The Bettelu Letters
Introduction Bettelu Letter #1 Bettelu Letter #2 Bettelu Letter #3 Srimati Nerode's Comments Interview Notes Amanuensis Press Glimpses of Divine Glory


To explain to our youngest sons what we did with a decade of our lives before we met them. Our oldest son knows, for he lived through some of those years. Knew Yogananda as my brother. He is not a holy man. He is not God. Disappointed in him.


Betty and her mother came to meetings. Betty and her mother where living in an apartment in Hollywood.  They had come to give Betty a change at the movies. She was an exquisitely beautiful brunette with the classical peaches and cream complexion, charming, sweet. Her father was a typesetter in Indianapolis and he was supporting them. Her mother had a face with sharper features, had lighter colored hair, and probably was quite pretty at Betty’s age.  

My introduction to Betty and her mother was in their Hollywood apartment. Sri Nerode and I were there with Swami Yogananda. I wondered at Swami Yogananda’s request to drive him there. He had never need me to chauffeur him before. He had a chauffeur and did not need me. It became clear why he did not want X. it was instantly obvious why he‘d asked Betty and her mother to move to Mount Washington. He was crazy about her. That was clear. His physical demeanor betrayed it. A man with a crush on a beautiful would-be movie starlet. Swami or not, celibate or not. It was plain impatience on his part. I was astonished but not astonished neither, men are men, humans are humans.  

We gathered their luggage put them in my car and went to Mount Washington. Swami Yogananda went in, alone, leaving us to take Betty and her mother and their luggage in as if they were our guests.  

The mother spent her time doing a sculpture of Swami Yogananda., Full figure about a foot high, I think some of them were sold. SY had Betty in his apartment quite often. He had a couch full of soft pillows, where eventually he had her lie while he caressed her and then wanted on top or her. She then came to Sri Nerode to ask him to help her get away.

They did not have a car. It was a mile down the hill to the street car.

Sri talked to SY who was furious. Betty was not obedient. Sri was interfering. Sri asked SY, “Why don’t you marry one of them?” SY jumped a couple of feet of the floor several times and there was an explosion of anger in Bengali. I don’t understand Bengali but things were never the same again.  

Betty wrote a long letter to Sri . . .

[The full text of Srimati’s Memoirs can be read on this page]