Leaving the Matrimandir after a meditation and walking through the gardens a reflection came to me that compared the Matrimandir with the Galaxy plan of the City.
I thought with deep gratitude about the realization of the Matrimandir. First and foremost to Mother for having the vision at the center of the City of this space for concentration and connection with our true being, with our divine spark.
And secondly, to the human beings who participated in its design and construction: Roger for collecting the essence of the project from Mother and being faithful to the ideal of beauty and spirit, for guiding every detail with the greatest care. Then to Piero for supervising the construction indefatigably, to so many Aurovilians who contributed in one way or another to its manifestation and to all the donors who made this miracle financially possible.
And I thought that if all those Aurovilians had wanted to design and implement popular ecological and aesthetic considerations, changing them according to the times, now we would not have this Matrimandir or live the unique experience of breathing into that magical chamber and watching the golden sphere change color with the sky.
I imagined the Aurovilians with all their good will saying ‘we are not against having a Matrimandir, but it has to be collaborative and taking into account the ecological parameters’ I imagined endless new designs, criticizing the cement, whether bamboo instead of concrete, and maybe not even a building, only a forest around the banyan tree. And with all that good will and with all those apparently undeniable ecological theories, the Matrimandir experience would have been lost, because Mother had that building built to channel Her Force and that’s what matters.
Going back to the comparison with the City and the plan for the Galaxy that Mother approved with such joy, I thought that if we stopped questioning and talking about changing the design, giving prominence to all our opinions and just started doing it all together, each one with their capabilities, surely one day, walking through its streets and observing its buildings, we would understand why it had to be like this, and we will have an even more complete experience of Mother’s Force in action. If we consented to be the instruments and not the directors of the work…
Most of us in Auroville have a distrust of authority. Coming here was partly to escape the world of authority, politics etc. And so when confronted with a form of, or a projection of, authority, many rebelled against it, by default as it were: it was an emotional compulsive decision.
Authority in Auroville lies in the Charter, the Divine Life, and as a first layer of execution means Leadership: the 3 bodies of governance called The Foundation, and it consists of Governing Board, Residents Assembly and the International Advisory Council. They are represented by a secretary and bring direction, decisions to be made. It is also there to protect us from power group’s tendencies that are obstructing development and creativity. Enabling us to…get on with it. Especially building the City and the major projects.
We have always had authorities in Auroville. These took the form of bureaucracy and groups of interest of different kinds……and extensions thereof, for example: reaching into the AVI’s and networks for fundraising, land purchase etc. Also people feeling entitled to the patch of land they had developed and not allowing others to build.
There exist forms of aristocracy for example, groups of interest. Little islands of authorities: even like country clubs as it were. Or the Entry group process holding power over one’s livelihood and making their demands: often crippling people’s chances of settling here.
Are all these not also forms of authority? They are almost invisible, like hidden networks that won’t budge. The seeking of power and keeping it has always been there. In many ways these formations would hinder activities, block the development of the City, show favouritism concerning fundraising etc. The whole notion of freedom and collective process was a bit of a farce, drowning in these groups of interest: stifling our chances of developing on a collective level. Even the Residents Assembly of late tried to be the only authority and stop people from doing their work. Making a decision and then using the RA to stop it again because it was not to the liking of a few.
We have a lack of authority also. Anybody could come along and kick you out of your own project. Our working groups have never really had power behind decisions being taken. We could not move much, especially collectively. Very frustrating for those giving their time and energy often for nothing.
Now, when there are many people always commenting on the master plan, even on Mother, such things like ‘oh, it’s the past’, what are we to do: have no authority, no protection at all? Just be overrun by people who in their arrogance believe they know better?
We wish to refocus those energies to the one and only authority: Auroville, the Divine Mother. And we need leadership to do this, to get anything done.
Maybe leadership helps us not to be a victim of Authority.
Leadership can be better than fixed rules and regulations. It is not here to fix everything once and for all. It is a management to help redirect the boat towards the collective vision. Yes it is especially towards building the City and its major elements.The Mother gave a detailed design and concept, through Roger, a great man and loving person. Why can we not also show love to this, and align and work in simplicity and under leadership… . The authority is The Divine, Auroville itself. We need not rebel or go against it, nor submit to the idea we have of it. Rather, to learn and rise to a third perspective and towards a society governed by sages and intuitive intelligence. Individual and collective research, effort, life. Freedom of expression, generating creative energy.
The freedom we are longing for then can begin to develop. And the authority of the RA can grow more true. And love can grow amongst people creating this vision.
Born on 28 February 1968, the adventure finds its roots in two texts: the Charter of Auroville and the “Dream”. Its essence resides in the expression of aspirations, without any indication of the path to be followed, an evolutionary path, an adherence to an ideal, an aspiration towards a path for the soul.
Each human element, with its own qualities is requested to bring these qualities at the service of the realization of Auroville. Naturally each ”element” comes with its” luggage” of things to accomplish in order to transcend his limits. But the regard remains fixed on the horizon, towards the dawn to come in spite of the difficulties on the road.
After some years, in the context of a semi desert land, where everything had to be done, we, ordinary humans, started to mark “territories” with our own conceptions of property, without property. For this was the challenge, to believe in utopia.
When one speaks of the individual, one must include the collective. This collective aspires to be ideal, including everybody and letting everyone to give its opinion. Elections came and the politics followed. Soon one did not see the “other” as oneself. Then came opinions. And then came freedom of expression, personal choices, and preferences. Even the freedom of one bulldozing the liberty of another.
All this drowned, in fact, the original quest, and the individual not anymore the instrument but the dictator. We arrive at the fraternity of a clan, which is superficial. And that is where Auroville is at the present, forgetting that our only liberty is to adhere to the values enshrined in the Charter and the Dream.
One says that Auroville is in turmoil, it is true and it is a sign of the good health of this project. In fact, Auroville was day dreaming for the last 50 years, paralyzing itself with stagnation. Evolution cannot stop. One can see the environing landscape progressively overtaking the territory of the city itself. This is the consequence of the lack of choice or the division of the collective. It is also fashionable to be against the city. Then endless suppositions come in, born from the fears of everyone: fear to lose one’s privileges, insecurities of all kinds, fright which have no reality but are posturing as truth…It is the fear of Change, well known from all of us, in spite of our aspiration for change.
To say today that the French are threatened!!! Why the French??? This is a gratuitous segregation. The uncertainties of some cannot be interpreted as the truth of the whole collective. What is the use of such communication? Is it to arm weaponize with importance only one’s point of view? Transformation does not take place by imposing views but by an understanding at the individual level. Else it is just the creation of fear. To create a dialogue is to be able to include the ‘other’.
To answer word for word to accusations or denunciations is a useless process. It is like justifying oneness with mediocrity. Why should the French be in danger, specifically French? We have an evolutionary crisis, perfectly understandable. Great changes in the world have never come from compromise. See Nelson Mandela, Lincoln, Churchill, Bolivar, Napoleon, and many others. It requires courage? Yes. And conviction in an ideal. I have not noticed personally any risk or threat against the French or anyone else. If it is about Mael, he, as an individual was asked to leave India, not threatened, due to his sudden ordinary attitude to say the least. It is India that has invited men and women of goodwill to this fabulous project. That is to be simply respected. Mael’s ‘Leave India’ notice may be interpreted as a threat if one wishes to. I have not noticed anything apart the sadness, from friends, not a fear of a similar action.
It is important to recognize the aims and objectives of Auroville and not deny Auroville it’s identity its realization as a city. The world is big enough for those who want to follow other dreams. Today, we are confronted with a choice: to remain the little individual with its frustrations, its lived or pretended failures, its endless accusations of the other, its denunciations. It is a pigmy world without any evolutionary future… Or, can one look boldly into the essential to call the future to be discovered, the beauty to be manifest, the human unity where the other is oneself. To destroy or to build, it is the Divine who does.
A core tenet of Auroville is the concept of Prosperity. Shortly defined it is an “unwritten contract” that states that when joining and offering you work to Auroville and its development, Auroville would in return take care of your basic needs, including housing.
As we all know this has been difficult to achieve and we are still far away from it. A certain number of conditions have to be fulfilled before it can happen.
Work. The work we give to Auroville should benefit the collective, by developing Auroville towards its goal as a City, by growing food or making products for Auroville needs, or for exchange with other things the community needs, or in service and management. If too many are focused only on their own interest or development, it becomes difficult for Auroville to “honour the contract”.
Auroville needs to be able to provide work opportunities, not only in services but also in income generation units, so Auroville can make use of offered work in a way that benefits the community and provides an outcome that will allow Auroville to provide prosperity to all.
Food. After many years and a lot of effort Auroville is very far from being self-supporting with food. And we have to acquire a lot of food items from outside. If we could raise the production on a large scale, not only producing the food products for our own needs, but more so we could exchange for the food we can’t grow, it would be a huge step towards Auroville’s possibility for covering the basic food needs for Aurovilians.
Basic needs. Auroville can only make a part of what is needed to cover basic needs. Many things, like bikes, petrol, electricity, mobile, internet and many other things we obviously can not produce ourselves. We need to produce other items we can use to acquire what we need. Auroville economy and production capacity has to be large enough to cover this part of basic needs.
To make sure that we acquire the products we need in an efficient way, a procurement service is a must. Now a complex, fragmented way of buying a large number of different items is very inefficient and costly. An effort is on the way for a Procurement service, taking care of buying all for basic needs. Together with a plan to link all major “buyers” , outlets, restaurants, bakeries, etc with a data system keeping track of buying needs, combined with a professional service to procure-“buy” the best products at best cost, we would be able to get our basic needs covered in the best economical way.
Scale of economy. Right now the scale of our Economy only allows us to provide basic maintenance to a little more than half of Aurovilians. And many are not satisfied with the level of basic maintenance. So we need a large scale up just to be able to give basic maintenances to existing Aurovilians. For future growth and more people, another large scale up of the economy is needed.
This will need a focus of expanding our income from existing income generating units, as well as nurturing startups. This will require a serious support system for units, in management and access to finance. But without this growth Auroville will never be able to provide prosperity. Prosperity has to be self generated, we cannot expect any donor to support this.
Housing. A chapter of prosperity we have never really entered is the housing part. It has more or less been left to each new aurovilian to solve this by themselves. This has to change. Housing has to become part of the maintenance system.
Newcomers financing their “own” house creates a strong ownership and “reselling” houses when moving houses, just prolongs this problem. Only giving access to people with “deep pockets” leaves young dynamic people being unable to join. Going forward, we need to find finance to build larger “social housing” where newcomers can get a place to stay and part of their maintenance will be a housing component, that will be able to take care of the cost of housing, building cost as well as maintenance.
If we are able to find solutions to these conditions, we would be able to move towards a general prosperity system. FAMC is committed to find solutions to these issues.
Auroville, the city where youth never ages, offers boundless opportunities for its young residents to embark on a journey of self-discovery and find their purpose in life through active engagement. However, one crucial element seems to be missing: the concept of transition. While the elder citizens have accomplished remarkable feats through their dedication, there is a need to bridge the generational gap and pass on their knowledge and skills to the aspiring youth, ensuring the continued growth and prosperity of Auroville.
Auroville owes its wonder and accomplishments to Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It also is the vision and efforts of its elder citizens. Their remarkable contributions have laid the foundation for the city’s development. However, it is crucial to reflect on whether they have considered sharing their wisdom and expertise with the younger generation who aspire to excel in the same fields. Fostering a culture of intergenerational exchange can bridge the gap within the Auroville community and ensure a smooth continuity of knowledge, skills, and assets.
To sustain the progress and vibrancy of Auroville, the notion of transition must be embraced. If the accomplishments and resources created by the elder citizens are not passed on effectively, Auroville risks losing its momentum and future direction. The responsibility falls upon the senior Aurovilians to acknowledge that their legacies and contributions need successors who can carry the torch forward. By actively supporting and mentoring enthusiastic young individuals who demonstrate a genuine interest in their respective fields, Auroville can witness a seamless transition of leadership, ensuring its continued growth and prosperity.
Auroville’s youth should be granted meaningful opportunities in various positions that align with their innate interests and aspirations. By providing them with platforms to express their passion and take up responsibilities, Auroville can tap into their potential and witness remarkable transformations. When youth are given the chance to contribute to the city’s development, a ripple effect occurs, inspiring others and fostering a culture of active engagement. The enthusiasm and fresh perspectives of young individuals, coupled with the guidance of experienced elders, can bring about innovative solutions, address challenges, and open new avenues for growth.
The Auroville community must actively explore possibilities and strategies to facilitate a smooth transition. It is a healthy and necessary practice to keep our family moving forward. Embracing change and collaboration can ensure the seamless transfer of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities from one generation to the next. Open channels of communication and platforms for dialogue can encourage Aurovilians, both young and old, to share their insights, suggestions, and experiences. By collectively nurturing an environment that fosters growth, mentorship, and cooperation, Auroville can pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future.
In Auroville, the power of transition lies in its ability to empower the youth, bridge generational gaps, and ensure the continuity of achievements. By actively fostering intergenerational exchange, providing opportunities for the younger generation, and embracing collaboration, Auroville can thrive and fulfil its collective vision.
Surely most of us have noticed the action of the new consciousness that is emerging, how it is getting more and more accelerated, and how some great changes are becoming not only necessary but unavoidable: changes on Societies, changes on the way we see spirituality, changes on the Environment, changes on ourselves. And all along there is a radical and effective revaluation of ideas and things.
One clear sign of such changes is that in more recent times the perception of an oneness underlying the whole humanity is no more foreign to the human psyche, and in spite of the difficulty in manifesting it on a material level, this truth is taking roots on a growing number of individuals and organizations all around the planet.
The apparently strong opposition, seen everywhere, can not deter the Force pushing towards a more concrete realization, because the ideal of human unity surely contains in itself its own power, and this power is awakening everywhere, bringing with it new possibilities of realization, both at individual and at collective levels.
The project of Auroville, even if it is still under construction and far from being complete, has been a living and inspiring example of efforts towards this ideal. Now, we do think that the time is ripe to invite people from different places to know more about it and to find new ways of participating in the Auroville experiment. To join in our forces, aspirations and dreams.
Maybe this will help us, the residents of Auroville, to enlarge ourselves and to look at the world with new eyes. Maybe a sense of a golden thread, invisible and yet tangible, will permeate the new contacts, the new relationships that will be created, and will grow and spread…. Maybe we will learn to dream together, and make Mother`s dream our collective dream, and be able to believe in our dreams. And maybe one day, the big dream of being one and universal, will become true. And this will only be the beginning of a far greater adventure…
Auroville’s Master Plan, as per the Galaxy Plan, consists of four main parks – Mahalakshmi Park, Mahasaraswati Park, Mahakali Park, and Maheshwari Park. These parks are situated between different zones, with connecting corridors and green lanes linking them.
Mahalakshmi Park lies between the Residential Zone and Cultural Zone, while Mahasaraswati Park hosts the Darkali area with extensions on two sides. Mahakali Park is situated between the Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati Parks and has Bliss and Existence in the connecting corridor/garden. Maheshwari Park is joined by the Aurodam canyon along the Line of Goodwill.
The present land status shows that the Greenbelt area is 3637 acres, and the City area is 1213 acres. The Green Areas becomes an integral feature of the City Centre, impacting the circular stretch from the edge of the Matrimandir Lake up to the Crown. As the Crown passes through each zonal area, it crosses the corresponding parks.
The Green Areas along with a harmonious urban development and re-configured mobility, will help Auroville set conscious and creative standards for sustainable growth, urban development, and mobility. ATDC will bring together a wide spectrum of people, including forest and green group members, landscape designers, water planners, architects, urban designers, and potential community members, to work on the green network together with the urbanscape alongside in the most sensitive way, as in Crownways.
The potential of the green spaces is immense, as it will limit pollution and make a city that takes responsibility for itself, is humane, collaborative and innovative, integrates development with nature, and becomes naturally more secure. It will create a conscious, walkable, and litter-free city, making it unique in its own way.
To ensure the success of the Green Network initiative, it is crucial to bring together a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and expertise. This can include green/forest members, landscapers, gardeners, architects, artists, mobility planners, and potential community members. These individuals can offer unique perspectives and contribute to the development of a comprehensive plan for the Green Network.
This team can be made up of representatives of different area expertise, formed by the ATDC who work together to develop a comprehensive plan of the Green Network, including water strategies and mobility hierarchies, in harmony with the urban elements of each park, within an agreed time frame.
Creating a budget/fundraising strategy is essential to ensure that the Green Network initiative has the necessary resources to succeed. This can involve identifying potential funding sources, developing a budget for the initiative, and implementing fundraising strategies to secure the necessary resources.
Studying what currently exists in the parks and gauging location areas is an essential step in developing a comprehensive plan for the Green Network. This can involve mapping the parks and connecting corridors and identifying areas that require attention or improvement.
Updating the study of flora and fauna species can help to ensure that the Green Network is developed in a way that is respectful of the natural environment. This can involve identifying the different species that exist within the parks and developing strategies to protect and preserve them.
Surveying the parks and connecting corridors for land and water strategies can help to identify areas where improvements can be made to enhance the Green Network. This can involve assessing the quality of the soil, identifying areas that require additional irrigation, and identifying potential water storage solutions.
Developing a Green Network plan that includes forested areas, semi-forested areas, gardens, water bodies, and pathways is essential to ensure that the Green Network is comprehensive and meets the needs of the community. This plan should be developed with input from the Green Network Study team and should take into account the natural environment and the needs of the community.
Simultaneously creating an urban design plan for the city centre area and setting building guidelines for easier co-existence can help to ensure that the Green Network is integrated into the urban environment in a way that is harmonious and sustainable.
Studying how to integrate mobility hierarchies such as pedestrian, cycle circulation, and service access routes according to each zone, benches, e-vehicles stops, charging stations, and lights for evening security can help to ensure that the Green Network is accessible to all members of the community and is integrated into the urban environment in a way that is safe and secure.
Developing a security strategy for parks and corridors can help to ensure that the Green Network is safe and secure for all members of the community. This can involve identifying potential security risks and developing strategies to mitigate them, such as installing park lights and enhancing security measures.
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.
FROM SRI AUROBINDO 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.
FROM THE MOTHER 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.
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 Their 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 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.
Auroville, the ‘City the Earth Needs,’ is a universal township in the making, based on the evolutionary vision of the Indian seer, Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual partner, Mirra Alfassa, known as the Mother. The goal of Auroville is to realize Human Unity. Through research and discoveries Auroville strives to become a living embodiment of an actual living Human Unity.
The Mother initiated a city plan for 50,000 where people from all over the world could learn to live and work together in unity. To achieve this in a 2.5 km radius the innovative Lines of Force came into being to manage density with a balanced, free flowing environment.
Three projects have come together to realize the longest Line of Force, Line of Force-1, the Line of Goodwill: The Gateway of Human Unity, Matrimandir Visitor Access and Goodwill Habitat. Goodwill Habitat: Auroville’s present population stands at approximately 3000 and there is an urgent need for growth. Corresponding habitat for the growing population will have to be built to allow for the new energy and resources that the city needs to fulfill its aims.
Auroville, the ‘City the Earth Needs,’ is a universal township in the making, based on the evolutionary vision of the Indian seer, Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual partner, Mirra Alfassa, known as the Mother. The goal of Auroville is to realize Human Unity. Through research and discoveries Auroville strives to become a living embodiment of an actual living Human Unity. The Mother initiated a city plan for 50,000 where people from all over the world could learn to live and work together in unity. To achieve this in a 2.5 km radius the innovative Lines of Force came into being to manage density with a balanced, free flowing environment. Three projects have come together to realize the longest Line of Force, Line of Force-1, the Line of Goodwill: The Gateway of Human Unity, Matrimandir Visitor Access and Goodwill Habitat. Goodwill Habitat: Auroville’s present population stands at approximately 3000 and there is an urgent need for growth. Corresponding habitat for the growing population will have to be built to allow for the new energy and resources that the city needs to fulfill its aims.
The Gateway: Many people and institutions all over the world are working towards the goal of unity in diversity and the aim of the Gateway of Human Unity is to serve as a bridge between the World and Auroville and to host the meeting between the two. By creating a meeting place, Auroville is committed to learning from the discoveries and insights from without and to sharing the discoveries and insights learned from within. Matrimandir Visitor Access: Auroville presently receives more than 700,000 visitors every year and the number is increasing. The majority of these visitors come to see the Matrimandir. As Matrimandir and the Park of Unity including the Lake are moving towards completion new more permanent arrangements have to be made to receive all these visitors according to the guidelines given by The Mother. Arrangements for receiving visitors to Matrimandir have been provided for in the Auroville Master Plan along the axis of the Line of Goodwill.
Line of Goodwill
Unlike other cities, Auroville starts from the centre, the Peace Area. It houses the Matrimandir, the soul of the city, which is to be surrounded by a lake. The city radiates from this centre according to the Galaxy plan which is defined by 12 Lines of Force. The Western Line of Force or Line of Force 1, named the Line of Goodwill, is the longest of these Lines. Line of Goodwill
Spanning over 800 meters and it connects the West Entrance of Matrimandir at the Lake to The Gateway, at the far end, while integrating the Matrimandir Visitor Access and the Goodwill Habitat along its length. This Line of Force is an integral part of the Galaxy Plan. The profile of the Line of Goodwill is envisaged as a rising hillscape, where one can walk through rooftop gardens from the lowest areas of interconnecting Habitat clusters, starting from the Lake at the West Gate of Matrimandir to the highest level, 18 stories, at the Gateway. The Line of Goodwill will be porous with a 45% void to built-up ratio, full of open spaces and open to the surrounding nature. The Line of Goodwill wants to be a green building in every sense, including the integration of nature (wind, water, renewable energy, plants) into its design and fabric. The Line of Goodwill aspires to apply cutting edge alternative energy technologies minimizing the carbon footprint even in the construction phase. From the point of view of Auroville, building the Line of Goodwill is an opportunity to build in the spirit of experimentation and innovation with all-inclusiveness and collaboration within Auroville and between Auroville and the rest of the world. It is seen as a prototype for building the “City the Earth Needs” which implies the highest standards of ecological and environmental sensitivity both towards man and nature in the design, the execution and the realized project honoring the immense amount of work already done to regenerate its land and environment by Auroville. It is seen as a prototype building for the “City the Earth Needs” which implies the highest standards of ecological and environmental sensitivity both towards man and nature in the design, the execution and the realized project honoring the immense amount of work already done to regenerate its land and environment by Auroville.
Situated in Auroville’s Residential Zone, the Line of Goodwill must fulfil its objective of managing density and house up to 8000 people. Starting from the Matrimandir Lake front at Ground level, the Goodwill Habitat will gradually rise in height till it reaches a natural canyon at G+14 beyond which lies the Gateway. A Conscious Coexistence The project calls for a new type of housing reflecting Auroville’s unity in ways that are both material and spiritual and create inventive bridges with the past and the future. It will concentrate urban living patterns and contemporary arrangements with a conscious use of new technologies while nurturing an inner soul space and a coexistence with humanity and nature. It will manage resources consciously and create artistic environments for a society to grow harmoniously as in ancient traditions. As a prototype for coexistence the Goodwill Habitat will welcome people of all national, social and economic backgrounds, embrace the diversity of local and global strata, all languages, age and gender so that people can learn to live together in harmony. The Goodwill Habitat will develop in a phased way together with Gateway and the Matrimandir Accessway, starting with a first phase for 500 people.
Housing a New Society
Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.
Habitat will provide individual housing and collective social spaces that are simple, rich, beautiful and conscious. At Ground level Habitat will face the Matrimandir Lake, where it will offer a contemplative space, like a meditative tea room, a place to experience beauty. Levels 1 to 4 will be more social and collective and offer all the amenities like a reception, collective kitchens and restaurants, inner gardens and courtyards, libraries, lounges, offices, creche and play areas, stores for basic needs, health facilities, laundries and guest facilities. A Community Plaza is envisaged at level 4, with an indoor amphitheatre, auditoriums and exhibition spaces plus administrative and maintenance sections for the whole Habitat.
As levels rise the building will grow more porous, quieter and private, allowing a free and contemplative atmosphere. Habitat will be interconnected with gardens, ponds and pathways from ground level to the roof and across its horizontal span with private, semi-private and public circulations. A diversity of apartment designs is envisaged for singles, couples and families, student groups and guests. Common areas will remain open as study spaces for children in this city of unending education. Care will be taken in design not to stack people in apartments in an impersonal manner but offer a flow of open spaces, as has been tried at Sunship, integrating the beauty of the environment with the atmosphere of Auroville and its Soul.
Earth. Wind. Water. Solar.
The Goodwill Habitat wants to serve as an exemplary model not just for Auroville but also as a prototype of a sustainable, collective coexistence for India and the world through best practices in urban planning with the environment, through architecture and design and by creating new models for collective habitat. Earth: Economic land use. Sensitive integration with surrounding environment. Green shafts between buildings. Urban farming on the roof. Responsibility towards the earth. Wind : Architecture will be climate responsive, avoiding air conditioning except in collective spaces and for special health needs. Water : Conscious use of this resource. Rain water harvesting. Waste water recycling. Solar: Solar energy panels on roof to capture most of the energy and back up for the building Waste Management: Sewage recycling to be integrated in the building design. Proper waste management to be planned from the construction stage with the Wasteless Team. Materials: Study different types of sustainable materials together with lighter high tech possibilities to keep the building light and porous as it goes higher. Key Aims: collective, sustainable, experimental, interdependent, self-sustainable.
Auroville is known as a field of experiment. The Line of Goodwill’s Habitat experiment in collective coexistence will encourage a paradigm shift in attitudes nurturing a new spirit of sharing, responsibility, beauty and oneness.
It will eliminate a client-builder relationship.
Move away from personal ownership towards a collective living.
Housing and collective spaces will be an asset of Auroville.
Housing allocation will be decided together with Auroville’s Housing Service.
Will encourage experiments in areas of culture, education, architecture and environment.
Will offer some facility or service for Auroville’s collective use like laundries, the community plaza, study spaces and offices and welcome guests.
Encourage the growth of unique urban streets and enable different types of mobility : pedestrian, cycle, and a monorail station in the Crown junction.
This manifestation of beauty and harmony is part of the Divine realization upon earth, perhaps even its greatest part… Art is nothing less in its fundamental truth than the aspect of beauty of the Divine manifestation. Artistic zoning in both private and social spaces will be an integral part of the project design and atmosphere.
Auroville is an international project for humanity as a whole. It is an invitation for all those who thirst for progress and aspire to a higher and truer life. People are drawn to Auroville as the world changes rapidly and the city has to be prepared to house them Not everyone can live in Auroville physically, but all can participate in different ways to help make this dream a reality. Auroville continues to be built with the help of donations from all those in India and elsewhere who feel inspired to nurture this experiment. The Goodwill Habitat hopes to inspire all those who wish to see Auroville manifest by supporting new models of living that can improve the life of cities qualitatively.
Self Maintenance of Project To maintain the buildings and the area a Service Team will be created. It will draw from the experience of projects like Citadines and Sunship that self-manage through monthly service contributions from all residents as well as fraternal contributions plus alternative donations to ensure its overall maintenance.
Preliminary Budget to accommodate 500 people in the first phase: Rs 100 Crore / 15 million Euro
The Gateway is to be one of the first phases of the Line of Goodwill. The Gateway will be the first point of entry for visitors in their meeting with Auroville. Acknowledging that the World has much to offer Auroville, Auroville would also like to share insightful journeys towards consciousness, in order for visitors to take inspiration for their own life journey. While spiritual journeys are personal, in Auroville the result of these journeys is expressed in many aspects of life – in everything from daily life and routines, to job creation, production and consumption. These insights are worth acknowledging and can create a framework for many conversations between Auroville and Auroville visitors. In these meetings and conversations the Gateway will allow Auroville to explore and accept all the goodness happening in the World, while also allowing the visitors to explore Auroville’s ambitions to contribute to humanity and to human unity. Through conversations, the Gateway will touch all visitors with the values of Auroville, and everybody would leave inspired to grow towards a higher consciousness wherever they are in their life journey. And they will leave with an invitation to return.
Everybody is welcome, but not everybody is ready to start on a life-changing journey. For these visitors The Gateway aims to sow a seed of understanding of consciousness. These visitors are welcome again to deepen the conversation when they are ready to. The Gateway aims primarily to attract visitors curious to and possibly on their journey towards spirituality, consciousness, and a better world: Unity in diversity. In joint efforts, conversations between these visitors and Auroville will accelerate the process towards Auroville’s goals and values in an effort to serve humanity.
Outreaching communication should focus on preparing and conditioning the visitors, so they are receptive for the meeting and what Auroville is offering. Equally it should prepare Auroville for those visitors that have something at heart they’d like to bring to Auroville.
The Gateway obligations
The Gateway would offer activities to support a two-way dialogue. Being the host, the Gateway is also responsible for formats to securing the dialogue to remain proper, non-judgmental and based in goodness. The objective to have a dialogue approach to meeting the visitors is to avoid condescending attitudes and to invite openness and willingness to listen and learn and co-create insights.
Atmosphere and Guidance
The whole of the Line of Goodwill will be a physical metaphor where the material structure and its usage reflect the spiritual principles of Auroville. The higher one ascends in the buildings the quieter and more contemplative the atmosphere created. The further in one goes the more intimate the connection with Auroville and its Soul. Where the Matrimandir is emotional and pure in is architectonic communication on the outside and rational, simple and clear on its inside, the Gateway would be perceived opposite: Rational, simple and clear outside while allowing for emotional complexity inside, hosting many different activities and experiences. Yet, the inside of the Gateway should impose feelings of serenity, inducing awe and humbleness. The architecture of the Gateway should absorb visitors, creating an illusion of vast spaciousness and an impression of uncrowdedness. Silence should be instilled, and visitors should be invited to experience the power of silence. Ques from semi-conscious elements influence experiences and help control visitor behavior.
Leading by example, staff will encourage conscious and self-controlled behavior, and sound absorbing materials will add to the silencing effect. The Entry Plaza will be a quiet area and will distribute visitors towards activities in the Gateway. Help will be available in the Plaza to help visitors plan their visit by means of Intelligent signage, e-guidance system and staffed information desks. The Gateway will provide access to the Viewing Points and filtered access to a new Matrimandir Visitor’s Hub within the Line of Goodwill, which will provide all facilities for visitors to Matrimandir.
Conversations Inside the Gateway
Creating a sense of endless opportunities, conferences and seminars will always be ongoing. It will always be worthwhile to return to Auroville. Conversations with the visitors will predominantly be curated and structured in the form of workshops, seminars and conferences. Visitors will also be invited to leave their mark, for example by sharing thoughts, ideas or images to be displayed inside the Gateway. Invitations will be extended to progressive thinkers, philosophers, activists, artists and thought-leaders to conduct workshops in alignment with Auroville values. Other organizations that are working towards Human Unity could also be engaged to conduct conferences and seminars in collaboration with Auroville. Elaborate Wellness seminars for consciousness, mind and body, would create reasons to assemble the World’s best minds artists and implementers. Tying into Auroville Values, learning workshops could include: coaching and well being, sustainability, and social awareness and will include all the experience of the social enterprises of Auroville. Integral Yoga would inspire seminars grouped under two headings:
Balancing your inner self exploring effects on parenting, wellness and psychological wellness.
Interacting in societies and social life leading towards benefits for humanity and Human Unity.
All experience and healing oriented Auroville Units will have central place and role in creating and executing conversations and interaction with visitors.
“Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.”
Auroville is well known both in India and the world at large for its integral approach to Education, Environment, Reforestation, Organic Farming, Architecture and Appropriate Building Technologies, Alternative Energy, Health and Healing, Culture, Creativity and Commerce. The Gateway aspires to consciously create a platform which will display these areas of excellence and Auroville talent in their full potential.
The future for Auroville lies in its strengths of being a “melting pot” of cultures and ideas, its strong interest in research and development and its wish to be in the forefront. Fueled by India’s accelerated development it is now moving into a Knowledge Economy with a high complexity of consumer demands including increasing consciousness of sustainability and social awareness, and yet demanding products with a high content of design and knowledge driven by Auroville’s values. Many units are already delivering solutions and ideas that the respond to these demands and the Gateway will serve as a platform to present these products.
Retail and restaurant space
For Auroville retail, the space should fuel exploration, discovery and inspiration Retail and eating space will be spread out so that it does not jeopardize the serenity of the conversation space in The Gateway.
Auroville has many facets and below are some of the activities that will be part of Gateway:
Education Research Vocational Training Volunteering Internships Sustainability
Appropriate Building Technologies
Waste and Recycling
Workshops Health & Wellness
Alternative Treatment and Healing
Awareness through the Body
Waste and Recycling
Cooking and Nutrition
and many more
Wide range of Eateries
The Gateway will interweave Art and Beauty into all its spaces. There will be large beautiful spaces for Conscious Retailing, Events and Exhibitions. There will be Conference Facilities for cutting edge meetings and networking to bring top participants in chosen fields from all over the world. This will create an Integral Auroville Experience for visitors. The Gateway will have the capacity to give immersive multi-faceted experiences to visitors coming to Auroville over several days, to attract actively engaged people from all over the world and to deliver fully rounded experiences of Auroville’s spirit including spirituality, humanity, community, environment, excellence and progress.
Gateway Business Plan
The Gateway is a large scale multi diverse project, which will contain and showcase all aspects of Auroville: production, consultancy, education, healthcare, art, exhibitions, hospitality etc. The Gateway has two aspects. Participants with a commercial aspect will contribute and in this way provide for the public spaces, exhibition areas, education and other interests which will provide the integral Auroville experience. The cost of Gateway is presently estimated at Rupees 130 crore. The intention is that it will be fully externally financed by donations and soft loans which do not require collateral. This cost, financed over 15 years at 10% interest rate with fixed annual payment, would mean a paying back of Rupees 17 crore every year over 15 years.
Projected Income per year (2018 value): Indian Rupees Viewing Lift for Visitors Going to the Roof Garden : 5.5 crore Hotel and Dormitory : 5.0 crore Income from turnover of retail/eateries, etc: 24.0 crore Total : 34.5 crore
Projected cost per year (2018 value): Staff management of 150 people : 5.0 crore Electricity, water, generator, maintenance, etc : 8.0 crore Interest and repayment : 17.0 crore Total : 30.0 crore
The Gateway budget will from the start provide a substantial income to Auroville’s central fund and when the loan gets repaid the Gateway will be an economic dynamo for Auroville’s collective economy.
Matrimandir and the Gateway
The Gateway will be the first point of entry into Auroville for all Visitors, including all visitors to Matrimandir. At the Gateway visitors will be offered an introduction to Auroville, its activities and its values. This will be done by creating an integral experience where visitors can dive into the many aspects and facets of Auroville. It is at the Gateway that visitors will find exhibitions and videos on the history and the purpose of Matrimandir. Practical guidance will also be on hand as to how to access the scenic pathways to the roof-top Viewing Points on the Line of Goodwill and where to go to make bookings to visit the Inner Chamber. At the Gateway there will be a special reception lounge, with videos facilities, for the significant number of special guests Auroville and Matrimandir receive every day wishing to visit the Viewing Points or the Inner Chamber.
Matrimandir Viewing Points
Viewing Points for Matrimandir and the Park of Unity will be placed on the roofs of the Line of Goodwill. Two Viewing Points are envisaged. From the roof at the level of the Crown at 12 storeys there will be a panoramic Viewing Point of all Auroville including Matrimandir and the Park of Unity. From a height of 6 storeys there will be a more intimate Viewing Point of Matrimandir and the Park of Unity. Access to the Viewing Points will be by scenic walk ways slowly rising through the buildings of the Line of Goodwill from the Gateway. These walkways will be isolated from the walkways used by the residents of the Habitat and will not disturb them. The walkways will be designed to be accessible for all with electric vehicles for the handicapped available. The walkways will be designed as both exhibition space and nature walk. The walkways will be designed in such a way as to naturally bring an atmosphere of quietness and inwardness without codes of conduct having to be imposed.
Matrimandir Visitor Hub
Beyond the Gateway and just beyond the peramboke canyon there will be a custom-built facility for receiving visitors who want to enter the Matrimandir. Visitors wishing to enter Matrimandir for Concentration for the first time will be directed from the Gateway to a Booking Office where they will find easy to use booking facilities and all the information they will need to make their visit to Matrimandir peaceful and trouble free. Quite separate from the Booking Office, elsewhere in the Hub, there will be the facilities to receive visitors for Concentration on the day of their visit. The reception area for visitors for Concentration will contain a check-in hall, a secure left property facility for all bags, cameras and cell phones and personal comfort services such as toilets and drinking water fountains. There will also be a video room where all first-time visitors will be shown videos on Matrimandir, its history, its purpose and its codes of conduct before they make their way to the Matrimandir Accessway.
Matrimandir is dedicated to minimizing motorized traffic generated by visitors to Matrimandir. All visitors will leave their vehicles at the main Visitor parking at the city limits. From there visitors will either walk to Matrimandir or be transported by a custom-designed transit system. The terminal for the Matrimandir Accessway will be found inside the Matrimandir Visitors Hub and will only be accessible to visitors with passes for Concentration in the Inner Chamber, visits to the Park of Unity or events at the Amphitheatre. The Matrimandir Access Way will consist of a walkway and a transit system with seating for up to 100 people to convey visitors to Matrimandir and the Park of Unity back and forth along the Line of Goodwill between the Terminal and the Matrimandir Reception Pavilion at the West Gate of Matrimandir at the Lake. The Transit System will use alternative energy and be non-polluting, slow, secure and silent. It will be designed to draw visitors into their own personal inner space as a prelude to their visit to the silence of the Park of Unity and the Inner Chamber of the Matrimandir. The Access Way itself will be designed to be beautiful and quiet, to be fully integrated into nature and have an atmosphere that will naturally illicit quietness and inwardness as visitors take this first stage of their journey towards the Peace Area.
Matrimandir Reception Pavilion
The Matrimandir Reception Pavilion will be found just between the eastern end of the Line of Goodwill and the Lake at the West Gate of the Park of Unity. Visitors will reach the Reception Pavilion via the Matrimandir Accessway along the Line of Goodwill. At the Reception Pavilion visitors will find places to both stand or to sit down and take in the amazing view of Matrimandir across the Lake. The Reception Pavilion will be a gathering place for all the groups of visitors going to the Inner Chamber for Concentration. And it is here that first-time visitors will receive an inspirational talk on Matrimandir and its higher significance as well as guidance on codes of conduct from a senior Aurovilian guide. They will also find comfort facilities such as drinking water fountains and toilets. The Reception Pavilion will provide similar comfort facilities for staff and Auroville residents entering the Park of Unity and Matrimandir as well Aurovilians, guests and visitors attending events at the Amphitheatre, including a secure depository for bags, cameras and cell phones. Less obtrusively, the Reception Pavilion will also house some offices for return bookings and for the reception of donors. There will be an area for the storage and drying of the Matrimandir umbrellas that are handed out to visitors against the rain or the sun. There will also be covered parking and charging points for the electric vehicles provided for the use of the elderly and the handicapped.
Matrimandir Reception Pavilion Sketches by Roger Anger
Goodwill Habitat, the Gateway and Matrimandir Visitor Access are now being initiated as part of the Line of Goodwill and will be the largest project of Auroville once complete.
A preliminary Urban Design Study of the Line of Goodwill concepts has be done and letter of Intent has been issued by l’avenir d’Auroville.
With the permission from L’avenir d’Auroville to source cutting- edge expertise in all fields relating to environmental sustainability
of the project.
In collaboration with L’avenir d’Auroville, to invite Auroville and outside architects, design, technical and resource teams for environment, landscape, building, waste management and to come together to set up a collaborative team to work on different aspects with the help of consultants.
To prepare studies for a unified project design that can harmoniously integrate a variety of architectural concepts within clear parameters.
Evaluation of costs.
Matrimandir Next Steps
To complete a first phase study of architectural design for the Matrimandir Visitors Hub and the Matrimandir Reception Pavilion
To complete a first phase study of the technical design of the Matrimandir Accessway and Transit System.
To arrive at a 5 year plan for readiness in building.
Habitat Next Steps
To prepare studies for a unified project design that can harmoniously integrate a variety of architectural concepts within clear parameters.
Evaluation of costs.
To complete a first phase study of architectural design for 500 people.
To arrive at a 5 year plan for readiness in building.
Gateway Next Steps
To invite all Auroville units, service and business and all activities to become part of the Gateway – their dreams should become part of the larger dream.
An evaluation and audit of all products, services and activities that Auroville would like to offer.
An Acceleration Program (a support program to help units grow and scale up)
A 5-Year plan for readiness.
Deeper analysis and interaction on creating an integral Auroville experience catering to a varied public.
The design of the Gateway building and the intention is to launch an invited architectural competition at the end of 2018.
The Gateway building would be completed within 4 years by 2023.