Issue 74—February 9, 1983 to April 29, 1983
The same introduction used for Issue 73 could be used for this issue—Krishnaji doesn’t rejoin Mary until February, but even then, Mary is so caught up in the events of starting Krishnaji’s stay in America, and of her being responsible for him again, that she only has time for her little diary until April seventeenth. So, much of this issue is the staccato, rapid-fire presentation of the main facts in Krishnaji’s life as Mary sees them; and there is nothing of her poetic, rich description until she restarts her big diary. Still, it feels like being spoiled to complain. We are lucky we can see what we can of Krishnaji’s unique daily life.
The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #74
Mary: Wednesday, the ninth of February. ‘At 9:30 a.m., I drove along the coast to the Los Angeles airport, stopping for a car wash. I waited at TWA for Krishnaji’s arrival on flight 761 from London. He left there at 11 a.m. English time, and landed here at 2:15 p.m. when I saw him disembark through the glass door, and he had a porter to help them with the luggage. Forty-five minutes later, he came out and we drove back to Ojai along the sea. He looks well. The Lilliefelts, the Hookers, the Moodys, Mark, Michael, Frances, and Lee Nichol were waiting to greet him. We had supper on trays, and he slept early.’
February tenth. ‘Erna and Theo came at 11 a.m., and Krishnaji recounted the events of the winter.’ [Chuckles.] ‘We all lunched at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji slept in the afternoon after looking at the redecorated west bedroom at Arya Vihara and approving. It is the site for the library of the proposed Study Center building. He also went to see the new bath in the guest house.’ This is that funny square bath I put in the guest house because Mary Links said she could only bathe in a tub and not a shower. So in hopes of getting them both here, I had installed the only tub that would fit in the space. ‘In the morning, he had approved the settlement offer, so Cohen sent it today to Rajagopal’s lawyers.’
The eleventh. ‘Krishnaji slept only four hours. I unpacked all of his things while he rested. We lunched at Arya Vihara, and he slept all afternoon.’
The next day, there isn’t anything, but on the thirteenth, my diary says, ‘Today I am sixty-eight and feeling well.’ That’s because it was my birthday. [S laughs.] ‘Krishnaji tried not taking naps to help him sleep more at night. Max came and put resin on the gray car. He and others lunched with us at Arya Vihara. We walked with Erna and Theo down McAndrew Road.’
Again, there is nothing of note on the fourteenth, but the day after, ‘We left the house at 7 a.m. and drove by the sea to Krishnaji’s appointment with Dr. Lailee Bakhtiar at 9 a.m. for his fasting blood test. His veins wouldn’t give much. We had breakfast at Lindberg’s, the health food store, then Krishnaji had a checkup by Lailee at 10:30 a.m. We went to Westwood for a Norelco shaver’ [S chuckles] ‘and a French dictionary. Again, we to Lailee’s for a cardiogram, and this time his veins were alright, and he had his post-prandial blood test. Krishnaji is in good health. The results for his blood sugar count will come next week. His blood pressure was 130 over 70. We drove slowly home, stopping for a picnic lunch in the car at Zuma Beach. Rajagopal’s deposition for tomorrow is off, as he accepts discussing our settlement offer.’ That was really only to avoid giving a deposition, and for no other reason.
Again, there isn’t much on the sixteenth, but on the seventeenth, our lawyer, Mr. Cohen, and Rajagopal’s lawyer, T. Avsham, conferred all afternoon on our settlement offer. Both of the lawyers agreed, and it’s now up to Rajagopal to commit himself. I spoke in the morning with my New York lawyer, Mitchell Booth, about my transferring this place, Pine Cottage, to the KFA.’
February eighteen. ‘Erna came in the morning to discuss with Krishnaji my donation of this property. Mitchell Booth had telephoned me earlier about a small change in the wording of the agreement, which Mr. Sczudlo is incorporating in the papers. We lunched at Arya Vihara, then I went to the village on errands. We took a small walk to the dip.’
The nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji came on the early walk that Erna and I have been doing all winter. I telephoned my brother at his Vineyard property, as it is his birthday. The final papers for my donation of the McAndrew Road property arrived from Paul Sczudlo of Loeb and Loeb.’
February twentieth. ‘There was a KFA board of trustees meeting at 10 a.m. Krishnaji attended and Lou Blau came to speak about my donation of this place to the KFA. The papers are drawn up by his law firm, Loeb and Loeb. I was absent during this meeting.’ You know, I withdrew so they could talk uninhibitedly if they didn’t like something about this. Part of the agreement was that Krishnaji and I can live here in Pine Cottage for life.’ Apparently, legally, Krishnaji had to have that permission. ‘The board accepted it, Lou left, and I rejoined. We met all day on various matters. We all lunched at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji and I took a short walk to the dip.’
Then there isn’t anything of significance until February twenty-fifth. ‘Krishnaji started recording on a Sony Walkman instead of writing. The result was beautiful. Mary Links had suggested this, and he now wants to get a good cassette recorder so he can do it anywhere. He dictated some letters to me. Lunch at Arya Vihara was with Eve Siegel’—she was the daughter of Ruth Tettemer—‘Maris Lindley, Lily Koffman, and Catherine Kiernan. Laurie Greenwood has left the organization. Krishnaji and I walked with Erna and Theo.’
The twenty-sixth of February. ‘Two inches of rain fell in the night. At 11 a.m., the school committee had a meeting with Krishnaji, the Lilliefelts, and me, then we all lunched at Arya Vihara.’
The twenty-seventh. ‘There was more rain. At 10 a.m., there was another meeting of the Oak Grove School committee and available trustees with Krishnaji. Lunch at Arya Vihara. Krishnaji and I walked down to the dip, which is now a torrent of muddy water and the road is closed. It was astonishing. The water was up to the level of the banks around it, and huge boulders had crashed down. ‘Four inches of rain fell last night.’ That in one night is a lot of water. This was the year of the big rain. I remember it now. ‘The next day, after lunch, Krishnaji and I went with Erna and Theo to Stanley Cohen’s office in Oxnard to discuss the case. Rain, again, came heavily.’
The first of March. ‘Four inches of rain, again, in the night. I spent most of the day working at my desk. Krishnaji was disturbed after yesterday’s meeting at Cohen’s office with the realization of how people can abuse foundations. He questions how we can protect things in the future. We walked down and talked to Erna and Theo about it. Then went to see the raging river in the dip.’
March second. ‘Three more inches of rain fell last night. We put off our trip to Los Angeles. I worked at my desk most of the day, and in the afternoon, we walked down to look at the astonishing water in the dip again. Four bulldozers were there, trying to move earth to prevent the road from washing out. I spoke to my brother and Lisa about her wanting Krishnaji to speak on change for a museum publication.’
The third. ‘It rained on and off but tapered off. Frances McCann came to lunch at Arya Vihara, and Krishnaji talked about schools at the table until 3 o’clock. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview to Renée Weber for ReVision journal. We walked again to the dip.’
March fourth. ‘It was a clear morning. Erna and I walked early, then I did desk work and marketed. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji talked to David Moody, after which we walked to the dip. Krishnaji burned his right hand on steam from the kettle. I spoke to Lailee about it, who said to use a Telfa dressing. The burn was a shock to his body, so there was no afternoon walk.’
The next day. I’m not mentioning that every morning, early, Erna and I did our walk around the block, which was just over two and a half miles. ‘At 11 a.m., Krishnaji talked to the teachers here. Krishnaji went to bed in the afternoon. He slept and read, and slept well last night.’
March sixth. ‘At 11 a.m., Krishnaji held another meeting with the teachers here. At 4 p.m., he held a meeting with the Lilliefelts, Tom Krause, Mark, and David about the school committee. It went on till 7 p.m. Krishnaji’s voice was hoarse.’
The next day. ‘Krishnaji spent the day in bed. Alasdair planted two cypresses at the end of the hedge by the garage.’ That was Krishnaji’s idea. I wasn’t sure about it because I think a cypress is rather formal. You know, in Europe, they’re formal.
Scott: Yes, yes.
M: I thought it didn’t go with the little cottage. I was dead wrong.
S: [chuckles] They’re lovely.
M: Yes, they’re lovely.
March eight. ‘It was a warm, clear day. Krishnaji spent the day in bed again, but is better. Vivienne brought, from a Los Angeles store, a new Sony cassette recorder for Krishnaji’s use.’
The ninth of March. ‘It was a warm day, and Krishnaji was well enough to do his morning exercises. After lunch at Arya Vihara, Erna, Theo, Mark, and I discussed a school committee mix-up. Earlier, Erna had talked to Krishnaji about it. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji held a teacher discussion.’
March tenth. ‘Krishnaji talked into his new Sony cassette recorder. Dictation number three. A draft of a settlement came from Rajagopal’s lawyer, Terry Avsham. He claims everything.’ That was his idea of a settlement. [Both chuckle.] ‘At Arya Vihara lunch, Krishnaji heard about the movie E.T. and that it was playing in Ventura, so he and I went with Erna and Theo for the 5:30 p.m. showing. Krishnaji liked it very much. “I like when there is something moral,” he said.’ [S chuckles.] Well, he also liked the little E.T. ‘We got back by 8 p.m., and had supper by 8:30 p.m.’ [Both chuckle.]
The next day. Erna and I went over the Avsham settlement draft, which was totally unacceptable. Krishnaji discussed it with us. There was a meeting of Erna, Theo, Mark, and David Moody about the school board.’ I don’t think I attended that. ‘Krishnaji and I walked to the Lilliefelts’ and to the dip and back.’
March twelve. ‘There was fog during the early morning walk. At 11 a.m., Krishnaji held a discussion with teachers here. Lunch at Arya Vihara. We walked to the Lilliefelts’ and back at 5 p.m. Krishnaji’s hand is painful where the skin has come off the burn blister. I dressed it twice and he wears a cotton glove over the dressing.’
The thirteenth. ‘There was a trustee meeting here, during which there was a school report by Tom Krause and John Hidley. We all lunched at Arya Vihara, then resumed the meeting. There was a decision to enlarge the Oak Grove School board to include Erna, the Hookers, Krause, John Hidley, and Monica Ross. We will keep, for another year, the present school committee.’
The next day, ‘Krishnaji dictated into his cassette recorder, and in the afternoon, he held a teacher discussion here until 6 p.m.’
Fifteenth March. There is just the usual, but after the walk, ‘Krishnaji saw a video cassette made from the Movietown News of a film of himself in 1928 in New York and 1930 in Ojai. He said, “I felt no relationship between that chap and this chap.”’ [Both chuckle.]
Nothing important the next day except, ‘Krishnaji had another discussion with teachers at 4 p.m.’
Seventeenth March. ‘Krishnaji dictated on his Sony again, and at 4 p.m., Krishnaji was interviewed on audiotape for KPFK Radio by Roy Tuckman. “Superficial questions,”’ said either Krishnaji or me. It isn’t clear.
March eighteenth. ‘There is more rain, so there was no walk. Krishnaji dictated into his Sony again. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Krishnaji held another discussion with teachers.’
There’s nothing the next day except that Krishnaji keeps dictating into his recorder, and then on the twentieth, ‘At 11 a.m., we went to the Oak Grove School Pavilion, where Krishnaji spoke to parents and teachers till 1 p.m.’
Then there’s nothing of significance until the twenty-second, when, ‘at 10:30 a.m.,
there was a meeting about video with Mendizza, Evelyne, Erna, Theo, and Mark. We lunched at Arya Vihara after Krishnaji had dictated to his Sony. From 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Krishnaji held another discussion with teachers. It rained again.’
The twenty-third of March. ‘We drove by the sea to Beverly Hills, where Krishnaji had his eyes examined by Dr. Fox. His eyes are the same as last year. Then we went to Helen Saginaw, who cut Krishnaji’s hair beautifully for the first time.’ She’s the woman who cut my hair and I took him there. ‘We had a picnic lunch in the car and drove home via route 405 in Santa Paula. It rained and it was much too long. Erna had been to our lawyer, Cohen. Rajagopal’s lawyer served papers for Krishnaji to give a deposition next Monday. Cohen expects they will settle first. Krishnaji is prepared to go ahead.’
The next day. ‘The earth slid in Malibu, blocking the road, so I went on the Ventura freeway to Los Angeles. I got a pair of New Balance shoes for Krishnaji and vitamins, had my hair cut, did miscellaneous errands, and came home. Krishnaji was having a discussion with the teachers when I arrived. Erna came and said that a settlement discussion between Cohen and Avsham went on, and we will have a draft tomorrow. I received photos of Krishnaji left to me by Blanche Mathias.’ I got several—well, you’ve seen them. They were taken years ago by Edward Weston, and she left them to me in her will.
S: Yes, I know them.
M: The twenty-fifth of March. ‘Krishnaji dictated into his Sony. I marketed and put the guest room in order for the arrival of Dr. Jonas Salk. We lunched at Arya Vihara. Afterward, Erna brought the settlement draft just received and we went over it. I couldn’t agree to a sentence about the material that went to the Huntington Library, saying it “Belonged” to Rajagopal. Erna conferred with Stuart Comis, and the sentence is rewritten acceptably to us. We should hear Rajagopal’s reactions on this draft tomorrow. Krishnaji and I had to hurry off to the foot doctor, Hara, in Santa Paula.’
The next day. ‘Rajagopal and his board will not look at the settlement unless we first agree never to sue them again for any reason,’ [both chuckle] ‘so we go ahead with the case, which means Krishnaji’s deposition on Monday. I drove to the Santa Barbara airport and met Dr. Jonas Salk at 2 p.m. Krishnaji greeted him when we got back to Ojai, and then they had tea and talked at some length. The three of us walked way down Thacher Road. At 7 p.m., we dined at Arya Vihara with Erna, Theo, Evelyne, the Moodys, and Michael. Earlier, the Mendizzas had set up lights for tomorrow’s videotaping.’
March twenty-seven. ‘Krishnaji and Dr. Salk talked for one hour and five minutes and it was videotaped on three color cameras by Mendizza and crew. We lunched at Arya Vihara, then Dr. Salk went for a tour of the school before he returned to San Diego. Krishnaji did a silent close-up for the biography film, then rested. We walked in the rain with the Lilliefelts, had an early supper, and early to bed.’
March twenty-eight. ‘We had an early breakfast at 7 a.m., then Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went to Mr. Cohen’s office at 10 a.m. He talked with Krishnaji. At 10:30, Rajagopal’s lawyer, Terry Avsham, took Krishnaji’s deposition. Present were Annie Vigeveno and Austin Bee.’ They just came. Because they were involved in the case, they had a right to come, but it was just irritating to all of us. ‘It stopped at 12:48 p.m. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I had a picnic lunch in the car. The deposition resumed from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It was exhausting. We came back and went for a walk. Krishnaji’s energy will revive. Radha Burnier just arrived from Australia, and came at 6:30 p.m. We dined with her, the Lilliefelts, and Michael at Arya Vihara.’
The next day, ‘At 10 a.m., Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went to Cohen’s office and Krishnaji continued the deposition of yesterday. We again had a picnic lunch in the car, then resumed the deposition, which became wicked. We talked to Cohen afterward. We had our supper at Arya Vihara.’ Cohen had intervened in the deposition.
S: Because Rajagopal’s lawyer was being so terrible?
M: Yes, aggressive.
March thirtieth. ‘Krishnaji joined in the early walk with Erna and me. It was a hot day. Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went to Cohen’s office to discuss matters. We returned for lunch at Arya Vihara, and slept in the afternoon. Saral and David Bohm arrived from London.’
March thirty-one. ‘Early walk with Erna. Krishnaji dictated into Sony. We lunched at Arya Vihara with the Bohms, etcetera. It was a hot day. Stuart Comis asked us to see Cohen tomorrow about the settlement offer from Avsham.’
April first. ‘Erna, Theo, and I went to see Cohen at 9 a.m. We read Rajagopal’s settlement draft, which was unacceptable. We talked at length, and decided to reject the offer but withdraw the lawsuit. Came back and reported to Krishnaji, who had approved, in advance, our withdrawing the lawsuit, and felt this was the thing to do.’
S: Sorry—you’re going to have to explain this.
M: Well, it’s hard to explain, but what happened was that we wanted to get rid of the lawsuit, obviously, but with a settlement. But Rajagopal would only agree to settlements that were impossible to accept. And, as we were suing him at that point, because he had broken the original settlement agreement by trying to change the books and…
S: Right. And not handing over the material he was supposed to hand over.
M: And not handing over the material—all these things; we had to resume a suit against him for violation of the previous agreement. So this was during the period where we were suing him again, and he kept—well, you heard what he did. And so, as we couldn’t accept what he was suggesting, we just decided to withdraw the lawsuit.
S: Right. Right. Just to drop the lawsuit.
M: Whereupon you’ll see what he does next, but that is what we did. ‘Afterward, at Arya Vihara, Erna, the Bohms, the Hookers, Theo, and I ran the video of Krishnaji’s discussion with Jonas Salk. I went to the village for our air tickets. When it was cool, Krishnaji and I walked with Erna and Theo down McAndrew.’
April second. ‘At 11 a.m., Krishnaji talked to parents and teachers at the Oak Grove School Pavilion. We returned for lunch at Arya Vihara. Merali arrived and is staying there. Krishnaji rested in the afternoon.’
April third. ‘At 11 a.m., Krishnaji spoke to parents and teachers again at the Oak Grove School. We lunched there. In the afternoon, I worked at the desk until it was time for our walk, which we did with Erna and Theo. It was cold and windy.’
The next two days have nothing significant, but on the sixth of April, ‘I was up at 4 a.m. At 6:30 a.m., Mark came with the van and drove Krishnaji, the Lilliefelts, and me to the Los Angeles airport. Krishnaji and I went on TWA to New York. The Lilliefelts went on another airline.’ It was thought we shouldn’t all four be on one plane. [Both chuckle.] ‘My brother sent Les Lewis with the car to meet us, and my brother was waiting at the Hotel Dorset on 54th Street. We had a nice suite—a sitting room and two bedrooms.’ That hotel doesn’t exist anymore. ‘We had our supper in the rooms.’
April seventh. ‘David Shainberg came by in the morning. My brother came at 1 p.m. and he, Krishnaji, and I lunched at Orsini. Then Krishnaji rested. I went with Erna and Theo to the Felt Forum.’ That’s where he was going to speak in Madison Square Garden. ‘Krishnaji and I had supper in the rooms.’
April eighth. ‘We went out to the health food store, and to the Belgian shoe store.’ That’s where both Krishnaji and I get these funny shoes—actually these are his shoes I’ve got on now. [Both chuckle.] ‘Then we went to Doubleday’s for books. David Shainberg came at 1 p.m., and we all three walked to the Italian restaurant on 53rd Street, Il Nido.’ It was good food. ‘It rained, so we came back in a taxi to the hotel, but then Krishnaji and I walked around a little. We had supper again in our rooms.’
The ninth of April. ‘We went by limousine to Felt Forum, where at 10 a.m., Krishnaji gave his first New York talk of this year. The audience was late coming in and Krishnaji sat watching them and then gave a fine talk to an attentive audience. The hall was only two-thirds full, but there were over 3,000 people. We lunched at the hotel, walked, and bought some apples. Krishnaji looked at the new IBM building.’ Which is quite beautiful, I think. ‘Pupul arrived from Europe, and came to supper in our rooms with us.’
The tenth. ‘There was heavy rain. We went to Krishnaji’s second New York talk at 10 a.m., at Felt Forum. There was a large, serious, attentive audience. The end of talk was very moving. Krishnaji was almost in tears. Monsoon-like rains began as we came back to the hotel where Erna and Theo joined us. Pupul came, and in her car, we all went to lunch at the Shainbergs’. We had supper again in the rooms. Krishnaji spoke of turning Vasanta Vihar over to the schools.’
April eleventh. ‘We walked to thirty Rockefeller Plaza where, in the Carnegie Endowment conference room, on the fifty-fourth floor, at 11 a.m., Krishnaji held a seminar arranged by Shainberg. It was on seeing that there is only thinking, not a separate thinker, and it was slow going. Shainberg lunched with us at Il Nido restaurant. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave an interview to Barbara Seaman about Dr. Besant until 6 p.m., when Pupul came to see him. She left at 7 p.m. Krishnaji talked of Vasanta Vihar becoming part of the schools after his death. Perhaps the same for Pine Cottage? We had supper and I watched the Academy Awards. Phil Dunne presented the writing awards.’
S: What was Barbara Seaman doing this interview for?
M: I don’t know, I think she was writing a book about Dr. Besant, but I don’t remember.
Twelfth April. ‘We went to the second session of the Shainberg seminar. Then Shainberg, Merali, Krishnaji, and I took a taxi. As Krishnaji got in, his right hand was caught in the door. His wool-padded glove saved his finger from severe injury. At Il Nido, we got ice for it, and he said it was alright. All four had lunch and Merali was the host. Krishnaji and I stopped to buy Mary’s second biography for Bud and Lisa. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji gave a half-hour interview for East-West Journal to Catherine Ingram and publisher Leonard Jacobs. Many photos were taken. We went for a walk and had supper and early to bed.’
S: East-West Journal and many photographs were taken?
M: Yes, I wonder what happened to them. They were supposed to send them. But I don’t know if they did.
The next day. ‘There was the third seminar meeting. Krishnaji and I lunched with Bud, Lisa, and Toodie at Bud’s apartment. Lisa interviewed Krishnaji on change for the museum publication. We walked a bit. Pupul came at 6 p.m. for an early supper in the hotel rooms. In conversation about how Krishnaji came to be what he is, a strange something was felt in the room. Krishnaji said it always comes when this subject is discussed seriously. And it always comes from the left.’
S: Mm, hm. Yes, he mentioned that many times.
M: Yes. The fourteenth of April. ‘Shainberg came and we went to where Krishnaji and he did a video-recorded discussion. There were two cameras that recorded this fifty-eight-minute conversation. Then Shainberg, Philippa, and David lunched with Krishnaji and me at Il Nido. Philippa and David talked with me at the hotel while Krishnaji rested. At 5 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. James George and their daughter, who are friends of Mrs. Siegel, came to tea. Mr. George is a former Canadian high commissioner to India.’
April fifteenth. ‘Pupul came at 9 a.m. to see Krishnaji. At 10 a.m. my brother came in the Rolls to drive us to JFK airport, where Krishnaji and I took the American Airlines noon flight to Los Angeles. Vivienne and David Moody met us and drove us via the coast to Ojai.’
The sixteenth. ‘I had much laundry. Krishnaji spent the day in bed dozing and reading and resting. The Lilliefelts returned to Ojai in the evening.’
April seventeenth we finally have the big diary restarting, so it begins with a little reprise. ‘Krishnaji was up and full of energy. He exercised, and talked in the morning with the Lilliefelts about Vasanta Vihar becoming part of the Indian schools and what should Pine Cottage be. This year begins late in my big diary because after various events, which seemed to pass like a flash flood, today, moments ago, after coming back to the cottage from lunch at Arya Vihara, Krishnaji sat down beside me, and scolded me for being upset because, after ten days of concentrated work in New York and being too tired to get up yesterday, this, our first day at home, he said he would hold a discussion meeting with the Oak Grove staff tomorrow afternoon. Then he jumped to Mary’s book, the second volume of the biography, The Years of Fulfillment, which has just come out, and which the Indian Foundation members have criticized severely. He said, Mary does not deeply enough know about “all this,” as she had not been around with him in years. He has been thinking about it, and he wants me to write every day so that at some point, and it may be years from now, I will write a biography, which will be right. He said it must start with something about myself, that I am not some devotee. Then he jumped to the subject of memory; of how it had come up in discussions in New York this past week, and how he asked me the question, “Is there something in the brain that is not touched by memory?” He examined it Thursday night, and Friday morning when Bud drove us to the airport, and on the plane to LA; and last night, he saw it—there is such a thing. Then he examined it—is it imaginary? Is it a projection, etcetera—rigorously, until he was sure. “From doubt to certainty, there is such a thing, and from that there is energy. When I got up this morning and did my exercises, I could have walked for miles. That is why I want to talk tomorrow. Now do you understand?”’
S: [chuckles] So he was scolding you because you were upset that he’d offered to talk when he was so tired after this New York trip, and he’s explaining to you that, no—he was energized from this insight that he had. Right.
M: Yes. That’s right. [Both chuckle.]
The eighteenth. ‘Krishnaji said last night he had felt something evil in the front hall that he had never felt in this house before. He stayed behind when I went to my room and “dealt” with it. It is gone, but he is doing whatever it is he does, again. “I understand what it is,” he said, but he does not tell me. He dictated into his Sony this morning, a description of dawn in the valley, then on the mind’s adherence to continuity. He was full of energy at lunch, discussing with David Bohm the psyche as being memory, accumulated thought, and therefore limited, and unable to go beyond. And after lunch, some of us, not Krishnaji, looked at the video done last Thursday in New York of Krishnaji and David Shainberg discussing. It is only fair, the image is in color, but they are slow in getting into things. David Shainberg’s questions are not clear to Krishnaji, and do not arouse a response at first. It is not good enough for TV. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Krishnaji held an Oak Grove teacher discussion.’
April nineteenth. ‘Krishnaji dictated again into the Sony. At 10:30 a.m., he wanted to discuss a study center with Erna and me. He wanted, and we agreed, that it is to be for study and not a place of programs, events, etcetera, and it must be kept separate from the school. He asked if Erna and I feel it is something important. We do. “Who is responsible for the study center?” He asked me, but obviously I am away six months of the year. Will Erna share it? Erna is overburdened. How do we find new responsible people?’ This is me—just what we talked about. ‘The eternal query. He asked if it would be a good thing if he were to spend most of his time here, holding seminars, and not traveling, but he felt the audience in New York had been very good. He wants to give four talks there next year. I stressed the need for each talk to be complete, not the exposition of problems one day and the resolution of it in the next talk. At lunch, he wore his new Navy fatigue shirt from L.L.Bean.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Very becoming. He looks very smart and very young. We lunched at Arya Vihara. “David Bohm is picking my brains,” he said. Krishnaji slept deeply in the afternoon, and when he woke up it was raining, but at 5 p.m., we walked all the same down to the Lilliefelts’. We saw there a just-installed enamel stovetop. He said of the Lilliefelts, “They are very fine people.”’
S: [chuckles] Good.
M: The twentieth of April. ‘I went for an early walk with Erna before the rain began again, at times in deluges. In the morning, Zelma Wilson and her partner, Richard Conrad, brought for Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and me to see the first schematic for the study center buildings and small cottages to be built south of Arya Vihara in the orange grove.’ Oh, interesting. ‘All liked it immediately. It will have to have its own entrance, driveway off McAndrew, and parking lot.’ We never did that.
S: I’ve never seen those drawings.
M: We never used them. There were cottages to be built, but we never built any cottages.
S: Yes, but I’ve never even seen the drawings. Do you know where those drawings are?
M: I don’t think we have them. They weren’t acted on, you see, so they wouldn’t have given us a copy of the drawings.
S: Right. Right.
M: It says, ‘I liked it very much and there’s not a thing I would change. She said it would take about six months to get county permission, and until we know we can go ahead, I cannot try to raise funds.’ We never would’ve gotten county permission for that, because it meant more density, which they don’t like. We were able to get the archives because nobody lives there. There isn’t a real kitchen in the place, there isn’t a bathtub; things like that. There are two toilets, but there isn’t—
S: Yes, it’s a day facility.
M: You couldn’t live there, obviously. ‘Until we know we can go ahead, I cannot try to raise funds. That will be a mountain to climb. Probably $700,000 is the estimated cost. All this may mean I won’t go to India this year, but will need to return in the autumn to start work on funds. But these drawings should be an incentive. Krishnaji has trouble visualizing from blueprints, but they will build a simple maquette for him. He listened with apparent approval. We asked only that they proceed making it a little smaller. Krishnaji had done a Sony dictation after breakfast. We lunched at Arya Vihara. He and David Bohm discussed at the table. Krishnaji held a teacher discussion at 4 p.m. I stayed with my desk.’
April twenty-first. ‘I went to Los Angeles on errands and for a haircut. Coming back, I stopped for tea with Amanda. Krishnaji had done a Sony dictation in the morning. I met him and Theo on the road as I drove home. The Bohms went to Berkeley for a week.’
The twenty-second. ‘Krishnaji did a Sony dictation. A letter came from Mary Links saying that her sister Betty had died suddenly of a heart attack. Krishnaji said, “Thank god.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘“Poor Betty. She had an unhappy life.”’
S: Meaning, “Thank god” it’s over because she’d had an unhappy life.
M: Yes. ‘Krishnaji spoke to teachers between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Bud telephoned with news about his health.’
Then there’s nothing the next day. Krishnaji keeps dictating into his Sony, but he is doing that every day at this time. Then on the twenty-fourth, ‘Krishnaji talked to the teachers here from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.’
Again, there’s nothing of significance on the next day (except that I confirmed Felt Forum for next year), but on the twenty-sixth, ‘I telephoned Patricia Hunt-Perry that Krishnaji accepts speaking to the United Nations Pacem in Terris meeting next April, as suggested by Undersecretary Robert Muller. I also telephoned twice to Mary Cadogan in London about the Australian difficulties. Alan Kishbaugh just returned from there, and was at lunch. He had talked to Mavis Bennett and to Donald Ingram-Smith and reported on this. Krishnaji read the report in the evening and said he wanted to invite Mavis and Ingram-Smith to the Brockwood Foundations’ meeting in September. He said, “I made a mistake with that letter I sent from India. It was the Indians’ fault, but I take the responsibility.” He dictated a letter to Mavis and to Ingram-Smith, inviting them to Brockwood. He had me read the letters to the Lilliefelts, who concurred.’
S: Mavis and Reg Bennett, of course, had always run the Foundation there, but Donald Ingram-Smith tried to take over.
M: …tried to take over. Yes, that’s right.
S: And I think, eventually, he did because Mavis and Reg—
M: Well, they died.
S: Yes. Reg died first and then Mavis died. But it wasn’t pretty.
M: No, it wasn’t nice. Mavis and Reg were very nice.
S: Yes, they were very nice.
M: ‘Earlier, while walking to lunch through the Grove, he said suddenly about Rajagopal, “If we have to speak of ugly things, we must do it outside. That is what was wrong in the house the other day.”’ Do you remember this?
S: Aha, aha. Yes, yes.
M: ‘And later, as we left the kitchen, he had me stop in the hall and look into the living room northeast corner. “You asked what you can do when you are alone here. You must look quietly at that, not hastily.’ It is where the jewels are. ‘It has been neglected. It is a shrine and one must pay attention to it or it will fade.”’ Hm.
April twenty-seventh. ‘I did the usual early walk with Erna, and then packed when I got back. I typed Krishnaji’s letters to Mavis Bennett and Ingram-Smith, but was unable to reach Mary Cadogan by telephone to let her know about the letters and Krishnaji’s invitation, so I took letters with me. Krishnaji and I, after an early lunch and drive with the Moodys to the Santa Barbara airport where Krishnaji commented on the nice, un-harried airport. We took a plane to San Francisco, where we landed in less than an hour, and took a taxi to the Huntington Hotel, where we have a nice suite—the same, or similar to the one we had in 1974. This one is numbers 514 and 512. Krishnaji remembered snatches of it. We unpacked and then walked six times around the little park opposite the hotel, and came back to supper in the sitting room. Our TV with supper habits continue. Krishnaji began to get lost in a movie called Muggable Mary.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Dorothy rang earlier about the Inwoods cottage being for sale for 60,000 pounds sterling and Donald Dennis providing the funds.’ That was a lot of money.
S: It was a lot of money.
M: Yes. Oh, a continuation about the movie Muggable Mary. ‘When it got to be 9:30, this Mary interfered.’ [Both chuckle.]
April twenty-eighth. ‘Krishnaji slept “fairly well.” A new place, as always, took getting used to. He didn’t do any exercises. At 11 a.m., Mrs. Justine Toms and her son Robert came and drove us to their place, where her husband interviewed Krishnaji for an hour for their New Dimension radio program, which they send out to fifty similar radio stations across the country. It went very well. Krishnaji was asked about meditation and spoke eloquently, wonderfully.’ They were nice people, and this was, I thought, awfully good.’ They had a little audio studio in their house and it was set up like a recording place. ‘We came back and lunched in The Big Four’—that’s the name of the restaurant in the hotel—‘where the waiter asked if he were Krishnamurti, and said what an honor it was to meet him. He had heard Krishnaji speak in Bombay and Madras and was one of ten of today’s waiters who have PhDs. As I write this, it is after 3 p.m., and Krishnaji is being interviewed by a Donald Lattin, religious editor of San Francisco’s The Examiner. Lattin began with rapid-fire superficial questions. Now he is listening and Krishnaji is giving him an education and fielding questions with humor and charm. The reporter had files and Examiner interviews from fifty-five years ago with Krishnaji and Dr. Besant. He quoted Krishnaji as saying that he was Christ. “Did you mean that then?” he asked Krishnaji. “God knows,” said Krishnaji with amusement.’ [Both chuckle.] And then, ‘At 4 p.m., a serious young woman with a direct manner, Patricia Holt, book editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, interviewed Krishnaji. It was quieter and she is more thoughtful. Krishnaji said she was a nice, intelligent woman and we have asked her to lunch with us after the Saturday talk. We went out for a walk and groceries, going down California Street to a large market. Krishnaji pushed the cart with a determined look, and we got the yogurt, fruit, etcetera we need and climbed back up the hill. People recognized him. We stopped at the Masonic Hall, where he will speak, and went in. Krishnaji was shy about looking at it. It is a graceful, handsome hall. The best for his talks of any I’ve seen so far.’ It’s a very, very nice hall, a big hall, with a kind of long, raised platform and the audience is U-shaped around. The acoustics are very good. It is dignified, and has a nice big lobby. Very, very good. It’s the best hall he’s talked in that I’ve seen. Carnegie Hall was the most meaningful one to me, but only because I revere Carnegie Hall.
S: Yes, yes.
M: ‘He looked around. He remembered little about it.’ He’d talked there before. ‘There were some nice leather and other chairs and he tried one out, climbing up on the stage, and said it would do very well. We returned to the hotel in time to see Miranda on KPIX six o’clock news. We had supper in our rooms. The Lilliefelts and others have arrived and are staying on Sutter Street at the Hotel Cartwright.’
April twenty-ninth. ‘During breakfast, a telephone call came from Dorothy almost in tears. At two p.m. English time, sparks from a blowtorch used on the outside of the West Wing somehow got under the floorboards above Krishnaji’s bedroom and destroyed most of his bedroom, but not the closets where his suits hung. The guest room, next to his, and Shakuntala’s nice new room above, and the students’ room next to hers up there were also burned. She said Shakuntala discovered the fire, rang the alarm. Everyone got out. No one was hurt. The fire engines were slow to get there, but ten came. Police helicopters were circling.’ Do you remember all this?
S: Oh, I can’t even begin to tell you how well I remember it.
M: Yes. ‘There were still no lights on or water yet, but the telephone is working. She was afraid it might reach the U.S. news. She wanted me to know, therefore, but not tell Krishnaji until after his talks. I told her he was sitting right there. She doubts she will come to Ojai on the eleventh as planned. I urged her to wait and think it over. I said I would telephone her after we got back to Ojai. Krishnaji says he had a premonition a couple of days ago that something was going to happen at Brockwood. “I see it was a definite premonition, now.” He thought at first, when Dorothy rang, that it might be about Montague. He said, “I have no reaction.” We will know more what the situation is after speaking to Dorothy again, and we will see if Krishnaji wants to go there as planned on the twenty-seventh. He says he will sleep on the floor. I pointed out that that would not be necessary, and we argued at once over his using my room, which seems to be undamaged’—in other words, it wasn’t burned—‘and he fiercely refused.’ [Chuckles.] He could’ve been in the room across the hall, also.
M: A photographer came from the San Francisco Chronicle. Then we went to a restaurant called Greens at Fort Mason, a vegetarian restaurant run by Tassajara Zen monastery. We had a nice simple lunch, which Krishnaji liked. He was recognized—given books and a cassette. It was raining when we were ready to leave, and there were no taxis. But a man gave us a lift to the hotel. Krishnaji rested and later we took a small walk around the little park. We came back to see Miranda on the television news. We had supper in our sitting room, and talked of Brockwood. Krishnaji wants to call Dorothy tomorrow and urge her to come to Ojai as planned. He rejects our staying on at Ojai later than our plans to leave on the twenty-seventh.’
S: I’ll tell what happened with this fire, just for the record, because otherwise there probably isn’t a record. There was a man scraping paint off from the outside of Shakuntala’s window and the…
M: That’s right. With a blowtorch.
S: Yes, and using a blowtorch, and a spark got underneath the windowsill and it started in her… in her—
S: —room. Right, which is just above Krishnaji’s. I can’t remember how I got there. Maybe she set off the alarm, but in my memory, Shakuntala smelt the smoke, ran down to tell Dorothy, ran into me halfway, and I ran up, saw the fire, and set off the alarm. Anyway, I tried everything to put that fire out, but couldn’t get at it because it was inside the wall.
M: That’s right.
S: And, eventually, the fire trucks did show up, but they were very slow in coming. In the meantime, we had formed a bucket brigade of students and staff, and I was up on the parapet at the fire end, throwing water on the fire.
M: Yes. I remember hearing that.
S: The bucket brigade was coming up from the ground, you know, and that is the only reason we didn’t lose a lot more of the house. It was dangerous, because people were up on the roof of a burning building, but that was the only way. The firemen said that the bucket brigade kept that fire down.
M: Yes, yes.
S: But it was very strange, because the fire came down and…
M: And the drawing room underneath Krishnaji’s bedroom was affected, too, but that was from the water.
S: Yes, the drawing room was affected from the water. The fire had slightly burned Krishnaji’s desk in his bedroom, but his clothes and shoes were not touched. And the desk and clothes and shoe cupboard are on that same southern side of the room.
M: Yes, yes. But the desk was on the southwest side of the room and his clothes and shoes are on the southeast side of the room.
S: Yes, they were, but they weren’t that far away.
M: Yes, I remember Dorothy saying that she opened the cupboard and his shoes were all gleaming still.
S: Yes, that’s right.
M: So, even the smoke hadn’t gotten in there. Although it did take a lot of other things. I think there was smoke in the cupboard. I think at Huntsman—we took them to Huntsman.
S: You took all of Krishnaji’s suits to Huntsman to be dry-cleaned? Really. I don’t remember that. I suppose we’ll get to that.
M: It was something about Huntsman can dry clean better than cleaners, supposedly.
S: We’ll get to that, probably. But for today, we’ve run out of tape. So that’s it.
M: Alright. We stop here.