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January, 1910 "Journey of Radiance"

January, 1910 - Benares

[Originally titled "Benares, January 1910" in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles released on July 3, 1993 on ABC, then paired with "Peking, March 1910" to become "Journey of Radiance" for the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones released on home video July 11, 2000.]

  • After leaving Athens the Jones family arrives in Benares (also known as Varanasi) off the Ganges river in Northern India, where they are staying at the Hindu National College.

  • One day Indiana decides to bypass his Geometry school work and explore his new surroundings, where he comes across a group of children playing a game that looks similar to baseball. Instead it turns out that they are playing Cricket, and Indiana takes it upon himself to teach them about America’s past time.

  • One of the boys was named Jiddu Krishnamurti, who would later grow to be one of the most renowned philosophers in all of India.

  • Later that evening the Jones family attends a reception that’s presented by Annie Besant and the Theosophical Society. At the function Henry and Miss Seymour debate back and forth in regards to the values of Theosophy, whereas Miss Seymour is not in favor of the idea of ‘free love’ and socialism, while Henry is a proponent of their emphasis on women’s rights.

  • Henry explains to Indiana that Theosophy’s main goal was to explore the common ground that all religions share with one another.

  • Later Besant introduces the Jones family to a man named Charles Leadbeater, who says that he discovered a ‘New World’ teacher or a messiah, who coincidentally turns out to be Krishnamurti.

  • Indiana watches Krishnamurti meditate from afar and then tries it himself, followed by a bike ride where the two boys discuss the nature of God and how religions perceive ‘him’. Krishnamurti then teaches Indiana about Buddhism as they witness a Hindi funeral along the Ganges.

  • Indiana and Krishnamurti then comes across a crying woman in the marketplace, who explains that her child had just died in her arms. Krishnamurti is able to comfort her without even saying a word.

  • Out of respect Indiana then gives Krishnamurti a Ty Cobb baseball card as a souvenir, who then reciprocates the gesture by offering a vial of water from the Ganges. Krishnamurti then explains to Indiana that the Theosophy Society is looking for someone to lead them to God, yet ultimately every individual has to do that for themselves.

  • They part ways with Krishnamurti offering Indiana one final sentiment, that “God is compassion and love, no matter what religion one belongs to.”

  • Thus during his first tour of India, Indiana directly interacts with:

  • Charles Leadbeater - an influential member of the Theosophical Society who was originally a priest in the Church of England, yet his interest in spiritualism led him to distance himself from Anglicanism, which then led to his involvement with Theosophy under the tutelage of Annie Besant. It was Leadbeater who then discovered Krishnamurti, and groomed him along with Besant to become the next Messiah.

  • Annie Besant - a British socialist, theosophist, and women’s rights activist, Besant originally became famous for publishing a book that encouraged the use of birth control in 1877. She later traveled to India and became President of the Theosophical Society, as well as the President of the India National Congress, where she established and advocated for numerous developments throughout the country. At one point Besant legally adopted Krishnamurti, and in the late 1920’s they travelled to the United States to promote the teachings of Theosophy.

  • Jiddu Krishnamurti - thought to be the next Messiah and the reincarnation of Buddha, he was groomed to be the new World Teacher yet later rejected this title and withdrew from the Theosophical Society altogether. He said he had no allegiance to any nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life travelling the world as a speaker, where he spoke on themes related to the nature of the mind, human relationships, meditation, as well as psychological revolution - which he emphasized could only be achieved from within - and not from any external entities such as through politics or religion.


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