Issue 22 – March 27, 1972 to May 6, 1972
This issue covers events that were almost entirely in California, but we see some significant things occur. The legal case intensifies, and a settlement outside of the courts seems all but impossible. Krishnaji discusses the future of the organizations he has created since his break with KWINC; what should the foundations do after his death, etcetera.
Also of significance are the first meetings on education in Ojai. This is clearly the beginning of the Krishnamurti school in Ojai.
We also see Krishnaji’s first request to Mary that she write about what it was like to be with him; a request he would repeat for the rest of his life.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 22
Mary: We were supposed to start at April first, 1972, but we have to backtrack.
Scott: That’s right, but we’re being thorough.
M: In the last discussion I had only consulted my little diary for the last part of March, but, in fact, I have entries in my big diary for March twenty-seventh to the end of the month.
S: And we don’t mind hearing the same things again in more detail. [Laughs; “hmmpff” sound from M.]
M: Alright, we’re now in the big book, so-called, which isn’t very big, but anyway, it begins Tuesday, twenty-seventh March, 1972, Malibu to Ojai. Oh, this is boring.
S: No, it’s not.
M: ‘Lovely, bright morning. Dorothy telephoned from Brockwood. We have a building permit.’ I’ve probably already gone into that.
S: No, we didn’t hear a thing about it. [Chuckling.]
M: Well [chuckling], ‘she called about the tender estimates from the builders. It is £63,000 sterling and we have only £46,000 sterling.’ Doesn’t that sound familiar to you? [S laughs.] ‘It was not a competitive bid, which the builder knew. It was a company which had given a low bid based on Hoppen’s plans for other buildings. To get other bids will cost us £1,200 sterling, delay of considerable time, and meanwhile the costs are rising. Krishnaji spoke briefly to her and we suggested asking Ian Hammond how much of the Cloisters can be done, including doing preparation for the foundation…’ You understood that when I read it before.
M: So you remember. [Seems to be reading again.] ‘…for the whole. Krishnaji wants to get on with what we can and hope to raise money for the balance. She will write to Perrines.’ I know I already said this.
S: Yes, but we only got an abbreviated version of this.
M: ‘We packed and did a hundred things before we left for Ojai. Then, Philippa comes by’—we’ll skip that. ‘Alain also was there. He was giving a talk at the Bodhi bookshop the next day. Krishnaji and I got off at 3:35 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., which made too much sun on him in the car, and he felt sick. We got to Ojai and the Lilliefelt’s at 5:15 p.m. Theo was there, but Erna only arrived later, having spent the whole day with Saul Rosenthal at Rajagopal’s deposition. It took place in the KWINC office and Terry Christen, Rajagopal’s lawyer, and a court stenographer were present.’
And then I’ll skip the part about what Erna said about it because of legal constraints.
[Chuckling.] ‘At one point,’ this isn’t very vital, ‘Rajagopal denied that the old office next to Pine Cottage was a KWINC office. “It was,” said Krishnaji’ [strong mimicking voice, followed by laughing]. ‘Rajagopal rambled, evaded, doesn’t listen to the whole question before replying.’ That’s very bad if you’re a good deposition-giver. One of the cardinal rules—I was schooled in this as it came to me eventually, listen to the question thoroughly before you answer; don’t jump in. Anyway, ‘Krishnaji and I stayed for the night.’
On March twenty-ninth, ‘Erna spent the second day with Rosenthal at the KWINC office on Rajagopal’s deposition. I marketed and did all the meals. Krishnaji said that he had not slept too well. He felt psychic crossfire “of those two”’—meaning Rosalind and Rajagopal. ‘At eleven, he held the first of the educational gatherings. About forty people in all, mostly professors, and a few psychiatrists. I taped it. Alain arrived from Malibu. Alan Kishbaugh was there, Albion Patterson, etcetera. I made lunch for Krishnaji, Theo, and myself. Later, we walked down the road and met Erna returning from the deposition. I walked back and talked.’
My diary says, ‘Rosenthal bore down on Rajagopal about the threats to Krishnaji, but Rajagopal wouldn’t come out with it…’—he wouldn’t admit it. ‘It showed him that we knew what he had been up to and we are not responding to the threats. The cross-complaint was gone through and it said that the rest of us have sided with Krishnaji, that Erna had played the tape to someone, and that I prevented Rajagopal from seeing Krishnaji. Rajagopal said that he hadn’t seen Krishnaji alone, and then said that he had only seen him alone for about five minutes. He denied that he had taped that meeting. He admitted to taping Krishnaji’s telephone conversation in 1966, the last call to Malibu before Krishnaji left California, and also taping a meeting they had face-to-face. He denied any other taping. Saul said that he felt Rajagopal might want to settle soon. There was to be another deposition meeting next week. Saul had to give the court stenographer a lift, and his comment on Rajagopal was that he is “a lying bastard.”’ This shocked Krishnaji because of the language, but as Erna told the whole story, Krishnaji again said, “he is a crook,”’—[soft chuckling]—‘“he is lying.”’ I underlined that four or five times. [More chuckling by both M and S.] ‘Erna and I sent a cable to Mary Cadogan, asking her to find out if Miss Dodge left a will in which Krishnaji and Rajagopal are mentioned.’
March thirtieth, a Thursday. ‘Clear, exquisite morning. Krishnaji came to me and said “Come, I want to show you this place.” We went out on the Lilliefelt’s driveway and looked down the valley toward the mountains, and Krishnaji was half in tears at the beauty of this place, which he loves so much. The air was filled with the smell of orange blossoms, and he had me listen to a hum, which was bees, thousands of bees, that work in the orange groves. I said that if he would like it, I would find a house here, and sell Malibu. He wouldn’t let me finish the sentence even, but later came to thank me. Today he didn’t feel the psychic crossfire of Rajagopal and Rosalind. He had slept well. The silence here is good for him. No noise of cars or even the sea.’
‘At 11 a.m., he held the second educational gathering, mostly on comparison. Afterwards, Krishnaji went in Alan Kishbaugh’s BMW for a spin and pronounced it a good car, next to a Mercedes. [S chuckles.] I made lunch for Krishnaji, Erna, and Theo, and then went for a back treatment. I ran into Alain Naudé in the post office and asked him why he had in 1966’—oh, this is funny—‘gone over to the office next to Pine Cottage when Rajagopal was there meeting with Krishnaji.’ This was when we first came back and Rajagopal and Krishnaji had a meeting alone and Alain and I sat in the little flat in which he was staying next to Pine Cottage. And at one point, I’d forgotten what happened, but Alain wanted to go over and wanted me to come with him. We thought that they were meeting in Krishnaji’s flat in Pine Cottage.
S: But in fact they were meeting in the office?
M: Yes. And this is Alain’s remembrance of it, which I’d forgotten. ‘He remembered that we had thought they were meeting in Pine Cottage and that Rajagopal might be taping it. We went over looking for wires or something that might show this [laughing]. It happens that they were meeting in the office, which we didn’t realize, and Rajagopal came to the door.’ In his deposition, Rajagopal said that we had been listening. We hadn’t. ‘It happens that we were right about the taping because Rajagopal admitted that he had taped that conversation.’ [M chuckles.]
‘Krishnaji and I had supper alone, Erna and Theo being out, and Krishnaji had fun looking up things in a Random House Dictionary, which has all kinds of things in it.’ [Chuckles.]
‘Friday, March thirty-first, Ojai. Krishnaji held his third meeting of the educational gathering, a good meeting.’
S: Could we just stop for a minute, because that’s the kind of thing that Krishnaji would do.
M: With the dictionaries?
S: Well, have fun doing something like that…
S: …some small thing, that he would suddenly have a lot of fun doing.
M: Yes. He liked to look at certain objects. I can’t give a category for what the objects were.
S: Well, give us some examples.
M: Looking up words is one of them. And what else? Well, he’d also be fascinated by very ordinary objects I bought, or things I got for the house, just what you buy when you go to the market.
S: Yes, I know.
M: He’d never done things like that.
S: Yes, I remember he would peer through all the shopping bags.
M: Yes. He had me put them out in the old kitchen in Malibu.
M: He had me put them out on this very table that we’re sitting at here at Brockwood. And then he’d look at them [S laughs]…boring things!
S: [laughing more] I know; detergents, cereal boxes, all kinds…
M: Yes, toothpaste. Soap. Kleenex. But he’d look at each one as though…
S: As though he was from outer space or something.
S: Oh, this is what humans buy!
M: Yes. [S laughs more.] I mean, what do you do when you go to a market? Where do you go in? And then you buy? Well, here they were. [Laughs.]
S: Yes. I remember that. I’d completely forgotten that. And saw them, too, at any place, he’d just be…
M: Yes! Yes…
S: …fascinated by anything that was bought.
M: And then, of course, when he went in with me to the health food shop, he would walk around and look at the shelves, again, as if he was from outer space, as if he’d never been in places like that before. He probably hadn’t. [Both laugh.]
S: Remember the time when he wanted to try a new kind of a shampoo because he saw it advertised on a plastic bag in Saanen?
M: Yes, that’s right.
S: We were in Gstaad.
M: Yes, he would always be trying something new.
S: I went out and got the shampoo. [Both laugh.]
M: And he, as you remember, in that cupboard in his Brockwood bedroom, which is now a doorway…
S: I know.
M: …to your room, he had more things in that!
S: Yes. [M laughs.] I know, we’d joke about his cornering the market on certain things.
[S laughs heartily.]
M: I used to say that he had more in that cupboard than Boots had because he liked squirreling things away.
S: Yes, that’s what I mean. He’d cornered the market in one shampoo.
M: Yes, he’d buy several, because we may not be able to get it.
S: Yes, quite right. [Laughter.]
M: And I, of course, encouraged him because I thought it entertained him.
S: Yes. [More chuckling by both.]
M: Anyway…where were we?
S: Incidentally, I still have some of his things.
M: I do, too.
S: Some of his hair things, and some of his…
M: So do I. I have lots of hair oil in Ojai if you ever come to call.
S: Yes. [Much laughter.]
M: But I don’t use hair oil, and I don’t know anybody who does who is worthy of receiving it.
S: Exactly, but when that worthy person come along…[M laughs.]
M: Where are we?
S: Thirtieth, weren’t we?
M: Alright. We already mentioned the good educational gathering. ‘Afterward, a lawyer named Gold brought by Mr. Rempel’—he’s a lawyer from the Blaisdell Institute—‘was asked for lunch. Erna and Theo had dined with him last night and had been asked about the Rajagopal case. This man is an aggressive lawyer. He said our case was political.’ Do you want to hear all this?
S: Mm, hm. Absolutely.
M: ‘Wyman’—he’s one of the partners of Rajagopal’s law firm—‘being a political figure might have pull with the attorney general’s office. Krishnaji gave him a background of the case, the reasons and unreasons for Rajagopal’s animosity, including threats, etcetera. Gold thought we should ask for KWINC to be put in the hands of the Receiver. It might force Rajagopal to settle if it were all taken away from his control. Thinks we could ask the district attorney to act on embezzlement or bring suit against him personally instead of as a member of KWINC. The case can drag on five years with enormous lawyer bills, he said. The Receiver, if effective, could be a cheaper and quicker way to go. At the end of the conversation, it came to light that Faria and Theo had been upset by my returning to talk to Saul Rosenthal alone in our meeting on January thirty-first. I had explained it to Erna in the car on the way home, but apparently that wasn’t enough for Theo till today when I talked about it and my worry over the responsibility of letting an ugly battle shape up around Krishnaji.’ I had gone back to see the lawyer as I wanted to know what we were getting into, and the Lilliefelts were suspicious. I don’t know what they suspected I was up to. People are quite weird.
‘Later Krishnaji, Theo, and I walked up around Thacher Road. On the return, Krishnaji told me what had happened in the night. These are his words, quote: “I have never had this before, this feeling of meditation. I woke up this morning at 5 with the feeling from my center, from my heart that filled the whole valley. It went on for a considerable time, and from that it went to my head and was a most extraordinary thing. It has been pursuing me on the walk. When I was talking to him’”—the lawyer Gold—“‘it was just a voice talking; there was no reaction. It was just happening.”’
April first. ‘Krishnaji had the fourth meeting of the educational gathering’—this was in Ojai—‘and we stayed through lunch with Erna and Theo. An Ojai newspaper had a headline about the suit against Rajagopal. And then all four drove home to Malibu.’ Who were the others? I guess Alan Kishbaugh and Alain Naudé.
Anyway. Nothing much of interest. On April third, ‘there was a tea for eight people who had worked at the Santa Monica talks.’ Nothing of interest. On the fourth, ‘Krishnaji gave interviews and walked with Sidney Field.’
S: Well, that’s interesting.
M: [laughs] You find everything interesting. ‘Mitchell Booth…’ Mitchell Booth, to remind everybody, is the New York lawyer, whom. . .
S: Is your family lawyer.
M: Yes, my family’s lawyer who helped us first evaluate where we were legally with KWINC. He ‘telephoned as we’d asked him to look up Miss Dodge’s will because there was a legal point we wanted to know.’ She had left a living trust for Krishnaji, and also one for Rajagopal, and under it a yearly amount went to each one. I think there was one for Nitya, too, but she died after Nitya died, so I don’t know what happened to that. This is not discussed in the deposition, in which case I shouldn’t talk about it, but Rajagopal had always maintained that he was independently wealthy from benefactors, and at one point Krishnaji used to get his check sent automatically from the New York bank that handled the trust to his bank, which then was in Hollywood. I changed it to Ojai later. And by mistake once, they sent the check for Rajagopal to Krishnaji, which showed how much he was getting. Now, Krishnaji was getting the, I suppose, generous amount—when it was done, but almost meaningless by 1972—amount of £500 sterling a year, which didn’t even buy him a pair of trousers in 1972 [both laugh]. Nevertheless, it was his entire income. Rajagopal’s was less, so he didn’t become independently wealthy via Miss Dodge. So, I’d asked Mitch to find out if her will was probated there and if there was any mention of Krishnaji or Rajagopal, and he said there was no mention. The amount goes under agreement with a living trust made for her niece, a Mrs. Vanda de Webb, which means that probably the money went to Krishnaji and Rajagopal during their lifetimes and eventually to her niece. But that’s a living trust…living trusts don’t come up in probate.
April fifth, ‘Sidney Roth and a cameraman from San Diego came to the house and Krishnaji was videotaped in color, walking about the gardens. This is to be used in the titles of the San Diego films. We had a very quick lunch and left for four days in Ojai. Krishnaji drove the second half of the distance. We went to the Lilliefelt’s and left our things and then went back into Ojai, where Krishnaji had a haircut. Then we came back and walked with Erna and Theo. There was a good plain article in the Ojai Valley News on the talks in Ojai this coming weekend. At supper, Krishnaji brought up the subject he had raised with me earlier: What should be done by the Foundations when he dies? He spoke at first of support for people who might travel and speak, but the Lilliefelts and I too wonder how one would choose such people, even if there were any to consider? Only Krishnaji can judge that. Again, I had an idea that came, as it had about the Educational Centre while sitting in the same place at the Lilliefelt’s table, that a Krishnamurti library to house books, tapes, films, and people could come to study quietly would be part of the answer.’ Well!
S: How about that?!
M: I thought of that? That’s what it says.
S: Well, good.
M: It said “I” or Krishnaji; I never said “I.” I didn’t remember that. ‘The rest of the three of us felt the Foundations should pursue every current activity, i.e., continue publishing of all the books. Krishnaji then dreamt of what to do if KFA gets the land here from KWINC. He felt the Oak Grove and adjoining fields for parking should be kept while he continues to speak and that the rest be sold, except the McAndrew Road property. The office there becomes an archive office, always keeping the present one in town.’ Well, as you know, we didn’t keep the office in town, very long.
‘Pine Cottage becomes rearranged into a library and discussion center, and Arya Vihara be fixed for his living place. When I spoke of the sense of contamination there a few days ago, he had said, “Oh, one night there and we will sweep it away.”’ [M and S both chuckle.] ‘“You must do the house, nobody else”’—he meant me.
‘“He didn’t go into all the changes we spoke of to the Lilliefelts, but did say the upstairs of Arya Vihara where Rosalind and Radha lived are poorly planned and cheaply made and should be removed. India should make Vasanta Vihar into a center for a library, etcetera, continue the schools and education; England should continue the publications and support Brockwood both as a school and as a center. He spoke about my having use of the West Wing for life, which I said I couldn’t possibly do. Krishnaji said, quote: “I say you must have it. What you do is up to you, but you like England and it should be your home there.” Erna pointed out that all of us have probably only about fifteen-something years to carry on. Krishnaji said, “I am going to live another fifteen years.” He mentioned cremation, scattering of his ashes, no ceremony, no churches, temples. Erna said that all these matters should be legally recorded as his intentions.’
‘We spoke then about the third deposition of Rajagopal tomorrow, the point that he may be a Theosophist. His wife is. Casselberry had joined the liberal Catholic Church, according to Sidney Field, and that others on the KWINC Board have shown open hostility to Krishnaji as well as acting counter to his teaching by those affiliations. I feel he should be asked under oath’—this is Rajagopal—‘if he is a Theosophist. He could be planning to turn KWINC over ultimately on his death to the Theosophical Society. Joy Mills, the present TS president, whom Krishnaji saw here on March eighth, in spite of telling Krishnaji she would withdraw from her election to the Happy Valley Board, accepted the membership.’
Thursday, April sixth, Ojai. ‘Erna went with Saul Rosenthal to the third day of the Rajagopal deposition. Fred Volz, the editor of the Ojai Valley News, interviewed Krishnaji about Ojai, what its quality was, the years Krishnaji has known it, and what will happen to it. The interview was taped by Volz. Krishnaji, Theo, and I lunched. The text of Rajagopal’s first deposition arrived, 170 pages. I read about half of it after lunch, and it reads very evasively to my mind; at times, hardly a sentence is grammatical English; gives ridiculous explanations for holding all the land, for forming the K & R Trust and the Annie Besant Trust; real estate transactions are very weak. He said his birth date was seven September 1900, born in Periyakulam, South India.’
Then I went to the village, and ran into Erna and Saul at the KFA office. They came back to the house while I fetched Krishnaji and Theo, who were on a walk. We all had tea together. The deposition is finished and Saul said useful things were in today’s. Erna said explanations…’ [seems to make an aside] well, I can’t go on about it…‘it’s just too much, she said.’
S: Yes. Because it’s about the deposition?
S: Yes, okay.
M: ‘Rajagopal did admit that he was a lifelong Theosophist’—it was about his money that he didn’t want anybody to read—‘and so was his wife, Casselberry, and Austin Bee. He declined to answer about the others, i.e., Porter, Vigeveno, Weideman. Krishnaji was visibly shocked by all this and said, “How could a man that had corrected the talks and been part of this be at the same time a Theosophist?” Saul talked a little to Krishnaji about his own deposition, this week. Krishnaji said he felt a little nervous. An important question is going to be why Krishnaji broke with Rajagopal and KWINC. Saul left and all of us went for a walk. At supper, Krishnaji talked more about how Rajagopal could have become so crooked. Erna and I both feel he is even more devious than we suspected and is so deeply antagonistic to Krishnaji that he is trying to destroy him and the meaning of his teachings. Does he really believe in Theosophy? Can he believe in anything except his own overweening sense of self?’
Friday, April seventh. ‘Another clear, warm morning. Krishnaji was out early looking at the mountains and down the valley. The smell of orange blossoms is like the warm sea. The morning dove and the bees are the sounds. Krishnaji again talked about making the eleven acres on McAndrew Road a center office, Pine Cottage the library/discussion center. Arya Vihara a private place for him during his lifetime, and then convertible for a quiet place to read, listen to tapes, etcetera. He also spoke again about Rajagopal being a Theosophist—is shocked and appalled by it. I worked all morning on letters, made lunch, and in the afternoon went to the chiropractor, Dr. Lay. I fetched our tickets from the travel service, marketed, and looked over the Bowl for tomorrow’s talk. When I came back, I found Krishnaji and Theo just finishing a walk. At Krishnaji’s urging, I walked alone and encountered Albion Patterson, who said that he thought Annalisa Rajagopal was parked outside the Lilliefelt’s house on Thursday when Krishnaji was seeing Volz.’ She was scuttling around; who knows what she was doing?
Saturday, April eighth. ‘Krishnaji took me out to see the wonder of the lovely morning, the hills and valley. He had slept well. I prepared lunch, then took the Nagra to Libbey Park in Ojai where Krishnaji is to give two talks this weekend. I set it up and left it to Alan Kishbaugh to watch while I came back for Krishnaji. Erna has stayed at the house till I came, feeling uneasy at Rajagopal’s people doing…anything. I drove Krishnaji at 11 a.m. to the talk and it was videotaped in color by Ben Lewin…’ He was a photographer.
S: It was videotaped?
M: Yes. ‘…arranged by Sidney Roth, who was there. A large, attentive audience. Krishnaji spoke of beauty, of the valley, of preserving it. Most of the talk was on thought. Erna said that Loebl was there with a tape recorder.’ Loebl was Rajagopal’s first lawyer. ‘Casselberry was there, too. Kishbaugh dismantled the Nagra for me and joined us for lunch. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji saw Mark Lee, his wife, and the twins. Sidney Roth and Martha Longenecker came with slides and the titles for the San Diego State University film of talks and videotaped dialogues with Trungpa, Anderson, and Shallot. They went over the rest of introductions, and the text of introductions, with Theo and me. I went to market. Krishnaji and Theo walked, then Erna and I walked passing Ruth’s house. Donald Hoppen came out.’
S: Ruth Tettemer?
M: Yes, she lived down McAndrew Road from the Lilliefelts.
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘Donald Hoppen came out to greet us. He was quite friendly. He had written a note asking to see Krishnaji and me. I will try to arrange it here tomorrow. Said he was at two of the Santa Monica talks. I made a soup for supper that Krishnaji liked. [Chuckles.] It had everything…’
S: Good. That’s what we want.
M: ‘…and he stirred it and sniffed it appreciatively. It was leeks and celery mostly, with one potato…’ Do you want everything?
S: Yes, everything.
M: ‘…one zucchini, lots of parsley, the outer leaves of a lettuce, and cubes of concentrated vegetable broth, all put through the blender. At supper, Krishnaji talked of Rajagopal, his refusal of Krishnaji’s healing, his self-pity. Krishnaji quoted Rajagopal as saying, “People will always look after you.” Krishnaji made a gesture at me, “But me, who will care about me?” Erna said that Rajagopal told her that he and Rosalind had a shared spiritual bond. Krishnaji wondered how, with this extraordinary protection that has characterized his life, that those two’—Rajagopal and Rosalind—‘were allowed to come into it as they did.’
M: Do we not all wonder that?
M: Sunday, the ninth of April. ‘We went out to look down the valley and listen to the bees and the morning dove, which sat on a tree and made its lovely sound. I gave Krishnaji his breakfast tray, started lunch, and then took the Nagra to Libbey Park, set it up, and left it again with Alan Kishbaugh. I came back to fetch Krishnaji to his second talk. A strong, superb one, tremendous energy in it. He said, “Order is not within the field of consciousness.” Bill Quinn, from past days in Ojai, spoke to him briefly after the talk, almost in tears. In the car, Krishnaji was shaking from the outpouring of speaking. It had been broadcast live on radio and was videotaped. He had worn a middling dark red knitted shirt, which came out well on colored video. We drove back very slowly, followed by a hippy. Krishnaji spoke to him. He was too choked up to speak to Krishnaji and later when we left, he was waiting by the gate to see Krishnaji again. Mark Lee and family came by for Krishnaji to touch the children’s heads. His wife brought idli, which Krishnaji, Erna, Alan Kishbaugh, Ruth, and I had with our lunch. At lunch, Krishnaji gave Kishbaugh a summary of what Theosophists believe, part of it very funny. I did a roll on the Leicaflex of him across the table as he talked.’ I have those pictures in the other room.
M: ‘After lunch, we had a trustee meeting. When it was over, Donald Hoppen saw Krishnaji. I spoke briefly to him as he left and he said his being upset and angry is something he now looks on as a passing phase. Krishnaji and I then left and drove home to Malibu in time for supper. It had been a long and full day for Krishnaji, but he wanted to watch High Noon, a movie on television, and it was a diversion from all that had gone on.’
S: Donald Hoppen was talking about his own being angry?
M: Yes, he was angry at…
S: …at Brockwood and things.
M: Yes. I think it was because we didn’t build his buildings for the school.
Monday, the tenth of April. ‘Krishnaji found Candles in the Sun  in the bookcase and he read in it. He read me the part in which Lady Emily and others resigned from the TS and Dr. Besant offered to as well when Krishnaji broke with it. “And yet Rajagopal didn’t,” said Krishnaji. “How could he remain in it? This is worse than his stealing money.” He told me, and probably Erna, that if he’d known that Rajagopal continued to be a Theosophist all those years, he never would have let him edit the talks.
S: That’s interesting.
S: It’s also interesting that Annie Besant offered to resign from the TS.
M: Yes, yes. He often talked about that.
S: I didn’t know about that.
M: Oh, yes. She said, “I’ll give up all this and follow you.” And he felt she shouldn’t.
‘Krishnaji and I walked on the beach road. At lunch, after reading Candles in the Sun, he spoke of “protecting the body”, how it is necessary. Crossing the beach road together, Krishnaji paused and a car came along fast with the sun in its eyes. I called to Krishnaji, who was just out of my reach, and he said, “I see it, I see it,” but he didn’t move. He has an odd tendency never to act quickly when there is danger from traffic. He says he sees it as though that was enough.’ [S laughs.]
S: Maybe it was.
M: [laughs] I remember the first time crossing Piccadilly road with him: he was about to step into traffic and I, without thinking, grabbed him. And he said very casually, “You just saved my life.” And I was horrified, and he said, “Well, it wouldn’t happen if I were alone. Then I pay attention.” [S chuckles.] So, I thought, my god [S laughing], I have to save his life every time we come to cross a road, possibly. And once he went—it’s probably in here somewhere—I left him for a fitting at Huntsman. We were going to lunch at Fortnum and when I came back, he’d gone on his own! I was in panic wondering which road he’d taken and rushed out, and he then reappeared. He not only crossed, but he crossed back, twice. Such things [S laughing] shortened my life span. [M giggles.]
Anyway, where are we? Oh, Tuesday, eleven April. ‘We took a picnic, did a few errands in town, ate in the car, and met Erna at the law office. We conferred with Saul Rosenthal and David Leipziger about Krishnaji’s deposition tomorrow. He was told to listen to the whole question, be sure it is understood, and answer what you know or remember. We came back to Malibu and spent the night.’
‘In the morning, Krishnaji asked me to write each day, “What is it like to be with a man from Madanapalle.”’ [M and S laugh.] ‘He said I must be able to write well. He has been reading Out of Africa because of my suggestion and sees that it is a style which means much to me. He said to do this, and that it is more important than all those letters to spend “an hour or two each day.” This is something that I would like to do most deeply. Where that hour or two is each day is to be found, god knows! I am drowning in deskwork, hopelessly behind. There are days after days when I cannot even read some of the mail that I should be answering. But he is right. And if he wants me to do this, “do it!” as he would say. He is confident about tomorrow.’
Wednesday, April twelve. ‘Saul Rosenthal came at 9:30 a.m. Then, a Mr. Nevel, a court reporter, then came Terry Christen, Rajagopal’s lawyer, and his assistant, G. Gilbert. I suddenly looked out the kitchen window and, completely unannounced, saw Rajagopal, Nima Porter, and Annie Vigeveno. I met them on the driveway and walked ahead of them to the house to warn Krishnaji and Erna. It was a shock to Krishnaji and an angry one to Erna and me. We sat at the extended table in the living room, Krishnaji facing the ocean. I sat just behind him and tried to draw the baleful stares of Rajagopal. He looked like an angry ancient baboon, a tense mouth, heavy, decayed body, and hands clasped and twisting, and angry eyes moving as if at a tennis match to the questioner and back. He would stare at my stare, not wanting to cede, and I had the feeling of calmly sending what I thought of him along the wire of his stares. [Chuckles.] Porter and Vigeveno sat at the end sofa, old and endlessly ugly, Vigeveno tense and hidden behind very black glasses. Tense, pursed mouth. Porter in her crazy ranch-hand face’—I was really not very flattering when I wrote this—‘sat in frozen attitudes, twisted over with her hands over her face. They looked cold and dead.’
‘Krishnaji spoke in a deep, slightly hoarse voice, slowly, carefully. When he became tired in the afternoon, he had difficulty concentrating on Christen’s questions and asked often for their repetition.’
‘During the break for lunch, Krishnaji went into the dining room and his body shook from head to foot. He lay down in his room for half an hour, and it resumed until 4:30. In the morning, Christen had asked for long explanations of Theosophy and what had happened in the early years. It occurred to me that he was trying to tire Krishnaji before more pertinent questions. Krishnaji answered carefully, giving more than necessary and making no derogatory references to Rajagopal. It is so against his nature to speak critically of someone that even in this context, he cannot do it. He also, out of a politeness, gave us margins for doubt in some of his answers, as though not wanting to contradict Christen. After it was over, he looked drained. When we saw that Rajagopal and the others had gone, Erna telephoned Theo to come, too, and he rushed from Ojai. He accompanied Krishnaji on the beach walk, and Krishnaji came back looking much better. Erna and Theo spent the night here. Krishnaji was shivering a little when he went to bed.’
S: I can’t believe that Rajagopal, Porter, and Vigeveno came to your house.
M: Yes. You see they had a right to be there, but they didn’t communicate they were going to come.
Thursday, the thirteenth of April. ‘Another even longer day of deposition. Again, Rajagopal, Annie Vigeveno, and Mima Porter lumbered in and sat as yesterday. These two days are the only times I have ever seen Krishnaji sit with his legs crossed. At moments of fatigue, he would sit that way. Rajagopal sat opposite at the other end of the table and again was silent but with an attitude of shrugged shoulders and unspoken indignation. Porter stared out the window with a vacant eye one sees on senile wards.’ [Chuckles.] I’m sorry, it’s…
S: It’s perfect. It’s fine.
M: ‘Vigeveno was controlled, hidden, venomous, but she provided the only humor for us. Before the meetings, I had put a telephone in the living room and suspected that Christen might be instructing her to get the new unlisted number. I had removed the number, leaving the old number [chuckles] on the instrument. In late morning, Vigeveno asked if she could telephone and when she had finished she scurried back to her purse, opened it, and surreptitiously wrote on a scrap on paper inside it with Rajagopal looking over her shoulder. The old number! [Chuckles.] Which they already have!
S: Why did you change your number?
M: To prevent his telephoning.
S: Right. So it was really to prevent him from calling all the time…
M: Yes, yes. I changed my number, but I figured that might happen, and so it did. ‘This made Krishnaji laugh repeatedly in the evening after I told him. The questioning went on. Christen, a’—what?…A something—‘in a loud striped shirt and tie, gold spectacles and rings, polite words, sharp eyes, ably and doggedly putting forth questions, seemed to be uncertain what would come from Krishnaji or how to deal with him. Rajagopal asked for a break in mid-morning because Krishnaji had forgotten having seen Joy Mills, etcetera, last month in Ojai. This was corrected. Yesterday, before leaving, Christen had left copies of letters he wished to put in as evidence. We had read them; Krishnaji had not. Some were so sad, Krishnaji apologizing to Rajagopal and mentioning a betrayal. They were letters written at Rajagopal’s insistence. One in 1952 was written for Mrs. Bindley in London. Krishnaji was asked to identify his signature, but not the content, for he has no memory of them. Christen had shown us only about a dozen as he is supposed to by agreement.’
You see, probably you know this but, when you’re in a case like this, you can ask that anything offered in evidence be shown to each side in advance of cross-examination.
‘Krishnaji was shown only about a dozen as he is supposed to by agreement with Rosenthal, but Rajagopal offered some forty in all. The copy of the deposition will give the back and forth of all this, but when we stopped for lunch, it looked as if the questioning might be prolonged into tomorrow. Christen had not yet moved into anything touching on Rosalind, but there were signs of it coming closer. Krishnaji lay down after lunch and I took Saul in to speak to him before the resumption. Krishnaji was sleeping in his bed like a child—infinitely touching. He motioned Saul to sit down on the end of the bed, and Saul told him that he was doing very well, 85 percent marks, he said, and Krishnaji listened as if he were taking an examination in school.’
‘We went back in and it was agreed to try to finish today. As the afternoon wore on, Krishnaji was looking so frail, his body in his jeans and blue shirt and sweater seeming to become smaller. And then he seemed to gain a different strength. He began to speak on his own level of trust and friendship in the early days, which allowed him to leave everything to Rajagopal, of how that trust was eroded by Rajagopal until it was gone and he had to break. Toward the end, Christen was asking if it would meet with Krishnaji’s approval, if Krishnaji could accept KWINC doing publishing of the already-published books, not by the TS Press. Krishnaji did not accede to this readily. He continued to speak of lack of confidence in Rajagopal. “Trust once broken is gone,” he said. Finally, Christen asked him if the court found that KWINC could do that and if KFA did the rest, would Krishnaji accept it? Krishnaji replied that one must accept the court’s decision, and if both organizations shared the work then that would happen, and “God help them both.” It was over. They left.’
‘Saul stayed on a little while. He had got into the record that Krishnaji repudiated a letter that Krishnaji wrote to Rajagopal years ago as a “will” that Rajagopal should carry on the work and appoint his own successor after Krishnaji is gone. But Saul wants Krishnaji to draw up a separate, more binding document to counteract this before he leaves California.’
‘We all felt euphoric that it was over. Saul told Krishnaji that he got 100 percent for the afternoon, and Krishnaji was both shaking and laughing, as the strain was beginning to come out of him. He asked Erna and Theo to stay another night, and after Saul left we locked the gate and all walked around the lawn. All through supper we felt a little giddy, at least I did, that the ordeal was over. Krishnaji watched Ironsides on TV and went to bed.’
S: I think you’re going to have to explain, Mary, these letters that Rajagopal had intimidated Krishnaji into writing.
M: I asked Krishnaji what was the so-called betrayal; and Krishnaji said that it was an episode in Athens when they were both staying in a hotel and somebody had asked Rajagopal for an interview with Krishnaji, and Rajagopal turned the person down. Later, Krishnaji was in the lobby, or somewhere, and the person came up to him and begged him for an interview, and he agreed. Rajagopal was in a rage, and said this was a betrayal. This is what he dictated so he could use this as something about Rosalind.
S: And so how did Rajagopal get Krishnaji to write a letter apologizing…?
M: Well, bullying him…
M: …being furious so that Krishnaji would try to calm him down.
S: Yes, I know all this, but I’m asking this for the record.
M: I know you are.
S: So, he wrote apologizing for that betrayal…
S: …but Rajagopal was making it out to be the betrayal as having to do with…
S: …Krishnaji’s relationship with Rosalind.
M: Yes, which it wasn’t at all.
S: Right. Okay. I want to keep all this clear.
M: April the fourteenth. ‘Several thoughts on awakening. The thing is not over. Much in Krishnaji’s testimony can be pulled down in court because he does not remember things, but his evident trust he gave and Rajagopal’s abuse is formidable. Erna and Theo left for Ojai and I went to town to fetch things. Krishnaji was very tired and slept all morning and after lunch. Sidney Field went with him on a beach walk.’
The sixteenth April—
S: What happened to fifteenth?
M: I don’t know.
S: Well, let’s look in the little book.
M: Well, we don’t have to have every last thing.
S: Yes, we do. [M laughs.] This is the definitive history. [Laughs.]
M: You’re being Rajagopal to me! [Chuckles.]
S: Exactly. Unbelievably.
M: Fifteenth April. I may withhold it. [S laughs.] ‘Deskwork. We walked on the beach and Amanda came over to talk.’
S: I think…
M: There’s no reason that you or anyone else [S laughs] should dwell on that…
S: Well, we just don’t want to miss anything. If we know that there was nothing there that we’d missed, that’s okay. [M chuckles.] But just a blank page doesn’t do it, you see.
M: We cannot have 365 different entries for x numbers of years.
S: Yes, we can.
M: [Both laugh. M uses playful “stern” voice:] I may balk! You can’t tell.
April sixteenth. Do you want the sixteenth?
S: Yes, definitely.
M: Apologize! [In a mocking voice.]
S: [laughs] I’m sorry, very sorry. I’ll write you a letter…[Laughing.]
M: [playful voice again] You betrayed me!
S: …that I betrayed you, yes. [Chuckling.]
M: Alright, then. The sixteenth, ‘Krishnaji told me I must have a secretary for all the letters, etcetera. He said I spend all my time working when I should be quiet. Think. Read. Write. And keep around him a serene atmosphere. If I get tired, it tires him. I must do everything to be well and stay well. He expects to live many more years and I must be well to help him. If anything happens to me, if I were in a hospital, he could not be with me, etcetera. He joked about, “the Master only speaks once.” An old Theosophical saying, so I must pay heed. During the evening, he said something was happening as if someone were in the room watching. Something is happening to him, an energy. He said he understood something about a very, very long prolonged life. He chided me a little about not having noticed anything in the room. I had not been quiet.’
‘We watched the sixteenth Apollo take off from Cape Kennedy on television, another moon voyage. In the evening, Phil Dunn called to say to look in the western sky as there was a sickle moon with Venus on its right tip.’ I have a little drawing of that. So extraordinary and beautiful; Krishnaji held up his arms at the sight, his face alight.
M: Now, we’re going to make a jump, which you won’t like, so I’ll go back to the little book.
S: Exactly. [Laughs heartily.]
M: Don’t sound so…[Both break into laughter.]
S: I…I feel…deprived. [M laughs.]
M: April seventeenth. ‘Desk. Perrines to lunch. Krishnaji and I walked on the beach road, and then he spoke of Kundalini, something that cannot be sought and is not a reward. He asked me if I am writing these things down. It’s my job.’
On the eighteenth, ‘Erna, Theo, Ruth came at noon. We held a KFA trustee meeting. Krishnaji drew up a statement to prevent Rajagopal or KWINC having anything to do with his work after his death. They left after lunch and we went for a walk.’
On the nineteenth, ‘I telephoned Mary Cadogan in London about a list of Foundation things. I went early to town. Took’ [chuckle] ‘Timosi…’—that was a cat—‘to the hotel for cats. Then to see Saul Rosenthal with a copy of Krishnaji’s statement about the Krishnamurti Foundations, carrying on the work. Then errands. Krishnaji, when I got back, had rested during the day. He’d seen Mark Lee and the children and walked with Sidney Field.’
April twentieth. ‘We packed all day long. Krishnaji saw the Mark Lee children. I went to the Dunnes’. The astronauts landed on the moon while we listened on TV. Malibu was at its loveliest; flowers, sunlight, and a clear, clean wind from the sea.’
‘I could have packed for hours but gave it up and went to bed.’ [M and S both chuckle.]
The twenty-first. ‘Up at 5 a.m., and we were ready to leave at 7:15 a.m. Filomena went by taxi and Amanda drove Krishnaji and me to the airport. We had thirteen bags! to check. Good lord. We flew at 9 a.m. on TWA. Arrived in New York around 5 p.m. Very slow traffic going into town. TWA didn’t have Krishnaji’s black Anthony bag, but it came on the next flight and was delivered to the Ritz Tower during the night.’ Now I forget whether I’ve mentioned the Ritz Tower before. My father had a very small apartment with two bedrooms and two baths and a little sitting room, and a sort of closet with a cooking thing in it. ‘I had a limousine meet us. We are again in Father’s flat and Filomena is in a studio room. We had supper and went to bed.’
In the morning, on the twenty-second, ‘Narasimhan came to see Krishnaji. After lunch, Filomena and I went to Bloomingdale’s for provisions. Then I came back for Krishnaji, and we walked in the rain to a movie done in Amsterdam.’ I don’t know what that was. ‘Very satisfactory. We walked some more and came back. Krishnaji wants me to keep track of current thought, science, etcetera, and tell him. Then we should do dialogues about these things. Huxley used to inform him in this way.’ I’m afraid I didn’t…
S: So Huxley used to keep track of what was going on in the worlds of thought and sciences.
M: Yes, this is something that Huxley did for him. It wasn’t quite as effective to have me do it, but anyway. [S chuckles.]
The twenty-third ‘was a quiet day. I worked on letters. We went for a walk up to 72nd Street and back down Madison Avenue. We watched the astronauts working on the moon and their capsule take off.’
The twenty-fourth, ‘Narasimhan came to see Krishnaji again and somebody else came. I did errands.’
S: Someone you don’t want to mention, or someone you can’t…
M: No, it doesn’t matter…a woman called Elona Hessey; she lived in New York and did something about getting videotapes onto television.
S: Well, that’s important.
April twenty-fifth. ‘I went to Carnegie Hall to speak to a Mr. Warkow, the manager, about the talks, the lights, the chairs, recording, etcetera. Walked back. Doing some errands on the way, and at 4 p.m. Krishnaji saw Joan Gordon’—that’s another woman who used to do things about television. ‘Mrs. Hesse brought me all the letters she’d done.’ Oh, she helped me as a secretary. She was a nice woman who worked as a secretary, and I was able to get some help with the correspondence.
‘Krishnaji said, “will is violence.” Hughes van der Straten is in this country for a few days on business and he came to see us.’
April twenty-sixth. ‘Narasimhan brought his granddaughter to see Krishnaji at 9:30 a.m. After lunch, Krishnaji and I went to The Garden of Finzi-Continis’—that was an Italian film—‘at the Plaza. We had taken a walk before lunch and took another one after the movie.’
The next day, ‘we walked in the morning and did errands. The Lilliefelts arrived from Ojai.’
On the twenty-eighth, ‘the Lilliefelts came over in the morning. I did errands again.’
S: You’re not skipping over anything?
S: One of the reasons I ask is because I’m looking for something that is on the archives list that you haven’t mentioned yet.
S: Well, it might be in the wrong month, that’s why. It’s Houston Smith, in fact.
M: Houston Smith! That was done in Claremont. We’re in New York now.
S: Yes, well, it’s misplaced.
M: On April twenty-ninth. ‘Krishnaji’s first talk at Carnegie Hall at 11 a.m. I had a car and driver. Everything went perfectly. Krishnaji spoke exactly one hour and then took questions. He said every form of conditioning is an act of separation. Theo came back with us to pick up the Rajagopal deposition and other papers to show Faria, who was here. After lunch, we each took naps and then went for a short walk. Too much wind and dust, Krishnaji said. He felt faint. We came back and he had a runny nose during the night. He took one Bufferin at 1 a.m.’
The next day ‘was Krishnaji’s second talk in Carnegie Hall. He felt alright and the cold symptoms stopped. After lunch I went to see a friend. When I came back, Krishnaji wanted to go to a movie, and we went to one called Ten Days. It was nearby. Then at 6 p.m., I went up to see my brother and his wife. Sat and talked till 8:15, and came back to Krishnaji.’
On the first of May. ‘Narasimhan and child to see Krishnaji. Then at 11 a.m., Mr. Faria and Lilliefelts came. Faria had read the Rajagopal depositions, etcetera, and we discussed it. After lunch, Krishnaji and I went to 9 East 90th Street, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum offices. In the rooms made available by Lisa’—Lisa is my brother’s wife, who was director of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum—‘Krishnaji gave interviews…’ and then it mentions the names of the people.
S: What were their names?
M: One was ‘for the Village Voice magazine’—looks like—‘Eve Berliner. Also Gary Wayne Londrin’—or some such name—‘Paul Bura, and G. Marcello. Then we walked all the way down to 57th Street.’
On the second of May, ‘Krishnaji saw Narasimhan, then Faria. I went to a back specialist, Dr. Hanz Krauss, on the recommendation of Narasimhan. I would have to be in the hospital for three weeks of treatment, so that was out. Then I went to see Mitchell Booth with the legal papers for him to look at. Then more errands and back to lunch.’
‘Krishnaji and I went again to 9 East 90th Street and more interviewS: Frank McClocklin, teacher and editor of a magazine Media and Methods; Marvin Barrett of Columbia University School of Journalism; Cheryl Wake; and lastly Dr. Broadbeck and his nine followers. We walked back to the Ritz Tower. I have a cold.’ [Chuckles.]
The third of May. ‘I went to get Krishnaji’s visa for France, and miscellaneous errands. Felt poorly after lunch. I have grippe. Rainy day, so Krishnaji didn’t go out. He had fever in the night. Paola and John Cohen came for tea’—that’s Paola, Vanda’s daughter, and her husband.
On the fourth, ‘I went to Dr. Wolf, who gave me some quinine tablets for the grippe, and’—something else, some medicine. ‘I fetched Krishnaji’s passport from the French Consulate. A Mr. D. K. Jha, the Ambassador of India, came to lunch. He was an old friend of Krishnaji’s. A nice man. Theo came at 4 p.m. to walk with him and I went as far as the barber in the Lombardy,’ which is the hotel around the corner where Krishnaji had his hair cut.
On May fifth, ‘I felt better. Krishnaji saw Narasimhan and child and then Faria. Filomena went up to Woodlawn.’ That’s the cemetery where my aunt is buried. I went on errands to the bank. My cousin came to see me. Krishnaji’s third volume of his deposition came from Rosenthal. We read it all morning, afternoon, and evening.’
May sixth. ‘Krishnaji gave his third talk in Carnegie Hall. After the usual conference last night on which suit, shirt, and tie to wear; he was in dark blue, his hair a little shorter after the barber visit Thursday. The barber refused to cut it short, long pieces on the side now fly…blow in the wind, like ears, and seem a nuisance to him, but he didn’t go as far as to cut them really short. I think it would look very nice and simple, but he must decide. The Carnegie Hall manager, Mr. Warkow, said when we arrived that Mr. Stokowski was in the audience and would like to greet Krishnaji afterward.’
‘It was a very good talk, beginning with the need for order; a new dimension must be first in the individual. Unfortunately, we usually try to bring order about from the outside. Order is not to be cultivated, it is not competition, not conformity. Order comes from observation and choice-less awareness. Only the man who perceives without distortion, who will have the energy to change, will then, with others, make a change in the world. Order comes without effort, sweetly. A mind that is completely in order is good. In this order lies our whole problem of living. We must stop the disorder which society accepts. The pattern of society is corrupt. Can you put that aside and bring about order in yourself? Knowing yourself is the ending of sorrow. There is sorrow in each individual and there is a collective sorrow. Fulfillment, changing according to a pattern, is a dissipation of energy because it is an avoidance of what is, and you need complete energy to change what is. Order can come about without any effort. Effort implies division and conflict; order is only possible when we observe what is and go beyond it. So there is an ending of sorrow when there is order, and this comes about when one understands oneself. How do you look without division? No observer, but only observation. The observer is only a fragment, it is the ego, the me, the past, the thinker, and the creator of division and conflict. The understanding of disorder is order. For us, love is a series of disorders. How is it possible to have love without a breath of disorder? Love is never to be in conflict in relationship—relationship means responsibility. Love in which there is total responsibility. Death is part of living. We have to understand that extraordinary thing called death, which means: Can I be free of the fear to look at it? The chaste mind has no image. You must find it. There is something permanent, not at the behest of time. That goes beyond death. Something not the product of time, physically or psychologically, not shaped by the mind, the environment, or experience, and therefore not touched by death.’
‘Time, a psychological process we call progress. We need tomorrow because we are lazy. We need to live a complete life without fear or death and with no tomorrow, dying every minute, dying to everything you hold dear, which is memory and to the past, which is the me, the me that says I must be. To die to the past is to die to oneself.’
‘Is there such a thing as immortality? Not me becoming immortal, which is such a small thing, which cannot love. There is only love when the me is not. So, is there eternity? That is what concerns man. If there is something beyond death, which is neither the continuity of what has been, nor seeking a heaven; to come upon that, which is not time or put together by thought as true.’
‘Immortality is where time doesn’t exist, and for this, the mind must be still. You cannot come upon this stillness without order. The really religious life is the life of non-self.’
‘After the talk, Krishnaji waited back stage until Stokowski came. They bowed and shook hands with great dignity. They mentioned how long since they had met. Krishnaji says it was first in Ommen, then in Ojai when he brought Garbo with him. Each seemed to give an appraising glance at the other as if noting how the years had touched each one. Stokowski is ninety now, still conducting. He has a concert in Carnegie Hall tomorrow night and Mr. Warkow said he had made a box available to Krishnaji and his friends. Erna and Theo will go.’
‘We came back to lunch, and while Krishnaji slept, I went to the Dray Gallery to see a Bourdelle watercolor done of Krishnaji in 1927–28, which is similar to the one at Brockwood given by Mar de Manziarly. The gallery tried to sell it to me for $2,500. Bought some shoes and came back.’
‘During supper, the television showed an English curate doing exorcism on people possessed. Krishnaji told of doing it in the past. We watched a documentary on climbing Everest.’
Shall we keep going?
S: No, we should stop.
M: Very well. We finished sixth of May.
 Krishnaji had had sunstroke as a child, and from then on had a susceptibility to the ill effect of too much sun exposure. Back to text.
 A small savory breakfast cake made of steaming a batter of black lentils and rice. Back to text.
 A biography of Krishnaji’s early years by Lady Emily Lutyens, the mother of Mary Lutyens, and who looked after Krishnaji in his early life more than anyone else. Back to text.
 Filomena’s first employer, for whom Filomena worked for decades. Back to text.