Towards Prosperity

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.

Copyright should be left out of Auroville

The Auroville Charter

  1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But, to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
  2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
  3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
  4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.

If the above is what we abide by as committed Aurovilians, I think we need to seriously revisit Auroville’s ‘copyright’ doctrine. If Auroville belongs to nobody in particular, how can the ideas, insights, and innovations that come out of Auroville be with strings attached?

We need to declare outright openly that the outcomes, outputs, and outflows borne out of Auroville are selfless offerings towards humanity, and that we do not require royalties, commission, and dividends for our love. 

Ethically, it also makes sense, as one cannot claim total ownership rights to anything in Auroville. Every effort in Auroville is built on previous efforts of Aurovilians, countless hours of volunteers, goodwill of the locals, funding of the donors, support of the governments, etc. 

Auroville should adhere to the copyleft principle. Copyleft is the legal technique of granting certain freedoms over copies of copyrighted works with the requirement that the same rights be preserved in derivative works. 

The ones who do not want to adhere to this collective commitment should voluntarily move out of Auroville, to perpetually profit from ‘their’ idea, insight, or innovation. 

Background to Auroville

Auroville wants to be the first realisation of human unity based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, where men of all countries would be at home. 


The city-in-the-making is located on the Coromandel Coast in south India. It draws its inspiration from the vision and work of the renowned Indian seer and spiritual visionary, Sri Aurobindo. His spiritual collaborator, The Mother, founded the township in 1968 and gave its Charter, which you find scrolling on our homepage. The writings of these visionaries, and the specific guidelines for Auroville given by the Mother are crucial for in-depth understanding of what is trying to be achieved in Auroville, a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding.

Human Unity

“With the present morality of the human race a sound and durable human unity is not yet possible; but there is no reason why a temporary approximation to it should not be the reward of strenuous aspiration and untiring effort. By constant approximations and by partial realisations and temporary successes Nature advances“, writes Sri Aurobindo, and this reality stands central in Auroville and acts as perpetual encouragement for the residents to persevere. During all our meetings, deliberations and plannings, we are acutely aware of how vast and how high our aim is, for “— in it must be found the means of a fundamental, an inner, a complete, a real human unity which would be the one secure base of a unification of human life. A spiritual oneness which would create a psychological oneness not dependent upon any intellectual or outward uniformity.”


Auroville’s location in south India is connected with the fact that the Mother had been living in Puducherry since 1920. It was there, in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1964 that the idea of Auroville was conceived. Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had expressed in their earliest writings the necessity of starting, at some point, a collective experiment under optimum conditions – ideally in the form of a city – in order to create a bridgehead for a new consciousness which was seeking to manifest in the world. The Ashram itself, formally created in 1926, was a first attempt in that direction. It was only in 1964 that the Mother felt that the time had come for such a bold experiment to be started on the bigger scale of a township.
The name ‘Auroville’ was given in homage to Sri Aurobindo, while also meaning ‘City of Dawn’. The idea was recognised and taken up by the Government of India. A location near to Pondicherry was found. The time was right, the wheel set in motion, and support started coming in. The inauguration took place on February 28th, 1968.

Worldwide support

Since the very beginning, Auroville has received the unanimous endorsement of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966, 1968, 1970, 1983, 2007. Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations in India and abroad have funded various development programmes, and donations have been received from foundations in Europe and the USA, from Auroville International Centres, and from private donors around the world. The residents themselves have also made, and continue to make, a major contribution of their resources and energy to the project.

Multifarious activities

Auroville is intended as a city for up to 50,000 inhabitants from around the world. Today its inhabitants number around 2000 people, drawn from some thirty countries. They live in 100 settlements of varying size, separated by village and temple lands and surrounded by Tamil villages with a total population of over 35,000 people. Their activities are multifarious, and include afforestation, organic agriculture, educational research, health care, village development, appropriate technology, and building construction, information technology, small and medium scale businesses, town planning, water table management, cultural activities and community services.

In 1988, the Government of India passed the Auroville Foundation Act to safeguard the development of Auroville according to its Charter. This Act established three constituent bodies: the Governing Board, which would oversee the development of the township in collaboration with its inhabitants, the Residents Assembly and the International Advisory Council, which can provide international support and advice, when required, to the Governing Board.

Faith in humanity’s future

As the world is rapidly changing and groping for new paradigms to re-model itself, so Auroville stands poised at the start of a new millennium, ready to enter a new phase of its development and growth, and aware of a new flowering of the faith in humanity’s future that it represents.