Issue #69

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Issue 69—August 1, 1981 to November 4, 1981


For anyone who has been moved or inspired or touched by Krishnaji and/or his work, there is a major difficulty: How does one convey what is beyond words, beyond thought, beyond memory? At the same time, for many of us, there is a sense of obligation: We can’t just remain silent about something so seminal in our lives. If those who came before us had not wanted to convey what Krishnaji was and remains, and had they not wanted to extend the reach of his teachings beyond his immediate surroundings, then most of us would not have known the blessings of his teachings and his presence. This conveyance of that extraordinary “something” is the intention of this project, and it is also the concern of the discussion that starts this issue, as well as a discussion about half way through this issue. In rereading these discussions, I feel I am pushing and insisting beyond the bounds of propriety or good manners; but Mary appreciated the wish to get as much explicated as was possible, to leave nothing of the inexplicable or the ineffable or the incomprehensible unexplored to the greatest possible extent. These two discussions, recorded for her memoirs, were two of a great many discussions Mary had with people close to her and Krishnaji, but which went unrecorded. In hindsight, one can’t help but wish that many more of these discussions had been recorded.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #69

Scott: We’re supposed to pick up the story on August first, 1981, but before we do that, I was hoping we could discuss something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for the last several sessions; and listening to a tape of our discussions last night made me feel all the more that we should just talk about it briefly. And this has to do with “the face.” Now, for anybody who’s been following these conversations, Krishnaji first talked about seeing “the face” as something external to him. And then, somehow, it became internal, and no longer external to him. It was present, but it was internal. And in your and my contact with him…I know we’ve talked about this…we’ve seen the face many times. In fact, Krishnaji often, when I would walk with him after a talk at Brockwood or Saanen, because I used to feel that he needed some protection right after a talk, when he was kind of “coming in for a landing,” were the words I would use to myself about it…

Mary: Yes, and the hordes were chasing him.

S: When the hordes were just, right, wanting to press in on him. After some talks, particularly profound ones, he would ask me if I’d seen “the face.”

M: He did to me, too.

S: Yes, and I don’t even know how he knew I could see it, and I don’t remember how it all began. I don’t remember it beginning; I just remember it was there. Now, in this tape that I was listening to the other night, which, for the record, is the fifteenth of March, 1985—a private discussion with Krishnaji, you, Erna, and Theo—Krishnaji says that, just very briefly, because Theo doesn’t really get it…when Krishnaji starts talking about something very esoteric and people don’t get it, he always backs away from it, in my experience. In this tape, he said that he hadn’t seen “the face” for quite a while. He didn’t say that it wasn’t there within him, or on him, or whatever it was, or that it didn’t appear to others when he was speaking, but that he hadn’t seen it for quite a while. And then also, very curiously in that tape—and again, I don’t know of any other place where Krishnaji talks about this, other than this tape—he talks about being found as a boy and the whole thing about the pundit, and what the pundit told him, etcetera, etcetera and how Annie Besant was looking for the vehicle for the reincarnation or the manifestation of the Maitreya, and how the TS had picked other boys before Krishnaji.

M: Mm, one of them.

S: He mentioned two.

M: Two?

S: Yes. We only—I only know of the American Dutch boy, van Hook or whatever it was…

M: Yes.

S: But he mentioned someone else and it seems to me there was, but I can’t remember. Anyway. But someone, it was either Theo or Erna, asked him, well, why was Annie Besant so certain that you were the one?

M: Yes, then he must’ve brought in Upadhyaya.

S: Well, what he said was…and he said it in that voice that is speaking while looking at a great distance [both chuckle], that there was something about his face as a boy and that somehow that face had been…There was something, I can’t remember exactly, but there was something very special about his face…something so special or recognizable or recognized by Annie Besant, or it would have taken millennia to shape this face, and she had recognized…There was something special, though; and her point of recognition, that Krishnaji was it, was the face. So there’s just this…and it just seems to me that there was some…

M: There was also…I don’t know whether this could be linked with it or not, the episode in Ootacamund with Pupul and Nandini, when he went “off,” and then when he came to, he said, “Did you see the face?” …well, the implication was that it was the Buddha. And when they said they had, he said, “You are blessed.” They had seen “his” face. I mean, I don’t know how to… I can’t define exactly what he meant or what was said, but there was again, did you see…

S: “The face”…

M: So this must have gone on throughout his life; I mean, that’s way back in the forties.

S: But it was brand-new, when he talked about it in your diary, and he mentions it when it appeared, that was new to him, that he saw it. That Krishnaji saw this face; that was new to him.

M: He sometimes said, I forget a particular incident, but after a talk, he would sometimes ask, “Did the face change?”—meaning his face during a talk.

S: Yes. Exactly. Yes, that is what he would ask.

M: And that’s something that you’d spoken of, and that you’ve also seen it on videotape.

S: I’ve even seen it on tape, yes; and when I told Krishnaji that, he was interested.

M: I’ve seen…well, it’s hard to describe. I’ve also seen him change shape.

S: Yes. Yes.

M: I mean, I’ve seen him, though sitting, suddenly become a tall man. [S chuckles.] Anyway, these things are so nebulous that I don’t like to take a position of what I know and don’t know or noticed, I mean…

S: I know, I know. But that’s just exactly why I am having you speak about it. [Both chuckle.]

M: I know, but there’s a vast ocean of things I don’t know about, categories of things with regard to Krishnaji, which I have wisps of them in my mind, and I’m aware of them, but I don’t try and build a foundation of saying, “This is what was happening,” because I don’t know.

S: Exactly. I completely agree, and I do the same; but I do think that we have to not be overly cautious and not articulate our wisps. The little wisps that we have, I think, need to be put down because they are so extraordinary.

M: They are.

S: And, we can’t just take them to our graves.

M: And the fact that both you and I, who have had close and prolonged observation of all this, have to be very careful not to decide what we saw.

S: Exactly. And I think we have both been…We’ve erred on the side of caution. And I think that that is correct, but I still feel that we ought to push the envelope, as they say these days, a little bit in trying to just say what we observed without saying what it means or drawing any conclusions from it; or what we remember him saying, without making anything of it, or drawing any conclusions from it. Just because this is part of the extraordinary…

So, if I could describe, a little bit, how the face appeared in my eyes. [Pause.] In one sense, it was almost like going from a two-dimensional photograph to a three-dimensional object. Without the form actually changing, it just had a greater depth. At the same time, I would say that the form did change slightly, in that it seemed absolutely ageless—“the face.” It had no age. It had all the ages.

M: When he was in the hospital dying, and we took turns being with him…

S: I know, yes.

M: And one early, early—God knows, the light was just coming up over the hills and he turned his face and looked at the hills and it was the face of a young, not a boy, but a very, very young man.

S: Yes. Yes. Yes, that happened, too, but there was also this other face that wasn’t young. This other face had all of the ages, somehow. It was young and old and in the middle and it was—this is just my eyes—but when “that face” appeared when he was speaking, it was…It also had, I don’t like to use the word radiant, because that’s been overused, I think, by some people, but it did somehow have light coming from it in a very different way, and not just reflecting it. It did…[pause]. And also, while it was Krishnaji’s face, it was also not Krishnaji’s face, which was also very strange; almost as in a dream, when someone has a different face but you know it’s them. [Both chuckle.] But this…, no, it wasn’t like that, because this was definitely Krishnaji’s face, but it wasn’t his face. I don’t know…can you describe it as you remember it?

M: It’s so hard to describe. His face was his face, but…

S: Now we are talking about “the face,” when it changed, right?

M: Yes. Well, I will talk about his face in a moment but…It was different. I don’t know what to say. It was transformed or, but…I don’t know, it was like light changing on something. Again, it’s in this extraordinary realm of things that you notice and must not try to project onto because you don’t want to put your own stamp on something.

S: I know. And we’re, of course, limited by the language that we have, but also our memories, which are such faulty devices. But still…

M: Yes. And also what we bring to a perception.

S: I know. I know. I know. But still, describe it as if you were describing it to someone from outer space. How did the face change when Krishnaji said, “Did the face change?” And you would say, “Yes.” How did it change?

M: I feel I don’t want to be…anything I say is too indefinite.

S: I know, and we know that it is wrong, but say it anyway.

M: I may be hallucinating here for all I know, speaking for myself.

S: Exactly. I know.

M: But, It’s [long pause]…I can’t describe it. I’m sorry. I mean, the minute I fish words out of my head, they’re insufficient. They’re too definite. They’re too confining. They’re too specific for something that was…The minute we translate something like this into words, we’re in the realms of symbols. Words are symbols.

S: Yes, we agree. And we agree also that we’re not going to get it right, but there has to be…see, I think that we ought to try and say something. Like, for instance, the face didn’t change into a kind of Picasso, you know, with both eyes on one side and the nose upside down, so…so we can at least lay parameters down or something. I think we should say something.

M: Well, it was his face. But…[pause] I balk at words.

S: [laughing] I know you do.

M: Well, I think we have described it as much as we can, or least that I can. I am wary. My description is that I feel that I don’t have the words, let’s put it that way in a very flat term…to convey this. [M chuckles.] But it was perceived with whatever one’s own limitations were at that moment. Something was perceived that somebody can say, “Well, you’re imagining the whole thing because blah, blah, blah.” And that’s just nonsense. They can dismiss it. But there was something that I saw…I speak only for myself—and you must speak for yourself…that I did not explain or…it never entered into a familiar term of pinpointing something, explaining what it was. It was just…And one could say it was imagined, but I don’t and didn’t feel that it was imagined. I’m not given to that kind of imagining. It’s just a…a wonderful uncertainty that always, somehow, relations with Krishnaji never had boundaries. Never had statistics to what you could point to and say, “This is what he was like” or “This is how he behaved” or “This is what he was doing.” It was all this wonderful…there was the unknown in a very simple way. I mean, an unknown that…that it didn’t evoke in me, “Ah yes, I understand it.” It all was beyond those dimensions. I don’t know, but I’m just getting…

S: Yes. No, that’s right. But not only unknown, but always new in some strange way. And Krishnaji would do the same things, often over and over again. The whole going to London, Huntsman, or…

M: Everything was absolutely…

S: …going for the walks, and yet it always felt new when you were with him.

Krishnaji at Brockwood talks. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at Brockwood talks. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: Well, this to me—this I can say more definitely than what I’ve just said—is that I always felt that the extraordinary eloquence of the man, and the teaching genius that he had, was that it was new to him at that moment. He was…his voice, his mind, his perception was seeing something that wasn’t associated with anything else, and yet he was talking about the same things, in a way—it was the same area. He was talking about dimensions of the human consciousness that most people don’t have. But it was new to him. He was not repeating what he’d seen twenty years ago or even last week.

S: Yes. But even doing things like going into London or going on the same walk every day—that was also new, it felt.

M: Yes, it was.

S: It felt like a whole new—and it seemed like it was new to him, too.

M: Yes. There was no—there was a great deal of routine to his life, and there was no routine to his life.

S: I know. [Both chuckle.]

M: It was always…and somehow this has, for me, has to do with his teachings. I mean, this was the way he lived and we should all live, in that things don’t repeat themselves. They are—they exist, then. And they’re true, then. They are not a reflection. Nothing is a reflection with Krishnaji. It’s happening, it’s there. He’s seeing, he’s talking about something that is there that moment—alive. And it isn’t repetitious. Even…I don’t know, in the talks, I used to feel sometimes I knew what he was going to say, but it wasn’t old. It was—he was not repeating something. And I wasn’t perceiving something I’d seen before. It’s impossible to describe all these things.

S: I agree it is impossible. I also think…

M: And that’s why I can reread his books over and over and over again as though I’d never read them before or wasn’t there when he said those things that are printed.

S: I know. Yes. It’s impossible to describe and yet it is important to try to.

M: Well, I think we have done that.

S: [chuckles] Anyway, alright—I won’t pursue this anymore, but I think it was…

M: Well, it’s important…since this seems to be…that we’re trying to do.

S: It is important that we push this. I think we have to just, yes…because the whole thing of trying to evoke, or trying to recall what this phenomenal blessing was that was to be around Krishnaji, it’s also reaching, as well as we can, for these things that are just ineffable; they are indescribable; they’re un-capturable. And yet one has to try and grasp these things because…

M: And we had the blessing—that is the right word—of his giving us these things without deliberate…giving them just by being.

S: Yes. Yes. And I think it’s so…it was so unique because, in my experience and understanding, these blessings were not…are not to be found elsewhere. So we were able to experience or be present at things that other people can’t. They’re not there, as far as I know. And so,…who knows…but it is, at least in my understanding of the world and my experience with the world, so rare that as flawed and faulty and inadequate as our descriptions are, we have to give it our best shot. [Both chuckle.]

M: Well, let’s keep trying.

So, we begin these diaries with the first of August, 1981. ‘It was quiet at last. I marketed, then Krishnaji, Parchure, and I lunched alone. Nadia Kossiakof saw Krishnaji at 4:30 p.m. Krishnaji and I walked in the woods where it is cooler. The appeal yesterday brought in Swiss francs 6,100 for a total in donations of 46,000. So we have enough for the talks for next year.’

The next day, ‘All is quiet. The tent is gone. The sun shines. Krishnaji, though on a restrictive diet for two days before having X-rays Tuesday, is starting the additions to his  Journal that Mary has asked for to make it long enough for the next publication by Gollancz. He saw Gisèle Balleys for a short interview in the afternoon. Then we walked around the mountain in a light rain, which came up. I am on a two-day fruit fast.’ Walking around the mountain was when we went down around the Alpina Hotel and back up the other side.

S: Right. Right. Now, this writing that Krishnaji was doing was for…

M: What would become Krishnamurti’s Journal. Mary L. felt sheneeded more than she had to make it long enough. So he was adding to what he’d written before.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji continued to write. I did errands. We ate at noon with Krishnaji’s special restrictive diet for tomorrow’s X-rays. I did another day of fruit fast. I feel repulsion for fruit or anything to eat. Parchure thinks this fruit fast doesn’t agree with me. D’accord.[1]’ I write in French. ‘No walk.’ [Both chuckle.]

August fourth. ‘I feel so happy that writing about it pulls me down out of the sky. This morning at 8:30 a.m., Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I were at the Saanen hospital where, with Parchure watching over the radiologist, Krishnaji had X-rays of his lower gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Parchure and I felt this was necessary to rule out anything pathological in Krishnaji’s digestion system. It is a test I have long wanted him to have but hesitated to put him through it. This was the right time and place. The Saanen hospital is nice and efficient, with a good radiology department. Dr. Parchure was there to oversee the preliminaries and go in with Krishnaji to see the fluoroscope and talk to the radiologist, who luckily spoke English. The results are what made me soaringly happy. There is nothing wrong with his digestive tract. One finding was a slight sclerotic thickening of the aorta. Parchure says this is a common age symptom and, as other signs such as his low blood pressure, etcetera exist in Krishnaji, it is not a cause for disquiet. So, I have enormous peace of mind. His digestion has been all right since he shifted to not starting meals with fruit and then salad. The order is reversed: cooked food, then salad, then a moderate amount of fruit. No more fruit juices. He is at present drinking Soya Gen’—that is that Swiss drink made of soy—‘at breakfast and Sumbal…’—that’s another Swiss product.

S: Yes, I remember them.

M: ‘…after lunch. He eats as much as he wants for lunch, but less at supper. A thick vegetable soup or a cooked vegetable, one piece of toast or biscuit, and cheese. Tofu, too. Krishnaji stood the barium needed for the X-ray well, and in an hour we were on our way back to Tannegg. All felt very cheerful. Krishnaji said, “I told you there would be nothing wrong.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘After his breakfast he continued writing the first of the two pieces Mary needs for the new book. He wants a new soft pen and a loose-leaf notebook, but there were none suitable in Gstaad.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘At 5 p.m., he had his hair cut, and afterwards said, “I feel extravagant. I want to buy something for you.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘We went to Loertscher’—that’s the store with all the sweaters—‘and we bought a nice brown Pringle jersey for Dr. Parchure. Then we walked in the shade of the woods. The stream was cool and its sound ran through me as part of the happiness I felt. Krishnaji laughed at me and took my hand, and I knew the extraordinary gift of being able to say, “Yes. Now, at this very moment, I am totally happy.”’ [Both chuckle.]

S: How nice.

M: He thought I was silly to be so happy that he was well. [S chuckles.]

August fifth. ‘Another warm day. Krishnaji wrote and I typed it for Mary. I also did errands of getting supplies of Soya Gen and Buerlecithin, which Krishnaji suddenly fancies and wants for Brockwood and India. They could have gone with Scott in the van; but alas, we didn’t want all this last week, before Scott left. I bought all there was in Gstaad and arranged for half of it to go with Harsh and half with Brian Jenkins, who each are still here with cars. In spite of the heat, we walked in the woods and my happiness continues, and Krishnaji is aware of it.’ Which means he’s laughing at it. [Both chuckle.]

The sixth. ‘It is a hot day. I went to the hospital to fetch Krishnaji’s X-rays and other records. Krishnaji wrote and I typed. Krishnaji and Dr. Parchure like bitter tastes. So I got a small bottle of Fernet-Branca’—you know, it’s the digestive liqueur that’s often used in alcoholic drinks. It’s a bitters—‘and a large bottle of Cynar’—that’s a French bitter drink that’s made of artichokes—‘which Krishnaji tasted somewhere in the past and pronounces good whenever he sees an advertisement for it.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Lunch is now embellished with either of these. Krishnaji relishes both.’ [M chuckles.] ‘Dr. Parchure’—this made me laugh—‘keeps asking, “What is the dose, sir?” as if it were medicine. And both seem to have blotted out the fact that they are taking alcoholic drinks.’ [Both laugh.] ‘It tastes like cough medicine in my childhood, and I abstain. Krishnaji gave an interview to Donald Hoppen at 4:30 p.m., who was working with a Swiss architect on a huge building in the Jungfraujoch.’ It’s part of the mountain, the Jungfrau. ‘We walked later in the woods as drops from a coming storm began. Krishnaji remembered our seeing deer on the field above the path. And minutes later, we saw one dash across two fields above Tannegg. I went to take a shower and missed Krishnaji’s calling me to see what was probably the same deer below his window.’

S: I just want to add here that when Krishnaji and Dr. Parchure were drinking the Fernet-Branca and the Cynar, it was very, very small amounts that were then watered down. So tiny that no self-respecting Frenchman would acknowledge this as a proper drink. [Chuckles.]

M: No, I think they put it in a glass of water or something.

S: Yes. Yes. Tiny, microscopic, homeopathic amounts [laughs], but enough to just flavor the water and make it a little bit bitter. [Laughs again.]

M: Yes and it was supposed to be—I don’t know what. ‘There was a thunderstorm.’

Now, I’m going to tell you the bad news: There’s nothing more for 1981 in the big book.

S: Ohhhh. Alright.

M: However, we will plow ahead.

S: We will race ahead. Nothing at all for 1981?

M: Nothing. The big diary starts again when ’82 starts.

S: Oh, alright. So, it probably doesn’t start again until Krishnaji returns, because you didn’t go to India that year.

M: No. So, we’ll have to bear with the little diary only.

August seventh. ‘Krishnaji continued to write. I typed all morning, and in the afternoon sent the first piece that Krishnaji wrote to Mary. We walked in the cool of the woods. We also began a week’s regime of whole rice at every lunch. I telephoned to Mary in the evening, and to Dorothy. Frances got off to Ojai yesterday.’

The eighth, ‘Krishnaji didn’t sleep too well and so didn’t go for a walk. He wrote in the morning and rested in the afternoon. I did shopping and took Dr. Parchure to get frames for eyeglasses. Then worked long at the accumulated correspondence.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji continued to write in the morning, and I continued to work on accumulated letters. He saw Ortolani at 4:30. Then we walked down around Alpina and up the hill behind Tannegg.’

August tenth. ‘I finished all letters and posted them. I am, for once, up-to-date. Krishnaji wrote in the morning and we walked to the river. Ortolani came in the evening. It seems Frances’s sister, Helen McCann, is here in Gstaad and is weeping over Frances. I will ask her here tomorrow.’

August eleventh. ‘Krishnaji does not want me to go to Rome. He has been saying this on and off for the last few days. Dr. Parchure pointed out the difficulty that not going puts me in, and at lunch Krishnaji told me today that it is alright.’ I don’t know why he didn’t want me to go to Rome. ‘I typed while he wrote in the morning, then did the marketing. At 3:30 p.m., I telephoned Erna to inquire if Frances arrived safely. Erna reported that Frances was there and is seeing Dr. Hidley. Frances’s sister came here at 4 p.m. to talk about Frances with me for a while, then Krishnaji joined, and eventually Dr. Parchure added his share. It was a two-hour conversation. The sister was upset. We did as much as possible to reassure her. Then Krishnaji and I walked to the river. My brother rang from the Vineyard. They got back with difficulty. I dined with Jackie Siddoo.’

The twelfth. ‘Krishnaji wrote and I typed what he had written. Frances’s sister asked for a private interview with Krishnaji, and he saw her for an hour in the afternoon. Then we walked in the woods. The U.S. air controllers’ strike has airports all over the world in turmoil. I got a letter from Amanda about Willy Wyler’s death.’ That was a friend of ours, William Wyler. ‘Phil gave the eulogy at his service.’

The thirteenth. ‘Krishnaji was again writing and I was typing. Instead of a walk, we went for a drive to Zweisimmen, and toward Lenk.’ And the next day was much the same except that on the fourteenth, ‘Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I lunched at the Park Hotel. It wasn’t too good.’

August fifteenth. ‘It was a warm day. Krishnaji wrote while I typed, then I did marketing. Jackie Siddoo came to say goodbye to Krishnaji, then he and I walked in the woods. He said, “You must outlive me. You are responsible to that. I will send you angels but you mustn’t call on them. Drive carefully.”’ [Both chuckle.] He was always…These angels could be summoned, but I mustn’t exploit them. [Both laugh.]

S: Yes, and here is this statement again, that you are responsible not to him—but to that.

M: To that, yes. And the that is underlined when I write it.

S: In the diary, yes.

M: Yes. And he said that to you. You could no longer climb mountains for the same reason.

S: I know, I know. Exactly. My life is no longer mine.

M: No. And I wasn’t to go…

S: …gallivanting around unnecessarily.

M: Yes. I could fly to see my mother if that was necessary.

S: Yes, alright. Let’s just have another little discussion here because there is something relevant here too, [M laughs] and it’s not something that we’ve called attention to before. When he says, “You are responsible to that,” well, first of all, it’s not clear what “that” is. [Chuckles.] But it’s also…

M: One wouldn’t ask him what “that” is.

S: No, of course not. Exactly. It wasn’t done. I don’t know why…I wish now I had, but anyway. But even when he talks about things like “the committee,” you know, which is this other—some esoteric…

M: Yes, they’re a little more embodied in my imagination.

S: Yes. They are a little bit more embodied, but, what is significant here is that it is a they.

M: A what?

S: A they. You see, it’s plural.

M: Yes, it’s plural.

S: And that in itself is just worth commenting on or saying what we can about it, because…

M: Well, there are possible explanations, but I don’t want to feel…

S: No, we don’t want to get into explanations; we want to just recall what else may have been said.

M: I am not competent to define it. I don’t know. [Chuckles.]

S: No, no, not define it, but just recall what else of this plural nature could we talk about? Because it’s significant that it is plural.

M: It is. I’ve had, at times, a sense of them. Without any notion of who they are or were or anything. But it wasn’t just one entity. But…again…

S: I know, I know, but I’m going to keep pushing you on all this…

M: Someone in the next century may come across this thing and say, well, they were really…

S: Exactly. That we were completely demented. It doesn’t make any difference—they’re probably going to say we were demented in any case, so…

M: Well, that’s alright. Brainwashed by this…

S: …that’s their problem, but [laughs] is there anything else that we can say? You see, something like “the face” is very singular.

M: Yes, “the face” is singular.

S: And the references to some entity like the Buddha, that we see in his early writings, etcetera—that’s all singular.

M: Yes.

S: And the Maitreya is singular, or who knows what it is. But anyway, there are notions of singularity and then there are notions of plurality.

M: Yes.

S: And when Krishnaji refers to some of these things, like the committee…

M: It’s plural.

S: …it’s plural.

M: It is. It is, and what I felt at a certain time was plural. But I couldn’t…And then there’s…you see all these wonderful words that are used: the sacredness, the otherness, the ineffable, the wordless, the…you know, all this is again, beautiful words to describe “the Other.”

S: Yes.

M: So…

S: It’s interesting too—some words like “the Other” and even “that”—you are responsible to “that”—it could be singular or plural. It’s not definite.

M: No, it’s not. It’s not human. [Laughs.]

S: Right. It’s not human, yes.

M: It’s…wordless, ineffable, sacred. All those words. You can’t define it or imagine it, and you can’t describe it. It is. [Pause.]

S: Alright. Perhaps we should proceed.

M: August sixteenth. ‘I left at 8:50 a.m. and drove to Geneva airport, gave the car back to Hertz, and flew Alitalia to Rome.’ I went to see Filomena. ‘Filomena and Mario’—that’s her son—‘met me and we drove back to Filomena’s flat. Mistica’—that’s her niece—‘was away al mare’—which means at the beach. ‘But Vincenza’—that was, I don’t know, I think a niece—‘and Alvina’—that was her sister—‘and Vincenza’s son, Primo, and his wife and a three-day-old baby, Viola, and a three-year-old son, Aldo, were all there. Filomena and I had supper alone and talked at length. I went to bed early. I telephoned Krishnaji from Geneva and also on my arrival in Rome to report that I was safe.’ You see, he didn’t want me to go…the angels would…he didn’t want me to depend on the angels…[both chuckle].

The seventeenth. ‘I sorted an accumulation of years of papers for Filomena, and urged her to make a new will according to Italian law. We had lunch and talked. Her broken arm in January has left her left hand with diminished function. She has had dizzy spells and her blood pressure is up. We talked of the uncertainty of my coming next year. She doubts she will live much longer and wants to go. We talked of everything. I took a nap and sat on her terrace, but didn’t go out. Vanda had arrived at Tannegg this afternoon.’

August eighteenth. ‘Filomena and Mario took me to Fiumicino’—that’s the airport. ‘My 10:30 a.m. Alitalia flight left at 12:10 p.m. When I arrived in Geneva, I telephoned Krishnaji that I was there. I took a Hertz Granada station wagon and drove via Aigle and Pillon to Gstaad. Krishnaji has written me each day. We walked in the woods. He said, “I’ve had enough of Gstaad.” Vanda, Dr. Parchure, and I had supper. I’m glad to have seen Filomena and done what I could, but I am glad to be back; and like Krishnaji, glad to be moving on to Brockwood.’

The next day was a day of packing and doing errands in the village. ‘Krishnaji was tired in the afternoon so we didn’t walk. It was a warm day.’

August twentieth. ‘Krishnaji, Dr. Parchure, and I left Vanda, Fosca, and Tannegg; and drove via Aigle to Geneva, where we flew on a 1:55 p.m. Swiss Air flight to London. Dorothy met us. I am happily we are back at Brockwood. We went for a short walk. The country is soft with the fullness of late summer. I telephoned Mary.’

The twenty-first. ‘I spent most of the day unpacking, opening mail, and doing small things around the house. Krishnaji had lunch and spent the day in bed. I took the car for a checkup in West Meon and to buy things to eat. Anneke arrived. I spoke to the Bohms. They will come for three days on Sunday. David is better.’

The next day. ‘I finished unpacking and putting things in order. I talked to Anneke, and saw Donald Hoppen in the afternoon. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked with the dogs across the fields; this lovely country. I spoke to my friend Betsy in the evening.’

August twenty-third. ‘In the morning, Krishnaji wrote while I typed. Saral and David arrived in the afternoon to stay in the West Wing until Wednesday’—this was on a Sunday. ‘Krishnaji talked to David, then we all went for a short walk.’

The next day, ‘I went to Alresford on errands while Krishnaji wrote. Then I spent the rest of the day doing desk work. Krishnaji treated Dave. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘It was a warm day. Krishnaji wrote and I did desk work. In the afternoon, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I cleaned brambles in the grove.’ That was always fun. I liked that.

August twenty-sixth. ‘It was a beautiful, very warm day. We took the 10:46 a.m. train to London. Joe met us at Waterloo, and drove us to their flat. I went around the corner and had my hair cut, then came back to lunch with Mary and Joe. Joe dropped us later at the Burlington Arcade, where Krishnaji carefully tried out and bought a Mont Blanc pen. Then he had his hair cut, and we took the train back to Petersfield.’

The next day was ‘another warm day. Krishnaji spent the morning writing and I typing. In the afternoon, Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went down to see our Brockwood Dean cottage bought this spring and now fixed up nicely.’ What is that?

S: That was the one at the bottom of the hill.

M: I don’t remember it.

S: Yes, you do—it was down at the bottom of the hill, right next to where Edna lived.

M: Oh, I see, on the road, of course. Yes, yes, yes.

August twenty-eighth. ‘People are arriving for talks. As this was Krishnaji’s “day off,” he stayed in bed. In the afternoon, I drove with Dr. Parchure to Guilford for his Seiko watch, and to Habitat. We were back in time for supper.’

The twenty-ninth. ‘I cooked our lunch early. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji gave his first Brockwood talk of the year. We had our lunch in our kitchen and then Krishnaji went down to the tent for half an hour. Suad al Radhi came back with him for coffee.’ She was an Iranian lady. ‘Then I went to the tent, and after that had a bit of rest. At 5 p.m., Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked.’

August thirtieth. ‘Krishnaji gave his second Brockwood talk. A very fine one.[2] Mary and Amanda were there and came up to lunch with Krishnaji and me in our kitchen. Krishnaji talked to a Mr. and Mrs. Feller of New Zealand at 4:30 p.m., then he, Dorothy, and I walked across the fields.’

The next day, ‘I had the usual Monday chores, and I also sorted questions handed in for tomorrow’s question-and-answer meeting. I also talked to the Polish lady, Magdalina.’ Do you remember her?

S: Yes. I do.

M: ‘At 4:30 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview to a Mrs. Ann Toothe from Nassau in the Bahamas. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked.’

September first. ‘I cooked our lunch, then typed questions for Krishnaji. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji answered three of the questions in the meeting. We lunched in our kitchen. I talked to Mary Cadogan about trusteeship enlargement, then went to Alresford on errands, including getting a Magimix for Dorothy’s new kitchen. She, Krishnaji, and I took a short walk.’

The second. ‘I did desk work most of the day. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked across the fields; pale gold with the cut straw. It was so beautiful. We also did some rhododendron cleaning. I sorted questions for tomorrow’s meeting.’

September third. ‘At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji answered written questions in the second question-and-answer meeting. We had lunch in our kitchen. At 4 p.m., he gave a private interview to the Polish Magdalina, and at 4:30, he talked with a Dutch lady, Mrs. deBooy.’ Mrs. deBooy was a friend, I think, of Dorothy’s. ‘He, Dorothy, and I walked across the fields. In the evening, I saw a part of the BBC interview of my friend, Peter Ustinov.’

The fourth, ‘Krishnaji dictated letters, but otherwise spent the whole day in bed resting. I typed in the morning and went marketing in West Meon and Petersfield in the afternoon. In the evening, we watched a Polish film on TV of the solidarity conference last year.’

Krishnaji with the Indian dancer Chitra Sundaram. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji with the Indian dancer Chitra Sundaram.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

September fifth. ‘I cooked our lunch early. Krishnaji, at 11:30 a.m., gave a deeply moving talk.[3] Mary and Joe lunched with us in our kitchen. The Indian dancer Chitra Sundaram danced in the tent for the benefit of the school’s scholarship fund. Krishnaji attended the beginning and the end of it, but in between we went for a short walk. I talked in the evening to the Israeli committee member Avrahan Jacoby.’

The next day. ‘I again cooked our lunch early, then went to Krishnaji’s fourth Brockwood talk. It was a warm day, and the crowd was immense. After eating lunch quietly upstairs, Krishnaji went back to the tent briefly. I talked again to Magdalina Jasciuska. Dorothy was stung by a wasp, and had a bad reaction. Dr. Parchure gave her a shot for it. People began to leave. In the evening, Dorothy, Doris, Anneke, and I counted scholarship donations.’

September seventh, ‘I spent the morning doing laundry and other household tasks while Krishnaji wrote a little. In the afternoon, he, Dorothy, and I walked around the empty tent and orchards, etcetera.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji said he slept poorly. He spent the day in bed, and lunched on a tray. It was a morning of desk work for me. In the afternoon, I took Dr. Parchure to Winchester for shopping. In the evening, Shakuntala talked with me about Narayan.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji wrote and I did letters. Anneke left and I cleaned and prepared the spare room for the Marogers. Krishnaji and I took a short walk.’ And the following day is much the same except that people are arriving for the seminar.

September eleventh. ‘Both Marogers arrive for the seminar. I put them in the West Wing. Diane fell and broke her arm last week. At 11:30 a.m., Krishnaji held the first seminar, mostly on education. Maurice Wilkins is here, and so is Stuart Holroyd, who wrote The Quest of a Quiet Mind. It is the first time he has ever seen Krishnaji.’ He wrote a whole book about Krishnaji, but he never met him before. ‘I slept in the afternoon, then walked with Krishnaji, Dorothy, Jean-Michel, and Marie-Bertrande.’

September twelfth. ‘The second seminar meeting. Rupert Sheldrake (the rat man) came.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went to Petersfield in the afternoon for walking shoes for Krishnaji, but found none. I telephoned Betsy in London as it’s her birthday. Maurice Wilkins gave a talk in the evening on nuclear disarmament.’

The thirteenth. ‘It was the third seminar meeting. Wilkins left after, as did Magdalina Jasciuska; she went back to Poland. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked around the fields. In the evening, Rupert Sheldrake gave a talk on his book.’

September fourteenth. ‘Krishnaji held the fourth seminar meeting. I took the car after lunch to the Mercedes place for service in Chichester. Marie-Bertrande came with me. Jean-Michel followed and I came back with them. We shopped in Petersfield at the Bran Tub. Marie-Bertrande is worried about the Russian threat. She told this to Krishnaji on the walk, but he, Dorothy, and I feel the threat won’t materialize. A computer expert,  Averill’—I didn’t know his last name—‘gave a talk on computers in the evening. The Marogers left for France. I talked to Nicole Philipeau.’ She was a woman I met in Switzerland.

S: Now wait a minute—the fourteenth, when you say “the threat won’t materialize,” is the threatened invasion of Poland by Russia because of Solidarity?

M: Yes. Yes.

September fifteenth. ‘The fifth and last meeting of the seminar, after which most people left. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked across the field. Dr. Parchure gave me the last of the nightly back and leg massages. He leaves for India tomorrow.’

September sixteenth. ‘Dorothy drove Dr. Parchure to Heathrow at 5:30 a.m. Brian Jenkins drove me to Chichester, where I picked up the Mercedes, paid the annual vehicle tax at the Chichester post office, and came back to Brockwood in time for lunch cooked by Shakuntala for Krishnaji, Dorothy, herself, and me; and which we ate in the West Wing dining room. At 4:30 p.m., a Stephen Gaines and a Miss Bumpus of the BBC came to interview Krishnaji for a radio program on Edwin Lutyens[4]. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked. I finished packing for our trip to Holland tomorrow.’

The seventeenth. ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I, with Raman to drive the Cortina back, left for Heathrow, where at 9:30 a.m., we met Mary Links and Mary Cadogan, and we took a KLM flight to Amsterdam. Anneke and Dr. Hans Vincent met us at Schiphol airport, and I rented a Hertz Mitsubishi station wagon. With Hans Vincent to show the way, we drove to the Hotel Kastanjehof in Lage Vuursche, near Hilversum. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Mary Links, Mary Cadogan, and I are staying there. It is a nice, small hotel in the woods. We dined in a special room to ourselves in a restaurant next door.’ That was nice. You came somewhere there.

S: Yes, I did, but I was with the video crew.

M: Yes.

S: Some very nice Dutch lady gave us her whole house. She turned over the entire house to us and just left us with it. So, yes, I had Jonas there as technical help, and two video cameramen. The RAI had its own video equipment, so we only had to bring the crew.

M: Aha. So the next day. ‘Krishnaji had breakfast in bed. The rest of us breakfasted downstairs while Krishnaji rested. Mary Cadogan and Dorothy came with me to reconnoiter the way to the RAI Congress Centrum where Krishnaji speaks, as he did previously ten years ago. We reached there in forty minutes, but had quite a time finding the entrance. We got back in time for lunch. Krishnaji lunched downstairs with all of us except Mary Links, who was out with a friend. After a nap, all of us, including Mary Links, went for a walk in the rain in the woods. We needed it after the large meals here. Krishnaji had supper in bed and slept nine hours.’

September nineteenth: ‘Krishnaji had breakfast in bed. With Mary L. and Mary C., Dorothy in the backseat, and Krishnaji and I in front, we left at 10:20 a.m. for the RAI.’ That’s the big hall in Amsterdam. ‘We just made it by 10:57 a.m. There was a huge crowd. Scott got Krishnaji in. He, Jonas, and students Julius and Jean-François are doing the video recording. The van der Stratens were there. The hall was overflowing. Krishnaji gave a very fine talk.[5] We came back to a 1:30 p.m. lunch, then had a nap. All walked in the woods, by which time it was 6:30 and another huge meal loomed.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji ate in bed and sparingly.’ [Both chuckle.]

S: We might just want to talk about this crowd for a minute because it was extraordinary. It was—it’s a huge hall, and all told, there were about 5,000 people, or something like that.

M: Well, I think there were about 3,000 seats, but it spilled out into the outer hall, and they put up a TV in the outer hall.

S: Not one—there must have been at least ten because they were all around. The spill-over space was a large circular lobby area that goes all the way around the exterior of large seating space. And there were, I think, at least ten monitors, and all of those were running, and even then, there were so many people that some people couldn’t get close enough to even see the monitors. So, it was huge. I was obviously talking to the people running the RAI, because of all the technical things I was doing with the video recording, and they were astonished at the size of the crowd.

M: Good. Yes. I remember that it was that way.

September twentieth. ‘Krishnaji slept nine hours. We drove in the rain to the RAI for Krishnaji’s second Amsterdam talk. Another huge crowd. Up to 5,000, and it was a very fine talk that covered everything.[6] Suzanne and Hugues came to lunch with us, and Joe arrived to join Mary. Krishnaji rested after lunch while Mary Cadogan, Dorothy, Hugues, and I discussed Krishnamurti Foundation matters. Scott arrived to talk to Mary Cadogan. Then he, Krishnaji, Mary Cadogan, Dorothy, and I walked. Krishnaji is worried about food, but he ate an adequate supper. However, he couldn’t sleep until 1:30 a.m., as his feet were cold. Anneke arrived to stay in the hotel. She, the Linkses, Dorothy, Mary Cadogan, and I dined, and Scott joined us later.’

The only two photos of Krishnaji and Mary with Joe and Mary Links taken by Scott after lunch in Deventer. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The only two photos of Krishnaji and Mary with Joe and Mary Links taken by Scott after lunch in Deventer. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

September twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji and Anneke went with the Linkses; Mary C. and Dorothy with me; and Scott drove Jonas, Julius, and Jean-François to Deventer. We arrived at 11:30 a.m. and visited the Atheneum Bibliotek, where Anneke created the Krishnaji documentation center. It is a pleasant room and it will house a permanent museum of Krishnaji books, audio and videotapes, photographs, etcetera. It is very nice. The Dutch Stichting’—that means “committee”—‘had us all to lunch afterward in a restaurant across the river. Then we drove on to Ommen, and Castle Eerde[7]; Krishnaji’s first visit there in fifty years. He got out of the car and looked at it from the edge of the moat, but returned to the car when the students came out of the school.’ It is an international school today. ‘The Links’s car and mine returned to Lage Vuursche, and the hotel.’

The only two photos of Krishnaji and Mary with Joe and Mary Links taken by Scott after lunch in Deventer. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The only two photos of Krishnaji and Mary with Joe and Mary Links taken by Scott after lunch in Deventer. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The next day. ‘Mary and Joe left to drive home. I took Dorothy and Mary Cadogan to the Schiphol airport. Krishnaji lunched with Anneke while I shopped for fruit and Verkade biscuits for Krishnaji.’ Those were delicious cookies made by a place called Verkade in Hilversum. ‘I came back and rested all afternoon. Krishnaji stayed in bed. Hugues and the van der Stratens dined with Anneke and me as he was in Holland on business. Krishnaji is feeling rested.’

The twenty-third. ‘We had a quiet morning. Krishnaji, Anneke, and I lunched; and then went to buy a Philips electric razor, “the latest,” in the little town of Den Dolder nearby. Krishnaji and I walked in the woods, and he had supper on a tray in bed, while Anneke and I dined downstairs.’

The twenty-fourth. ‘Krishnaji and I packed. Anneke’s cousin, Professor van der Veen, came at 11:30 a.m. to greet Krishnaji. Then at noon, Krishnaji and I said goodbye to Anneke, and drove to Schiphol. Krishnaji felt weak in the car. “I’m not quite there,” he said. We took the KLM 2 p.m. to Heathrow. Krishnaji had to walk slowly. He felt “washed out.” He ate only some grapes we brought. Dorothy met us, and Krishnaji relaxed in the car on the drive back to Brockwood. I got him into his warm bed, but he shook as if with malaria. He took hot Ribena’—that’s a fruit drink—‘and three teaspoons of brandy, which worked a cure. He is just overtired. Twice he said, “You are a nice person.”’

September twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji remained in bed. In the afternoon, he was feverish. I took his temperature and it was 103.6. I got Dr. Clarke from the Alresford Surgery, who examined him and found no other symptoms but fever. He said it was a virus, and to take fluid and Bufferin every four hours to bring down the fever. He took one at 6:50 p.m. after a little soup. He asked me to stay with him and so I was able to take his temperature at 1:30 a.m. when he awoke. It was 101. I gave him another Bufferin at 2 a.m. There was profuse sweating.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji awoke at 7 a.m. His temperature was 99.2. He took another Bufferin. Later he ran a hot tub in which he bathed, and I remade the bed. All is clean. He felt better but very weak. At 1 p.m., his temperature was 98.6. He ate lightly but fairly well. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Greene came in the morning, and prescribed breathing exercises sitting up, which Krishnaji did. He read most of the afternoon. His temperature at 6 p.m. was 101.6. At 9:15 p.m., he took another Bufferin. I stayed near him.’ I would sit nearby in his bedroom chair.

The twenty-seventh. ‘At 6 a.m., when Krishnaji woke, his temperature was 98. He is feeling very well. He took a bath while I changed the bed again, and then he had breakfast. His temperature was normal all day, and 99.4 at 5 p.m. He took no Bufferin. A very little sweating in the night. I stayed again near him. He was thirsty at 1:30 a.m., but after some restlessness, he slept well. We had watched the Healey versus Benn vote in the Labour Party conference on TV.’ [S chuckles.]

September twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature was normal. Dr. Clarke came to see him, and said he can get up in the room today. My brother telephoned from New York. The market is in near panic. Krishnaji talked to me at length about his odd memory. He says he has two strong memorieS: 1) Standing alone by the river at Adyar, empty of all thought; and 2) Mrs. Besant taking him by the hand, sitting on a chowki and asking him if he accepted as disciples the group present. Then he said he has only one regret, which was not sending away Rosalind and Rajagopal. He spoke of remembrance. “No remembrance of Maria Z. I have fondness for you. It’s not a remembrance. That is why it cannot change.”’ He used to say that he wrote me a lot of letters so that he wouldn’t forget me. [Both chuckle.] ‘His temperature was 99 in the evening.’

S: If I may, I’d like to make another little digression here. In this tape that I told you about of March fifteen, 1985, Krishnaji talks about these memories. He adds a third one, though, which is, well—first of all, let me elaborate on the first one he talks about, which is as a boy standing on the TS building, looking at the river. And he added there that he felt totally detached from all the things that were going on around him, and utterly alone—separated from all the worship…all of that.

M: Yes. This is why, to me, the effect of Theosophy on him was nil. He used to tell me it went in one ear and out the other. He didn’t retain it. It didn’t condition him.

S: Yes. He talks about that, too, in this tape. The other memory that he remembers—he says that as a vacant boy, he always used to stare vacantly at things with his mouth open.

M: And Leadbeater…

S: Yes, and Leadbeater came up behind him and slapped up his jaw.

M: Yes, and that was the end of the relation with Leadbeater.

S: Right. That was absolutely the end. Right. Exactly. He talks about that. And then, of course, this other memory of when Mrs. Annie Besant took him by the hand and asked him if he accepted those people as disciples. I don’t know when that was—it’s in Mary’s biographies—but the point is that he has these three memories that, um…

M: And he had a curious memory for places.

S: I know. [Chuckles.]

M: When we drove from Gstaad to Paris, he would remember where we had stopped in previous years on the road for a picnic breakfast, which Fosca used to make. And he would say, “Now, we are coming to it, it’s just down the road—it’s here.”

S: Yes. Yes.

M: It’s very odd. He remembered places.

S: Yes, and he had an extraordinary memory for detail of anything that had been changed in places. Having been away for months, he would notice something that we had changed at Brockwood—a little thing on a gate post or something, whereas all the people who were living there—probably none of them had noticed it.

M: Yes.

The twenty-ninth. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature was normal in the morning. He stayed in his room. I went to Alresford for some errands. In the evening, we watched a film on TV, The Birdman of Alcatraz.’ Do you remember that movie? ‘At 9 p.m., Krishnaji’s fever returned to 101.4, so, I stayed near him again, and gave him Bufferin. At 4 a.m., the fever had dropped to 98.’

The next day. ‘On awakening, Krishnaji’s temperature was 98. I went to London for some errands, including getting my hair cut. I was back by 4 p.m. Krishnaji was listless and had a slight fever at 5 p.m., 99.4. I telephoned to Dr. Clarke. Krishnaji took a Bufferin at 5 p.m., and another at 9 p.m. He slept fairly well. Scott installed a Sony TV I have bought for my room.’ Oh, thank you. [S chuckles.]

October first. ‘Krishnaji has fever again, though only slight. I reported it to Dr. Clarke, who came at noon. He took a blood sample, but thinks it is just a second peaking of fever, and should subside for good tomorrow. Krishnaji felt weak. The school term opened. I did desk work, etcetera. Krishnaji’s fever in the evening was up to 100.8.’

October second. ‘Krishnaji slept well and his temperature was normal in the morning. Krishnaji did breathing exercises and a few light physical ones. I worked at the desk most of the day. There was a staff meeting at 4:45 p.m. His temperature in the evening was just over normal, but his voice was increasingly hoarse. He coughed before going to sleep.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji’s fever in the morning was 97.8 Fahrenheit. His voice remains hoarse with some coughing. I worked at the desk all day, but kept checking his temperature. At 5 p.m. Krishnaji’s temp was 99.2.’

October fourth. ‘Krishnaji had a fair night, and his temperature at 7 a.m. was 98.2, but his voice was very hoarse. I tried to reach Dr. Clarke, but only a substitute was available as it is Sunday, so Krishnaji wants to wait until tomorrow. He sat in a chair, well covered most of the day. The school went on a ten-mile hike, but Dorothy and Ingrid cooked and seven people ate in the kitchen. Later, Dorothy and I took the dogs for a walk, picked apples in the old orchard, and I made apple compote for Krishnaji. His temperature at 6 p.m. was 99.3. I don’t feel too well.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I am very tired.’

The fifth. ‘Krishnaji had what he called a “fidgety” night. His temperature at 6 a.m. was 98.8. I called Dr. Clarke later in the morning, and he came at noon. He asked for a urine sample, which I took to his surgery in the afternoon. Krishnaji shaved off a beard he has grown since Holland.’ [M chuckles.] I don’t remember that. ‘He sat up in a chair most of the day, dozing and reading. His temperature at 6 p.m. was 98.6. Normal!’ Exclamation point.

October sixth. ‘Krishnaji slept well. His temperature is normal. He sat up in a chair in his room all morning. At 2:30, Dr. Clarke brought a doctor, Powell Jackson, to examine Krishnaji very thoroughly. Both agree he has had influenza, and both want him to stay in the West Wing, apart from the school, for a week, and start to build up his strength by walking in the house. I am to keep checking on his temperature. When they left, Krishnaji immediately walked up and down stairs.’ [Chuckles.] ‘His voice is almost clear. There is a definite change for the better today. I cooked soup for our supper. Dorothy came up at 5 p.m. to say that President Sadat has been assassinated in Egypt. We watched the news on TV. A better aerial had been put up for my TV this morning.’

Krishnaji at Brockwood talks. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji at Brockwood talks. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The seventh. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature was normal. He sat up in his room most of the day and, though tired, walked up and down stairs in the afternoon. I spent most of the day doing desk work, but also went to West Meon for some errands. The country is so beautiful. I came back via Warnford.’

The next day. ‘Krishnaji’s temperature is normal. I worked at the desk most of day while  Krishnaji read in his chair in his room, and walked in the West Wing. In the evening, we watched the film Jaws on TV.’

Friday the ninth. ‘Dr. Clarke came to see Krishnaji. He said we could discontinue the temperature chart, and he will return to see Krishnaji next Thursday.’ This was on a Wednesday, so it will be a week later. ‘He can go out for a drive or small walk on Monday. I worked at my desk and attended a staff meeting. Krishnaji walked in the West Wing.’

October tenth. ‘I spent much of the day doing desk work. Krishnaji saw the Dalal brothers, who arrived yesterday, for a few minutes after lunch. Then I drove them to Petersfield. They gave a generous donation. At 4 p.m., in the West Wing dining room, Krishnaji talked to both Siddoo sisters with Dorothy and me there, and then the prospective Wolf Lake principal, Reeta Sanatanai, was brought in. Krishnaji was tired in the evening, but had stood the extra effort well.’

The eleventh. ‘At 9 a.m. I looked at video of Krishnaji’s interview by Keith Berwick on the Odyssey program, taped at the NBC Burbank studios on May eighteenth. Krishnaji had a long, serious talk with me on what happened to him at 4 a.m. “The door opened and then shut.” He could have “slipped away.” What would I do if that happened in the future?’ That means he would have died. ‘He sees only Pupul and me to carry on the work. We talked for a long time, and he let me tape it.’

October twelfth. ‘Krishnaji slept till 7 a.m., and felt what he called “lazy.” He read in his chair most of the day. Mary Cadogan came, and we settled up the year’s accounting of Krishnaji’s travel expenses. I went to Alresford on errands. I attended the school meeting at 4:45 p.m. The Siddoos have left.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji remained in his room, reading. He didn’t feel like the intended drive in the car, but he walked a bit in the West Wing. I have a slight cold. I worked at the desk. Krishnaji dictated letters.’

October fourteenth. ‘Krishnaji, for the first time since the illness, dressed and came down to the dining room to lunch. He spoke afterward with a guest, Ms. Winifred Austin, which he said afterward did him good. He, Dorothy, I, and the dogs walked to the lodge and back—Krishnaji’s first step out. It was a cold, gray day in the fifties, but there was no wind. Then Krishnaji went back to bed. We each had supper upstairs. Raman made some Indian dishes for Krishnaji. My cold is not too bad.’

The next day. ‘After lunch, Krishnaji talked at length with Ronald Eyre, who was brought by Jane Hoare.’ She was a painter and art teacher, both at Brockwood and one of the big art colleges in London. ‘Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked to the lodge and back, then Krishnaji went to bed. Dorothy had bought Indian food in Petersfield to stimulate Krishnaji’s appetite, and we had it for supper, Dorothy and I eating in the kitchen.’

The sixteenth. ‘There was frost in the morning; a breath of crystal covering everything. It was clear and cold, but windless. Krishnaji and I took the 10:40 a.m. train to London, and were met at Waterloo by Joe. We went to their apartment and had lunch with both Mary and Joe. Krishnaji told him of the feeling he had last Sunday. Joe took Krishnaji to dentist Mr. Thompson at 2:30 p.m., then to Huntsman, where I met him. We walked to Truefitt, where Rita Zampese came with Krishnaji’s Lufthansa ticket. While Krishnaji had his hair cut, Rita and I walked to Heaton to have some film developed, then back to Truefitt. Joe drove Krishnaji and me to Waterloo. Krishnaji stood the trip to London very well. We had Indian food for supper cooked by Reeta Sanatanai. A happy day in the familiar shape of so many days.’

The next day. ‘I worked much of the morning at the desk, but Krishnaji wanted to talk to me about his U.S. program. I must see to it. The Digbys came to lunch. Krishnaji sat and talked with them, Dorothy, and me afterward.’

October eighteenth. ‘I worked some at my desk, but the Bohms came down to lunch. In the afternoon, Krishnaji and Dave talked a bit together while I talked to Saral. Then we all had coffee. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I walked the dogs at 5 p.m. Erna telephone to know how Krishnaji is.’

The nineteenth. ‘In the morning, Krishnaji dictated Letters to the Schools number forty-one. I telephoned my brother in New York about arriving there on November second instead of earlier. Dr. Clarke came and gave Krishnaji a flu shot and gamma globulin. He gave me a flu shot, too. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I met Ingrid and Scott in the drawing room; and Krishnaji asked Ingrid and Scott to be the first of the “Brockwood counselors to the trustees.” It is to be a rotating arrangement by which two staff members are to be part of trustee meetings for one year, then two other staff members will take their places. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went for a walk.’ I don’t remember any of that.

S: Well, I had been attending the trustees’ meetings for several years, just to explain the video activities, which had become so expansive. Somehow, I always came into the meetings before the video topic was raised, and stayed on afterwards. And then Ingrid, who was the school’s bookkeeper, always came in to the annual general trustees’ meeting to help explain the finances. So this was an attempt to make two Brockwood people some kind of associate trustee members.

M: Yes. On a rotating basis.

S: On a rotating basis, but it never happened, there were no others who rotated in.

M: No. It didn’t. Eventually, you became a trustee.

S: I just became a trustee. I don’t think Ingrid did, but I can’t remember.

M: No, she stayed an associate.

The twentieth. ‘Krishnaji didn’t sleep well, so he rested in the morning, but got up for lunch. I went to Alresford and Winchester on errands. Krishnaji, Dorothy, and I went for a walk across the fields. Two students, Jean-François and Paul, washed the Mercedes so Scott can wax it tomorrow.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘We watched the TV program of “BridesheadRevisited.”’

October twenty-first. ‘Krishnaji dictated Letters to the Schools number forty-two. I typed what he had written for the Journal. I spoke to Ronald Eyre about the discussion he wants to record with Krishnaji in Ojai in April. Scott waxed the Mercedes. He came with me on a walk. Krishnaji didn’t feel like walking. His back hurts him. He says he pulled it doing exercise.’

October twenty-second. ‘Krishnaji rested in the morning. I tried to help with his back massage with liniment, and I continued my typing. I spoke on the phone to Mary Cadogan, who has found a suitable hall for Krishnaji to speak in in London, The Barbican Centre. Krishnaji says to get it for June fifth and sixth. He, Dorothy, and I walked with the dogs.’

The twenty-third. ‘Krishnaji’s back is painful, so he remained in bed all day. I began his packing. At a staff meeting, I announced for Krishnaji and the Krishnaji Foundation Trust the appointment of Brockwood counselors to the trustees to serve for a year, and that Ingrid and Scott are the first two. I gave Krishnaji massage before he went to sleep.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji’s back is slightly better. He tried hanging from his bar, which helped.’ He had that bar.

S: I know. Yes, I put it up for him. It was a chin-up bar in the doorway between his bedroom and his bathroom. He used to hang onto it and lift his feet off the ground, which he felt, sometimes, helped his back.

M: Yes. ‘I did more packing for him while he remained in bed. I went to Harsh’s first class on computers. Asit arrived from San Francisco and was brought down by friends Peter and Barbara Hale. He is spending the night here and will accompany Krishnaji to Delhi tomorrow.’

The twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji slept well. I gave him a massage after breakfast. Asit showed us his Minolta with an extra Leica 90mm lens. I traded him my Nikon for it. It is small, lighter, and quieter.’ He was forever bringing the latest cameras and [S chuckles] Krishnaji always wanted me to have one.

S: Yes, but he didn’t want you to take pictures of him with it.

M: No. [S chuckles.]

S: Which is the only reason you bought it.

M: Exactly. I wasn’t interested in photographing anything else.

‘I finished Krishnaji’s packing. Krishnaji dressed and lunched with the school. I gave him one more back rub afterward. At 3:30 p.m., Krishnaji, Asit, Dorothy, and I left for Heathrow. Rita Zampese met us there and took Krishnaji and Asit onto the Lufthansa plane.’ She worked for them, so she escorted them onto the plane. ‘It left at 6 p.m. for Frankfurt, where they changed to a Lufthansa nonstop flight to Delhi. Krishnaji was still in pain but said it was better.’ Well, then I remark on the beauty of his face in the car. ‘Dorothy and I drove back to Brockwood.’

Now, from here on for several months, it is just about me and my life, and that’s not so interesting.

S: Well, we’re running out of tape, so it’s a reasonable place to end this today.

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[1] French for “I agree.” Back to text.

[2] For the video of the second Brockwood talk 1981. Back to text.

[3] For the video of the third Brockwood Talk of 1981. Back to text.

[4] Edwin Lutyens was Mary Lutyens’s (Links’s) father and probably the most celebrated architect of his day. As Krishnaji and his brother Nitya spent so many of their formative years in the Lutyens’s household, Krishnaji knew Edwin Lutyens very well. Back to text.

[5] For the video of the first Amsterdam talk of 1981. Back to text.

[6] For the video of the second Amsterdam talk of 1981. Back to text.

[7] A castle in the Dutch-classical style from 1715 with approximately 5,000 acres of land was given to The Order of the Star for Krishnaji’s use in 1921. When Krishnaji dissolved the order in 1929, he gave the castle back to the van Pallandt family. The castle is now an international school. Back to text.