Sunday, May 28, 2006

Keeping Auroville in a state of constant flux

There are very serious and important issues that need to be researched, discussed and debated regarding the future planning and development of Auroville, the city the earth needs. Most importantly the big question now needs to be asked; should Auroville and its residents continue to pursue the Galaxy Masterplan concept? With the consciousness of today, what other alternatives do we have at hand?
Until the courage is found to ask this fundamental question, with a sincere search for the truth, with a sincere search to find out what is now most needed for India and the world today, I cannot help but feel that we are all living in a city of lies. And for any truth seeker, this is an isolating and unbearable position to be in. I feel that something is deeply wrong when architects, planners and anybody else for that matter, do not feel free enough to really question and explore the most pertinent issues of our time. To try and get things moving towards a more enlightening direction I present here a small illustration of a possible alternative way of planning and developing Auroville, in comparison to that of the Galaxy Masterplan concept. This list is by no means exhaustive and it is in no particular order. It is just a starter…
Personally, I perceive that keeping Auroville in a state of constant flux, in a state of dynamic change and evolution, in harmony with the divine, in harmony with nature is to bestow great respect and honor to the great work of our founding father, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. But to become dogmatically attached to the Galaxy Masterplan concept only ends up suffocating and killing the great dream that is Auroville and all of our dreams that come in turn. I perceive that the Galaxy Masterplan is not Auroville. Auroville is far, far deeper than this. It is now time to decide which way the residents of Auroville want to go. An exciting, adventurous and great turning point is potentially upon us. Are we to live in a suffocating village of dogmas and lies? Or do we have the courage to step beyond our personal comfort zones, to reinvent and renew Auroville, and to evolve a township that is in a continuous search for the truth?
N.B. Perhaps this key question, ‘The Galaxy Masterplan: To Be or Not To Be?’ could be the first topic to be addressed in an open and transparent Platform? posted by Nikolai @ Friday, May 05, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Creative Tree

Zafar Satyavan (4/6) is called this way because he strongly relates to Satyavan of Aurobindo's Savitri. In that epic poem Savitri has to save Satyavan's soul by fighting the Lord of Death... Interestingly, Savitri is Something Divine within us and Satyavan is the reflection of our soul. I had amazing experiences after reading Savitri. In fact, it slowly revealed The Creative Tree. posted by Zafar Satyavan @ 6:23 AM

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Thankot, Kathmandu

Now, what you see here at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Thankot, Kathmandu is the result of that experience on that peak. Since there was no proper ashram of Sri Aurobindo here in Nepal. I realized that I was sent to Pondichery to prepare myself of this work here and because of their Grace and our incessant effort Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir has grown from one inmate, that is myself, to 90 inmates including almost 70 children 20 adults. We want to be totally self-sufficient not depending on any organization or government. Though we are not yet self-sufficient to maintain the present cost we are able to earn the needed amount that is to say if we want to buy some land or construct more buildings we need some extra help. For the time being we were getting some help from friends and one of my brother who lives in New Zealand. Though it is not that easy to run Ashram here like India where we have millions of Ashrams and there most of the peoples have respect love for such places here the general attitude is different because of lack of knowledge, education, and prosperity.
Sri Matri-Aurobindo Vidyalaya Sri Matri-Aurobindo Vidyalaya was started here with the methodology suggested by Her Divine The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Right now, there are 100 students and Sadhak-sadhikas involved in "Gyan-Sadhana". We at present run several income generating activities such as:
1) We sell the extra milk from our cows diary.
2) We make natural incense and try to sell them abroad.
3) We have a grinding mill for the rice, wheat and other things.
4) We run a yoga centre for teaching the Hatha Yoga.
5) We run a Naturopathy clinic for natural healing system.
6) We run a guest house for the visitors who would like to stay here.
posted by Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Trust @ 9:27 PM

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The huge space-age spherical meditation center

Pondicherry is lovely, a very picturesque town on the seaside with a huge French influence. Not surprising seeing as it was once an important French trading post after they took it by force from the East India Trading company who founded the town. Almost all the roads here are named in French, such as Rue Suffren, Rue de la Marine, Rue de la Compagnie and Rue Francois Martin among many others.
There's a plethora of French restaurants with names like La Terrasse, Le Club and Le Rendezvous, many French bakeries selling croissants, pain au chocolates, and baguettes, and surviving French colonnial buildings en masse around the sea shore, including the lieutenant governer's residence, the Hotel de Ville and a branch of the Alliance Francaise. You'd think you were in a town on the south coast of France (with the hot weather)! Plenty of French expats live here, and it's surreal hearing some of the locals talking in French too! Even the policemen here have hats like the French policemen back in France! Makes me think I'm in France sometimes! Makes me think about Sev and how I used to see her in France most weekends! I'm gonna miss her!! Oh well! C'est la vie! Have to move on, there's so many more places to see, countries to explore, different nationalities of women to experience! ;)
Checked into a cheap hotel, the International Guest House, run by the SAS. No, not the British elite force, but the Sri Aurobindo Society, a strange new age 'cult', one can only call it, founded by a Bengali philosopher-guru called Aurobindo Ghosh and his chief disciple, personal manager and mouthpiece, 'The Mother' who are revered by the locals. Aurobindo and 'The Mother' are both entombed in the ashram they founded back in 1926. There's even a new-age 'City of Dawn', called Auroville, inspired by 'The Mother', built 10km north of Pondichery in 1968. A bunch of people live there in little communities with name like 'Fertile', 'Sincerity', 'Revelation' and 'Certitude'. Very odd.
They live by very strict rules, and own most of the businesses in Pondicherry, just like the hostel I'm staying in. I'd visit Auroville, but I don't have time, plus I'm worried about being kidnapped and brainwashed into joining their 'cult' in the Matri Mandir, their huge space-age spherical meditation center, 'a symbol of the Divine's answer to man's inspiration for perfection', apparently. There's a huge 1m crystal ball hanging in the center of the place too, 'symbolising th neutral but divine qualities of light and space' by all reports. Strange. The hostel I'm staying at has tons of rules, such as a curfew (back by 10pm), no killing of mosquitos (ok, any living thing found in your room, but they're certainly the most abundant), no smoking, drinking, music, etc, and you have to smile. There's signs everywhere declaring overpowering 'philosophies of life' that you just can't avoid.So anyhow, I wandered around town the last few hours, that's all it takes to see the whole place. It's not very big, perhaps 2km long by the seafront and reaching 1km or so inland.
I stopped by a French bakery and had a delicious croissant, pain au chocolate and a cold coffee (aaah, such a nice change from dosas and idlis for breakfast!) Wasn't going to drink a hot coffee in the 40C heat here! The seafront is lovely, just like the French mediterranean ports. Evidence of the tsunami that hit here is scarce, although a few buildings being renovated late after can still be seen here and there. It's hard to imagine so many people lost their lives here in Pondicherry, along the coast of Tamil Nadu, which the tsunami wreaked the most havoc in India. People walk and mill by the seafront, with ice cream sellers abound, and most of the destruction caused by the tsunami has been rectified quickly.
Otherwise, there's not much else to do here, but walk around and enjoy the distinctly French ambience here in this colonial corner of India. This'll probably be my last blog entry for the next two and a half weeks since there's no internet on Havelock Island, where I'll be staying and scuba diving in the Andaman chain. After writing this, I think I'll head to a nice terrace restaurant by the seafront and have myself a glass of St.Emillion red, steak aux poivre (bleu-rare garcon!) and a Gauloise cigarette for finishers. Chin-chin, bon appetite, merci et au revoir pour deux semaine mes amis! posted by Dominic Giles 11:05 AM