Auroville, a utopian city located in the heart of South India, is a place of dreams and aspirations. Founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, Auroville envisions a world where people from all walks of life live in harmony, transcending borders, religions, and cultural differences. At the heart of this unique community lies an iconic structure that embodies the essence of Auroville’s mission – the Matrimandir.
Inauguration and Significance
The Matrimandir, inaugurated on 14th August 1970, stands as a symbol of humanity’s deep yearning for divine unity and inner peace. From its very conception, it has been regarded as the “soul of Auroville,” a testament to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, also known as The Mother. This majestic structure, with its gleaming golden dome and serene ambiance, beckons seekers from around the world to embark on a spiritual journey within.
The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol of the Divine’s answer to humanity’s aspiration for perfection. It embodies the idea of union with the Divine, manifesting in a progressive human unity. As one gazes upon this architectural marvel, they can’t help but feel a sense of profound peace and a connection to something greater than themselves.
The Matrimandir’s circular shape represents the sun, symbolizing the Divine’s illumination and its central role in the lives of Auroville’s residents. The sun’s rays, filtered through the Matrimandir’s inner chamber, create a mesmerizing play of light and shadow, evoking a spiritual experience that transcends words.
Sri Aurobindo’s Teachings
The Matrimandir is not merely a physical structure but a living embodiment of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. It is envisioned as the symbol of the Universal Mother, a concept central to Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual philosophy. The Mother is seen as the divine presence that guides and nurtures humanity on its evolutionary journey.
In this context, the Matrimandir represents the spiritual awakening of humanity, guided by the grace of the Universal Mother. It is a place where seekers can connect with their inner selves and experience the profound peace that comes from aligning with the divine consciousness.
Unity and Collaboration
Auroville’s residents, known as Aurovilians, play a central role in the construction and maintenance of the Matrimandir. It was a conscious decision that the work on the Matrimandir should be organized without paid labor. This approach reflects the community’s commitment to unity, collaboration, and the shared vision of Auroville.
The Soul of Auroville
The Matrimandir has always been considered the soul of Auroville. It is believed that the sooner this soul finds its place, the better it is for everyone, especially the Aurovilians. The Matrimandir embodies the collective aspiration of Auroville residents for a deeper connection with the Divine, and its presence serves as a constant reminder of their spiritual journey.
Messages from the Past
Throughout its construction, the Matrimandir project received guidance and messages from The Mother. These messages emphasized the importance of fraternity, collaboration, unity in joy, and light. They served as a source of inspiration for the Aurovilians, reminding them of the higher purpose behind their collective endeavor.
The Divine Influence
A recurring theme in the messages related to the Matrimandir is the belief in the direct influence of the Divine. It is believed that the Divine orchestrates events in a way that surpasses human understanding. This trust in the divine guidance and intervention has been a source of strength and inspiration for those involved in the construction and maintenance of the Matrimandir.
Unique and Sacred
The Matrimandir is not just any structure; it is the Matrimandir of Auroville, unique and sacred. It is distinct from any other place of worship or meditation, as it represents the embodiment of Auroville’s vision and the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
The Elements of Matrimandir
The Matrimandir is more than its awe-inspiring exterior. Its interior is adorned with significant elements that carry deep spiritual meanings.
The Four Pillars
The foundation of the Matrimandir rests on four pillars, each symbolizing a divine aspect.
- North: Mahakali
- East: Mahalakshmi
- South: Maheshwari
- West: Mahasaraswati
These pillars represent the four aspects of the Divine Mother and serve as a reminder of the divine presence within and around the Matrimandir.
Twelve Underground Rooms
Beneath the Matrimandir’s foundation lie twelve underground rooms, each radiating a unique quality. These qualities include sincerity, humility, gratitude, perseverance, aspiration, receptivity, progress, courage, goodness, generosity, equality, and peace. These qualities are the foundation of Auroville’s spiritual journey, and they resonate throughout the community.
Surrounding the Matrimandir are twelve gardens, each representing an aspect of divinity: existence, consciousness, bliss, light, life, power, wealth, utility, progress, youth, harmony, and perfection. These gardens serve as places of reflection, meditation, and connection with the divine energies that permeate Auroville.
A Beacon of Light
In the years since its inauguration, the Matrimandir has stood as a beacon of light, guiding Auroville’s residents and visitors on their spiritual journeys. It is a place of quiet contemplation, a sanctuary of inner peace, and a reminder of the unity that transcends all boundaries.
Matrimandir, with its golden dome and profound symbolism, continues to be the heart and soul of Auroville. It is a testament to the enduring vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and their teachings on inner peace, unity, and the divine consciousness. As visitors and Aurovilians alike gaze upon this iconic structure, they are reminded of the higher purpose of life, the quest for inner peace, and the transformative power of spiritual unity. Matrimandir is not just a physical monument; it is a living embodiment of Auroville’s ideals and aspirations, a sacred space where humanity seeks to connect with the divine and find lasting inner peace.