Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mohini Dadlani

From Paulette to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 2 November 2010 11:36 subject Please post the following, also attached
Dear Tusar,
Please post the following, also attached. Is there an end to the bloodshed?
Mohini Dadlani, who joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1953, is no more. She had just taken her bath and collapsed on October 26, at 10 in the morning, the day of the second hearing for the court case against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.  Same time?
Aurovilians remember her as the lady in white, who used to accompany Kireet Joshi, whenever he came to Auroville during his six year tenure as Chairman of the Auroville Foundation. Appointed by the Mother as the registrar of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram schools, in 1976 Kireet became Indira Gandhi’s special adviser on education; in doing so he saved the Sri Aurobindo Ashram from being nationalized. Kireet is a renowned Aurobindonian and Vedic scholar and has authored many books. He was also a major champion of Auroville in its fight against the Sri Aurobindo Society that, for legal reasons, had defined Sri Aurobindo’s teachings as a religion. He is also the father of the Auroville Foundation Act that was approved by Parliament and which allowed the Government of India to put an end to the conflict and take over Auroville.
Kireet Joshi, who was one year senior to Mohini, was her teacher when she was studying philosophy at University.  She joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at 22, as soon as she completed her studies, and Kireet joined one year later. The Mother made them live in the same compound, appointing Mohini as Kireet’s secretary and making her learn how to cook in order to feed him.  Their relationship was purely spiritual and Kireet was her teacher for life.
Mohini wanted to know all that was happening in Auroville, even after Dr. Karan Singh replaced Kireet as Chairman, and she eagerly read the Auroville News as soon as she could get a copy. She was my friend and confident, and whenever I had something to convey to Kireet, Mohini invited me to have lunch with them. She had an incredible capacity for sympathetic listening and whenever I was upset because of some Auroville matter, or the present four court cases regarding Peter Heehs’s biography, she was there to give support and encouragement.
The last time I saw Mohini was on the eve of her death, with the court hearing scheduled for the next day. That morning I received the first horrific email from “Prof Kamal Das” and, in the afternoon, somebody, who is not even living here, gave me the anti-Ashram leaflet, which that gentleman had written. While picking up my bicycle, which Mohini had stored at her place, I told her that, in order to wash away the dark formation, I was on my way to visit J. K. K., the Mother’s attendant until 1962, during the time the Mother’s heart stopped due to being confronted by the false Sri Aurobindo (see the April conversations in the Agenda). My encounter with J. K. K. was extraordinary. When I returned to park my bicycle, Mohini was in the company of another old ashramite who, like Mohini, had joined the ashram in the fifties. I told both of them that I had just come across Kireet, who was merged in such a deep meditation that he remained unaware of my presence, and the three of us laughed heartedly. We remembered how J. K. K., who had joined the Mother in 1937 when she was twenty, was not allowed to live with her husband (he had come before her) or even speak to him. When their son also came, years later, he too had to live separate from either parent. Mohini and the lady mentioned other ashramites – starting with Nolini-da and his wife – who had been married to each other, without anybody else being aware of it. In those years the Mother applied the same strict rules to everyone.
I felt like flying in the sky, feeling as if the true Sri Aurobindo Ashram still was alive.  But back in Auroville, I found a second email from “Prof Kamal Das”, as monstrous as the first one. The next morning, the day of the hearing, somebody alerted me that “Prof” had posted in SEOF a sacrilegious excerpt from his first email to me. One hour later Mohini died. But only on November 1st (the day of the third hearing?)  I learned that my friend had passed away. In the West, this was All Saints day…
I was told that the day of the second hearing hundreds of ashramites, queuing up on the road, visited Mohini on her death bed, where she had lived, opposite to Ganesh temple. Were they aware of the concomitant happening, in the court? Not even major senior ashramites had been told that there is a fourth petition, this time directly hitting the Ashram trustees! I was the one who had informed Mohini, Kireet, Dolly (Nirodbaran’s niece), Kailash (the Mother’s representative for UNESCO), Richard (to whom the Mother had unveiled the significance of the flowers for the Matrimandir gardens, and with whom she played flower games)...  Lying at rest, Mohini had a faint smile on her face. She escaped these horrible events and was back with the Mother.
Apparently unrelated external events can be meaningfully related synchronistically, as Carl Jung informs us, and the Mother knew. The sudden death of my friend, the previous evening being in such high spirits, reminds me of a song composed during the dictatorship of Franco: “In Spain the flowers no longer wish to live, in Spain the flowers too die…”

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