Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A visit to Auroville must be accompanied with an open mind

Auroville- City of the Future? You Decide
Lots of good things can happen by chance. This was one of them. I was flicking over the TV stations a few weeks back and stopped at the National Geographic channel. There was a programme on called ‘Science Safari’ in which a guy was travelling around interviewing a whole range of people involved in technological innovations across India (sound familiar?!).

Part of the programme was a two minute slot on solar innovations that are happening at a place called Auroville. Immediately I was intrigued and immediately knew I wanted to go there. I’m glad I did. It is a fascinating place, not just for it’s innovations in technology, but for what it is trying to create; an experiment in human unity and an attempt to create a city which runs on spiritual and new social principles.

A couple of days of wandering around Auroville (well cycling around Auroville) really was not enough to get a full impression, but it did raise lots of questions for me and I got to meet a wide range of individuals who each have different, alternative ways of looking at the world. A visit to Auroville must be accompanied with an open mind, but once it is open, there is a lot of scope to learn. Auroville is based on a Charter, in which the founder, Mirra Alfassa, (known as ‘The Mother’ among Aurovillians, the city’s inhabitants), and reads as follows;

  • Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville one must be the willing servitor to the Divine Consciousness.
  • Auroville will be the place of unending education, of constant progress and a youth that never ages.
  • Auroville wants to be a bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within. Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
  • Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.

While there I met up with Min Ameen, who is working in a Renewable Energies Research Initiative, Uma Prajapati, who set up a clothing company, Upasana and reached out to post-tunmani communities along the Tamil Nadu coast. I also met with Gilles Guigan, who oversees the construction of the Matrimandir, the meditation centre at the heart of Auroville, and also developed a huge solar kitchen, which has the capacity to cater for 1000 people- all though the power of the sun. Interesting too. When Auroville was founded, the land was waste land. Now it is like waking into a forest. A big one. Beautiful. tags: , , , , , posted by Clare Mulvany at 9:36 AM Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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