Auroville is an experimental city, under development in south India. It is intended to be a model township – an international and universal place for personal, spiritual growth and social advancement.
Auroville exists for nothing less than to hasten the evolution of the human species – to develop the mind from its animal instincts to sublime intuition, and to manifest the inspiration of the Divine in the material world.
The idea for the town was inspired by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo – an Indian philosopher, freedom fighter and futurist who lived from 1872 to 1950. His greatest disciple, a Frenchwoman known simply as ‘The Mother’, came to India to be by his side and to realise his ideas. She proposed the creation of Auroville, which was finally founded in 1968. Representatives came from all over India and the world, bringing with them a handful of soil from their native lands, to be mixed in an urn at the centre of the city.
The current population is currently around 1800 ‘Aurovilians’. The aim is to have a thriving city of 50,000. The largest country represented so far is India, followed by French and German citizens.
The building in the photograph is the Matrimandir – the ‘Temple of the Mother‘. Here, ‘Mother’ refers to the supreme Creative Force, the energy that binds Consciousness into the myriad forms of the universe. Compare with goddess Durga from Hindu mythology:
The Matrimandir is to be a place of concentration, for finding the source of one’s consciousness in the stillness of meditation. The red brick ‘lotus petals‘ each contain a room for meditation. Inside the golden dome is the ‘Inner Chamber‘ – a large, white, circular hall containing a huge glass crystal – the largest in the world – which focusses a beam of white light into the centre of the building.
The gold discs are actually made of gold — gold leaf, sandwiched in between two layers of glass and tiled like a mosaic around huge discs. This sphere of gold, around a place of great concentration upon human consciousness, is intended to have an electromagnetic influence on the state of consciousness for the rest of the planet…
In the following photographs, I use quotes from Sri Aurobindo and The Mother to illustrate the vision for Auroville.