Issue 33—September 20, 1974 to December 31, 1974
After reading this issue, the proofreader for this project said that it feels like the end of one era and the start of another; and she is right.
The long lawsuit against Rajagopal is finally settled, and the property that the Krishnamurti Foundation of America acquires in that settlement is the basis for the current Krishnamurti Foundation offices, the archives building, the Krishnamurti study center, and some staff housing (all in the east end of the valley); and the Krishnamurti school in the west end. The settlement also returned Pine Cottage to Krishnaji, which I believe is the only place Krishnaji ever felt was his home. Not only did he spend the years of World War II there, but he lived there as a boy with his brother Nitya. In front of Pine Cottage is the famous Pepper Tree, under which he first experienced “the process” that has been discussed in so many biographies of Krishnaji. Less than 100 yards from Pine Cottage is Arya Vihara, the old houses in which Nitya died. Pine Cottage would eventually be extended and built onto, and would become the home of Krishnaji and Mary; and the place where both Krishnaji and Mary died.
Another sense in which this is the start of a new era is the explicitness with which Krishnaji made Mary his representative; something he continued to feel for the rest of his life—a contention I can support with many anecdotes to which I was a party. This is a role she filled in a remarkably exemplary way.
This may be the place to state something so obvious that it may have escaped many people’s attention: Krishnaji’s life and the presentation of his work changed dramatically because of Mary. Not only did Mary make it possible for Krishnaji to have a much more comfortable lifestyle, but because of Mary, Krishnaji could finally escape the clutches of Rajagopal and company (as Krishnaji called them). In the first instance, this resulted in Krishnaji recovering his copyright and the formation of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust in England to look after new publications. Soon after, Mary helped start the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. With Mary’s support, Krishnaji’s talks and discussions expanded enormously and his contacts with universities and special interest groups (e.g., psychologist, scientists, etcetera) developed. Mary also carried most of the costs of the legal case against Rajagopal, which resulted in the developments discussed above, but also in the return of Vasanta Vihar to what would become the Krishnamurti Foundation of India, and which became their headquarters. In fact, the “before Mary” and “after Mary” pictures of Krishnaji’s life and the reach of his work are so dramatically different that in many ways they seem like the lives and works of two different people.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #33
Mary: We’re at Brockwood, and it’s September twentieth, 1974. Not much happened for Krishnaji other than an interview with a woman and her daughter. Their names are in the diary and I remember them. The mother was supposed to be “possessed.”
Scott: Tell me about it.
M: The mother felt she was possessed, and the daughter brought her to Krishnaji. As nearly as I can remember, Krishnaji talked to her, and then told her to send him something that belonged to her, like a ring or a piece of jewelry or something that was hers. And she did; she sent some sort of a silver something. I forget—it was a pin or a ring; and he kept it with him for a few days, kept it on his bedside table, and periodically touched it. Then he sent it back.
S: Was there any word from her afterwards?
M: I’m trying to remember. Maybe, we’ll come upon it.
M: The next day, ‘it is still cold and rainy, and Krishnaji talked to the Siddoo sisters and Tapas in the afternoon about their center and its constitution.’
On the twenty-second, ‘I drove to see friends in Sussex, Fleur and Tom Meyer. I was back at Brockwood by six. Tapas and the Siddoos left for Canada.’
On September twenty-third, ‘More gales,’ [S laughs] ‘and more rain. Krishnaji and I took the 10:30 a.m. train to London. The traffic in town was so slow that I couldn’t get to Rowe’s for my scheduled fitting. We went instead to Huntsman, Krishnaji just touching base there, and then we walked to Hatchard’s, where we bought some detective novels.’
‘We lunched with Mary at Fortnum’s, and discussed subtitles for the first volume of the biography. At present it is Krishnamurti: The Years of Unfolding, which Krishnaji doesn’t like. He doesn’t like the word unfolding.’
‘Mary and Joe go to the south of France this week for a holiday. Krishnaji had a strawberry ice cream for dessert’ [S chuckles], ‘and the scoops were rather small so he had another serving’ [S chuckles, M chuckles]. ‘He was pleased as a child. We chose some cheeses and coffee downstairs, and I got him a recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that he has asked for. It can be played on the portable player that has been sitting in a cupboard.’
‘We then went to Mr. Thompson’—that’s the dentist—‘who warned that Krishnaji might have more tooth troubles, needing extractions. I was worried, but he was prepared, he said later, to have them out all at one terrible swoop today. I waited outside and then was called in to help decide to pull one upper left molar next to the eye tooth. It is infected. Yes, said Krishnaji. Thompson said it would come out fairly easily, so Novocain and x-rays and then a firm pull, a horrid noise, and it was out. One infected root and one healthy one. I was again awed by Krishnaji’s hands, his fingers open through it all, not clenched.’ You know, he sat with his hands relaxed.
S: Okay, so not tense?
M: No, no. His fingers were just out and relaxed. Not holding onto the arms of the chair for dear life.
S: Yes, which I do even when I’m just having my teeth cleaned. [Both chuckle.]
M: ‘Thompson commented on the rarity of this, and how it makes the muscles relax. Then Krishnaji had to lie down for ten minutes. He said he felt fine. One more tooth may have to go at the next appointment on the tenth of October. The Thompsons were asked to come to Brockwood on Sunday.’ That’s he and his wife.
‘It was raining, and I got a nice secretary to help me snare a cab to get Krishnaji quickly to Waterloo. She succeeded, and he didn’t have to wait. He said in the cab that he had told the body what it must prepare for, possibly all the teeth coming out.’
M: ‘“I have trained it,” he said, (referring to his body). We got quickly to Waterloo and were able to get right into an empty carriage on the 5:14 p.m. train. Krishnaji looked perfectly well, and opened one of the six new detective novels. I was glad when he was safely into bed and had his supper tray. I was suddenly very tired by 9 p.m. He said I had suffered for him.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Maybe, maybe, but I went to bed thankful.’ [Chuckles again.]
The twenty-fourth for me was ‘deskwork and laundry. The students are all here for the start of the new term. Krishnaji says he has no pain from the tooth that was pulled. I had a book subtitle conversation with Mary L. on the telephone. Krishnaji is thinking about it.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji had a subtitle for the biography: Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening.’
S: Mm. [Both chuckle.]
M: It came into his mind in the night. He is pleased. So is Mary, and luckily, as it turned out, so is John Murray.’ That’s the publisher. ‘The new title had arrived just in time to be printed instead of The Years of Unfolding. Krishnaji also said he had awakened at 4 a.m., “As though I was completely purged of everything. The mind was washed out clean and healthy. Much more than that, a tremendous sense of joy, ecstasy it was.”’
M: On September twenty-sixth, ‘Mary and Joe left for their holiday in St. Paul de Vence and Venice, but sent word via Amanda that John Murray had accepted the change of the subtitle The Years of Awakening. Amanda also said that Naudé had telephoned Mary that his father is dying in South Africa, and he may go there, stopping in London.’
The twenty-seventh of September. ‘I took an early train alone to London on errands. Bought records for Krishnaji and shoes that lace for my hurting left foot at Ferragamo. Got back to Krishnaji, who had given an interview to two of Brockwood’s staff members.’
On the twenty-eighth, ‘I discussed a good hi-fi for Krishnaji’s room with Harsh Tankha . He will get it and install it. I went over the details of the scientists’ meeting with the Bohms.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave his first talk of the term to the students and staff. The Hamish Thompsons came and stayed to lunch.’ That’s the dentist and his wife. ‘Harsh is to go ahead with the hi-fi in Krishnaji’s room.’
Monday, September thirtieth. There are family things. Then, ‘John McGreevy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation arrived to do the film for television of Krishnaji for the series People of Our Time program. Discussed it with Krishnaji. I telephoned the home office for any news of Krishnaji’s citizenship application. They said it has gone higher up.’
Tuesday, the first of October. ‘At 11:30 a.m., and then again in the afternoon, Krishnaji did filming for the Canadian Broadcasting in the drawing room and walking on the lawn. It was very disturbing to talk on a subject for three and half minutes or four, exactly. He did a voice-over audio recording of Krishnaji reading from the Krishnamurti Penguin Reader. Krishnaji said he had never done that, but he tried it and, as he seemed to think his own words, which he had never read, were rather apt, he found it easier.’ [Both M and S laugh.] ‘When he talked to the camera, it was necessary to explain how close and intimate it is; there is no need to project as if he were talking to a person. Krishnaji said he doesn’t look at people when he talks. It might be an intrusion. He doesn’t want to read their minds. After the day’s shooting was done, we went for a walk, and it was a release for him.’
That’s interesting that he doesn’t look at people because, if he does, he reads their minds. [Both chuckle, then laugh.] I always assumed that he could read my mind.
S: Oh, he showed me he could read mine.
M: [chuckles] He showed you?
S: Yes, he showed me.
M: How do you mean he showed you?
S: He showed me once. It was verrrry interesting.
M: Tell, tell.
S: Well [sigh], it must have been…I think it was ’75 or ’76, and I was having my first private interview with Krishnaji. We were sitting downstairs here in the West Wing. It must’ve been just before he went out for a walk, because I remember he was dressed to go out for his walk. We were sitting on the white couch, which is no longer there in the sitting room, not in the drawing room, but which used to be at the bottom of the steps. We were sitting side by side; I was sitting on Krishnaji’s right—I can still see it all very clearly. I had internally said to myself from the beginning of things that I didn’t want to hide anything from Krishnaji; he can know anything he wants to know. Anyway, I had just been telling myself this internally again, and he began saying some things to me that I was thinking. And as I looked up at him, he was looking at me and smiling at me as if to say, “Is this enough of a demonstration for you?” and he seemed to be showing me that he understood I wasn’t trying to hide anything.
M: Mm, hm.
S: It took my breath away, but it also made the whole thing I wanted to talk with him about easier, because then I didn’t have to explain it. He already knew it.
M: [chuckling] Yyyeeesss.
S: And then he just went on talking about the whole thing I wanted to ask him about but which I hadn’t found a way to yet present—he just went on and he talked with me about the whole thing. I can’t now remember what it was I wanted to talk to him about, but this funny little demonstration at the beginning is something I will never forget.
M: That’s very interesting.
Well, from the first time, when I did go and try to tell him things, and also from the interview that I had in RishiValley where…I know we’ve covered this…but to go back to it just briefly. I said to him that as I seem to be becoming a fixture [chuckle] around him, that I felt that it was only right that he should know anything he wanted to know about the people around him, and…you know, “here I am.” And he said something about he was shy about doing that, and I said “well, I’m shy too.” Well, anyway, I’ve already told the story about this, but I was asking him, and I also said, “If you notice things about me that I ought to know, please tell me.” And that’s when he said, well, “I’m shy, I’m shy about that.” I said, “well, I’m shy too, but I would be grateful.” And I always assumed, from the very beginning, that he could read my mind.
S: Yes. Perhaps I should put in here also the small…because it happened about this time, but it is a silly little anecdote for myself, about the first time Krishnaji personally addressed me.
M: How do you mean personally addressed you? Called you by name?
S: No. He just came up and spoke to me, and this was about a year before the first private interview I just recounted.
S: I was doing dishes in the school scullery.
S: I was just doing rota and Krishnaji came in from lunch and put his plate down, and he came up to me and said, “Why don’t you wear gloves?”
M: Oh yes! I remember that. [Laughing.]
S: Well, I was absolutely dumbstruck that here was this man asking me this question. [Both laugh.] And as I remember it, I just stood with my mouth open, and then Krishnaji, eventually just turned around and walked away. And I imagined he was thinking to himself, something like, “Oh, no, another idiot here who can’t respond to a simple question.” [Both are laughing.]
M: He was very fussy about wearing kitchen gloves while doing dishes, as you well know.
S: Yes, I did eventually come to know this. But at that time, with my mouth hanging open, and Krishnaji just standing there, racing though my brain were things like, ‘Well, why aren’t I wearing gloves?” and ‘You don’t actually have a reason for not wearing gloves, do you?’ And a whole dialogue was occurring in my head but not a word came out.
M: Oh, that’s funny.
I think I’ve told you that he called me Mrs. Zimbalist for the first seven years [with laughter in voice] that he was my house guest.
S: Yes. At least he called me Scott right from the beginning.
M: Yes, well, you were a man.
S: But there was something about the way he said my name. It was absolutely lovely. It was the way it formed in his mouth. I’d never paid attention to how my name sounds from different people.
S: But somehow from Krishnaji’s mouth it sounded…
S: Yes, it sounded different…it had a richness to it.
S: It wasn’t the American Scott, or an English one, it was all his own. No one has ever quite said it…
M: Yes, yes.
S: …it’s a simple word, but no one quite said it like that.
M: With me, he went from Mrs. Zimbalist to Maria. I don’t ever remember his calling me Mary. I don’t think he did. If he did, I don’t remember it and it would only have been brief. But because there was so many Marys…Mary Lutyens, Mary Cadogan…
M: …so he called me Maria.
S: I should also say at this time, as I seem to be intruding some of my own remembrances in this, that I can’t remember how long it was before I spoke to Krishnaji in public meetings and staff meetings. And when I did, I was forcing myself.
S: I had to force myself for a long time, before it felt right. And I can still remember now the overwhelming shame.
M: Shame? Why shame?
S: That I was only what I was…
M: Hm, hm.
S: …and that I would talk with Krishnaji. It just seemed so wrong that I should have the gall to say something to him. [M chuckles.] But I knew that that’s not what he wanted.
S: But it was very hard for a long time.
M: It’s funny. A woman in the center earlier today came up to me in the kitchen when I was washing up, said to me that she’d looked at a tape that I was on, and she asked, “Did you really not understand what he was saying, or were you asking questions to him to try to get him to explain more?” And I said, “Well, I don’t know because I don’t know what is of different tapes, and I can’t remember.” But, I used to not speak up in meetings deliberately, because I thought that I had the extraordinary opportunity to be able to talk to him at any time, and in the meetings, I must let everybody else have a chance. So, I held back in a lot of those meetings.
So…where are we? Ah, yes, October second.
So, on that day, ‘Krishnaji did more filming for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), some in The Blue Room and some in The Rose Garden. He walks without self-consciousness and does spontaneous things that occur to him—picking up a leaf, examining a flower, as though he were totally alone. He is getting bored with it, though. We walked when it was done.’
On the third of October, ‘Krishnaji finished the CBC filming by lunchtime in the drawing room. It seems to have gone very well, so says John McGreevy. Krishnaji slept long in the afternoon and then we walked.’
October fourth. ‘The hi-fi is installed in Krishnaji’s room. He is pleased. He asked me what I thought the difference was between the piano playing of Michelangeli and of Richter. I asked him, “What is it to you?” Krishnaji, after a pause, said, “One has sun, the other snow.”’ [S chuckles.] Isn’t that nice?
S: It is nice.
M: That’s really wonderful. I remember that…
S: Yes, yes. It would have to be Michelangeli has the sun, and Richter the snow.
M: Yes, yes.
On the fifth, ‘I went to Winchester on errands, and to get more records for Krishnaji. The usual walk.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. It was cold and rainy, but we walked nonetheless.’
On the eighth, my diary says, ‘Krishnaji talked to school. Walk.’ This is really not very informative.
Finally for October tenth we move to back to the big book.
‘Krishnaji and I went to London for fittings at Huntsman and Rowe. We lunched at Fortnum, where we had ice cream for dessert. His face lights up when we order it. We had strawberry. We bought cheeses at Jackson, and then went to Mr. Thompson who said Krishnaji’s canine teeth have slight pus but can wait till the spring for extraction. He is to use salt water meanwhile to wash his mouth out. We went to HMV’ —that’s the record store—‘and bought twelve records, and came home by train in time for supper. A cable came from Erna saying the agreement to settle the case is on the way to Krishnaji and me for our signatures. I feel nothing about this until we know the other side has also signed. Krishnaji said today, “I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming for the last two days. Long ago and far away.”’
Nothing much on the eleventh except that we moved all the furniture around in the drawing room to set it up for the scientists’ conference; long tables, etcetera. We walked.
On October twelfth, ‘the settlement papers arrived. Erna telephoned from Ojai that Sidney Roth is holding out for changes.’ That was exasperating. Sidney Roth was a fussy man, but as he was one of the plaintiffs, he had the right. ‘The scientists began to arrive for the next week’s meetings. Dr. Shainberg was the first one. Krishnaji has a slight cold.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. We telephoned Sidney Roth. He ranted on to both Krishnaji and me. He will send a letter with his views, but he agreed to sign. Impossible man, he doesn’t listen. Thank god I held out against his being a KFA trustee years ago when the Lilliefelts suggested it.’
‘Mr. Morton showed me the garage space I can rent at $5 a month for the Mercedes storage.’
‘The rest of the scientists arrived. The drawing room is set up with long tables for the meeting. The first meeting, a preliminary one without Krishnaji, was held after supper. David Bohm as chairman went over the agenda, but they all fell to discussing then and there.’
‘Krishnaji still has a slight cold, and we didn’t walk.’
Monday, the fourteenth of October. ‘There was the first formal meeting between the scientists and Krishnaji, with David Bohm as chairman. Present were: Krishnaji; Dr. David Brett, physician; Dr. F.J. Capra, physicist; Dr. Elisabeth Ferris, alternative medicine; Dr. Gordon Globis, psychiatry: Dr. Brian Goodwin, biological sciences; Dr. Basil Hiley, theoretical physics; Dr. Julian Melzack, philosophy of science; Robin Monroe, bio-physics; David Peat, theoretical physics, and a representative of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and who is reporting the conference for it; Dr. Karl Pribram, researcher in brain structure; Dr. David Shainberg, psychiatry; George Sudarshan, physicist; Harsh Tanka, Brockwood teacher of math; Dr. Montague Ullman, psychiatry; Professor Maurice Wilkins, bio-physics, DNA, Nobel prize laureate; Dr. Joe Zorski, Brockwood teacher of physics and chemistry; and Professor David Bohm, theoretical physics. Observers were Dorothy Simmons, Ted Cartee, George Carnes, Saral Bohm, and me.’ Why weren’t you there?
S: I was brand-new to Brockwood.
M: Oh. On the fifteenth of October ‘was the second day of the in the morning and afternoon. Drs. Pribram, Shainberg, and Sudarshan gave their talks. There was a letter to Krishnaji from Enrique Biascoechea who said he has lung cancer and is having chemotherapy. Erna telephoned me about what Roth said.’
On the sixteenth was ‘the third day of scientists’ meeting. In the afternoon, the scientists and some Brockwood people went to Stonehenge. Krishnaji wrote to Biascoechea. Krishnaji did a taped conversation primarily with Dr. Sudarshan. Dr. Shainberg and Joe Zorsky were there, too.’
‘There was a cable from Erna. Louis Blau convinced Roth to sign. Dr. Pribram discussed the brain with the school in the evening.’
On the seventeenth, ‘at the meeting, Krishnaji asked Dr. Pribram if the brain is ever still. Pribram said no, even in deep sleep, the neurons are in motion, but quieted. Pribram said hypnosis is the opposite of meditation. The brain is very active. A discussion of meditation followed. Scientists asking Krishnaji questions.’ Well, this will be on tape so I don’t need to report all this.
October eighteenth, ‘David Bohm spoke briefly in the morning. There was considerable discussion between Krishnaji and Dr. Melzack. Krishnaji, at last, gave his talk in the afternoon. Some part of it was autobiographical. Then, he spoke about what he saw that caused him to break with the Theosophical Society, etcetera. The discussion that followed led to their wanting him to discuss what death is.’
‘In the evening, the students invited the scientists to meet them and told them there is fear in the school. I heard about it late in the evening from Nicolas Besnier.’ Do you remember him?
S: Yes, I do. So the students had that conversation with the scientists…
S: …telling them there was fear in the school? [S laughs, then Mary does too.] That must’ve thrilled Dorothy no end.
On the nineteenth, ‘the meeting began with Krishnaji wanting to talk about meditation before talking about death. He brought in extrasensory perception, levitation, siddhis, and called them childish toys to a real religious person. Then after that discussion, Krishnaji spoke on death. The afternoon session discussion ended the meetings. Dorothy is depressed by students claiming there is fear!’ Oh goodness.
The next day. ‘Most of the scientists departed, but some, including Professor Wilkins and his family, came to Krishnaji’s talk with the school in which he went deeply into the question of fear. They stayed for lunch, but by evening all were gone. There was a walk, with Dorothy still feeling low.’
The twenty-first, ‘Mary Cadogan came to lunch. I did deskwork, and there was a walk. Krishnaji asked Dorothy to come to Rome and talked her into it. I made reservations for her to fly with us on Friday, and Frances McCann arranged a room in Pensione Svizzera for her to stay in.’
October twenty-second. Krishnaji and I to London by train. We went first to John Bell and Croyden, then to lunch with Mary L. at Fortnum’s. Then to the U.S. consulate to have notarization of signatures of both of us on all the settlement papers. I mailed them to Erna while Krishnaji visited Mrs. Bindley. We got back to Brockwood at 7:15 p.m. Krishnaji on the train told me of Annie Besant telling him he had two angels to protect him, but don’t be over-demanding of them.’
S: [chuckling]. So, Annie Besant told Krishnaji…
S: …that he had two angels protecting him…but he mustn’t…
M: …make them work too hard! [S laughs.] Yes, and that’s what he used to tell me.
S: Yes. I know.
M: ‘He also said that the body must live much longer because the brain is untouched. “I see the body must be much more protected and more alone.”’
The twenty-third of October. ‘Krishnaji held a meeting with the staff, after which I did deskwork. I put the Mercedes into winter storage in Mr. Morton’s garage. The West Meon garage man saw to it, and Ted Cartee helped. We walked.’
The next day, ‘I started the day packing. Krishnaji talked to the school, which I naturally attended, then I did more packing. I found Anneke’s 1939 letter needed for the Vasanta Vihar trial in Madras. I packed till very late and got it all done.’ You see, Vasanta Vihar turned out ultimately to belong to the Stichting for reasons that are too obscure now to go into. 
On October twenty-fifth, ‘For once I was not hurried.’ I seem to be saying this a lot at this time in my diaries. [S laughs.] ‘All was in order’ [M chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, Frances McCann, and I are leaving; Ted and Ingrid to drive the cars. We had a picnic lunch near Heathrow, and then Krishnaji, Dorothy, Frances, and I flew BEA at 1:35 p.m. to Rome. Vanda and Barabino met Krishnaji and me, and Dorothy went with Frances to the Pensione Svizzera on via Gregoriana. Krishnaji and I with Vanda went to Via Barnaba Oriani’—that’s where she had a flat—‘and I telephoned Filomena. She and Arturo have colds. There was no heat in the house yet, so it’s damp and cold in Rome. Slept more or less.’
The twenty-sixth. ‘Krishnaji dictated a memoranda to me about living and building in Ojai, to look at the whole matter. Krishnaji stayed in bed all day resting. Frances and Dorothy to lunch, also Topazia. I walked down for the newspapers and went early to bed.’ God, it was cold in that place.
On October twenty-seventh, ‘It was cold but there was some sun. Krishnaji got up for lunch. The Indian ambassador Pant and his wife were there, and their daughter, and Dorothy and Frances. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Frances, and I walked in Villa Glori. Alberto appeared in the evening.’ That’s Vanda’s son.
The next day, ‘Filomena still has a cold, so I went into Rome alone by bus. Cashed some lire, did errands for Krishnaji, and came back by bus in time for lunch. Emilio Villa and the lady (wife?) were there. We talked all afternoon. Krishnaji and I walked late.’
S: Who was that?
M: Emilio Villa. He was a friend of Vanda’s and was often there. The name is very familiar to me, but I can’t remember much about him, though.
October twenty-ninth, ‘Mario’—that’s Filomena’s son—‘came to drive me to see Filomena. We talked all morning. She had two heart pains this summer and her arthritis is a rack, but her spirit is the same—clear and courageous. It was a joy and sadness, both at once, to see her as though we were in Malibu. Mario drove me back. Dorothy, Frances, and Bill Burmeister and Barabino came to lunch. Bill is involved in Barabino’s school—The Biella School.’ Biella, that’s the town where it is. ‘Dorothy and Frances stayed to go on the walk. They have done enormous sightseeing. Letter from Erna written Saturday. Sidney Roth has signed. No news of Rajagopal and company doing so, but Christensen’—that’s Rajagopal’s lawyer—‘says he will be “ready” by the fourth.’
The thirtieth. ‘For me, deskwork in the morning. Ambassador Pant came at noon to take Krishnaji and me to the Indian embassy north of Rome to lunch with his wife and daughter. It is a large sixteenth-century house. When we got back, Krishnaji said he had a sore throat.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji’s throat is sore. He stayed in bed. At lunch, there was Dorothy, Frances, and the actor Terrance Stamp. In the evening Krishnaji had a ninety-nine-degree fever. Barabino brought in Dr. Filipo and his assistant, and they roughly examined Krishnaji’s throat and said he has a laryngitis virus. The doctor prescribed a cortisone inhalation and aspirin. Krishnaji is supposed to give his first talk tomorrow. He looks ill and touchy.’
The first of November. I took Krishnaji’s temperature at 7 a.m. It was 100 degrees. His throat is very sore. He had pain in his right ear in the night and felt too ill to talk. I told Vanda. We didn’t go on with the inhalator, but stuck to homeopathic remedies and Lycopodium and Apis prescribed by the said-to-be-leading homeopath here, Casella. The talk was called off only for today. Dorothy, Frances were here most of the day. Krishnaji’s ear pain has disappeared and his throat is slightly less sore, but by 5 p.m. his temperature was 101. Still, Krishnaji looked a little better. He is less debilitated by the fever than usual for him. Cragnolini was here at lunch, too. Everyone wants to cancel the remaining talks, but Krishnaji forbade it.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature is ninety-eight. He looks and feels better, much better, but he has hardly any voice. He is determined to talk tomorrow, though Vanda and I are strongly against it. He said, “The body is getting ready. I’ve my job.” I went to see Filomena in the morning. Mario taking me to and fro. Barabino lunched with Vanda and me. Mary Cadogan telephoned from London. Erna had telephoned her about a quit claim to the pre-’68 copyright by KF Trust. Erna said others had not yet signed but all is “going well” with settlement.’
November third. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature was ninety-eight degrees, but he still had hardly any voice. He got up, washed, tried the voice, and with Vanda and I silent to not influence him (though we were strongly against his speaking), he made his decision not to speak either today or tomorrow. He went back to bed. Vanda and I went to Eliseo, where a cassette of the July twenty-fifth third Saanen talk was played on my Uher cassette recorder hooked up by Yves to the Teatro amplifiers and speakers. Afterward, a translation of it was made from the tape. It was the usual restless Roman audience; walking about, chatting, smoking. Dorothy and Frances were there, and they came back for lunch.’
The fourth of November. ‘Dorothy heard from Montague that Enrique Biascoechea is dead.’ Poor Enrique. ‘Krishnaji recoiled when I told him. He was surprised at how soon it came. He said later he kept thinking of him all day. I went to Ms. Goody for a massage, but was back for lunch. Filomena came, also Dorothy and Frances. Dorothy returns tomorrow morning to Brockwood. Filomena and I sat and talked, and afterward I walked her down to a taxi. Krishnaji decided to do a filmed interview for Italian television tomorrow.’
November fifth. ‘A cable to Krishnaji from Erna that “Christensen’s clients have all signed.”’ That means Rajagopal and company. ‘As soon as the quit claim by Mary Cadogan for the KF Trust arrives about the pre-’68 copyright, the settlement will be formalized before the court in Ventura. So, at last this long case is over. Krishnaji discussed what to do with the land, Arya Vihara, etcetera, at length with me, so I can bring his views back to the other trustees. He did filmed answers to questions put by Dr. Modugno. The questions were in Italian, and Krishnaji answered in English. At lunch were Barabino, Topazia, Yves, Bill Burmeister, Terry Saunders, and a Brazilian man whose name I never got. Later, Krishnaji and I took a twenty-minute walk up and down the hall. Dorothy went back to Brockwood.’
On the sixth, ‘Krishnaji had a very serious talk with me. I go to Ojai as his representative. I must keep this in mind without any personal opinions. I must be in relation to Krishnaji a thousand miles away. A feeling for it. There are decisions to be made. Be very non-personal. I must have an alert, very quiet body, capable of reception. Krishnaji cannot decide from India. I must decide about what is right, then telegraph him. The whole body must be quiet and take time to know what is right. If I represent Krishnaji, I cannot allow other elements to enter my consciousness. I must telegraph him of my New York and Malibu arrivals. Krishnaji is watching over everything. I must train the body to be still. Sit for one half-hour without moving, for a feeling of quiet. This is very serious.’
‘Filomena came. Mario drove me to the town center. I bought bath mats for Vanda and miscellaneous things for Krishnaji and for the Renzi family. Filomena lunched with Vanda and me, and I drove her home.’
The next day, ‘I packed Krishnaji’s one bag. We left for Fiumicino at 12:30 p.m. Krishnaji with Vanda and Barabino, and I with Bill Burmeister in his Indian car. Frances met us there and we lunched in the airport restaurant. Krishnaji and Frances left on Flight 106. At the last moment, Maharishi Mahesh bordered the flight smiling coyly over a bouquet.’ Well, that was very funny.
S: I know. Continue reading and then we’ll talk about it.
M: Alright [laughs]. ‘Vanda and I came back and had supper. I was unable to reach Narasimhan by telephone. He was due in Rome today, and Krishnaji wanted me to discuss the British citizenship request with him. There is a possible strike at the airport tomorrow.’
S: Okay. So now let’s go back to the Maharishi story.
M: What happened was that we saw Krishnaji off. He walked across the tarmac all by himself carrying a little bag of personal things, and climbed up the steps. It was a big plane, a 747, I think, or the equivalent in size, and he turned and waved and disappeared inside. Then, suddenly, down the middle of the airport came a procession. First of all there was a carabiniere, you know, with those hats…
S: [laughs] Yes.
M: …those sort of Napoleonic hats and a staff with a gold top. And he walked like a majordomo down the center, followed by this tiny, coy figure carrying a rose, which is the Maharishi. And after him came very devout disciples, and he was sort of smiling as though to the public. And out he went and across the tarmac and up into the plane. Whereupon, we were laughing [laughing as she speaks] that they were going to meet, obviously, and what would happen. [S laughs.] So what did happen, and this we found out later, I guess it’s been discussed here and there. Krishnaji had, as usual, the most forward seat, which, as you know, is on its own—one on the right side of the aisle and one on the left side of the aisle. I always got him one of those, so nobody was next to him or in front of him. The Mahesh yogi was several rows back sitting by the window on a lion skin or a tiger skin or something like that, with a demurely devout disciple beside him. Soon after takeoff, a stewardess appeared holding the rose, and said to Krishnaji, “The gentleman in row so-and-so wishes you to have this.” So, Krishnaji took it, and then he gave it right back to her [S laughing], giving it to her [M chuckles]. So, somehow he knew what it was all about, but he didn’t do anything, but eventually he had to go to the toilet, which meant walking down the aisle past…
M: …the Maharishi. He got past apparently, but on his way back, a disciple had been primed to leap up and said, “Please, have my seat,” and Krishnaji found himself sitting next to a man on the lion skin or tiger skin, or whatever it was, and who engaged him in conversation saying that he had changed the consciousness of Europe, and he was now going to change the consciousness of India, I think. He went on to say that Krishnaji should come with him and they’d do it together. Krishnaji replied that no, he was sorry, that he had appointments that he had to keep, [S laughs] and he had other things to do; talks to give and so forth. Maharishi dismissed that as unimportant because “together we will change the consciousness of…” Somehow, Krishnaji wangled his way out of that, and got back to his seat, where he stayed [chuckles] until the plane made one of those landings that they did in some Arab country in those days to refuel. Krishnaji, as usual, got up and walked, you know, exercising vigorously in the airport, which he reported astonished the Maharishi people. Then, of course, they landed in Delhi, and there Krishnaji was met with the usual car at the foot of the steps down from the plane, and wafted away. Well, that’s the end of the story. Vanda and I found it hilariously funny that the two of them would obviously be in first class, and what would happen; because everything about them were at such polar opposites. [S laughs again.]
Now we go to the eighth. ‘Krishnaji should have arrived in Delhi early this morning. The Fiumicino strike was over by noon. I left Vanda and Rome. Filomena and Mario took me to the airport, and I took a TWA flight to New York at 5:45 p.m.’ Well, then it goes on about what I did when I arrived, and we don’t want to hear all this.
‘I cabled Krishnaji at Pupul’s in Delhi after speaking to Erna. Tapper, the attorney general, has not yet signed the agreement, but when he has, the court hearing will formalize it all. I went to bed at 1 a.m.—I’ve been up 20 hours!’
Then there’s nothing about Krishnaji except I met someone from Pegasus Magazine about an interview with Krishnaji set for February twenty-fourth.
I flew to California on November twentieth. ‘There were no letters yet from Krishnaji, but I cabled him that I had arrived in Malibu. I spoke to Erna Lilliefelt. There’s no word yet on whether the attorney general, Tapper, has signed the agreement.’
On the twenty-fifth of November. ‘I got a cable from Krishnaji in Benares. All is well. A letter is on the way. He will be in Madras on the second of December.’
The next day, ‘Alan Kishbaugh came with me to Ojai for a trustee’s meeting and lunch at the Lilliefelt’s. With Theo and Ruth, we went to look at the HappyValley land we want to lease. Also, we saw one of the video cassettes of the Krishnaji-Anderson series made at San DiegoStateUniversity last February. It was very good.’
On November twenty-seventh, ‘Krishnaji’s first letter arrived. It was written from November ninth through the seventeenth, and posted on the eighteenth in Benares, arriving in nine days.’
The first of December. ‘I left at 8:30 a.m., and drove in Krishnaji’s Mercedes to Ojai and the Lilliefelt’s. Balasundaram had telephoned from Rajghat before Krishnaji and he left for Madras inquiring about news of the attorney general signing the settlement. With Erna and Theo, I walked over to the HappyValley acreage east of the 100 acres we want to lease. The land is said to be for sale. Is this a possible site for Krishnaji’s house? Lunched with Erna and Theo, talking at length, then drove home.’
December ninth. ‘Erna says that the court meeting of tomorrow before Judge Heaton with Tapper, Christensen, and Cohen is canceled as “necessary.” A date of a formal hearing to end the case will be set.’
Eleventh of December. ‘Letter number three from Krishnaji in Rajghat and Madras. He saw Madahvachari and told Madahvachari what he had done without mincing words. “Madahvachari cannot wash his hands of the business. It is immoral, non-Brahmanical. One has to do penance to wipe all this before one dies, etcetera.” That was because, it turned out, and this was discovered by KFI members, that through all this legal business when Krishnaji had been confiding in Madahvachari about what was happening with Rajagopal, Madahvachari was relaying it to Rajagopal.’
S: It’s terrible really.
M: Isn’t that disgusting?
S: Yes, and really extraordinary.
M: It’s hard to understand now. That people do such things.
S: I know.
M: On December eighteenth, ‘Erna rang in the afternoon. Cohen says the final court hearing to end the case is set for December twenty-sixth. I cabled the news to Krishnaji in RishiValley, where he went today from Madras.’
On the twenty-sixth of December, ‘Evelyne Blau came at 9:30 a.m., and drove with me to the Ventura County Courthouse, where we met Erna and Theo. We sat in Judge Heaton’s court, while he went into chambers with Rosenthal, Cohen, the deputy attorney general Tapper, and Christensen. Then, in open court, the judge announced the approval of an agreement and the closing of the case. Mrs. Porter, Mrs. Vigeveno, and both Casselberrys were there. Christensen told us the keys would be at the real estate office in Ojai after he had spoken to Rajagopal.’
S: The keys for Arya Vihara?
‘We went to the real estate office. There were no keys, and no telephone call had come. Lunch with the Lilliefelts. Ruth, Albion, and we went to Pine Cottage, Arya Vihara, etcetera. The caretaker knew nothing and telephoned Rajagopal, who refused us entry without speaking to one of us. We telephoned him and left. Later, after I was home, Erna said that the real estate woman gave the keys, and Rajagopal telephoned her that we could have them.’
The next day, I wrote in full to Krishnaji about all this.
December twenty-ninth. ‘I left at 8 a.m. for Ojai, and with Erna and Theo went through all three houses; Arya Vihara, Pine Cottage, and the office, emptied of all furniture except one table, one day bed, and one leather suitcase with the initials KJN and the address Adyar, Madras, India. It was a cold, clear, marvelous day. There was snow on Topa Topa and all the mountain range. We walked around the Arya Vihara land and found higher up, among the avocado trees, a majestic oak tree and possible place to build a house for Krishnaji. After lunch, we went to the Oak Grove. Talked at length, and I drove home.’ That was the day we finally got the property.
On December thirty-first, ‘There were violent winds all day. I worked at the desk, had an early supper, then read and listened to Krishnaji tapes. So ended 1974.’
1 Harsh Tankha was a mathematics teacher at Brockwood, but he also had an electronics background, so was called in on all technical things. Back to text.
2 “Rota” is a Brockwoodism, short for “rotation” or your turn to do the dishes for the school in the scullery. Back to text.
3 This was the result of Rajagopal’s shell game in which money and property was moved from one entity to another. Back to text.
4 Krishnaji and his brother Nitya monogrammed most of their things together. Jiddu was the family name, then Krishnaji’s initial was on the left, and Nitya’s was on the right. Back to text.