Issue #83

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Issue 83—January 1, 1985 to April 19, 1985


Mary ends what is to be her last trip to India, and about a month later, Krishnaji joins her in Ojai. They have some rest, and then fly to New York for his second talk at the U.N. and to Washington D.C. for fist talk there. Both Mary and Krishnaji appear in good health.

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #83

Mary: We begin our discussion today with January first, 1985, and we’re in Madras. ‘I went up early to start the day and the year with Krishnaji. A stubborn and determined rain gave no possibility of having the 7:30 a.m. question-and-answer meeting in the garden as usual, so everything took place in the big hall here at Vasanta Vihar. People kept piling in. Indians can fold themselves down into a few square inches of floor’ [both chuckle]. ‘Krishnaji spoke wonderfully with power, authority, and what was called “a presence.” The later morning was consumed for me by Harsh, who, was is from Brockwood and after an unsatisfactory talk with Brian Jenkins, wanted to go round and round about Brockwood’s problems.’ Brian Jenkins must also have been in Madras at the time. ‘I found a sticking point in him:Krishnaji’s having asked him at some point during the wear and tear of last June whether he could handle the principalship of Brockwood Park if Dorothy left. It was only a question, not an appointment or a promise of one, but Harsh has fastened onto it. I told him that I had no idea if this was to be but suggested he act and think in terms of what is best for Brockwood as things arise, deal as rightly and as clearly as he can, and not hinge his thinking on something else. He had just talked to Brian Jenkins, who refuses to answer a letter from the four—Harsh, Ingrid, Stephen, and Ray—sent him regarding his cooperation at Brockwood during the remainder of the school year. I don’t want to list here all the ins and outs of these interminable problems, but the implication of the letter was that his returning to Brockwood hinged on some cooperative agreement. Brian wouldn’t give this and went directly to Dorothy, who is also here from Brockwood. He then asked to see me after lunch, and told me that the letter was inaccurate, and that he thinks he will resign from the staff. I told him I thought he should, since he and his new wife are starting a new life anyway, and his dissatisfaction with Brockwood was not bringing about the harmony that is necessary. He asked me to tell Krishnaji. He then went and spoke to Dorothy and Harsh, who happened to be talking together anyway, and said he was resigning. How nice if this settled everything, but possibly it won’t. The Jenkinses return to England next week and Harsh, Claire, and Annand leave here tomorrow. Professor Sudarshan brought the Maharajah of Trevancore and wife to lunch. Krishnaji, Pama, and I went to Radha’s, and she walked on the beach with us.’ That was the first of the year.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Scott: [chuckles] What a way to begin the year.

M: Yes, yes. [S chuckles.] All the problems were seething around. [Chuckles.]

January second. ‘Ninety-six-year-old Madahvachari came to lunch. I remember him as a tall man, but he has shrunk. He seems to have outlived his faculties and his villainy.’

S: [chuckles] That’s quite an accomplishment.

M: ‘Beyond some age, one is no longer accountable (apparently) for one’s sins, but both Achyutji, who sat as far from him at the table as he could, and I remember that he betrayed Krishnaji to Rajagopal. Krishnaji was amiable to him and invited him to come again. But later coming back in the car from the beach walk, Krishnaji said how dreadful it is to live like that. I asked what choice Madahvachari had, and Krishnaji said he should “take a pill.”’ [S chuckles.] ‘What pill can one get? I pointed out.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji seems to think that these lethal pills are available, so we muttered about ways of suicide all the way back to Vasanta Vihar. Krishnaji thinks a gun is too messy for the survivors, as is wrist cutting.’ [Both chuckle].

S: None of these, of course, would he actually endorse, but…

M: No. No.

S: …but he likes playing with ideas, yes.

M: ‘A pill and the plastic bag over the head that one hears of seemed the least offensive. These are the topics of conversation in our day, or is it of our age?’ [Both chuckle.] ‘On par with “Should one move to a better climate?” or “Where to go next winter?”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Malini brought the tailor to refit all the tunics I ordered in November.’

The third of January. ‘Heavy rains made Krishnaji’s second question-and-answer meeting impossible in the garden, so again it was held in the Vasanta Vihar hall. Later I went with Sunanda and Parchure to look at two available halls for the talks if the rains continue. Both were dismal.’ [Chuckles.] ‘I slipped on the stone steps but only bruised my hands and hip. At 6:15 p.m. Lakshmi Shankar sang in Vasanta Vihar Hall—sad longing devotional songs.’ She sang beautifully.

S: Yes, she did.

M: January fourth. ‘There were showers on and off. I went to cash travel checks so I could give Dr. Parchure cash for fixing his cottage at Rajghat, and got some books for Krishnaji. To Krishnaji’s discomfort the rain held, so he gave the extra talk he agreed to give tonight, to replace the one that was rained out last Sunday, in the less crummy of the two halls, but crummy it was. It was a wedding place. And though he gave a good talk, it tired him because of the place. It was announced that the talks tomorrow and Sunday will be held at Vasanta Vihar and canceled if it rains. The drive past the slums along the beach disturbed him, as well they might. These sights make me want to never come to India again.’

S: Yes.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

M: The next day. ‘At 5:30 p.m. in clear weather, Krishnaji gave his third Madras talk in the Vasanta Vihar garden. Radhika, the Thomases, Vatsala Parchure, and others arrived for the talks from Rishi Valley in the school van. After the talk, I dined at Prema’s along with Sunanda, Radhika, Rebecca Thomas, Dorothy, Rita, Ahalya, and Malini, who at last had my new kurtas from her tailor. These were ordered in early November. Prema’s dinner was delicious, and the first enjoyable meal I have eaten in India.’ I’m clearly really fed up with India.

S: Well, it’s very hard to be there.

M: The sixth. ‘Pupul arrived in the afternoon. At 5:30 p.m. Krishnaji’s fourth Madras talk in Vasanta Vihar garden. Very fine.’

January seventh. ‘At 10 a.m., there was a KFI trustee meeting held upstairs. Asit arrived for it, and Dorothy, I, and Dr. Adikaram were invited.’ He was the head of the Sri Lankan Krishnamurti world, and a nice man. ‘I sat feeling that talk of more schools was mad. The shortage of teachers is constant. So is money. And most of all, the energy of those who do come for Krishnaji’s teachings is siphoned off into academics or supporting academics and the feeling for the teachings, the essential of what should concern us, is spread too thin. I said as much, but Pupul disagreed. She thinks there should be as many schools “as the ground of different human beings.” It seems to me we are all, for the most part, occupied with simply progressive, but usual, schools. On the beach walk, the India film people who were in Rishi Valley and are doing a documentary on Krishnaji were there to record his walk and also photographed him. When we got back, a seventeen-year-old musician, Ravi Kiran, played a rare instrument called gottuvadyam. It is said to be very hard to play. It is veena-like but without struts, and has twenty-one strings. The boy came with his father and younger brother and sister. At the end, when Krishnaji approached to thank them and present the usual garland, which Sunanda had waiting, the father and then the boy and then the younger ones prostrated themselves in the old total way: flat out, whole body and arms outstretched, touching Krishnaji’s feet, at which Krishnaji put his hands on either side of the prostrate head. It was, to me, very moving. The instant and intense fervor of it. Krishnaji was touched by it. “They are real Brahmins,” he said. This was the real, ancient prostration, the way he and Nitya prostrated themselves to their father when they came back after the years in Europe. I think Krishnaji was more impressed by the actions of the children and father then by the playing, but it had lasted one and a half hours, and it was by this time 8 o’clock, and he had had no supper and has been working, i.e., talking, for four straight days, plus a morning of KFI meeting. All much too much, and he is very tired.’

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

The eighth. ‘Rita left for Goa. I took Dorothy to town on errands and sent flowers to people. Krishnaji is tired and spent the whole day resting in his room, reading, and sleeping. At 4:30 p.m. the rest of us went to the school in Damodar Gardens. Pupul spoke to the older students. There was tree planting, tea, and seeing children’s exhibits.’

S: Just for the record, Damodar Gardens was part of the Theosophical Society compound, but it was where the Krishnamurti Foundation of India Madras school was located.

M: Yes.

January ninth. ‘At 9:30 a.m. there was a seminar in the Vasanta Vihar hall with Krishnaji, Pupul, Achyut, Sudarshan, Radha Burnier, and four scientists. The scientists were not versed in Krishnaji’s teachings, so most of the time went into defining terms and concepts, like self-knowledge being limited, brain, mind, time, etcetera. I doubt this sort of discussion is stimulating to Krishnaji, because it doesn’t get beyond his having to sort out and explain basics, and doesn’t go with him to explore new areas. Earlier, Krishnaji had said to me that there is so much division in the KFI that he’s not going to interfere. “Let them run it,” he said. I pointed out that this means a dictatorship by Pupul, and that he is perceived as being afraid of her. He finds her much more assertive these days. A case in point is Dr. Hiralal: Pupul is for him. Krishnaji doubts he is the right person to be a member of KFI. At 4 p.m. I went with Sunanda and Dorothy to tea at Ahalya’s in Besant House in the Theosophical Society compound. It is a nice, old-fashioned colonial-style building with verandas all around. After tea, Ahalya dropped me at Radha’s, where Krishnaji came for a beach walk. Before supper, Pupul showed Krishnaji, Sunanda, and me a letter found among Shiva Rao’s papers sent by Murli Rao, who had custody of them. The note is possibly in Krishnaji’s handwriting, though Krishnaji is not sure after looking at it. It is dated London, 10 October 1925, and purports to be from Maha Chohan to Krishnaji, though Krishnaji’s name is not specified, commending him for his work. Krishnaji has no recollection of it, and has no explanation to offer, though he said at one point that Leadbeater had invented the current concepts of the Masters. Pupul is spending Friday in the Theosophical Society archives with Radha. Pupul says there are some remarkable photographs there. I wondered if I could go with Pupul, but she said Radha is cagey about showing things. Pupul said she would share copies of anything she got. After supper, Dr. Parchure brought welcome reports that Krishnaji and I are now both free of parasites, but Krishnaji’s postprandial blood sugar is up to 175 since he stopped taking Rastinon medication. He must resume taking half a tablet a day, and then can eat any fruit he chooses.’

The tenth: ‘There was the second meeting at 9:30 a.m. of the two-day seminar. It went a little better. In the afternoon Krishnaji met Major Rakesh Sharma, the Indian astronaut who participated in a Russian space mission. He talked with him almost an hour, liked him, and invited him to come on the beach walk along with Radha, Dorothy, Pama, and me. Krishnaji had me walk and talk to Sharma. A very nice, intelligent, and easy-to-talk-to man. Likable.’

S: Yes, I met him.

M: You probably did.

S: But I wasn’t there that year, so I must have met him the next year, but I do remember him.

M: ‘Pandit Jagannath Upadhyaya arrived.’

The eleventh: ‘A large group left at 7 a.m. to go see Palamaner, and they got back at 10 p.m. I stayed here. Hours of sitting in a car and sun with the prospects of sitting in an aircraft ahead would not be the best thing for my leg, and I had no wish to go anyway. Krishnaji, Pupul, Sunanda, and Pandit Jagannath Upadhyaya, who arrived last night, and I had lunch. Krishnaji rested most of the day. I packed slowly. Krishnaji and I walked on the beach.’

S: I remember I was there the year that the offer for the Palamaner land was first made, and it was very contested in the KFI.

M: Yes. I’m now doing this from memory, I may be wrong—but wasn’t the nice man who did the second school in Bangalore—wasn’t there talk of him doing the school in Palamaner, but it didn’t happen?

S: That I can’t remember, but it was the politics behind the offer that was so interesting. Apparently there was a huge tract of land, but the family that supposedly owned it, their ownership was contested. It wasn’t completely solid or correct or something.

M: Yes, that sounds right, now that I hear this.

S: So they came up with the idea that they were going to donate some several hundred acres to the Krishnamurti Foundation of India, because if the gift was accepted as legal…

M: That verified that they own it.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

S: Exactly, that verifies that they own the land. I can remember the debate in the KFI meetings—I was in them for some reason—it was adamant between the opposing groups. ‘No, we shouldn’t take it,’ ‘Yes, we should,’ and it was very, very interesting.

M: Yes, now that you told me all this, I’ve obviously heard it. But I don’t remember it very well. [Chuckles.] Except that it was always shadowy off there and nothing ever happened that I knew of.

S: Yes, yes. It was always shadowy, but apparently it was a very beautiful place, though absolutely out in the middle of nowhere. It would have made Rishi Valley look like it was in the hub of a metropolis. This was really out in the wilderness.

M: There was a waterfall—

S: Yes, the land had a waterfall, a year-round waterfall, which is something.

M: That’s what I remember of it. I wonder what happened to it afterward?

S: I have no idea, that’s why I was asking you. [Both chuckle.] And Krishnaji was rather for it.

M: Well, Krishnaji…“Take it. Buy it. Get it,” was Krishnaji’s approach to land.

S: [both laughing] Yes, yes. He liked land.

M: Yes. He liked land. [Both chuckle.]

January twelfth. ‘At 9:30 a.m. Krishnaji held a discussion in the hall with Upadhyaya, Pupul, Radha, Achyutji, and most others were onlookers. The long-winded Hindi of Upadhyaya and its translation, which often turned out to be, “The Buddha says etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” makes a fair amount of tedium. Krishnaji kept wordlessly catching my eye, and eventually he told Upadhyaya to leave aside what the Buddha said and say what he himself thought. Major Sharma was at lunch and Krishnaji put him through quite a questioning. Was he a Brahmin? Yes. With that background, what did he feel about being in the Air Force? Sharma said it troubled him. That he had not killed anyone, and did not intend to, but when he was seventeen years old, all he thought of was flying one of those marvelous machines without measuring the implications he now sees. Krishnaji was cooking him a bit.’ [S chuckles.] ‘In late afternoon, Krishnaji, Radhika, who went to Palamaner yesterday and came here afterward, Radha, and I walked on the beach. For me it was the last walk. I am leaving tomorrow, and will put this depressing place away. Malini came by to say goodbye to me in the evening.’ Gosh, I was hypercritical of everything.

S: Well, not without reason. [Chuckles.]

M: Well, I don’t know.

January thirteen. ‘Krishnaji has worn my rings and rudraksha on the chain for two nights and gave them back to me this morning after walking to the window with them.’ I don’t know what that has to do with. Well, that’s what it says. This must be explained for those who don’t know.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984. Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

Krishnaji In Madras in 1984.
Copyright Mary Zimbalist.

S: Yes.

M: He did something, magnetized, I believe the word is, jewelry. He did it for Mary Lutyens’s ring, and he’d done it for other people in the past, and so he took the things that I wear, which were just listed, to do this mysterious thing to them before I left with them. It was considered protective.

S: Yes. Now for those who don’t understand what magnetized means…

M: You say.

S: Well, it’s as if he would put some kind of energy into them.

M: Yes.

S: And the energy was a positive, protective kind of energy.

M: Yes.

S: And he felt that this would protect the wearer.

M: Yes. Mary Lutyens always swore, because he would wear her ring over lunch at Fortnum’s, that afterward the ring had extra luster and shone in a far greater way than before.

S: But originally, she had been kind of skeptically looking at this and doubting her perceptions…

M: But what she thought she saw was confirmed when a grandchild of hers said to her, “Oh you’ve had your ring cleaned!”

S: Yes.

M: Spontaneously the grandchild said that, but it was just that Krishnaji had worn it over lunch at Fortnum’s. So Mary believed what she thought she had always seen. [Chuckles.] Anyway. ‘It is painful to leave Krishnaji as always. He and I spoke briefly, then Dorothy and I left at 9:30 a.m., just before Krishnaji was to hold another discussion with Upadhyaya, and the others. Everyone was on the veranda to say goodbye, Krishnaji folding his hands in what, to me, was a blessing. Pama came with us to the airport, which was a help in the steaming confusion of crowds and luggage. Dorothy and I landed in Bombay at 1 p.m. and were met by a Lufthansa woman who took us and our luggage to the Centaur Hotel in the airport where Lufthansa had provided each of us with a free room in which to rest until our midnight check-in. Rita, who has been in Goa for three days, arrived around 5 p.m. Then came Bakul and Devi, bringing home-cooked things.’ That’s Nandini’s daughter, Devi Mangaldas. ‘Nandini was unable to come because of a reaction to taking penicillin. I spoke to her on the telephone. Five of us ate in the room I had, ordering some things from room service, too. Then they left and I slept till awakened at 11:45 p.m. We went at midnight to the international air terminal where Dorothy, Rita, and I took a 2 a.m. Lufthansa flight out of India. I was still on first-class tickets and had the best forward seat with no one next to me. I was able to sleep on and off.’

The fourteenth of January. ‘We landed at Frankfurt at 7 a.m. I am out of India, and back in Europe in a huge gray airport. Rita led the way to where we waited for an 8:15 a.m. flight to Heathrow. Lufthansa gave us two breakfasts. Real coffee, croissants, and French confiture seemed tremendous treats.’ [S chuckles.] ‘Then around 11 a.m. there was England in snow—a charcoal drawing landscape, Northern, utterly un-tropical, and wonderful. With only a silk shirt and cardigan, I welcomed the cold as one might reach toward sunlight.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Guy and Montague met and then took Dorothy to Brockwood, and Harsh, with my duffel coat and his car, drove me there. All is snow!’ That was wonderful for me.

S: [chuckles] Yes.

M: ‘The driveway, everything is white. The students have built a huge snowman. My room is warm through two heaters. The melting comfort of a bath, getting completely clean, and then eating salad and finally one’s own linen-sheeted bed was overwhelming.’ [Both chuckle.] You can see that—

S: You were glad to be there.

M: The spoiled Western point of view. [Both laugh.] ‘I telephoned Amanda, Erna, Bud, also Mary Links. All are well, but Bud and Lisa are about to go to California, then India for the museum—all out of step with my moves, so it is unlikely we will meet till later.’ I remember the delight of snowflakes on my face.

S: Yes, yes.

M: That was wonderful.

S: Well, it is a delight. But it’s especially a delight after being in a tropical place.

M: It is. Exactly. [Chuckles.]

January fifteenth: ‘I slept deeply and well, and feel physically back in balance. Food and air and their cleanliness. The cold is healing. I had a slow, relaxed, quiet breakfast after doing exercises and washing my hair. The quiet of our little kitchen, and cleaning the toaster and kettle, were a pleasure. I talked to Mary Cadogan at some length, also Betsy, and later Phyl Fry. I went for a walk in the grove with snow falling on my face. Rabbit tracks were everywhere. The snow was crisp, and carpets everything. The leaves of the rhododendron are curled in the cold. The handkerchief tree is bare and sleeping.’

Now I realize there’s going to be a vast gap in my entries in the big diary because I can see that the next entry in it is April eighth, and we’re only in January. Well, you see, when Krishnaji wasn’t there, I didn’t write.

S: Yes, but Krishnaji came back before that.

M: Well, he did but…well, anyway, we’ll see.

January sixteenth. ‘I went with Scott to catch the Petersfield 8:01 a.m. train to London. Once there, I went my own way by tube to Harrods. Then to have my hair cut. I lunched with Mary and Joe at Hyde Park Street.’ That’s their flat. ‘I came back on the 4:20 p.m. train and ran into Scott, who had been on the same train. So we got back to Brockwood together. I had supper alone upstairs.’

The seventeenth: ‘I went to the morning meeting and to a meeting of the five.’ Who was the five by now?

S: Ingrid, Harsh, Stephen, Ray, and Dorothy.

M: Ah, yes. ‘In the afternoon I went to Alresford with Dorothy to do errands, including booking my flight to Los Angeles on the twenty-sixth. Bud telephoned. They go to California this weekend and to India in early February.’

January eighteenth. ‘I went to the morning meeting. Six inches of snow have fallen here. I walked at noon with Scott around the grove and fields. Everything is white and beautiful. I cabled Krishnaji the date of my flight to California and spoke to Erna.’

The nineteenth. ‘Dorothy drove me to Petersfield where I took the 9:46 a.m. to London, went to the Tate Gallery, lunched with Betsy at her flat, then took the train back to Petersfield and by taxi to Brockwood. I talked to Diane Maroger, who has had two leg fractures since October. Daphne’—that’s her sister—‘is married.’

There is nothing the next day, but on January twenty-first, ‘Scott drove me to the Petersfield station. I took the 8:01 a.m. to London and went to TWA to fetch Krishnaji’s and my tickets, then had a fitting of the tweed coat at Hilliard’s. Met Adrian Spanier’—that’s the decorator woman—‘at the fabric wholesaler about curtains for my room in Brockwood. I went to a Chagall exhibition at the Royal Academy, then came back to Petersfield by taxi. The snow had been washed away by rain.’

The twenty-second of January. ‘I attended the morning meeting. In mid-morning, I met Mary Cadogan at Petersfield, drove her back to Brockwood where we went over video matters, and then held a Saanen Gathering Committee meeting the rest of the day. Doris resigned from the Saanen Gathering Committee.’

The twenty-third. ‘I slept late, and lunched with Kathy and Scott at the No Name Pub.’ Oh, do you remember No Name Pub? It sort of disappeared from my life.

S: I’m sure it’s still there.

M: Yes, I’m sure it is, but I haven’t been in a long time. Of course, I haven’t been in England in a long time. [chuckles] ‘Later I had tea with them at their house.’

January twenty-fourth. ‘I took the 8:01 a.m. train to London where I met Adrian Spanier about curtain fabric. We found one and I decided on it. Then I walked to HMV and bought compact discs for Krishnaji, fetched the new tweed coat at Hilliard’s, and lunched with Mary L. at Fortnum’s. Then at 3:30 p.m. I visited with Fleur at her apartment in the Albany.’ She had tremendous taste, that woman. And they had a wonderful house in the country, a farmhouse, and I used to stay there with her. It was lovely. Anyway, ‘I went by tube to Waterloo and so back to Brockwood. Talked with Christine and Gary after supper.’

January twenty-fifth. ‘Most of the day for me was packing. Krishnaji went today from Madras to Bombay.’

January twenty-sixth: ‘I attended the morning meeting, then left Brockwood at 9 a.m. with Scott driving me to Heathrow. He and Rita saw me off on TWA flight 761, departure at 11:30 a.m. I arrived in Los Angeles at 2:05 p.m. Vivian Moody met me and drove me to Ojai. The house is clean and lovely. I cabled Krishnaji of my safe arrival.’

There’s nothing the next day, but on the twenty-eighth, ‘I went on an early walk with Erna. A letter arrived from Krishnaji sent from Madras on the nineteenth. I worked most of the day at my desk. My brother telephoned. They are back from California and leave soon for India for the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s hosting of the Festival of India.’ Pupul had arranged to have the Festival of India exhibition in Lisa’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. I don’t know if it will be in this, but eventually the museum had created a lot of things for the festival, and Pupul never gave them back. [S chuckles.] For instance, Lisa got all sorts of designers who designed clothes and fabrics and furniture, and had them made in India. Bud and Lisa had gone to India to supervise the making of these things, all for this wonderful exhibition. But then these things traveled around and the museum never got them back. [Both chuckle.] Anyway, that’s as it was.

The next day. ‘I had another early walk. Electricians came for more light on the path here and an extra doorbell. Erna came by. The green Mercedes battery is dead. Dieter’—that’s the garage man—‘delivered a new one and the diesel had its 25,000-mile service. I drove him back to the garage and marketed.’

The thirtieth: ‘I went to Los Angeles in KMN1’—that’s the green car—‘and Lailee’s for the annual medical exam. She said the valves in the vein in the leg are causing the edema, and gave me a diuretic. Lunch with Amanda and Phil in Malibu, then bought six tree roses at Green Thumb nursery in Ventura.’

The thirty-first. ‘Another early walk. Later, I drove Erna to Cohen’s office to discuss his meeting tomorrow with Rajagopal’s lawyers. The electrician put in the walk lights. I went with Erna and Theo to dine with the Hookers at the Ranch House Restaurant.’

February first. ‘Again an early walk. Erna came with me to the meeting about the case with Cohen and Avsham’—that’s Rajagopal’s lawyer—‘at Cohen’s office from 10 a.m. till almost noon.’

The most notable thing over the next two days is that Krishnaji’s first two Bombay talks occurred. In fact, I don’t think there is anything worth mentioning until February sixth, when Krishnaji’s second letter arrived, written in Madras from January twentieth until the thirtieth, and Shakuntala, who was visiting from Brockwood, came to supper.

February seventh. ‘Again, I had an early walk and spent most of the day at my desk. Friedrich came by. He’s marrying Magda on Saturday and has bought a house in Ojai. Scott telephoned to say that the county had refused our permit to build a study center at Brockwood.’

February ninth: ‘One inch of rain in the night. I worked at my desk most of the day.  Friedrich and Magda are married in Santa Barbara, and Erna and Theo were their witnesses. Krishnaji gave this third talk in Bombay.’

The next day was Krishnaji’s fourth Bombay talk. I’m trying to avoid the details.

S: No, don’t.

M: All right, the eleventh of February: ‘Early walk. It was a warm day, and I oiled the nandis.’ In those days they were oiled, but I stopped doing that. They looked nicer gray. ‘I left at 3 p.m. and bought a Cuisinart pot in Ventura and went on to the Dunnes’.’ I mean, really, these details are so—

S: No, these are very important. [Both chuckle.]

M: Apologies to you, Robin.[1] I did try to stop him, but as usual, I have failed. [S laughs.] ‘Talked to Philippa. Miranda and John came and all celebrated Phil’s seventy-seventh birthday. I spent the night there.’

February twelfth: ‘At 7 a.m. I telephoned Brockwood, but Krishnaji’s plane was three-and-a-half hours late leaving Bombay, so he wasn’t there yet. I had breakfast with Philippa and Amanda. We all saw a whale. Then I drove to town to see Miranda and John at their apartment on Holt Street. I had a long talk with John. Then, on my credit card, I rang Brockwood again and this time spoke to Krishnaji. His voice was clear as the mountain spring.’ [Chuckles.] ‘There was snow at Brockwood. Asit flew with him. I went to Tassell’—that’s a designer—‘and bought three things and also bought a Sony Walkman. Had my teeth cleaned. Drove back to Ojai. It is a blessing that Krishnaji is halfway home.’

The thirteenth: ‘Birthday calls’—it was my birthday—‘from my brother, Betsy, Rita Zampese, and Winky. I spent the day doing desk work and cleaning silver after an early walk. A letter from Pascaline Mallet saying that Gizelle Questiau died in a car accident. She had just become president of L’Association CulturelleKrishnamurti.’ That’s the Krishnamurti organization in France.

The fourteenth of February: ‘The bedroom wing carpets were cleaned. I marketed and gave sixty-seven shares of the Senior Canyon Water to KFA.’ I think I’ve explained that to you.

S: Yes, you have.

M: ‘At 6 p.m. I went with the Lilliefelts to the Oak Grove School, saw the new building, and then attended a meeting of parents, teachers, and architects about the use of creosote in landscaping.’

S: Oh, yes, I remember that. This was another…[laughs]. Look at all the wood used in the Oak Grove School—the school buildings are all made of wood, the upper school and lower school, and all of the terraces, and the banisters. They’re all made out of wood and, of course, to protect them, they are creosoted.

M: Is that a fire danger?

S: No, it’s just that if a child gets a splinter of wood that is creosoted, it gets a little inflamed.

M: Oh. Oh, I never knew that.

S: So, this was thought of as being terribly unhealthy, etcetera, etcetera and that more organic oils or things should be used in case their children get splinters.

M: How do you know all this?

S: Yes, I don’t know how these things always came to me.

M: Did they do that in England? Brockwood didn’t have creosote anywhere, does it?

S: Oh, sure.

M: Really? Oh.

S: Yes. It was normal in those days. But I remember this incident and thinking I was so glad we didn’t have any parents around. [Both laugh.]

M: That was always one of Brockwood’s blessings because you never see parents. They are off in…

S: Yes. Exactly. Yes. They’re scattered around the world, yes.

M: Yes. Asia, Africa, or wherever. [Both laugh.] Here, they’re all sitting in Ojai.

S: Exactly. Finding things to criticize.

M: Yes. Or to tell us what to do with the school.

February fifteenth: ‘I drove to Malibu, saw Winky, and got books for Krishnaji, then drove on to Beverly Hills to get a fitting at Giselle’s’—that’s the place that made things for me. ‘I also bought cheese and houseplants before coming home.’

The next day was mostly ‘household preparation for Krishnaji’s arrival and marketing.’

February seventeenth: ‘Krishnaji’s TWA flight 761, which was due at 2:05 p.m., arrived at 2:56 p.m. I left Ojai at 10:30 a.m., lunched with Amanda and Phil, gave her a present of a blouse, and left there at 1:30 p.m. to find that a landslide had blocked the highway; so I had to go via Malibu Canyon and valley. I arrived at the airport in time. Krishnaji came out quickly, because of the wheelchair, with Asit and luggage. Krishnaji came with me, and Asit went with David and Jack. Krishnaji wanted to go the quiet way by the sea, so again, we came through Malibu Canyon and along the beach with the yellow flowers in bloom.’ He always liked those yellow flowers that bloomed near that big rock down there. ‘Krishnaji and I had supper alone.’

February eighteenth: ‘Krishnaji, Asit, and I had breakfast by the stove.’ That’s in the dining room. ‘Krishnaji talked to Erna, Theo, and me in the morning, and then he spent the rest of the day in bed with lunch on a tray. I went over to Arya Vihara. Shakuntala was there. Asit went out with Michael, so Krishnaji and I had supper on trays, and Krishnaji resumed his on-and-off all-day sleep.’

February nineteenth: ‘I had an early walk. Krishnaji got up when I went out, and unpacked the rest of his bag. He later came to lunch at Arya Vihara. Shakuntala was there before leaving for Brockwood. Krishnaji slept in the afternoon. I telephoned my brother on his sixty-first birthday. He and Lisa leave tomorrow for Paris and India, returning March fifteenth. Krishnaji and I had supper alone.’

February twentieth: ‘I had another early walk. Krishnaji stayed in bed all day after having breakfast in the dining room with Asit and me. He slept all morning and most of the afternoon.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji was up for lunch. In the afternoon, Erna, Theo, Asit, and I discussed Mary Cadogan’s suggestion to have other Foundations represented on the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust in England.’

The twenty-second of February: ‘Asit left for Singapore. Krishnaji slept a lot but got up for lunch and walked with the Lilliefelts and me in the afternoon.’

February twenty-third: ‘I worked at the desk and did house things. Keith Berwick and wife came to lunch at Arya Vihara. He then listened to the audiotape of one of Krishnaji’s Bombay talks. Krishnaji slept and read.’ Keith Berwick?

S: He was the one who did the “Revelation” program on TV.

M: Oh, yes. Yes. There’s really nothing of note for the next two days.

February twenty-sixth: ‘I went on a walk at 6:15 a.m. Later, at 10 a.m., Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I met Mr. Cohen at his office. We reviewed Rajagopal’s offer, then returned for lunch at Arya Vihara. I got a video membership at the video shop, and got a video movie for Krishnaji to look at.’

February twenty-seventh: ‘I went for the usual early walk. In the afternoon, I went to see Dr. Gary Deutsch, Mark Renneker’s friend in Santa Paula, about Krishnaji and I becoming his patients.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Krishnaji went for a walk to the dip with Theo.’

There is really nothing the next day, but on March first, ‘At 10 a.m. we began a KFA meeting that lasted all day. Krishnaji didn’t walk. Cohen wants to see us Monday about further progress in a settlement.’ If you’ll remember, this is a lawsuit that Rajagopal initiated against Krishnaji and the KFA. It was nonsense, but it used up time and money, which Rajagopal had in abundance.

The next day, ‘At 11 a.m. Krishnaji spoke to teachers. We lunched at Arya Vihara. After his rest, Krishnaji walked to the Lilliefelts’ and Theo drove him back.’

March third: ‘Max Falk came at 11 a.m. to speak with Krishnaji and me regarding his charges for building the high school. Krishnaji asked Erna to come after he had talked for a while. Max sees nothing wrong with his having charged the Foundation thirty-two percent. So we said goodbye.’ A contractor doesn’t get thirty-two percent.

S: Not usually.

M: And also he paid himself for having done some carpentry work, then he charged thirty-two percent on that so that he paid himself twice. ‘“That is the end of Max,” said Krishnaji.  Krishnaji rested in the afternoon, then walked down to the Lilliefelts’ later.’ Max had been recommended to me about building this house by previous people for whom he’d built houses; and they said he was a wonderful contractor, and they made a lifelong friend. He took the job for this house without even signing a contract. Well, we signed one eventually, but, I mean, he went right to work.

S: Yes. And he was very nice. I wonder what happened to him.

M: I don’t know. The usual contractor’s price is, I forget what, twenty percent or something. But he took thirty-two percent, and said nothing—he thought it was okay.

The fourth of March: ‘Krishnaji, I, and the Lilliefelts went at 10 a.m. to see Mr. Cohen about further discussion between him and Rajagopal’s lawyer, Avsham. We agreed with what Cohen had said. Krishnaji gave me a durable power of attorney. We had lunch at Arya Vihara. Milton Friedman came.’ Milton Friedman was not the famous economist of the same name, but he was a man who lived in Washington and he did speechwriting for Gerald Ford or something. He was interested in Krishnaji, and we made him a trustee, eventually, but he never came to a meeting.

S: Oh. [Both chuckle.]

M: Anyway, he was the one who arranged for Krishnaji to talk in Washington, D. C.

S: Ah, yes. Right.

M: ‘Lunch at Arya Vihara. Milton Friedman came. Krishnaji rested all afternoon.’

The next four days is mostly Krishnaji resting. He says he is tired and “washed out.”

March ninth: ‘At 11 a.m. Krishnaji held a discussion with the Oak Grove teachers. He was tired in the afternoon and slept. He walked to the Lilliefelts’ and Theo drove him back.’

Then there isn’t much for the next three days but Krishnaji resting and who came for lunch.

The thirteenth of March: ‘Over lunch at Arya Vihara, there was talk of a TV film last night on child prodigies, and we talked of Krishnaji’s childhood. Krishnaji wants to have me, Erna, and Theo question him on tape.’

S: Right.

M: The fourteenth. I am doing early walks all these days, but not mentioning it. ‘I worked all day on income tax matters. Lunch at Arya Vihara included the Grohes. Krishnaji watched Topaz, an old film on video, in the afternoon. Then he met Theo and walked down Grand Avenue. After returning the video to the store, I picked them up near the bottom of Grand Avenue and drove them back. In the evening we watched a TV show of Sherlock Holmes.’

The fifteenth of March: ‘At 10 a.m. Krishnaji talked with Erna, Theo, and me about his life, which we taped on cassette. Incorporating what he’d learned this winter from Pandit Upadhyaya. It is to be a private recording. Lunched at Arya Vihara. Typed income tax but didn’t finish.’

S: Aha, that’s right. That’s the tape you have.

M: March sixteenth: ‘At 11 a.m. Krishnaji held a meeting here with the Oak Grove School staff for a discussion. It went on till 1:30 p.m. During this, Scott, Harsh, and Ingrid all rang from Brockwood. Lunch at Arya Vihara. Marketed. At 4:30 p.m., Moody came to talk to Krishnaji and me about the school, the board, etcetera.’

The next day. ‘At 11 a.m. there was a meeting of the new school board. Krishnaji attended. All lunched at Arya Vihara. We resumed the meeting after lunch until after 4 p.m. Krishnaji walked with Theo. My brother and Lisa returned to New York from Paris and India, and we talked in the evening.’

There’s really nothing the next day. Then on the nineteenth, ‘I spoke to Ingrid at Brockwood. She is not coming here after all. Then I drove to Studio City for a fitting on clothes from what was formerly Giselle, after which I drove on to Beverly Hill on errands. I had tea with Amanda and Phil on the way home. Krishnaji had talked to Mark Lee.’

The twentieth of March: ‘At 9:30 a.m. David Moody came to talk to Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and me. Michael washed and put resin on the green car. I went to Green Thumb for roses, azaleas, and houseplants. Cohen received a text of a settlement agreement from Avsham.’

March twenty-first: ‘We had an early lunch at noon. Then Krishnaji and I went to Doctor Deutsch in Santa Paula for Krishnaji’s first meeting with him and an exam. Krishnaji’s blood sugar, postprandial, was 85. My EKG is okay. “Lovely country,” said Krishnaji on the drive back. Krishnaji walked with Theo.’

The twenty-second: ‘Krishnaji and I left at 9 a.m. and drove via Malibu to Beverly Hills for eye exams by Doctor Fox. Both of us were mostly unchanged except Krishnaji, who has a bit of a cataract in his left eye and the beginning of one in the right eye, but neither interfere with his sight. We lunched with Evelyne Blau at her house—Japanese food. We bought croissants later and a clock for the kitchen. Home after 6 p.m.’

March twenty-third: ‘Asit’s book of photographs, A Thousand MoonS: Krishnamurti 85, arrived. It seemed very well done. At 11 a.m. Krishnaji talked to the teachers, lunched at Arya Vihara, then we had a quiet afternoon.’

The twenty-fourth of March: ‘In the morning I worked at the desk and made lunch for Krishnaji, who is spending the day in bed. At noon, I went to the school and a meeting.’ It doesn’t say what kind of meeting.

March twenty-five: ‘Krishnaji, Erna, Theo, and I went to Cohen’s office at 11 a.m. about the text of a settlement with Rajagopal. Radha Burnier was at lunch at Arya Vihara.’

The next day. ‘Raman’—he was a cook at Brockwood—‘arrived at Arya Vihara last night and came over in the morning to say hello. Radha was at lunch again. Afterward, I took her back to Krotona, where she is staying. I went to Ventura for vitamins.’

The twenty-seventh. ‘There was rain, so I didn’t do the early walk. Spent the morning working at my desk. We lunched at Arya Vihara, then rested. At 4 p.m. the actor Anthony Perkins came to see Krishnaji. Krishnaji walked to the Lilliefelts’. We had supper at 6:30 p.m. A new schedule.’

The next day. ‘I worked most of the morning at the desk, apart from taking Krishnaji at 10 a.m. for a haircut here in Ojai. Evelyne telephoned about questions for tomorrow. Radha came to lunch at Arya Vihara.’

March twenty-ninth. ‘Chagall died yesterday. At 11 a.m. there was filming by Mendizza of Krishnaji in the living room answering questions put by me off-camera.’ I don’t remember that. ‘A physicist, Doctor Roger Jones, was at lunch at Arya Vihara. Radha was there, too. Krishnaji rested in the afternoon.’

The thirtieth. ‘I fetched our air tickets and marketed. At 11 a.m. Krishnaji talked to the staff of the Oak Grove School, then we lunched at Arya Vihara.’

There is nothing worth reporting for the next couple of days. Krishnaji is still resting but also still seeing people. The only thing to report is that on April second, ‘Krishnaji watched a TV program about organized religion and said, “We’ve lost.”’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Krishnaji talked with Moody and again with Rupert Oysler at 4 p.m. He says he is tired and his head is causing it.’

The third of April: ‘At 11 a.m. I took Krishnaji to speak to the Oak Grove School students while I did errands. I then met him at school. It was a beautiful warm day in the eighties. We lunched at Arya Vihara. Napped.’ I can’t believe all these naps.

Again, we can skip the next three days, until April eighth. ‘Yesterday Krishnaji and I got up at 4 a.m. Krishnaji had slept only three hours. We left Ojai early, David and Vivian Moody taking us to Los Angeles Airport in the school’s small van because of our three bags. Ojai was still exquisite, with that hushed edge of the first spring bursting into flower and the rose bush’s buds full, even on the new tree roses we have just added. All week long there has been the breath of jasmine by the front door and pools of scent on my back porch from the pittosporum. When we return in two weeks, orange blossoms should fill the rest of the valley. Krishnaji and I took and 8:30 a.m. TWA flight to New York. This time trying business class instead of first, but with bulkhead seats, so that my bad leg could be raised on it.’ I could prop it up on it, I mean. ‘We read and slept and reached New York by 4:30 p.m., taxied into town and to the Dorset Hotel, where we again have Suite 1507, which Krishnaji likes and is used to. We unpacked and had an uninspiring room service supper. Krishnaji, who had had little sleep before leaving yesterday, took half of the half-tablet of Halcion prescribed by our new Dr. Deutsch, i.e., one quarter of a tablet of .25 milligrams, and it gave him an excellent night’s sleep with no aftereffect. We were quiet all morning. Then we went to Il Nido, where we gave lunch to Narasimhan. Being Monday, it was quiet there and we had a very good lunch. First course: shredded real mozzarella’ [S chuckles] ‘and cold roasted peppers with basil leaves and capers. Main course: two kinds of spaghettini, i.e., one with tomato sauce and one with pesto. Arugula salad. Fresh raspberries for dessert. Krishnaji and I walked back’—you can’t say I don’t give you details [S chuckles]—‘to the hotel and rested. At 4 p.m., Indira and Chandra Mauli came to see Krishnaji at 4 p.m.’ Indira is his niece.

S: Krishnaji’s niece?

M: Yes, she’s the sister of Narayan, I think. And Chandra Mauli is her husband. ‘After they left, we walked to Doubleday for books and around the IBM building, where we both enjoyed the indoor hall with bamboo trees and large tubs of flowering plants. Krishnaji appreciates the taste of it, and it increased his approval of IBM as a provider of excellence.’ [Both laugh.] ‘It was cold and we came back to supper again in our rooms. I spoke to my brother, who has returned from the Vineyard. Earlier I had spoken to Mister Roy at the U.N. and the video man there, Mr. Blotsky. We can only have one camera and a three-quarter-inch video on Thursday, but can use it as we please. We had supper in our rooms. I spoke with Philippa on the phone.’

April ninth: ‘I scuttled up to the 57th Street health food store for miscellaneous. Then Krishnaji and I again went to Il Nido, where the Shainbergs lunched with us. Catherine De Segonzac and David are now married. Our meeting was friendly, though of late, too many reports of David speaking critically of Krishnaji have intervened and my taking him to task for it last year is a fact in the pot. But one felt he wanted to be friendly. She, less. They seem happy, though, and pleased to be married. Both have a tendency to jump to their own opinions without listening to what Krishnaji is saying. We walked back. Krishnaji and I stopped at the Belgian shoe place.’ I’ve got on one pair of them this very minute. [S chuckles.] They’re one of his pairs. ‘That was enough of a walk for today. It is still cold in New York. We had supper in the rooms on the very limited vegetarian possibilities.’

April tenth. ‘Krishnaji did not bring a beret and needs one in this cold; so I sallied out early. There was nothing at Saks, so I kept going down Madison Avenue and finally found one at a man’s hat store at 42nd Street. Hurried back to the hotel for the arrival of Philippa at 11 a.m. She and I had a long talk until Krishnaji emerged to go to lunch. Krishnaji, she, and I went by taxi to Le Cirque Restaurant in the Mayfair Hotel, where Bud and Lisa met us. It turned out to be noisy, crowded, fashionable, a freak’s place with overly-elaborate and carelessly cooked food. Krishnaji’s eyes roamed the room.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Bud and Lisa told about their Indian trip. I charged the lunch on a credit card, wishing the amount had gone instead to Amnesty International for those starving in Ethiopia.’ [S chuckles.] ‘We walked back to the hotel, where Krishnaji took a nap and Philippa and I talked some more until she went off to a lute lesson. We had supper in the room. Krishnaji talked of his worry that the KFA will wind up, when we older ones are gone, in the hands of the current younger generation, which he does not want, especially as one has a wife he sees becoming a bull in a china shop.’ [Chuckles.] ‘He has the idea of bringing in someone from outside of the US who would “run things.”’ [S laughs.] ‘He had a suggestion of who this person might be and he wanted me to call this person, and have this person come and discuss it. I suggested that Erna should be consulted. I called her and, predictably, she didn’t take to the idea because she doesn’t really like this person. We will talk it over later.’

April eleventh. ‘Patricia Hunt-Perry came to the hotel at noon. Daisy followed, then Bud with his car, and we all drove with Krishnaji to the U.N. where he was to speak at 1:15 p.m., again at the invitation of the Pacem in Terris committee.’ That’s that organization within the UN. ‘The requested topic was “Beyond the Fortieth Anniversary of the U.N.: The Future for Peace.” A Mr. Mark Roy has succeeded Doctor Robert Muller as head of Pacem in Terris, and both were present, sitting on the platform on either side of Krishnaji when he finally spoke. Confusion seems endemic in the U.N., and the conference hall number four was still occupied by another meeting when we arrived, and Krishnaji had to wait. Bud, Daisy, and I found an empty conference room where he could at least be away from the confusion until about 1:30 p.m., when he was able to speak. Evelyne was up in a booth where it was videotaped, so we have a useful record of his eloquent talk and responses to questions afterward. The questions were dumb and obvious, but his answers had an air of greatness, an absolute authority of vision that made me smile way inside at that extraordinary and totally undimmed power. They gave him a small silver medal, which is their peace award. And we got out of there swiftly.’ He forgot the peace award, left it on the table. [Chuckles.]

S: It was more than that—as he told me, anyway. When they gave it to him, he left it deliberately on the podium or wherever where he was speaking, so they rushed back afterward into some kind of an anteroom where he was and they gave it to him again there, so he left it there.

M: [chuckles] Did he?

S: [laughs] Yes. So then, eventually, they mailed it to him.

M: Oh, it doesn’t say that here.

S: [laughs] But I remember Krishnaji telling me about this. He kept on trying to leave it behind and they…[laughs].

M: [chuckles] It only says here: ‘We got out of there swiftly with Bud and Daisy and I went uptown to a late and quiet lunch at Bud’s apartment. “No more U.N. That’s that,” said Krishnaji. In the middle of lunch, Bud answered a telephone call and came back, saying he had just bought a house in Naples, Florida. Part of their scheme of life after they sell their New York apartment and Lisa quits the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.’ They were going to retire there. ‘Krishnaji and I returned to the hotel, where we eventually had supper in the rooms. He heard me say on the telephone to Phyllis Lutyens that I was seventy. “Seventy, you’re seventy?” he said.’ [Both chuckle] ‘“My god.” He began laughing at me, at the two of us at our ages. “I will probably live another ten years and that will be enough, but you must live another fifteen.”’ [Both chuckle] That was in, what, 1985.[2]

S: 1985. So you’ve done another twenty.

M: Yes. [Said very quietly and reflectively.]

April twelfth. ‘We left the hotel at 9:30 a.m. and went by taxi to LaGuardia for an 11 a.m. TWA flight to Washington. Milton Friedman met us at the national airport and drove us in his 300D Turbo Mercedes, which caught Krishnaji’s eye,’ [S chuckles] ‘to the Watergate Hotel. One room, number 1410, which has a kitchenette and doors dividing the bed area from the sitting room, was ready. So we left the luggage there, and all three went down to lunch. Milton then left, and Krishnaji moved into the second room, 1401, across the hall. It is a spacious one with a bed area and a sitting area, closed-off sink and refrigerator, bath, etcetera. We will take our meals in mine, which has a dining room table, and use it for people who come to see Krishnaji. It is a comfortable and seemingly well-run hotel.’ Was this after it became so notorious?

S: Oh, yes. Oh, yes—1972 and 1973 was the Nixon scandal. And I can remember Krishnaji brought me back a bathrobe from the Watergate Hotel, and I was so thrilled to have it [M chuckles] because I was so thrilled about Watergate and that it had gotten rid of Nixon. So that was a great treasure. [Both laugh.]

M: Well, he stole it, of course. [Both chuckle.] He had a theory that things that are put in your room are yours—he did this also at Plaza Athenée—they had from Porthault, that wonderful linen place, washcloths.

S: Yes.

M: And he always stole them. He thought they were given to you.

S: Yes. Well, I think you probably paid for them.

M: Oh, I’m sure we paid for them, [S laughs] and paid for them. We should have gotten towels to go with it.

S: [laughs] Should’ve taken all the furniture, probably. [Chuckles.]

M: ‘Both of us liked the great height of the Watergate building both inside and out. In the late afternoon, we went over to the Kennedy Center and looked at the concert hall where Krishnaji will speak. We came back to supper in the room.’

The thirteenth of April. ‘Milton Friedman brought a friend, Gail Hamilton, and drove us out into Maryland to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. We came back through woods that Krishnaji found beautiful. “I could live here,” he said. Then, back in Washington, we went to the Lincoln Memorial. Policemen let us drive close to where only buses are allowed because we had a ninety-year-old man in the car. And then Krishnaji and I climbed up the steps of the monument. “Look up as you go. See, it is like the Parthenon. See those corners of the roof. It is just like the Parthenon,” he said looking at the huge statue. People were climbing, shouting there, but not really looking at the statue. “They have no respect,” said Krishnaji. “They don’t have the feeling of respect.” I would have liked to go across to the Vietnam Memorial, but the crowds were too great. Milton drove us past the White House and the surrounding government buildings. I was rather glad to see the White House looked like a house, an American house, and not a palace. We came back to the hotel. Of Lincoln, Krishnaji said, “I could have cried, and while we were there I did what I do to the room.” He referred to what he does at night to the house in Ojai, waiting till I’ve gone ahead into the bedroom. He stands in what he says is the center, i.e., the front hall, and I never pry but go ahead to my bedroom. He would not do it in front of me, but if I understand it, it is something that protects. And if for some reason I have to go back into that part of the house, it undoes what he has done, and he must do it anew. This perhaps is related to his doing something to rooms in hotels or the hospitals we’ve been in. Cleansing and protecting.’ Krishnaji was very moved by Lincoln. ‘We had supper in the room, and he took a quarter of a Halcion, which gives him excellent sleep and no side effect.’ And then he told me that I must do it when he wasn’t there. But he didn’t say how.

S: He didn’t say how or what.

M: He never said how for such things.

S: Yes, yes.

M: But I do it. I still do it.

April fourteenth. ‘Quiet day but we went down to lunch in the hotel where there was a buffet and he was able to get enough vegetables. We talked about the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, and I asked him what he considered was the human impulse of worship—not necessarily of an image, not part of belief, but simply a feeling of worship. He said respect, devotion, worship were all toward something outer, even if not defined. Outer means division. To see without movement is without division. In that, there is no I, no self. That perception is the action of change because it is without movement. We rested and later walked along the river, then had supper in the room. I spoke to Ann Deford.’ That’s my stepsister, who lives in in Maryland.

April fifteenth. ‘At 10 a.m., Friedman brought the Washington Post man, Michael Kernan, to do an interview for the paper. A nice man, Krishnaji thought. The photographer, named Chevalier, took photos. Krishnaji and I lunched downstairs.’ I think we never got copies of those photos. ‘I had the hotel put kitchen equipment in my room, and I bought food in the Safeway store downstairs. At 4 p.m., Friedman brought from The Voice of America a man and an Iranian, Miss Feresteh, to record an interview for broadcast. Afterward, Krishnaji asked the man if he could use all that he said, and they replied, “We never censor.” We walked along the river later and then I was able to give Krishnaji a proper supper of fat, fresh asparagus, soup, an omelet, and brie.’ There were little kitchens in these places.

The sixteenth. ‘Lois Hobson telephoned and we invited her to lunch.’ She was a Krishnaji enthusiast, and I’d met her before, probably in Ojai. ‘At 10 a.m., Friedman and I went over to the Kennedy Center so I could see where Krishnaji enters.’ The Kennedy Center is right next door, so we could walk over there.

S: Right.

M: ‘At 11 a.m. a Robert Aubry Davis came to do a radio interview with Krishnaji for FM 91. He brought his seven-year-old daughter, a delicate, polite little girl who wanted to meet Krishnaji and brought him a poem. He greeted her gravely, smilingly, and she sat listening to it all as her father asked Krishnaji about education in Krishnamurti schools. She said shyly that she understood most of what he was saying. Krishnaji kissed her hand in saying goodbye, and she reached up and kissed his cheek.’ [S chuckles.] ‘In the car she told Milton she liked Mr. Krishnamurti very much, and Mrs. Krishnamurti was very nice.’ [Both laugh.] ‘Her poem was remarkable. The parents teach her at home. She is an only child. Perhaps that is how, in this shocking world, to protect a gifted child.’ [Chuckles.] ‘Lois Hobson was interested and interesting at lunch, though all our conversation was on the shoddiness of today’s society. Later Krishnaji and I walked along the river and had supper in the rooms.’ [Chuckles.]

April seventeenth. ‘My stepsister, Ann Deford, came to lunch with Krishnaji and me in the hotel dining room. It was good to see her again. She is very much herself: the blond hair grown gray, the hands are gnarled by age, as mine are, but she is still slim, upright, and the same laugh that is so McAdoo, the same amusements at life, and sensibleness. It is nice to meet on the same friendly footing, though the years have passed. Krishnaji said, “A nice lady.” At 4:30 Milton Friedman brought a Mr. and Mrs. Paul Temple to tea. She is a friend of his, and he a vastly wealthy man “interested in consciousness and healing,” but rooted in Christianity from some “experience.” Milton Friedman rather hoped Temple would donate to the Krishnamurti Foundation, but Krishnaji doesn’t cater to the Orthodox questions, and I didn’t see any meeting in the one-and-a-half to two hours of the visit. Krishnaji gave out so much. He was tired when they left. Evelyne Blau came to tea while the Temples were there.’

S: [chuckles] We have to end, but before we do, I want to tell you my remembrance—even though I wasn’t there, but I can remember your telling me about this conversation with the Temples.

M: I did?

S: Yes, and according to what you told me at the time, you had, at the beginning, because this was a very wealthy philanthropist, you’d thought well, maybe—I can’t remember the sum you mentioned. Let’s say, for the sake of this, maybe he’ll give half a million dollars. But that after a while, after a little bit of conversation, you thought, well, maybe a quarter of a million. [Both chuckle.] Then, as the discussion progressed, the amount you were hoping for got smaller and smaller until you realized there would be nothing.

M: Yes. [Laughing.] I remember now. I’m glad you remember these things.

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[1] Robin Ann Martin had met Mary by this time and had, for many years, been the lone transcriber of these discussions. Mary, over the years, made several asides like this to Robin, but they have all been edited out. It seems only right that at least one remains as they were part of the joking playfulness that were an important part of these discussions. Back to text.

[2] Krishnaji died about ten months later. Back to text.