Issue #4

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Issue 4 – May 1966 to June 1966

Introduction to Issue 4

It is clear from some of Mary’s comments (e.g., “let’s see what happened after that?”) and from the exact dates and times that Mary gives in this discussion, that she had her diaries open in front of her for the discussion.

A significant development in the period covered by this discussion is that Mary began to be Krishnaji’s host. Their relationship also seems to be shifting; it moves from “Mary, the driver and doer of errands” toward Mary as a friend and companion, and beginning to supersede Alain’s friendship with Krishnaji.

Most significantly, in the period discussed in this issue, Mary has her first experience of the more “esoteric” aspects of Krishnaji’s life, and he talks with her about this.

 The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 4

Scott: Where we left off was that you were just putting [chuckling] your car, your Jaguar, your not-a-Mercedes onto an airplane to fly it across the channel.

Mary: Well, wasn’t as odd as it sounds today. [Both chuckle.] It was a rather small plane, that could land on the water but it also had wheels. It would emerge from the water on a ramp, and then the wheels would take it up onto the landing strip.

S: Oh, really?

M: I think so. That’s the way I remember it.

S: Now how many people would there be? A small cabin with, say, a dozen people?

M: No, probably about eight. I can’t remember how many cars could go, more than one obviously, probably two, maybe four. I don’t know. There was mouth-like opening in the front of the plane, and the cars drove into the stomach, as it were, [S laughs] and then the passengers went and sat in the cabin.

S: I’m sorry I missed that one. [Both laugh.] OK, so, Krishnaji went with you?

M: Krishnaji, Alain, and I. It took a very short time, just flew over to Le Touquet.

S: And from there you drove to Paris.

M: Well, no, we didn’t go to Paris. We went to something much nicer. From my research in the Michelin guide, I’d found a nice place to have lunch somewhere in Le Touquet, but then we drove on to a place called Vironvay, which is south of Louvier, if your French geography is good.

S: Not that good.

M: There was an inn, a sort of country inn called Les Saisons. It was very nice because it was sort of cottages around an old building. I had a big room with a fireplace. Krishnaji and Alain were somewhere else, I don’t know where they were, not in the same cottage, but we had dinner in my cottage. We ordered room service and we had a fire. It was lovely.

S: Oh, how nice.

When was this again? Was this April?

M: This was May twelfth.

So, we spent the night there. Everybody’d slept well, and it was a beautiful day the next day. Around noon we drove on towards Paris, and I had ordered a table at the Coq Hardi. Have you ever been to the Coq Hardi?

S: No.

M: Well, it’s a ravishing restaurant.

S: Where? In Paris?

M: It’s out near Malmaison, west of Paris.

In summer, you sit outside on a terrace, and behind there’s a hill, and it’s all banked in hydrangeas.

S: How nice!

M: It’s beautiful!

And the food is superb. I obviously was taken there by my father many times.

S: [chuckles] Yes, of course.

M: So, I knew about it, but of course they hadn’t been there, and we had a sumptuous lunch.

S: Hm.

M: Just one beautiful dish of vegetables after another, and fruit. Krishnaji was pleased.

S: By this time you were well recovered from omelets and chips. [Laughs.]

M: Oh, omelets and chips were long gone. [Laughs.] So we went on into Paris in the afternoon. I dropped Krishnaji and Alain at the Suarèses’ at about four o’clock. Then I went on to the Hotel Pont Royale, where I’d stayed before. I didn’t see them for a couple of days, but I spent time with my father.

M: On May fifteenth, Krishnaji gave his first talk in the Salle Adyar, which I think we discussed before.

S: Yes.

M: Apart from the talks, there was shopping. [S chuckles.] We went to Sulka for something, and Lobb, naturally, for shoes. These beautiful things were brought out, tried on, and were very pleasing. Then we went to the Bois[1] and to Bagatelle[2], which is lovely. We walked around, and I think we had tea or something to drink, and then I drove them back. And, then…

S: What would happen for the talks? Who would drive Krishnaji to the Salle Adyar?

M: [long pause] I don’t remember.

S: Was Alain making recordings of those talks?

M: Yes, he was. He was.

S: Would you see Krishnaji before the talks?

M: No, no. I wouldn’t see him.

S: Would you see him that day?

M: That day, I guess. I have no recollection of it, and no note about it. Krishnaji and Alain would go for walks, and one day I took Marcelle Bondoneau to the Suarèses’, dropped her there, and met them coming back from a walk. So, as I had the car, we went back to the Bois, and had another walk there.

On the twentieth, we drove to St. Germain for a walk, a long walk.

The following day I drove Krishnaji, Alain, and Pupul Jayakar to Chartres. We obviously went through the cathedral again, and had lunch.

S: Did you have lunch in the same place?

M: Yes, in the same place. Vieille Maison, it was called La Vieille Maison. Then we came back to Paris, dropped Pupul at her hotel, and went back to the Bois for another walk. [Chuckles.]

So, let’s see what happened after that?

S: Were there any private discussions?

M: Well, I’m just coming to one. There was going to be another young people’s discussion.

S: Arranged by Alain.

M: Arranged by Alain, and I was able to hire a nice room for that discussion in the Hotel Pont Royale. I took them to it, and sat in on it. Afterward, I dropped them back, and I went to tea with Marianne Borel. Do you remember Marianne Borel? Little bird-like lady with white hair, very French.

S: No.

M: Oh yes, you would. I can see her in my mind’s eye. She always used to put up money for the camping people in the tent to have food. Like a little…

S: It’s beginning to say something to me now.

M: Yes.

S: Huh, I’d probably recognize her if I saw her.

M: You would recognize her.

Well anyway, she gave a tea, and that was for all the French people, and so I met them all.

S: Where was it?

M: At her house. She gave the tea.

On another day, I lunched with Marcelle and Mar de Manziarly[3] there.

I guess I met her at the tea, but then I met her again at lunch, and then again on the afternoon walk with Krishnaji and Alain at Bagatelle.

On another day we went to Saint-Cloud for a walk. So it was talking, and walking, and shopping, that is what really went on.

S: Where the old castle used to be in Saint-Cloud, with that wonderful view over Paris?

M: Yes, yes. That’s where we walked.

S: How very nice.

M: Yes.

M: Let’s see, what happened next?

S: I just realized that at this time you didn’t have the advantage of Mary’s biographies because they hadn’t been written.

M: No.

S: So you didn’t know about people like Mar de Manziarly, her history with Krishnaji, or some of these other people?

M: Well, I’d probably been told, at least a little bit. These were, you know, old friends and part of that early time.

S: Yes.

M: I must’ve known something, I mean just from general talk.

There were [chuckles] two other characters of note: General and Madame Bouvards. [Chuckles.] He was a retired general and she was a rather worldly woman. They were around in Saanen every year, and Madame Bouvards would give luncheons and things. So, we went and had a luncheon with them and somebody called Nagaswaran. Nagaswaran played the veena[4] in India, for Krishnaji, and also he played it at the house that Alain and Frances and I shared. He was rather nice, and he moved to France, I think, and believe he started a school. Anyway, he played at Madame Bouvards.

Again, it was walking, and talks, and Bagatelle.

I went to concerts in the evening, and did shopping with Alain, and what else?

Oh, yes, we went to a movie one day, a movie called Ten Little Indians. [S laughs.]  It’s a detective thriller, somebody gets murdered. So that was very pleasing.

S: Ah. Yes, that would be. We all know Krishnaji’s penchant for thrillers. [S and M chuckle.]

You don’t mention going out to meals with Krishnaji.

M: No, he didn’t eat at restaurants at all, except that one time at Bougival, Picardie.

S: And you weren’t invited to the Suarèses’ for meals?

M: I think I was, once or twice, but not regularly.

S: What were they like?

M: Well, he was a little gnomish-like man, and he was very busy, really absorbed, in doing some translations and writing a book about the Kabbalah. He was very involved in that.

Nadine was a grey-haired, middle-aged, very French-looking lady, but in fact they were both Egyptian. They came from Egypt.

S: Oh yes, I remember that now.

M: There was another young people’s discussion, and I took K[5] there. And then coming back [laughs], this is a saga. I drove that small distance between from the Hotel Pont Royal and the Suarèses’, and as I got to the corner, where their building is, the Jaguar stopped. Luckily, there was a parking place right on the corner, and I was able to roll it in [both laugh]. I don’t know how, but I did. And so I said to Alain and Krishnaji, “Go away, and leave me to deal with this.”

After some protests, they did. This [laughs] was on the twenty-ninth of May, and there ensued an absolutely frantic and comic day [chuckles], trying to get the Jaguar moving, have life again. I eventually got someone [laughs] through the auto club, I don’t know what. “Ma voiture est en panne,” said I.

“Oui, oui, Madame,” came the reply. He would come and deal with it. [S chuckles.] So, how he dealt with it is that he towed it away. And I couldn’t find it. [S laughs.] It was Pentecôte, you know, Pentecost.

S: Ohh.

M: [laughs] I was due to drive K, in the Jaguar, to Switzerland. [S laughs.] And it was Pentecôte, and nobody was anywhere.

S: Your car was taken away, and you didn’t know where.

M: Exactly, and couldn’t find anyone to ask. [Both laugh.] I was up a tree, as you can imagine!

I finally [laughs] located the man who towed it away, and I learned where it was supposed to be. He said that he would meet me there. He hadn’t been able to fix it, but we were going to try to get it out anyway. So I went in a taxi way into the eastern part of Paris, to some terrible [laughs] place, where all the dead cars go when they die.

S: Yes [laughs].

M: A dead car yard [both laugh], and mine was behind a big wall with a big gate and an enormous padlock on it. So, the man [laughs], climbed the fence, and was to stand guard outside in case the police came by. [Both laugh.] I had a picture…

S: …of getting arrested stealing your own car! [Laughs.]

M: Yes, exactly! And the exasperation of the police at, you know, these damned foreigners

S: Yes [laughs].

M: …coming to our country and doing these stupid things. [S and M laugh.] But anyway, he broke the lock or something because somehow he got the gate open, and he got the car out. He also had to go in and steal the key, which was hidden in the office. He did all that while I stood guard. Finally he got it out, but it would only go in very low gear in fits and starts.

S: Oiee.

M: Awful! And driving it that way with this awful jerky motion, I thought it’s ruining the whole car so it’ll never recover from this. He got it to the Jaguar agency up near the Étoile. I don’t know how we managed but it got there, and it was left there. By this time, I was [laughs] rather a nervous wreck.

The next morning, I called the Jaguar people, but they were rather vague about the whole thing. So, I got Alain on the phone and I said, “You’ve got to come with me, or we’ll never get it” –we were supposed to leave that morning for [S chuckles] Switzerland! [M laughs.]

We went over, and Alain was marvelous. He found out who was head of the whole place and where his office was, and we went upstairs to it, and he walked in with me in tow. There was the boss behind a big desk, important man in a conference with other important men. Alain walked up and said in immaculate French, “Monsieur, I am bringing you a great problem. Madame is due to leave this morning in her car to take a very distinguished gentleman on a tour of France and to Switzerland. It is the highest importance that the car be able to run. Will you see to it?” [Laughs.] With that, the chef de Jaguar [S chuckles] pointed to an underling and told him to take care of this. [S chuckles.]

We went out and followed him down, and there was the poor car. So we got in and, again, a harrowing ride into the Bois with the car going in lower than low gear, I don’t know what, and jerking, jerking all the way. The technician, who was driving, forced the car to go. Apparently the car was not broken. There was something stuck, and by forcing it, and forcing it, and forcing it…suddenly it went! [Laughs.]

When we went back to the Jaguar dealership, I said, “We can postpone our departure until after lunch, but I will need the car looked at in detail between now and 3 o’clock,” or whatever it was.

They said they would.

Alain and I then took a taxi, fetched Krishnaji, and went to Chez Conti, which is an Italian restaurant in Paris, very good. Mr. Conti, the founder and owner, was very attached to my father because, not only was my father a great customer (all restaurant owners adored my father, because [S chuckles] he was the perfect [laughs] customer), but  Mr. Conti was also a racing fan, and Father had horses, and went to the races every day.

So, Mr. Conti was all too pleased to give us a wonderful lunch. Krishnaji was delighted to have Italian food, and said, “Why haven’t we come here every day?!” [Both laugh.]

After lunch I fetched the Jaguar, got my luggage from the hotel, and I met them both at the Suarèses’. The car was driving perfectly, so off we went to Touraine.

S: Now, I know that eventually the Suarèses said to somebody it was too difficult for them to have Krishnaji. Was that, that year?

M: Yes, it was.

S: How did you come to know about it?

M: I didn’t know about it then. I knew about it later in Switzerland.

S: Well, tell me about it now because we’re talking about it.

M: Well, they were getting old, and Krishnaji’s being with them was becoming more of a burden than a privilege. They made remarks about, “Oh, it’s so much trouble, so much work, when you’re here.” And Krishnaji felt uncomfortable.

S: Of course.

M: He felt he was exploiting them.

S: Yes.

M: Krishnaji didn’t say anything, but Marcelle Bondaneau came to know of this. She was an old, old friend of the Suarèses’, and an old, old friend of Krishnaji; been in Ommen in the early days. She was a nice, jolly lady. As a result of what the Suarèses were feeling, that summer in Switzerland she said to me, “It doesn’t seem right that Krishnaji is always a guest. He should have his own place when he comes to Paris. You should rent something and run it for him, so that it’s his place but you’re doing the needed.”

I replied, “I would feel that I’m butting in, you know; this is an established thing, with the Suarèses. It will cause very bad feelings.”

She said, “No, no, that doesn’t matter. What’s important is that Krishnaji should have things right for him.”

So, she proposed it to him and he okay’ed it.

When she came back to me and told me, I said, “I’ll need your help to find a place, because I have to go back to the United States.”

She said, “We’ll find something,  and you, you rent it and run it” you know, the whole thing. So that was what was agreed.

S: I see.

M: But I must go back to this exit from Paris, because this was when Krishnaji told both Alain and me that, at times, he faints; and that, if it happened, we weren’t to be frightened, but “don’t touch the body,” as he put it. So, we’re going out of Paris on the thirty-first of May. Heavy traffic on the, um…

S: Autoroute du Soleil.

M: Yes, going south on the Autoroute de Soleil. We’re driving along, and something made me glance at Krishnaji, and he s-l-o-w-l-y fainted to the left into, more or less, my lap. I put out my hand instinctively. I was afraid his head would hit the steering wheel. I couldn’t stop the car. Cars, you know pouring all around us. Alain was in the back seat.

S: This Jaguar obviously has left-hand steering?

M: Yes. I’d ordered it for America.

It was extraordinary the way this happened. It was like slow motion. He didn’t go plop. He v-e-r-y slowly, like a flower leaning over and…

S: Mm, hm.

M: So I was able to continue to drive. Luckily, I was in the right-hand lane. As soon as possible, when there was an exit, we got off the auto-route.

S: Alain was aware of what had happened?

M: Alain was in the back seat, but he couldn’t do anything.

S: But he was aware of what happened?

M: Oh yes! He was aware of it. After a few minutes, with a cry, Krishnaji came to.

S: For how long was he out? A few minutes, five minutes?

M: Probably five minutes.

S: Did you have a sense of anything?

M: No, but it was curious. I didn’t have a sense of anything, but every time it ever happened in a car, something warned me. Not that I was conscious, but something made me turn and look at him just before it happened. Every time. It was very odd.

S: Hm.

M: Because it happened a number of times later on. But that was the first time.

S: Did he say anything?

M: Yes, he did. He made some half-joking apology for falling into my lap or something. I’ve forgotten exactly what he said. So we drove on.

S: But there was no explanation?

M: Well, he said it would sometimes happen after a series of talks. He didn’t explain it then, but he explained it later on; that it was something about leaving the body temporarily, after it’d been through strain of some kind. The effort of the Paris talks and all that, would have made that a moment for it. He also said it will never happen in public, and it will never happen unless he’s with people he knows well, not casually.  (Click here to hear Mary)

S: Yes.

M: So, we drove on. I booked rooms in a hotel in Montbazon, which we turned out to dislike very much. It was the former house of somebody like Monsieur Coty, you know, some big industrialist. It was turned into a hotel, and it was overly ornate and pretentious. We didn’t like it at all. But we spent the night, we had to. We decided to drive on the next day.

S: Can I come back to this fainting, Mary?

M: Of course.

S: Did you notice a change in Krishnaji from before he would faint to after he would faint? Like would he be refreshed afterwards? Or would he be…mm, in a different mood afterwards? Or anything?

M: No.

S: No change at all?

M: No, he wasn’t any special way before.

S: He wasn’t more tired afterwards or less tired afterwards?

M: I can’t answer that. If it did something, or if it relieved some strain, it was not a physical strain.

S: So, it had no visible effect?

M: No. I didn’t know why it happened, and I didn’t ask. I mean I just—he told us that it might happen, and it did.

S: Had this happened with Alain before?

M: No, not that I know of. I don’t think so, because I remember his explaining it to both of us.

S: Mm, hm. When did he explain it to both of you?

M: [sighs] I don’t remember it precisely. He may have said it that day, but before the trip. I certainly didn’t expect it then and there. I wasn’t, you know, waiting to see if he’d faint or something.

S: But it wasn’t like weeks and weeks before.

M: No, it was fairly recent.

S: Did Krishnaji ever say that he would know when this would come? Even approximately?

M: No.

S: Well, it came after a strain that he would know.

M: Well, he would, yes. And it later came one day after he’d had a dentist thing; that was “a shock to the body,” as he put it.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Also, he had, once in California, a cyst inside his lower lip, and the doctor said it had to come out. So, we drove into the doctor’s office, and they gave him Novocain, I think, and it was cut out. It wasn’t serious in any way. But about halfway home, he fainted, again, in the same way.

S: Hm.

M: He also did it once in New York when we arrived, and we went to a flat I rented from my ex-sister-in-law. A little flat on 61st Street. I took him into his room, showed him where it was, and, I guess, just from fatigue of the journey, he fainted.

S: Hm.

M: So it was after some, as he put it, “shock to the body” or exertion, strain of some kind. And the cry, when he comes to, of course, is always…makes you…

S: Yes, I’ve heard that cry.

M: Yes. But the cry meant nothing painful. He wasn’t aware of the cry. I mean it…he’d hear it.…

S: Yes. He’d hear it, yes.

M: It woke him up, but it wasn’t a sign of pain or something.

S: No, no. But, he obviously anticipated his fainting, to a certain extent, because he told you just before it happened that it would happen. In other words, he must have known that the body had gone through a strain with these talks.

M: That it might. Yes.

S: That it might happen. Yes.

M: But he didn’t, as I recall, he didn’t indicate something like, “Watch out.”

S: No, no, no.

M: Just to tell us that it could happen, and not to be alarmed, and not to touch the body.

Of course, as it happened, I did touch him. I couldn’t help it because I tried to prevent his hitting his head on the steering wheel, and he fell in my lap, but we didn’t touch him otherwise. I just held him as well as I could with my right arm, and drove with my left. But, I didn’t do anything about him or try and lift him up or anything. I just waited for it to go away.

S: Yes, yes.

Alright, you left the unpleasant industrialist’s house.

M: Yes. [Laughs.] And it was awful noisy, too, and they didn’t appreciate vegetarians.

S: [laughs] Sorry!

M: So, the next day we drove on to Amboise. We lunched in Amboise. Krishnaji isn’t a great chateau visitor, as I’ve said, so we didn’t go into the Château, but we went on to Chenonceau.

S: Oh, that’s beautiful.

M: When we got there, we did do a walk around, but again, we didn’t go into the Château. We went in on another trip when we went there. But it’s lovely to look at it from the outside, and we walked around the gardens.

Then we went on—again the Michelin Guide had done its duty for me—to a place I’d found called Pougues-les-Eaux [S laughs]. At Pougues-les-Eaux, there was a Château de Mimont, which had been turned into a hotel. It was Château with parkland around. Lovely! And the owner was the host. One of those Château hotels, you know.

S: Yes, I do.

M: That was lovely. It was in the country, and there were fields, and trees, and beautiful rolling country. We had nice rooms and I remember in the salle à manger that supper was very good. They rose to the vegetarian challenge very nicely, and it was good.

S: Oh, good.

M: I remember that was one of the first times when I was aware of something… strange…some presence when Krishnaji was talking about his early life. I can see the dining room in my memory, and feeling something, something that’s not identifiable. A sort of presence, is the way I can explain it; they’re the only words I can think of.

S: Yes.

M: It was like a kind of, well…I’ve described it as a vibrance in the air. Something electric, something, some sort of unheard hum or something…

S: Yes, yes.

Did you say anything to Alain about it or to Krishnaji about it?

M: I don’t remember, but when later we did talk about it, that memory of the Château de Mimont evening came back to me. I don’t think I did talk about it that evening.

S: Mm, hm.

M: But that’s, again, lost in memory.

So, we spent the next day going for walks. It was very nice.

S: Now, would you have your main meal at lunch, or at dinner?

M: Lunch.

Well, the first evening at Château de Mimont, we had our main meal for dinner, because we only got there about suppertime.

S: Yes.

S: So Krishnaji, even in those days, had his main meal at midday?

M: Yes, yes. We’d have supper, but lunch was the larger meal.

S: I wonder why?

M: Well, he’d been to the Bircher Benner Clinic.

S: Ahhh. Is that what they always recommend?

M: That’s part of the regimen: that you eat your main meal at lunch, and there’s that business about fruit first, and then raw things, and then cooked things.

S: Yes.

M: Which we’ve all followed ever since.

S: I know.

M: He picked it up there. It’s the way they feed you, and diet is very much part of the therapy there. There are books, medical books supporting this program of food. And, he liked it, so that was the way it was.

S: Yes, of course.

M: So, then we drove on to Geneva.

S: Sorry, would it always be Alain in the back seat and Krishnaji…?

M: Yes, in the front.

S: So Alain didn’t drive?

M: Not my car, no. He drove later his own car. He wasn’t a very experienced driver.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And…I didn’t like the way he drove. I thought he was hard on the car.

S: Ah, huh.

M: So I did all the driving.

S: I see.

M: He may have spelled me once or twice but, not with Krishnaji in the car, I don’t think. I was supposed to be a great driver. Krishnaji approved.

S: Mm, hm. [Laughs].

M: Anyway, we arrived in the—back to the good ole Hotel du Rhône!

S: Which way did you come in, do you remember?

M: Yes, I do, but I won’t be able to give you the names. Through…well it—looking at the map it would be the west, slightly southwest part, through…is there a place called Voltaire there?

S: Voltaire? There’s something Chalon-sur-Saône?

M: No, we weren’t that far south; I’ve been through Chalon.

S: Chalon-sur-Saône. Did you come in through the Lyons way?

M: No, no, no. Um, Mimont—we—we, oh dear, I can see the places, but I can’t name them. Maybe my other book would have that. Do you want to turn it off, and I’ll look it up? Or don’t you care?

S: No, it’s all right. Let’s just make a note, and we’ll get it later.

M: Alright. It’s going to be a very confusing tape if we make footnotes, pages later![6]

S: [laughs] It doesn’t make any difference.

M: Anyway, we got to the Hotel du Rhône, and then of course the next day we did our Geneva errands. Patek. And also I think neckties at that place…

S: Jacquet.

M: Yes, Jacquet. Thank you. So, we then went to Gstaad, and Les Caprices. This year we all stayed at Caprices for a while, because Tannegg wasn’t open yet. Krishnaji had a sort of studio, next to my flat, as I recall. But we all used my sitting room. And I did the cooking.

S: And where did Alain stay?

M: Alain stayed with me. There was an extra room that year.

S: Like the year before.

M: That’s right, but we spent most of our time in my sitting room and had our meals there.

S: Would you go out to eat in restaurants?

M: No, we went to a restaurant on Thun Lake when we went to Thun for the car. If you go round the lake from Thun on the little boat they have, there is a town called Merlingen, and there they have the Hotel Beatus and we’d go there for lunch. But we didn’t lunch in Gstaad, as I recall. We’d lunch at home.

And, of course, we had walks.

At one point, Krishnaji got bronchitis and stayed in bed. The Biascoecheas, who were in Gstaad already, came to lunch.

There’s a note here about lunching, taking the lake ferry to Beatus from Thun. Apparently we were looking for a Volkswagen for Alain, because he needed a car. So, there was much car shopping and…

S: Mm, hm. In Thun?

M: In Thun, yes, that’s where we’d gotten Krishnaji’s car, from Monsieur Moser.

S: Yes, yes, I remember, yes. [Both laugh.]

M: We gave Mr. Moser a lot of business!

S: I know.

M: And Krishnaji got his Mercedes out of storage at Mr. Moser’s, and drove it back to Gstaad.

S: What color was it?

M: Silver.

S: That’s right.

M: Silver, the first, this is the first one.

S: Yes, this is the first one.

M: Again, we went for lunch with the Biascoecheas, we walked everywhere, and Alain went to Bern for something or other, I’ve forgotten what, probably a visa. I made lunch for K and we walked.

S: How long were your walks?

M: Oh, a goodly walk.

S: An hour?

M: An hour at least, yes.

We went to Geneva again, going through France, going around the south side of the lake. And we took a picnic and had it on route. And then we went to the Hotel du Rhône [both laugh]. We went to a Hitchcock movie that evening, Dial M for Murder.

S: Ah, yes, I remember that one.

M: Grace Kelly. The next day Alain and Krishnaji went to Dr. Pierre Schmidt, who was a noted homeopath. An ancient gentleman. Alain of course has always been mad about homeopathy, and he got hold of Dr. Pierre Schmidt, who was a very distinguished homeopath. [Chuckles.] I went along, I took them. They both had liver treatments. God knows what that was. They became patients of Dr. Schmidt. Then K and I drove back to Gstaad, and Alain remained to meet Desikachar, who was arriving from India.

S: Ah, ha.

M: The next day K and I lunched with the Biascoecheas, took a long walk in the afternoon along the river.

S: Oh, let me go back here, because Desikachar was coming to give Krishnaji yoga lessons.

M: Yes.

S: But before then it had been Iyengar, and Krishnaji always told me that Iyengar had hurt his neck.

M: That’s true.

S: Were you there when it happened, or were you aware of that at that time?

M: Yes.

S: Well, you didn’t talk about that.

M: Well uh, I wasn’t aware of it when Desikachar…,

When Iyengar was teaching him, I took lessons from Iyengar too, and I must say he was almost brutal.

S: Yes, I’ve heard that.

M: I mean, he tried to make you do things that just pushed you to your limit.

S: Yes.

M: In fact [laughs] I used to deliberately get angry to get enough adrenalin to do what he was making me do. And he’d been too rough with Krishnaji. He’s very rough.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Desikachar is the opposite, very gentle. So, Desikachar was invited to come.

S: So, you don’t remember Krishnaji’s being hurt at that time? It would’ve been the year before.

M: Well, he had a permanently stiff neck from it.

S: Yes, I know.

M: It wasn’t that he was hurt then and there, but from Iyengar, he couldn’t turn his head well. It got terribly stiff, and took him a long time to get over that.

S: I see.

Mary, it’s good to have details like that…

M: Yes.

S: Like for instance, even your, you know, making yourself get angry so you would have the adrenaline to do that. Those are the kinds of things that make these interviews come alive.

M: Yes. [Pause.] He was, I’ve forgotten what pose it was he was making me do, but with my bad leg, it was forcing me very hard. I was shaking with the effort.

S: Why don’t you read your notes?

M: Alright.

Well, here’s a typical day. June eighteenth. I marketed and made lunch while K went riding in his Mercedes.

S: Now would he go out on his own?

M: Oh, yes! The Biascoecheas came for lunch with us. And later, I walked in the rain with Krishnaji.

S: Where did you buy your vegetables?

M: Oh, you know, what was his name?

S: Mr. Mullener.

M: Yes. He later had that restaurant in Gsteig.

And also the, oh dear, the one in the middle.

S: Yes, yes, yes. Across from the chocolate shop.

M: Yes. But back then it belonged to the original owner, whose name is on it.

S: Yes.

M: And then later his assistant bought it. Isn’t it awful, the memory. I forget all those names.

S: Well, it’s just a vegetable shop, but anyway [chuckles] I remember it as well.

M: Marketing was a big business. One went here for this, and there for that.

S: Oh yes! And Oehrli for the bread and cakes.

M: Yes, Oehrli is wonderful, those lovely cakes. And where eventually the, um…

S: White chocolate.

M: White chocolate! [Both laugh.]

S: I remember introducing those to you!

M: You did! You brought it. I hadn’t had any chocolate, all these years, these twenty-some years in Switzerland, I never ate any chocolate because I knew if I did [S chuckles], I was lost! So the object was never to start and I never did…

S: Quite right.

M: …until you got me onto one.

S: Until I ruined it all.

M: Yes, yes.

S: So Krishnaji would go off every day, and drive on his own?

M: I don’t know about every day but he would go often.

S: Oh, how nice.

M: Yes, yes. He liked that. Desikachar arrived, and we start yoga lessons. I have my first lesson with him.

Here’s a day when Krishnaji took me for a ride in the Mercedes.

On another, I drove Alain to Thun where he picked up his Volkswagen, so we’re now three cars!

S: With three cars, yes. [Chuckles.]

M: Mine, of course is an inferior Jaguar, but anyway, I mended that later. [Both chuckle.]

One day we drove one day to Evian for lunch on the terrace of the Hotel Royal, which is lovely. I think it was then that ha! [giggles] Alain…it was the time when cherries, those wonderful, big, black, huge cherries.

S: Ah, yes, yes.

M: We ordered cherries, and Alain insisted on opening every cherry in case there was a worm in it. [S laughs.] He had a thing about worms. I said it ruins the cherries, being full of anxiety about a worm! [S laughs.] I said that I’ve never had a worm in a cherry.

He said, “I have!” [S laughs.]

But it was this really a lovely lunch because the terrace looks out over the whole lake. And it’s a very old-fashioned hotel. In fact, we thought of taking rooms there once, but we never did.

So, on we went to Geneva and the Hotel du Rhône [laughs]. Alain and Krishnaji had homeopathic treatments, which I didn’t have. They also had steam baths. But I didn’t do that.

S: Where did they have those?

M: I don’t know, wherever—it was a homeopathic thing. I don’t know where they went. The next day, we drove back to Gstaad via Evian, and another lovely lunch at the Hotel Royal [both laugh].

This could be rather monotonous for posterity! [Both laugh.] I don’t think posterity’s going to want to hear all this stuff!

S: Well, this is a chance to get all the details [M laughs], like what did you do when they were going to this homeopath? And later on Krishnaji said that he didn’t think home—homeopathy had done him any good. He stopped taking things.

M: That’s right, but that didn’t prevent him from getting an awful lot of it. [Both laugh.] And Alain was so interested, and still is so passionately involved with homeopathy.

S: Yes.

M: It never did anything for me.

S: Yes, Krishnaji said also, I can remember him saying, he didn’t think it worked.

M: Well, he’d still do it. [Both laugh]. I guess he would be hot and cold about that.

S: So when you went down to Geneva, you drove in your car again then?

M: The Jaguar, yes, yes. And I, I don’t know, I walked around and I shopped probably.

S: Describe what it was like driving with Krishnaji in the car.

M: Well, of course it was lovely.

S: He noticed everything.

M: Yes. And, again, I’ve described his back-seat driving.

S: Yes.

M: He would be like Toscanini or von Karian conducting the driving with hand signals.

S: Yes.

M: But, he would also like to look at the country. He enjoyed that. At other times, when I drove alone with him, later on when Alain wasn’t with us, he used to chant.

S: Hmm.

M: And that was wonderful. We would drive through France on lovely little tiny roads, with the beautiful country unwinding around us, and he would chant. It was like…well, I’ve always felt most people have a hum—when they’re alone, they hum something. Krishnaji’s hum was Sanskrit chants.

S: How lovely.

M: And, it was beautiful.

S: Hm. [M chuckles.] How nice!

M: Yes. Those were really wonderfully magic moments, being in the middle of France, away from everything, no telephone, no people, nobody knew where we were, just rolling through lovely country, relaxed and–just loveliness. We wouldn’t talk too much. But there was a kind of something unspoken that we both were enjoying.

S: A kind of communication.

M: Yes.

S: How very nice.

Mary, would he or you bring like a thermos to have something to drink along the way if you wanted?

M: We usually took, I think, a bottle of Evian, or something like that.

S: And some cups or glasses?

M: Cups usually, you know, paper or plastic.

And later on we used to stop and buy croissants! This would be on the return from Switzerland, driving back to Paris.

S: You’d get croissants?

M: Well, we would leave always at 4 a.m., why I don’t know, but we did. [S laughs.] Fosca would see us off and give me a good Italian coffee before we left. And then we’d cross the frontier just as it was coming light, up above Divonne, up there. And after coming into France, driving a bit down, there was…oh, I should know the name of the town. If I had a map in front of me I’d tell you. Where there’s a bakery, and they were just baking them. Bread was coming out of the oven. And we would stop and buy hot– from-the-oven croissants.

S: Mm, hm, how wonderful.

M: Fosca would have given us a whole pannier of fruit and something to drink. So, we’d stop and have a picnic breakfast, which was lovely. Krishnaji would always remember the place! He, with his trick memory, not remembering so many things. He had a memory for places.

S: An extraordinary memory for places!

M: Yes, and he would say, “We’re coming to it” when we’d be, say, a half a mile away. And when we’d get there, and he’d say, “Here it is, here it is.” There was a place we could park off the road just a little bit, behind some trees and bushes.

S: Was Fosca cooking for you all the time in Gstaad?

M: Fosca cooked every year but the last year.

S: I only ask because you only said before, when you were talking that in the first year that Vanda had sent a cook…

M: Well, yes, a male cook. But, he didn’t last. He was crooked, he was cheating [laughs]. People would send Krishnaji mangos, and I’d go fetch them in the car, a big box of mangos would come up the hill. We’d have mangos for maybe two meals, and then no more mangos. He was selling them to the Palace Hotel.

S: Oh, you left that out of the story!

M: Well, I didn’t [both laugh] think of it till now!

S: Oh really!

M: Yes!

S: Ah ha!

M: He was fired.

S: So, he hadn’t worked for Vanda for very long, or had he?

M: Um, I don’t think he’d worked for her very long before. I’m not very clear on Vanda’s arrangement. Fosca was actually a laundress, had been since early life.

S: Yeah, I thought she’d worked for Vanda forever.

M: Yes, she’d been the laundress for Vanda. She liked to iron very much. She kept saying, “I’m not a cook. Senora has turned me into a cook, and I’m not a cook, I don’t know how to cook!” [S laughs.] She cooked wonderfully.

S: Yes, she was a wonderful cook.

M: Wonderful cook! But that was a bit later.

M: So, now we’re…where are we?

S: We’re going back to Gstaad through Evian.

M: Yes.

S: By this time you’d obviously moved back into Chalet Tannegg?

M: No, this is still June, you see, this is June twenty-fifth, actually.

S: So you spent like a month in Switzerland before Tannegg was even opened.

M: Yes, this particular year we came right after the Paris talks.

M: So the next day, June twenty-sixth, K started to cough, so he stayed in for a couple of days.

My activities were that I took the Jaguar down to be serviced in Lausanne, returning by train.

The next day Krishnaji was up again, and I left after cooking Alain and Krishnaji lunch. The train I took to go back to Lausanne to pick up my car went by Caprices, and Krishnaji, Alain, and Desikachar were waving to me on the balcony. [Both laugh.]

S: Waving you off to…

M: Yes! [Both laugh more.]

And then K drove the Jaguar. He condescended to drive a Jaguar! [Both chuckle.] Again we went to Evian and the Hotel du Royal, and to Geneva and the Hotel du Rhône, and again they had steam baths. This is very repetitious!

S: It has a rhythm. I like it.

Now, let me ask about Desikachar. When would you have, or when would Krishnaji have lessons?

M: In the morning.

S: Morning. And would you have lessons together?

M: No. We’d have separate lessons at different times.

S: What time would Krishnaji start his lessons?

M: Well, he’d have it in the morning when he did his normal exercises. I would have it later sometime. I don’t know when. I don’t remember.

S: And Desikachar really came there for Krishnaji?

M: Yes, yes. [Laughs.] I remember also…Do you really want the little details?

S: Absolutely.

M: Desikachar was always, of course, a very strict Brahmin, and, of course, very vegetarian. I’d brought a cake at Oehrli, and he tasted it and had loved it, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him there were eggs in it.

S: Mm.

M: [laughs] So, I never told him! [Both laugh.]

S: Oh, because he didn’t eat eggs either?

M: No! And I, I couldn’t bring myself to tell him [more laughs] about the eggs.

So, I must have polluted him in some way, but that’s what happened. [Both chuckle again.] After this last steam bath, Krishnaji decided that he didn’t like it, it didn’t suit him. We came back this time via Ouchy, and had lunch in Ouchy. Ouchy has the Château d’If, the…not Château d’If, the Château…what is the château on the lake?

S: Oh, that’s the Château de Chillon.

M: Well, that’s Ouchy. [Tape cuts out.]

S: Okay, we’re back on.

M: I’ve remembered suddenly these things when Krishnaji talked about his life. He made a rather detailed attempt to explain to Alain and me about the theosophic order of thingS: the seven masters, and a sort of super master, and the Lord Maitreya, and the Buddha, and the Lord of the Universe. He explained that the Lord Maitreya is a living ancient being in Tibet who periodically leaves his own body and enters that of a person. He hasn’t gone on to be a Buddha because humanity is suffering. It is said that he took Jesus’ body.

I asked Krishnaji if he could see auras.

He replied that he used to.

Then I asked him if his extraordinary perception in interviews that made such an impact was, or came from such powers.

He said probably.

He told us a story about a man who came to him, and K was able to tell him all about himself. [Chuckles.] And the man was annoyed! Have you ever heard him tell that story? [S laughs.] The man was indignant! [Laughs.]

S: No, but I could well understand it!

M: It’s as though this man felt Krishnaji had intruded into his life.

S: Yes, yes, yes.

M: As he was talking about these things, he always seemed to know how they occurred, but he never said. [Chuckles.]

S: What do you mean, how what occurred?

M: Well, all these odd things, I mean how he could see auras, and how he could, for instance, know all about this man when he walked in the room.

S: Yes.

M: One felt that he understood what was going on.

S: But he never explained it.

M: But he never explained it.

S: Yes. When did this conversation take place?

M: I think it was the same year.

S: Ah, ha.

M: It may have been in Château de Mimont.

S: How did Krishnaji—can you see him describing all this theosophical order of things?

M: Yes.

S: So, how did he talk about it?

M: Very factually.

S: Just very factually. As if there was something in it? Or, as though there was not something in it?

M: You couldn’t make either statement.

S: I know.

M: You’ve had it, too.

S: I tried to draw him on it a dozen times!

M: Yes. He would talk about it, but he wouldn’t vouch for it, as it were.

S: Or say it wasn’t true.

M: No, he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t.

S: Yes.

M: And, of course, I was always felt it was not right to pry. If he wanted to tell me something, wonderful. But if he didn’t want to go beyond what he told me, I never asked [pause] questions.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Or, I sometimes asked questions prefaced by the statement, “If you don’t want to tell me, please don’t, but I’ll ask it, and then forget it if you don’t want to tell me about it.” So, I never pushed. Perhaps I should have, but I felt that wasn’t right to do it that way.

S: Yes, yes.

M: And [pause] he said that, also in one of these talks, he talked about what was actually “the process,” but he didn’t call it that then. He talked about how he would cry out.

S: What did he say about “the process?”

M: He said that he’d suddenly had fits of unconsciousness or coma that would come upon him, and he would cry out. And his brother was there, and Rosalind, and a Mr. Warrington, who was a theosophist [7]. And he said that they never touched the body. There was something…he was so vulnerable in these states, in the fainting too, that anything that impinged upon him physically…If you remember, later on, when he talked about it, and Mary wrote about it [8], the times in the Tyrol when they were there and the church bells would ring, and it—he said something like, “It nearly was the end of me” because of the shock of the bells ringing while he was in this state was so great.

S: Yes.

M: So there was an extreme vulnerability at a time like this. There mustn’t be anything to shock the body physically or it could be fatal. He said they never touched the body. When he was telling us about this, I wondered if there was some reason that he was telling us. And, he said that his brother wrote it all down. That the boy had spoken marvelous poetry, and strange things happened. This was during “the process.”

We asked what strange things happened. He said rather hesitantly, “A star appeared.”

I asked where.

He said above his head.

The boy had no memory of all this, then or now, he said.

I asked if he was aware of what was happing then and he said, probably, he must have. But he couldn’t remember.

S: Hm.

M: So that was one of the times when he talked about this. [Pause.]

S: Was that the occasion when you felt this strange presence?

M: No, that was in the Château de Mimont.

S: I know.

M: This was earlier. I didn’t, I didn’t get it then. I didn’t, at least I don’t remember getting it. My first noticing it all by myself was in the Château de Mimont.

S: So, it wasn’t this conversation that brought it about.

M: No, no. This was an earlier conversation, which I’m remembering now.

But, probably if I’d been more sensitive, I would have felt it.

S: Yes.

M: It would have come then. It’s, in a way, the sort of things that Mary [Lutyens] felt and wrote about, and about which Krishnaji used to say, “Do you feel it?”

S: Yes, yes.

M: And, I had always felt it before he said it, later.  (Click here to hear Mary)

S: Yes.

M: So, let’s see, where we are now?

S: We’re still in Les Caprices. You were just coming back from picking up your car at Lausanne, I think, or Krishnaji had stopped his steam baths.

M: That’s right.

I think I ought to recount one evening when he spoke of a game of noticing and naming objects from just one glance. He said he used to play this game with his brother, and a similar game, where you, say, have just a second to look at this table, and then not look at it, and remember.

S: Really?

M: I asked him if his state of noticing everything is constant.

He replied, “It always has been, except when I’m empty, and I hardly look out the window of my room. I’m empty.”

Then he turned to Alain and said, “That’s why, sir, sometimes when you come into the room I jump out of my skin.”

That was interesting: how he could look at everything, see everything, and then he’d go into these states of being empty, at which times anything would startle him.

He also asked, in the car going to Amboise, if we’d never heard a definition of meditation, what would it mean to us?

We replied, “A concern for life.”

He then asked, “How does one look at oneself, not each individual, but in a way in which all things are included?” He continued, pointing to a mountain, “It’s like being up there. When you look down from there you see everything in its proper place. So, how do you see from there?…Not how, but what is seeing from there? That is the question.”

Then he asked, “Do you remember silence?” There’d been a silence. And, “Where was it?” he asked.

Alain said, “The Château de Mimont.”

Krishnaji replied, “Yes, there was silence, and all the sounds in it.”

S: Hm.

M: It seemed a wonderful thing.

S: Yes.

M: I said it had happened since, and he nodded, and said, “Yes, several times, in this room.”

He continued, “Where do you start to look from? Not up there, but where you are. You must be very sensitive and do everything you can for that. Right food, enough sleep. Hip baths…” He was big on hip baths! [Laughs.] I’d forgotten about hip baths!

S: Oh, yes.

M: I think, Mary talks about having to have hip baths in mountain streams from melted snow when they were in the Tyrol.[9] He [laughs] used to take hip baths in the tub, ice cold water. I tried it once, ice cold water, it was unbearable! [Both laugh.] I never did it again! [M laughs more.] And it says here in my diaries, “hip baths,” and that he laughed at me as he said it because I had complained.

“Be aware of everything you do. Have you ever tried that awareness?” he asked us.

Alain said that he had.

Krishnaji continued, ”You are not aware if there is a center watching to correct. As long as there is this, you are not watching. There must be no center. Then things are corrected of themselves. That is the lesson for this evening.” [Both chuckle.]

And then he changed the subject, and said he wanted us to speak only French all through supper! [Both laugh again.] (Click here to hear Mary)

S: So this is still at Les Caprices?

M: Yes, this is.

S: Now, would you have serious talks like that often or not so often?

M: Yes, yes, often.

S: How nice.

M: Yes.

In the middle of a lunch, at some point, he said suddenly, “There is no discovery in thinking, only in observation.”

See, these things seem to be floating through his mind. We’d be chattering, or laughing, or something, and suddenly he’d say something like that, as though it was always humming inside him.

S: Yes.

M: We were also playing records in those days in Caprices.

S: Did the place have a record player?

M: No, I had bought a machine in Geneva, I think, when they were having steam baths, and I bought [chuckles] some music.

S: How nice.

M: He liked Segovia’s guitar music very much.

S: Yes, and Segovia played for Krishnaji once.

M: Yes he had. Krishnaji liked the sound of a guitar.

S: Yes. And, I think, Julian Bream also played for Krishnaji.

M: I don’t think so. Not that I can remember. We played Julian Bream records. What made you think that?

S: Because, Amancio[10] told me this story: that he had offered to play guitar for Krishnaji, and Krishnaji said yes, fine. So, Amancio returned with his guitar, some days later, a week, I don’t know what. And as he was tuning up Amancio asked Krishnaji, “Has anyone ever played guitar for you before?”

Krishnaji said, “Oh yes, Segovia and Julian Bream.” [Both laugh heartily.] Amancio was just shattered! [More laughing.] And he said it was really difficult to play knowing who he was following. It must have been a nightmare for [both laugh more] a young guitarist!

M: Yes!

I know that Alain thought highly of Julian Bream, and I think he met him somewhere. He went and asked to talk to him about music. But, I don’t recall that he played for Krishnaji, but maybe I wasn’t there. Who knows? [Both laugh.]

Also, one evening, Krishnaji was very pleased [laughs] because, one evening, Alain locked me out of the kitchen and did the dishes.

S: Ah good, yes.

M: There was always a continuing battle over the dishes.

S: Even in those days?

M: Yes, but in those days I had the upper hand. I wasn’t [S laughs] challenged except this one evening.

S: I see, unlike later.

M: Yes. Krishnaji was quite pleased with that. [Laughs.]

Krishnaji also asked me what I thought neurosis was.

I said that I thought, in part, that it was a very defective perception of reality. “The persistent pursuit of impossible aims,” said I.

He asked me if I thought psychoanalysis did any good.

I replied that I did. Of course, he doesn’t remember all that I have told him about my doing psychoanalysis.

I said, “Yes, but not on the level” of which he was talking. “It seeks to adjust people to the environment.”

He then said, “But the society is neurotic. Thinking creates neurosis,” he said. And laughed at what he thought most people would think [S laughs] if he said that.

[Chuckles.] Then he asked, “So, how does one act without thought? You must see that thought creates conflict, which is neurosis.”

He was full of energy through all this, delighted that the rain had stopped his hay fever.

We watched the turbulent gray river pouring down the mountains. That’s what it says here in my diary.

S: So Krishnaji was suffering from hay fever in those days?

M: Yes! All that hay! You know the machines that toss the hay?

S:  Yes, yes, of course.

M: I remember one trip, somehow Krishnaji and Alain were both in the back-seat, I don’t know why, and they were both perishing with hay fever, streaming noses. And I was sitting in the front, driving, just entranced with the lovely smell of new mown hay! [Both laugh.]

S: So, Krishnaji didn’t have his little pink pills in those days?

M: No, that comes much later.

S: Oh boy.

M: Mm. Ohhh. [Pause.] Here is…[pause]. I must skip along in this because again we’re getting so out of sync.

S: It doesn’t make any difference.

M: He used to tell us his stories, but you know his stories about the student of a guru who went off and studied for fifteen years with another guru, and then came back to the first guru and said he’d learned marvelous things, so the second guru said, “Show me a little.” The student said he could walk on the water.

S: Oh yes. [chuckles]

M: Yes [chuckles]. So the student showed the first guru, who said, “You took fifteen years to do that? If you’d told me, I could have showed you there was a ferry!”

S: Yes, yes! [Laughs.]

M: [laughs] Then there was the Lord Vishnu one I won’t repeat all those stories because they’re well documented.

S: Yes.

M: Anyway, back to the period we’re discussing: Desikachar gave yoga lessons every morning to Krishnamurti.

S: Where was Desikachar staying?

M: Hm, where was he staying? I guess in another room in Les Caprices.

S: And Vanda wasn’t there?

M: She doesn’t come until July. We’re still in June.

S: Ah, yes.

M: [laughs] In return for yoga lessons, Krishnaji was giving Desikachar meticulous lessons in western table manners! [S laughs.] Alain and I learned a thing or two about western table manners as it went along! [Both laugh.] Oh, goodness!

Now here’s a question that appeared on the way to Geneva; Krishnaji asked, “What would make a man change, a man like Iyengar, who is angry and bitter at Desikachar’s giving lessons here.” [She seems to be reading now.] “As long as he is taking a stand, there is no change.”

At this point, Alain and I ask if he hadn’t taken a stand on things like not killing or eating meat?

He replied, “It isn’t a stand. I don’t kill anyone. I’ve never eaten meat, but it’s a position. I just don’t.” [S chuckles.]

It seemed a subtle and important difference between just not doing something, and having a plan, ideal pattern of action. It was not a principle.

“As long as he takes a stand,” this refers to Iyengar, “he will never change. There is no small, gradual change. That is no change at all. Only the awareness that a total revolution is necessary, in an instant, will change a man.”

Another day, in the car, he asked, “What is love? Not all the exchange between most people. For love there must be meditation, there must be no memory.”

And then he said, “Love is innocence, just don’t answer it.”

At one point he asked me if I would like to be twenty-five again. [Chuckles.] Not to go back to when I was twenty-five but be that now, having had all the rest of my life.

I replied, “In that case, yes!” [Both laugh.]

“I thought so,” he said! [More laughs.] Oh dear.

Later he admonished us about food and the good or bad of taking vitamins. He was in a wheel of energy and kept coming back from his room to tell us more. He told me that I must make the body very sensitive by learning what foods were best for me. [Chuckles.]

S: Was Krishnaji taking vitamins in those days also?

M: No, no. He wasn’t. [Chuckles.] He was against them then.

On another drive he was talking about relationship, and he said, “I’ve always done what I wanted. One reason Rajagopal used to get upset was that, if I wanted to give something away, I gave it.”

He spoke of seeing things instantly.

And he asked why I hadn’t seen, in the past, both death and pleasure and stepped out of it?

I said that I had.

He replied, “No, no Madame, why didn’t you see it then?” [Long pause.]

S: Was he beginning to say a lot of negative things about Rajagopal?

M: Oh, yes.

S: Why don’t you talk about that?

M: Oh, that’s such a big subject. I think I did talk in the last discussion about the discussion group, and how Krishnaji didn’t have the right to let us hear the tape, and all that.

S: Yes, yes, you did.

M: I was beginning to gather more and more that things were not well between them. He didn’t talk too much then, but he did later on, when he went to the United States, and went to Ojai. Then everything came out.

S: But, at this point, he wasn’t talking a lot about Rajagopal?

M: Not much, but I mean he’d make occasional remarks like the one I just mentioned.

S: Obviously, Alain must have had some contact with Rajagopal.

M: Well, Alain had contact with Rajagopal when we went to Ojai with Krishnaji, which is this year, ‘66.

S: So, not before?

M: No, he never met him.

S: Oh, I see.

M: So, for the moment, we’re still in Switzerland. When people started coming for the talks and we used to go on walks, he said, “I don’t dare look to left or right” because people would be looking at him and want to catch his eye.

He said, “Do you mind if we walk fast?” [S chuckles.]

Oh, I had a dream at that point. [Chuckles.] It was the most vivid dream I’ve ever had in my life, and it’s pertinent to this time in my life. I knew immediately what it meant. So, the dream…I must have told you this.

S: Yes, you have, but tell it anyway for the tape.

M: Well, the dream was that I’m standing on the bank of a river. The river is very fast, and turbulent; a fast moving river. If I jump in, I may drown, but I feel I must jump in. In the middle of the river was a tall, majestic Sequoia; a redwood tree; a splendid towering tree. I knew that if I jumped in the river that I had to be willing to drown. Perhaps I wouldn’t, perhaps I’d be washed against the tree and that would save me. So, I jumped, and that’s what happened. The moment I woke up, I knew exactly what it was because the Saanen River is gray, and can be turbulent…

S: Yes.

M: …and though the Saanen River a little river, the river in my dream was vast. The grey river represents change to me. What the dream was saying to me was: You’ve got to be willing to let go and die to yourself, as it were, and change. Of course, the tree is obviously Krishnaji.

[Tape stops, then starts again.]

S: Did you ever describe this dream to Krishnaji?

M: Well I did, sometime later. We were on a walk along the river, and he smiled and said it was a symbolic dream.

I said, “Yes, it could be interpreted in various ways, either being saved or perhaps destroyed.”

“Oh no,” he said, and asked how a psychiatrist would look at those things. (Click here to hear Mary)

I described the process. “Oh, that takes forever,” he said. [Both chuckle.]

Also we had a conversation about masks; that we all wear masks, and would it be possible to live with no masks, no defenses, directly in contact, and have no objectives?

Well, now we come to Vanda arriving from Rome.

S: Is your contact with Krishnaji different from Alain’s? Do you seem to have more discussion with Krishnaji than Alain?

M: Yes. Well, Alain was in a lot of these discussions, but I think I’ve always mentioned when he was there. I said, “we said” or “he said to us.”

S: Yes, yes.

M: So, a lot of these discussions were with both of us.

S: Yes.

M: But, the same sort of discussion went on when I was walking with him alone, or driving with him alone.

S: Yes, I see. But does there seem to be a difference emerging; that perhaps you’re closer to Krishnaji, or you’re talking more deeply with him, or you seem to have a different rapport with him?

M: Well, of course, I don’t know how…

S: Did you begin to feel that he had more of a rapport with you than he had with Alain?

M: I don’t know. I don’t know how Krishnaji was when he was alone with Alain, how he talked. I think he probably talked the same way.

S: Yes, but we can sometimes feel when we’re in relationship with someone…we know our relationship with that person is different from that person’s relationship with someone else.

M: Well, I think yes, I think probably yes.

S: Was it a little hurtful to Alain?

M: I think later on it was. I don’t think it was at this point. Yes. I think that it was eventually.

S: Okay, we’re near the end of the tape. When we begin the next discussion we’ll begin with the time that Vanda arrives, and Tannegg is opened.

Is there anything else to put in before that?

M: [laughs] Yes! Just before Vanda arrives, at lunch, there was a teasing battle on the subject of marriage with Desikachar as the audience. Krishnaji and Alain were attacking it and I was taking the defense.

I said that Alain put it along-side leprosy [both laugh] and that K’s tone when speaking of  marriage to the children at Rishi Valley was enough to put a terror into them. [More laughing.] He would make a remark and then look sideways to see how much of a rise he’d got out of me! [S laughs.] We finally agreed that the whole system needed revising, and I suggested that he re-invent its meaning. [Both laugh.]

That afternoon Vanda arrived from Rome at Chalet Tannegg, and came down for supper with us. It was lovely to see her. She met Desikachar for the first time. Then the next day  Krishnaji and Alain both moved up to Tannegg. Krishnaji thanked me for everything and said if he and Signora, as he called her, quarreled could he come back and stay with me? [Both chuckle.] I moved most of their things up to the Chalet, and as I left Vanda said, “You must come for all lunches and suppers,” very sweetly.

Krishnaji walked me to my car, kissed my hand very lightly and thanked me again.

S: How nice.

M: Yes.

S: Okay, we should probably end there.

M: I’ll try and do my homework before next time. Give me more warning.

S: [laughs] Okay.

M: We seem to never get very far. At this rate we won’t live long enough to…

[Tape cuts out.]


[1] The Bois de Boulogne is on the western side of Paris. Back to text.

[2] A chateau and garden within the Bois de Boulogne. Back to text.

[3] Krishnaji met the de Manziarly family in 1920 when he came to Paris to learn French. The mother was an ardent Theosophist with three daughters and a son, all of whom became close friends of Krishnaji’s. Back to text.

[4] A lute-like stringed instrument from India. Back to text.

[5] Mary increasingly refers to Krishnaji as K from now on. Back to text.

[6] Later notes say that they entered Switzerland  via Macon and lunched at Auberge Bressana, near Bourg-en-Bresse. Back to text.

[7] This refers to “the process,” a seemingly esoteric event described by Krishnaji’s brother in 1922, and written about by several people then and subsequently, when there have been, what seem to be, similar events. Back to text.

[8] Mary Lutyens wrote about this in her book, Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening. Back to text.

[9] Mary Lutyens describes this in Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening in her account of being with Krishnaji and a group of others in Ehrwald in 1923. Back to text.

[10] An excellent studio guitarist who taught students at Brockwood when I was principal. Back to text.

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