of the International Advisory Council
To: Respected Members of the Governing Board
11 December 2021
Like so many friends and well-wishers of Auroville, we have been pained by the polarization that has come into the Auroville Community, and it is imperative that we as a Council stay above such divisions. We understand the anger over the use of the police, and we understand the frustration of those who want to see the agreed upon development plan move forward. For sure, there have been missteps on all sides, but we are advising everyone not to linger in the anger and blame, but to work individually to calm emotions, step down and invoke the Mother. By allowing the vilification of the “other” we are working against the Mother’s ideal of human unity. This will not lead to a good result. To help with a cooling off period and to begin rebuilding trust, we would like to offer, in a spirit of goodwill for all, the following recommendations for everyone’s consideration, and assure you of our readiness to help in any way we can:
1. Let all sides refrain from bringing in external agencies to resolve Auroville’s internal issues, because it is not only an admission of failure, which will leave deep scars that will divide the community for a long time to come; it will also vitiate the atmosphere that might otherwise still bring about an internal resolution of issues.
2. In particular, to resolve disagreements among Aurovilians, we advise not to have recourse to call agencies of the state such as police or courts or to seek warrants, since that is explicitly against Mother’s will expressed on several occasions — “No army, no police” in particular.
3. We call on all to remember that in Mother’s own saying, the manner in which Auroville is built is as important, possibly more, than the outcome: “It’s not when Auroville has been completed: it’s the nations’ collaboration in creating something [that matters] – but creating something founded on the Truth instead of a rivalry in Falsehood’s creation. [What matters] is not when Auroville is ready – when Auroville is ready, it will be one city among all other cities and it’s only its own capacity of truth that will have power, but that … remains to be seen.” (21 September 1966) Therefore it is incumbent on all of us to help towards this “foundation on the Truth” and trust right now, not in a distant future.
4. We call for an actual practice of inclusiveness: differing views and perspectives are unavoidable, yet Auroville’s challenge is to bring them together and find ways to harmonize them. In particular: (1) Many experts in Auroville have done outstanding work in many fields; this expertise and experience must be fully utilized in the planning of a city; (2) A first step could be to identify common ground, such as any area of the development of the future city that stake-holders and experts will all agree on, and focus on that initially, rather than on contending issues; (3) Given recent developments, and Auroville’s outstanding work in eco-restoration for decades, which has earned it worldwide respect, a thorough environmental audit, by respected and independent experts, of current and future plans seems an urgent necessity.
Members of the International Advisory Council
Gabi Gillessen, Michel Danino, Hashmukh P. Rama, David Frawley, Dena Merriam