Auroville: the City of the Future Represents an Expansion of the Mother’s Implementation of the Evolution of Consciousness on Earth

The attempt to make a spiritual focus the basis for development of a workable and harmonious society was begun with the founding and development of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  The Mother wanted to expand her implementation of the concepts of inner and outer harmony and balance with the founding of Auroville in 1968.  Now more than 50 years later, the vision of Auroville continues to grow and inspire people around the world.  People from many countries, working together with Tamil villagers in the local area, have made experiments in social organization, including  a cash-free basis within the community, a collaborative decision-making process, and a number of scientific and business experiments to begin to address in a balanced way the needs of the world-community.  The center focus of Auroville is the Matrimandir, which is a powerful focus for silent meditation without dogma or ritual intervening.  There are pavilions featuring the best of various cultures around the world to emphasis unity with diversity.  The type of material research done at Auroville is based in the idea of finding solutions within the harmony of nature.  A bleak landscape was thereby transformed through a persistent reforestation program until the area looks like a paradise.  Alternative energy, natural and organic food production, a new approach to education, appreciation of fine arts, new building materials and architectural styles that fit into the area are all part of this extensive project.  Today Auroville is preparing to take the next step to show that their solutions to various human and environmental concerns are both reproducible and scalable across the world.

All of the issues and concerns of human life are being faced at Auroville.  It has therefore its difficulties and issues, but the way of confronting these problems and finding ways to progress beyond them is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this project.  How do people from a widely diverse cultural background, who speak different languages and who have different skill sets and individual focus come together to build a city that is sustainable and which finds a way to balance the needs of its residents and the requirements of the environment, all while respecting and supporting the indigenous villagers who live within the proximity of the Aurovillian settlements?

Robert McDermott observes:  “By far the most ambitious undertaking of the Mother and the Ashram is the creation of Auroville — ‘the city of human unity and universal culture’ being built a few miles from the Ashram.  Auroville was formally inaugurated on February 28, 1968, when students from 120 countries symbolically poured earth from their respective lands into a lotus-shaped foundation stone.  This ceremony well expressed the ideals that the Mother set forth in Auroville’s charter:”

The Charter states:  “Auroville belongs to nobody in particular.  Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole.  But to live in Auroville one must be the willing servitor of the divine’s consciousness.  Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.  Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future, taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within.  Auroville will boldly spring toward future realizations.  Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual research for a living embodiment of actual human unity.”

Robert McDermott concludes:  “The name ‘Auroville’ signifies the fact that this city is the concrete and evolving expression of Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the Divine Life on earth.  ‘Auroville’ has a second, equally important meaning: it is the city of dawn, of eternal beginning.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Mind of Light, Introduction by Robert McDermott, pp. 17-18

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