raja's and Rosalind's marriage seemed more of an arrangement based on a profound bond of friendship, friendship that had indeed existed between all three of them (K., Raja and Rosalind) for many years before any romantic bonds were established.
I read the book in hopes of learning more about who K. was, but felt a bit disgusted with the petty details of personal conflicts which Radha was trying to settle in the public eye.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Rowe on August 28, 2014
For many years, I (like most of the reviewers here) was convinced that this was a truthful and important book, part of the salutary movement of exposing guru-iitis in all its forms. However, something rang a bit strange: her accounts of her family's constant, aggressive interference in Krishnamurti's private sexual life. Such interference was odd enough in itself, but odder still was the fact that the author gave no explanation, and seemed to find it natural.
Then I read Mary Lutyens KRISHNAMURTI AND THE RAJAGOPALS. Talk about the Rashomon effect --- wow! But after careful consideration, I find Mary Lutyens's account far more credible. But this is not a situation of possible compromise between different views. Lutyens's attack is too serious. Therefore, I now consider Radha Rajagopal's book to be mostly a tissue of lies, woven in a very suave way, with a skillful pose of "reasonability" with a "more in sadness than in anger" stance, and a pretense of appreciating what was great in K. Which makes her book even more profoundly dishonest, if even a tenth of what Mary Lutyens says is true. And it gets far worse: K confided to Lutyens that Radha had twice attacked him physically with such viciousness that he felt a murderous intent.
But what was this woman's motivation in writing such a dishonest smear of a beloved spiritual teacher who had never shown her anything but love since her childhood? The answer is her imprisonment in the Rajagopal family neurosis. Her father (K's manager and editor for many years) harbored a lifelong resentment and jealousy of K, seething underneath a façade of spirituality and forgiveness for his escapade with his wife. And her mother was almost as bitter and confused --- long after the affair with K was over.
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