Issue 37—August 19, 1975 to September 30, 1975
This is a short issue as there was only time for a one hour discussion that day (November tenth 1996). Nevertheless, it seems quite full as yet another esoteric or strange aspect of Krishnaji’s existence is discussed by Mary.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #37
Mary: Well, we begin on Tuesday the nineteenth of August, 1975, and we’re in Gstaad. ‘Krishnaji dictated a letter to Pupul, questioning, apart from the present political climate there, his coming to India that winter. For what purpose or what value did it have? He had the same physical organism, now over 80, and he should consider how best to spend the next 10 or 15 years. He said he had the right to ask, and should ask why, in all these years, not one person in India has been totally completely involved, dedicated to living the teachings. He said he, those in India, and those in America, and England must consider how he can spend the rest of his life most usefully for the teachings. He also asked if they had read Mary’s book. She sent copies to several of them in India, and in a letter from Mary this morning, she said she had not heard a word of acknowledgement or comment.’
Scott: Mary Links had not?
M: Yes. ‘Mary had not received any word, not from Pupul, to whom she gave a copy in June. Only Shiva Rao wrote. Krishnaji says this is Indian; they don’t thank, they take for granted, feel themselves superior. Pupul looks on the Lilliefelts and Brockwood people as middle class and Madahvachari looked down on all non-Indians. Krishnaji said that Shiva Rao was distrusted by Pupul and her crowd, who thought him to be an American spy.’ [Both laugh.]
S: Well, the CIA has stooped pretty low, but…[chuckles].
M: ‘She and others never would answer political questions in front of him, and when Pupul had Mrs. Gandhi to dine with Krishnaji at her house, she never included Kitty and Shiva Rao. Krishnaji was feeling pretty severe toward all this. Krishnaji read to me from the Herald Tribune that India has cut off Telex and telephone to the New York Times correspondent in India for not self-censoring, and also refused entry to an Israel member to a textile convention that was to be held in India in November. The other members counseled holding it in India. Krishnaji said with vehemence, “I would like to start a political party, not left, not right, a global party.” He repeated it watching the television news. We looked at each other, and then more quietly he added, “God forbid!”’ [S chuckles.]
On the twentieth of August. ‘It was a grey day. A woman telephoned twice on behalf of a woman named Swami Hidrayananda of the Divine Life Society, about seeing Krishnaji. I explained ‘No’ the first time. She rang again during lunch, and Krishnaji said, “Okay, for five minutes.” She came, a middle-aged Indian, an eye doctor, orange robe, hair flowing. Krishnaji saw her for almost an hour. He said afterward, he had told her, “If you listen to me, you will be lost” meaning her present life.’
S: Mm, hm.
M: ‘She has begun to doubt and is frightened, had given up her doctoring work, and husband, and children to join the Divine Life Society, is perpetually on lecture tours explaining the Gita, yoga, etcetera. Krishnaji was compassionate toward her predicament. We went for a walk.’
The next day, ‘there was a letter from Mary L. with a good review of the biography in the Irish Times. We walked again.’
Friday, the twenty-second. ‘It rained. I went to the Bank Cantonal about the Alzina investments. I switched from Danish to Norwegian bonds and added a little from a cash balance in the Teaching Trust account. The bonds paid 9 or 8.25 percent. Krishnaji will have $3,200 per year income from them. Bill Burmeister came to lunch with Krishnaji and me, then we went to where Krishnaji had a haircut. After that we went for shoes to Mr. Kohli in Saanen. Nadia Kossiakof telephoned from Paris. Marcelle Bondonneau, who left here Monday morning, is in the intensive care ward of a Paris hospital with gall bladder trouble. Mar de Manziarly also telephoned. The outlook is grave.’
On the twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji’s queasy stomach from last night has continued. He stayed in bed all day. It rained and was rather cold. News of Marcelle is not good. She is on an artificial kidney machine.’
On the twenty-fourth, ‘It rained. I packed. Krishnaji was feeling well again. I exchanged the Hertz Peugeot for Taunus to have room for the luggage tomorrow. We went on the usual walk through the woods. On our return, Nadia telephoned to say that Marcelle had died this afternoon. Krishnaji said he had not foreseen it, when I asked, during his conversation with her a week ago. He said, “I couldn’t get through to her. She was too nervous.”’ She’d been in Gstaad the week before. She’d just left.
Monday, the twenty-fifth of August. ‘Another cold wet day when we left Gstaad. We said goodbye to Fosca, who leaves for Italy Wednesday. It was warm in Geneva. We were early, and so drove around a little without stopping and then gave Hertz its car at the airport and flew on Swiss Air to London. Dorothy met us. It was a lovely, warm, and sunny day in England. Brockwood was beautiful and quiet. Only a few of us are here. The quiet is extraordinary. Krishnaji said how noisy Gstaad has become, and it was good to be back in our own rooms here.’
The next day. ‘We unpacked, put things in order. There was a long cassette letter from my brother reporting on their lives since we last saw them, in Paris. Krishnaji hadn’t slept too well, but we walked in the afternoon. It was very warm.’
Wednesday, the twenty-seventh, ‘the Mercedes started up immediately. I took it to West Meon for gas, and errands. And again, we walked in the afternoon.’
The next day, ‘I took the Mercedes to be washed at West Meon Motors, and walked back to Brockwood. It was a hot day, so warm in the afternoon that Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I walked only in the grove.’
On August twenty-ninth, ‘Krishnaji and I went to London. We lunched at Fortnum’s, then shopped for books. Krishnaji had a dental appointment with Hamish Thompson and had two fillings. I am getting a cold.’ Which might explain why there is no entry at all for the thirtieth, and for the thirty-first it simply says, ‘Krishnaji talked to staff.’ Then another two blank pages for the first two days of September.
For September third, my diary says, ‘I met Mary L. at the train station, and she lunched with us and we spent the afternoon together. Anneke Korndorffer arrived.’
On the fourth, ‘I met a Mrs. Davinia Hughes at Petersfield, showed her BrockwoodPark, and discussed a possible television interview with Krishnaji on German television by George Stefan Troler. Earlier, Krishnaji talked to Balasundaram about his being responsible for all the work in India. Krishnaji was doubtful about his going there this winter. All advice from Radha Burnier, Achyut, and even Pupul is to wait until things are clearer. I spoke to Fleur Cowles, who arrived from Spain yesterday, on advice about pursuing Krishnaji’s British citizenship. She has no pull with the home office. She approved a plan to ask the member of Parliment for this constituency to help. Ian Hammond and Robert Wiffen gave us doleful news. We owe Hants…’
M: …yes, Hants Contractors ‘£8,000 to £10,000 sterling for extras, which Dorothy hasn’t got. And the Sweeton family has just arrived: father, mother, three sons, a wife, an infant, to build garages and wash rooms. They donate all labor, but we must pay for material. I offered the Mercedes to Brockwood to be sold. Later, Ian offered to buy it, but Krishnaji and Dorothy say wait and see where we stand after the Gathering.’
The fifth of September. ‘I mostly worked at the desk. Fixed flowers. People are arriving for the Gathering. One of the crazy women who was troublesome at Saanen arrived in her van, but Dorothy said she couldn’t stay. By suppertime, the house was jammed full. Anneke was here. Pascaline Mallet, Madrisa Samuel, and Madame Banzet, who brought £1,000 donation. Also, Giselle Elmenhorst. The Digbys are in the West Wing.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji gave the first Brockwood talk in the marquee, which was overflowing. The weather was good. Krishnaji asked, “What is correct action for survival with freedom in a disintegrating world?” This is the question he and David Bohm have been discussing as a topic for the Ojai conference next spring. Krishnaji ate in the marquee afterward. Dorothy says we took in £1,300 sterling on the sale of food alone today. There was a meeting in the afternoon of the German publications committee with the Digbys, Cadogan, Edgar Graf, Giselle Elmenhorst, and Fritz Wilhelm. It was constructive. Graf and Wilhelm said that George Stefan Troler does excellent TV work, and urged that Krishnaji give him an interview.’
On the seventh, ‘Krishnaji gave his second talk on fear, pleasure. It was one of those talks that takes one apart. I sensed that it was the most complete one ever on these matters. We ate in the tent. People overflowed it. A girl who wrote to Krishnaji after an awful experience in France arrived; and we were able to get her a room. Her name was Michaela Morgan.’
On the eighth, ‘Krishnaji discussed the affairs in India with Balasundarum and said it was up to him to create something at RishiValley and in all the rest of the work in India. As he talked, he decided not to go to India this year. I made notes on all that was said. We walked a new way across the fields in the evening. Lina Reddy, a former RishiValley student, danced.’ You were there. Do you remember any of that?
S: I have seen so many Indian dancers, it’s hard to…[Both chuckle.]
M: September ninth. ‘Krishnaji held a discussion in the marquee. Many came in spite of the rain. It was on awareness. Anneke asked questions about the biography. Krishnaji gave excellent answers. Dorothy had trouble with her eye during the meeting and could hardly see by the end. She went to the doctor. Krishnaji put his hands on a four-year-old child, Emma Jenkins.’ Do you remember that little girl?
S: Ah, yes, I do.
M: Peter Jenkins’ daughter, who has leukemia. ‘A letter from Dr. Wolf in New York. Krishnaji and I will see him there. Krishnaji wants to leave here October fifteenth. We walked across the fields the new way again. Balasundaram came with us.’
On the tenth, ‘Krishnaji and Balasundaram talked of RishiValley, etcetera, and I took notes. Krishnaji decided definitely not to go to India, and will fly to the U.S. on October fifteenth. In the afternoon, he gave a short interview to Michaela Morgan. We walked across the fields.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion in the marquee and had his usual lunch there. I worked at the desk, and then a walk.’
On the twelfth, ‘Krishnaji had a third, long discussion with Balasundaram on India and also wrote a letter about it all to Pupul. Balasundaram has put forth a constructive plan for RishiValley, and the rest of the work, which Krishnaji approved, and added to.’
S: Hm. You don’t have a copy of that letter, do you?
M: No. I don’t think I do. I’d have to look it up in the, uh…I have a whole file of letters.
M: September thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji gave the third Brockwood talk in the marquee. I talked to three young women interested in Ojai and in the Ojai school, and to a young man, it says, “Hannen?” about the same thing.’
September fourteenth ‘was rainy and cold. Krishnaji gave his fourth Brockwood talk. In spite of the weather, the tent was crowded! At 1 p.m., Terrence Stamp brought Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha and a group. All had lunch with Krishnaji in the tent. A 3 p.m., Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha gave a benefit concert in the tent. He was enthusiastically received, but the cold and rain kept the audience small. Finally, by suppertime, it was all accomplished. Krishnaji poured out energy, had no rest, no walk, but was nonetheless very well. Balasundaram left, taking all the notes on what was discussed and approved by Krishnaji.’ I suppose I have copies of that. I should really go through those.
S: I would like to see that, because if Krishnaji is saying anything about a plan for education, or the organization of schools, it would be interesting.
M: Well, you can see it tomorrow.
S: Yes. Okay.
M: The fifteenth. ‘The weather is clear again. The Sweeton family began work on the garages. The Mercedes moves to the barn. The house begins to empty of its guests. I did letters all day. Krishnaji and Dorothy and I walked across the fields.’
The next day, ‘I went to London about Krishnaji’s visa. Fleur lunched with me at the Berkley. And I went to the opening of Paul Anstee’s shop in the Prince’s Arcade.’
The next couple of days are just deskwork for me, with walks in the afternoon. Then on the eighteenth, ‘I attended a staff meeting at 9 a.m. and students start to arrive. Whisper ran off during the walk, and was back at the house when we gave up searching for her.’ [S chuckles.]
On the nineteenth of September, ‘Krishnaji and I took the train to London. While he had a Huntsman fitting, I went to the U.S. embassy for his visa. I just got through the queue in time. They will mail the passport. Mary L. met Krishnaji at Huntsman, and they and Amanda and I all lunched at Fortnum’s. Krishnaji had his teeth seen to by Hamish Thompson at 2:30 p.m. All was done quite quickly, and we got an earlier-than-usual train back. There was a staff meeting in the evening during which my brother rang from New York. He got my letter about our travel plans.’ Well, it goes on about him, and things about my mother. Hmmm, interesting. [S chuckles heartily.] I’m not going to record it!
S: No, no. I know you’re not. But, it’s just…
M: I’ll tell you later.
M: ‘I told Krishnaji about it. “What wasted lives people allow themselves,” he said! “Society is sick. Western society has ruined the world!” I asked, where or when was it any better?’ [Both chuckle.]
‘Everyone is very busy. The students were arriving. Krishnaji dictated letters, and I did desk and desk! Walked across the fields. Whisper got away again, and walked home on her own.’
By the twenty-first, ‘all the students have arrived. Suzanne and Hugues brought their daughter, Marjolaine, who was a student here this year. They spent the night in the West Wing. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked. Krishnaji’s head was bad. I spoke to Vanda in Florence. She will be in Rome Saturday.’
September twenty-second, ‘was the first day of school. The school meeting was at 9 a.m. We had about twenty new students. I talked on the telephone to Mr. Troler of the German television, and also to the BBC documentary department about Krishnaji’s appearances. I worked at my desk, did laundry, etcetera. Krishnaji put his hands on the Jenkins child again.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. Topazia Alliata and a friend from Winchester came to talk and to lunch. Topazia stayed in the West Wing. I went to Winchester to renew Krishnaji’s driving license, but got back in time to meet him and Dorothy for a walk.’
For the next day my diary just says, ‘desk.’ That’s all.
On September twenty-fifth, ‘it rained. Topazia came with Krishnaji and me in the train to London. Krishnaji had eaten breakfast too quickly and got a stomachache. He was walking bent over as he went to dress. He said, “I may not be able to go,” but it passed, and he did. The deadline of catching the 10:45 a.m. seems to get him tense, and he hurries and worries, while having plenty of time. Having Topazia, the nonstop talker along, guaranteed further wear and tear. All the way to Waterloo, it was about the Italian “committee” and Barabino, who goes his own way appointing people who no one knows to head Krishnaji groups all over Italy, at which god knows what goes on. A Mr. Letteri, an old-fashioned type, is on the committee, and was shaken to his roots to attend a Barabino meeting at Biella, where Barabino sat guru-like in a lotus position and discoursed on Krishnaji to a group of eye-shadowed gay men.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Barabino collects money, and no one on the supposed committee sees any accounts, or knows anything about it, nor apparently wants to take any responsibility. Krishnaji said, “You are all irresponsible,” and that it was preferable to have nothing going on rather than all this. He wants the Bulletin discontinued in Italy; Barabino forbidden to use his name; the mailing list turned over to Cragnolini.’ It never was, you know. They never got the mailing list back.
S: Yes, I know. [Both chuckle.]
M: ‘Cragnolini, who is the titular president, is to send out any necessary notice of meetings, etcetera. Letteri can help him. Cragnolini’s name is to appear for Italy in all of the Bulletins. With most of this, Topazia agreed, but then we got on the subject of Rajagopal and Topazia voiced the opinion that he shouldn’t have been pursued by the law. Both Krishnaji and I pointed out, as strongly as possible, that the common thread in these matters is responsibility, legally and otherwise, for charitable funds, etcetera, and not having the right to let the Rajagopals and Barabinos act loosely with such funds; the position of the trust, etcetera. If someone steals from one personally, one may not choose to call the taker into account, but there is no such personal decision permissible as a trustee of funds, other people’s donations, etcetera. We talked it all out, but Topazia, as with Vanda, never seems to get it. They don’t listen. They only voice their own opinions. The trouble with Rajagopal makes people “unhappy” says Topazia, at which I blew, and said that I did not give a good damn if it makes people unhappy. I care about what is done to Krishnaji. If she saw him in trouble, wouldn’t she go to help him? Yes, she replied. Well, that was what one had found out, outrageously, etcetera. We finally arrived at Waterloo, and got her a taxi. When we got into a separate taxi, Krishnaji bumped the top of his head on the door frame. He sat down looking dazed, rubbing his head. It passed, and we got to Huntsman and its soothing atmosphere’ [both chuckle] ‘for him.’
‘We walked through the rain to Fortnum’s. Krishnaji had preferred not to wear a rain coat. We lunched with Mary and Joe. We told Mary about Topazia’s saying that Vanda was distressed at thinking Mary wanted Krishnaji’s letters for the second volume of the biography. Mary was distressed at this interpretation, and wouldn’t ask for letters, but wanted only memories of events in Krishnaji’s life. Krishnaji mentioned the time “the face” changed and the voice asked Vanda if she would look after him. Mary said these things might be collected and kept for an account to be released only after a stated time. Meanwhile, the second volume could be about the development of the teachings.’
Editor’s Note: “The face” and “the face changing” is one of the most intriguing and esoteric aspects of Krishnaji that I knew. Mary and I discuss it at length in at least two later discussion, so there is no point in pre-empting that by discussing it now. However, it seems right to highlight this, and remind readers of the only entry Mary made earlier about this, which was in her diary for December twenty-seventh, 1969 (Issue number 10): ‘On seeing the face, I should by now.’ It seems clear to me that this was something Krishnaji had said to her.
‘Mary told, jokingly, of a sentence she had censored in Krishnaji’s letters to her mother. He had written from Ojai, “I am going to Santa Barbara, where I will cook a millionaire.”’ [Both laugh heartily.] ‘To our amazement and hilarity, Krishnaji said, “Yes, and she only gave a hundred dollars!”’ [Laughter.] ‘It was a Mrs. Bliss. For a man who cannot remember so many things’ [chuckles], ‘he suddenly remembered this!’ [More laughing.] ‘We left the Links’s, paused to buy cheese, and in hopeless rain were able to catch a cab to John Bell and Croyden. Krishnaji asked the cab if he would wait and take us to Waterloo. Oh yes, was the reply. “I’m leaving a package in the cab,” said Krishnaji. “It isn’t a bomb, is it?” said the cabbie.’ [Laughs.] ‘“No, it’s only a Stilton cheese.” Smiles. Krishnaji brought his things in record time, and we got to Waterloo in time to sink into an empty carriage, and read all about the capture of Patty Hearst all the way back to Petersfield. It was pouring rain there. After a strenuous day I was relieved when he was back in a warm bed.’
Editor’s Note: This was the period of extensive bombing in England by Irish separatists. The cabby’s comment was not completely in jest.
So, the next day, the twenty-sixth, it says, ‘Packed.’
M: Yes. I was going to Rome.
S: Ah, ha.
M: ‘I did exercises. Made our breakfast. Spoke to Mr. Morton about the garage space for the Mercedes again. Krishnaji obviously wants to keep it, and my offer to donate it to Brockwood dissolved. I spoke also to Phyl Fry, and made arrangement to go to tea with her next Thursday. Yesterday, Krishnaji saw Mary’s mother’s turquoise ring on Mary’s hand, and remembered his wearing it for her. They believed he “magnetized” things.’
S: Hold on. Let me unpack this a bit. Krishnaji saw Emily Lutyens’s ring on Mary’s hand?
S: And Krishnaji used to wear it for Emily Lutyens because…
M: …he magnetized…
S: …because she believed that Krishnaji magnetized it. Okay.
S: It’s alright. I understand; it’s just for the record. I knew exactly what it was. [Chuckles.]
Editor’s Note: This “magnetizing” of things, especially precious stones, will continue to appear. To my knowledge, we have nothing from Krishnaji explaining it, and explanations from other sources, some of which are traditional, vary too much to provide a consensus, and seem to me to be unreliable. Yet another subject I wish I had asked Krishnaji about when I had a chance.
M: ‘So this morning, he wore my four rings.’ That’s these four [M shows them to S]. ‘And, when he told me to be careful, to come back safely, he put them back on my finger, and I felt that they were indeed a talisman, his protection. Dorothy and Doris kindly insisted on taking me to the airport. We stopped for sandwiches at Runnymede. I took British Airways to Rome to see and stay with Filomena. By 7 p.m. I was in her car. She was smiling, dear, and unchanged. A lovely welcome from her and all the family. We talked and had supper that included Fior di Latte.’ That’s a kind of mozzarella that I like. ‘She remembered how I liked it. Her arthritis in the shoulder is better, but it pains her now. We spoke of Malibu. It is as if the years there with us, the peace, calm, the respect for each other has made her an alien to her own family and friends, and they resent her unspoken sense of difference.’
S: Hm, hm, hm.
M: Well, then, I was in Rome, but you don’t want to hear about that.
S: Sure, you might as well tell us.
M: ‘Well, Vanda, who was to have come to Rome and with whom Filomena and I would have had lunch, is in Florence because of a train strike. So, we talked by telephone. I told her of Mary Lutyens’s not wanting her private letters from Krishnaji, etcetera, but only records of things about Krishnaji for posterity. Vanda said she would “do whatever you say”—meaning Krishnaji, and will talk about it in Gstaad next summer.’
On Sunday, the eighth, that’s the next day. ‘Filomena and her son Mario drove me to the airport. When I left, I said to Filomena that we would see each other next year, whether she feels like Brockwood in the spring, or possibly Malibu in the fall.’
I flew British Air back to Heathrow. It was a warm sunny day in Rome, and the same in England too. After an hour’s wait for the bag, I got a taxi to Woking, and from there the train to Petersfield. Doris met me. Krishnaji spoke to the school this morning on fear, and did a dialogue, number ten, with David Bohm yesterday. I got back to Brockwood in time to have Krishnaji’s tray with supper ready for him when he returned from the walk. It feels so good to be back, but worth it, as he asks, to have gone to see Filomena.’ He always asked, “Was it worth it?” He didn’t like me going.
S: I know.
M: On Monday the twenty-ninth, ‘Mary L.  rang. I told her that Vanda is willing to do whatever about the second volume of the biography. Mary told of her mother’s turquoise ring and discussed the ring dazzling both her and Joe the day after Krishnaji had worn it through lunch last Friday. Joe, who doesn’t imagine such things, says it was the first time he had known firsthand of such a thing. I told Krishnaji, who nodded. He says it works better with precious stones than gold. He asked for my ring, a diamond that is in the bank in Malibu. I gave him a star sapphire one instead. He put it on his little finger during the morning, but to wear it all night, he said, was better. I did the laundry, housekeeping, and desk. He and I walked with Whisper. The countryside is so beautiful. The smell of autumn in the leaves, adds to such a sense of love for being in this landscape. I am deeply grateful to be here. In the afternoon, Krishnaji saw briefly a Mr. Rothman from Argentina. In the evening, I played the tape of the dialogue Krishnaji had with David Bohm last Saturday, number ten in the series. David had asked about “the process,” etcetera.’
S: May I just stop for a minute, because I think it’s worth going over this: Krishnaji put on Mary’s turquoise ring from her mother. And then both she and Joe, and he doesn’t have any inclination towards anything esoteric, or…
M: He said it was the first time he had experienced…
S: …experienced something a bit unusual.
M: Yes, yes.
S: …because it was dazzling afterward.
S: Yes, we recorded it. But I just want to clarify this. It’s also worth noting, here, that as I remember it, whenever Krishnaji would go to lunch at Fortnum’s with you and Mary, she would bring her ring, and he would…
M: Not every time, but occasionally.
S: Well, every time I was there, he would put it on.
M: Maybe. Yes, and then it would be different. Mary’s granddaughter once said, “Oh, you’ve had it cleaned!” spontaneously, without knowing what had happened.
S: Yes, yes.
M: And these are the rings that he was talking about.
S: I know. Yes. Hmmm. Okay.
M: Tuesday, the thirtieth of September. ‘Krishnaji came in saying he had such a strange feeling that he couldn’t describe it. Later, he said he woke up at 5 a.m. feeling “something strange.” Then, he felt it much more when he got up at 6:30 a.m. “A tremendous energy” flowing inside. Part of it “might have been” a premonition of a cable that arrived this morning signed by Pupul, saying Achyut, Sunanda, Balasundaram, and she agree “under present circumstances” that it would be better that Krishnaji go to California this year. Krishnaji said he was glad of their agreement. He would’ve gone anyway, but preferred not to go against people. A letter from Nandini told of dreaming twice that she asked Krishnaji, “Are you through with India?” and his reply was “I think so.”’
‘I wrote fourteen letters. We walked across the lovely fields. There has been no frost, and the summer leaves are still on the trees and hedgerows in this lovely land.’
Now, it’s time to stop. It’s ten after 6 p.m.
S: Okay. So, we’ll just call it quits. We won’t do a second side today.
 Luckily, Mary Links’ maiden name and her pen name (Lutyens) begin with the same letter. Just to remind the readers that they are the same person. Back to text.