Episode 6 - Individualising, healing, madness, mayhem & murder...

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It was now 1986 and Id been living in the Glastonbury area for a couple of years,studying different beliefs,traditions and healing methods.I found myself particularly drawn to the Native American understanding of Mother Earth and the use of power animals.These teachings brought me great strength and healing,as I began to discover my own path and recover from past ordeals.

Tirthapada,wife and some of his closest followers were based in California and I believe he became friends there with two of the original "LSD gurus",Timothy Leary and Terence Mckenna during this time.He also spent time in Canada-where his wife was from.
He would visit Glastonbury quite regularly and I would arrange gatherings at local venues,where he would speak,lead songs,dancing and chanting and share a vegetarian feast.It was always wonderful to see him and he was well-liked by pretty much everyone who met him.
I was hearing rumours that other devotees were having problems with his wife,who was becoming increasingly insecure,controlling and manipulative,apparently.
Although I had never taken to her,I felt a certain amount of sympathy,as being married to the enigmatic Tirthapada,always surrounded by followers and friends-including attractive,younger women,cant have been easy!

In the early months of 1987,word reached us here,that Tirthapada had left his 2nd wife in Canada and gone to Hawaii with one of his female disciples!I knew this lady,well,as we had been friends at college before she joined the Hare Krishna movement.

It came as quite a shock and as Im being completely honest,I also felt a massive surge of pure jealousy!
I also felt confused and angry.He had proclaimed the lady he had just left to be his "eternal counterpart" and Id had so much grief for not accepting her in that role and now he had done this to her?!I was in complete turmoil really and just didnt know what to think any more!
Then we heard that his new wife-they married in a Krishna ceremony in Maui,was pregnant!He had longed for a daughter,so Im sure he was very happy with this development!

I cant really imagine how the Canadian wife must have been feeling about it all-not happy for sure!She was still in Canada with a couple of her fervent supporters,including aforementioned "St Francis",who had threatened to kill me in Cornwall.They were very angry and upset with Tirthapada.

He came to England to see us and tell us about his latest marriage and seemed so happy about the pregnancy.
I was sitting in that room at no."55" listenting to him and I suddenly felt I couldnt remain there,I was angry with him and I couldnt fake politeness or act like a doting disciple a moment longer!I glared at him and rose to leave,He was obviously aware of my feelings and looked sadly into my eyes,as I stood in the doorway about to flounce off without even saying goodbye.He looked as if he wanted to say something but couldnt and I will always remember that final gaze,as unbeknown to me at the time,it was the last time I would see him in his physical form.

A couple of months later,,he and his pregnant wife arrived back in England and he took a job in his wealthy Indian followers brass door knocker shop to provide for them.He was to move to Glastonbury to live and set up a peace temple near his 39th birthday(friday 13th November).
The day before that,I was visited by a very agitated "St Francis",who apologised to me for his past transgressions and was pacing up and down my flat rambling on about Tirthapada being the "anti-christ and saying menacingly to a picture I had of our guru"your time has come!"
He left and I was very disturbed by his behaviour and words.
I tried to ring Tirthapadas first wife in London,to try and alert them but had no reply.I also spoke to someone in Glastonbury about it but he seemed unconcerned.

By this stage,I was completely and utterly exhausted and sick and tired of all the dramas with Tirthapada and followers and I just fell into an exhausted sleep.

The next morning,his 39th birthday 13th November 1987,I rang his first wife(a beautiful lady),hoping against hope that nothing terrible had happened and was met with the news that our beloved,beautiful Tirthapada had been horribly murdered by his one time leading follower aka "St Francis."

He had gone to open the brass door knocker shop and once inside,this psychotic disciple crept in and stabbed him through the heart from behind and then decapitated him.
He was found at the scene by police,holding the severed head in his lap,weeping and trying to stab himself to death.
A gorier scene,it is hard to imagine.

She told me not to be too disturbed by the details,as he was an adept yogi and would have left his body very quickly-probably true,but I remember I let out an anguished howl,that frightened me!

I put the phone down and felt just too emotional and overwhelmed to cope and I ran to the kitchen to grab some pills and take an overdose!
Suddenly and immediately,I heard Tirthapadas voice,loudly,clearly and very sternly commanding me not to even think of doing such a thing!He said I mustnt forget his teachings about the eternality of the soul,he wasnt "dead"and I had to stick around as I had important work to do!His voice and words shocked me out of my suicidal intentions and I knew he was right and I had to stay strong and face it all.

The murder detectives arrived later that day and questioned me about seeing his murderer the previous day.
They also asked me if there was anything in the hindu religion that pertained to decapitation?All I could think of was the goddess Kali,but wasnt sure how that was significant.

Then,I was left to pick up the pieces of my life once again.