Auroville: The City of Dawn

Auroville: The City of Dawn

Map of Auroville - auroville.orgThe year 2003 marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of Auroville, a unique 'model city' near Pondicherry, India. Inspired by the great Indian spiritual master Sri Aurobindo, Auroville has developed into a full-fledged city with an expanding community of nearly 2000 people from 40 countries.

Auroville, ‘the City of Dawn,’ is a manifestation of human unity in diversity inspired by the work and prescience of Sri Aurobindo (1872 - 1950) and his French spiritual collaborator, known as the Mother (1878 - 1973).

Auroville is built on the pedestal of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching at the behest of the Mother and epitomizes solidarity and unity, where people of all countries would be at home.

The General Assembly of UNESCO unanimously passed in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983 resolutions of support to Auroville, inviting "member states and international non-governmental organisations to participate in the development of Auroville as an international cultural township designed to bring together the values of different cultures and civilizations in a harmonious environment with integrated living standards which correspond to man's physical and spiritual needs."

Auroville is located on a low-lying plateau on the south east coast of India in Pondicherry and is planned for 50,000 inhabitants. This unique project was inaugurated on 28th February 1968 when young people representing 124 countries and all Indian states placed handfuls of earth on an urn as a symbol of human unity irrespective of nationality, caste or creed near the site of Matrimandir at the center of Auroville.

The Matrimandir

The Matrimandir, the Soul of Auroville with its central sphere of meditation is a place for silence and concentration and radiating out of Matimandir are four zones – the industrial (north), cultural (north east), residential (south/south west) and international (west) each depicting an important aspect of community’s activities. Silence, Cleanliness and Discipline cannot be dispensed with at Matrimandir.

Activities

The activities of the inhabitants are diverse and encompass cultural activities, educational research, health care, village development, technology and construction, small and medium scale business, afforestation, organic agriculture, town planning and community services. Auroville in an attempt to be self-sufficient in its energy needs has a policy of experimenting with and implementing renewable and non-polluting energy like solar, wind and biogas.

Organisation of Auroville

A flexible internal structure is set up by the community members keeping in mind the Mother’s advice that the experiment should not be hampered by too many rules and regulations. The day-to-day affairs are managed by various working groups covering areas like finance, health, community coordination and operate with a certain degree of autonomy. Major community decisions are taken in open meetings and the mode of decision-making is by consensus.
The Auroville Charter
1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards realizations.
4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.
Auroville is meant to hasten the advent of the supramental reality upon earth. The help of all those who find that the world is not what it ought to be is welcome. Each one must know if they want to associate with an old world ready for death, or to work for a new and better world preparing to be born.

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