Martin Sobieroj

In the afternoon of Sunday 2 February, our German friend and brother Martin Sobieroj passed away in his room at Arka with some of his friends at his side. He was 76 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. Martin was ready to go and had opted to stay away from heavy treatment and follow the natural course of the disease, a choice which he -admirably- adhered to apart from accepting some pain plasters at the very end.

Being a searcher from young age onwards, Martin already came to Auroville in 77 but it became clear that for him it was not the right time, or possibly not the right motivation. When he returned 15 years later with the sincere intent to further his spiritual development here, he very soon got in contact with Gangalakshmi with whom he started working at L’Agenda de Mère in Aspiration and became Aurovilian in ‘94. When the House of Mother’s Agenda (HOMA) moved to Savitri Bhavan in 2006, he continued his non-stop research and information work such as answering questions from Aurovilians pertaining to Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s work, making indexes and compilations of their texts whenever needed, preparing with Gangalakshmi the HOMA pages for News&Notes and so on, always in a spirit of collaboration and giving.

Apart from writing several texts on Auroville’s Integral Yoga and context, and regularly participating in discussions on Auronet, Martin also wrote the published book ‘Der Stern des Abgrundes: das Medium Adolf Hitler im Lichte Sri Aurobindo und Der Mutter (‘The star of the abyss: the medium Adolf Hitler in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’), a collection of statements from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on the mediumistic nature of Hitler for which Martin, by widely researching German literature of the time, documented convincing confirmations. The book gives a good overview of the occult Hitler phenomenon largely ignored by historians.

Thanking him for having been a reference point for many, we pray that purification and rejuvenation be his share in the Light.


For an interesting overview of his life, in his own words:
https://youtu.be/taQYIowP6tY


* * *

From Louise:

I met Martin only a handful of times while in the company of Auroculture. It was he who sparked my interest to read Mother’s Agenda, having told me he read a couple of pages every day!

Thank you Martin, you enriched my life!

* * *

From Brigitta Sobieroj:

My brother Martin, who is 1 year older than me, spent a childhood in poverty with my mother and I, during 12 years after the second world war. My grandmother idolized Martin. He spent every afternoon with her. Martin was an overweight and lonely boy. His classmates teased him. He didn’t play with them but prefered reading Greek Legends.In 1955 Adenauer negotiated with Bulganin in Moscow so that the last German prisoners of war could go home. Our father was among these last German prisoners. Then our family life changed. Martin separated from his grandmother and lived again in the family home. Martin became slim. Then 3 young brothers were born into our family – Michael, Florian and Wolfgang. Martin attended a boarding school in another town and successfully completed his education there. He then went to university. Michael, Florian and Wolfgang loved their older brother, his incense sticks, and his glowing eyes when he spoke about Sri Aurobindo. His grandmother always waited for him, for his return from Auroville. With 103 years, she could wait no longer. Dear Martin, rest in peace.


Der Stern des Abgrundes: das Medium Adolf Hitler im
Lichte Sri Aurobindo und Der Mutter

by Martin Sobieroj (Satparam)

A collection of statements from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on the Mediumistic nature of Hitler. This book gives a good overview of the occult Hitler phenomenon largely ignored by historians.

Published by: Lulu, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Language: German
Pages: 463

PDF Book: der_stern_des_abgrund

Subash Chandra

This is to inform the community that in the morning of Saturday, 1 February, our good friend and brother Subash (M.S. Subash Chandra) passed away in Mahalakshmi Home, surrounded by his AVHS caretakers and friends. He had just become 74 earlier this month and had been battling Parkinson’s disease since several years.

Born in Madurai, and after obtaining an B.E. (Electrical) at Madras University, Subash read some texts by Mother and Sri Aurobindo which deeply touched him. He travelled to Pondicherry in 1971 for Mother’s public darshan with as result that, at the age of 27, he joined Auroville in 1973 where he became part of the Last School team in Aspiration. It may have been here that his interest in education began. However, as he gradually felt the need for a more personal guidance in his spiritual development, he left Auroville at the end of ’74 to join a karma yogi elsewhere with whom he stayed for 18 years.

Having been introduced to various methods of education during that time, Subash returned to Auroville in 1994 in order to conduct a 4-months experiment with 12 kindergarten children of New Creation Bilingual (now Aikiyam) School, using the Glenn Doman Word Flash Cards method which he wanted to test on their authenticity and usefulness. This was one of the first such efforts in Auroville. It proved successful and from there he became a much-appreciated teacher at the school’s primary level.

In 1996, when Lisa left Isai Ambalam school, he was asked to take over and this became the love of his life. He continued studying and applying more alternative educational approaches, one after another, and trained the teachers to use them.  At the same time, he wrote a number of papers on these various systems, bringing them to the attention of many schools in Tamil Nadu. He also conducted ‘Consecration’ and other workshops and week-ends, introducing young Aurovilians and residents in the bioregion to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. When several years ago the STEM Land Project started in the school, its educational direction somewhat changed, while still integrating the use of these effective innovative approaches for maximizing the learning of the students.

Subash was determined in getting education to whomever needed. He started out in a small house in New Creation, from where he moved to Isai Ambalam, then Creativity, and this last half year he remained in Mahalakshmi Home, where he bloomed up through the round-the-clock, loving attention from the residents and AVHS ladies. Many of his students will dearly miss him and pray for his good journey to the Light, and so does Auroville with love and gratitude.

Subash’s remains were taken to the Crown Road Farewell Centre and were buried on Sunday morning, 2 February, with members of his family, Isai Ambalam staff, students and friends attending.

Navoditte (Norman Thomas)

At around 3am of Saturday morning 1 February, our long-term friend and brother, Aurovilian-of-the-first-hour Navoditte (Norman Thomas) left his body at the age of 93 at Marika Home, quietly in his sleep. During the last few days he had steadily withdrawn and was in peace.

Originally from Wales, UK, Navoditte was an author and poet. In 1963 his first book ‘Ask at the Unicorn’ was published to critical acclaim in UK and USA. When travelling in USA in the sixties, he met his wife Alice, and many of the major poets and writers of the time. In 1967 Navoditte came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and worked at Senteurs. He attended Auroville’s inauguration and moved to Aspiration around 1971 where he was involved in the Prosperity distributions of that time. He was part of the group that regularly met with the Mother (which conversations were recorded in ‘Aspiration Talks’). Extensively making notes on the turmoil events of those early years, he later destroyed them because he no longer wanted to be caught up in the memories thereof.

During the 80’s, Navoditte worked in Shuttle Technology library at Aurelec, as its librarian. Already still in the seventies, he had moved with Alice to Certitude where he functioned for some time as the weatherman, living in the Eco House and taking daily weather records. Eventually the couple built their own house there where they lived until Alice passed away after which he moved to Invocation. Several years ago he moved to Marika Home where he spent a good and happy last stretch of his life.

In 2003 his ‘The thousand-petalled daisy’ book was published in which he describes the experiences, findings, emotional growth and understanding of a young person’s first encounters with life in India, the Mother and himself in a rather unique and intimate way. Navoditte’s poems appeared in ‘Mother India’, ‘Sri Aurobindo’s action’, ‘50 poems from Auroville’ and other collections. (An excerpt of ‘With stump of candle’ is posted here at the end.)

Those who closely knew Navoditte will remember him for his great sense of humour and self-depreciation, and honour him for his unique contribution to Auroville through his steady composure and commitment to the highest ideals. For most of us he was a quietly present, early-on pioneer and stalwart old-faithful, whose passing seems the end of an era.

Thank you, Navoditte.

It is the dark world
I leave behind me on this pilgrimage…
Yet…He who meets me
greets me not with scorn
as I deserve, but with his grace.
It is almost too much for me to bear.



* * *

From Alan Herbert:

Navoditte 1926 – 2020 Navoditte came to the Ashram in 1967 with his wife, Alice, and in February, 1968 attended the inauguration of Auroville. He moved to Aspiration in 1971 where he was part of the group that met Mother a number of times, conversations subsequently recorded in ‘Aspiration Talks’. Later he moved to the Eco-House in Certitude where he was the weatherman, taking daily records of sun and wind. During the 1980s he worked for some time as the librarian at Aurelec. Above all, he was a fine writer. His best work navigates a delicate line between quicksilver humour and profundity, reflecting both his wry, self-deprecating take on life (he once wrote that the most marvellous phrase in the English language was “I don’t know) as well as his deep philosophical introspection and quiet devotion to The Mother. What he wrote about the ancient Chinese poet, Tao Yuang-Ming, could well have been written about himself: “He was quiet, even taciturn, had no desire for riches or fame. He amused himself with books, but never to such an extent that he would trouble himself with exact interpretations…He amused himself by writing occasion poems, wherein his aspirations are revealed, having no interest in worldly success or failure. And so his life passed to its end.” Navoditte, like Yuang-Ming, also loved laughter. Typically, he wrote his own funeral poem. It begins

“You won’t need a coffin

To carry me off in
But a sheet
Would be rather neat”

and ends

“No music. No heavy breathing. No words
Just – if you’re lucky – the sound of birds
And then, with the rising smoke
Let some-in-the-crowd bloke
Give a vote of thanks on my behalf,
And then you all can laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh”.

Navoditte passed away on 1st February at the age of 93. He was buried in Auroville’s burial ground three days later. His quiet, twinkle-eyed presence will be sorely missed.

Christian Koradi

In the evening of Friday 17 January, our Aurovilian brother Christian Koradi left his body at his home in Prarthana, at the age of 69. Suffering from severe back pain, he had been treated in Santé since June last year for Arteritis Temporalis (Giant Cell Arteritis), a rare auto-immune vasculitis. In his last days, his condition aggravated and he may have succumbed to an acute flare up of the same. His dedicated house worker and AVHS Dr Amarnath were with him at the time.

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Christian came first to Auroville in 2003. He became Aurovilian in 2006 while working at Matrimandir Nursery where he was in charge of the hibiscus section for several years. Later he mainly stayed at his home in Prarthana, living a rather solitary life, maintaining his garden with great love and care, meditating and studying Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s works, and often visiting the Chamber.

Christian unexpectedly passed away – may his inner connection guide him straight to the Light. His remains were cremated in the late afternoon of Tuesday 21 January at Auroville’s mandappam near Adventure. Our condolences go out to his ex-wife Denise and son Daniel.

Ingo H.W. Torp

In the morning of Tuesday 7 January 2020, our good friend and brother Ingo H.W. Torp left his body at the age of 77 in Santé, after staying two days in the ICU in PIMS. Ingo had a weakened body due to a chronic heart condition, and succumbed to pneumonia gone septic. Some of his friends were with him during the time of transition.

Born in Riga, Latvia, Ingo grew up Germany. Being a teacher, and hearing about Auroville’s educational system, he came first to Auroville in 1976. As there were no schools functioning yet at the time, he stayed and worked in Forecomers and Success and got interested in homeopathy. During the turmoil that plagued AV those days, Ingo moved to New Community in Certitude to eventually leave in 1984. He got married and worked in Hamburg as a school teacher while becoming a Heilpraktiker and deepening his knowledge of homeopathy. In 1996 he founded, along with others, the SdH-Hamburg, a school of homeopathy where he worked as lecturer and teacher. He also worked as archivist at the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). In 2009 he returned to Auroville where he lived in the Needam premises in Certitude.

Aurovilians got to know him as a concerned and apt homeopath, as member of the Residents’ Service team, as a mouth organ player ready to jive with groups in concerts, and as an actor in various theatre plays. Last month, already in weakened condition, he insisted on still playing the burglar role in ‘Noises on, Noises off’.

Ingo’s body was taken to the Farewell Centre on the Crown Road, where friends could bid a last farewell. In the afternoon of Sunday 12 January, the burial took place at Auroville’s burial grounds, with his two sons from Germany and friends attending.

Farewell, Ingo. Thank you for having come back and for again sharing your energies with Mother’s city. May you rest in peace.

* * *

From Peter Conradi:

After hearing about my great-uncle Ingo’s death last night, I’m trying to learn more about his recent years in Auroville. His last sign of life came to me from May 1, 2019 when he was in Hamburg, as so often. For many years I met my great-uncle there earlier and developed a trusting relationship with him, which has been lost for about 10 years. I still see with great admiration how much he committed himself to Auroville as a definite life’s work, and I wish the community Auroville all the best!

Heinrich K Weihrauch

On Wednesday evening, December 25th 2019, our friend and brother Heinrich K Weihrauch peacefully passed away in his Auromodèle home at the age of 81. He had suffered a number of strokes since 2010.

Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Heinrich met his future wife Chantal (Shanta) Gowa in 1980 in France and, having lived in Germany for some 10 years, they came to India in ’91. Heinrich became Aurovilian in ’96. Being a qualified allopathic physician, he later became a homeopath and naturopath as well. Moreover, he was a fervent pianist and cello player, giving many public performances over the years. His last public performance was just around a year ago in Cripa and he was working on the next.

With his open and friendly personality, Auroville will remember him with love, and with gratitude for sharing moments of his fine, musical joy with us all.

Having laid in Auroville’s Farewell Centre for a last viewing and visit, Heinrich’s remains were cremated in the afternoon of Sunday, 29 December, at the Auroville cremation grounds with friends and family attending.

Our warmest condolences go out to his wife Shanta, son Coriolan, and son Bernhard and brother Manfred (the latter two in Europe) and his grandchildren.


Ingrid Tayde

Born on 8.9.1943 in Hoehr-Grenzhausen, Germany, Ingrid studied music and became a violinist in the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

Ingrid visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the first time in 1972. During one of her following visits, she met her future husband Prabhakar Tayde, architect in the then ‘Aurofuture’ architects office. Prabhakar introduced her to Aurovilian Dorothee Hach, as the latter played the flute and during the weeks Ingrid was here they played together. Ingrid also gave a violin performance at the Last School amphitheatre and in the Ashram Hall of Harmony.

She got married to Prabhakar in March 1975, with whom she had a daughter, Mandala.

During all the subsequent years, Ingrid remained in contact with Dorothee, and she and Mandala visited Auroville several times. For many years she was a member of AVI Germany.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Ingrid experienced the first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and about a year later she had to give up her career as a musician and her position as violinist in the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

She then wanted to come to Auroville permanently, but because of her deteriorating health she could never apply to become Newcomer. She built a house on the Utility Road, opp. Sangamam and named it ‘Inner Peace’. Here she lived with some companions who faithfully looked after her wellbeing till she peacefully passed away on the 19th of this month after being admitted in PIMS for only one day.

From the early 1970s Ingrid was deeply influenced by Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s Yoga and she tried to live the many years of her debilitating illness in Their light.

Arusha

This is to inform the community that Arusha Shridhar Drouin passed away yesterday, 30 November, at the age of 40 after a long battle with cancer. She was a Friend of Auroville and volunteered as a teacher in Deepanam.

She leaves behind her husband, Thomas Drouin and their daughter, Norah.

The cremation took place on December 1st  at the cremation ground in Muthialpet, near Sivaji Ganesan statue.

Our deepest condolences to her family.

OM~

Nilesh

Our good friend and brother, Nilesh Premji Nisar of Arc-en-Ciel community, passed away around midday on Tuesday 5 November 2019, at the Kidney Centre in Pondicherry at the age of 49. He had suffered weak kidneys for quite some time and needed frequent dialysis treatment. His wife Geeta was with him during his transition.

Hailing from Bombay, Nilesh, Geeta and their young son Aditya arrived in Auroville in 2000. He had a clear penchant for business and, after an initially somewhat difficult time in finding his right place, he started working among others with Upasana and Naturellement. He also supported Auroville’s commercial units in discovering new markets and retail outlets across India. The couple’s ‘Natraj’ unit, which makes high-quality food products, has developed a reputation with food connoisseurs and conscious consumers.

Our warmest condolences and strength go to his wife Geeta, who enormously contributed to the setting up of ‘Natraj’, and their two sons Aditya (24) and Harsh (15).

Family passing: Sundar, Maheshwari, Kirthiga and Samicsha

Sundar, Maheshwari, Kirthiga and Samicsha

Auroville is gradually coming to terms with the sorrow and shock of losing four of its residents.

With deep regret, we inform the community that Sundar (Sundharamurthy Murugesan), his wife Maheshwari and their two daughters Kirthiga and Samicsha died in their home in Auromodele around 14 of October 2019. This was discovered on the night of Thursday 17th.

Having come into Auroville respectively via New Creation’s and Ananda’s Fraternity Boarding, and after marriage starting out in Big Boys Boarding for some time, it was from around 2003 that Sundar and Mahesh lived as a young couple with their small children in Surya Nivas community, Auromodèle. Sundar (Sundaramoorthy Murugesan, born 1976) had originally come from Kuilyapalayam, while Mahesh (Maheshwari, born 1978) hailed from Periya Mudhaliyar Chavadi. Both felt at home in Surya Nivas, and daughters Kirthiga (born 2002) and Samichsha (born 2007) grew up with other children in the community and followed Auroville schooling with pleasure. Kirthiga had been a student at New Era Secondary School, and Samichsha attended Transition.

Always being readily available in Surya Nivas for maintenance work, and also being a badminton player and teacher, Sundar’s main work was with Auroville’s Dental Clinic where he worked as technician, general assistant and overall handyman. While Mahesh in her younger years was an ardent basketball player, as a mother she was more reserved, meticulously taking care of her daughters’ appearance and wellbeing. For more than 20 years her day job was at Solar Kitchen, where she was one of the Aurovilians taking care of the fresh salads that needed to be prepared for the daily lunch. She is remembered as a regular, reliable worker.

Around 2011 the family built a house at the other side of Auromodèle and has been living there ever since, while continuing their lives as contributing residents and their daughters growing into lively teenagers.

Now they are no more. It was reported that there were financial problems but, whatever karma prompted their sudden demise, they will be remembered and honoured for their contribution to Auroville’s growth.

In the late afternoon of 18 October, the four bodies were buried at Auroville’s funeral grounds near Adventure with many attending. After members of their families and many close friends gave way to their grief and sorrow, a silence came down on the flower-covered graves, and prayers for our four friends could take shape and ascend with the gently flowing incense.

Our heartfelt love and condolences go out to the parents, brothers, sisters and other family members of Sundar and Mahesh, for whom this is an unspeakable loss. May you find peace.

Samiksha’s birthday in March 2015