So many times, so many groups have been started. Sometimes they continue…and then wither away: sometimes they go on and then are no more, because many difficulties are there. Many difficulties are there. The group of Ashoka’s nine esoteric ones continues. It continues because it fulfills so many conditions. One is that the group itself never comes directly in contact with the masses. It has still other groups between itself and the masses. It always remains unknown, hidden. You can never know its whereabouts. And any person who is initiated into the group, the very moment he is initiated he disappears from your world – completely disappears. Then you can never know about him. He just disappears. Then this group can continue – anonymous, completely anonymous.
It has many keys. It has many methods. Through those keys and methods, it goes on working in many ways. This is a group with physical bodies – they are alive as we are. But once someone has become a member of the group, he cannot be chosen again. He may be born again, but he cannot be chosen again for the nine. Now he will work as a link between the group and the masses – another circle around the nine, a great circle, because so many persons have been members of it. They know the buddha directly, they know the esoteric adepts directly. They are so experienced that they can remain in the masses and can continue the work with the group. But they will not be members.
When someone of this group is not born on this earth with a physical body – if he remains in a no-body existence – then still he works. There are many adepts who are not in the physical body who go on working. Theosophists call them masters – Master K.H. and others, master Koothumi and others. These are fictitious names, but they refer to a particular personality, individuality. They are fictitious names, but they refer to a particular unembodied soul that is helping.
This Master K.H. – one of the most ancient adepts of the Ashoka’s circle of nine – created the whole movement of theosophy. They were trying to create a situation in which Buddha’s coming incarnation could be possible, because Buddha had said that after twenty-five centuries he would again be born. His name would be Maitreya. And an enlightened person like Gautam Buddha is capable of conceiving the person who is going to be enlightened after twenty-five centuries – Buddha predicted it. For this happening Ashoka’s circle of nine has been working for centuries. Now the time is near.
The theosophy movement was just a preparation. It failed, the experiment failed. They experimented with three or four people to be made vehicles for Maitreya to descend, but the experiment failed. Something or other missed: sometimes it was just on the brink of success, and yet something happened. Krishnamurti was ready – completely ready – to be made a vehicle. Everything was ready. He came on to the pulpit to surrender himself, and to become so empty that Maitreya could come in. But at the last moment he denied surrender – at the last moment. No one around him could think that this was going to happen: not even a hint was given that Krishnamurti would fail in the last step and come back. And that is why – after that phenomenon, after that happening of coming back – for his whole life, for forty years continuously, he has been emphasizing “Individuality, individuality. Be individual.”
This has a meaning: the whole preparation was to lose one’s individuality – otherwise one cannot become a vehicle: “Be as if you are not. Surrender totally to forces beyond you.” Just on the brink of jumping, he denied surrender. Everything was ready: one step, and Maitreya would have been in the world.