Matrimandir and Galaxy City

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…

Are the French in Danger in Auroville?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Auroville: The Utopia That Never Was” by Joss Brooks, Vice, September 2016

Auroville, the utopian community located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, has been a subject of fascination and intrigue for decades. Its unique ideology, which centers around the idea of human unity and spiritual growth, has attracted people from all over the world to live and work together in a shared vision of a better world. However, Auroville’s journey has not been without its challenges, and some critics argue that the community has not lived up to its lofty goals. In this article, we will explore the history of Auroville and examine some of the criticisms that have been leveled against it.

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