Issue #63

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>

Issue 63—April 20, 1980 to July 10, 1980


In this issue, Krishnaji initiates changes that he hopes will solve the problems of the Oak Grove School. Changes also occur that will solve the growing dissatisfaction with the adult center activities. We also see Rajagopal continue to violate the terms of the settlement agreement, and the seeds for the next series of legal actions are sown. Otherwise, we see the typical end of spring and early summer; leaving Ojai, going to Brockwood, and then on to Saanen.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #63

Mary: We pick up our story on April twentieth, 1980. ‘Krishnaji saw Fritz and Margrete in a rigorous discussion of their role in all that is wrong at Arya Vihara and the Oak Grove School. Fritz was so shaken by Margrets’s reaction that he couldn’t speak. Later, Fritz, but not Margrete, was at lunch, after which he, David, and Saral went to Berkeley where Dave is lecturing and holding discussions. David and Saral will go on to British Columbia in a week and Fritz will return here. Fritz told Krishnaji that he and Margrete must leave, then, just after lunch, he reversed himself and said he wants to stay. Krishnaji said they would talk on his return from Berkeley. During all the above in the morning, Miranda and Amanda came in to see me. Miranda hadn’t seen the house until now. We spent a happy hour together. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went for a walk in the afternoon.’

Scott: Maybe it’s worth just talking about something here for a minute.

M: What?

S: Well, I think a lot of people would be surprised that Krishnaji, who had such extraordinary insights into the most fundamental and important things in life, could be so enthusiastic about people who would turn out to go wrong.

M: I asked him about that.

S: And what did he say?

M: I didn’t say it about those people, but someone did something nasty, and I said, “But Krishnaji, didn’t you know that he was that sort of person?” And he replied, “I don’t look into people unless they ask me to.”

S: Yes.

M: He always said it would be like reading their private letters—it’s private.

S: Yes. But I think that there’s something else, which is that Krishnaji did see people’s good points and their strengths.

M: Yes.

S: And I suppose that’s often what people presented to him.

M: Of course.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

S: And they didn’t present their weaknesses and that’s what he didn’t look into. So there’s Krishnaji, actively seeing the good side of people because that’s what was not intrusive to look at…

M: Yes.

S: …but then there was another thing, too, which I feel I saw happening at different times: If a person takes the teachings at all seriously, it puts tremendous pressure on the ego and/or self. The effect is either like a spring that you just push it down, or you actually do something to destroy, diminish, disempower, or something the ego and/or self. And for a lot of people who just push it down…

M: It springs back.

S: …it springs back, and it springs back higher and stronger than it was initially. I think this often happened, and people who started off looking like they had potential would just become ego-centric.

M: I think so.

S: There’s something about the ego and the self—it just springs back vehemently if one doesn’t do the work seriously enough on oneself. Maybe this is sufficient, what we’ve said, because otherwise it’s very mysterious. Why didn’t Krishnaji get rid of Rajagopal years ago? Why didn’t Krishnaji see all the…

M: Well, I said that to him: “How could you stand these two people? Now that you tell me what they were like?” And as he said more than once in latter years, “The only thing I regret in my life is having anything to do with those two.”

S: Yes.

M: But he did.

S: But he also went along with a lot of really dodgy characters who would come into his life, came into his work, who would start off seemingly quite good, and end up being terrible.

M: Mmm. Yes. Of course, he was disinclined to criticize people or react the way probably the rest of us react when something seems wrong with a person.

S: Yes, we recoil.

M: We react. We recoil. And he was too generous.

S: Alright, well maybe there’s nothing more to be said about this but I think it deserves mentioning, because otherwise it would seem, well…and this is the kind of thing that some of the Indian Foundation people would say, that he’s just incompetent in the world, you know, in the everyday reality, which was just not so.

M: No. I know. But he was willing to put up with a lot of things he had to put up with.

S: Exactly, yes.

M: And that, I think, was a trait with him. He used to tell me sometimes that in his early days, when he was traveling around and he’d have to stay in someone’s house that was dirty and where the food was awful, that he never complained and he never rejected and he never…So he would put up with things.

S: He’d put up with things. Yes.

M: And he put up with the two worst people in his life.

S: Yes, yes. Perhaps we should go on.

M: Alright. April twenty-first. ‘There was a faint rain. I saw my niece Louisa Kennedy on television talking about the Tehran hostages and her husband. Erna, Theo, and Scott were at lunch. Krishnaji and I went to the hearing aid place in Ventura where he was fitted for ear molds,’ which he never used. ‘Some azaleas were planted near the camellias.’

The twenty-second: ‘There was rain, and it was cold. Krishnaji saw Mark and Asha in the morning. To lunch were Mr. Merali and Robin Slanager. Krishnaji talked to Erna, Theo, and me all afternoon. We walked.’

The next day. ‘I went out early to the market, the bank, etc. At 10:30 a.m., Krishnaji had a meeting with Mark, David Moody, Erna, Theo, Alan Hooker, and me about Moody being the assistant school director, and Erna handling the school finances. At 4 p.m., Mr. Merali, Erna, and Theo came to tea. We discussed Mr. Merali’s donation. We all went for a walk. The weather still very cold.’

April twenty-fourth. ‘Krishnaji and I went with Erna and Theo to Santa Barbara for Krishnaji’s IRS clearance to leave the country. We lunched at El Paseo. Krishnaji had a haircut at the Biltmore, and we came home, then went for a walk.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘An attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran had to be aborted because of helicopter trouble. Eight of the servicemen were killed in a collision. President Carter announced it. Television programs covered it all day. Louisa was interviewed in London. Krishnaji had a quiet morning while I worked at the desk. Mr. Merali joined us for a walk in the afternoon. We watched television news most of the evening.’

April twenty-sixth. ‘At 10:30 a.m., Krishnaji talked to David Moody and then to him and his wife, Vivian. Krishnaji called me in. Then David, Erna, and I talked. I finished my share of the final check of the text of From Darkness to Light, the book of the early poems sent by Harper & Row. Max came to fix the door and lunched. At 2:30 p.m., Erna, Mark, David Moody, and I discussed school business. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji met with teachers and trustees and explained Mark now being simply the administrative director of the school, David now being the educational director, and Erna handling  all the school finances.’

The twenty-seventh. ‘Dorothy telephoned from Brockwood and later we telephoned back.’ Doesn’t say what it’s about. ‘At 11 a.m., Evelyne came with Michael and Bonnie Mendizza and showed Erna, Theo, Alan Hooker, and me parts of the Krishnaji biographical film. We all lunched at Arya Vihara, and Krishnaji gave an extraordinary account of his early days. We viewed more film in the afternoon.’

April twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji had a toothache and had it pulled by Dr. Meinig.’ Meinig was the local dentist that Krishnaji had been to for years. ‘He had lunch in bed while I had Amanda and Winky to lunch in the kitchen. Bud telephoned about Mother’s estate still not being settled and its effect on Wooge’s estate. I took Krishnaji at 3:30 p.m. to Ventura, where he got a pair of hearing instruments. We came back in pelting rain.’

The twenty-ninth. ‘Krishnaji feels better. At 10:30 a.m., he saw Fritz and Margrete; they have decided to move north to around San Francisco where Fritz will perhaps be part of the academic circle. This solves the problem. Krishnaji called in Erna and me to hear their decision. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji had his second meeting with teachers about the new arrangements with David Moody and his job. Also Krishnaji announced that Fritz and Margrete were leaving.’

April thirtieth. ‘I went to a pottery exhibit at the Oak Grove School, then bought eight more roses that Krishnaji wants, and marketed. Mr. Merali was at lunch. He made a large donation to KFA. Later we all walked in a light rain.’

The first of May, ‘Erna and I talk to a parent, Mrs. St. John. I then typed letters. After lunch, Krishnaji was photographed for the Ojai Valley News. I worked at the desk and later Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I walked.’

The next day just says, ‘Desk. Errands. Walk. Eight more rose bushes planted.’ [Both chuckle.]

May third. ‘Krishnaji gave his first talk in the Oak Grove. It was a beautiful day. Elfriede came with Fred to photograph the house. Krishnaji and I lunched alone with Michael at Arya Vihara.’

The fourth, ‘Krishnaji gave his second talk in the Oak Grove. Toodie and her children were there. I sat with them. Krishnaji and I lunched alone again with Michael at Arya Vihara.’

The fifth of May. ‘Krishnaji went to the dentist, Dr. Meinig, at 8:30 a.m. with Theo. On his return, we sorted questions handed in for tomorrow and I typed them. Mr. Merali was at lunch, and he came on the walk later. Krishnaji said to me, “Catch my thought.” I saw instantly that he wanted me to help him move two new roses in cans on the driveway.’ [Both laugh.]

S: Good for you.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: Yes. [More laughter.] How smart I was.

May sixth. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji held a public question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove instead of a discussion. He read and then answered three questions chosen by him from those that had been handed in. After lunch at Arya Vihara, Alan Kishbaugh brought a record for Krishnaji. In the evening I telephoned Filomena in Rome to wish her happy birthday. It was early tomorrow her time.’

May seventh. ‘I did desk work, marketing, and errands. Alfonso and Alene Colon, Mr. and Mrs. Zapata, Dr. Thumula, and Mr. Alvarez came to lunch at Arya Vihara. I sorted questions for the public meeting with Krishnaji. We went for a walk to the dip. It was a cold day.’

The eighth. ‘Krishnaji held a second question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove. The weather was cold. Afterward he spoke to Blackburn for half an hour outside the cottage, then we lunched alone with Michael at Arya Vihara. We walked to the dip and back at five. It was a drizzly afternoon.’

May ninth. ‘I did errands and more desk work. Mr. Merali, and a lawyer friend and wife, came for lunch. They then came back with Erna, Theo, and Alan Hooker to discuss finances here at the cottage. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went for a walk at five. The Bohms and David Shainberg arrived from Vancouver to spend the weekend.’

May tenth. ‘There had been rain in the night, but it was clear by the time of Krishnaji’s third Ojai talk in the Oak Grove at 11:30 a.m. We lunched at Arya Vihara. David Shainberg came in as we were finishing and he and Krishnaji talked. I came back to the cottage at three. Toodie, Chelsea, and Zoey’—Toodie is Bud’s daughter and those are her two daughters—‘who had been at the talk, came by. Later, Krishnaji and I walked to the dip in rain showers, and saw a double rainbow. Asit arrived from Singapore. He is staying at Arya Vihara.’

The eleventh of May. ‘Krishnaji gave his fourth Ojai talk in the Oak Grove. Dr. and Mrs. Maquet, David Shainberg, and the Bohms came to lunch.’ I can’t quite remember exactly who Maquet was. I think he was academic in some way, French, doing something at UCLA, and he’d known Krishnaji. He used to turn up occasionally, but I don’t know too much about him.

The next day. ‘Krishnaji’s eighty-fifth birthday.’ We don’t mention it, but it was.

S: [laughs] Of course.

M: ‘Up early. Telephoned to Philippa and David, and then Bud about business things. It was a busy morning. The Bohms left for London. Krishnaji went to the dentist, Dr. Meinig, at 9:30 a.m., Shainberg and a doctor friend came here. Asit, Ted Cartee, Frances McCann, Evelyne, the Lilliefelts, Hooker, the Moodys, and Alan Kishbaugh were all at lunch. The four trustees and Asit and Merali met with Krishnaji about his activities next winter and ways to have television interviews. There was a decision to have Krishnamurti Information Centers around the country.’

The thirteenth. ‘The weather was cold but nice. Krishnaji held the third question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove. At lunch, there was Asit, Alan K., Michael, and David and Vivian Moody. Without a nap he then saw Ray McCoy who was to teach at Rajghat, [Both chuckle.] and Narayan’s brother Krishnamurti’—that’s another Krishnamurti—‘and then we walked to the dip.’

May fourteenth. ‘I left at 7 a.m. for Malibu, and went to see Elfriede and their house being built in Corral Canyon, then to see Amanda. Phil was ill with a cold. To Henry Bamberger at 11 a.m. about summing up the costs of both the Malibu and Ojai houses, tax matters, etc. Then I had a haircut, bought sandals for Krishnaji and me’—for our upcoming India trip—‘and arranged further car rental for Toodie. I marketed in Malibu on the way home. Got back at 6 p.m. just as Krishnaji was returning from a walk.’

May fifteenth. ‘Krishnaji held another question-and-answer meeting in the Oak Grove. Narayan’s brother, G. Krishnamurti, and professor Khare’—he was an Indian who taught somewhere in Southern California—‘were at lunch. Instead of a walk, he talked to Erna, Theo, Evelyne, and me about starting Krishnamurti Information Centers around the country. Krishnaji and I were both tired.’

The sixteenth. ‘I went to a meeting in the Pavilion of people interested in having Krishnamurti Information Centers in their localities, then lunched at Arya Vihara with the Lilliefelts, the Lees, Hooker, Evelyne, and Ray McCoy. There was a trustee meeting briefly afterward on accepting a house from Essie Bates.’ Essie Bates was an Ojai real estate woman who was giving it to the Foundation as a donation. ‘Krishnaji and I walked later.’

The next day. ‘A warm beautiful day. Krishnaji gave his fifth talk in the Oak Grove. The audience seemed hypnotized. His voice was very deep and from far off. Max had come in the early morning and planted a talisman rose in the rose bed. He lunched with us at Arya Vihara, along with Dr. Jerry Bosak, a young friend of the Shainbergs. While Krishnaji napped, Toodie and her three children came to call. They left at 4 p.m., and at 4:30, Krishnaji and I went to a party at the Oak Grove School for helpers and visitors from far away. We stayed half an hour and came home.’

May eighteenth. ‘An even warmer and more beautiful day than yesterday. Krishnaji gave his sixth and final Ojai talk for this year in the Oak Grove. Very wide and a marvelous one[1] on action, death, and meditation. Toodie, Liddie, and family again attended. At lunch, Dr. Bosak, Mr. Merali, David Moody, and Michael. It was too hot to walk. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I sat on the terrace and talked.’

The nineteenth. ‘It was another warm day. I took Krishnaji to the dentist, Dr. Meinig, at 10 a.m. I did errands while he was there. Then, on impulse, we went for a drive up Maricopa Highway. Krishnaji was delighted, and declared it “a place to worship” and “house of the gods.” We came back in time for lunch at Arya Vihara. Bill Burmeister was there, both Moodys, Fritz, Hooker, Erna, Theo, and Michael. In the afternoon I worked on papers at the desk, and organized things to pack. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I walked. Donald Ingram Smith saw Rajagopal and says he’s giving the archives to the Huntington Library.’ This was a violation of the legal agreement.

May twentieth. ‘I spent much of the day packing. Krishnaji telephoned Rajagopal to say that he had heard about the Huntington Library getting the archives, and it must not be done. Rajagopal said he understood’—which, of course, meant nothing. ‘A letter from Betty Eisner came to me offering to talk to Rajagopal on Krishnaji’s behalf to arrange a meeting.’ This was the idiocy of an old friend of mine wanting to help, and thinking she could help fix things where everybody else had failed. ‘We walked with Erna and Theo.’

The twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji wrote to Rajagopal and had the Lilliefelts, Hooker, and me sign it with him. I packed and dictated letters for Willa’—Willa was the very nice secretary who worked for Erna—‘to type and send. Alasdair and a helper put all the potted plants on the back terrace.’

May twenty-second. ‘I wrote a brief reply to Betty Eisner, talked to Amanda, finished packing, then disconnected the furnace, etcetera to close the house. We had an early lunch at Arya Vihara, and at 2:30 p.m. Krishnaji and I left Ojai in the school van with Mark driving, stopped briefly at Oak Grove School, and went on to the LA airport. Asit met us there. He was coming from San Francisco, and he, Krishnaji, and I took TWA flight at 5:30 p.m. for London.’

The twenty-third. ‘We had little sleep on the plane’—unlike you—‘and arrived at Heathrow at 11:40 a.m. Dorothy and Ingrid met us, and we got to Brockwood a little after 2 p.m. Everyone was out to meet Krishnaji. We had lunch in the West Wing kitchen and slept most of the afternoon. Dr. Parchure has arrived and so has Narayan. I talked to Mary Links. Bud called from Paris. He and Lisa just arrived there from New York.’

S: [laughs] Hold on, only because I’ve just had this flash of recognition about our poor transcriber and eventual readers. When you said, “We had little sleep on the plane unlike you,” you’re referring to me. [Laughs.]

M: Yes, I’m referring to the present Scott Forbes, sitting here, who sleeps wonderfully on airplanes. [Both laugh.]

S: Yes, I usually fall asleep very quickly on airplanes. Okay, continue.

M: [chuckles] It’s a gift, a gift, a genetic blessing.

May twenty-fourth, and we are now at Brockwood. ‘We are all mixed up in time. We unpacked, and napped heavily. After lunch Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and Kip and I walked in the grove. Everything was in flower, including the handkerchief tree, which was beautiful. The Bohms are here. I finished unpacking.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji had slept poorly. At the lunch table, Krishnaji, Bohm, and Asit decided to hold a discussion at 4 p.m. to which some of the staff came and the Moorheads, Parchure, Narayan, etc. It went on till 6 p.m. The discussion was set off by a newspaper account of a Japanese doctor saying the brain cells don’t degenerate if a person exercises his brain.’ Quite true.

The twenty-sixth. ‘Monday was a bank holiday. Krishnaji slept eleven hours. It was a quiet day. Asit took pictures of Krishnaji. We all walked.’

May twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji didn’t sleep last night. The Mercedes was put in commission and I went to Alresford to the bank and other errands. Then after lunch, I drove to Winchester where I got our travel tickets at Thomas Cook, and bought some jerseys for Krishnaji. I returned to join Dorothy and Krishnaji on the walk across the fields. I telephoned Dr. Scheef in Bonn and made an appointment for Krishnaji to see him at the end of June.’

The twenty-eighth of May. ‘Krishnaji, Asit, Dr. Parchure, and I went to London on the 10:23 a.m. train from Petersfield. Asit is returning to India. Joe Links met Krishnaji and me, and we lunched with him and Mary at their flat on Hyde Park Street. Mary and I sat and talked while Joe drove Krishnaji to the dentist, Mr. Thompson, then brought him and Dr. Parchure back and took us to Waterloo. We were back at Brockwood in time for a short walk.’

The next day was, ‘a quiet day. I cleaned the guest room in preparation for the Marogers, and made hotel reservations for Krishnaji and me in Bonn and Geneva.’

May thirtieth. ‘The Marogers arrived with Diane for the weekend. I put them in the West Wing. Sunanda and Pama telephoned from London. They just arrived from India, and they’re coming here on June tenth. I had a nap after lunch, a short walk with Krishnaji, and then attended the staff meeting.’

The next day, ‘I telephoned Vanda in Florence, then had a long talk with Marie-Bertrande Maroger. The house is full of people. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked across the fields.’

June first. ‘Krishnaji talked to the school at noon, and then at 4 p.m. did a videotaped discussion with David Bohm and Narayan. We had only a short walk. In the morning, I had a talk with Narayan, and then another with Marie-Bertrande before she, Jean-Michel, and Diane left after supper for the ferry to France. In the evening I spoke to Lisa in Paris. Bud was out.’

June second. ‘Krishnaji slept late. After lunch, he saw Gita, a Brockwood student who had come from Rishi Valley. I went to Alresford and Petersfield on errands.’

June third. ‘It was a warm day. I met Mary Cadogan at the Petersfield station, and discussed Foundation things with her most of the day. Edgar Graf is pulling out of the Saanen Gathering Committee. I walked with Krishnaji and Dorothy, and spoke on the phone to Betsy, now in her London flat.’

The next day was, ‘a hot day. We took the 10:20 a.m. train to London. Joe met us, and took us to Huntsman. Krishnaji chose material for two pairs of trousers for me, and he ordered two pairs for himself. We shopped at Fortnum, then Mary joined us for lunch. Krishnaji talked to her for the biography, all about the two Rajagopals. He then had a haircut at Truefitt, while I got a pair of black pumps at Ferragamo. We went to Asprey for a new wallet for me, then by taxi to Waterloo.’

June fifth. ‘Krishnaji talked to the students. Dorothy felt faint on getting up this morning, so she stayed in bed. Vasanta Kumari, and an accompanist, came to lunch, and at 7:30 p.m., she sang for Krishnaji and the school.’ She was a very good Indian singer.

June sixth. ‘I went to Winchester for errands in the morning, walked early with Krishnaji, then attended the staff meeting at 5 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Merali arrived, and are to stay a bit. They are in the Cloisters.’

June seventh. ‘At 4 p.m., Krishnaji, David Bohm, and Narayan held a videotaped discussion. After that, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with the dogs. Mar de Manziarly telephoned from Paris. She cannot come to Gstaad because she has a heart condition. She will see us in Geneva.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school at noon. I spoke to Ginny Travers and to Christopher Fry.’

June ninth. ‘I drove to Chichester to have a new handle put on the car door. I walked around the city until the car was ready, and bought a watercolor by Andrew Hemingway, a painter the Frys told me about last year. I picked up plants for the house in Petersfield and got back to Brockwood by 3:30 p.m. Krishnaji spoke to students. He, Dorothy, and I walked across the fields. There was the first letter from Amanda. Philippa and David are there.’

The tenth of June. ‘It was a rainy day. I met Sunanda, Pama, and Radha Burnier at the Petersfield station. Radha came only for the day, while Sunanda and Pama are staying in the West Wing for a few days. They talked with Krishnaji in the morning. Krishnaji walked with Dorothy, but I slept.’

The next day was, ‘a gray day. I spent most of it working at my desk, but walked with Krishnaji and Dorothy.’

June twelfth. ‘I met Mary Cadogan at the Petersfield station, and brought her back to Brockwood for a Saanen Gatherings meeting, which consisted of Mary Cadogan, Dorothy, Gisèle Balleys, and Brian Jenkins. Mary Links with Amanda, and the Digbys came to lunch. Afterward, there was a publication committee meeting with Sunanda and Pama. At last, after about eight years, a publishing agreement between KF India and KFT was made.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji came in afterward. George Digby argued with Krishnaji about some of his statements. Example: God is total disorder.’ [Both laugh.] George couldn’t stomach that. ‘Krishnaji and I went for a short walk.’

The next day it just says, ‘Krishnaji spoke to staff at 4 p.m.’

Then there’s really nothing the day after, and all I have for the fifteenth is, ‘Krishnaji spoke to school.’ I’m getting rather terse. [Chuckles.]

June sixteenth. ‘I did house work and desk work.’ [Both chuckle.]

S: Yes, very terse.

M: ‘I looked at a videotaped Bernard Levin interview to decide whether to advise Krishnaji to let Levin interview him for the BBC. I felt generally in favor.’ [Both chuckle.] I wasn’t a big enthusiast, but I thought it was better to do it than not do it.

The seventeenth of June. ‘There was rain on and off most of the day, but clear in the afternoon for our walk. I spent the rest of the day at the desk. I got a letter from Erna enclosing copies of Lou Blau’s letter to the attorney general, Tapper, about my buying the McAndrew Road property.’ That had to go through the attorney general because it was a trustee buying a house owned by a trust and all that.

S: Sure, yes.

M: ‘Also, lawyer Cohen about the Huntington Library and Rajagopal.’ Cohen was our lawyer dealing with Rajagopal. A very nice man.

There’s nothing of note for the next two days, and all there is for the twentieth of note is, ‘I talked with Scott about Krishnaji.’ Have you any memory of that?

S: None. [Both chuckle.]

M: The twenty-first. ‘I went to Petersfield for some household items. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji spoke to the staff on silence, and perception versus ordinary thinking. Perhaps thinking, in the ordinary sense, if much energy and interest is put into it, can bring about perception.’ That’s not very clear, but anyway, that’s what my diary says.

June twenty-second. ‘Rita Zampese brought Krishnaji’s and my railroad tickets to go from Bonn to Geneva. At noon, Krishnaji spoke to the school on values, and living without them. He had a slow, far-off voice, and was very quiet. He felt it should be printed. It “touched on new things,” he said. The walk was with Krishnaji, Dorothy, and me. In the evening, there was a school concert. Krishnaji was tired and didn’t go.’

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

S: You said that Rita brought railroad tickets?

M: Yes. She must have picked them up for me in London or something. I can’t remember. That summer, we flew to Bonn but then we went by train to Geneva.

S: Right, sure.

M: Now the big diary starts up again, so we’ll have more details.

S: Good, finally. Otherwise we were just racing through history here. [Both chuckle.]

M: So June twenty-third. ‘There were rain showers most of the day. On the early news on the radio I heard that Sanjay Gandhi had been killed in a small plane crash. I went and told Krishnaji, who was doing pranayama with Dr. Parchure. Krishnaji nodded gravely and went on with his breathing exercise. I also told Sunanda, who was very shocked,  and Pama. Later, Krishnaji sent a cable to Pupul saying, “Please give Mrs. Gandhi my profound sympathy and affection.” Sunanda and Pama saw Krishnaji and me off to London: they and Merali waited for him to come down the staircase in the full elegance of his London clothes and umbrella.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Sunanda and Pama then left with Merali for Belgium, where they will visit him and his wife, then go to Paris for the weekend, and then drive with Merali’s nephew to Gstaad. Krishnaji and I took the 10:23 a.m. train to London, and Joe Links met us at Waterloo. He gave me a copy of his new book, Travels in Europe.’ As well as art books, Joe wrote travel books, very good ones, particularly about Venice. That was his specialty. ‘They dropped me at Sotheby’s, where I left a large book of lithographs and poems donated in France for the Rajghat Sanjeevan Hospital. Luckily, Sotheby’s took it, as I could never have carried it back.’ [Both laugh.] Someone, I can’t remember who, donated it. ‘If it sells, it will be in the fall. Meanwhile, Krishnaji fitted at Huntsman, where I joined him, after which we walked to the pen shop in the Burlington Arcade, where his Lamy pen was fixed and he bought a spare.’ He liked to look at the pens there. ‘Then to lunch with Mary at Fortnum. He told her if he were writing the biography of himself, he would want to write about how “this mind” came to be untouched. It was raining, and Joe very kindly drove Krishnaji to the dentist and then afterward to Waterloo. We were back by 5:20 p.m.’

S: What happened to Krishnaji’s pens?

M: I don’t know. He probably gave them away or something. Lamys are very hard to get. I have a Lamy and Kathy kindly got me refills for it at Harrods. I couldn’t get them here.

S: I have one of Krishnaji’s pens that has his name engraved on it, but I don’t think it’s a Lamy.

M: I don’t know. He gave things away a lot. [Chuckles.]

The twenty-fourth. ‘I packed and did laundry all day. A mad group from Barcelona had invaded Brockwood yesterday while we were in London, and were insisting on seeing Krishnaji.’ Oh, they were really mad. ‘They insisted on giving him a message. He agreed to see them briefly at 4 p.m. There were three men and a woman, a wife of one of the men, and it turned out that it was she who had a message for Krishnaji. She said that Master Morya told her on the astral plane to tell Krishnaji that he is too intellectual, hard, and has no love. Also that Saanen is finished. He should talk in’—I have in parentheses—‘(guess where?) Barcelona. When Krishnaji said he didn’t believe a word of all this, that it was nonsense, she sobbed that it was making her suffer that he didn’t do what was said. I wanted to say, “Elle est folle” to one of the men but didn’t.’

S: [chuckles] Yes, “she is crazy.”

M: ‘People are mad everywhere, but the Spanish ones seem to gravitate toward Krishnaji. The older man has given Krishnaji nine of his books. We walked later and finished packing at midnight.’ [Chuckles.]

S: There is something special about the Spanish.

M: Yes, they’re very insistent on what they think.

S: But it also gets very emotional very quickly.

M: Yes, it’s still going on with the Spanish committee—and the Spanish publication committee.

S: I know. The Spanish Foundation, the Spanish publications committee, the different Spanish committees from South America.

M: And they fight each other, too.

S: Yes, it’s lawsuits, and everything. Different opinions go very quickly from being slightly off to being completely berserk. [Both chuckle.]

M: I think they’re having a lawsuit with the Argentinian one at the moment. It’s been going on for some time. But I don’t, thank god, have to do anything about it.

June twenty-fifth. ‘I finished the laundry, and doing some kitchen and other household things right up to our departure at 11 a.m. Dorothy drove us to Heathrow, with Stephen Smith bringing our four bags in another car. The countryside was glowing from all the rain. The fields of barley are green to yellow to orange all at once. A most breathtaking beauty. At Heathrow, Rita Zampese met us and, as we were flying on Lufthansa, her company’—oh, she met us because it was her company.

S: Right, she worked for Lufthansa.

M: Yes. ‘She had very kindly booked our train and tickets, too, from Bonn to Geneva. And today eshe scorted Krishnaji and me right into our seats on the plane.’ It was nice of her indeed. ‘An hour’s flight and we landed in Cologne. There was a porter, a rare bird,’ [chuckles] ‘and in a few minutes we were whirling along the autobahn in a Mercedes station wagon taxi. Krishnaji all alive and watching with a look of a child having fun.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘The speedometer touched 160 km, and Krishnaji seemed pleased. Germany is the land of Mercedes. We are again at the Hotel Bristol in what looks like the same stolid but quiet rooms, numbers 704 and 705, of our last visit. We both fell asleep, and it wasn’t until I woke up and went into Krishnaji’s room that I saw he had slept in a chair instead of the bed. He said, “I was too tired to take off my shoes and trousers, so I stayed in the chair.”’ [S chuckles.] ‘We had dinner in the large, ugly, and ornate hotel dining room where the same Indian headwaiter coped with our vegetarianism.’ [Chuckles.]

The twenty-sixth. ‘Krishnaji slept “so-so.” He said, “It’s an odd thing, I meditate more easily here than at Brockwood. I woke up around 4 a.m., meditated, read, meditated. There, I think it’s because there are too many boys and girls with their problems.”’ [Both chuckle.]

S: Yes, there were.

M: There were. ‘I said, “But this is a hotel full of people.”’

‘Krishnaji replied, “Yes, but it’s impersonal. I cleansed the room and it’s alright. I watched the trains go by. I should have cleaned your room.”’ By cleaning, I must explain what he means.

S: Yes.

M: Although, I don’t think I can explain it. He would do something to the atmosphere in rooms.

S: He’d walk around it.

M: Well, yes, sometimes. Usually he wanted to do it alone. You were perhaps privileged to witness it. But anyway, he did it and he did it in hotel rooms. It was something to do with…with human…

S: I can’t remember if I saw him do it or he told me what he does, but it was a kind of chasing something out.

M: Yes.

S: Yes.

M: I’ll go back a little bit. ‘He said, “I should have cleaned your room. Brockwood is not a sacred place like Ojai, like your big room.”’ I think he means the big room here in this house.

S: In Ojai, the big living room, right.

M: The big living room. ‘Then I say, “The Grove is sacred.” Krishnaji’s face lighting up, replied, “Oh, the Grove. Yes.”’

‘Me speaking: “Couldn’t we make the house part of it sacred?”’

‘Krishnaji: “You can’t make these things. There I try to meditate, but it doesn’t come.”’

M: “Has it always been like this at Brockwood?”’

‘Krishnaji: “More or less.”’

M: “It would be interesting to see if it were different when the house is empty.”’

‘Krishnaji: “Oh, that might be different.” He put on a new dressing gown made by a tailor in Madras, a gray silk seersucker got by Prema Srinivasan.’

S: Yes, we still have that one.

M: ‘He put it on for the first time and pronounced it alright. He had two pillows, one small, that were uncomfortable— but he did nothing to rearrange them, like sleeping in the chair yesterday.’ He wouldn’t, you know, his comfort didn’t…

S: He accepted.

M: Yes, ‘He has no physical instinct to make himself comfortable. He just endures the discomfort. We went to Dr. Scheef at 10 a.m. Krishnaji had blood and urine tests. Dr. Scheef felt the place in Krishnaji’s abdomen where Dr. Parchure felt a lump and prescribed X-rays tomorrow morning. As it was raining, we spent most of the day in the hotel, sleeping and reading. It cleared at 5 p.m., and we went for a walk and to buy fruit—cherries, nectarines, peaches, and fragrant strawberries. We came back and ate them in our rooms before dining downstairs. At supper’—oh, this is nice, I remember this—‘Krishnaji made up a science fiction story. In his story, everyone in the world, in the local language, heard a voice say, “We’ve had enough. You have a week to make peace, open your borders, dissolve your arms, and learn to live together. This is God speaking.”’ [Both chuckle.] I remember it so well. ‘“If people didn’t respond properly, all the trains in the world would stop for one hour.”’ [S laughing.] ‘“What next? They have to be threatened with something or they won’t listen.” We never figured out the next step, as it had to be one that wouldn’t hurt anyone. But Krishnaji was full of laughter at the voice in every place. The House of Commons, the Kremlin, the White House, the Congress, the Vatican, in every house, in forests, remote deserts, everywhere.’ [Both laugh.] ‘We had crème caramel and went off to read and sleep. Tomorrow went round in my head.’ [Laughs.] He had fun making up these wondrous, fanciful things. There was another time when all guns wouldn’t shoot. This took place in the dining room in this rather stately, dreary hotel.

June twenty-seventh. ‘No breakfast before the doctor’s exam. We got to the clinic at 8:30 a.m. Krishnaji had an abdominal X-ray, having to swallow some liquid—barium or an equivalent—which luckily didn’t make him vomit. That was soon over. Next an injection of whatever makes the liver show up, and a liver scan was done; all remarkably quickly. But this was followed by over an hour’s wait in Dr. Scheef’s office. Jean-Michel had sent me this morning reports of medical tests on Diane in case Dr. Scheef had any light to throw. He has a colleague who is doing some research on Diane’s condition. The colleague said that at present, there is nothing beyond what her doctor, at Mount Sinai in New York, would know; but Dr. Scheef will be kept informed and let the Marogers know if there is any development.’

‘At last, Scheef returned and said that Krishnaji’s occasional pain and lump in the abdomen is a diaphragmatic hernia and nothing of consequence. A towering relief for me. Though, when the possibilities flew like crows in my head last night, I somehow felt it would not be serious. His kidneys, spleen, liver, pancreas are all fine. The liver is not enlarged as one of those quacks suggested. Knowing all this from Scheef is enormous peace of mind. He gave us, for free, 700 Wobenzyms and 800 tablets for me. Also we got Krishnaji 500 pink pills, the magic ones against hay fever, but these we must pay for: 225 Deutche marks.’

‘On the way back to the hotel, Krishnaji asked me what I would have done if he had had a malignancy. Apparently he would have left it to me.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Later he said he couldn’t put such a responsibility on me. He would decide, but with my advice. We rested in the afternoon, then went to pay the Apotheker for the 500 pink pills, and to buy some more cherries. At supper, Krishnaji continued his plans for reforming humanity. Since it doesn’t act properly, the gods’—it seems there are a bunch of them—‘put one god in charge of humanity. And so the question is how to make them reform.’ [Chuckles.] Krishnaji figured out the way gods can stop man’s bad behavior. ‘“They must choose. We cannot do it for them.”…“I must find the way.” Then after a while, he said, “I think I’ve got it. There are the good guys and the bad guys. Up to forty years of age, everyone can choose to be good; and those that do, live on to be very old, maybe 150, free from disease. At age thirty-five, the bad guys have five years; and if they do nothing bad in these five years, they are in the good column. But if they do…”’[both laugh]—I’m quoting, this is all in quotes—‘“but if they do wrong, they die at forty. Anyone who has made it past forty and does wrong dies right away.”’ [Both laugh.] He enlarged on all this…’

S: Right, so, we’ve left aside the not hurting anybody business now. [Both laugh.]

M: ‘He enlarged on all this with a mischievous look.’ [Both laugh.] Oh dear. That was all so humorous.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The twenty-eighth. ‘We checked out of the Bristol Hotel and walked to the station, a hotel man following with our luggage. We took the TEE train “Rheingold,” which goes along the Rhine. The train was late due to damage it incurred in Amsterdam, and there was no dining car because that was one of the cars injured in Amsterdam, so no lunch. The Rhine river was gray. The sky was gray. Krishnaji watched it but I sank into a book. As we neared Basel, we neared our first problem. There, the train was to split in two parts, and our part was to be uncoupled and left. We had been unable to get seats in Bonn in the forward cars that would go on to Berne, but as people got off before that, we thought we might be able to find seats when we got to Basel. The problem waS: how to get our four bags forward four cars in 3 minutes while the train stopped in Basel.’ [Chuckles.] So, you know, at the end of the carriages there’s a little place for the door to get out. We got there with the bags. ‘We got set on our mark there and the instant the train stopped, Krishnaji rushed to find a porter—none—or a cart. He found the latter. I dragged the bags off the train onto it and we raced forward with the trainmen helping us, and got onto the Berne section just as the uncoupling clanged apart. We were off to Berne, but, of course, there was the same problem there for the train to Geneva. Again, we got a cart and loaded it, but had time, as there was a wait for the new train. I eyed a robust-looking Indian in a turban to help get our bags on the train, but Krishnaji wouldn’t let me ask for his help.’ [Both laugh.] ‘Then I saw a tall, rather distinguished-looking Swiss Army officer and I asked him for his help. He lifted one bag in and other people helped with the rest and finally we made it. We were on the Geneva train in Switzerland rolling through the familiar neatness and beauty of the Swiss landscape.’ [Laughs.] I remember saying to this Swiss Army officer, “Sir, I am traveling with a very distinguished gentleman who is not very strong.” And then he rather aloofly but very politely helped. [S laughs.]

I mention the beauty of the Swiss landscape; then I write, ‘I seem to have a closed mind in Germany. I do not know the place, but bad associations float up. Waiting for the train in Bonn, a closed goods train came rushing through, and the dark image of the war and of Jews packed into such a train was there for me. So it was good to roll along toward Geneva and finally to arrive at the Hôtel des Bergues, where we had immaculate, newly decorated rooms. We unpacked, changed, and by 7:30 were quietly, comfortably having a delicious dinner in the Amphytrion Restaurant. Neither of us had been hungry all day but after all the exertions, it was a very pleasant dinner. Krishnaji says I must not worry when traveling with him. All will turn out all right. But I do not think train rides will be our choice in the future when laden with luggage.’

S: Yes, it’s impossible now without porters.

M: Yes. [Chuckles.] ‘There was a note waiting for us when we got to the Hôtel des Bergues from Gisèle Balleys that Mr. Rusu died yesterday’—your friend, Mr. Rusu. Romanian. A nice, nice man.

S: Yes. A very, very nice man; and completely devoted to Krishnaji, since the ’20s.

June twenty-ninth. ‘A quiet, restful day. I read and wrote letters in the morning. We lunched in the Amphytrion, and rested all afternoon. Went for a small walk at six. It’s pleasant to rest, read, and do nothing all day. Dined in the Amphytrion,  and so to bed. I have a cold but it’s not too bad. Mar de Manziarly telephoned. She lunches with us tomorrow.’

The thirtieth. ‘We went to Jacquet, where Krishnaji chose silks for neckties for himself and Joe Links. Mar de Manziarly came to lunch. She has had heart trouble, so she cannot go to Saanen because of the altitude and is staying here with Marianne Borel in Geneva.’ Do you remember her? She was a French woman. ‘Krishnaji put his hands to help her. Then we all lunched in the Amphytrion. Krishnaji was rather distrait.[2] Mar, pinched by age and failing health, still wants rather desperately to be jovial.’ [S laughs.] You know that mannerism.

S: Yes, and it’s very French—“gai,” they would say.

M: Yes, very French. ‘We invited her to Brockwood so Krishnaji can treat her daily for a while. It was a rather bleak lunch but the food pleased. After a nap, Krishnaji and I went to Patek for a watch check, then to Grand Passage, where we got a wristwatch for Krishnaji to give Chinna.’

S: Who was Chinna?

M: Someone in India. I think he was a servant. ‘We also got a dress for Fosca and a blouse for Filomena. We dined quietly, and then to bed. At supper, Krishnaji spoke of the Rosalind and Rajagopal days from 1935 to 1947: the quarrels, Rajagopal’s angers, both trying to humiliate him in public, ordering him around. She knocked Krishnaji down the stairs at Arya Vihara and luckily Weideman caught him’—that was a man that used to live around here. ‘“They must’ve thought I was an idiot to put up with it,” he said. “If my mind worked then as it does now, I would have said, ‘Enough. Go, both of you.’ I could have then. I still had the power. Ammah”’—that’s Mrs. Besant—‘“had told me, ‘You are the ultimate head.’ It was before Rajagopal got control.”’

‘I asked, “Why didn’t you?”’

‘Krishnaji replied, “I just didn’t care. That was the way it was. I accepted it. Once Rajagopal had been angry, [and] I told him he was a bully and he piped down. The next day it was the same thing all over again.”’

July first. ‘We rested, packed, and had lunch in the Amphytrion. At 3:30 p.m., Hertz delivered a beige Ford Fiesta, and we set off for Gstaad via the Route du Lac to Morges and then over to the road to Oron, Bulle and so through the valley, arriving, as always, in rain. Gstaad has more snow on the mountains than I can remember in July. We were at Tannegg by 6:20 p.m. Vanda and Fosca had arrived on Sunday. So another summer here begins.’

S: [chuckles] Yes. Extraordinary. That’s so evocative for me.

M: It is for me. I realized listening to some of the records of music I’ve got, ones that I bought there, the whole valley—I see it when I hear the music. It evokes the mountains, but more than that, the whole feeling of those summers there. It was an enormously marvelous time of my life.

S: Yes, yes, yes. And mine. And mine, too.

M: July second. ‘Rain. I slept till 8:30 a.m. There was a letter from Erna with a memorandum of a meeting with Stanley Cohen, our KFA lawyer, about Rajagopal giving the archives to the Huntington Library. Cohen advised, and Erna, Theo, and Alan Hooker concur, that we must act to stop Rajagopal or we risk losing our rights under the settlement agreement. The possible steps were outlined, all involving going to court. It will be costly, but all feel it is necessary. Krishnaji concurs strongly and so I wrote this to Erna. I did shopping in the morning. Krishnaji stayed in bed. He gave me some of the precious pink pills for hay fever from Scheef, and they seem to help my cold. In the afternoon, Sunanda, Pama, and Parchure arrived with Kaim, the nephew of Merali. They are in a chalet on Neuret Road. Vanda has put herself in a tiny room and insisted on Parchure moving right into the downstairs one. So I went and fetched him. Krishnaji’s voice is a little hoarse.’

S: You know, just coming back here for just a second to what we were saying before about remembering the summers in Saanen…

M: It glows in my mind.

S: Yes, and mine. And what’s very peculiar for me is that, although I stayed for many years in the same chalet in Saanen, with a beautiful view over Rougement and that end of the valley, and I’ve known those mountains from so many different perspectives.

M: Yes, you used to climb them.

S: But when I think of Saanen, the picture that comes most vividly and immediately into my mind is the view out of the living room window of Tannegg. For some reason, I don’t know whether it was because it was something I looked at with Krishnaji, or it was associated with the two of you there, or Krishnaji there or what—but that picture is the essence of Saanen for me. The view out of that window.

M: Yes. Well, it was an extraordinary time for me. It glowed. It was…

S: Yes, I suppose what I’m saying is that there are other aspects of that same valley I saw more frequently and for longer periods of time. Years in the same chalet. And yet I think, because of its association with Krishnaji, that is the image that is most vividly in my mind. And it says something about the intensity of what one lived around Krishnaji.

M: Yes. There’s an association that I spoke of…of the music that evokes it for me, it is not that the view of Wasserngrat and the whole thing. But it’s of out of my window in Caprice. I looked—I’ve forgotten the mountain’s name, but it was…oh…My flat was right along the railroad and I looked at those mountains. And I see those mountains when I play that music; that’s the association. And there’s a kind of radiance about the light in the mountains and the music. It’s all intertwined, so when I hear some of the music that I bought that summer, it brings it back.

S: Yes, yes.

M: But it brings back the whole glow of the Swiss summers. It was wonderful.

S: Yes. Absolutely marvelous.

M: July third. ‘I ran errands in the morning, then brought Sunanda and Pama up to lunch. It was Vanda’s first meeting with the Patwardhans, and Krishnaji came in before and after, but lunched alone on a tray in his room. Krishnaji had put his hands on Sunanda and will do so every day to help her arthritis. Vanda immediately set to stretching her knee where the pain is located.’ You were in terrible peril of Vanda attacking you with…

S: [laughs] Her yoga, yes.

M: …her yoga. I finally cured her of it by just relentless resistance. [Both chuckle.] At least for me. ‘In the evening, Radha Burnier arrived at the Patwardhans’ chalet where she is staying, and telephoned Krishnaji. He came into the living room to take the call and, of course, it was to tell him that she had been elected president of the Theosophical Society. She won with 9,300 votes to Rukmini’s 5,400. Krishnaji said, “Good,”’ [chuckles] ‘and when he hung up, he said, “Now I can walk through the TS instead of on that filthy road.”’ He would never walk through it because they’d thrown him out or wouldn’t let him live there.

S: Yes. Yes, I remember.

M: So he would walk around it on the filthy road to get to the beach. ‘He is pleased. He also had a gleam in his eye denoting something. We will see.’ I don’t know what that means.

S: It’s yours. “We will see” what the gleam means.

M: Why the gleam, yes. [Chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji’s voice is still hoarse.’

July fourth. ‘The crazy Spaniards who came to Brockwood are at Saanen led by the little old man who calls himself Jaime Escoi. A second man, something Conola, came with letters to Tannegg this morning demanding to see Krishnaji. I sent them away. Shortly after a letter came, saying Krishnaji had talked to him on the astral plane. Krishnaji’s mission in Saanen is finished and it is now in Spain, etc. Then came a telegram from Escoi saying Krishnaji’s health decreases from day to day from his obstinacy and he will die here since he is separating himself from Scorpio and other gibberish.’ [S chuckles.] They used to call me up and say, “He didn’t look very well in the tent this morning.” In that tone of voice and I finally said: “Do not call again,” and hung up. [Chuckles.] ‘I went to the tent in the morning to see how things are coming, and there talked to Gisèle, etcetera. Dorothy came by. Montague is ill but medicine given by a Saanen doctor has helped. Radha, Pama, and Sunanda came to lunch. Krishnaji congratulated the president with much teasing and laughter. Radha said she won clearly in India and Europe, but only by four votes in the U.S.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Some of Rukmini’s more heated followers may contest it but cannot alter the outcome. She is calm about it all, laughing like a young girl at Krishnaji’s jokes and teasing. He asked her what she wanted to do with the TS and then answered for her: to call in the heads of it and end divisions, beliefs, etc. and rapidly the subject turned to what it is that has made mankind get caught in conflict, knowledge, etc. There was the usual references to what tradition has said, etc. and, as always, they were found wanting. Krishnaji tentatively brought up man’s struggle for survival in which knowledge was necessary and this invaded the psychological field. Krishnaji ate alone but talked most of the afternoon with Radha and the rest of us. His voice was less hoarse.’ [Both chuckle.]

The fifth. ‘Last night at 10 p.m. a telegram came from the filthy little old Spaniard saying, along with other gibberish, that Krishnaji’s health was failing and he would die in Saanen unless he learned about ego from this and left Saanen for Spain. Early this morning, the French-speaking one telephoned. He asked me if Krishnaji had received the telegram? Yes, I answered. Did he want an interview with them? I replied that their telegram was shameful and shows total disrespect for Krishnaji. I went on that Krishnaji desires to have no communication with them and I don’t either. He then asked about Krishnaji’s health and I said, “He is very well,” and hung up. Telegrams kept coming in all day. All gibberish about Masters and astral conversations and about how this man’s incarnation was to set Krishnaji straight, etcetera. Sick minds,’ I said.

S: Yes, yes.

M: ‘I got Krishnaji a navy waterproof warm jacket, which he likes very much, as well as a heavy cotton training suit. Also pleasing. Sunanda came for treatment at 4 p.m. accompanied by Pama and Radha. There was more of yesterday’s conversation on man’s entrapment in the field of knowledge and what went wrong with humanity. Radha had got through by telephone to Adyar, and Mr. Surendra Narayan, the vice president. She will leave here Friday for Adyar. Krishnaji gives signs of interest in the TS as if it were something he could capture and change.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘I have some misgivings about his understanding of how misinterpreted any connection between him and the TS can be.’

July sixth. ‘There was fog and rain. Over Vanda’s protest, I drove her and Parchure to the tent, and then came back to drive Krishnaji there. The Spanish gnome was there to waylay him, but Scott and I kept him away from Krishnaji. A very fine talk[3] laid the direction of the serieS: the horrors and sufferings in the world, the kidnappings, terrorism, cruelty of man, of man’s doing, how did this come about, the dependence on knowledge, is thought the cause of it? It was raining when Krishnaji finished and he got right into the car. He had lunch on a tray, and there were no guests. Scott came to check his watches. Sunanda came up for treatment with Pama and Radha. They left, with Scott taking them home, and Krishnaji and I went for our first walk, which was in the rain up the hill and through the woods, picking our way through mud as we had never seen it there.’

‘Krishnaji’s voice was clear and strong this morning, and he was warm, comfortable, and handsome in his new navy waterproof jacket. In the earlier afternoon, the French-speaking Spaniard had telephoned saying the old one, Escoi, had seen that Krishnaji’s health is deteriorating and when would we see them. I said Krishnaji wished no communication whatsoever with them. Another crazy telegram came within an hour and during supper. Both of them, plus a third man, arrived at the doorstep. I blew up and said everything I could think of in French. They said they loved Krishnaji. I said to insult and attempt to harass and ignore his replies and say he would die if he didn’t agree to their demands was hardly love. They went on about master Kuthumi and I said all this was déséquilibré et fantaisie and to stop the nonsense of telegrams. It would be on my head, they said, and that we would hear no more. Krishnaji laughed when I reported it all and said, “This is old stuff. This is what Arundale did to me.” Vanda said they weren’t bad, they were stupid. Once again defending persons who attack Krishnaji. She appears to view no one as having any animosity. It is because they love him, said she. That is their pretension, said I. What, in fact, they are up to is aggression to get their own way. But what I discussed later with Dr. Parchure is the growing prevalence of people plunging into occult fantasies and seeking satisfaction in unrealities rather than the old physical pleasures. Delusions proliferate and does Theosophy give orthodoxy to all this? I touched on this with Krishnaji, who said I knew nothing of real Theosophy, that it was Leadbeater who encouraged all this. I didn’t pursue it then, but my question remains.’

July seventh. ‘Touches of sun at last. I ran errands in the morning, then Radha, Sunanda, and Pama came to lunch. Krishnaji joined us afterward and there was talk most of the afternoon. Krishnaji inquired what sort of persons Radha thought the early TS people were. Olcott was a good organizer, she said. I asked if Blavatsky had something original or only put together various beliefs. Radha said she thought, “She had something.” Later, as Krishnaji prepared for the walk and was putting on a coat to go for the walk, he said quickly and suddenly’…[pause]…sorry, this is private.

S: Right. Okay.

M: ‘And then on the walk, he said, “Do you remember Maricopa? Those mountains! California. This is…too closed in.”’ I’m surprised about that.

S: The Swiss mountains are much tighter.

M: I guess so. I don’t know. Anyway.

S: [chuckling] Mary, may I ask…Are you saying it is private because he said something nice about you?

M: No comment. [With mock sternness. S laughs then Mary chuckles.]

July eighth. Do you want to know about the eighth?

S: Yes, we do. [Chuckles.]

M: ‘Rain again. Vanda refuses my driving her to or from the tent. She went by taxi.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji gave the second Saanen talk. Very fine.[4] He continued the exploration of the causes of man’s violence, conflict, thought. “Allegiance to anything is the beginning of corruption.” Both Kossiakofs came to lunch. Nicolas is almost blind. He is very pessimistic about the world. Economic disintegration, he feels, is inevitable. I drove them back to Caprice where they were staying. Radha, Sunanda, and Pama came to tea. Krishnaji came in from the nap at 5 p.m. He treated Sunanda but he was too tired for a walk and it was also too late.’

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji waiting to start video recording. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

July ninth. ‘Krishnaji said this morning that meditation came so strongly in the night that at 1:30 a.m., he had to sit up. At lunch was Simonetta, who has completed her work for the Tibetans near Mysore and in September will go to Pakistan to help with Afghan refugees, and Suad Al Radhi bringing gifts of Iraqi glass, dates, and other sweets from Beirut, and Frances McCann. Vanda invited Dr. Frederick Leboyer for coffee.’ He was that birthing expert who was advising everybody. ‘He took center stage and talked of his learning to sing in Madras, to study breathing; and now his maternity patients are to sing instead of scream when they give birth.’ [Both chuckle.] Always something nutty comes out of it. ‘Krishnaji sat politely silent through all this and then we went off for a walk to Alpina and back, neither of us caring for Leboyer. A phony, we thought. Naudé in London may come here.’ [Both chuckle.]

The tenth: ‘Rain. Krishnaji’s third Saanen talk. Radha, Sunanda, Pama came to lunch, after which I took them home. Sunanda and Pama returned later as Leboyer was to demonstrate and teach his singing. Frances was there, too. He clammed up in front of the Indians, so they, Krishnaji, and I left him with Vanda and Frances, the two enthusiasts.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji and I walked to the Palace Hotel and back. A letter arrived from Amanda and Phil, including very good reviews of Phil’s memoir Take Two, which is coming out in August.’

S: I think we’re going to have to leave it there because we’ve run out of tape.

<<Previous Issue | Next Issue>>



[1] A link to the video of this talk. Back to text.

[2] There is no good equivalent for this in English. It can mean “inattentive,” “abstracted,” “faraway,” etcetera, but the French word is the best I can think of to describe this state of being that would sometimes come over Krishnaji. Back to text.

[3] The video of this first talk in Saanen. Back to text.

[4] A video of the second Saanen talk. Back to text.