Issue 2 – April 1965 to December 1965
Introduction to Issue 2
In this issue, we see clearly that Mary had read over her diaries for the period she thought we were going to cover before we started this second discussion. She was more precise about dates, numbers, etc. Even so, at one point she has me stop the recorder so she can check in her diary, which must have been on the table in front of her, and she corrects what she was saying.
The period covered in Issue 2 is still before Mary became Krishnaji’s assistant, so the picture, here, of Krishnaji is still somewhat from a distance—she is not seeing him for much of the day, every day, as she did later on. But, we do see the closeness between them begin to develop, and, with it, Mary’s life and world changing as her involvement with Krishnaji grows.
Here also is Mary’s first trip to India, and how that appeared in her eyes. There, and elsewhere, Mary meets for the first time several people who readers will recognize from the many biographies of Krishnaji.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 2
Scott: So we pick up your memoirs in May 1965 when you went from London to hear Krishnaji speak in Paris.
Mary: Yes, I took the boat train to Paris. I forget how Krishnaji and Alain went, but Krishnaji was scheduled to give his Paris talks in the Salle Adyar.
S: Where’s that?
M: It’s a theosophical place near the Tour Eiffel, in that quartier. It’s a fair-sized auditorium.
S: Wasn’t it unusual for Krishnaji to talk in a theosophical place?
M: Well, there weren’t so many venues to pick from, and it was only a few blocks from where he was staying with the Suarès’.
S: Where did they live?
M: They lived on the Avenue de la Bourdonnais, up on the top floor. It was like a penthouse. He spoke twice in the Salle Adyar, and then he had some days off. Apparently my driving abilities were satisfactory, because he suggested going to Versailles.
S: Where were you staying?
M: I was staying at the Hotel Pont Royal. It’s a nice hotel on the Left Bank, down off Boulevard St. Germain. Rue de Bac is near there.
S: Rue de Bac, yes, yes, I know it, then. And Alain Naudé?
M: He was staying at the Suarès’ too. It was rather crowded, but somehow it somewhat worked.
Anyway, Krishnaji wanted to go to Versailles, and at some point I had caught on that he liked Mercedes cars. So I went to Hertz and I got a Mercedes car [soft chuckle from S], and we went to Versailles. He wasn’t then and never has been very interested in palaces and looking at them. He was not a sight-seer. But he loved gardens, and a walk in the gardens was something he enjoyed. We walked all over: a big walk. After that we went on to St. Germain. I think we had a cup of tea, and then we walked some more in St. Germain, which was also pleasant.
S: When you would drive, would Krishnaji be in the front next to you?
S: And Alain Naudé would be in the back.
M: In the back, that’s right. There was another talk, and after that there was another expedition, again in the Mercedes, and this time we went to Chartres, which was wonderful. We walked all around and looked at everything very carefully. Krishnaji was taken with the stained glass windows, found that particularly beautiful, and we all agreed that this was the loveliest of all the gothic cathedrals that we had seen. We lunched nearby. I’ve forgotten the name of the restaurant, but it was about a block away from the cathedral. I could go there if I were there, but I can’t remember the name. And then we went to Romboulliet and had another walk in the forest. That, also, was very pleasant.
Paris was busy for him, but not so much for me. All the French friends wanted to see him.
S: Of course. What would Krishnaji wear during these outings?
M: He was always very elegant. For an outing like these he would wear a sort of sports shirt. You know, long sleeve, knitted—those shirts.
S: Ah yes, I remember those shirts.
M: He would also wear a tweed jacket and gray flannel trousers and beautifully polished shoes.
S: Yes, of course.
M: And a scarf at his neck.
S: And when he spoke he wore a tie and more formal wear.
M: Oh yes, he spoke in his usual formal clothing—a suit. So that was Paris.
S: How many people came to the talks there?
M: Well the Salle wasn’t huge, but it was a good size, and it was full.
S: A thousand people?
M: Oh, no no, I’d say about five hundred, probably. That’s a guess.
S: How many talks did he give, do you remember?
M: He gave five, I think.
After the talks I left for Switzerland by train. I became a vegetarian on the train [chuckling] no, not on the train, on the first of June [laughs]. Knowing I was going to be a vegetarian, I started, not in Paris because of my father, who lived in Paris in those days—his pleasure was to take me to all the best restaurants in Paris, and I didn’t have the gall, or courage, or whatever you want to call it, to say, “Father you should know that I am now a vegetarian.” So I postponed making the change until I got on the train leaving Paris [laughing].
S: Did you see a lot of your father during that time?
M: Yes. I somehow fitted everything in. I’d go and lunch or dine with him and scuttle back to go to a talk or drive or whatever.
S: And you didn’t do any shopping with Krishnaji in Paris that year?
M: Well, I must have, yes. It was always heavy shopping in Paris. There was Lobb shoes. Very important.
S: Of course [laughing].
M: Lobb in London was not good enough, according to Krishnaji. So Lobb, Paris, it was. There was an enormous man with an English name but who was French-born. Apparently shoe places and racing places have a lot of emigrated English who’ve become French, married French women, and they’re really French…oh dear, I can’t remember his name…a big fellow, and he wore a leather apron.
S: Yes, yes, I remember him.
M: That’s the way you dressed if you’re a shoe-maker. And he’d bring out these jewel-like shoes. It would be very pleasing to everybody. We’d choose the leather; there would be quite a lot of discussion, and naturally the shoe-maker had already made the wooden form of the foot. Sometimes that had to be adjusted a little bit. And then the order was placed. And, of course, it had to be that Alain had such shoes too, which he’d never had before in his life [chuckling]. Alain shared Krishnaji’s passion for clothing.
S: Yes, it was very contagious!
M: And, I seemed to be the proper accompaniment to this because I would give approval and my advice was appreciated.
S: Absolutely! As it still is! [Laughing.]
M: Since that first time I uttered the word “Huntsman,” I acquired a whole [S chuckling] set of characteristics in Krishnaji’s mind. I knew about these things. If I didn’t like something, that was the end of it.
S: Krishnaji told me that Lobb in Paris was better that Lobb in London because [M chuckles] after the war Lobb of London didn’t take in any new apprentices, so they couldn’t get new, really good shoemakers. Whereas Lobb’s in Paris got all the Polish shoemakers that fled Poland when the communists took over. This was Krishnaji’s version of why Lobb in Paris was better [chuckling].
M: [chuckling] I didn’t know that; you’re better informed. I should interview YOU! [More laughing.] Well, anyway, it was very satisfying. Then, of course, there’s the matter of shirts, which were looked at at Sulka, but there wasn’t an order placed, as I recall.
S: Is Sulka in Paris?
M: Yes, but Rome was better for shirts, supposedly.
S: So, you didn’t go to Charvet?
M: Oh yes, we went to Charvet, that’s true. In fact, I got some shirts in Charvet, too. Yes, quite right, but he also got Italian ones later. Also, I think some scarves were bought at Charvet. Of course, they were Indian Scarves, but Charvet had imported them.
And I remember that Krishnaji gave me one. I remember also that it [laughs] it had a lovely scent to it. Krishnaji never used any cologne or scent or anything like that. I remember [laughing] reading somewhere, something about “the odor of sanctity,” and I decided that’s why this scarf smelled so nice. The scarf had been his.
M: It held the scent for quite a while.
S: Was that the first thing Krishnaji gave you?
M: Yes. A cotton scarf, Indian, but from Charvet. So, now we get to…
S: Wait, can I ask another question? Sorry I keep asking all these questions. This is very informal.
S: Did you go out to eat with Krishnaji at all?
M: I was invited, I think, once to the Suarès’, but not otherwise.
S: Were there any private discussions in Paris?
M: Mmm…I’m having trouble remembering which year those began. Alain was particularly good at rounding up young people. That was really his function in those days because he was of the opinion, and Krishnaji shared it, and I shared it, that the old situation of white-haired ladies filling the auditorium should change. It was time to mix that up a bit. So, Alain collected young people. I can’t remember if it was this year—I should have done my homework better—but I remember these started either this year or the next year. I rented a room, for the discussions, in the hotel where I was staying, and about sixty or seventy young people came. Krishnaji discussed with them and answered questions.
S: In French or in English?
M: In English. Some of them would ask questions in French, but he’d reply in English. These meetings with young people was something new and something good, and it continued from then on for as long as Alain was with us.
Anyway, so now I’m on the train from Paris to Geneva, and I go into the dining car for a meal, being now a vegetarian [chuckling], and there’s nothing on the menu that’s vegetarian. There isn’t a vegetable in sight [more chuckling], except for pommes frites, which came with steak.
S: Of course.
M: So, I thought, well, one last time, and I ate. When I got to Geneva, I rented a little car again, and toured up to Gstaad. This time I went to the hotel Rossli, which you will remember.
S: Remind me of where that is.
M: It’s right on the corner, where you turn left to go to Lausanne in the middle of Gstaad. Opposite the Olden Hotel. Remember?
S: Oh, yes.
M: I had a room there, and I remember [laughs] the nicest thing that happened when I was there, which wasn’t very long. My room overlooked the main street, and one morning I heard cowbells. I looked out the window and there was a procession of cows going up to the high pastures in the mountains. They were led by the dowager cow, the queen cow [chuckling]. She had the biggest bell and she wore a lovely straw hat with wreaths of flowers on it. She walked with majesty.
S: Yes, I’ve seen it.
M: That was lovely! All the cows each had their bell ringing as they went past. That was nice.
So a few days after I got there, the telephone rang, and it was Alain to tell me that they had arrived; they flew from Paris to Geneva. He asked, “Do you have a car?”
“Yes, I have a car.”
“Well, Krishnaji would like to drive up to Gstaad instead of coming on the train, can you come and pick us up?”
So, I drove down. I think I got a slightly bigger car. I was forever switching from the smallest, cheapest [chuckling] to something worthy of the event! [Laughter.] I drove down to Geneva and met them. They had spent the night at the Hotel du Rhône, which, if you remember, is right on the river.
S: I do remember it.
M: We went into the dining room. I remember scrutinizing the menu thinking, “You know, I’m a vegetarian now, what do I order?” Krishnaji, who picked up everything, looked at me and said, “What have you been eating lately?” [S laughs heartily.] Well, what I had been eating [more chuckling] was cheese omelet, and cheese omelet, and again cheese omelet, and I had the feeling, “Am I going to live on cheese omelet for the rest of my life?!” [M and S laugh.] I explained about cheese omelet.
He said, “We will teach you how to eat.” And he said it quite…firmly. [S laughs.] And then they ordered a lovely meal of vegetables and salads and fruits and all the things that we’ve all been living on ever since!
S: Yes, yes.
M: I was having trouble after that first week on my own in the Hotel Rossli. [More laughing.] Anyway, we drove up to Chalet Tannegg. Vanda had rented, as always, one floor of Chalet Tannegg. But she wasn’t there and didn’t come until July. This was in June still. I left Paris on the first of June, so it was right after that.
S: Sorry, but before you go on, didn’t Krishnaji always stay in the same room in the Hotel du Rhône?
M: No, all rooms were identical. They were small rooms with a bath. There was nothing special about any of them. It was a slightly commercial hotel, unlike the Hotel des Bergues, where we stayed later, which was nice. That’s what you’re thinking of.
S: Yes, that’s what I’m thinking of, yes. Can I ask you, do you remember which route you took up the mountain?
M: Yes, along the Lac, always. He liked to go along the lake route.
S: You didn’t go through Bulle?
M: Later on it was usually Bulle, but I don’t think the first time I knew the way to Bulle. I don’t remember.
Vanda had sent ahead a cook, a chef really, to look after Krishnaji and provide the food and all that. It was lovely in Gstaad. There was nobody there. Usually I was asked for lunch, not supper because he had that in his room, but usually for lunch. And I would, with my car, drive to wherever he wanted to walk in the afternoon, if it wasn’t up the hill and into the woods. It was very pleasant.
S: Do you remember some of these walks, where they were?
M: Well, sometimes we went up towards Gsteig and walked. I remember there was a way—I never did it later on, but there was a way of going off the road onto some higher fields and walking up there. Also, we often walked down along the river, the Saanen River toward the airport, that way. There was also the Lauenen walk. It was nice.
Then, not too long after arriving in Gstaad, we had to go back to Geneva. Again, we lunched at the Hotel du Rhône. Then we went to pick up shirts. Krishnaji got shirts in Geneva. I don’t know why he got shirts in Geneva, but he did. There was a place on the Rue du Rhône where he got some sort of shirts.
S: Were they those warmish ones almost like, but not quite flannel?
M: Actually, they were made by Allen Solly in England, but you could get them there. They had a very good store.
Can you turn off the recorder for a moment while I check my diaries? [Tape is turned off, then back on.]
I was wrong about the drive. We drove down from Gstaad via the Col du Pillon through Aigle, and then around the French side of the lake.
S: Ahh, Deauville.
M: Yes. And going in and out of France, you went through customs at both ends. We looked for a restaurant in Yvoire but we didn’t find one, so we wound up at the Hotel du Rhône. Krishnaji had his fitting, and then came the first of many immemorial visits to Patek Philippe. [Both chuckle.]
M: This was always immensely pleasing to him. He would come in, and they would bow because they knew him. Out would come his steel watch, and he would go into a very grave conference with, not the man who bows to you, but the man who really makes the watches and adjusts them.
M: They would confer with heads down, you know, looking at the watch, heads slightly bowed. And then [Scott chuckles] the man would take it away and do something mysterious. Meanwhile, we’d look at all the other watches. Eventually, Krishnaji’s watch would be brought back just “au point”—it was perfect. You may remember because you’ve been there with him, too.
S: I remember well!
M: This was a ritual visit.
S: Yes! Not unlike a visit to Mecca! [Chuckles.]
M: Yes, this is one of the important moments in the summer! [More chuckling.] It was never to be hurried or taken lightly, and it was very satisfying.
S: I know, I know!
M: Then we drove back, this time we went via Bulle. By this time I knew the way to go via Bulle, which was lovely. But before turning up into the mountains, he always wanted to go along the lake. He didn’t want to go on the auto-route. Well, we did sometimes when we had to, and that’s when I found out that Krishnaji liked to drive fast. But at this time I had a Hertz car. I learned he liked to drive fast when, in a later year, I had the Jaguar, but that’s for another chapter. So, we went back via Bulle, and I had supper with him that night. That was the first expedition of that kind.
S: Did you stop in Bulle?
M: No. We always did later on to buy the famous Gateau Bulleoise, but that was years later.
Something else of great interest happened that year. Enrique Biascoechea, whom I don’t know if you ever knew.
S: I’ve never met him, but I knew of him.
M: Well, he and his wife Isabell came to Saanen every year to hear Krishnaji speak, and they took an apartment down by the river. Isabell was a very good cook. She used to cook lunch. Enrique was an old theosophist. A very sweet man. He knew about Krishnaji’s Mercedes feelings. So, he had the idea to buy a little Mercedes, a two-seater, and give it to the Saanen gathering committee [S chuckles] but only for the use of, guess who?
M: So, one day I went up to Tannegg and there was this beautiful little silver jewel-like car, with Krishnaji looking so pleased. He showed me everything about it, and then he asked if I would like a drive. I said, “Yes, I’d love a ride.” So, he drove me to Chateau d’Oex. I remember it was the first time I’d driven with him driving instead of me driving. He looked so elegant with his driving gloves, and he drove beautifully. Obviously an experienced driver!
S: [Chuckles] Yes.
M: [Chuckling] Then we drove back to Tannegg.
S: Did you do anything in Chateau d’Oex?
M: No, we just went to Chateau d’Oex, then turned around and came back. When we got back he dusted the car—it had been out! [S laughs.] I think the next day when I went up, I found him and Alain both washing it because it had been out. As I watched Alain working, I thought, “My god, he’s a musician, he’s going to ruin his hands.” [Laughing.] But he was doing what had to be done, and Krishnaji was also washing. After it was washed, Krishnaji opened the hood and dusted all the machinery inside. Only then [S laughs] was it alright.
Again walks every day.
He, also at this point, received some tapes of chants from India, and we listened to those, which I enjoyed.
S: Who was it that was chanting, do you remember?
M: They were made at the Rishi Valley School with the children chanting.
Every day we walked, rain or shine. Also, there was a lot of talk about my going to India. I was planning to make the whole tour that year, so, we talked about that. Krishnaji said that he must see that I’m properly looked after in India, and he’d arrange my housing. He said that I shouldn’t go to a hotel in Madras, but that Frances McCann and Alain and I should rent a house in Madras, because it would be healthier: we could control our food. I hadn’t the remotest idea how to rent a house in Madras, as you can imagine. [S chuckles.] But Alain knew just what to do. He wrote to Mrs. Jayalakshmi saying that Krishnaji had suggested this and could she [chuckling] take care of it? When we get to that part I’ll tell you how she took care of it!
S: Yes, yes, I’m sure!
M: Back to Saanen: We often went down to the Biascoechea’s for lunch. Either I would also be asked to have lunch, or I would drive them, drop them, and later take them back up the hill. That was when Enrique pulled out a photograph of Krishnaji and his brother Nitya as little boys. The Biascoecheas brought them out to show us. Krishnaji looked at that and looked at that, and he kept going back and looking at it again. He said he didn’t remember that time at all. Afterward, when I drove him up the hill, I said, “What was it that interested you so much in that photo?”
That’s when he made the statement, “If we only could figure out why that boy wasn’t conditioned and remained vacant, perhaps we could help children in the schools not to be so conditioned.” He was trying, somehow, to get a sense of why that boy, meaning himself, remained that way. Why nothing really scarred him at all, mentally. I remember his looking at the photo for, oh, such a long time. (Click here to hear Mary.)
Vanda eventually arrived. I, in the meantime, not wanting to spend my life in the Hotel Rossli with cheese omelets, had rented a flat in an apartment house called Les Caprice.
S: Yes, I remember where that is.
M: When Vanda came there was no longer a room for Alain because she only rented one floor, the floor on the level where you came in, and that only had two bedrooms. The proprietor lived upstairs. He was a German, and he only came for a short time in summer, but he never rented out his floor. There was a downstairs floor with a flat, because the chalet was built on a hill, but Vanda only had the middle floor. When Vanda came Alain had nowhere to go. Fortunately, the flat I had taken had two bedrooms, so I invited Alain to stay with me, which he did.
Then the talks began. Again, usually I walked in the afternoon with Krishnaji and Alain. Vanda didn’t want to walk; she was doing yoga all morning and wasn’t much for walking. So, I usually walked.
At one point, Pupul Jayakar arrived, and that was my first meeting with her. She stayed only a short while. Again, we all went to the Biascoechea’s for some meals, everybody.
S: Let me go back a moment. Who would drive Krishnaji to the talks?
S: What car did she have, do you remember?
M: Yes, she still has it but it no longer works, at least it didn’t the last time I saw her. It was a Lancia, very old even then, and this is ’65. It was an old and rather splendid Lancia, and she drove it with great dexterity and speed. She drove it up from Italy to Gstaad in those days. After bringing Krishnaji to the tent for the talks, she would park the car under the trees always by the Boy Scout camp.
S: When Pupul came, did she stay at Chalet Tannegg?
M: She stayed with the Biascoecheas. She was only there a short time.
Also, Pupul’s daughter Radhika arrived, also staying with the Biascoecheas.
I remember going on a walk with everybody, Pupul, Radhika, Alain and, I forget who else; I was walking behind, and Krishnaji fell back in step with me. This is when he said to me quite shyly, “Did I ever know you in California?” [S laughs.] Of course, this refers to the interviews I’d had. which were earth-shaking events in my life.
S: And the whole reason that you were there in Saanen.
M: The whole…everything had changed. [More laughing.] He didn’t, of course, remember anything. I remember laughing and being very pleased. It was the way he should have been. (Click here to hear Mary.)
S: Yes [chuckles].
How many people came to the talks, roughly?
M: The usual, a tent full.
S: But they grew over the years that I was attending.
M: The later tents held more. This was different. It was tiered seating. It was a nice-looking tent, but it was the same hard benches you sat on and all that.
S: Was it over towards the Boy Scout camp side of the field?
M: No, it was right where the tents always were, the same place. The entrance was from the river.
In those days a lot of people made their own tape recording. There weren’t any rules about that. People sat down at a kind of table near the stage and taped.
Then George Vithoulkas showed up. George was a Greek who was becoming a homeopath. He and Alain knew each other and had shared an interest in homeopathy. George became a professional at it, eventually becoming quite renowned, I’m told. However, this was early on, and George took on Krishnaji’s case, as it were. You’ll hear the rest about George later. Anyway, he was there in Saanen.
Krishnaji gave an awful lot of talks in those days. I think there were ten or something like that. And, at the end of each talk, he would ask for questions from the floor.
After the talks were over, he held young people’s discussions again. Alain had rounded up young people. He used to go around the camping ground where a lot of the young people camped, and just collect young people like the Pied Piper. Sometimes these young people’s discussions were at Tannegg, if they could all fit in, but there was one across the river in a field.
S: Across from where the tent was?
M: No, further down toward Gstaad. If you walk along the river you come to it.
S: Before you get to that hotel?
M: Yes. There were several young people’s discussions.
Also, David Bohm came, and they had discussions. There were six of those, and they were at Tannegg.
S: They had met previously, and they had had discussions here in England, hadn’t they?
M: Yes, they had met previously back in the beginning of the 60s.
Then there was another trip to Geneva. I don’t quite remember when. But at that point [chuckling], Krishnaji asked me to be on the RishiValley School committee!
S: [laughs heartily]. Being the great Indian expert that you were!
M: [laughs] Imagine! I had no qualifications, but it didn’t matter to him! I don’t remember what I replied, but fortunately nothing came of it. [S and M laugh together.]
We went another time to Geneva, and this time we lunched at the Hotel des Bergues, which became more the normal place.
I was going to go to India, but before going to India I had to fly back to the U.S.
S: Before we fly back to the U.S., may I ask, did Alain always accompany you on these trips to Geneva with Krishnaji?
M: Yes, yes, always.
So, I flew back to Malibu, and whatever else I did, I went and saw my family. So, the story picks up when, in September, there was a fight between India and Pakistan, which put the whole Indian winter tour in jeopardy. Alain called me to tell me that Krishnaji was going to decide whether to go to India as scheduled, or postpone it until the end of the month. He then suggested that I come to Rome, and that if we didn’t go to India, that we all spend the winter in Italy. But, as it happened, there was a cease-fire, and Alain, who had been refused a visa for India, now was able to get a visa for India. So, I flew back to meet them in Rome in October. Krishnaji and Alain were staying in a place that Vanda had rented, Villa del Casaletto, which was a house outside Rome, toward the airport, over behind the Villa Florie and all that.
S: Where did you stay in Rome?
M: I stayed in the Hotel Flora that time.
S: Where’s that?
M: It’s right by the Borghese Gardens, next to the Excelsior.
S: Was it hard for you to go back to Rome?
M: Yes, it was actually.
S: I’m sure.
M: Yes. I had wanted never to go back to Rome, but I had to go back to do this. I wasn’t there very long.
S: Was Krishnaji aware of how difficult it was for you to be back in Rome?
M: I didn’t talk about it.
M: So, two or three days after arriving, on the first of November, I think it was, we flew to Delhi, and were met at the airport by Kitty Shiva Rao and Pupul.
S: Did your plane stop anyplace?
M: Don’t know, probably. All those flights in those days stopped somewhere, usually they came down to refuel in some Arab country.
I remember the fact that when Krishnaji arrived in Delhi, the car met him at the foot of the steps down from the plane…
S: [laughs] Yes.
M: Which is very nice.
S: Did you sit with Krishnaji on the airplane, or did Alain sit next to him?
M: Neither. In the beginning, Krishnaji would be in first class, and Alain and I would be in tourist. He would always try to persuade me to take his seat in first class, which I, obviously, didn’t do.
Anyway, we arrived in Delhi and we were ushered into the VIP lounge, while other people saw to the luggage. I didn’t have to do anything, which was wonderful. Our passports were taken away (Pama, I think, did that, as I recall). Eventually passports were returned after being processed, and we were taken into Delhi, stopping first at the Shiva Rao’s for Krishnaji. Kitty Shiva Rao had very kindly arranged for me to stay in a place called the IndianInternational Center, not far from her house, where I had a very nice room. She lived not far from Lodhi Park. I remember that same day, Krishnaji, and, I think, Pupul, and Alain, we drove around to show me a bit of things, and we drove into Lodhi Park, but it was dark by that time.
S: If I may come back to something, did you go in a car from the airport separately from Krishnaji?
M: No, I went in the same car to the hotel, but the car stopped first at the Shiva Rao’s house and the Shiva Raos and Krishnaji and Alain got out.
S: Where did Alain stay?
M: In the beginning, he stayed at Shiva Rao’s, and then a few days later he also took a room in the International Center. I don’t know what the domestic situation was, but I think it was crowded there. However, Kitty very kindly asked me to take all my meals at their house. You know, people are so hospitable in India, and I was treated as Krishnaji’s guest in a sense. Maybe he made it appear that way.
S: But they often are very hospitable, yes.
M: Krishnaji was concerned that I shouldn’t eat this and that.
S: How long did you spend there?
M: Well, we got there on the second of November, and he gave his first talk on the seventh in the garden of the Constitution Club. He was under a shamiana, on a little raised platform with a bright little canvas thing shielding him from the sun. There was a wonderful red and blue carpet put out for people to sit on. I sat with Alain, right in front of the stage with the Nagra tape recorder. That was the first time I saw Krishnaji with an Indian audience, and he startled me by being really blunt with the audience, saying, as nearly as I can recall, “You people have talked about non-violence for all these years, and yet this year not one of you spoke out against the war.” They’d almost had a war with Pakistan. He really, put it as only he could, witheringly! I remember really feeling shocked, that he talked differently to Indian audiences at that time. He was tougher with them.
Then there was a side trip. Do you want to hear about this? It doesn’t involve Krishnaji.
S: We want everything [both laugh].
M: Well, I forget what started it, but anyway, on around the fifteenth, Frances McCann, Alain, I, and George Vithoulkas, with a car and a driver, drove to Rishikesh. We were told that there would be no place to stay, and that we must prepare to put up with that. We thought that we’d go anyway and, if necessary, we would sleep in sleeping bags. We went off, I remember [chuckling], with a big bottle of boiled water and a bag of walnuts [S chuckles], which was sort of our rations. When we got to Rishikesh we discovered that there really weren’t any hotel rooms; but Alain, who was very good at persuading people, went into the tourist bureau, and talked them into letting us stay in what I think were called Dak Bungalows. These are the places for government inspectors to stay when they came around. There happened to be one right on the Ganga. You entered past a little sentry at the gate. He had a spear! [Laughs, then S laughs.] He didn’t have a gun [more laughing], and he was standing there all by himself in front of the gate with a spear. We drove in quite a ways, and found the bungalow, which was immaculately clean, and it had, I think, three bedrooms and four bathrooms, which was quite something. Frances and I shared a bathroom, and this was my first experience with Indian toilets! [Laughs].
S: Ah, yes [laughs].
M: But it was clean, it was nice. After settling in, we went back into town, looking for some place to eat. As you may know, there was a restaurant chain called Kwality Restaurant. I don’t know whether they still have them in India.
S: I remember seeing them.
M: So, we went to a Kwality Restaurant, and we very carefully ordered cooked things that we thought wouldn’t have ptomaine in them. I think we drank a lot of tea [chuckling]. I don’t remember much else.
We had rather cold showers in the morning, then we went up to Shivananda Ashram in Hardvar, which was interesting because of the masses of sannyasis in yellow robes, and it was the first time I had seen leper beggars, which were part of the Ben-Hur story. We went to the Ashram and we waited to see the head of it, but he was busy. So, we left, and we went looking for a specific yoga guru, who was reputed to be wonderful, but he was out. So we returned to Rishikesh.
Then George went looking for something, I can’t remember what, but he came back saying that next door there was an Ayurvedic doctor who told him that a great swami was about to arrive and did we want to meet the great swami? We replied that we did. So, at the appointed time, we went next door, and this weird looking [chuckling] man entered. He was very fattish, with a big round face. He looked at us from one to the other, seeming to question, “Who are these people and what do they do?” We sat down and he asked some questions and George got fascinated by this man. Later on, George decided that he wanted to become this man’s disciple, if you please. Well, Alain was horrified and disgusted. The next day, Alain, Frances, and I went up to Dehradun.
S: Ah, yes.
M: Up, up, up, up, up, the Himalayas and on, as you know to the snow line and beyond, the most wonderful mountains. When we returned, Alain and George got into an argument, with Alain saying, “You came here to look after Krishnaji, what do you mean by going off with this guru?”
S: What was he treating Krishnaji for?
M: Just looking after his health. But George wanted to know magic; he wanted Sidis, powers, all these things.
So, we drove back to Delhi with a rather poor atmosphere in the car. George went to see Krishnaji that evening, and Krishnaji tried to help him see clearly what he was pursuing, but George wasn’t going to have anything to do with contradicting his intentions. Alain was furious. He thought this was outrageous, inconsiderate, irresponsible, and so forth.
So, George goes off to his swami, and the rest of us went to Rajghat.
I remember [chuckling] in the airport in Delhi, waiting for the plane, there was a whole room of waiting passengers, but there was one who had a gray scarf around his head; he was fat and short, and he was covered with ashes on his forehead, and done up in a shawl. I said to Krishnaji in French, “Quel est son maquillage?” What is his makeup? [S laughs.] Krishnaji made a bewildered gesture, and then Krishnaji did what he always did in airports, he walked around with great dignity, taking in everything, but never staring at anything, if you know what I mean. He would obliquely see everything.
S: Yes, yes.
M: [laughing] When he came back, he made a funny remark like, “Now, I’ve seen everything.”
When we got to Benares, Krishnaji went off with Madahvachari and some others in a kind of a bus.
I’ll never forget my first glimpses of Benares, because it made me feel that I hadn’t been in India till then. All the traffic with the lorries constantly honking at each other, and all the decorations on them, and the goats and cows wandering around, and the women putting dung patties on the walls to dry them, and other women with big brass pitchers of water on their head, and the smells of things drying and the people lying on those string beds, low beds by the sides of the roads. It was India, much more so than Delhi! [Laughing.]
S: Yes. [Laughing] Who flew? It was you, Alain, Krishnaji, …
M: And, I guess, Frances. I remember that I sat next to Krishnaji, and he pointed out to me, in the early morning, the pink snows of the Himalayas, and how beautiful it was.
S: So, you must have taken off before daybreak?
M: Yes. Somehow all flights in India were always in weird hours in those days.
When we got to Rajghat, there ensued this [laughing] business about the rooms that were prepared for us.
S: Sorry, let me stop you again to ask questions people in the future may have. When Krishnaji flew with you at this time, was he wearing Indian clothing?
M: Oh yes, he wore Indian clothing right through, all the time he was in India. This reminds me that when we were in Delhi, he wore churidars. You know what churidars are?
M: You know they’re longer than your legs, and they tighten on your calves as you push them up, but they have to fit. Krishnaji sent me over a pair of his to try. Unfortunately his legs are much thinner than mine [laughing], and I got stuck in them! I had a terrible time getting out without ripping them. [M and S laughing.] There was also a lot of shopping for clothing for me in Delhi, in the beginning.
S: Where did you go?
M: I went to the Cottage Industries. Kitty Shiva Rao was one of the directors of that, and
I can’t remember if she took me or sent me, but there was a lot of getting things to wear in India, like cotton things.
S: Did you bring them back to show Krishnaji, which I know he so enjoyed later?
M: No, I just turned up in them. [Laughs.]
Anyway, we’re now at Rajghat. There was a big turnout at the school to greet him, little children with flowers and everything. Frances and I were given rooms. We had a big room and a little room and we shared a bathroom. It was in one of those buildings looking over the river called Krishna Ashram. We went upstairs to our rooms and opened the door, and were astonished. It must have been unused for several years [M and S chuckling] because, I’m not exaggerating, there was so much dust it was like being in the desert. When we entered, clouds of it went up. It looked like sand, but it was dust. There was nothing in the room except one bed with just the rope, no mattress, no sheets, no blankets, no mosquito netting, nothing! The small room was in a similar condition.
Frances and I debated about who got the big one and who got the small one. She won and got the small one [chuckles]. There were three pegs in the wall on which you could hang things, but that’s all there was, nothing else! [S laughs.] The bathroom was not very big, and it was chiefly extraordinary because of the wash basin—it was small, and it was as black as your tape recorder. I don’t know how one could get a wash basin, a white porcelain wash basin, that black unless you poured tar on it! [S laughs.] No ordinary dirt could do that, not even years of ordinary dirt [S laughs more] could get a white sink that black. And then there was just a hole in the floor as a toilet. Alain was in the same building but somewhere else, and after seeing our place, he went right to Krishnaji and told him. Then, apparently, Madhavachari, who ran all K activities in India, was told that all was not well. He’d been an Indian railway big shot of some kind but was now retired. Very tall, big man. Very severe Brahmin type, but he had no interest in people’s comfort—at all! [Laughter.] He came and looked at it and mumbled something like, “Oh, it, ah yes, it’s not ready. Well, I’ll ah, send someone” but nobody ever came! Apparently Krishnaji was again informed, and now Krishnaji arrived. And the to-do [laughing] that followed from his coming and seeing this! This should be, you know, beneath his knowledge or notice.
S: Of course [laughing].
M: But he came in and [chuckling] started asserting his authority. In no time people came with buckets of water and brooms, etc. Eventually a mattress was found, and some sheets and a blanket and, I think, eventually mosquito nets. Some pathetic bearer, the one who staggered up the stairs with our buckets of boiling water in the morning, which he’d gotten up way before dawn to make (we could hear him cutting the firewood, making the fire, boiling the buckets of water); this poor man was set to cleaning the wash basin. He cleaned it for four hours the first day, and he was still scraping away with a razor the day we left three weeks later. Terrible! But the consternation at Krishnaji coming over and seeing what his guests were subjected to—everybody’s face was ashen. [M and S both laugh.]
S: Of course. Where did you have your meals?
M: Where did we have our meals? I don’t remember any meals [laughing]. Well, it can’t have been bad or I would have remembered it! [Chuckles.]
Anyway Krishnaji gave lots of talks, and talks to the children.
S: Where did those take place?
M: In the school hall, you know, you go down along the river, and you come to the big hall for the school, which was initiated by Tagore. Anyway, there were talks to teachers, and to students, together and separately. And, one lovely day in December Frances and I were invited to Krishnaji’s room where he chanted with Mr. Salman, who was the music teacher. We sat on the floor. I remember his room, it was very neat. There was a towel over this pillow. The mosquito netting was pulled back ever so neatly, and there was a metal wardrobe and something with drawers, and a chair. I can still see it vividly. There was a small rug on which we sat, and they chanted. It was wonderful.
S: Did you go for walks in the afternoon with Krishnaji?
M: Yes, often around the playing fields. There was a big walk that goes all around the property. Also, I went quite a lot by myself across the little river, the Varuna, to the villages—did you ever do that?
S: Yes, many times.
M: I remember the earth is sort of sand-colored, and the buildings were made of that same earth and so were the same color, but with white decorations on them. They weren’t square, like ordinary houses; they were sort of rounded as if little children had made them, you know, like the houses children make on the beach. I used to walk over there quite a lot. Also, I used to walk to the agricultural school.
I also remember being asked to go with Alain into Benares to buy staves (I think you’d call them) because there was a student in the agricultural college who’d been bitten by a rabid jackal, and he didn’t take the Pasteur treatment, so he died. We were asked to buy staves, big heavy things, to ward off rabid jackals. I never saw jackals, but that was the errand. I remember the extraordinary-ness of Benares, which again [S laughs] is like no place else in the world.
S: Yes, it seems like the essence of India.
M: Yes. Again, the taxis and trucks honking, with goats and cows wandering around. At one point, Frances and Alain and I were walking down toward the ghatsand, going around a corner, I almost collided with a bicycle with a dead body on the back! Wrapped up and being taken to the burning ghats. Then walking along the river, on the ghats, and we were just walking through ashes. I remember saying to Alain, “Look if I fall in, just keep walking and forget you ever knew me, because [S laughs] I’ll be dead!” [Both laugh.] Strange city!
S: Yes, yes. What kind of contact did you have with Krishnaji during this time? Did you go up to his room for discussions?
M: Yes, I was invited for some discussions.
S: Did you only see him during these discussions?
M: Well, I’d see him during the discussions, and I was asked, I think, to lunch. I believe Parameshwaran was with him then, so there was lunch upstairs in his building—in that back room which was the dining room.
S: I remember. So, you’d have lunch with Krishnaji there?
S: Would you participate in many discussions and see him for walks?
M: Yes, but not as much as some other places.
S: You must have gone to Sarnath.
M: Yes, I went to Sarnath either alone or with somebody, probably Alain. I walked there, and went to the museum. I remember the walk, and going by a little, tiny—it wasn’t even a temple, but there was some guru who lived there, and people would come with offerings and things.
We also went down the Ganges in a boat.
I remember also that there was an old dog, I’ve forgotten his name, but, it was something like Rover. In the early morning, when I’d go for walks, I’d see the dog out in the river looking for protein! [Laughing.] And so were the vultures.
Then I’d go to tea in the afternoon and see, like Badgerlying here on the floor asleep, dear old Rover and I don’t think the Western ladies who fussed over him knew where [laughing] he’d been in the early morning!
S: Yes, eating dead bodies.
M: Yes, eating dead bodies.
Eventually, when we were to travel on, I remember at the airport, there was a lady, she was a Jain, and she was disturbed and believed she was married to Krishnaji, so we had to protect him from her. She would lie in wait for him because she always wanted to touch him, and he didn’t want her to, so we had to run interference like in football. We used to call her Mrs. Moonlight, because she got madder when the moon was fullest, as some people do. At one point, in the airport, she almost got to him, and I remember his saying severely to her, “Don’t touch me.” He later told a story about how once in Bombay, he was out alone, and she appeared, and he had had to say, “Go away,” and eventually, “If you don’t, I will call a policeman.” She replied, “Go ahead, I’m your wife!” [Both S and M laugh.] Luckily, at that point, a streetcar came by, and he jumped on the streetcar and escaped. [Laughs.] She had a daughter, and she got the poor child to write, “darling daddy” letters to Krishnaji.
Anyway, we traveled on to Madras. It had been rather cool and dry in Rajghat; in fact, it was rather cold. We flew back to Delhi, because we had to go to Delhi to get to Madras.
Again, I spent the night at the International Center, and Krishnaji stayed at the Shiva Rao’s. Then Krishnaji, Alain, and I flew to Madras. I remember stepping out of the plane in Madras, and it was suddenly the tropics. It was late afternoon, and it was totally different. There were crowds of people to greet Krishnaji, many of them with garlands, and one of them was Mrs. Jayalakshmi. Did you ever meet her?
S: Oh, yes, oh yes, I met her many times.
M: Well, for those who haven’t, she was quite tall for an Indian woman, with great presence and dignity. She dressed in a South Indian style, which was always the cotton blouse with beautiful heavy, heavy, heavy silk saris, but she wore them differently: it was wrapped around her waist in a different way. It wasn’t the over-the-shoulder way, and it had great elegance. Eventually I saw her collection of saris, which is something extraordinary. She was very silent, and rather shy; and slightly austere.
S: A marvelous lady.
M: When Alain greeted her, she said, “I have found you a house.” She proceeded to drive us to the house that she had rented for us. She also rented all the furniture from Spencer’s in town, and she lent us her Brahmin cook to cook one meal a day! I couldn’t believe the hospitality. She didn’t know Frances and she didn’t know me. She knew Alain, and because he’d written to her that Krishnaji wanted so and so, she’d gone to all this trouble! Really extraordinary. So we moved in; Frances and I had rooms upstairs with a bath. Alain was downstairs, and we had a kitchen, where I was to get breakfast and supper. And [laughing] I remember my first glimpse of the kitchen, a room about ten feet by twenty feet, a sizeable room, and at the narrow end were shelves with cooking pots, which looked like silver, but they don’t have handles. At the other end of the room was a stone counter with a square hole cut out, above which was a cold water faucet. That was the sink. To the left of that was something familiar to you people who camp, which is a kerosene burner [S laughs]. A huge one.
S: [laughing] So, you had a luxury kitchen!
M: Yes [laughs]. That’s all there was! There was nothing else.
S: But you’re supposed to fill it with about a dozen servants and…
M: Well, the one servant arrived, the Brahmin cook. He was a very handsome young man, very polite and austere and dignified, but I saw him preparing lunch on the floor. Chop, chop, chop, chop, on the floor. Now, because he’s Brahmin he’s very clean, and I realized that I had to not go in there without taking off shoes and having clean feet! [Laughs.] But even so, on the floor!
S: Yes, I know! [Laughing.]
M: So, my first meal was breakfast, but before that the milk-man came with water buffalo milk. He carried it in a huge pitcher. The customers had their container, and he would pour it into your container. And I remember there was always the dirty thumb that was holding it like this and the milk cascaded down over the dirty thumb. The milk had to be boiled, so you don’t fuss about these things. [S chuckles.] So I would boil the milk. There was also an earthenware closed pot for boiled water which was filled by the Brahmin cook. You could trust the water. I made toast on the camp-fire thing [laughing] with toast stuck on a fork.
S: [laughing] So it tasted of kerosene!
M: Yes, and there was fruit, carefully cut so you didn’t get dysentery. That was breakfast [laughs].
That was interesting as a first experience. Frances didn’t do anything about breakfast in those days. I got the breakfast alone [chuckles]. Anyway, I was invited over to Vasanta Vihar. Krishnaji showed me all around and explained that when he was no longer welcome in the TS that Rajagopal collected donations to buy the six acres of Vasanta Vihar. They had intended to build two small buildings, but somehow all this great big thing was built, which wasn’t what Krishnaji would have chosen, but there it was. He showed me everything, including the big hall, which you will remember so well, and his rooms upstairs, etc., the whole thing.
After that we went for a walk. Mrs. Jayalakshmi drove us to the deer park, and the three of us walked around the deer park. That was nice.
Then, the public talks began, at which point I got the flu. I was really sick and had to stay in bed. I remember thinking that I was going to get pneumonia because I got sicker and sicker and sicker. Finally, one night I went down to Alain’s room and said, “Look, what am I going to do?” He responded, “I promise you, as your friend, that if you really get seriously ill, I will get you to the American hospital in Paris if I have to drag you there myself.” That reassured me. I had a terrible feeling that I’d be put in an Indian hospital. I kept having visions, I suppose from movies, where there’s a caravan crossing the desert and someone falls off a camel, and the rest just continue on.
S: [laughing] Yes.
M: And that was going to be me! Left in India! [Laughing.] So, my spirits picked up and I guess I conquered my bug. The moment my fever dropped, Alain told Krishnaji, who said, “Bring her here.” Alain came back and told me, “Krishnaji wants to see you NOW!” So I staggered up and put clothes on. He wanted to do, what we have come to call, “healing.” That was the first time he ever did that with me. He sat me down in a chair, put his hands on my shoulders so lightly it was like a bird’s wing touching me. He then asked me where I felt the illness, and I had, of course, terrible sinus congestion. He put his hand on, above, and beneath my eyes as though smoothing it away with the tips of his fingers. Then he put one of his hands over one eye and the other hand on one shoulder. The pain stopped instantly. He said, “Now, you come every day and I’ll do it.”
S: What did you feel besides the pain stopping?
M: I wanted to weep at his kindness. I was so touched. It was terribly moving. Years later, he once helped my housekeeper, Filomina, who had terrible arthritis. She said to me afterward, “A les mani de un santo.” He has the hands of a saint. That’s what it was like. [Pause.]
S: Did you feel anything else or think anything else at the time?
M: No, just very quiet, very quiet. Not some deliberate intended quiet, but one felt it when he did this. I could have sat there after he finished for I don’t know how long.
He would always go away afterwards and shake his hands like he was shaking it all away.
S: Yes, like trying to shake water off one’s hands.
M: Yes, but he seemed to me to be doing something like shaking the illness off. And then he’d go and wash his hands.
Ask me questions.
S: Who was running the Indian activities in those days?
S: What was the atmosphere like in the place? Did you feel welcome?
M: Yes, I did, in spite of some ridiculous things. They were all very nice.
In Madras I don’t remember too many walks. It was before the walking-on-the-beach routine started. Instead, he walked in the deer park.
S: Didn’t Krishnaji walk to Jayalakshmi’s house and back?
M: Maybe. She was just down the road.
S: I know. I thought he used to…I walked there with him.
M: I didn’t go on walks with him in Madras, really. Except to the deer park.
S: Were there discussions at lunch and things like that that you would join?
M: Yes, occasionally. The first lunch I was invited to was held in that big room where all the meetings are held. There was a table at the end of it. Madhavachari was there and Krishnaji, and I don’t remember who else.
S: I also wanted to ask you about Tapas. Do you remember Tapas?
S: She was such a sweet lady and so devoted to Krishnaji. I assume she must have been there in Delhi and in Rajghat and in Madras.
M: Probably. A little tiny woman! She had a running war with Sunanda, Pupul, and Nandini, all the people who were supposedly looking after Krishnaji because she kept his Indian clothes. She saw to them, and she would never [laughing] tell them where she kept them. [S laughs.] She was very possessive of them. So, they had a crisis every year when he was about to arrive, trying to round up his Indian wardrobe. The clothes would suddenly materialize, but [laugh] only after they were thoroughly frustrated! [S and M both laugh.] It was her territorial assertion.
S: Yes, yes. Didn’t she also do the cleaning in his room?
M: Yes, she did. And his bathroom. I’ll jump ahead, since Tapas has come up; but this takes place later, when she was here at Brockwood. The Siddoos paid for her trip. She also came to Switzerland that summer. By this time I was doing all these things, so she grilled me, “What happens to his shirts?”
I said, “They are washed at home.”
“Who washes them?”
“Oh. Who irons them?”
“Oh,” she said. [Both M and S laugh.] Things were satisfactory. I didn’t send them out with other people’s dirty linen!
S: Heaven forbid! [More laughing]. And someone unworthy didn’t iron them! [Both laugh again.] Yes.
M: She was very sweet, very sweet. [Laughing.]
So, from Madras we drove to Rishi Valley.
Krishnaji drove with Pama and I forget who else. Alain, Frances, and I were in a separate car that I had hired with a driver. We all set off at four in the morning, as you will remember, the usual time to set off for Rishi Valley.
Krishnaji’s car was ahead, and he had told me to look for the Southern Cross, which I’d never seen. I remember driving through that morning before sunrise and the bullock carts coming in from the country bringing vegetables to the city; those white bullocks prodding slowly along, not to be hurried, and the lorries honking—the whole thing. Going through villages where people were huddled around small, smoky fires and all wrapped up, especially their heads and necks wrapped up to keep them warm in the predawn of India.
You must remember it too.
S: Yes, it always seemed extraordinary.
M: We were to all meet up and have a picnic breakfast somewhere along the road. But when we got to a certain road block, a check point as it were, it turned out that our car didn’t have the proper papers.
S: Oh yes, I remember at one point they were only licensed to drive in certain areas.
M: Exactly, so the car had to go back to a place called Nallore. After much gesticulating, talking, and so forth, we hired another taxi, which had the proper papers. So, we got to RishiValley rather late. The other car had stopped for the picnic breakfast, but we never turned up. Krishnaji was out in front of the old guest house when we arrived.
I immediately felt better in RishiValley, because it was a different climate: dry. It was like Arizona for me. All my troubles with that flu-like illness ended with the good climate.
Krishnaji was in that little room of his upstairs in the old guest house.
S: Let’s stop here because we only have about five minutes of tape left, and it will be easy to pick up our conversation from here. You’ve just arrived at RishiValley.
S: Is there anything else you can think of before your arrival in Rishi Valley?
M: I just remember the strange look of the valley, with those extraordinary rocks that have always looked to me like children’s toys that must have been put there by a giant baby and balanced just so. Nature couldn’t create them somehow.
M: Nature wouldn’t have done it that way.
S: [chuckles] Yes.
M: There is one thing I’ve forgotten to mention that happened in Madras before we went to RishiValley that year. George Vithoulkas suddenly turned up. He’d gotten, I guess, scared of the swami. He thought some sort of black magic was going on. Anyway, he turned up, and Alain was really angry at him for the way he’d behaved, because Alain felt responsible for having introduced him to Krishnaji. It got to be rather unpleasant between the two of them.
So, George left, and he left rather rudely, as I recall. It was all quite unpleasant.
Most of the Indians were very disapproving of all this, but they rather blamed Alain for it.
S: Why did they blame Alain? I know that opinions about Alain were pretty low in India.
M: Yes, they were. Part of it was over this: they blamed him for George, but I think they were willing to blame him because Alain was suddenly an intruder for them. They had to go through Alain, to some degree, to see Krishnaji or arrange things for him. They felt he was an intruder, and they didn’t like him for that.
S: Ah ha, Alain must have been the first assistant, or I don’t know what you’d call him, to Krishnaji who wasn’t Indian since Annie Besant or Leadbeater, because it was Rajagopal after Nitya, and Rajagopal was…
M: Yes, he was one of them.
S: Yes, it was an Indian show. Yes, one of them, and then suddenly it was not one of them.
S: That never occurred to me, but that must have been…,of course.
M: I think there was great resentment. And Alain wasn’t deferential…
S: … as one should be to these….
M: Yes, yes.
S: I know. [Laughs.]
M: Madhavachari particularly disliked him.
S: Alright. We’ll pick up in Rishi Valley.
 So called because a train went from London to Dover, then the ferry went from Dover to the French port of Calais, then a train would take people from Calais to Paris. Back to text.
 Carlo and Nadine Suarès lived in an 8th floor apartment at 15 Avenue de la Bourdonnais. Back to text.
 Mary’s husband had died in Rome shortly after completing the film Ben-Hur. Back to text.
 A colorful Indian tent shelter, with removable sides used for outdoor ceremonies, marriages, large parties, etc. Back to text.
 Steps, usually stone, that lead down to a body of water. Back to text.
 These are wide steps that are specifically designed for the cremation of the dead. Back to text.
 A superb cook who had cooked for Krishnaji in India, off and on, since the late 1950s. Back to text.
The place where the Buddha first taught, and the site of the first Buddhist monastery. Back to text.
 The school dog of the Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Centre in England from 1986 until 1998. Back to text.
 A building built in the early 1930s for Krishnamurti’s work and a place for him to stay in Madras. It later became the offices of the Krishnamurti Foundation of India. Back to text.
 The Theosophical Society. Back to text.
 Sunanda Patwardhan, Pupul Jayakar, and her sister Nandini Mehta were involved in Krishnamurti work at the time, and were to become prominent members of the Krishnamurti Foundation of India. Back to text.
 The two Siddoo sisters, Sarjit and Jackie, were founders of the Canadian Krishnamurti Committee. Back to text.