Shyam Sundar

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

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.

Petra

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 Mirra Reboul

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


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.

Juanita Cole

 

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.

Ingo Wey

Ingo, who had a masters degree in psychology, joined Auroville in 2004. He started out in Certitude and was in the process of settling in Hope. After initially working with AquaDyn, he has been involved in his therapeutic Soma initiative, as well as in a great variety of projects, working groups and research pertaining to town planning, alternative energy and new farming techniques. Lately he also gave talks to visiting students in the framework of the University of Human Unity.
We hold this quite unusual man, who had chosen a difficult karma, high in our prayers today.

Anand

Anand grew up as student in the Ashram and came in 2003 to Auroville via the late Madhanlal Himatsingka. He has been working with us as sports teacher in Dehashakti and Deepanam and stayed in Courage where his flat was an oasis of peace, quiet and serenity. Unfortunately these last years the precarious condition of his kidneys took him out of Auroville for medical treatments from time to time.
We will remember him, true to his name, as a gentle, quiet and conscientious person whose contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was natural, evident and silently radiant.
Anand’s body was taken up in the Farewell centre on the Crown road where friends bade him farewell from Tuesday December 1st onwards. The remains will be cremated at Adventure’s mandappam.

Amar Singh

An ardent devotee of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, Amar Singh, aged 97 years, left his body on November 10, 2006 at 18:45 hrs, Kailisah Hospital, Noida. A couple of hours before he departed for his heavenly abode, he lay straight on his back, a position he could not assume during the last few days, and wanted to listen to The Mother’s music. We couldn’t help but notice the glow around him, as he lay in that peaceful and blissful state. Moments later, he requested us to dim the lights, and he started remembering all his loved ones. He blessed us all with love and happiness.

Fondly remembering his days in Orissa he said, “I have lived the best period of my life at Orissa, especially Bhubaneshwar. Convey my love and blessings to all those I was corresponding with. They are doing The Mother’s work very well and must continue to do so. Mother will guide them.”

He also remembered all the sadhaks of Pondicherry, especially Asha, whom he considered as his daughter, and conveyed his best wishes and love to all. He also enquired if his prayers have been offered at the Samadhi in Pondicherry.

Having remembered all, he narrated the following: “I am seeing a big hall with many people sitting. Now devi and devtas (gods and goddesses) have arrived and they are around me and talking to me. Mother, presiding over the ceremony, is behind a veil looking beautiful.” After a small pause he said, “I am sitting in front of the people. Suddenly there is nobody, only my wife is sitting and waiting for me. Together we go to another place where there are 2000 people but there is perfect discipline and absolute silence. There is no pain in my body anywhere. How strange? During my life time, I have never had this experience. Now Mother is calling me. I must go. I am a happy and contented man. Don’t call me from behind or weep after I go. Remain in The Mother’s consciousness always and She will guide you. Always distribute love.”

At that time, he was still awaiting for Puneeta, his grand dauther-in law, who was on her way to the hospital to see him. As she arrived he said, “Puneeta, you have come. Kiss me. Now you have to take care of everything. I’ve explained all to Krishnee.” (youngest daughter)

Puneeta was holding his hand and felt the soul depart.

Before he left his body my doctor sister Geeta was monitoring his pulse and blood pressure, both of which were normal. We had stopped all medicines but still his pain had vanished. He was painless and absolutely in peace. Even the swelling on his left arm and eye had mystically disappeared.

7

7 (Ramachandra Rao who insisted he be named ‘7’) passed away in a Chennai hospital where his family had taken him. Exact date and cause are still unconfirmed.

He was 67 years old.

7, who joined Auroville in the early seventies and has been here off and on since then, may always remain an enigma for us as his apparently passionate and burning need to express his inner findings and vision of Auroville tended to come through in a continuous flow of not easy to follow monologues, profoundly interlaced with his interpretation of the vision of our founders. At times his sense of reality may have wavered, possibly caused by a too great intensity of a not yet settled inner life.

In these later years, many may have witnessed 7, prim and cleanly dressed, quietly sitting at a corner of La Terrace on the roof of Solar Kitchen, playing his flute for hours on end in the late afternoon sun.