Episode 4-return to UK,Cornwall and Psychedelic times.....

hmmm's picture

Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

So,after almost a year in India and Nepal,the tickets arrived for those of us still stranded there,penniless(or rupeeless!),ill and starving.
I arrived back in England to be met by my distraught weeping greek mother!She was horrified to see how thin Id become and I went home with her for a few months to eat well and recover from my Indian adventure!
Tirthapada was still in his native America and I still didnt know what the truth was about his use of certain substances or whether I would ever see him again.
My heart ached in seperation and I really couldnt settle at my mothers house-although she adored me and gave me everything,we fought alot and my spiritual path upset her and her Greek Orthodox beliefs.
Eventually,news reached me that Tirthapada had returned to England and was staying in Cornwall with some of his few remaining followers.I was so excited at the prospect of seeing him again and couldnt wait to pack up and go and join them.
My mother waved me off tearfully and rather dramatically told me that she felt like Mother Mary(who she was utterly devoted to),watching Jesus go to his crucifixion!I thought this was way over the top,but in retrospect,wonder if she had,had something of a premonition about what lay ahead for me.
At,this stage,I hadnt had much personal contact or communication with Tirthapada and had been very proud of the wonderful name he had given me at my ,initiation(Govinda-Mohini dasi).I felt it showed I was special,in some way!
So when I finally arrived in Cornwall,with a couple of other people,when we went to see him,he greeted me with"oh hello,whats your name "Saranagati?'(which means process of surrender),and I laughed nervously and said "no,Govinda Mohini!"Well,my ego about the name he gave me soon evaporated and the girl who he had named Saranagati wasnt too pleased either!

There was also a woman with Tirthapada,who,I have to say,I felt an instant dislike and uneasiness about as soon as I saw her.Everyone(including myself)assumed it was jealousy on my part,but later events might prove otherwise.
He introduced her as his beloved counterpart and we were instructed to treat her as our mother.
Unfortunately,I could not warm to this woman,refused to accept her or bow down to her and the other disciples began to critisise and condemn my behaviour,vociferously.
Nonetheless,there were some wonderful times,and a fair amount of LSD was consumed-Tirthapada saw it as a holy sacrament which when taken,within the context of prayer and worship and sincere devotion could bring about a profound sense of communion with the supreme source of exsistance.

We would gather in the beautiful,temple room,in front of the exsquisitely dressed deities of Radha-Krishna on the artistically decorated altar,and chant and dance for hours.
I loved dancing in Tirthapadas prescence,I felt transported to another world where everything was truly blissful and I felt whole and utterly fulfilled in those moments.
Often,I felt overwhelmed by his beauty and love and I would lapse into a long silence,with tears just pouring from my eyes.Alot of the others thought I was acting,or being a misery-except for an African brother,who told me my tears and my emotions were beautiful.
He stood by me when most of the others condemned me.

Tirthapadas new wife,seemed convinced my behaviour was based on jealousy and that I was in love with my guru and therefore hugely offensive!I was receiving a barrage of critisism and began to feel very hurt and attacked.
She even arranged for me to be married to the African brother,and I actually went through with the ceremony,looking as if I was at a funeral!Id been told it was what my guru wanted and tried to comply,but we never consummated the "marriage"and remained as celibate companions for the duration.

When we were dancing and chanting,the mood was ecstatic,devotional and sweet,with everyone feeling united in worship,but a darker side was also emerging,in the midst of the proceedings.
One of his leading followers,who apparently had been St Francis in a previous life,had been given some kind of leadership role(probably by gurus wife)and I disagreed with that kind of stuff and refused to take any directions from him either.This of course made me even more unpopular!
One night,this individual,woke me in the middle of the night accusing me of stealing the deities little golden shoes,tearing the place apart and ranting that Krishna had told him to kill me!My African brother used to tie them around my wrist at night and I would remove them every morning when he went to dress them.They had gone missing and I had no idea what had happened to them.
I was telling this raging lunatic,I hadnt got them,but he was by this time trying to tear the floorboards apart,convinced I had hidden them.
I was terrified and confused and heard Krishnas voice telling me the name of a female disciple who had them.I tried to tell "St Francis"this but he ignored me.
A few weeks later,the lady in question found them at the bottom of her bag,but hadnt been aware she had them or how!

Although,I still loved to be around Tithapada,by this time,I was beginning to feel,things were getting out of hand and that we were heading for disaster.
One evening during a particularly beautiful chanting and dancing session,I had a horrifying premonition,that Tirthapada would die a horrible death,rather like Jesus did,and I collapsed onto the floor shaking and weeping,I looked up and Tirthapada was gazing deep into my eyes with so much sadness,love and understanding.He knew what I had just seen,though some of the others thought Id been faking ecstatic symptoms!

Tirthapada,himself remained the same throughout,fixed in his devotional practices,full of inspiration,loving,gentle and kind and his laughter and humour and optimism and faith for the future of the earth and its inhabitants,were worth sticking around for in spite of all the craziness.
Episode 5-after Cornwall/1983/4 is next.

Asanga's picture

beautifully expressed... but..

Thank you dear hmmmm...

This was beautifully expressed- but please do not gloss over what you were going through- like here:

She even arranged for me to be married to the African brother,and I actually went through with the ceremony,looking as if I was at a funeral!Id been told it was what my guru wanted and tried to comply,but we never consummated the "marriage"and remained as celibate companions for the duration.

Do please describe your emotional turmoil here...

What you went through there is important- it is still so much a part of what people in many 'ashrams' go through...

You're helping a great many seekers with your story...

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Sat, 12/26/2009 - 11:45
hmmm's picture

Its a challenging story to tell!

Thank you for your advice and encouragement!As I was writing that part,I realised I am having to stick to the bare bones,just because otherwise,there are simply too many details,which would make it virtually impossible to write and complicated to read,also!
I am really not "glossing over" anything and will be describing in my next chapter,just how profoundly all these events,affected me.
I am trying to make the story as honest and straightforward,an account as I can manage and to make it writable and readable!Im surprised Im managing to get it out at all,to be honest,and very much feel my gurus blessing as I proceed.

hmmm | Sat, 12/26/2009 - 15:49
sisi's picture

Govinda Mohini Dasi

I understand that during his time in America, Tirthapada divorced and remarried? What happened to his x-wife and child?

How did Tirthapada support himself? And you people that were with him? Have he been still with ISKCON at that time despite the troubles he had with the other gurus?

You are not elaborating here about the LSD experiences (which I think should be interesting) or maybe the dancings and the chantings as well as your premonition about Tirthapada were under LSD?

sisi | Sun, 12/27/2009 - 11:02
hmmm's picture


Hi Sisi-Im finding it virtually impossible to include all the details to be honest!Tirthapadas first wife left ISKCON and took shelter of a different ashram with their young son,although she still loved him,she wasnt in agreement with his use of LSD etc.He met his 2nd wife in Canada when,I imagine, he was in rather a vulnerable state.Im not sure about whether he divorced or re married officially,Krishna marriage ceremonies were considered as spiritually authentic.I believe he wished to be polygamous as he loved both wives but neither of them wanted that!
I will probably mention more about in next chapters.
Most of my Cornwall account would have been under the influence of LSD and Im amazed I can remember any of it,quite frankly!
As people seem interested,I will write about my experiences with LSD seperately,at some point.I have to precis my story,just to keep it containable within a blog space!

hmmm | Sun, 12/27/2009 - 12:36
sisi's picture

LSD experiences

I would like very very much to hear the LSD experiences! btw, there is a special forum dedicated for these issues: Drugs and Spirituality.

I have done many things but not lsd but I know that part of the fact that it was (and still is nowadays to a lesser extent) used in psychological therapy sessions is that the person remembers his experiences and insights under the drug.

sisi | Sun, 12/27/2009 - 21:21
hmmm's picture


Hi Sisi-I dont know if you read my first blog"Greetings fellow earthlings!"in which I describe my experience of MDMA?With LSD I had experiences,I would find impossible to put into words!
Because it is psychoactive and affects the mind-hallucinations,visions etc,I believe it can be very dangerous for anyone whose mind is already unstable or suffering from schizophrenic tendencies.What happened with my Guru in next chapter,will illustrate,the dangers involved.
I have found pure MDMA to be less psychoactive and to work more with heart/emotional energies and prefer the effects of that,much more!I hasten to add,to anyone reading this,that I take this wonderful soul medicine very,very occasionally and do not advocate prolonged or regular use of any of these powerful substances!

hmmm | Mon, 12/28/2009 - 10:16