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.

Towards human unity 

“A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race…”

Towards unity?

Vasudhaiva kudumbakam, said the ancient Indians: the world is one family.

The ideal of human unity, which was already present at the dawn of civilisation, has never appeared so close to realisation, but paradoxically the closer we come to it, the more it seems to elude us. It is as if at the onset of the 21st century the need for human unity has never been so great, and yet quite often this very unity, seen as inevitable, is perceived as somewhat threatening.

World in crisis

We speak of mondialisation, of globalisation, and in the same breath we deplore the dangers of uniformity.. We speak of democracy as a universal ideal and of the progress of all nations towards it as irreversible, and yet at the same time this democratic model is perceived as a system imposed by some nations on others. We are facing environmental problems which threaten the very survival of our planet. We are aware of ‘global warming’ and a decrease in the finite resources of the planet, and we know that in order to tackle these common problems the individual nation-state is not an adequate institution anymore. But the very concept of a supra-national body is perceived as a possible infringement on the sovereignty of the nation-state, won in numerous cases after many decades – or longer – of struggle and pain.

Erasure of cultures

We claim that today’s world is a global village, because technological progress has made our earth very small, and news can instantly reach every inhabitant of the earth through the highroad of information. But there is the fear that this global village culture may erase the diverse cultures of the earth; indeed it is argued that there is already an immense drive towards uniformity of life habits and uniformity of knowledge.

Economic front

On the economic front, the much-talked-about liberalisation process is seen by many as an attempt to impose everywhere a model only suited to some countries, and to spread everywhere a culture of consumerism. A computer for everyone and bread for only one quarter of the world population; is this the goal towards which we are advancing?


In the 19th century, intellectuals saw the progress of science as the great factor which would lead to the unification of mankind, since science was a thing common to all men in its conclusions and was international in its very nature; but we know now that science can be misused, and is being misused, to discover more and more means of destruction. We have lost faith in science as a panacea for all evils, but what is there to replace it?

Biggest obstacle

We know that egoism is the biggest obstacle to a life of harmony and peace on earth, but after so many centuries of civilisation no amount of religious preaching or moral teaching has been able to convince the ego to forego its claims, as to speak to him of fraternity is to speak to him of something fundamentally contrary to his nature.

Need for real unity

Therefore it appears that although we are moving somewhat reluctantly towards a kind of unification, this is not a process likely to solve the many acute problems of the earth, nor will the envisaged unity answer the deeper needs and aspirations of the human being. In fact, we have begun to understand that if we want to preserve the freedom for man to develop and grow in all liberty, this unity cannot be built through mechanical means. It cannot be achieved as long as man does not recognise a real unity between man and man; it cannot be arrived at through social and mechanical devices; and we have even started to realise that if its aim is not to bring about a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind, this unity is hardly desirable.

Man will be surpassed

It becomes therefore urgent to understand what this unity is towards which we feel pushed in spite of ourselves. Man is a transitional being, said Sri Aurobindo shortly after the first World War, evolution continues and man will be surpassed. Not only did Sri Aurobindo foresee the next step in the evolution of man, but he told us how to participate in it: instead of remaining a passive spectator in a painful and incomprehensible process, we could consciously collaborate in our own evolution and break free of our seemingly inextricable bonds.

Using inner means

But for this, we have to reverse the process, said Sri Aurobindo, and instead of using external means, we have to turn inward, because without a change in man’s nature no real changes in the external circumstances are likely to take place. The only way we can move towards unity is to progressively realise that there is a secret Spirit, a divine Reality in which we are all one – not only realise it mentally but discover it in ourselves and live this knowledge. The secret of unity is within, said Sri Aurobindo; the secret of brotherhood is within. There is no unity except by the soul, there is no real brotherhood except in the soul and by the soul. Only when we live from the soul and not from the ego will a real unity reign on earth.

Connecting with the new consciousness

This ‘spiritual age of humanity’ then will represent a transformation in the nature of man as momentous as the appearance of the thinking mind on earth. In the same way as for millennia the mind was the centre of our life, so, in the new age opening for humanity, or ‘supra-mental’ age, the soul will become the centre of all life and activities. A new stage in the evolution of man has already begun; a new consciousness, higher than the mind, a truth-consciousness, as Sri Aurobindo said, in which the dualities, hesitations and limitations of the mind and the greed and blindness of the ego will no longer exist, has already started to appear, and all the upheavals and convulsions that are at present so painfully tearing our earth are the outward signs of this evolutionary crisis. This new consciousness is already at work in the atmosphere of the earth: we can connect with it, we can call it in ourselves, we can use it to transform our entire nature and consequently the world in which we live.

It is in this wide and far-reaching sense that Auroville is dedicated to human unity. All are invited.