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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.

Karpagavalli

Karpagavalli Selvanambi, left her body in the evening of Tuesday 22nd August 2017, in a Madurai nursing home to which she had been taken after a stroke in 2013. Her sister and other immediate members of her family were near her. She was 72 years old.

Karpagavalli was a lively and capable teacher in the Tamil language who joined Auroville in 1992. She worked in Isaiambalam school, Ilaignarkal Education Centre, Transformation school and Arulvazhi Education Centre, and will be remembered by many of her pupils and colleagues.

Her remains have been cremated on 23/8, in her home town Madurai.

Gnanavel

Already in the seventies, Gnanavel came from Kottakarai to work as very young boy in the Matrimandir Nursery, readily learning about plants and following schooling at Ilaignarkal. After running an own nursery in Kottakarai for some time, his life became more intimately interwoven with the Matrimandir Nursery when he eventually came to live there in the early nineties, at the time of his joining Auroville for good in ‘92.

Colleagues know him as a quiet, introvert family man, who loved his work, and was dedicated to build the Matrimandir gardens. In these latest years, it was Gnanavel who quietly took up the management of the Nursery, having started there as a kid so long ago.

On 3rd February, 2017 evening due to a stroke caused by high blood pressure Gnanavel left his body. On Thursday Feb 2nd he was taken in serious condition to PIMS from where he was transported to the Ramachandra Medical College in Chennai. His family, wife Geetha and children Madivanan and Kalaiyarasan accompanied him. Just a week ago he had become 53 years old.

Words of August Timmermans his early days mentor ” I have known Gnanavel from 1981 until 1985 when I had joined the Matrimandir Nursery when Daniel Wilms was the Manager there. Narad had left Auroville, and the Nursery went through a tough time. Gnanavel stood out among the workers, meaning he was genuinely interested and involved in the work he did there, and it was significant work: taking care of the high diversity of delicate orchids that Alan Klaas had collected over the years, meant for the Matrimandir Gardens.


Gnanavel was liked for his sensitivity and for the inner joy that expressed itself in a beautiful smile. One day he asked me if he could become an Aurovilian, and for that he needed a one-year supervisor. I accepted the responsibility; unfortunately I left Auroville before that year was completed. Now I learn that only in ’92 he became officially an Aurovilian, seven years later.
Gnanavel was a wonderful presence in the Matrimandir Nursery, it is good to know that he kept working there until the end of his life. I wish his wife and two children all the strength in their lives without him. ”
May you rest in peace, Gnanavel , and thank you for your quiet presence, hesitant smile and calm dedication. Our warmest sympathy and strength go out to Geetha, Madi and Kalay.

Amal Kiran

K.D. Sethna, known in the Ashram and Auroville by the name Sri Aurobindo gave him – Amal Kiran (A Clear Ray) – was born in a Parsi family in Bombay on November 25th 1904. A brilliant student of Philosophy and English Literature, he joined the Ashram in 1927 at the age of 23. His passing, on June 29th 2011 at 12.15pm, after a short illness, marks the loss of a last physical link with the earliest days of the Ashram. For 13 years he was the only person with whom Sri Aurobindo shared passages from his epic Savitri in the course of its composition, and the correspondence between them about the poem gives us invaluable insights into Sri Aurobindo’s intentions and methods in writing the poem. Amal himself was a born poet, whose talent blossomed into genius under the influence and inspiration of Sri Aurobindo. He also authored over 50 books in prose, as well as being a prolific writer of articles and letters, many of which were published in the journal Mother India monthly review of culture which he founded in 1949 with Sri Aurobindo’s blessings, and continued to edit for more than 50 years. Amal was partly crippled by poliomyelitis as a child, but never allowed his handicap to hinder his adventurous spirit much, until two successive hip-fractures, in his 90s, took him to the Ashram Nursing Home, where he spent the last 10 years of his life. Today I imagine his ever-youthful spirit, freed at last from the load of the body, joyfully winging to meet his beloved Mother and Master, He would have been 107 on November 25th. He will be remembered with affection and gratitude by many many people whose lives were warmed and enriched by his clear and smiling Ray.

Sujata

SUJATA NAHAR, born in Calcutta in 1925, spent her early childhood in Santiniketan’s cultural atmosphere under poet Rabindranath Tagore. At the age of seven she lost her mother. Her father, his world shattered, searched for another dimension to his life. He found Sri Aurobindo and Mother at Pondicherry. His children followed him there one by one. Thus Sujata, who first came to Sri Aurobindo in 1935, at the age of nine, decided to remain near him in May 1938. She lived in Pondicherry for forty-three years. At first, she received private tutoring, became secretary to Pavitra, an eminent French mathematician, chemist and engineer, who was Mother’s right-hand man. Sujata also worked with him in his laboratory, where she made a variety of preparations for Mother. She was very actively involved in the new physical education devised by Mother. Satprem arrived at the beginning of 1954. A young man just turned thirty, he taught the top students and assisted Pavitra with the correspondence. Thus Satprem and Sujata came together. Eventually Mother started to make him the confidant of her experiences and asked him to help her with the French translation of Sri Aurobindo’s books. Mother then entrusted Sujata with the typing of her private conversations with Satprem, the Agenda. From 1965 onwards Sujata regularly accompanied Satprem to his meetings with Mother.
After 1973, when Mother left her body, the Ashram changed from a living experiment to a stereotyped institution. In 1978 — Mother’s centenary year — the Ashram trustees expelled Satprem, because of the trilogy he had written on Mother’s life and experiment.
From 1978 onwards, Satprem and Sujata lived far away from Pondicherry, devoting themselves exclusively to Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s work and experiment in the cellular consciousness of the body.
Sujata Nahar is the author of Mother’s Chronicles, a biography of Mother and Sri Aurobindo.