Vinod, who hails from Andhra Pradesh and lived here in Prayatna, joined Auroville in 1992. After working for some time in Pour Tous, he started organising a little stall in Kottakarai with organic fruits for which he would bicycle up and down in the area to obtain the best wares he could find. Over the years, the stall grew out into the small but pucca HERS supermarket, located beside Ganesh Bakery – a multi-supply point for the area.
Vinod’s remains were brought to the new Farewell centre just off Auroville’s Crown Road for a last viewing by friends. As per his very specific request to be cremated in Auroville itself, his family conceded and, respecting his wish, his brothers and sisters were present during the cremation at Adventure’s mandappam in the late afternoon of on Sunday October 4th. Along with Vinod’s Aurovilian friends, they performed the last rites for their brother and were grateful to do this in the harmonious atmosphere and late-hour colouring of the day.
Thank you, Vinod, for having brought HERS into being.
our good friend and long-term sister Ursula Mack quietly left her body at the age of 91, surrounded by friends in her Samasti house after a long period of gradual and peaceful withdrawal.
Ursula, who hailed from Germany and at a later stage mainly lived and worked in Switzerland and Italy, has been visiting the Ashram and Auroville since the very early years during which she met the Mother. In Germany she was an active member of the AVI team there (for instance by hosting in 1983 the AVI meeting in her brother’s house in Laubach). Immediately after retirement Ursula came to Auroville, in 1990, where she became the much appreciated, very first professional resident physiotherapist helping Aurovilians wherever she could. She became instrumental in the building of Pitanga and Quiet healing centre, and also in her Samasti house people were welcome when in need for treatment, advice or just a chat.
Ursula’s friendly and loving nature was apparent till the end. After a second stroke, she became bedridden and quite indrawn but even while going through increasingly profound physical crises; she always managed to convey a steady, faithful and grateful disposition, evoking deep contact and love in the ones caring for her.
For years, around this time, Ursula ordered some hundred Christmas Stollen-breads baked by the Auroville Bakery as per her German recipe, which she personally delivered by taxi to her friends – now she has gone… Thank you for everything, dear Ursula, our love and prayers accompany you on the way to the Light.
Shyamsundar Jhunjhunwalla passed away at his residence near the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, possibly due to recent heart problems. During the last years his health had been withering. He was 84 years old.
Shyamsundar, who was appointed by the Mother as the secretary of Auroville affairs, was involved in the township from the very beginning and had a house in Certitude. Those of us who came to join in the early seventies, may remember his sparkling humour and winning smile with which they were received.
Although Auroville’s developing years may have brought situations where not all were seeing eye to eye with him, we cannot but salute him with respect and appreciation.
At the cremation of his remains, which took place at the Ashram section of the Karuvadikuppam cremation ground in the afternoon of the next day, a number of Aurovilians were among the Ashramites who bade him farewell.
Prabhaben Dhandhania, who was in charge of Auroville Prosperity in the early years, has passed away in her Ashram premises on the 31st of March.
As Prabhaben was one of Mother’s close contacts regarding Auroville Prosperity matters in those formative years, she is remembered by us with gratitude and respect.
It was with shock that the community received the news of the sudden passing of our good friend and sister Petra Janko, who left her body at the age of 55 in Pondy’s General Hospital in the early morning of 17 August. At the time she was with her husband, who lives in Pondy, and felt unwell after which she was taken to the hospital.
Hailing from Germany, Petra joined Auroville in 1999 and lived in Auromodele.
Most of us know her for the quiet and dependable way in which she coordinated Inside India’s Travelshop for a great many years. She had just now left the Travelshop last year, ready to further explore new and more creative activities in Auroville and in herself.
Lucia, who grew up in Auroville, was just 20 years old. She had graduated from Future School last year and worked in the Auroville pre-crèche.
Auroville mourns the passing of young and vibrant Lucia (born in Spain, nationality French), who left her body in the afternoon of Friday 25th February after a road incident while returning from Rameshwaram with a group of her Kailash friends.
Young and old came to bid her goodbye in the AV Health Centre’s Farewell room where her peaceful face remained the still centre of the space. The streams of flowers, messages and other gestures of love that her passing generated at various places in Auroville, testified to Lucia’s sweet and outreaching nature, and to her care for those she came across during her time with us.
June Maher, founder of the Auroville Association/Auroville International USA, passed away on Friday April 25th in the Watsonville, CA hospital, the same day that her husband had left four years earlier. Her son Grant was with her. As Andrea van der Loo put it in an announcement, “June had been suffering the long term after effects of a heart condition in the form of severe oedema which kept her mostly chair bound with round the clock care. But the discomfort did not affect her. Being confined to her living room, her legs constantly wrapped in pressure bandages, being hauled from one doctor’s appointment to another, her spirit was unwavering. She would chuckle: “I’m just here in my sacred cave,” and laugh at her condition. She had surrendered to her children’s desire that she follow ‘doctor’s orders’, which she then did most conscientiously. June never wanted anyone to worry about her, because her spirit was with the Divine Mother and she had complete faith.
There is a presence and poise about Juanita Cole. Her domineer speaks of grace and gentility. The ethnic clothes she wears recall memories of many lands and many languages. Juanita’s calm, gently-modulated voice suggests that she has been in conversations with dignitaries from around the world. Indeed she has been. For 30 years Juanita held a position
in the Foreign Service of the U.S. State Department. She was one of the first African American women to hold such a position.
In France she hosted dinner parties for the international set.In more than a dozen countries, Juanita entertained her guests with music, dancing and gourmet foods—many of them made with her own hands. This was Juanita’s life when she was in good health—before the debilitating effects of severe diabetes.
Now she spends her days at the Johnson Center. She likes to go out for lunch and be around people. She enjoys mind-stimulating activities and best of all, she can’t wait for the dancing and music to begin after lunch. But be advised, when you ask her to dance, you are in for the ride of your life. Her feet explode to the beat with energetic stomps. Her arms punctuate the air in rhythmic gyrations. For a moment she is queen of the dance floor, transported to a different country in another world.
This site is a work in progress for honouring the participation of the blessed souls in the creation of the reality of Auroville. If you have any information on the people who have contributed in the Auroville process and hasn’t yet been displayed here, kindly contact us with the relevant information, pictures and videos. With thanks, Honouring Participation Team.