Auroville – the city of “Dawn”

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gold1Auroville is a community that was born thanks to a great dream of unity through diversity, inspired by the work and work of a great spiritual master of India, Sri Aurobindo, and which was founded by Mirra Alfassa known as the “Mother”, one of Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborators.

Auroville, or “City of Dawn”, is built on the foundation of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, embodying the solidarity and unity of mankind; it represents the place where people from all countries can feel at home.

The UNESCO assemblies from 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983 unanimously adopted resolutions supporting the Auroville community, inviting members of other states and international non-governmental organizations to participate in the development of Auroville as an international trans-cultural city, intended to bring together the values of various cultures and civilizations in a harmonious, specially created environment with integrated living standards, corresponding to the physical and spiritual needs of its inhabitants.

gold7Auroville is located on a low-rise plateau on the south-east coast of the Indian continent, near Pondicherry, and is planned for about 50,000 inhabitants.

This unique project was unveiled on February 28, 1968, when a group of young people representing 124 countries and all the states of India symbolically placed a fistful of land in the center of Auroville as a symbol of human unity, regardless of nationality, caste or creed.

gold3The matrimandir or Soul of Auroville is represented by a sphere specially created for meditation. This sphere, which was made by the architect Roger Anger, being considered an original architectural masterpiece, is a place for recollection, silence, and concentration. Starting from this central sphere, four areas are extended – the industrial area (in the north), the cultural area (in the north – east), the residential area (south, south-west) and the international one (in the west) each representing an important aspect of the community’s activity. The original plan of the city followed the outline of a spiral, alternating residential, cultural and industrial areas, spread over an area of 12 km and ending with a green belt.

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The current population in Auroville is about 1,500 permanent residents, representatives of more than 31 nationalities, mostly Indians (31%) and French (20%).

Since 1990, an area has been reserved for the construction of a pavilion dedicated to Tibetan culture, and it seems that at the moment France is also preparing for the construction of its own pavilion.

auro6InAuroville, unlike any other place in India, there are no beggars, and access and conduct are strictly controlled – which is also evident from the inscriptions prohibiting smoking, alcohol consumption, sex and politics.

The activities of the inhabitants are diverse and include cultural, educational, research, health, technology and construction activities, small and medium local businesses, organic agriculture, reforestation, urban planning and community services and much more.

Auroville in its quest to be self-sustainable in terms of its energy needs has a policy of experimenting and implementing renewable and non-polluting energy sources such as solar, wind and biogas.

auro7InAuroville, amazing efforts have been made to turn wild lands into plains with green and undulating grass and rich orchards. Dams, water tanks, terraces and irrigation systems were built. The largest farm in the area, called Aurogreen, organically cultivates beans, papayas, tomatoes, guava, lemons, coconuts and hazelnuts.

The diversity of housing is amazing: from huts made of palm leaves or bamboo, to wooden cottages and futuristic constructions made of cast concrete.

At the moment there are 230 houses, of which over 70 are equipped with photovoltaic panels.

gold9The internal organization of the city is provided by a flexible structure, established by the members of the community, taking into account the “Mother’s” advice that the experiment should not be prevented by too many norms and regulations. Everyday businesses are managed by various working groups that cover areas such as: finance, health, coordination, community, each having a certain degree of autonomy. Major decisions that concern the community are made in open meetings, and the way decisions are made is by consensus.

In 1988, the government of India created the Auroville Foundation, and today a seven-member committee manages the city’s administrative affairs, which has also benefited over the years from numerous UNESCO donations. By tradition, the people of Auroville donate their surpluses of income to the account of a community’s trust fund.

The Charter of Auroville, a document stipulating the fundamental rights and freedoms of this organization, contains the following principles:

  1. Auroville belongs to no one in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole, but he who wants to live in Auroville, will have to be willing to serve the Divine Consciousness.
  2. Auroville is the place of continuous education, steady progress and perpetual youth.
  3. Auroville aims to be a bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all the discoveries inside and outside it, the city will boldly strive for numerous achievements.
  4. Auroville will be a place of material and spiritual research, a living embodiment of the current unity of Humanity.

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Auroville is meant to hasten the emergence of a new reality on this earth, being a help to those who find that the world is not what it should be. Here people get in touch with themselves in order to correct, transform and perfect themselves, their mission being to bring humanity to a new stage of evolution. Everyone needs to know if they want to stay still in an old world that is preparing to die or is ready to put themselves in the service of a new, better and more beautiful world that is about to be born!

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