Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother

Mr K S Rajah as Chairman of The Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore (2001 -2010)

Mr Rajah, as he was affectionately known to us, joined the Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore in the late seventies as a Life Member. It was the time when the late Prof. Nadkarni was in Singapore as professor of English Literature with the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prof. Nadkarni used to give a series of lectures at the Society’s Centre at Balestier Road which Mr Rajah attended every Sunday and Wednesday without fail. Prof. Nadkarni lectured on the major works of Sri Aurobindo which included “The Life Divine”, “Essays on the Gita”, “The Synthesis of Yoga”, “Savitri” and “The Foundation of Indian Culture” and about the life and works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. These series of lectures inspired many, and Mr. K S Rajah was one of them. Mr. Rajah was also inspired by other prominent speakers like our ex Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Dyne and the late President of Singapore & founder member of the Society, Mr. C V Devan Nair. Mr. K S Rajah then began to read some of the major works of Sri Aurobindo seriously, purchasing any new book available in Singapore or Pondicherry.

When Mrs. Sonia Dyne, our then Chairperson stepped down in 2001, Mr. Rajah was nominated Chairman of the Society and he accepted the post graciously. By this time, Mr. Rajah had listened to many other speakers from the Ashram such as Dr. Ananda Reddy, Sri M P Pandit, Prof. Manoj Das, Dr. Maheswary, and later Dr. Alok Pandey, Sri Shradalu Ranade and other prominent speakers. As Chairman he would invite the speakers to his house for dinner and informal discussions. Mr. Rajah was beginning to become an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He and his wife travelled to Pondicherry and Auroville a few times and had the opportunity of meeting Ashramites and prominent speakers. He would listen to lectures given by leading speakers in the Ashram too.

When Prof. Nadkarni completed his contract with the NUS and went back to India, Mr Rajah was ready to give lectures on some of the major works of Sri Aurobindo. He gave regular talks on “The Secret of the Veda”, “The Upanishads” and “Savitri”. He was a well-read man and had a good knowledge and understanding of Indian philosophy and he read the works of the great spiritual masters of India.

As the Chairman of the Society for the last 10 years, he played an active role in the management and activities of the Society. He came to the Centre every Sunday without fail. He would read The Mother’s Prayers and Meditation in a way which captivated his audience. He was a very calm and composed person and delivered his talks in a very methodical way and with conviction. His soft-spoken manner was unique and this made him an approachable person to all members. He encouraged members to take their own initiative to organize activities for the Centre. Thus the Youth Group activities, the monthly walks and the monthly newsletters were managed by the members concerned without too much interference by the Chairman or the Executive Committee.

Besides the Society, Mr Rajah was also supportive of other spiritual organizations in Singapore but he remained focused on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He encouraged the Society to participate in the Annual Gita Jayanti Celebrations jointly organized by all the Indian spiritual organizations and The Hindu Endowment Board. On numerous Gita Jayanti Forums, he was appointed as the presiding Chairman. By participating in the Gita Jayanthy Annual Celebrations, more Indian organizations came to know about the activities of the Society and vice versa. At most of these Gita Jayanti forums the Society was instrumental in getting a prominent speaker from the Ashram to give the keynote address on the Bhagavad-Gita. In this way, more people came to know of Sri Aurobindo’s views on the importance of the Gita and its relevance today based on Sri Aurobindo’s classical work, “The Essays on the Gita” which is acknowledged by many as one of the best interpretation on the Bhagavad-Gita.

Mr Rajah is well known in the Indian community for his passionate contribution in promoting the essence of Hinduism and Indian philosophy in Singapore.

When I saw him in the hospital with all his family members around him, he held my palms tightly as if to say a final goodbye. It appeared to me that Mr. Rajah had no fear of death. The Mother had said that those who have sincerely turned to her in this life, She would be with them from life to life. In spite of his poor health condition, he made a special effort and attended The Mother’s Birthday celebration on 21st Feb 2010 at our Centre. Although he was frail, he read The Mother’s Prayers and Meditation as he usually does, with a wonderful robustness. That was his last visit to the Centre, his last reading of The Prayers and Meditation and the last time members saw him in the Centre.

Mr. K.S. Rajah, SC - The Lawyer

K S Rajah SC was a Consultant of Harry Elias Partnership. He served as a Deputy Public Prosecutor and Senior State Counsel and led the Civil and Criminal sections of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and was Director of the Singapore Legal Aid Bureau before serving as a Judicial Commissioner (1991 – 1995) in the Singapore Judicial Service. He also served as President for the Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents and as the Chairman of the Singapore Law Society Committee on Guidance for the Legal Profession on Anti-Money Laundering. He was one of the pioneer batches of Senior Counsel who were appointed in 1997. In 1998 K S Rajah was appointed as member of the Singapore Mediation Centre and in 2003 was appointed as member of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, acting as Chairman and sole arbitrator in both domestic and international arbitrations in Singapore and under ICC and UNCITRAL Rules. He was also a referee under the Ministry of Manpower Industrial Arbitration Court.

K S Rajah has written and contributed more than twenty articles to the Malayan Law Journal and to the Singapore Law Gazette. In October 2008 the Law Society of Singapore conferred on him the prestigious CC Tan Award. (Extract taken from The Law Society)

- S Dayanandan
Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore.