Shri Anil Kumar Jauhar (20 January 1930 - 28 February 2014)
Principled, Polite and Punctual
Shri Anil Kumar Jauhar, the eldest son of the founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch, and an inseparable part of the Ashram and its associated educational institutions ever since their inception, left suddenly on 28 February 2014 in "the hour before the Gods awake" to take refuge in The Mother’s lap. In 1939, nine year old Anil, the founder, and a friend of the founder (Prof. Indra Sen) made their first visit to Pondicherry. He was the last of the trio still with us. Therefore, with Anilji's departure, a vital link of the Ashram with its past has been snapped. Anilji did not marry, but was a father figure to many large families - the Ashram community, The Mother's International School, Mirambika, and the S.N. Sunderson Company.
Anil ji's devotion to The Mother was total. He observed all the four austerities described by the Mother with great sincerity and intensity. At the physical level, his needs were few, but he took good care of his health. He ate very little, and could not be tempted to eat anything just because it was palatable. Heat and cold did not bother him. In summers, not only he did not need an air conditioner, he could take an evening walk well before sunset. In winters, he did not use a heater. As a young person, he excelled in sports; later in life, he walked a lot. Till a couple of years ago, he walked a good five kilometers briskly every evening; of late, he had slowed down and walked less, but he still walked regularly, without a walking stick, till the very last evening while he was in the body. At the vital level, he had power, but he used it sparingly, without fear or favour, for the general good. At the mental level, he observed extreme austerity of speech. He spoke only when necessary, only as much as necessary. He was basically a doer, not a talker. At the psychic level, he had immense love for The Mother and all of Her children.
Anil ji was polite to a fault, but firm when it came to principles. He could be swayed neither by pressure nor by proximity. Although he ran a business, at heart he was not a businessman. Quite early on, he had asked for The Mother’s permission to wind up the business. But She had told him to continue with it because business should not be entirely left under the control of the Asuric (evil) forces. He continued with the business, but ran it with total detachment. He had genuine concern for the welfare of all the employees of S.N. Sunderson & Company. He was sincerely committed to the motto of the company, "an honest business for honest people", given to it by The Mother. In the Ashram affairs, he was scrupulous in keeping it away from commerce and politics, no matter what the temptation, of which there are plenty. He was extremely punctual. He came for meetings a few minutes before time; but was at the same time so polite that he never had a harsh word for others who might be late. At the Ashram and School functions, he insisted that we start the program on time, even if the chief guest was late. If the chief guest was late, he was simply received by a suitable person when he arrived, escorted to the function, and, if tea had been served before the function, the chief guest was served tea during the function. Thus, the chief guest was not humiliated, but the function began exactly on time. He was generous, and a very good host. As a young person, he was a good sportsman - he was very good at lawn tennis and cricket – and he retained the sportsman’s spirit as long as he lived. He was a man of simple and predictable habits. His typical daily routine during the last few years was to be in the office in the forenoon, and come to the Ashram around four in the evening. In the Ashram, the first thing he did was to visit the Shrine and the Meditation Hall for Pranaams, take an evening walk, have tea with Tara Didi, and have another short walk with her. When the call came to proceed for everlasting peace in The Mother's lap, he did not linger. The soul departed to where it truly belonged, and the body that stayed back had peace and contentment writ large on the face that bore a beatific smile.