Wise Teachings of Vimala Thakar

Vimala Thakar was an Indian social activist who became a spiritual teacher after meeting J. Krishnamurti. Her teachings emphasize balancing one’s “inner” spiritual development with “outer” social development and action.  In just a few words, Thakar helps us get to the very essence of meditation and mindfulness.



If I am aware of the nature of my reactions, and movement of my reactions, naturally that awareness will result in freedom from the reaction.

I cannot stop the reaction, because the reactions have been rooted in the sub-conscious, in the unconscious. I cannot prevent, I cannot renounce, I cannot check them.

But if I am aware, simultaneously of the objective challenge, the subjective reactions and the causes of those reactions, then it results in freedom.

Then the momentum of reaction will not carry me over with it, but I will be ahead of the reactions; I will not be a victim of my reaction, but I will see them as I see the objective challenge.

That for me is meditation. All-inclusive attention while moving in life. Meditation does not involve any mental activity at all.

Sensitivity and Pain

To live requires energy and fearlessness, but we are brought up in a pleasure-hunting human race, and pain is something to be afraid of, to be driven away completely, to protect oneself from.

But it is the pain and pleasure—the duality—together that make the whole, the wholeness of life.

The more sensitive you are and the more you live from the depth of your being, the more vulnerable you are to life.

The more sensitive you are and the more capable of loving human beings, the more you will be hurt; there is more sorrow, there is more pain.

Psychological hurts, pain and sorrow accompany the sensitivity, intelligence and love. Love and sorrow go together.

So, if there is physical or psychological pain, you live with it—not out of despair, not out of self-pity, not out of any weakness. You live with it because it is part of life, it is an expression of life.

Silence and Emptiness

In the dimension of silence the movement of thought goes on without creating the illusion of a thinker.

The reception of the sensation and the interpretation of the objects surrounding you takes place without the interpreter.

The movement of thought goes on without the thinker.

There is no centre to say: “I like this and I dislike that, I prefer this and I have a hatred for that”.

So there is involuntary cerebral activity without the psychological recording or registering.

The movement of thought, the movement of knowledge goes on in the body like the movement of breath, of blood.

Silence implies the existence of the total human past within you, inside you. It also implies the movement of knowledge, thought, etc. without the knower, without the thinker.

The absence of the knower, the thinker, the experiencer, the centre—is the essential part of what we call silence.

And because there is no centre, no knower, no experiencer you call it emptiness.

from Silence in Action © Vimala Thakar


About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

2 Responses to “Wise Teachings of Vimala Thakar”

  1. A wise teacher indeed. Always happy to see her getting more recognition. FYI, a site in the works is at http://vimalathakar.org. She was one of my teacher’s main teachers and I post quotes of hers quite a bit, both here and here, for those who are interested.

    • Thank you, my friend. Yes, I think she should be more well-known than she seems to be. I “met” her through her book “Blossoms of Friendship” and have been following her teachings ever since. Thanks for the link to her new site—looks like English is yet to come. And I hope readers here will check out those quotes of yours. I just visited your “On the Precipice” and was very impressed by its depth and content. Again, I hope reader will visit!

      With warm metta,

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