Issue #70

 <<Previous Issue | Next issue>>

Issue 70—February 9, 1982 to March 17, 1982


Readers will notice that the last issue ended on November fourth, 1981, and that this issue begins on February ninth, 1982. The missing three months are a period when Krishnaji was in India, and Mary was mostly in the U.S. Of course, her diaries describe her activities, but there are only occasional remarks about Krishnaji. We know, for instance, that on November fifth, Krishnaji held the second seminar meeting in New Delhi; and on the seventh and eighth, he held his third and fourth New Delhi talks. Mary also mentions when Krishnaji travels from one of his destinations in India to another, and when Krishnaji’s letters to her arrive. Mary also writes about Krishnamurti Foundation of America activities, including the development of the second court case with Rajagopal. More ominously, Mary also records her discussions with their doctor about the possible need for Krishnaji to undergo another medical procedure, and that procedure occupies much of this issue. But all of these things, as important as they might be for history, do not shed much light on Mary’s being in the presence of Krishnaji, so they have been omitted.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #70

Mary: February ninth: ‘I was in all day, working at my desk. Krishnaji left Bombay at 1:50 a.m. in what in India is February tenth, but in our calendar, is still the ninth. He flew on Singapore Airline to London using his new diplomatic passport.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I telephoned Brockwood at 6 a.m. my time, which is 2 p.m. there. Dorothy says Krishnaji looks wonderfully. Then I spoke to him and he sounds strong and well. It rained.’

Then there’s really nothing of significance for the next couple of days. On the twelfth there is only, ‘Mr. Schwartz brought the curtains, cushions, etcetera for the Arya Vihara living room. The painting of the walls and windows is finished. The living room entrance, hall, and dining room are now all white.’

The next day, ‘I telephoned Filomena in Rome, and my brother telephoned me. Also, I rang Dorothy to remind Krishnaji to use his green card on entering the United States. The Indian consulate telephoned here to ask if I were meeting him. This was all Pupul’s propping. The Georgian desk was repaired and delivered.’

Scott: Which Georgian desk?

M: It’s that one in the living room. That was given to Sam and me by Jimmy Granger…Stewart Granger, the actor.

S: Ah, yes. Stewart Granger…or Jimmy Granger?

M: James Stewart Granger was his real full name, but he was called Jimmy always. ‘I washed and put resin wax on the green Mercedes.’ Did I? Well…good for me. That was my birthday, too. It doesn’t mention it, but that was my birthday. [Both chuckle.] I waxed the car for my birthday.

S: As a special gift to yourself. [Both laugh.]

M: Of course, providing it’s green!

Now, the big diary finally returns. February fourteenth. ‘He is here. Light shines again and this spasmodic writing resumes; always, from my point of view, far inadequate to the subject. The breadth to record.’

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

‘Krishnaji left Bombay on the tenth on Singapore Airlines, the only airline he says is good because it has couchettes where he stretches out and slept six hours before arriving at Heathrow at 8 a.m. He arrived on his new diplomatic passport. The Indian high commission sent a car to meet him, which was unnecessary because Dorothy was there. I spoke to him by telephone when he got to Brockwood, and Dorothy said he was looking very well. On the twelfth, he did an audio-recorded discussion with David Bohm and Maurice Wilkins for French radio. It was organized by Jean-Michel Maroger. All this activity and travel left not a mark on his face when he appeared, escorted by a TWA person, in Los Angeles. Evelyne joined me to wait for his arrival on TWA 761 from London. He had left at 11:20 a.m. London time and landed here at 2:11 p.m., looking very well. We walked to the parking lot, and then Krishnaji and I drove up the coast and so to Ojai. The Lilliefelts, Lees, Hookers, Frances, and Michael were waiting under the pepper tree. But first we stopped at the Ojai hospital so that Krishnaji could see Katie Marks. John Hidley had telephoned me yesterday, saying that he thought Katie was hanging on to life just to see Krishnaji. The cancer has spread throughout her body. She was in a coma a few days ago but mysteriously rallied and was sitting up today, talking to Vivian Moody when we arrived. Krishnaji spent about five minutes alone with her, holding her hand, touching her head, but not talking.’

‘The greeters departed, and Krishnaji and I walked about the house, looking at everything. The house is shining and clean. The Georgian desk has been put in perfect shape. Krishnaji approved of the camellia bed on the north terrace, which he had wanted and which I had resisted. He was right. We had supper on trays. “Come talk to me,” he said, and then he told me much of the news of India. He is here and life is blessed. There was trouble with the burglar alarm in the night.’ [Chuckles.] The night he arrived, having traveled and being tired, the alarm outside his door had dust in it and went off about midnight. He never woke up.’

S: Oh, how wonderful.

M: And I couldn’t stop it. At one point I tried to beat it to death. [Both laugh.] With the handle of a broom. It was ringing right outside his door but he never heard a sound. He didn’t wake up.

S: Right, and he didn’t wake up when you were trying to beat it to death with a broom? [Chuckles.]

M: No. He never knew. [Both laugh.] I couldn’t stop it. In desperation, I took to violence.

Monday, the fifteenth: ‘The alarm rang three more times in the night. When I finally awoke to get up, it was to the peace of Krishnaji’s being here. I was unpacking when the man came to fix the alarm in the morning. Krishnaji got up for lunch. I brought Frances over, and with the Lilliefelts, the Hookers, Vivian, and Michael, we had lunch at Arya Vihara. The walls are now painted white, and the new curtains, rug, lamps, and cushions have made quite a change, and Krishnaji approved. There were afternoon naps for both of us, then supper on trays, and we didn’t use TV. [Chuckles.]

S: What color were the walls of Arya Vihara before?

M: Wood color. Kind of crummy wood.

S: But it is wood. So, it wasn’t painted before?

M: That’s right, it was natural wood color. I painted it.

S: So, it must have been very dark.

M: It was dark and it was unattractive, so I painted it. I paint everything white all the time. [S laughs.]

S: It looks nice. I was just admiring it this morning, in fact.

M: Oh? Good.

February sixteenth. ‘Krishnaji and I talked and talked and talked. We again lunched at Arya Vihara and again had naps. Krishnaji has a sore tip of his toe, so he wants to go to Dr. Hara.’ That’s the foot man in Santa Paula. ‘He said at one point in India Dr. Parchure told him his body was deteriorating, so Krishnaji  “challenged the body,” and it responded with sudden strength and energy.’ [Chuckles.] ‘It is in him now.’ The body was always his responsibility, he thought. ‘We felt we have too much TV at supper, so we switched it off.’

February seventeenth: ‘I was up early. I made our sandwich lunch and we drove to Malibu on a beautiful morning, where we ate our lunch with Amanda and Phil on their terrace. It was sunny, there was a sea wind, and the familiar everything of Malibu. Krishnaji was shy as he usually is with the Dunnes. We got to Lailee’s office at 2 p.m., and she examined him. She says he may have a cataract in the left eye and should have it examined. She also says that the small hernia he has does indeed need repair. We discussed the operation and his stay at the UCLA hospital where her preferred surgeon for this works. We drove home along the coast where the wild yellow flowers are just coming out into bloom.’ He always liked those flowers. They are right where that big rock is, if you go the coast road. And he always looked for the yellow flowers. ‘We stopped at Trancas to market on the way back, then stopped again to see Katie Marks.’

S: When did Katie Marks come into Krishnaji’s life?

M: Well, when we moved to Ojai, she had two children at the school, and she was one of the parents who came around, and was really interested in the teachings.

S: So, she didn’t go way back to some other era.

M: I don’t think so, though, I don’t remember anything about her in the past—I mean, when Krishnaji lived in Ojai in the years way back. She was just a nice woman, and had two boys who went to the school.

The eighteenth. ‘Krishnaji mostly rested in the morning, but talked to Erna and me about the possible meeting with Rajagopal and Annie Vigeveno.[1] We lunched at Arya Vihara. Tom Krause was asked to lunch so Krishnaji could meet him as a possible KFA trustee. Max was there, too. Of Krause, Krishnaji said, “He seems nice. Serious.” We talked at lunch of the Sheldrake theory. The Chinese lamp came from Gump’s for the Arya Vihara living room. Krishnaji slept in the afternoon. And we had a quiet supper without TV.’

February nineteenth. ‘I telephoned my brother on his birthday. It is a hot day here. We lunched at Arya Vihara with Erna, Theo, Vivian, and Michael. The new Gump’s lamp in the Arya Vihara living room looked very satisfactory. As Krishnaji thinks the dining room should have, “something bright,” I have ordered chintz curtains for there, too. We drove to Santa Paula, where Dr. Hara looked at Krishnaji’s toe, and solved the problem with a small pad. We drove home.’

The twentieth. ‘I was up early again to get ready. We drove again to Malibu and had our sandwiches with Amanda and Phil on the terrace. Then Krishnaji and I went to Beverly Hills, where I left a beautiful cashmere and merino wool and other materials that Krishnaji brought from India at my dress maker, Gisèle’s. Then we went to UCLA hospital at 2 p.m., and Krishnaji was admitted after a deposit of $6,210.’ They don’t trust you at UCLA. ‘Lailee was there. The two-room suite I had engaged on the ninth floor for Krishnaji in December was only half available, but he has the largest room. Though they have offered me a cot, I preferred the sofa already in the room. The usual tests were made, including a chest X-ray. Krishnaji said, “I feel like crying. I don’t know why.” But he accepted it all cheerfully and said, “Why is there so much fuss over a small affair?” We both went to sleep rather early. The strange surroundings did not make him wakeful. Only once, after supper, when he had dozed off and I tried to pull up his blanket, he awoke too suddenly and shudderingly, not recognizing me right way.’

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

February twenty-first. ‘Lailee came by in the morning. She said all of Krishnaji’s tests were excellent, except that his weight is down 3 pounds from his normal 112 pounds. He is 48.9 kilograms now, or 109 pounds. We spent a quiet day, mostly reading. Krishnaji insisted on “doing” my foot. “You must be very healthy. You must outlive me. I’ve been thinking a lot about that. We will talk about it.” Dr. Ronald Tompkins, the surgeon, came to see Krishnaji in the late afternoon. A tall, dignified, pleasant man. He made a good impression on Krishnaji. His surgery is to be early tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. He discussed how much exercise Krishnaji could do during the recuperation. Most of pranayama Krishnaji does involves too much contraction of the muscles near the incision. Simple walking and slow breathing is best. A little later, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Benjamin Ward, came. He is a young, careful, sensitive man; and he also made a good impression. He will have a spinal anesthesia of petrocaine to be used, minus other drugs, with intravenous saline and dextrose. We had a poor supper. It is a struggle here with food. Krishnaji watched an old Kojak on TV. We turned the lights out before 9:30 p.m.’

The twenty-second. ‘I write this in the hospital room. Krishnaji went down to the operating room before 7 a.m. He had showered with special soap as instructed, shaved, and lay in bed looking gleaming, immaculate. “One should dress elegantly before dying,” he said. And then he said, “Wasn’t it Haydn who put on his best clothes to compose?” I replied, “No talk of dying, please.” He responded, “Oh, I’m not going to die.” He said it very firmly. He laughed when I told him the chaplain had come by while he was in the shower to say words of encouragement before surgery. The chaplain, a pale-faced man in rimless glasses, said to tell the patient, “I’ll be rooting for him.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji laughed at the solemnness of getting on the gurney and went off down the hall on it. I asked the anesthesiologist to talk to Krishnaji during the operation as was done when he was at Cedars-Sinai hospital. Now I must wait.’

It continues in a different ink. ‘It is now 1:20 p.m. Dr. Tompkins telephoned me at 8:50 a.m. that Krishnaji was out of surgery and in the recovery room, and said it went well. Krishnaji had talked with Dr. Ward during the surgery. They had not been able to tell if there might be a weakness on the left side, which might give in to pressure now that the right hernia is repaired. At 9:50 a.m., word came that the patient was coming out of the recovery room. But it wasn’t until 10:30 a.m. that Krishnaji came down the hall. He looked pale, a little yellowish, and hardly spoke. A private nurse, a stout African-American woman, with several rings and a whiff of perfume, was here for a while. An icepack on the wound. Krishnaji was in some pain and the spinal had not gone from his legs entirely. He asked me to hold his feet. Then he wanted to lie on his left side. Sometime after 11 a.m., he asked me, “Maria, talk to me. I could slip away. The door is open. Do you understand?” I spoke to him, saying that he was here; the operation was over; he must close that door. He must remain here. Tell the body. It must be strong and get well. I kept talking. Then the pain became more severe, seeming to come in waves. Did he want something to stop it? Yes. Demerol had been ordered but I was worried it might be the dose for a normal body and telephoned Lailee. He had a shot at 11:40 a.m., and was in considerable pain until it took effect. Groaning, saying this was much worse than the other operation. He asked me to keep my hand on his diaphragm. The nurse had a call for a family emergency and left. I am sitting by his bed and he is sleeping now without pain. I watch the rise and fall of the blanket as he breathes. They are drilling outside.’

‘At 2:15 p.m., he woke and looked vacantly side to side. I asked him if he was clear in his mind. He had difficulty talking. I said he’d been asleep. Is he all right now? He said it had been very close. When I said he must shut the door, he hadn’t been sure he was strong enough. I said he had been given extra strength in India and he had it to use. He said I mustn’t order it, “If it wants to go, it will go.” I said I was asking, but he could still tell it.’ He was always talking about…the open door as death, yes.

‘Dr. Tompkins came in and spoke to him. In the hall, I spoke of the difficulty of Demerol for Krishnaji, and Tompkins said he would rather Krishnaji endured some pain and not have too much medication. When I came back, Krishnaji said he had been kept downstairs too long, forty-five minutes after they were ready to have him leave, and there was no attendant. The typical things in this hospital, and one reason that Cedars’—the other hospital—‘was better. “I think I’m coming to,” he said.’

‘Evening: Lailee has been here cheerily. She had him look at the incision with a mirror to see how small it was. Krishnaji has not needed further Demerol and is reading his detective novel, a Raymond Chandler. His voice is weak but normal. The unsuitable day nurse had to leave for a family emergency, and later a nice, quiet one came to be replaced at seven by an efficient night nurse with two-inch red nails and a Vuitton bag.’ [Both chuckle.] She did. She had long nails. Bright red. ‘She is quickly and quietly doing things to make everything go well, and Krishnaji’s normalcy has eased me. Lailee says he gets up tomorrow.’

February twenty-third. ‘Krishnaji slept well, on and off. He says there is no pain. The nurse and I got him sitting up, with his legs dangling. Then standing. Then walking once around the room. He was surprised at his weakness. The intravenous tube has been removed. He’s had no further Demerol since the 120 milligram shot before noon yesterday. Dr. Tompkins came by early, and approved of everything. Lailee came by a little later. She said she thought he would be able to go home tomorrow. Earlier, with a private nurse with him, I had gone out to get a plug for his razor, and some tasty food; good yogurt, buttermilk, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, cheeses, fruit. I also went to Bullock’s for two pillows so he can lie down in the car; and, at his insistence, I went to Gisèle to figure out how to use the lovely material he brought me from India. When I got back, he had walked with the nurse to the end of the hall and back. It tired him but was progress.’

‘The day nurse, left at seven and the night nurse, Mary Forbin, came on. It will be good if we can leave tomorrow. Krishnaji senses here the mark of sickness and suffering in these rooms. He has slept well, is free of pain, and wants to leave.’

February twenty-fourth. ‘Dr. Tompkins came in early, and agreed that Krishnaji should go home. The night nurse had given him a bed bath before going off duty, and at 7 a.m., he wore his warm shirt under his dressing gown. I got everything into the car and Krishnaji came down in a wheelchair. He sat in the back with pillows, painfully getting into the car. “Avoid bumps,” he asked, and I drove with care. When we came to the yellow wildflowers along the beach, he said the beauty of that was worth the surgery.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘We reached the cottage a little after 12:30 p.m. Erna and Theo were there. It was very painful for him to lift his legs out of the car, walk slowly up the path, climb the porch steps, and, most of all, to lower himself onto the bed. He sobbed, “It is too much for the body. How did I get into this?” He had seemed to stand the drive fairly well, but this was too much. Erna and Theo kept away, but after a little, the pain was gone, and he asked to see them. Theo had gone at my asking to get Tylenol, suggested by Dr. Tompkins, but Krishnaji said he didn’t need it. He read all afternoon. It was very hard for him to move in the bed, and attempts to fix his condition—the position of his cushions—are unsuccessful. Michael brought a “tasty” lunch, and later at supper, he ate well. But again in the evening, it was painful for him to move. He took my hand, put it on the wound and placed his over it saying, “There, that helps.”’ I used to ask him if he couldn’t…

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

S:  Yes, heal himself.

M: Yes. And he said he only could if my hand was on the thing, and then he did it through my hand. And that way it seemed to work. He did that later on, too, at the end.

S: Yes. He did that with me, too. But I didn’t know what he was doing. I knew he was doing something, but I didn’t know what he was doing.

M: No. So he couldn’t heal himself but he could make someone else heal him. Well, I don’t know what to say about that.

The twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji slept nine hours. He ate a good breakfast, but felt weak. He read all morning. I telephoned Mary Links in London to let her know how he is. Krishnaji gave himself a sponge bath standing in his bathroom, then he walked around the house and on the terrace. Water mustn’t touch the incision until Monday.’ This was written on a Thursday. ‘He doesn’t have much appetite, though Michael brought him tasty, spicy food. I spoke to Lailee in the afternoon. He eventually slept well. Being home with him safe is a blessing.’

The next day. ‘He still has considerable pain whenever he moves. It is wearing for him, but he walked in and around the house and outside. His digestion is working as it should. I spoke to Dorothy at Brockwood.’

February twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji is feeling stronger, but the pain remains. He is learning to move less painfully. He went for a walk around the house in the morning. While I went to market in the afternoon, he walked to the gate and back.’

There is only the little diary for almost a week, I’m afraid.

S: We’ll bear up.

M: February twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji again walked to the gate. It was a quiet day. My brother telephoned from New York. I spoke to Blanche Mathias.’ That’s that lady in San Francisco.

March first. ‘Krishnaji is feeling much better. He wanted the Lilliefelts to come and talk, which they did at 11 a.m. Mar de Manziarly telephoned from Paris. It rained. Krishnaji slept well.’

March second. ‘Katie Marks died at noon. Max came here and saw Krishnaji for a short time. Erna came in the afternoon. Krishnaji talked to her and me about Rajagopal and our meeting him when Krishnaji is better.’

The third. ‘I went to Green Thumb Nursery in the afternoon for plants that Krishnaji wants and for a chaise longue for the guest house. Krishnaji walked to the gate and back in the morning, and in the afternoon as well. I painted the western nandi with linseed oil.’ When it came, there were instructions for it to be painted in oil to make it stay black, but I stopped doing that because it looks better gray. I don’t know; it didn’t look right black.

March fourth. ‘Krishnaji took his first real shower. He walked a bit. Rajagopal telephoned me, but I was out. The curtains came for the Arya Vihara dining room, and it was decided to paint white the east bedroom that Katie Marks had had, and I ordered new curtains from Schwartz. I oiled the east nandi. They look splendid. Krishnaji is pleased. He had slight indigestion in the night.’

The fifth. ‘Krishnaji walked in the early morning. I worked at the desk and new plants were planted. Krishnaji read all afternoon. He still feels, “weak,” and likes staying in bed. We omitted cheese at supper, and that seems to have helped him sleep.’

March sixth: ‘At 11 a.m., there was a meeting of Hidley, Krause, Mendizza, the Lilliefelts, and me about the Krishnaji-Bohm-Sheldrake seminar in April. It was decided that Hidley should be the fourth participant and Krause would do the introduction and part of the epilogue. Later, Erna, on behalf of the Krishnaji Foundation, invited Tom Krause to become a trustee. He accepted. Krishnaji walked three times to the gate.’

The seventh. ‘I awoke around 4 a.m., and remained awake. At some point, I heard Krishnaji call me. I went in and sat with him. We had a light talk. His incision is much less painful. It hurts only when he gets up or down into bed or a chair. He astonishes me. Later, I went to make our nettle tea and brought it to him. He said that he had felt like “going off,” and that it was close. He could have. He wondered what it means. It was not “the door opening,” as in the hospital. He thought of calling me, but didn’t want to be melodramatic. It would have been very easy, he said. Later, he spoke of it again. “What would you do if you came in and found me?”’ Then another quote. ‘“It shouldn’t happen now. I still have too much to do.”’

‘In the afternoon, he shaved off the beard he has grown since he was in the hospital.’ I forgot about that. ‘He showered and dressed for the first time since he came back. He put on jeans and a heavy cotton knit we ordered from L.L. Bean a year ago. He is pleased with it, and wants some more to take to India. He looked beautiful and elegant but very thin. He weighs 104.5 pounds. He wanted to walk, so we drove to the corner of Thacher and McNell. The Lilliefelts parked at Grand and McNell, so if he tired, the cars were close.’ It’s level on that part. ‘But Krishnaji set off down McNell at his military clip. And when we reached Grand, he insisted on walking halfway back. Theo followed in the car and picked him up. He was tired after he got back to his room. “My legs are weak.” But it was a good first outing. He fell asleep right after supper, and slept well. I slept on the qui vive. I must live this way.’

S: What is the qui vive?

M: That means alert. Alertly.

S: But it literally means “who lives.” Where does that expression come from?

M: Oh, it’s a well-known French expression. The qui vive, to be alert, alarm, paying attention.

S: I don’t know it.

M: I’ve always known that one. It’s to be watchful, alert, paying attention, quick, on edge. Yes. On edge. ‘In the morning’…oh—‘I slept on the qui vive.’ That means I slept with the door open and was listening. ‘In the morning, I had gone to the Oak Grove School, where five jacaranda trees were planted as a gesture to Katie Marks. David Moody read a page from Krishnaji’s Notebook. Many people were there.’

The eighth. ‘Asit telephoned from Northern California. He will come down next Saturday. At 2 p.m., there was a meeting here of Joe Zorskie, Erna, Theo, Hooker, Mark, and David Moody about the school building. Joe is our go-between with the architect, Zelma Wilson. At 5 p.m., Krishnaji and I walked to the Lilliefelts and then down Grand Avenue to McNell. Theo drove us back to their house, where Krishnaji sat by the fire and told of Rukmini Arundale coming to lunch this winter in Madras, her stupidity, and her messy way of eating, etcetera. It was dark when we came home. Krishnaji had walked a mile.’

March ninth. ‘Erna telephoned after hearing from Cohen’s office that Rajagopal has a doctor’s letter saying he is too ill to have her and me come on the fifteenth to examine the archive material he claims is his property, or to make a deposition as the court has ordered. Erna and Theo came over to tell Krishnaji and me what Cohen proposes to do next. Cohen said he cannot allow Rajagopal to run this case. Either he asks the court for an outside doctor to determine if Rajagopal is really too ill, or for an order to have Erna and me examine the archive material in his house. We chose the latter, which, though unlikely to happen, puts Rajagopal’s refusal on record. Meanwhile, Krishnaji says he will be well enough next Monday to accept Mrs. Vigeveno’s invitation for us to meet Rajagopal and her to talk matters over. I rang Mrs. Vigeveno and said we would come Monday to the K and R office. She had offered her house as “neutral territory,” which Krishnaji takes exception to. “How can those people be so stupid, so insensitive as to call her house ‘neutral,’” he said.’ [M chuckles.] ‘Annie Vigeveno said she would talk to Rajagopal and let me know.’

‘It rained a little, so we didn’t walk. Krishnaji said in the evening he was glad not to have walked. It has been on his mind to telephone Radha Sloss, who came to Pupul’s to lunch in Delhi.’ Radha Sloss tried to get him to talk to her father (Rajagopal), and he said he would try, and that he would let her know if he did. So, Krishnaji was fulfilling that. ‘She had telephoned me to learn if Krishnaji had arrived. He telephoned her this evening and told her we had offered to meet Rajagopal. She said that if it didn’t work, she suggested he meets with just Rajagopal and her, i.e., without someone to protect him.’

March tenth. ‘In the late afternoon, Krishnaji got up for a walk to the Lilliefelts’, then on to the dip, and back to the Lilliefelts’. We talked to them for a while. He had slight indigestion and ate only soup and crackers and felt alright. He watched a polar bear film on television.’

March eleventh. ‘It rained. We left at 10:45 a.m., and drove to Beverly Hills. We had a picnic lunch in the car, then went to the UCLA hospital, where Dr. Tompkins checked Krishnaji’s incision. All is alright. We went back to Beverly Hills, and chose a chain at Van Cleef.’ That’s this.[2] ‘We left the rudraksha to be mounted that Krishnaji had gotten for me in India. Krishnaji bought two Vuitton suitcases, then we bought Great Earth vitamins and some detective stories. We stopped at Trancas for lunch and got home by 7 p.m. Krishnaji stood all this very well. It had rained in Ojai all day.’

S: Oh, I’d forgotten about The Great Earth vitamins. They were ones that I had found for him. Krishnaji had asked me what were the best vitamins? So, I went around comparing vitamin labels. [Both laugh.]

M: Which are hard to see!

S: Microscopic. I had looked that summer at all of the vitamins that are available in Switzerland, where he had asked me to do this, and I had looked in England; and then, when visiting my parents in Texas…

M: [laughs] Oh, I didn’t know this.

S: Yes, I went around to different vitamin places and I found these Great Earth vitamins, which were really better than anything else. Also important was that the calcium was not from bone meal, and the E was not from fish liver oils. And so, they were completely vegetarian and they were also the best in their balance of vitamins and minerals. I can remember coming back with bottles of them to England.

M: [chuckles] Yes, you couldn’t get them in England.

S: No, that’s right. [Laughs.] I had completely forgotten about this until you mentioned it.

M: I didn’t know all this, what you went through, and I had forgotten the name brand of vitamin. I wonder if they still exist. I haven’t seen any lately.

S: I don’t know, but, yes, I remember them.

M: March twelfth. ‘Krishnaji didn’t sleep well in the night, but did in the morning. He took a hot bath suggested by Dr. Tompkins, and stayed in bed until the five o’clock walk to the Lilliefelts’, on to the dip, and back to the Lilliefelts’. He spoke to Radha Sloss in the morning. She says Rajagopal wants to meet him alone.’ Now that was not news. ‘Krishnaji somehow hurt his left-foot toe walking in the early morning.’

The thirteenth. ‘Jacob Needleman came at 11:30 a.m. to talk to Krishnaji. He tried to persuade Krishnaji to speak in San Francisco under the auspices of the Far West Foundation, a Gurdjieff front.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji, he, and some of us lunched at Arya Vihara, Krishnaji’s first lunch there since his operation. He slept two hours in the afternoon. Asit arrived from San Francisco, talked, and walked with us to the Lilliefelts’ and to the dip. Krishnaji, Asit, and I had supper on trays. Krishnaji’s left-foot big toe is still painful.’ We had more foot troubles in our circles then seems normal.

S: [laughs] Yes, but you cornered the market on them.

M: Yes, I outstripped everybody else, [S laughs] in duration at any rate, if not seriousness.

March fourteenth. ‘At 11 a.m., there was a KFA board meeting. Tom Krause became a trustee. Krishnaji attended part of the meeting. We all lunched at Arya Vihara, including Asit, then we resumed the meeting in the afternoon. We were joined later in the afternoon by Mark, David Moody, and Joe Zorskie. It was all about the school. My brother telephoned about meeting us in New York. Asit dined out, and Krishnaji and I went early to bed.’

March fifteenth. ‘Asit has been staying with us since Saturday. Krishnaji enjoys talking to him about news of the computer world. Asit says the Japanese are going to spend ten years making a computer that can duplicate the abilities of the human brain. Instead of silicon chips, human cells may be used.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji, the Lilliefelts, and I arrived at Annie Vigeveno’s at 11 a.m. for the meeting with Rajagopal and some of them. Mima Porter and Austin Bee were already there. The seats were in a U-shape with one in front of the fireplace, presumably for Krishnaji. Krishnaji asked where Rajagopal was. Vigeveno said she would explain in a minute; would we be seated and did we object to taping the meeting? Austin Bee had a large tape recorder. Erna was somewhat taken aback by this abrupt question. I merely thought they are doing it overtly instead of under the sofa.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji then asked again where Rajagopal was, and Vigeveno said he was not coming. No excuse. No reason. Krishnaji was shocked. Why hadn’t she telephoned? She hadn’t known, she said. But this was a palpable lie, as Krishnaji noticed that the way the chairs were arranged, he was clearly not expected’—very observant of Krishnaji. ‘Vigeveno began to ask us what we wanted, and Krishnaji interrupted, and said without Rajagopal there was no point in talking. We immediately left, but not until I said that Krishnaji was out of his sick bed and three weeks from surgery, etcetera. We drove to Oak Grove School and talked in the car. It was a shock to Krishnaji because, once again, he had hoped and thought that Rajagopal would, at last, do something decent; and once again, Rajagopal had insulted him. “I will never go to see him again. If he wishes to see me, he will have to come, and he will have to restore the archives,” he said. Mark was showing Asit around the school. They joined us, and after telling them what had happened, we walked around in the sun and looked at the building sites. At lunch at Arya Vihara, Krishnaji spoke of goodness as an absolute, unrelated to any other thing; unrelated to evil; without an opposite. But evil projects an opposite: a pseudo-good, not the real. Thinking gets caught in these two, and so is untouched by the real good.’

S: Very interesting.

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

Portrait of Krishnaji. Copyright to Mary Zimbalist.

M: That makes sense. He talked about that more than just then. ‘Krishnaji has had since Friday a sore left big toe. At first very sore, now better. I put ice packs on it. We went out to Dr. Hara, the Japanese podiatrist in Santa Paula, taking Asit with us. Hara said it might be gout. While waiting, I began a letter to Vigeveno about this morning’s deceptions.’

The sixteenth. ‘Asit had breakfast and left shortly after eight. I finished a letter to Vigeveno. Krishnaji, and the Lilliefelts, wanted it toned down, which I did only somewhat.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘I sent it off with a copy to Rajagopal. Lailee wants Krishnaji to have a blood test fasting tomorrow. It rained all day. Amanda and Phil are back from their weekend in San Francisco. We lunched at Arya Vihara.’

The seventeenth. ‘The Lilliefelts took Krishnaji at 8 a.m. to the Ojai hospital for a fasting blood test and later for one after eating. I set up his tray, etcetera and drove in the pouring rain to Beverly Hills, taking two-and-a-half hours. I had a haircut, fetched two French suitcases for Krishnaji, then saw the Van Cleef design for the rudraksha mounting. I had a fitting at Gisèle on the Indian fabric Krishnaji brought me and then left quickly at 3:15 p.m. to get ahead of the traffic on the Ventura freeway. I was home by 5:10 p.m. Krishnaji had had his tests. In the evening, Erna called to say that Rajagopal had telephoned her with a message for me and that I should telephone him. He must have had a copy of my letter to Vigeveno. I didn’t telephone him and don’t intend to, but Krishnaji telephoned Radha Sloss, told her what had happened on Monday, and said he would never go there again. If Rajagopal wanted to see him, he would have to come here and give up the archives, putting them where the settlement agreement says they should be kept. Erna said Rajagopal made no apology and no reference to Monday.’

S: Okay. All right. We’re going to have to end it there because we are running out of tape.

M: Alright.

<<Previous Issue | Next issue>>


[1] This is one of the things initiated when Krishnaji was in India as a way to settle the court case out of court. Back to text.

[2] She was showing me the chain which she always wore from the time the rudraksha was set. Back to text.