Ananda (Jean-François R.L. Bertaux) Born in Paris, Ananda discovered there the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in his early twenties. Before coming to Auroville, he stayed in Japan, where he learned Aikido, the Japanese language, and teamed up with life partner Michiko, who helped him translate The adventure of consciousness’ into Japanese and made a very first start of establishing an Auroville centre in Tokyo. In 1982, the pair joined Auroville where he picked up on the work of black belter André Pithon who had taught Aikido in Aspiration in the early 70’s. Now an authentic dojo emerged in Fraternity and under Ananda’s guidance, skill and teaching Aikido entered Auroville for good. He also took over the remaining part of the ‘Lotus Fraternity’ unit, producing hammocks, Japanese lampshades and floor mats, while at the same time running a Girls’ Boarding at the entrance of Fraternity Ananda was a linguist with an enormous feel for language; he would learn a language for the sheer fun of it. His and Michiko’s weekly language sessions at Solar Kitchen’s la Terrace, mostly in French but easily expanding into other tongues, were lively and fun and attracted quite a few participants. It was heartening to see this man, who had a friendly, gentle and unobtrusive way of being, growing into his full element, animatedly coming through in various modes of linguistic expression.
Ananda started liking Basketball and learnt the art of Basketball in his own unique way in his late 50’s and became a coach himself and started his own club called the Lotus Basketball Club. Anand went on to become a Pondicherry state coach and Vice president of the Pondicherry state Association.
In the early morning of Thursday 26 August,2021 our long-term brother Ananda (Jean-François R.L. Bertaux) left his body at Marika House at the age of 68, after coping with Parkinson’s Disease for many years. With all due respect to Ananda the Auroville Basketball Fraternity conducted a tournament in memory on his 1st Death Anniversary.
Auroville thanks and salutes one of its loyal, steady resident and a Basketball hero.
This year is a special year as it also marks the 150th birthday of Sri Aurobindo.