Letter to Embassies

This letter was sent to the Embassies and Consulates by the Working Committee and other distinguished well-wishers of Auroville, following the different visits and the questions often received.


Auroville was created as a hope for the world, a living example of what humanity can aspire for and move towards, a place where the signposts for the future would become living examples and where people of the world would communicate greater, conscious freedom, the beauty of its city, its environment, and many-sided realizations.

This universal town has a vision-born city plan, supported by a Charter, both initiated by the Mother. This plan is the basis of Auroville’s master plan for which she invited Roger Anger, whose centenary we also celebrate this year.

As you know, the Crown, which has been in the news, is an important element of the city. It circles through the four zones of the city, unifying it, and preventing it from sprawling, to ensure a pedestrian-friendly, e-mobility plan for this main urban centre of Auroville. Here life, activities, culture, services, plazas, shaded patios, and walking arcades will allow young and old to meet, walk or cycle around the town, protected from sun or rain.

This is what many of us have been waiting for, for nearly 3 decades, since 1993, when Roger Anger wanted to start marking the Crown path. The resistance has been ongoing, amplifying and hardening. Discussions are ridiculed or disrupted and the very concept and need for this city have been diverted to the idea of an eco-village which is amplified across all media and the original city plan has been made dispensable. Professions about not being against the city and the Galaxy plan have never been matched on the ground and people are waiting.

The present crisis only reveals how far a faction has gone and can still go to disrupt and obstruct all attempts to lay this central artery of Auroville’s urban life. These have been splashed across national and international media, in government offices, at UNESCO, and other Auroville international platforms, deliberately ripping apart the goodwill in the community, between well-wishers around the world, obstructing the work, and demonizing all those who support the city.

Explaining the Auroville symbol which closely resembles the city plan, the Mother had stated: the inner circle represents the creation, the conception of the City.

This is the very thing being hindered through force, denial, and false propaganda. The prime target of all this since December 2021 has been Dr Jayanti Ravi, the one woman they have not been able to coerce or intimidate despite the vilest attempts to discredit and caricature her in media like in The Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and across Indian journals and social media.

The work continues because Auroville must continue and cannot be stopped by the whims and denials of those who refuse to collaborate. The How of it has been flaunted everywhere and needs to be seen in the context of How the years of obstructions and delays by this faction have:

  1. Divided the people, misled the youth in particular.
  2. Duped authorities including the Governing Board that they were working for the city, for the Crown, and so on.
  3. Contradicted the authority of the Standing Order for the TDC that an earlier Chairman set in place by propping up unratified parallel governance to compromise the planning.
  4. The same pattern of parallel groups now flourishes, defying directives, with massive media and social campaigns, rampant court cases, alternate servers set up without permission, alternate websites, alternate RAS, alternate News & Notes: an alternate Auroville literally, fracturing all the goodwill and opportunities offered to Auroville. None of the above is in the spirit of Auroville, nor in service to the Divine that we are here to serve, as is claimed.
  5. Has put on hold all projects ready to start since the NGT stay order was enforced, which described Auroville as a deemed forest, comfortably denying the city the Mother inaugurated in 1968, with a city plan on which 3 years of work went in.
  6. The delays have hiked land and building costs which have skyrocketed over 3 decades.
  7. Delays have led to the loss of master plan land over the years, where outside speculators have bought and built without consonance with the planned experiment.
  8. Propagated false ‘political’ narratives and dragged Auroville into it.
  9. Interfered and attempted to disrupt every aspect and every stage of work. When called to collaborate, as with the Dreamweaver, the parameters on which the collective endeavor was based were not respected, and the result of the workshop was not handed over to ATDC as agreed.
  10. Continue to label the functioning ATDC as illegal despite clear High Court orders. Instead, alternate groups flashed all over social media to further confuse people.
  11. Brought unnecessary negative attention on Auroville by constantly harping against the Secretary, the Governing Board, and the Government, and those working for Auroville to grow.
  12. Torn apart the fabric of Auroville by ostracizing not just adults but children too.

All these things are being done and said in the name of ALL in Auroville, in an unethical attempt to make ALL Aurovilians complicit in this false narrative. The Residents Assembly is not a political party. These antics have only brought unnecessary pressure and attention on Auroville and its affairs, taking away from ALL of us the natural freedom, right to action, and a sincere collaboration in the realization of Auroville that had been envisaged for this experiment.

Auroville is not a political or democratic project, it goes much further than it must if it aims at the transformation of life for the future of humanity. Auroville’s aim, the Mother had said, is to ‘divert the destructive current of the world’ that perpetuates war. Human Unity is a huge responsibility that Auroville must learn to live up to.

The city is the practical means given to fulfill this experiment in all its aspects and must never be blocked.

We will keep you posted on the situation as it evolves so that you are not left with a limited perspective. We are certainly in the middle of a great churning but also at a turning point of a transformation for the future.

We warmly welcome all your questions and suggestions and look forward to your visits to Auroville.

Best regards,
The Working Committee
Anuradha Legrand, Arun S. Joseba Martinez Burdaspar, Parthasarathy Krishnan, Selvaraj Damotharan, Srimoyi Rosegger, and Christine Neuman

Reflections on Democracy and Auroville’s Governance

The serving members of the Working Committee have often turned to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother to understand what they had in mind for the governance or organization of Auroville, about the nature of freedom and anarchy and divine anarchy in the context of Auroville and its polity, and the collective future it must build. Here we share some of them here.

Ideal of Human Unity / Forms of Government
Or it might be something like the disguised oligarchy of an international council reposing its rule on the assent, expressed by election or otherwise, of what might be called a semi passive democracy as its first figure. For that is what the modern democracy at present is in fact; the sole democratic elements are public opinion, periodical elections and the power of the people to refuse reelection to those who have displeased it.

The Ideal of Human Unity / The Drive towards Legislative and Social Centralization & Uniformity
Certainly, democracy as it is now practised is not the last or penultimate stage; for it is often merely democratic in appearance and even at the best amounts to the rule of the majority and works by the vicious method of party government, defects the increasing perception of which enters largely into the present day dissatisfaction with parliamentary systems. Even a perfect democracy is not likely to be the last stage of social evolution, but it is still the necessary broad standing ground upon which the self consciousness of the social being can come to its own.
It does not follow that a true democracy must necessarily come into being at some time.

War and Self Determinism

Ancient liberty and democracy meant in Greece the self rule—variegated by periodical orgies of mutual throat cutting—of a smaller number of freemen of all ranks who lived by the labour of a great mass of slaves. In recent times liberty and democracy have been, and still are, a cant assertion which veils under a skilfully moderated plutocratic system the rule of an organised successful bourgeoisie over a proletariate at first submissive, afterwards increasingly dissatisfied and combined for recalcitrant self assertion.

Another illusion was that the growth of democracy would mean the growth of pacifism and the end of war…

Man refuses to learn from that history of whose lessons the wise prate to us; otherwise the story of old democracies ought to have been enough to prevent this particular illusion.

War and Self Determinism
The future does not belong to that hybrid thing, a middleclass democracy infected with the old theory of international relations, however modified by concessions to a new broader spirit of idealism.
The future destined to replace this present is evident enough in some of its main outward tendencies, in society away from plutocracy and middleclass democracy to some completeness of socialism and attempt at a broad and equal commonalty of social living, in the relations of the peoples away from aggressive nationalism and balances of power to some closer international comity.

The Idea of Human Unity / The Peril of the World State
Democracy is by no means a sure preservative of liberty: on the contrary, we see today a democratic system of government march steadily towards an organised annihilation of individual liberty as could not have been dreamed of in the old aristocratic or monarchical system… it revives now only only in periods of revolution and excitement often in the form of mob tyranny or a savage reactionary or revolutionary repression…

Sri Aurobindo / Evening Talks, 1926 / Purani
I am at present speaking against democracy. That does not mean there is no truth behind it – and I know it, yet I speak against democracy because that mentality is against the Truth that is trying to come down.

On Thoughts & Aphorisms 341 -343 (Karma)
Democracy was the protest of the human soul against the allied despotisms of autocrat, priest and noble; Socialism is the protest of the human soul against the despotism of a plutocratic democracy; Anarchism is likely to be the protest of the human soul against the tyranny of a bureaucratic Socialism. It is chimerical to enquire which is the better system; it would be difficult to decide which is the worse.

A turbulent and eager march from illusion to illusion and from failure to failure is the image of European progress.

Agenda 10 April 1968
If there is no representative of the supreme Consciousness (which can happen, of course), if there isn’t any, we could perhaps (this would be worth trying) replace him with the government by a small number—we would have to choose between four and eight, something like that: four, seven or eight—a small number having an INTUITIVE intelligence.
All the intermediaries have proved incompetent: theocracy, aristocracy, democracy, plutocracy—all that is a complete failure.

Agenda, August 16, 1969
In an undated note, Mother once wrote: Democracy was necessary and useful a hundred years ago, but now we must go beyond it if we want to take a step forward towards a new creation.

Agenda 27 July, 1968 (conversation)
Satprem: The Press is asking for a few texts to fill blanks in the forthcoming Bulletin.

The Mother: Take from Sri Aurobindo, not from me! Everything from Sri Aurobindo

Satprem proposes the following text:

Sri Aurobindo: Overmind is obliged to respect the freedom of the individual….

Oh, that’s a revelation! I didn’t know that.

Sri Aurobindo: …including his freedom to be perverse, stupid, recalcitrant and slow. Supermind is not merely a step higher than Overmind—it is beyond the line, that is a different consciousness and power beyond the mental limit.”

Do you imply that the Supermind will not be obliged to respect the freedom of the individual?

Sri Aurobindo: Of course I do! It will respect only the Truth of the Divine and the truth of things.

The Mother / On Auroville’s Organization
We want an organization which is the expression of a higher consciousness working to manifest the truth of the future.

Mother’s Agenda, 1966
Scores of people have come for Auroville…. Instead of working, they spend their time talking… They’ve already begun discussing what the city’s political situation will be …And one of them wrote to me yesterday, saying he couldn’t take part in something that wasn’t purely ‘democratic’… So I answered him this: Auroville must be at the service of the Truth, beyond all social, political and religious convictions… but above all…it would be better to build the city first!

Mother’s Agenda, 7 Feb, 1970
The anarchic state is the self government of each individual, and it will be the perfect government only when each one becomes conscious of the inner Divine and will obey only Him and Him alone…

Someone from Auroville wrote to me that he had come here to obey only himself and he found there were rules and laws. And he said: I won’t do it! I am free, I refuse to do it… so I wrote to him..

“One is only free when one is conscious of the Divine…”

Charter of Auroville / The Mother
But to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.

Notes on the works of Sri Aurobindo

Life Divine
One of the greatest works of Sri Aurobindo it is in two
volumes: the first volume entitled “Omnipresent Reality and
the Universe” deals with the problem of the nature of the
Ultimate Reality and whether and in what way it is related to
our universe of the triple existence of Matter, Life and Mind.
In considering this problem, Sri Aurobindo gives a critical
exposition of the main theories of Reality and shows how
partial truths can be reconciled in an integral view of Reality.
While expounding and analysing the nature of Matter, Life
and Mind, he utilises all the data available to mankind from
the most ancient time to our time and of the most modern
discoveries in various sciences and other disciplines of
knowledge. He takes each major element of our universal
existence and shows how its Ultimate is in the Omnipresent
Reality; and in discovering this relation he shows how
inevitably and logically we are forced to look for and find a
link between the Ultimate Reality and the Universe. This link
he calls the Supermind; he gives a detailed exposition of the
concept of the Supermind in its essential nature and principle.
The second volume is in two parts; the first part entitled
“The Infinite Consciousness and the Ignorance” takes
us to a more detailed consideration of the nature of the
Ultimate Reality as the Infinite Consciousness with all
its epistemological implications. A new Logic which he
calls the Logic of the Infinite is formulated along with its
detailed application. Theories of dream, hallucination and
illusion are given a thorough examination leading up to
the more important examination of the human mind whose
chief characteristic is Ignorance. The nature of Ignorance is
analysed, its boundaries fixed and its relation to Knowledge
determined. It raises the most baffling and so far pronounced
to be unanswerable question of the origin of the Ignorance,
and its relation with and place in Infinite Consciousness, and
answers it with the help of the psychological concept of Tapas
or the Exclusive Concentration of Consciousness. Finally, the
nature of Evil, Error and Falsehood is analysed and shown how
it is a resultant of the Ignorance which not being the primal
principle could be remedied and although real at present could
be finally destroyed.
The final part of the work entitled “The Knowledge and
The Spiritual Evolution” takes us to the climax of the entire
line of reasoning pursued so far by showing how the Integral
Truth which is obscured can be made manifest, through what
processes and through what necessities of the workings of
Nature itself can the Spirit be made fully manifest in our
thinking and living body. In doing so, Sri Aurobindo analyses
the working of Nature and finds therein a process of evolution
as a profound and meaningful self-unfolding of the supramental
Divine which after gradually and through stages veiling itself
into its opposite, the Inconscient, rises again gradually and
through stages towards its fullest manifestation in the most
gross form of existence, the Matter. He develops his theory
of Spiritual Evolution and illustrates it by an examination of
humanity’s development through the ages upto its present
stage of achievement. The Theory of Rebirth also gets here
a complete examination and together with the theory of
supraphysical worlds, rebirth is shown to be acceptable as a
machinery that Nature had adopted for its spiritual evolutionary
purposes. Finally, Sri Aurobindo shows how Nature developed
so far should make a further ascent from Mind to the
Supermind, through what intermediary stages and, when that
is accomplished, what will be the nature of the supramental
or the Gnostic Being in psychological and existential aspects.
The final chapter considers and visualises what will be the
nature of the Divine life on earth and by an examination of
the various current theories of social reconstruction and of
the present critical stage through which humanity is passing
shows of what rational lines humanity could safely plan for the
building up of a future ideal humanity or superhumanity.

The Synthesis Of Yoga
This is in 4 parts with Introduction. The introduction
which runs through 5 chapters considers the problem of the
conditions of the Synthesis of Yoga; it considers the nature
of Life and Nature and comes to the conclusion that Yoga is
commensurate with Life and Nature: it shows that Yoga is the
full and right utilisation of the energies of Life and Yoga, and
that in fact, each Yoga is a special utilisation of a selected
energy of Life and Nature. It considers briefly the systems
of Yoga and seizes upon a central common principle and a
central dynamic force capable of organising and combining
the varied energies and different utilities of these systems,
giving us in consequence a Synthesis of Yoga.
The rest of the book carries out this synthesis: it defines
the Integral Yoga and lays down what are the aids for the
requirements of the Sadhak of the Integral Yoga. It takes up
each of the three paths of Yoga, those of Work, Knowledge
and Love, and considers how each of them can be taken up
in the comprehensive sweep of the Integral Yoga. Thus the
first part “The Yoga of the Divine Works” begins with the
statement of the principle of self-consecration and Surrender
in Works and then takes us to show the successive stages by
which the sadhak ascends through the sacrifice of his works
of Knowledge, Love and Life, and how during this process
the psychic being and later on the superbeing and later on
the supermind come into play to effectuate the supreme
transformation of the sadhak into the Divine Worker.
The second part “The Yoga of the Integral Knowledge”
deals first with the problems of knowledge, understanding
and its purification, concentration and renunciation. Then it
attempts a synthesis of the Disciplines of Knowledge whose
primary preoccupation is with the liberation of the Self
from subjection to the Mind, Heart and Body and Ego. But
this liberation in the Integral Yoga is shown to lead to the
realisation of not merely the Transcendent Satchidananda, the
Inactive Brahman, but also to the Cosmic Self, the Cosmic
Consciousness and the Active Brahman. In this context, Sri
Aurobindo gives an account of the nature of the realisation
of these various aspects of the Brahman, and chalks out the
ladder of the Self-Transcendence from the lower planes of our
ordinary existence. At the top of the ladder opens the planes of
the Gnosis of the Supermind and Ananda. The nature of these
principles is described and the conditions of their attainment
laid down. Finally brief accounts of Samadhi, Hatha Yoga
and Raja Yoga, which are allied to the Path of Knowledge
are given along with their valuation and place in the Integral
The third part “The Yoga of Divine Love” opens with
the discussion of the place of Love in the triple path. Then
follows the statement of the Motives of Devotion and how in
the Way of Devotion these motives and Godward emotions
are utilised. The way of Devotion is stated and then comes
the statement of the nature of the realisation of the Divine
Delight and the Ananda Brahman. The question of the Divine
Personality receives a detailed treatment. This part ends with
the most profound statement of the Mystery of Love.
In the fourth part “The Yoga of Self-Perfection” the ideal
of the Divine Life and integral perfection receives a detailed
psychological treatment; the method of perfection each part of
the being and instrument of the Spirit is laid down; the summit
points of the various paths are further integrated and perfected;
and finally, there is an elaboration of the supramental faculties,
the gradations of the Supermind, the Supramental Thought
and Knowledge, the Supramental Sense and the Way to the
Supramental Time Vision.

Essays On The Gita
This work is in two series written to state the living truths the
Gita contains in form and expression suitable to the mentality
and helpful to the spiritual needs of our present-day humanity.
In doing so, Sri Aurobindo brings forth the most fundamental
concepts of the Gita and discusses them in order to bring out
their true significance; in this sense, he reveals the original
intentions of the Divine Teacher of the Gita, the Lord Krishna.
Although it is a running commentary on the Gita and follows
its course verse by verse, it discusses all issues at their proper
places in the context of the whole burden of the Gita’s teaching.
The most outstanding stresses of this work are that 1)
the Gita is a dynamic and universal teaching revealed to the
representative soul of humanity by the Divine Teacher who
reveals himself as an Avatar, that 2) it is a book of a synthetic
Yoga which synthesises the paths of Work, Knowledge and
Love, that 3) it gives an integral knowledge of the Reality
and reveals the supreme and secretmost nature of the Divine
Reality, and that 4) the Gita has a message which still needs to
be heard by the present humanity.
The first series deals with Karma Yoga and discusses the
problems of the Man in the battle-field of life, the meaning
and significance of Sacrifice, the purpose, significance and
process of Avatarhood, the Divine Work and shows how by
renunciation and sacrifice of desire in works one can attain
to Equality, Knowledge, even Nirvana and Transcendence
and then only can one be the instrument of the Divine for
its work in the world. It ends with a chapter on the “Gist of
The second series which is in two parts, states the Gita’s
integral theory of Reality and shows how it becomes the basis
of the Synthetic Yoga. It discusses most intricate concepts
such as the Two Natures of the Divine, Vibhuti, Swabhava
and Swadharma. Finally, it shows what exactly is the supreme
secret of this synthetic teaching and what its core. It ends with
a most powerful and inspiring essay entitled “The Message of
the Gita”

The Human Cycle
A work on the Psychology of Social development. It gives a
cyclical view of Social Progress by tracing the history right
from the barbaric Age to the present Age of Reason and
envisages the coming of the Spiritual Age. It discusses the
concepts of Individualism, Objectivism and Subjectivism in
Social Thought, Nationalism and enunciates the Ideal Law of
Social Development. It defines Civilisation and contrasts it
with Barbarism and Culture. It also contrasts the Aesthetic and
Ethical cultures and shows how their conflict can be overcome
neither by Reason nor by Religion but by the suprarational
spirituality. Finally, it analyses the psychology of our own
times and shows how we find there an end of the Curve of
Reason and the necessity of Spiritual Transformation. It lays
down the conditions for the coming of a Spiritual Age and
outlines how humanity will turn to that Age.

The Ideal Of Human Unity
A work devoted to the study of communal and collective
life, the power that moves it and the sense of aim towards
which it moves. It undertakes to establish a thesis that Nature
drives towards larger agglomerations to arrive at a largest and
ultimate union of the world’s peoples. It examines the past
aggregates and notes their imperfections; it discusses the
relation of the individual and the group, and considers the
real significance behind the urge for empire-building. The
possibility of a World-empire is suggested and considered in
the context of the recent growing tendencies of Nationalism
and Internationalism. And after stating the Nature’s Law of
Unity in Diversity it proceeds to suggest an ideal solution of
a free grouping of mankind. The conditions, possibilities and
forms which this new creation may take are indicated. Finally
it arrives at the conclusion that there must result a World-State
which would be a federation of free nationalities.
A Post-script chapter dealing with the world conditions
today is added so as to bring the book up-to-date.

The Riddle Of This World
The writings collected in this small volume are replies given
by Sri Aurobindo to questions dealing with certain occult
truths of our world-existence which come to be dealt with in
Yoga, and they throw much light on such topics as Supernals,
Graded Worlds, Rebirth, False Lights, etc. Some letters
deal with the questions about Yoga, Western Metaphysics,
Agnosticism, Doubt and Faith.

On The Veda
A work in four parts: the first part “The Secret of the Veda”
raises the problem of the secret meaning of the Veda, discusses
Sayana’s theory and theories of the European Scholars and
comes to the conclusion that the Vedic Mantras have esoteric
meaning and they embody spiritual knowledge. It takes up
illustrative hymns to Agni and other gods, makes a comparative
study of their various interpretations and shows how when
interpreted in their true and esoteric sense they reveal a natural
flow and smooth lines of thought and knowledge. Finally, it
reveals to us the inner meanings of the Vedic symbols such as
those of Seven Rivers, the Herds of Dawn, the Cow and the
Sun, the Seven-headed Thought and the Hound of Heaven.
The last chapter states the summary and conclusions.
In the second part “Selected Hymns” Sri Aurobindo
gives the translation of certain selected hymns and gives
interpretative commentaries on them, while in the third part
he gives further elucidation of the doctrine of the Mystics and
also gives translations of 28 hymns to Agni and other hymns
to Guardians and Lords of Light, to Varuna, and Savitri. These
translations are further explained by several brief footnotes.
The fourth part takes up still further hymns to the God of
the Mystic Fire, Thought, Gods and the Vedic Fire. And finally,
there is an appendix of an essay dealing with the problem of
the Origins of the Aryan speech.

The Problem Of Rebirth
This thin volume consists of three sections: the first deals with
the problem of Rebirth and discusses it with reference to the
theories of Evolution, Heredity, Karma, Free Will and shows
the significance of Rebirth.
The second section deals with the complex lines of Karma
with reference to the Terrestrial Law and Mind Nature while
the third deals with the higher lines of Karma and of Truth.

Kireet Joshi
(Reproduced from an earlier issue 1972 of Sri Aurobindo’s Action)

Extract from a letter of Sri Aurobindo to the Mother

The whole earth is now under one law and answers to the
same vibrations and I am sceptical of finding any place where
the clash of the struggle will not pursue us. I must remain
in touch with the world until I have either mastered adverse
circumstances or succumbed or carried on the struggle
between the spiritual and physical so far as I am destined to
carry it on. This is how I have always seen things and still see
them. As for failure, difficulty and apparent impossibility I am
too much habituated to them to be much impressed by their
constant self-presentation except for passing moments…
One needs to have a calm heart, a settled will, entire self
abnegation and the eyes constantly fixed on the beyond to live
undiscouraged in times like these which are truly a period of
universal decomposition. For myself, I follow the Voice and
look neither to right nor to left of me. The result is not mine
and hardly at all now even the labour.

The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts
and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation, —
for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns
after every banishment, — is also the highest which his thought
can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead,
the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth
and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The
ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness
to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated
but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities
of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The
earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, — God,
Light, Freedom, Immortality

The first step is Karmayoga, the selfless sacrifice of works,
and here the Gita’s insistence is on action. The second is
Jnanayoga, the self-realisation and knowledge of the true
nature of the self and the world, and here the insistence is
on knowledge; but the sacrifice of works continues and the
path of Works becomes one with but does not disappear into
the path of Knowledge. The last step is Bhaktiyoga, adoration
and seeking of the supreme Self as the Divine Being, and
here the insistence is on devotion; but the knowledge is not
subordinated, only raised, vitalised and fulfilled, and still the
sacrifice of works continues; the double path becomes the
triune way of knowledge, works and devotion. And the fruit of
the sacrifice, the one fruit placed before the seeker, is attained,
union with the divine Being and oneness with the supreme
divine Nature.

The spirit and ideals of our civilisation need no defence for in
their best parts and in their essence they were of eternal value.
India’s internal and individual seeking of them was earnest,
powerful, effective. But the application in the collective
life of society was subjected to serious reserves… And now
survival itself has become impossible without expansion. If
we are to live at all we must resume India’s great interrupted
endeavour; we must take up boldly and execute thoroughly
in the individual and in the society, in the spiritual and in the
mundane life, in philosophy and religion, in art and literature,
in thought, in political and economic and social formulation the
full and unlimited sense of her highest spirit and knowledge.

The integral Yoga takes up the essence and many processes of
the old Yogas — its newness is in its aim, standpoint and the
totality of its method.
It is new as compared with old Yogas…

  1. Because it aims not at a departure out of world and life into
    Heaven or Nirvana, but at a change of life and existence, not
    as something subordinate or incidental, but as a distinct and
    central object.
  2. Because the object sought after is not an individual
    achievement of divine realisation for the sake of the individual,
    but something to be gained for the earth consciousness here,
    a cosmic, not solely a supracosmic achievement. The thing to
    be gained also is a bringing in of a Power of Consciousness
    — the Supramental.
  3. Because a method has been preconised for achieving this
    purpose which is as total and integral as the aim set before it,
    viz., the total and integral change of the consciousness and
    nature, taking up old methods but only as a part action and
    present aid to others that are distinctive… Our Yoga is not a
    retreading of old walks, but a spiritual adventure.

The Teaching of Sri Aurobindo

The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient
sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe
there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self
of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that
One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of
consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality
in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain
psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative
consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the
Divinity within us and all.
Sri Aurobindo’s teaching states that this One Being and
Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the
method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in
what seems to be inconscient and once having appeared is self
impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to
enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection.
Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind
is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it
awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which
is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution
must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as
the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will
the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it
become possible for life to manifest perfection.
But while the former steps in evolution were taken by
Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in
man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the
instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that
this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain
point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion

has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which
mind has to change into the higher principle. This method
is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline
and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by
a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into
the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that
a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not
merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it
in the world, replace the mind’s ignorance or its very limited
knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which
will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it
possible for the human being to find himself dynamically as
well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity
into a diviner race. The psychological discipline of Yoga can
be used to that end by opening all the parts of the being to a
conversion or transformation through the descent and working
of the higher still concealed supramental principle.
This, however, cannot be done at once or in a short time or
by any rapid or miraculous transformation. Many steps have
to be taken by the seeker before the supramental descent is
possible. Man lives mostly in his surface mind, life and body
but there is an inner being within him with greater possibilities
to which he has to awake — for it is only a very restricted
influence from it that he receives now and that pushes him
to a constant pursuit of a greater beauty, harmony, power and
knowledge. The first process of Yoga is therefore to open the
ranges of this inner being and to live from there outward,
governing his outward life by an inner light and force. In doing
so he discovers in himself his true soul which is not this outer
mixture of mental, vital and physical elements but something
of the Reality behind them, a spark from the one Divine Fire.
He has to learn to live in his soul and purify and orientate by
its drive towards the Truth the rest of the nature. There can
follow afterwards an opening upward and descent of a higher
principle of the Being. But even then it is not at once the full
supramental Light and Force. For there are several ranges
of consciousness between the ordinary human mind and the
supramental Truth-Consciousness. These intervening ranges
have to be opened up and their power brought down into the
mind, life and body. Only afterwards can the full power of
the Truth-Consciousness work in the nature. The process of
this self-discipline or sadhana is therefore long and difficult,
but even a little of it is so much gained because it makes the
ultimate release and perfection more possible.
There are many things belonging to older systems that are
necessary on the way — an opening of the mind to a greater
wideness and to the sense of the Self and the Infinite, an
emergence into what has been called the cosmic consciousness,
mastery over the desires and passions; an outward asceticism
is not essential, but the conquest of desire and attachment and
a control over the body and its needs, greeds and instincts
are indispensable. There is a combination of the principles of
the old systems, the way of knowledge through the mind’s
discernment between Reality and the appearance, the heart’s
way of devotion, love and surrender and the way of works
turning the will away from motives of self-interest to the
Truth and the service of a greater Reality than the ego. For
the whole being has to be trained so that it can respond and
be transformed when it is possible for that greater Light and
Force to work in the nature.
In this discipline the inspiration of the Master and, in the
difficult stages, his control and his presence are indispensable
— for it would be impossible otherwise to go through it
without much stumbling and error which would prevent
all chance of success. The Master is one who has risen to a
higher consciousness and being and he is often regarded as
its manifestation or representative. He not only helps by his
teaching and still more by his influence and example but by a
power to communicate his own experience to others.
This is Sri Aurobindo’s teaching and method of practice. It
is not his object to develop any one religion or to amalgamate
the older religions or to found any new religion — for any of
these things would lead away from his central purpose. The
one aim of his Yoga is an inner self-development by which
each one who follows it can in time discover the One Self
in all and evolve a higher consciousness than the mental, a
spiritual and supramental consciousness which will transform
and divinise human nature.

Something has been shown to you in this year of seclusion,
something about which you had your doubts and it is the truth
of the Hindu religion. …I am raising up this nation to send
forth my word. This is the Sanatana Dharma, this is the eternal
religion which you did not really know before, but which I
have now revealed to you. …What is this religion which we
call Sanatana, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the
Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up
in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this
sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan
race to preserve through the Ages. But it is not circumscribed
by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly
and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call
the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the
universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not
universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian
religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time
and a limited purpose. …It is the one religion which shows
the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It
is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our
part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the
one religion which does not separate life in any smallest detail
from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly
removed from us the reality of death.

What is needed now is a band of spiritual workers whose
tapasya will be devoted to the liberation of India for the
service of humanity.
…We need an institution in which under the guidance of highly
spiritual men workers will be trained for every field, workers
for self-defence, workers for arbitration, for sanitation, for
famine relief, for every species of work which is needed to
bring about the necessary conditions for the organisation
of Swaraj. If the country is to be free, it must first organise
itself so as to be able to maintain its freedom. The winning of
freedom is an easy task, the keeping of it is less easy. The first
needs only one tremendous effort in which all the energies
of the country must be concentrated; the second requires a
united, organised and settled strength. If these two conditions
are satisfied, nothing more is needed, for all else is detail and
will inevitably follow.

Her mission is to point back humanity to the true source of
human liberty, human equality, human brotherhood. When
man is free in spirit, all other freedom is at his command;
for the Free is the Lord who cannot be bound. When he is
liberated from delusion, he perceives the divine equality of
the world which fulfils itself through love and justice,… When
he has perceived this divine equality, he is brother to the whole
world, and in whatever position he is placed he serves all men
as his brothers by the law of love, by the law of justice. When
this perception becomes the basis of religion, of philosophy,
of social speculation and political aspiration, then will liberty,
equality and fraternity take their place in the structure of
society and the Satya Yuga return. This is the Asiatic reading
of democracy, which India must rediscover for herself before
she can give it to the world.

Spiritual Life

Sri Aurobindo began his Yoga in 1904. Even before this he had already some spiritual experiences and that before he knew anything about Yoga or even what Yoga was. For example, a vast calm descended upon him at the moment when he stepped first on Indian soil after his long absence, in fact with his first step on the Apollo Bunder in Bombay. This calm surrounded him and remained for long months afterwards. There was also a realisation of the vacant Infinite while walking on the ridge of the Takhte-Suleman in Kashmir, the living Presence of Kali in a shrine on the banks of the Narmada, the vision of the Godhead surging up from within when in danger of a carriage accident in Baroda in the first year of his stay, etc. But these were inner experiences coming of themselves and with a sudden unexpectedness, not part of a sadhana. He started Yoga by himself without a Guru, getting the rule from a friend, a disciple of Brahmananda of Ganga Mutt; it was confined at first to assiduous practice of Pranayam (at one time for six or more hours a day). There was no conflict or wavering between Yoga and politics; when he started Yoga, he carried on both without any idea of opposition between them.

He wanted however to find a Guru. He met a Naga Sannyasi, one of the heads, in the course of this search, but did not accept him as Guru, but was confirmed by him in a belief in Yoga-power when he saw him cure Barin in almost a moment of a violent and clinging hill fever by merely cutting through a glassful of water crosswise with a knife while he repeated a silent mantra. Barin drank and was cured. Sri Aurobindo also met Brahmananda and was greatly impressed by him; but he had no helper or Guru in Yoga till he met Lele in Baroda and that was only for a short time. Meditating only for three days with Lele, he followed his instructions for silencing the mind and freeing it from the constant pressure of thoughts; he entered into an absolute and complete silence of the mind
and indeed of the whole consciousness and in that silence had suddenly the enduring realisation of the indefinable Brahman, Tat, in which the whole universe seemed to be unreal and only That existed. This silence he kept for several months and it remained always within him; for when activity returned, it proceeded on the surface and within him all was calm. But at the time there was not the slightest activity of any kind even on the surface; there was only a still motionless perception spiritual and mental in its character. But this was not what Lele wanted, for he wanted the silence only in order that the inner voice of the heart might be heard without any thought interference; so he did his best to get him out of this Advaitic condition. A meeting was to be held in Bombay to hear Sri Aurobindo speak and he asked Lele how he was to speak when not even the shadow of a passing thought could arise in him. Lele told him to make Namaskar before delivering a speech to the audience and wait and speech would come to him from another source than the mind. So in fact, when he was about to address the meeting, speech came. It should be noted however that Sri Aurobindo was not at any time in trance and something in him saw all that happened and spoke and acted according to need without the necessity of any conceptual thought or personal volition. Ever since all the mental activities, speech, writing, thought, will and other kindred activities came to him from the same source above the brain-mind; he had entered into the spiritual mind and what he afterwards called the overhead consciousness. This was his first major and fundamental Yogic realisation and experience and the true beginning and foundation of his Yoga.

Sri Aurobindo himself once wrote in a letter about his practice of Yoga: “I began my Yoga in 1904 without a Guru; in 1908 I received important help from a Mahratta yogi and discovered the foundations of my sadhana; but from that time till the Mother came to India I received no spiritual help from anyone else. My sadhana before and afterwards was not founded upon books but upon personal experiences that crowded on me from within. But in the jail I had the Gita
and the Upanishads with me, practised the Yoga of the Gita and meditated with the help of the Upanishads, these were the only books from which I found guidance; the Veda which I first began to read long afterwards in Pondicherry rather confirmed what experiences I already had than was any guide to my sadhana. I sometimes turned to the Gita for light when there was a question or a difficulty and usually received help or an answer from it. It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Vivekananda speaking to me for a fortnight in the jail in my solitary meditation and felt his presence. The voice spoke only on a special and limited but very important field of spiritual experience and it ceased as soon as it had finished saying all that it had to say on that subject.”

Before coming to Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo had already realised in full two of the four great realisations on which his Yoga and his spiritual philosophy are founded. The first he had gained while meditating with the Maharashtrian Yogi, Vishnu Bhaskar Lele at Baroda in January 1908; it was the realisation of the silent spaceless and timeless Brahman gained after a complete and abiding stillness of the whole consciousness and attended at first by the overwhelming feeling and percepfion of the total unreality of the world, though this feeling disappeared after his second realisation which was that of the cosmic consciousness and of the Divine as all beings and all that is, which happened in the Alipore Jail. To the other two realisations, that of the supreme Reality with the static and dynamic Brahman as its two aspects and that of the higher planes of consciousness leading up to the Supermind, he was already on his way in his meditations in Alipore Jail. Moreover, he had accepted from Lele as the principle of his sadhana to rely wholly on the Divine and his guidance alone both for his sadhana and his outward actions.

Thus gathering the essential elements of spiritual experience that are gained by the path of divine communion and spiritual realisation followed till now in India, he passed on in his Pondicherry life in search of a more complete experience uniting and harmonising the two ends of existence, Spirit and Matter. Most ways of Yoga are paths to the Beyond leading to the Spirit and in the end, away from life; Sri Aurobindo’s rises to the Spirit to redescend with its gains, bringing the light and power and bliss of the Spirit into life to transform it. Man’s present existence in the material world is in this view or vision of things a life in the Ignorance with the Inconscient at its base, but even in its darkness and nescience there are involved the presence and possibilities of the Divine. The created world is not a mistake or a vanity and illusion to be cast aside by the soul returning to heaven or Nirvana, but the scene of a spiritual evolution by which out of this material inconscience is to be manifested progressively the Divine Consciousness in things. Mind is the highest term yet reached in the evolution, but it is not the highest of which it is capable. There is above it a Supermind or eternal Truth-Consciousness which is in its nature the self-aware and self-determining light and power of Divine Knowledge. Mind is an ignorance seeking after Truth, but this is a self-existent Knowledge harmoniously manifesting the play of its forms and forces. It is only by the descent of this Supermind that the perfection dreamed of by all that is highest in humanity can
come. It is possible by opening to a greater divine consciousness to rise to this power of light and bliss, discover one’s true self, remain in constant union with the Divine and bring down the supramental Force for the transformation of mind and life and body. To realise this possibility has been the dynamic aim of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga.

During all his stay at Pondicherry from 1910 he remained more and more exclusively devoted to his spiritual work and his sadhana. On 15 August 1914, he started jointly with the Mother the philosophical monthly Arya through which he revealed the findings of his four years of seeking — new messages for humanity: man’s divine destiny, the path to its realisation, the progress of human society towards its divine future, the unification of the human race, the nature and evolution of poetry and its future, the inner meaning of the Veda, the Upanishads and the Gita, the spirit and significance of Indian civilisation and culture. All these have since been embodied in The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, The Future Poetry, On the Veda, The Upanishads, Essays on the Gita, The Foundations of Indian Culture. The Arya ceased publication in 1921 after six and a half years of uninterrupted appearance. Sri Aurobindo’s supreme work in poetry is the epic Savitri in 23,813 lines of blank verse, the longest poem ever written in English, regarded by an American critic as ‘probably the greatest epic in the English language… a perfect cosmic poem’. Besides Savitri, there is a large body of his poetic creation, including several dramas, all of which have since been in book form. Sri Aurobindo lived at first in retirement at Pondicherry with four or five companions. Afterwards more and yet more began to come to him to follow his spiritual path and the number became so large that a community of sadhaks had to be formed for the maintenance and collective guidance of those who had left everything behind for the sake of a higher life. This was the foundation of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which has less been created than grown around him and the Mother as its centre. It may be pointed out in this connection that Sannyas was never accepted by Sri Aurobindo as part of his Yoga. His Ashram at Pondicherry is a glaring contradiction to this popular idea of Sannyas connected with the name of an Ashram. Members of his Ashram are not Sannyasis, they do not wear the ochre garb or practice complete asceticism but are sadhaks of a life based on spiritual realisation, the ideal being the attainment of the life divine here on this earth and in the earthly existence.

Kittu Reddy

Extract from Bande Mataram, December 1907

We call upon Nationalists, who are at all desirous of the spread of Nationalist principles and Nationalist practice all over India, to make ready at whatever inconvenience and, if they find it humanly possible, go to Surat to support the Nationalist cause. We are aware of the tremendous difficulties in our way. Surat is far distant… and yet we must go. What is a Nationalist good for if he cannot make up by his enthusiasm and energy for his other deficiencies, if he cannot make nothing of difficulties and turn the impossible into the possible. It is to sweep away difficulties and to strike the word impossible out of the Indian’s dictionary that our party has arisen.

We must go as poor men whose wealth is our love for Motherland. …as pilgrims travelling to our Mother’s temple. We have a great work to do and cannot afford to be negligent and half-hearted. Be sure that this year 1907 is a turning point of our destinies. …Let us fear to miss by absenting ourselves the chance of helping to put in one of the key stones of the house we are bulding for our Mother’s dwelling in the future, the house of her salvation, the house of Swaraj. History very seldom records the things that were decisive but took place behing the veil; it records the show in front of the curtain. Very few people know that it was I (without consulting Tilak) who gave the order that led to the breaking of the Congress and was responsible for the refusal to join the newfangled Moderate Convention which were the two decisive happenings at Surat.

There are periods in the history of the world when the unseen Power that guides its destinies seems to be filled with a consuming passion for change and a strong impatience of the old. The Great Mother, the Adya Shakti, has resolved to take the nations into her hand and shape them anew. These are periods of rapid destruction and energetic creation. …they are periods when the wisdom of the wise is confounded and the prudence of the prudent turn into a laughing stock; for it is the day of the prophet, the dreamer, the fanatic and the crusader, — the time of divine revelation when Avatars are born and miracles happen… in such a period we find ourselves at the dawn of this twentieth century the years of whose infancy have witnessed such wonderful happenings. …We are assisting now at the birth of a new Asia and the modernisation of the East.

I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell, but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna who I saw standing there and holding over his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. …I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them 1 saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these
darkened souls and misused bodies.

Extract from C. R. Das’s speech
My appeal to you is this, that long after the controversy will be hushed in silence, long after this turmoil, the agitation will have ceased, long after he is dead and gone, he will be looked upon as the poet of patriotism, as the prophet of nationalism and the lover of humanity. Long after he is dead and gone, his words will be echoed and re-echoed, not only in India but across the distant seas and lands. Therefore, I say that the man in his position is not only standing before the bar of this court, but before the bar of the High Court of History

The Five Dreams of Sri Aurobindo

The fifteenth of August 1947.
(This message was given by Sri Aurobindo at the request of the All India Radio, Thiruchirapalli. It was broadcast on 14th August 1947)
August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world-movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though then they looked like impracticable dreams, arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position.

The first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India.
India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form—the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India’s future.

Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role in the progress of human civilisation.
Asia has arisen; large parts are now quite free or are at this moment being liberated: its other still subject or partly subject parts are moving through whatever struggles towards freedom. Only a little has to be done and that will be done today or tomorrow. There India has her part to play and has begun to play it with an energy and ability which already indicate the measure of her possibilities and the place she can take in the council of the nations.

The third dream was a world-union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind.
That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organised but struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too India has begun to play a prominent part and, if she can develop that larger statesmanship which is not limited by the present facts and immediate possibilities but looks into the future and brings it nearer, her presence may make all the difference between a slow and timid and a bold and swift development. A catastrophe may intervene and interrupt or destroy what is being done, but even then the final result is sure. For unification is a necessity of Nature, an inevitable movement. Its necessity for the nations is also clear, for without it the freedom of the small nations may be at any moment in peril and the life even of the large and powerful nations insecure. The unification is therefore to the interests of all, and only human imbecility and stupid selfishness can prevent it; but these cannot stand for ever against the necessity of Nature and the Divine Will. But an outward basis is not enough; there must grow up an international spirit and outlook, international forms and institutions must appear, perhaps such developments as dual or multilateral citizenship, willed interchange or voluntary fusion of cultures. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost its militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self- preservation and the integrality of its outlook. A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race.

Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun.
India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.

The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society.
This is still a personal hope and an idea, an ideal which has begun to take hold both in India and in the West on forward-looking minds. The difficulties in the way are more formidable than in any other field of endeavour, but difficulties were made to be overcome and if the Supreme Will is there, they will be overcome. Here too, if this evolution is to take place, since it must proceed through a growth of the spirit and the inner consciousness, the initiative can come from India and, although the scope must be universal, the central movement may be hers.

Such is the content which I put into this date of India’s liberation; whether or how far this hope will be justified depends upon the new and free India.

Varadharajan: Building Bridges Between Auroville and Local Villages

Varadharajan was a devoted follower of The Mother and played a crucial role in liaising with the local villagers during the early days of Auroville. His background as a Tamilian helped him connect with the villagers and understand their concerns about Auroville’s intentions. When Varadharajan realized that none of the Auroville Administrative Committee members could speak Tamil, he volunteered to live in Kuilapalayam, a nearby village, to build a bridge between Auroville and the villagers.

The villagers had concerns about Auroville’s intentions, as they were afraid that the government would issue a notification order to acquire their land for the Auroville project. They were not a big village and felt threatened by the people with whom they felt no connection and whose motives they did not understand. They were also concerned that they would be relocated somewhere else, as had happened in the case of big government projects like Neyveli township.

To address their concerns, Varadharajan wrote a note in Tamil, assuring them that Auroville wanted to show a new way of life, which would provide them with better employment opportunities, improve their standard of living, and provide new health and educational facilities. He also assured them that Auroville would not evict anybody from their homes because the Tamil people living on the soil of Auroville are “the first citizens of Auroville”.

Varadharajan’s note calmed the villagers’ fears to a certain extent, but there was still some uncertainty about Auroville’s intentions. Mother wrote to somebody that he should be “very careful not to offend the people from the Tamil village. It has been very difficult for us to win their confidence, and nothing should be done that should make them lose this new-born confidence which is of capital importance…. They are your brothers in spirit. This should never be forgotten.”

Varadharajan also worked to improve the lives of the villagers by providing clean drinking water, setting up a health center, and employing local people in the first Auroville workshops. He also started a mother and child care center, another school, and an integrated families experiment, which allowed families to join Auroville if they had goodwill and were willing to work for human unity.

Varadharajan’s work with the villagers was critical to building a strong relationship between Auroville and the local communities. His note in Tamil helped alleviate the villagers’ fears, and his work to improve their lives showed that Auroville was committed to being a good neighbor. His devotion to The Mother and his dedication to Auroville’s mission made him a key figure in the early days of Auroville.

The Responsibility and Privilege of Building Auroville: Protecting the Dream of Sri Aurobindo and Mother

For the last 23 years I have been visiting Auroville regularly. I have also presented the city of Auroville through the Lur Gozoa Association, especially two exhibitions of the city, the model of the Galaxy and its Master Plan. At the end of this letter, I expose my curriculum for your more detailed information. I have spent a few weeks in Auroville, on such important dates as Mother’s Anniversary and the 55th Anniversary of the City of Auroville, I have shared and held conversations with all kinds of Aurovilians, old residents, some of the pioneers, new Aurovilians, visitors… people of different nationalities. All these people seemed to have no other type of conversation than to give their opinion on the subject of the Galaxy and more specifically on the Crown.

I believe that the moment we are living is extremely delicate in the sense that the project of Sri Aurobindo and Mother is about to manifest itself in a progressively active way, finally after 55 years in which it has been slowing down for various reasons. The reasons for which the project has been stopped and slowed down for so many years are not relevant and it is not appropriate to count them and even less to personalize or name the different ways of manifesting the “fear” of realizing such a great work, not because of its size, but because of its significance. 

The work, the project of manifesting the City that the World Needs, the City that will welcome the Humanity of the Future, to participate in it, in this laboratory, is very scary, it is an enormous responsibility, because it is not a matter of manifesting and building houses, roads, social premises, dining rooms, commercial places… etc., which also, of course, is a matter of course. The difficulties of building are solved immediately, mostly with money, with financing.

The problem comes, the fear of responsibility arrives when the construction of a project of colossal magnitude, born from the dream of some exceptional beings, is in hand. Those same exceptional beings, by They Grace, have called in some subtle way all the people who are now living in what will be the City of Auroville. It is understandable that during all these years it has been difficult to prioritize the construction of the city taking into account the difficulties of financing, finally the Matrimandir has been built, the soul of the city, its gardens, the lake (for so many years it was believed to be an “impossible dream” and finally thanks to new technologies it has been possible to build, nothing is impossible if someone already dreamed it, and in that case the Dreamers were, are exceptional), the different aids and donations have had to be distributed and prioritize the most immediate and necessary. It is understandable, even occupying land with the most immediate to continue to keep the spaces alive while building, but without losing sight of the ultimate goal: why and for what reason we are in Auroville, why I answered the call.

With new technologies it will be possible to do things now and in the near future, innovations that seemed impossible when Mother dreamed them up. It is clear that Auroville is not going to be the place from which new technologies are born for the rest of the world, but it will be the place where those technologies are used in unexpected and innovative ways. What is certain is that the very experience of living in Auroville, of overcoming the difficulties, of attending to the detachments to our way of living, the flexibility in changing our minds, our ideas, overcoming the need to want to reduce with our little minds with their egoic needs the projections of Beings who have come to push our evolution, is what will make Auroville different from any other human enterprise undertaken so far. This is the wonderful contagion. Reaching 50,000 people living in Auroville with those who one day managed to reach this goal, is what will give the critical mass necessary to replicate it in other places in the world. This is what the Auroville laboratory is based on.

Auroville is for the world, it is not for a few privileged people. The privilege is to live to build Auroville, to have heard the whisper of the Masters and to accept it.

At this time, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth, the eyes of India have turned to Auroville and have begun to recognize the figure of the Master in a strong way. Sri Aurobindo’s 5 Dreams resonate strongly and this seems to have activated the need to strongly support the building of the city, another of Sri Aurobindo’s dreams. “There should be somewhere in the world…”. Mother knew that no other nation could participate in the experiment, allow it. And 55 years later, India goes a step further and commits to fully fund the construction. And it begins to do so…

It is time to protect the Dream of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, supporting the construction, being as close as possible, contributing what we have learned. It is time to build and protect, being grateful. It is not time for unsustainable absurd confrontations that confuse, that generate pain and allow fear to have its way. The people who live in Auroville have to remember their Dream. The people of Auroville have to remember that they have gone to India, to Auroville, to become Aurovilians and that being Aurovilians does not consist only in living in Auroville, but in getting involved in building the city of Human Unity and overcoming all the difficulties, material, emotional and spiritual that this challenge demands. Remember the words of Mother: “To be a true Aurovilian …………” the 7 points that She lists and that I, although I do not live in Auroville I consider them as a reference for my daily Sadhana, how to be a true human being. ALL LIFE IS YOGA.

In Auroville there is no need to build bridges of understanding. Whoever calls himself a mediator is fulfilling a task that no one has asked of him and is not necessary. Only an exquisite equanimity can attend to the needs and approaches of all the parties involved and, in this sense, as far as I am concerned AVI Spain is not fulfilling the function of representing all the sensitivities that are taking place at this time and with its clumsiness (which I do not doubt has good intentions) is aggravating an issue that the good will of all the people involved will know how to solve with intelligence and heart.

I request, by means of this letter, that AVI Spain, in this case, cease with the particular personal opinions of its president. I do not believe that AVI Spain is being able to transmit in an equanimous, fair and serious way to the people it represents, the reality of the delicate and decisive moment that the Auroville community is living and that with its visceral appreciations it is being of little or no help, furthermore it is producing unnecessary confrontations.

I can provide documents addressed to AVI Spain that last year I already sent through the Lur Gozoa Association, if required. I understand that the way in which AVI Spain, in the figure of its president, continues to address and present the issue is inappropriate and seriously affects the honor of some people living in Auroville giving names and whatsapps, thus subtracting them ability to resolve personally in a serene way any injury that may arise due to the different ways of understanding and evolve with respect to the construction of the city according to the Master Plan, accepted and sealed by The Mother.

The impartiality in “telling” the story of the process that the Auroville Community is going through must be exquisite, in the case that the different AVI’s have decided that they must participate and transmit the evolution of this important and decisive moment. I understand that we must all the people involved in different ways, transmit calm, serenity and support and above all confidence that the people will be able to solve it with the sure help of The Mother, who is taking care of them and of the City that the World Needs, the City of Human Unity.

A twinned embrace in Her Light

Rosana Agudo

Rosana Agudo is Founder of the Association Lur Gozoa for a Conscious Citizenship (Antenna of Auroville International Spain) and of the Association for Women’s Leadership Mirra. Director of TTi, Technology for Inner Transformation (she participated in the 1st Business and Conscience in the city of Auroville). She is a Dharma Master and Zen Master. Creator of the School of Active Meditation and Evolutionary Development where she works in the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and Mother. She has been traveling regularly to Auroville for more than 20 years and has a very close relationship with the city, actively collaborating with its aims and objectives at every moment according to the most immediate need.