It’s 1978 – the first time I travel to India. I’m lucky enough to have visited the Sri Krishna temple in Dakor at the time of a major festival.
You have to pay a toll to get into the place, then you buy food to offer as prasad to Krishna. The temple guys attempt to squirrel away the prasad but my lovely guide says here, give it back. The racket being that the box of prasad is then re-sold outside the temple grounds.
Dakor is quite a delightful place, with a large tank full of turtles, a scale with a mountain of nose rings on one side, that was weighed against some fat tyrant or other, and a Lakshmi shrine where you can peek into her bedroom. ♥
I cannot break my oath to Kenneth Grant’s OTO, and I won’t. Here he is pictured in 1974. We used to drink in a pub just round the corner from where he lived, and did so much that my girlfriend and I renamed it the KG.
As we lived in Golders Green too, I sometimes took a trip there on my tod. One night, I fell into a conversation with two Hindu guys – a Brahmin from Gujarat and a Brahmin from Bengal.
Should they have been drinking at all? The tapestry unfolded. The Gujarati Brahmin was appalled at the fact another member of his gotra on the other side of India ate fish. The Bengali guy was appalled that the rigorous diet on the west coast was quite so vegetarian.
A Jain joined us. He said that day was a religious day in Jain tantrik culture. On one day a year, a faithful Jain could drink and do all sorts of things that they couldn’t do on any other day in the year.
Kenneth Grant was a thelemite but as the Kaula Upanishad said, you must respect other people’s notions of what the heck any of it meant. He was very taken with David Hall’s notion that Beelzebub (Gurdjieff) and the Beast (Crowley) were two of a kind.
As for the Nu Isis Lodge. As I was inducted in the first degree of Kenneth’s order, I never got to meet these people in 1973. Ithell Colquhoun was very nice to the SOTHiS people in her book about Mathers, but we’re still not sure where in her book, Sword of Wisdom – the Mathers picture, is. She left it to the Tate but now, apparently, it is nowhere found.
Kenneth was witty about the witch Graham Gardner and about the s0-called Scot McGregor Mathers. To me he described the BT tower as Gardner’s dick, and Centre Point as Mathers’ dick. Which one was the bigger dick?
Or was it the other way round? He was a very witty man. ♦
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Tagged bengal, brahmins, centre point, golders green, gotra, graham gardner, Gujarat, ithell colquhoun, kenneth grant, mcgregor mathers, Nick Farrell, oto, Sothis Magazine
HERE IN DELIBERATELY promiscuous order are photos of the Lalita Mahal in Mysore, where I stayed last night, a wedding at a Shaivite temple next to a river where people fish and cross using large coracles, and a picture of a Keshava temple.
Sadly, the Lalita Mahal contained several examples of stuffed Indian lions which a previous maharaj had “bagged”. We like Lalita. These lions are found near Girnar, in Gujarat, which is now a reserve, thanks goodness.
The Lalita Mahal is not as expensive as you might think, because it’s run by the Indian government. It has a lovely decayed feel to it. We fended off various vendors offering massages, rugs, sandalwood objects and the like, and made for the billiard room and bar, where we seemed to be the only guests.