Issue 17 – October 1970 to May 1971
This issue sees a flurry of attempts to have a resolution of the Rajagopal conflict without it going to court, but they are all futile.
This issue also seem to contain, more than most issues so far, Mary’s expressions of wonder and appreciation of Krishnaji’s nature, and her dedication to him and his teachings.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 17
Scott: Where are we beginning?
Mary: October twenty-seventh, 1970.
M: Well, it starts for me in New York. I’d been there for a week or more with members of my family. I flew back to Malibu on that date, and it was lovely being home. There was a letter from Krishnaji, um…
S: Yes, read everything. [M chuckles.]
M: Well, there was a letter written by Krishnaji each day. ‘He had rest and more rest and had gone to the movies. And he says he must have rest in the future and I must see to it,’ which of course pleased me profoundly, because I thought he should, too. So we now jump to November…
S: Maybe this is just an interesting point for a diversion, because [chuckling] I know Krishnaji used to say that he needed to rest, or he would acknowledge that it was good for him to rest…
S: …but as soon as something came up, Krishnaji would give it his attention.
M: That’s right. That’s living in the present!
S: [laughing] So, it was absolutely hopeless to try to get any rest for him!
M: I know. I know it well! [Laughs.]
S: Well, this is just important to mention for the historical record.
M: For those who may someday listen to all this.
S: Somehow he always put his own well-being after the needs of…
S: …other people and the places he created.
M: Quite so. [S laughs.] We now jump a week to Tuesday, November third, 1970: ‘Krishnaji left London on TWA at 2 p.m.’ Krishnaji had flown to England after his brief series of talks in Italy. ‘I voted in the morning and met him at the airport at 4:30 p.m., and he looked very well in spite of the long flight. He wasn’t at all depressed by all the fire’—if you remember, or anybody remembers in this account, Malibu had been devastated by fire—everything was black and horrible. But, ‘he didn’t seem to be downcast at all. And said, “It will all grow back.”’
S: Mm, hm.
M: He thought that everything would be razed to the ground, but what little was left, the few houses, surprised him.
The next day, ‘we had to go to the dentist because Mr. Campion in London had given him a bridge, which was hurting him, so we went to my dentist, who fixed it. And then we came back for lunch, and Erna, Theo, and Ruth Tettemer came at 4 p.m. to see Krishnaji, have tea, and talk everything over. Earlier that day, I had talked to Saul Rosenthal’—our lawyer—‘who had rung Mr. Loebl’—Rajagopal’s lawyer—‘to prod him for a reply to our offering Rajagopal to become a trustee of both the English and U.S. Foundations.’ There was no reply, obviously.
The fifth of November ‘was a lovely, quiet day and Krishnaji slept mostly. I spoke to Alain Naudé in Berkeley and invited him to come down for the weekend.’
On the sixth, ‘Krishnaji felt feverish in the morning. His temperature was 99.6, going up to 100.2 in the afternoon, but it fell back to normal by nighttime. I met Alain at the airport in time for lunch, and he rang Dr. Schmidt, a homeopathic doctor who is the brother of Pierre Schmidt’—the one that Alain and Krishnaji had gone to in Geneva. ‘He suggested ferrum phos,’ which is like giving aspirin in homeopathy [both chuckle]; if you don’t know what to say, you give ferrum phos! [S chuckles.] It can’t do any harm. Anyway, ‘Alain reported that there were no serious religious people where he’d been. In the evening, Rajagopal rang and told me to “give Krishnaji his personal, not legal, greetings.”’ That was the message.
The next day, ‘Erna said that Rajagopal had also rung her and asked her when Krishnaji arrived and when was he leaving.’ And then, well, there’s a lot about my father’s health, which was bad. Oh, yes, ‘Alain said that what he saw around him was a drug-oriented society. He said that a good article he wrote was refused in the Berkeley Barb…’ That’s the university paper.
M: ‘…because it implied criticism of drugs. Krishnaji was well on this day, and wanted to go to a movie. So we drove to Hollywood and saw something at the Chinese Theatre, which was dreary,’ [chuckling] it says here.
November eighth, ‘we had breakfast in the dining room, all three, and talked at length. Krishnaji said that if one is serious about inner things, the means come about. One doesn’t worry about it. Later, Alain was taken back to the airport by friends, and Krishnaji and I had a beach walk. He asked me to telephone Radha Sloss and give her his greetings, to say he had not been feeling well, but he would ring her on his return in March.’ You see, we’re now about to go to Australia.
On Tuesday, the tenth, ‘Krishnaji rested and I did deskwork. After lunch, we drove to Santa Monica to fetch things at the Jaguar place, and bought some Scholl’s sandals. [Chuckles.] After that, we then went to a movie called Cougar Country. In the evening, Rajagopal telephoned. Krishnaji wouldn’t speak to him. He told me to tell him that because he (Rajagopal) had been abusive on the telephone in Rome, he would not talk by telephone. If he had anything to say, to write to him.’
‘Rajagopal said angrily, “I will never write him,” and rang off. Later, he rang back in a different tone, and asked if I would talk to him. Then there ensued a part of his neurosis, saying Krishnaji had destroyed him all over the world, with people thinking he is an embezzler, etcetera.’
‘I tried to get through and say that first Krishnaji had not talked about him—on the contrary. And that if he wants to be reconciled with Krishnaji, to reply through Loebl to the settlement suggestion we had made. That the door was open to a solution, and that we all wanted it, and with deepest sincerity. But from his non-response, we could only conclude that he didn’t want a settlement.’
‘“How can I work with people who think I am an embezzler?” he said. Then he said that there would be no settlement until there is a meeting between him and Krishnaji. That it is a personal matter.’
‘I said, “Krishnaji has said there is nothing personal to discuss, only what concerns KWINC, the Foundation.”’
‘“What foundation?” said Rajagopal. “You aren’t in this,” he said, “It is between Krishnaji, Rosalind, and me.”
‘I repeated Krishnaji’s statement, and said that Krishnaji had been repeatedly willing to see Rajagopal, and that in every instance Rajagopal had prevented it. His last telephone call to Krishnaji in Rome was an example of his being disagreeable and abusive.’
‘“I didn’t abuse him,” he retorted. “He is a liar, a hypocrite, and a coward.”’ [S laughs.] ‘“He hides behind women,” meaning me and Vanda.’
‘I finally rang off.’
The eleventh. There’s a long thing about my father, which I won’t repeat. But also, ‘I talked to Saul Rosenthal and David Leipziger and reported the conversation with Rajagopal. They have a reply from Loebl, which is discouraging. Loebl wants to know if our offer for Rajagopal to join the Foundations as a trustee rejects the suggestions of Tapper about publications.’ You will remember that Tapper  had said that Rajagopal should have something to do with publications, which we were dead against.
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘I said he has summarized Tapper’s suggestion incorrectly, that Tapper’s suggestion had been that Rajagopal would get copyright to the post-1968 material, etcetera. I said Krishnaji and I both felt Tapper should take hold and bring in the KWINC board. Krishnaji and I then took a beach walk. In the evening, Rajagopal again telephoned and asked to speak to Krishnaji. Krishnaji told me to tell him that he had again abused and insulted him through me, and therefore, if he had anything to say, to write. Rajagopal was angry, and said a “goodnight” and hung up.’ This went on and on.
M: On Thursday, November twelfth. ‘We finished packing. Krishnaji and I had supper at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Amanda came and drove us to the airport. We boarded a Pan Am 747 plane at 8:30 p.m., but were almost two hours on the ground before taking off. We landed at Honolulu around midnight. The tropical soft air was lovely and we walked for exercise and circulation briskly up and down the airport waiting room for forty-five minutes. We changed to a 707 and flew on across the vast ocean.’
People stared at you, you know, if you didn’t just sit down or stand there.
S: Mm, hm. Mm, hm. This is also an opportunity to say that Krishnaji often exercised in breaks on flights. And that’s unusual, walking briskly up and down.
M: Well, it was as I recall, a twenty-two-hour flight.
M: So it was a good idea to walk.
S: Yes, but even on the flights to India, and from Europe to America, he would exercise if there was a stop.
M: Mm, hm. Yes.
Friday, November the thirteenth, ‘crossing the international dateline, we lost this day. But in East Pakistan there was a devastating typhoon and tidal wave which may have killed a million people.’ God!
Saturday, November the fourteenth. ‘We crossed the equator somewhere west of Fiji—a first for me—and landed in Sydney around 10:00 a.m. The press and television people interviewed Krishnaji. We then were met by Mr. and Mrs. Reg Bennett, Barbara and Spencer English, Donald Ingram-Smith, and a Mrs. Marsha Murray. We were taken to Manly, a suburb of Sydney, to a very nice apartment on the eleventh floor of a new building above the harbor with a magnificent view of the bay. The Bennetts and Englishes have thought of everything. Mavis B. and Barbara E. are to do the marketing and lunches, and I will do the rest here. They would come each morning. Krishnaji and I took naps all afternoon.’ [Chuckles.] It was very nice. They had arranged everything very well.
Sunday, the fifteenth, Sydney. ‘Krishnaji rested all morning. Mavis Bennett and Barbara English did the lunch. We discussed the plans for the meetings in Sydney, TV, and newspaper interviews, etcetera, and also their thoughts on whether an Australian Foundation is necessary. Reg Bennett and Spencer English came in the afternoon for the walk. In the evening, Krishnaji and I watched the Hitchcock movie North by Northwest.’ [Both chuckle.]
The next day, ‘Donald Ingram-Smith brought a TV interviewer, also a reporter from the newspaper The Australian. The Bennetts and Englishes and Smiths were all at lunch. The Bennetts took me to Manly for errands, and Krishnaji and I walked at six.’
On the seventeenth, ‘Krishnaji had a public discussion in the Mona Vale Memorial Hall at 10:30 a.m. He said later it was like, “pushing a weight.”’ [Chuckling.] ‘We drove with the Englishes and their son David, who came back for lunch. We had naps in the afternoon, and Krishnaji and I went for a late walk. At supper, we saw the television interview that Krishnaji made yesterday, and out of all that they shot, they only used one minute of what he said. They spent the rest of the time on the story of his arrival here in 1925, when the Australians thought he would arrive walking on the water.’ [M and S laugh.]
The next day, ‘Krishnaji showed the Leipziger and Tapper letters about Rajagopal to Reg Bennett and Spencer English. The Bennetts then took me on a drive northward to Ku-ring-gai, where I saw koala bears, emus, and wombats, all kinds of brightly colored parrots, and went in the kangaroo enclosure where you can come close to them. They have soft fur.’
M: On Thursday the nineteenth, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion in Mona Vale, and it went better; they seemed to catch on.’
‘The next day was quiet. In the afternoon, I went in to Manly and bought paperbacks for Krishnaji to take to India. Detective stories,’ obviously.
On Saturday, November twenty-first, ‘we had a quiet morning. I made a light lunch for us, then we went with the Bennetts to the Sydney Town Hall, where at 2:30 p.m. Krishnaji gave his first talk. There was a crowd of around fifteen hundred. It was Election Day, and some rather rowdy young people, who had been passing out communist papers at the polling places next door, came in and called out rough questions. One came down to the edge of the stage and challenged Krishnaji on a question of social change. Krishnaji’s answer quieted him to silence.’
Next day, Sunday, ‘Krishnaji and I drove with the Englishes to Sydney for Krishnaji’s second talk, a most intense one. In the middle of it, a young man climbed up on the stage and sat himself self-consciously at Krishnaji’s feet. Krishnaji was taken aback for only an instant and asked him to move further away. He then took up his talk where he had been interrupted. When it was over, Krishnaji had that half-faint, far-off look. In the p.m., we walked alone. At 7:00 p.m., we saw a good nature film on TV of rare Australian animals; and at 7:30 p.m., the Bennetts and Englishes came and showed a color film of the Great Barrier Reef.’
On Monday, November twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji held a discussion with about thirty-five people chosen by the Bennetts and the Englishes, here at the flat in the morning.’
The twenty-fourth. ‘Krishnaji has been questioning the Bennetts on what it was like here in the Leadbeater days; why people accepted Leadbeater, etcetera. They suggested asking Harold Morton, who was once one of “Leadbeater’s boys” and still lives here with his wife, whose brother is Oscar Collastrom a Leadbeater favorite, now a psychologist in London. So, Morton came for lunch. He was a white-haired, pink-faced, aged, adolescent-looking man. He spoke with some detachment and a tinge of humor about it all. Krishnaji questioned him, and most of his answers as to why people believed so in Leadbeater were that they wanted to believe in all of it, in the supernatural, his supposed clairvoyance; and so, no one really dared question him. Krishnaji asked him if Leadbeater was homosexual, and Morton replied that he was; he knew it definitely in two instances, one from the boy himself, and in the other from the father of the boy. Krishnaji was appalled that a man would so use his position of trust. The clairvoyance was discussed, its apparent genuineness, first of all in the recognition of Krishnaji, and in foreseeing a ship sinking which turned out to be the Titanic. Also, its nonexistence, as when he cabled for news of one of his boys, Tom somebody, who had already died.’
M: ‘Krishnaji and I walked in the rain in the late afternoon. In the morning, we had watched the departure of the aircraft carrier S.S. America. Krishnaji said it would be fun to be its captain. He would like that.’ I have photographs of that; we were standing on the balcony.
S: Yes, I’ve seen those.
M: This splendid great carrier was going out through what they call “the heads,” which are the two cliffs on either side of the entrance to the harbor. It was a very splendid sight. We could see right across. We were high up on a hill and also on the eleventh floor, so we had a great view of this, steaming out through the heads.
On the twenty-fifth, ‘he gave his third talk.’ I don’t seem to say much about it.
On the twenty-sixth, ‘Donald Ingram-Smith and Marsha Murray came to take Krishnaji and me to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where at 1:45 p.m., Krishnaji was interviewed on television for half an hour by a Ross Saunders. It looked excellent on the monitor. Krishnaji paid little attention while Saunders read passages on belief from Penguin Krishnamurti Reader, which is published here, too. Then Krishnaji demolished belief, religion, etcetera, and went on with such a fresh clarity until the end of the half hour, covering a great deal with simplicity and eloquence. We must get a print for the archives. We took naps when we got back and then walked in the rain.’
Editor’s Note: The linked text is labeled as occurring on November twentieth, but Mary’s daily diary is certainly correct.
On Friday, the twenty-seventh. ‘After lunch, the Englishes took me to see The Manor, where Mary Lutyens and Ruth Tettemer, as well as the others, lived with Leadbeater. It is now a Theosophical home for retired people. We drove past, then went to a Swiss health food shop where I arranged for some good lecithin granules to be packed so that Krishnaji can take them to India. Then we went into Sydney and got Krishnaji a beige sleeveless pullover, which he likes so much that I will try to get a cardigan to match. Kitty has written’—that’s Kitty Shiva Rao—‘that it is cold in Delhi.’
On Saturday, ‘Krishnaji had a quiet morning in bed. I fixed us a light lunch, and then we went with the Bennetts to Town Hall for Krishnaji’s fourth talk at 2:30 p.m. At the end he spoke of beauty, asking, “Is it in the object? The sky? The white sails on the harbor? A Velásquez?”—which sold yesterday in London for $2.2 million pounds,’ [chuckling] ‘which I had heard on the radio and told him about at breakfast). “Or is it in you? As long as there is space between you and that, there is no beauty. Only when there is no self is there beauty.” He was tired when we came back and we skipped the walk.’
On Sunday, the next day, ‘he gave the fifth talk at Sydney. He said to me, “I don’t feel as if I had been working here,” which made my spirits soar. He said he wasn’t tired because he had done nothing when not talking. He had slept, read, and walked. NO’—underlined four times—‘private interviews. I am to reply to inquiries in the U.S. saying there will be no interviews.’
Monday, the thirtieth. ‘Krishnaji held the second private discussion in the apartment. He was delighted with the cardigan to match the beige pullover I bought on Friday. If I see something I think he would like, in the way of some good detective novels, I am to buy them for his arrival in Malibu. “I like new things,” he said, with his face alight.’ [Chuckles.]
M: So, December first. I went into Manly to cash a check and send flowers to the Bennetts and Englishes. This was a packing day. The Bennetts and the Englishes came by in the p.m. for the walk. In the evening, Krishnaji told me to write only letters that could be read by anyone, as his mail is not secure in India, and even at Brockwood, letters could be opened by mistake. He said about Rajagopal that I, Erna, and Roth lawyers must discuss what to do, and not wait to consult him. He will not be a part of litigation, but if we decide to pursue Rajagopal, “All the better.” He said this might need immediate decisions to be made, and he trusts me to make them. If I am acting for him according to the thing, not because of my personal feeling, I will be alright. He said Rajagopal has stolen. That he, K, will not accept any telephone calls from him or any emissaries. It may be a question of money to finance a suit, and we, KFA, must decide. This was the first thing he wanted to tell me, and the second was that we are getting older and must beware of falling into bad habits,’ [chuckles], ‘i.e., I have rubbed my nose in an unbecoming way lately.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Three, he is feeling increasingly far away: “Lately, perhaps, I am becoming as I was as a little boy, vacant.”’
M: ‘I must look after things, somehow do things anonymously, so people will not resent it. “We must figure out a way.” He asked me about the book’—that’s the book he’s writing. ‘He feels it should have another five chapters. I am to send him a list of what questions were asked in the student section of the book. He may add to it. I asked him about the part in which he said, “You have raised a generation with regard for nothing.” And he agreed that it was too harsh, and that I must change it. We talked about the personal letters that came for him; he has changed back and forth whether I am to open them or keep them for his arrival. It wound up that I should open them and, if they appear very personal, to hold them. But no one must know they have been opened by someone other than him. He said he felt very well; he looks and acts well.’
On the second of December, ‘Krishnaji and I had breakfast and were packed and ready by 9:45 a.m. The Englishes came and took the luggage, while Krishnaji and I drove with the Bennetts to the airport. I checked Krishnaji through for his flights to India; his tickets and passport. Then, checked myself and luggage onto Pan Am for my 5:30 p.m. flight back to L.A. There were some people to see Krishnaji off. He had that remote look.’
‘It was hard to have him go on such a long flight alone. His Qantas flight to Delhi went via Hong Kong, ten hours, and then another six-and-a-half hours to Delhi. He had said goodbye to me in the apartment; from then on, he was far off. It was a hot day, and he wore his cotton grey sports shirt and carried the nice Gucci bag that Vanda gave him. At the airport, he wandered off and stared while waiting to leave, as he does so often in airports. He shook hands very formally with everyone, including me, and went to his plane. We all waited and watched until it took off and became a tiny white dot in the sky.’
‘I went back to Sydney and took the Bennetts, the Englishes and David English, Marsha Murray, and Donald Ingram-Smith to lunch. Had something called the Salad Bowl in Kings Cross. Then said goodbye to them and went back to the airport with David English, who works in a restaurant there. I sat and talked to him for an hour, and then read until my 5:30 Pan Am flight.’
‘Krishnaji had left at 11:30 a.m., was due in Delhi at midnight. I flew all night and landed back at Honolulu at 7 a.m., which was also December second because of gaining back the day that we lost on November thirteenth. I went through customs there, and walked for exercise for an hour. Then, in another aircraft, flew to Los Angeles. Flying along the coast on such a clear day, I could see Ojai and houses all the way down to the airport. Arrived at 4 p.m. Amanda was waiting, and we came back to Malibu in clear, clean air. Five-and-a-half inches of rain fell here last weekend. I cabled Krishnaji of my safe arrival as he had asked me to.’ That’s it.
Editor’s Notes: On December fifteenth, Krishnaji wrote to Mary from New Delhi that “We did another dialogue this morning with Pupul. They are going to be rather good.” http://www.kfoundation.org/transcripts/701215.txt
Krishnaji wrote that “Pupul & others said, what a marvelous talk etc.” he’d given on December twenty-fourth. http://www.kfoundation.org/transcripts/701221.txt The Archivist assures us this is the talk from the twenty-fourth, but is mislabeled as being from the twenty-first.
We are seeking links to other material.
There isn’t much about Krishnaji until February twentieth, when Krishnaji flew from Bombay to Rome after his India program, and on the twenty-second, from Rome to London to stay at Brockwood for a couple of days.
So, on February twenty-fourth, ‘I drove to the Los Angeles airport at 4:30 p.m. and ran into Peter Ustinov , who was also waiting for the Pan Am arrival. He said he has children who live near Lausanne. Krishnaji arrived from London at 6 p.m., looking marvelous. We came home and had dinner by the fire.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji rested and slept most of the day. We talked at length. He taught me a new pranayama taught to him by a sannyasin from Bangalore. We went early to bed.’
On February twenty-sixth, ‘at 11:30 a.m., the Lilliefelts and Ruth Tettemer came, and with Krishnaji we discussed current matters. At 1 p.m., Sidney Roth joined us for lunch. We continued our discussion until 5 p.m. Theo drove Roth to town, and dropped Krishnaji and me at the repair place, where we picked up the Jaguar with its new fender, and from there we came back to Malibu. Krishnaji and I had supper by the TV.’
The next day was a quiet day. Krishnaji slept a lot. We walked around the garden in the afternoon.
‘Four days after his arrival, I telephoned Rajagopal and invited him and Mima Porter here on Krishnaji’s behalf. Rajagopal said that he couldn’t leave Ojai because he was ill; we must come there. It was agreed, and an appointment was made for March third, at 2 p.m.’
On March second, Krishnaji reported having a dream of a large man who was unfriendly to his being in this house. Something about the man’s mother in the dream.
On the second, ‘Krishnaji began a new dictation tentatively titled, This is meditation.’ I think I labeled it Dictation No. 1 – Spring, Malibu. ‘It was a clear, cold day. We walked in the garden.’
On the third, ‘the weather was marvelous. We had an early lunch, then Krishnaji and I drove to Ojai and met Rajagopal at his house at 2 p.m. He, in bare feet, Krishnaji elegant in grey flannels, turtleneck jersey, and a tweed jacket. His wife was there initially, but soon left. Mima Porter was half an hour late, so we sat and made social chat. Krishnaji looked splendid and was quite relaxed. The talk was casual of things and doings in India. This continued for some time after Mrs. Porter’s arrival.’
‘Rajagopal seemed nervous and unable to begin a serious conversation or say what he had asked Krishnaji to come and hear. Krishnaji was poised. Finally, he asked Rajagopal to talk about whatever it was he had to say. Rajagopal began what became a tirade, saying that Krishnaji had attacked him, blackened his name, etcetera, etcetera. Krishnaji explained why he broke with Rajagopal and KWINC, and said he had completely lost contact with Rajagopal due to all this, and probably there had never been a real relation between them. This seemed to shake Rajagopal. At one point, when I was pointing out to Rajagopal his inconsistencies, he tried to silence me by saying that I was trying to protect Krishnaji. I said I was replying to what he, Rajagopal, had said and continued, and it looked for a moment as though he would come apart. He shook. He cannot stand logic and pressure. He veers off and tries to muddy the issue. At the end of three hours, he said that Krishnaji must retract all criticism, announce publicly that he was mistaken, that Rajagopal has done nothing improper, apologize, and then, perhaps, the right time could be set to discuss what should be done with KWINC and KFA. We left at 5 p.m. and went to the Lilliefelt’s for tea. Ruth was there, too. We were back in Malibu by 8 p.m.’
The following day, ‘Krishnaji dictated a letter to Rajagopal saying that he had come to try to find a basis for some contact with Rajagopal, and that it was up to Rajagopal to respond in deeds—that his action would be his reply. It was up to him. I spoke to Leipziger. After lunch, we went to the Truffaut movie Bed and Board. Home in time for a walk.’
On March sixth, ‘Krishnaji, Alain Naudé (who arrived yesterday for the weekend), and I had breakfast in the dining room. Krishnaji rested all morning. We had an early lunch. At 2:30 p.m., Krishnaji and I drove to Santa Monica for the first of Krishnaji’s four talks at the Civic Auditorium. It was full. We walked in the garden on our return. Krishnaji and I were alone for supper.’
The next day, ‘I cooked an early lunch for Krishnaji and Alain. Krishnaji and I drove to the Civic Auditorium just in time for the 3 p.m. talk number 2. He spoke of the violence of comparison, and as long as thought exists there can be no meditation. Afterward, Frances McCann, Ruth McCandless, and the Lilliefelts came to tea. Krishnaji, Alain, and I had supper by the TV.’
On March eighth, ‘Alain, Krishnaji, and I talked at breakfast and Alain talked alone with Krishnaji during the morning. Krishnaji, Alain, and I drove up Coral Canyon and walked along the top of the hills.’
The next day, ‘Alain left for Berkeley. Krishnaji and I lunched alone. After his rest, we went to town for errands. Bought books at Campbells, etcetera, and came home to supper.’
On March tenth, ‘at 4 p.m., Peter Racz, a young man who had come from Brazil to hear Krishnaji, had a meeting with him. We walked in the garden. A copy came of Tapper letters to Loebl regarding Rajagopal’s abuse of trust.’
The next day, Sidney Field lunched with us.
There is nothing more on Rajagopal matters until ‘a letter came to Krishnaji from Mima Porter dated March twelfth, hinting at “personal matters between Krishnaji and Rajagopal,” which Rajagopal was hurt by Krishnaji not coming openly to tell him squarely what had happened, surreptitiously that all this was the crucial matter Rajagopal wanted to clear up in private conversations with Krishnaji.” Hence, Rajagopal’s exasperation when Krishnaji wanted only to discuss KWINC affairs and not “that cadaver which is rotting between you and him.” And she added that Rajagopal is the victim. To this, Krishnaji wrote to her: “If there were problems between Rajagopal and myself, I do not see that it is anyone else’s business. The fact is there are no personal matters that need discussion between Rajagopal and me. The constant implications of something personal is a very obvious attempt by you, by Rajagopal, by others, to evade the serious issues of KWINC and your grave responsibilities to that trust.”’
On March thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji gave the third talk in Santa Monica.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave the fourth talk at 3 p.m. in Santa Monica. A wonderful one on meditation. The Lilliefelts came for tea afterwards.’
On March fifteenth, ‘Krishnaji sent a letter to Mrs. Porter. A Mrs. Nicholson and her son Richard came for interview as a possible Brockwood student.’
The next day, ‘after lunch, Krishnaji and I drove to Santa Monica on errands. We walked in the garden. Rajagopal telephoned to speak to Krishnaji but hung up when I relayed Krishnaji’s message that he wouldn’t speak to him, but to write or give me a message.’
On March eighteenth, ‘we left at 10:30 a.m. for Ojai. Krishnaji had a treatment from Dr. Lay. Then we had a picnic lunch at Lake Casitas. It was a clear, hot, marvelous day. Wind from the lake kept us cool. Krishnaji was delighted. We went to the Lilliefelt’s, where Krishnaji rested. Then at 3 p.m., there was an open house for all and sundry to see Krishnaji. We were home by 6 p.m.’
Three days later, ‘Dr. Lay gave Krishnaji a treatment in Malibu and stayed to lunch. Philippa came, too. We did a garden walk.’
On March twenty-second, ‘Krishnaji dictated book material and letters. A letter came from Rajagopal to Krishnaji saying that it was obvious that Krishnaji wished their personal friendly relationship to cease, but that he intended to continue his work for the teachings.’
On the next two days, Krishnaji dictated on the meditation book and also letters. And on the twenty-fourth, Krishnaji had me ring Rajagopal and say he wished to see him and Mrs. Porter next week, and that he had something very serious he wished to say. It was set for next Wednesday. It was subsequently postponed by Rajagopal by two days.’
On the twenty-fifth, ‘we drove to the University of Southern California; at noon, Krishnaji held a discussion with students. The Lilliefelts came back with for a late lunch. We talked all afternoon.’
On March twenty-sixth, ‘I went early to town on errands, including renting a Nagra tape recorder. I then met Alain and Professor Jacob Needlemen and wife at the airport, brought them to Malibu where a taped interview occurred between Krishnaji and Needlemen. At the end of that we had tea, and then there was a second discussion. Alain drove Needlemen to the airport and came back for supper and to stay. We all three watched a TV version of “Gideon” with Peter Ustinov.
The next day, ‘I recorded two dialogues between Krishnaji and Alain. Alain was in good spirits and behavior, helpful, relaxed, and nice. In the evening, a French mathematician, Yegor Reznikov, came to call on Alain and they went out to dinner. Alain will continue what he is doing, but hopes that through some charter to get paying speaking engagements in the fall. Krishnaji is going to give him his old bequest from Mrs. Dodge. I will try to help.’
On March twenty-eighth, ‘after breakfast, Krishnaji and Alain did a Nagra recording of a discourse on good and evil. We discussed Rajagopal. Krishnaji rested in the afternoon. We all went on a garden walk, then had an early supper, and were early to bed.’
On March twenty-ninth, ‘Krishnaji, Alain, and I drove to the University of Southern California, where at noon Krishnaji gave the second student discussion. We gave a lift back to Westwood to Yegor Reznikov, and then the Jaguar blew a gasket. Alain collared a taxi, and Krishnaji and I returned to Malibu in it. Alain got the Jaguar to Brentwood Motors, and came home in a taxi. The Lilliefelts arrived too, and we all had a late lunch and talked all afternoon. We took a late walk in the garden. Alain is to leave tomorrow.’
Friday, the second of April. ‘Krishnaji and I, on a lovely day, drove after lunch to Ojai and Rajagopal’s house. Krishnaji had said that he wanted to be outside, so we sat on a balcony. Mima Porter was there. Krishnaji had brought notes in his handwriting of the points he wanted to cover.’ You see, they had to be in his handwriting. If they were in my handwriting, Rajagopal would say, “This isn’t you. You’re being influenced.”
S: Mm, hm.
M: That perpetual nonsense.
M: ‘He said it was a last attempt to bring order. He spoke of his reasons for the break; Rajagopal’s refusal to inform or consult, and the limited activities of KWINC; the systematic elimination of Krishnaji as the founder, and the plot by Rajagopal; the Vigeveno letters, and the Casselberry and Porter letters, all threatening; the lawyer saying that Vigeveno and Casselberry letters were extortion; Porter’s broken promise in Paris about the archives; the Noyes’ settlement offer which came to zero; Rajagopal using KWINC money to fight Krishnaji; his showing letters to Hislop’—Hislop was a man who was around—‘spreading stories to Fred Williams.’ Fred Williams is that awful man.
S: Which awful man?
M: Oh, he was a violent man. He came to Saanen and he threatened to kill Alain Naudé, or at least attack him. He was very rude, and awful to Mary Cadogan. He’s the one who was terribly anti-Semitic.
S: Mm, hm. Yes, you told me about him.
M: ‘Rajagopal and Porter were dead quiet through all of this. Krishnaji was nervous, but spoke very slowly, almost hesitantly.’
‘Porter took exception to the comment of her doing nothing, said she had written to Krishnaji in ’68 that Rajagopal would hand over everything to him.’
‘Krishnaji said, “I never got that.”’
‘I reminded her that her letter had said that Rajagopal loved Krishnaji and that they should talk it over in the autumn and settle it then. But that this was a brush-off at the time, and not an offer to turn everything over to Krishnaji.’
‘Rajagopal then said that he had been accused, and that “your lawyer” had dug up information and that he must have the chance to refute it.’ Actually, it was Erna who did all the research on finding out his maneuvering with real estate sales to his own benefit.
‘Porter went on about the letters of criticism of Rajagopal.’
‘I said that the ending of all this, if it was so distressing, was through the open door of the settlement, a dignified reconciliation and joining of forces.’
‘To Krishnaji’s saying that KWINC funds were being used to fight Krishnaji, Rajagopal said, “Your funds were going to lawyers.”’
‘I said that that was not so. Not a single dollar of public donation had been spent for legal fees, only private and special money given for that very purpose.
Rajagopal was so insistent that only a public vindication would satisfy him and that reconciliation with Krishnaji wasn’t enough, that we said it was then fruitless to continue, and that he was choosing to push it to court. He said we did; that we offered a reconciliation with one hand and a gun with the other. We started to leave. Rajagopal said that he had wanted a private conversation with Krishnaji, and then the work, etcetera could be allocated in discussion between all of us. Krishnaji said he would do that, but that now he was too tired and had to leave. He went out to the car. I rose to follow, and Rajagopal said he had the Dodge papers I had requested for Krishnaji. These turned out to be a statement from the First National City Bank in New York and a checkbook on an account in Krishnaji’s name at Security Pacific in Hollywood. Rajagopal said he would ring me tomorrow about another meeting. I said that, if it concerned the work, that Erna Lilliefelt should be there. He said, “not now.”’
On Saturday, April third, ‘A hot day. Ruth Tettemer lunched with us. Erna and Theo went to town to lunch with Sidney Roth, and brought him here. Krishnaji napped while the rest of us discussed relations of Roth’s fund and KF of A. Sidney has given ten thousand dollars outright for legal reasons and ten thousand for filming. But part of the legal ten went into the filming so as to not miss the opportunities to record Krishnaji on film. He pledged $30,000 in total, but $20,000 is to be paid back out of the film income, if and when we get it. The formula for this was the subject of discussion. Also in dispute is Sidney Roth’s wanting us to pick up his expenses.’ Well, I won’t go on about that, but we said we couldn’t put them on our books. ‘We said that none of us, as trustees, are charging the expenses we incur, but are doing it in our personal tax return. The KF books should cover no personal expenses, even though incurred in the pursuit of KFA duties. Sidney Roth is emotional, touchy, but basically kind and generous. His unfortunate long-windedness wears everyone out and causes both Erna and me to push somewhat to get to the point. He feels, or felt, till today, antagonism in Erna, but today’s meeting cleared the air.’
‘A proposal to find an educational film company to put up funds to finance the film we have in storage, distribute them, might solve the above $20,000 problem. Theo took Roth back to town, and Krishnaji, Erna, Ruth, and I had tea. Krishnaji wondered out loud about what would be a proper response if and when they meet and Rajagopal admits his faults. Meanwhile, Rajagopal has not called about this next meeting.’ Krishnaji was always hopeful that the man would behave decently.
S: I know. I know.
M: ‘It was a hot day’ on Sunday, the next day. ‘Ninety-three degrees in town. I rang Rajagopal about a meeting tomorrow at 3 p.m. I worked all day at the desk, except for weeding and pruning a little in the garden. And then a walk with Krishnaji around the lawn when it was cool. When I asked Krishnaji on whether he wanted to go to a movie, Wellington’—there was a movie called Wellington—[mimics Krishnaji’s voice] ‘“What! Go to see my favorite hero defeated?”’ You know he was a great fan…
S: Of Napoleon! Yes!
M: Of Napoleon! [S laughs.] Which I found absolutely incomprehensible! He was a man who defeated all of Europe, who did nothing but wage war [more laughing by S], and Krishnaji admired him. [Both laugh.]
‘As part of our ongoing feud about who was doing the dishes, Krishnaji said, “I’m carrying out the dishes, and if I can’t do that, I’m going back to Madanapalle!” I said, “Do you want to be the Rishi of Rishi Valley?” Krishnaji said, “Yes.”’ [Both laugh.] Oh, dear.
On the fifth of April: ‘We drove on a hot lovely morning to Ojai. At noon, we had a board meeting of the KFA: the Lilliefelts, Krishnaji, Ruth, and me. Then lunch. At 3 p.m., Krishnaji and I went to Rajagopal’s, and Krishnaji and Rajagopal talked on the balcony while I sat in the car. Mima Porter arrived at about 4 p.m. and sat with me in the car. We didn’t discuss anything serious.’
‘At about 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji called to us to join him. Rajagopal said they had completed a personal discussion, and I asked Rajagopal to repeat to me his proposition. Rajagopal said it was the offer he had made through Colonel Noyes in London in 1968 with some modifications. I asked why then he had withdrawn the offer, or denied it.’
‘Rajagopal said because Krishnaji had “demanded that the archives be turned over to him.”’
‘I said that request was made after Rajagopal had sent word to Krishnaji that he would have to go to court to get a tape of the talk he had given the day before in Ojai, and refused him his own manuscript.’
“I deny that,” said R.’
‘I said, “Don’t deny it to me. I came over to this very door with Alain Naudé, and asked you for it, and was refused admittance.” I said I could not remember the details of the Noyes memorandum. Would he have Loebl send it to our lawyers?’
‘He said he didn’t want to do it through Loebl. That he and Mima Porter would draw it up and send it to us. Then all of us and our lawyers could consider it with Tapper and, if we have an agreement, then all the lawyers could draw it up in legal form. All through this, Rajagopal was alternately irritable, ready to fly off the handle, or insistent; which irritated Krishnaji, and made him try to stop Rajagopal from hammering points. This, in turn, made Rajagopal madder. I tried to quieten it and get him to say what he proposed. He wants, of course, a statement from Krishnaji withdrawing accusations.’
‘We left, and Krishnaji told me the personal side of their discussions. The bickering in the past, past disputes, hurts. Krishnaji injecting himself into Rajagopal’s divorce dispute. Krishnaji told him of Rajagopal’s daughter’s visit to him and me. I don’t know whether Rajagopal knew about it, but probably yes. I also don’t know if Rajagopal had just secretly recorded Krishnaji’s conversation with him. My last words of warning to Krishnaji as we drove in the entrance were, “Remember, please, that he could.”’
‘“I completely forgot,” said Krishnaji. “I looked at the mountains and forgot everything.”’
‘We drove to the Lilliefelt’s; Ruth was there, too, and we all talked a while and then we left. On the way home Krishnaji said he felt free of a weight, the weight of Rajagopal. It wasn’t until later that he wondered if he had said too much. Said he had done everything he could to reach Rajagopal, to go far beyond halfway in trying to solve it all. He never wants to see Rajagopal alone again. He said, “I don’t know how to deal with people like this. I would be vague and agree to anything. That is what happened in the past.”’
S: Mm, hm.
M: That’s the only time they talked alone during all these years.
April sixth. ‘Donald Hoppen just arrived from Brockwood, and came to lunch. He feels Brockwood lacks vitality. It needs better staff but something in the atmosphere has kept some good prospects away. He showed a plan for a new dormitory and pictures of a model of it. It will go where the pavilion is. Krishnaji was tired and didn’t have his mind on Brockwood. He asked Donald to make a memo on it. Krishnaji went to bed after a short walk and supper.’
The next day ‘we went to the dentist, and Krishnaji had his teeth cleaned. A memorandum came from Rajagopal on the settlement basis he spoke of Monday. He proposes to “turn over part of the real estate,” but it is so poorly worded with assessor’s value and cash value that it is unclear whether he will give it or sell it to K Foundation. There was no mention of Arya Vihara. There was also no mention of K & R…’ That’s the K & R Foundation, ‘…or AB trust.’ That’s the, um…
S: Annie Besant
M: …Annie Besant trust. ‘He wants funds for salaries for KWINC and he wants statements clearing him. From all this it appears he will keep the assets transferred and the K & R, the archives, and some of the land. What KF would get is problematic. I read it to Erna and then to David Leipziger on the telephone. The latter will discuss it with Saul Rosenthal.’
The next day, the eighth. ‘Leipziger and Rosenthal do not think Rajagopal’s memorandum will lead to a settlement, but think we should reply in the form of a letter from Erna, Ruth, and me as trustees, keeping Krishnaji out of it; asking for clarification of his points while stating that we are continuing the lawsuit, because of the long delay in exploring “other avenues” of action. Erna is to draft the letter.’
The following day, ‘Erna, Theo, and Ruth came in the afternoon with the draft of a letter, much of it by Leipziger. Erna and Theo looked up assessors’ maps and discovered that an eleven-acre piece south of the Happy Valley School is part of the twenty-three-acre piece. Apparently he will keep most of the fifteen acres around his own house. Erna, Ruth, and I are on the committee for KFA to sign for this end. Krishnaji doesn’t want to have any part of the settlement negotiations. Erna retyped the letter with some small changes, and we signed it.’
On the tenth of April, ‘We packed. Sidney Field, and a Mr. Harry Wolfe, whom Krishnaji last saw in 1935, came for tea. Donald Hoppen came later. We discussed Brockwood, and also the possibility of Alain Naudé being there.’
S: Of Alain going to Brockwood?
M: Yes, being part of Brockwood. You see, Alain had then left all the Krishnamurti organizations. But, um…
S: But Donald thought that perhaps he would do some good at Brockwood?
Sunday, the eleventh April. ‘Such a lovely morning. The Bullock’s Orioles were bathing and preening their feathers. A great-horned owl made his sound in the pale dark before dawn. It was quiet and completely perfect waking up in this house.’
‘Then, in the morning, Krishnaji felt he should telephone Radha Sloss because he had said he would. There ensued a tirade from her, hammering at Krishnaji. Her father might go to jail. Krishnaji said it was up to Rajagopal. He had been offered a settlement to wipe out the past, but he hadn’t taken it. If Rajagopal settled, Krishnaji said he would make a public statement of reconciliation.’
‘“You should make it first,” said Radha. “You care about money.” She repeated this over and over. When Krishnaji said it was up to Rajagopal, the way out had been offered, she said, “I don’t accept that. You told me three years ago you wouldn’t have anything to do with KWINC as long as he was head of it.”’
‘Like both her parents, she reiterates what was said in the past as though the present didn’t exist. Her blistering nag had Krishnaji shaking. It was worse than his meeting with Rajagopal. He was a wreck by the time he was able to end the conversation.’
‘An hour later, during lunch, she rang back and said that her father had offered a settlement and had no acknowledgement. Krishnaji said it would reach him Monday or Tuesday. Other people are busy, too. “But you’ll be gone. Who is he to deal with?”’
‘Krishnaji said he was out of it, and that the KFA would reply. At the end of this conversation, Krishnaji said that he would never ever see any of them again alone, that I must remember this, and remind him, and protect him from this sort of bullying.’
‘I asked if I had his permission to answer them immediately if they should telephone and handle it directly without going to him to ask what to do. He said to do it myself. It was monstrous to see him belabored this way. I felt bruised as if it had happened to me. Curiously, it was as though I felt what he felt, rather than the effect it would have had if it had been directed at me. Later in the afternoon, I went over to see Amanda and Phil, while they had supper. The peace of sanity there [chuckling] and the rare lovely quiet of the house and garden and place we love.’
The next day, the twelfth of April. ‘Amanda came at 7:30 a.m. and drove Krishnaji and me to the airport, while Filomena followed in a taxi with our pile of luggage. Krishnaji, Filomena, and I flew on TWA to New York, arriving at 5 p.m. A car and driver met us, and we went through the slow traffic to the Ritz Tower, where Krishnaji and I have taken Father’s apartment, and Filomena has a studio in the same building.’
The next day, ‘I did some marketing. We lunched in the flat, and went in the afternoon to the Hotel Lombardy, where Krishnaji had his hair cut. Then over to Doubleday to buy some detective novels, and Krishnaji chose a new Barzini book, From Caesar to the Mafia.
M: I have that at Brockwood.
S: In Ojai?
M: No. This is, I took it to, ah…
S: Oh, you brought it here?
M: Brockwood…no, it’s at Brockwood.
S: We’re at Brockwood.
M: Sorry, I’m disoriented. [S laughs.]
S: I know; it feels like we’re back in Ojai.
M: We’re in Brockwood, are we? [Laughing.]
S: Yes, we are. [Laughing.] I think so!
M: Yes, we are! [Both laugh]. It’s here, probably in the other room. I saw the shelf in my mind’s eye and thought, that’s at Brockwood! [Both laugh]. Hippocampus gone! ‘We walked back. Narasimhan came to see Krishnaji. [Chuckles.] His new Mercedes 300 was stolen on the streets of New York.’
S: Oh, dear!
M: ‘We spoke of China opening up; the U.S. ping pong team has just been invited there. Sees rapprochement between U.S. and China and Russia in the future. Rajagopal received the letter from Erna, Ruth, and me today. We don’t know yet what happened.’
April the fourteenth. ‘After lunch, Krishnaji and I took the American Airlines flight from LaGuardia to Washington. It was a pretty day; daffodils were in the park, and they pleased Krishnaji. We went to the Shoreham Hotel where the American Society of Newspaper Editors is holding a conference, and where it had engaged rooms for us. Krishnaji didn’t want to go out for a walk, so we had supper in the rooms.’
The next day, ‘Mr. A.A. Smyser of Honolulu Star Bulletin was in charge of Krishnaji. We met him downstairs, also Mr. Newbold Noyes, editor of the Washington Star and the man who had invited Krishnaji, and also his assistant editor, a Mr. J. William Hill. Krishnaji was the last speaker after the others, who spoke on the future. Toffler, the author of Future Shock, was the first speaker. We had to wait downstairs for about twenty minutes. Krishnaji was to speak, but they only left him fifteen minutes. He spoke forcefully and to the point, but he felt afterwards that it was a waste. Theo had come down. He and Erna had arrived in New York from Ojai yesterday. Krishnaji, he, and I had a meager lunch at the Shoreham, and left for the airport. It is impossible for Krishnaji to eat in this country in restaurants [chuckles]. We flew back to New York and Theo came up for tea. Then we walked a bit down Park Avenue. He and Erna are at the Commodore. Krishnaji wonders if it had all been worth it.’
The sixteenth, ‘After lunch, Krishnaji, Filomena, and I walked up 57th Street to the Sutton and saw a movie, Little Big Man.’
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘Krishnaji said it was very good. We shopped in the Bloomingdale’s food department, and came back in time to have Erna and Theo to tea. They brought a copy of Krishnaji’s latest book, The Flight of the Eagle, a Harper paperback, 1969 talks in Europe, and some Saanen discussions. Nice-looking cover. They also brought a book, The Quiet Mind by John Coleman, a former CIA Agent who has two chapters in it about Krishnaji. He came to Brockwood and had an interview with Krishnaji in September ’69, and had met Krishnaji in India previously.’
‘After supper, Krishnaji spoke of chastity. It must have an absence of ego, will. It is missing in most people.’
Saturday, which is the seventeenth, ‘Krishnaji felt sick to his stomach at lunchtime and ate almost nothing. He slept till 4:00 p.m., then had a cup of rose hip tea. At 5:15 p.m., in Bud’s station wagon with a driver, we went to the Town Hall on 43rd Street. A huge queue outside. We caught Narasimhan outside of it and took him in. The house was totally filled, and some had to be turned away. Krishnaji showed no sign of weakness, but spoke in that deep other voice, almost from the beginning of the talk. There were difficulties with the sound, and an officious woman was clearing the aisles. The talk was videotaped. The audience seemed young in a larger proportion than usual. Afterward, Krishnaji was dizzy, far-off, and seemed almost faint, but wanted to sit at the card table where we eat, and even turned up the television. “It helps me unwind,” he said. He ate very little, and went right to bed.’
‘In the talk, he had said, “The worst crime is to be in conflict.” And later he told me to remember to tell him, “Knowledge is the basis of the mind being hurt.” During the talk, a man brought a brilliant red rose and put it at his feet on the platform. Later, when he seemed to cough, another one brought him a paper cup of water. Krishnaji put it on the floor and seeing the flower, tried to put the stem into the paper cup. He said later, “That man on the platform must know a great deal.” [Both laugh.] And we talked of pain, as opposed to suffering. Pain can be felt organically, or through sensitivity, but suffering is when the mind holds onto it.’
The next day, ‘at 5:30 p.m., Krishnaji gave his second talk at the Town Hall. During the day, he spoke of Rajagopal, Rosalind, and what makes people go wrong. I asked if there were ever a time when Rajagopal and he would talk about the teachings, about all the things he and I talk about, and he said, “Never.”’
On Monday, the nineteenth of April, ‘I did deskwork all morning. It was a bright spring day, and we walked to the Côte Basque and lunched with the Ingersolls. He thinks,’ [meaning Ingersoll] ‘that Krishnaji should talk only to a few influential people. Wonders if the young today are not a suicidally self-destructive generation. Mrs. Ingersoll mistook Krishnaji’s estimate of the world as cynicism. Krishnaji and I went to Mark Cross for my annual new wallet, and then went to Tiffany’s, where Krishnaji chose four twisted gold rings for me. We came back to the Tower and he took a nap while I went to see Natalie Davenport at MacMillan for fabrics for the living room in Malibu. I brought back samples for Krishnaji to see. We walked up to 70th Street and back.’
On the twentieth, ‘Mr. Clayton Carlson, the new religious book department head of Harper and Row, brought Mrs. Claire Rosen of TIME Magazine to interview Krishnaji. A nice, bright woman. In the p.m., we went to look for other fabric samples for Malibu sofas, and decided the first one was best.’
The next day. ‘TIME Magazine sent a photographer, who took about a hundred pictures of Krishnaji. He sat quietly as though it were part of the job.’ I never could get hold of those pictures. I wrote and tried to get hold of some.
S: From TIME Magazine?
M: ‘Frances McCann came for tea at 4 p.m. and talked to Krishnaji. We walked her back to her hotel.’
The next day, ‘While Krishnaji called on Mrs. Pinter, I shopped at Bergdorf, and then we walked back to the Ritz Tower. Then we walked to see a movie called The Andromeda Strain, science fiction, and Krishnaji found it exciting. Mitchell Booth came in to see us, and said that the people most prone to court litigation are schizoid, paranoid personalities. [Both chuckle.] Quite late, Krishnaji said, “Angels are looking after you. They will look after you after I am gone.” He repeated it.’
On Friday, April twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji asked me if I remembered what he had said. I repeated what he said about angels, and asked what he had meant. “You should have asked the man then,” he said. “Probably it meant you are protected, and will be after I am dead.” I felt and said my life’s meaning for me is usefulness to him. He said he had a marvelous meditation in the night.’
‘I went to Bloomingdale’s and bought him a new Tourister bag. After that, Jonathan Ward of CBS came and interviewed Krishnaji for radio, accompanied by Miss Margo B’—something—‘of Harper and Row. Ward seemed intelligent, and the interview, which will be used in segments on the CBS network, went well. Krishnaji again talked of the futility of external change.’ The rest is just family.
The twenty-fourth of April. ‘Krishnaji said that in the night his head felt as though the brain were being operated on. There was no pain but “the body was frightened.” Had I been awake, he would have talked to me and “gone off.” The unusual thing is that I was quite widely awake in the night. At lunch, he seemed “off” and remote, a little unconnected, and said he felt quite empty. At 5:30 p.m., he gave a very good talk, the third at the Town Hall, on relationship. “Corruption is absence of relationship,” love, and death. He spoke for one hour this time, and over half an hour on questions. An Indian woman, Susheela Deshponde, had an appointment to greet him backstage very briefly.’ I forgot to say that Narasimhan came by to see him in the morning. ‘Krishnaji looked exhausted, and for a short time, as we sat down to supper, he was still in the state of the talk. His hands were cold. And then he relaxed, and television, as usual, came like an aspirin for him.’
Sunday, April the twenty-fifth. ‘It was my father’s birthday and so I went up to lunch at Bud’s and we talked to Father, who was in Paris. I got back in time to go with Krishnaji to the fourth talk at the Town Hall. It was another superb one on religious meditation. These four have been among the very best.’ I haven’t listened to those talks since. I should have; I will.
The next day, ‘I went for Krishnaji’s French visa. Krishnaji and I took the Lilliefelts to lunch at Orsini. We decided to rent Carnegie Hall for Krishnaji next year. The Lilliefelts leave tomorrow.’
April the twenty-seventh. ‘I fetched Krishnaji’s French visa and got him the Netherlands one. In the afternoon, we went to a movie, Valdez is Coming, and walked back. David Leipziger telephoned that Tapper wants a copy of the complaint to go to the KWINC board before he calls them. There has been no reply to Erna’s, Ruth’s, and my letter by Rajagopal. I talked to Erna, who has gone to Connecticut. Theo flew home to Ojai.’
The next day. ‘Packed. Filomena and I rushed over to Bloomingdale’s to exchange Krishnaji’s new suitcase for another one. Packed until at 4:00 p.m. Bud’s car with a driver came. We said goodbye to Filomena, who flies back to Malibu tomorrow, and left for the airport. Our flight to London, which was to leave at 8 p.m., was merged with another and later TWA one. We ate a miserable salad in the TWA restaurant, and finally took off at 11 p.m. Krishnaji was appalled at a gross woman [chuckles] who had false eyelashes, a low-cut dress, and dyed wild hair. “An insult to women,” he said. We had little sleep.’ [Chuckles.]
The twenty-ninth. ‘Dorothy Simmons, who had been waiting since 7 a.m., was there when we arrived at 11:30 a.m. In the Land Rover, we drove to Brockwood. Spring is just beginning. The trees are still bare, but the daffodils are bright. It is lovely to be here again. We were in time for a late lunch with the school. We took naps. Then, Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I took a walk, which blew the staleness of travel out of our lungs. I slept profoundly.’ Now this is…you’re not there yet, are you in ’71?
S: No, I didn’t start at Brockwood until 1974.
M: Well, the next day we unpacked and I talked to everybody.
On May first, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Blackdown for tea with Mary and Joe. Alain has just arrived from California, where he spent Wednesday night with the Dunnes, and was there for a weekend, and will be in London for a month. We all took a walk and saw the bluebells and came back to tea. Amanda Palandt and her children, Anna, Nikki, and Adam were there. It was her seventeenth wedding anniversary and hard for her, as she and John are still separated.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to the students, and I taped it on the Uher.’
On the third of May, ‘Mary Cadogan and the Digbys came down. We all talked before and after lunch, discussing all sorts of things, including what the Perrine building would be used for.’ This is the building that never came about. Mrs. Warren Perrine was going to build a building over where the pavilion used to be. It never happened. ‘Krishnaji said a dormitory for students and lodging for an ashram when he holds that. If the school had fifty students, it could break even.’ [Both chuckle.] Oh, those were the days. Krishnaji mentioned to the Digbys the idea of Alain being invited for the ashram if the hatchet between him and Dorothy could be buried. The Digbys were enthusiastic about the idea, but questioned if it could come about.’
Editor’s Note: An “ashram” is what Krishnaji was calling, in the early days, what came to be called “The Study Centre.” Krishnaji seems always to have wanted a place, or places, where serious adults could come to study the teachings, and have dialogues with each other. It took fifteen years of his requesting this at Brockwood for it to come about.
The next day, the fourth, ‘Krishnaji talked to students in the morning’ and, well, I did errands.
Then, on Wednesday the fifth, ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to Heathrow airport, stopping in the short lane near the airport ‘as we’ve done before, and had a picnic lunch.’
M: ‘Our Air France 3 p.m. flight took off at 4:45 p.m. We sat in the departure lounge and read. We lunched at Orly airport outside of Paris on our arrival, and took a taxi to the Plaza Athénée hotel, arriving at 6 p.m. I rang Solange’—that’s my father’s housekeeper—‘to tell Father I would be there at 7 p.m. I got K’s supper ordered. Then he wanted to go for a walk, so we went for a short one, and I reached Father’s at exactly 7 p.m. He seemed about the same as in January, but had no recollection of where he had seen me, and asked if Olive had already died by my last visit.’ That’s his wife. ‘We had supper. A new nurse was present. He has been to the races lately, and invited me to Longchamp tomorrow, as he has a horse running. I was back by 8:30 p.m. Krishnaji had had his supper in his room.’
Then, the next day, ‘I went to Chanel and ordered some things. They are very expensive, but in the end should be better than money wasted on inferior things. I then walked to Charvet where Krishnaji met me, having come from the hotel in a taxi. We picked out material for four shirts and bought four ties. We returned to the Plaza Athénée, and with the help of Roland in the Régence’—that’s the maitre d’hôtel—‘I ordered lunch for Krishnaji and Marcelle Bondoneau, who were to go to a cinema. At 1:15 p.m., Father and Madame Hadé, his Danish nurse, came by in the car driven by Michel’—[pronounced Michelle]—that’s the chauffeur. ‘We lunched at Conti, Father rushing through his food as he does at home. We went to Longchamp,’ but I won’t go on about Longchamp. ‘The horse ran well. The interest in racing has given Father energy. He dropped me at the hotel. Krishnaji had been to the cinema. All had gone well, and we went for a walk before having supper in our rooms.’
The next day was the seventh of May. ‘We packed and went quickly to Charvet for more ties, and got back to the Plaza at noon, where Moser and wife’—that’s the salesman of the car—‘were waiting with the new Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 coupe, which he had driven from Thun. I paid for it and Moser left. Krishnaji and I went into the Régence for a pleasant lunch. In the atmosphere of such a restaurant, his elegance makes him the embodiment of every aristocracy the past has ever produced. He was wearing his navy blazer, the best cut of all his Huntsman clothes, and looked superb. Also, as innocent as a beautifully mannered child. We felt festive: the new car, Paris, the delicate smells of a very good French restaurant, the ease, the fun, the expectation of the drive. There was that lovely sense of adventure, of our life together. For me, the fun of providing fun for him. The decorative embellishments to amuse him, to which he is as charmingly responsive, again as a child might be.’
S: Hm, hm [chuckles].
M: I’m afraid of calling him childish in this thing.
S: No, you’re not calling him childish.
M: I don’t know what else to say!
S: It’s that innocence, it’s that extraordinary simplicity.
M: It’s innocence. It’s his response in which his face lights up.
S: Yes. I absolutely…
M: There’s no sophistication in it at all.
S: Yes. Nothing jaded…I know exactly what you mean.
M: I mean, “childish” sounds as though he was retarded or something. On the contrary…
S: Yes, on the contrary…
M: It was this wonderful response.
S: It had all the beauty and cleanness of a young person.
M: Mm, that’s true.
S: Where is the Régence restaurant?
M: It’s the name of the restaurant in the Plaza Athénée.
M: They had a small restaurant, which is sort of separate, and then they had their main…well, they had two main restaurantS: one’s inside, and the Régence is in the front of the building. And this is in May; also, there’s a courtyard, and we’d eat out there. The hotel is built around a courtyard.
M: And the maitre d’hôtel was a tall, thin, nice man named Roland, who liked to please Krishnaji. ‘We bade Roland goodbye, had the luggage put in the Mercedes for the first time, and drove in this splendid new car up the Étoile, out to Avenue de Wagram, to the autoroute du Nord. She drove as though on air.’ [Chuckles.]
S: Autoroute du Nord? Where were you going?
M: We were going back to Brockwood.
M: ‘Krishnaji took the wheel for over an hour. We had to get off the autoroute for petrol, but arrived at Château de Montreuil by 7 p.m. Krishnaji kept me going only slowly to break the car in properly.’ [Both laugh.] He was absolutely severe about that. You couldn’t drive over, I don’t know what, thirty or twenty or something.
S: Well, even when I got the two Mercedes vans for the video equipment to record the talks in Saanen and Brockwood, and they were brand-new Mercedes, he insisted before I left for Saanen that I only crept along. I think that I drove from Brockwood to Saanen at thirty miles an hour [laughing].
M: And the Mercedes people say that’s not necessary! Never mind what they say! [S laughs.] So, ‘We had the rooms we’ve always had from our first visit. Krishnaji had the Boiseries Room’—it was a lovely old-fashioned room with boiseries all over the wall—that is wood paneling; they had lovely carved wood paneling in France.
S: Oh, how nice.
M: Which is either plain or painted, either one is called “boiseries.”
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘We had dinner, and felt very well. Later, Krishnaji said that he had a meditation in the night. For some reason he has had them in these old hotels, as if being away from people’s attention being focused on him is a factor. I was afraid the trip would be tiring for him, coming on top of all the rest, but he said, no, it broke the pressure of people.’
 Laurence Tapper was the attorney general who had joined in the lawsuit against Rajagopal. Back to text.
 Reg Bennett and Spencer English had been involved with Krishnaji since at least the 1930s. Back to text.
 Peter Ustinov was an Academy Award-winning actor and director who had starred in Quo Vadis in 1951, a film that Mary’s late husband Sam Zimbalist had produced. Back to text.
 A yogic practice having to do with the breath. Krishnaji had written to Mary about meeting this “well-known Sannyasin” and having discussions with him in Rishi Valley. He went on to write, “This kind of breathing is kept secret & he has learnt it from some somebody who won’t teach others who are not serious, Sannyasin, Brahmans etc. This Sanyasi wants to help others and that which has been kept secret, he wants to see man benefit from them. He said he knows Mr. Iyengar quite well & has told him that what he teaches is not yoga but he won’t listen.” Back to text.
 In 1913, Mary Dodge put a sum of money aside that would give Krishnaji £500 a year for life. Back to text.
 The Pavilion was a building built in the old days as a social center for the servants, and used by the Brockwood Park School, when it acquired the property, as an art pavilion. In the 1980s it was turned into garages. These garages have recently been replaced with new student housing. Back to text.
 Rajagopal’s daughter. Back to text.
 An old lawyer for Mary’s family. Back to text.
 Mary Lutyens’s daughter from her previous marriage. Back to text.
 John Palandt was Amanda’s husband. Back to text.