“There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of good will who have a sincere aspiration, could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony…” – The Mother.
Auroville (City of Dawn) is a universal and experimental township located in the Viluppuram district, South India. The City of Dawn is named after Indian seer and spiritual visionary, Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950). It has its origins in the French language, “Aurore,” meaning dawn and “ville,” meaning city. Mirra Alfassa, “The Mother,” and Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator founded the township and Charter (Visionaries) in 1968. It was designed by architect Roger Anger.
In short, the purpose of Auroville is a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding.
Owner and founder of the Obvious Choice, Zaritha van Wyngaardt, spent one day in Auroville during her India journey in March this year. She was accompanied by her husband, Gerhardt van Wyngaardt.
Here are some of their Auroville highlights…
“The Matrimandir will be the soul of Auroville. The sooner the soul is there, the better it will be for everybody and especially for the Aurovilians.” – The Mother.
The Matrimandir is found at the centre of Auroville. This futuristic golden sphere-shaped building is referred to as ‘The Soul of the City.’ It is situated in a large open area called ‘Peace.’
According to Sri Aurobindo’s teaching on ‘The Universal Mother,’ the Matrimandir literally means ‘Temple of the Mother.’ More can be read about the character, role and understanding of the Divine Mother in his book, ‘The Mother.’
The upper hemisphere of the Matrimandir’s Inner Chamber is completely white with a crystal glass globe at the centre. A ray of electronically sunlight falls on the globe through an opening at the apex of the sphere and thus radiates an abundance of natural lighting in the Inner Chamber. No images, organised meditations, flowers, incense, religion or religious forms are allowed in the Inner Chamber. The 12 meditation (concentration rooms) are called ‘Petal’ rooms.
Green Practices and Organic Food:
Auroville has over two dozen farms united under the Auroville Farm Group (AFG). Farmers specialise and study in their own fields of interest – orchards, crop fields, vegetable gardens and/or dairy (all organic). The technologies used are eco-friendly (windmills for water, solar energy, micro-sprinklers and methane gas collectors).
“Supreme art expresses the Beauty which puts you in contact with the Divine Harmony.” – The Mother
Art and Culture:
Zaritha and Gerhardt are passionate about the arts, so we are not surprised at all when they ended up at Svaram Musical Instruments, Vocational Training Center and Research Station.
The beauty of Svaram instruments is that they can be played without “knowledge”, that exactly your novice approach brings out their special gift, similar to the Zen advise to retain the “Beginner’s Mind”, or in the context of the ancient Indian Rasa Theory: let Adbhuta, the sentiment of Wonder inspire your approach.” – Aurelio (Founder of Svaram).
Svaram instruments are researched, designed and home-made by Auroville community members, volunteers and students, bridging the differences of culture, education, background and generations.
Sound healing and therapy.
Sound stones (made from black granite) vary in shapes and sizes and is played with the help of water and all parts of the hands. The full mass of the stone becomes a resonating body. This cutting-edge sound can almost be compared to a space-age sound.
The Sound Bed is the size of a massage table and has 50 strings or more attached to the bottom. The receiving individual lies on top of the resonating box while the tuned strings are gently played by the sound therapist. The magical vibrational sounds are absorbed by the body’s cells. This ‘altered state’ nurtures the whole system of the mental-emotional-physical constitution, releases blockades and traumas, regenerates and leaves an imprint of harmony and well-being.
For more images on the unique instruments of SVARAM, click here.
Although we only touched base on Auroville’s Green Practices and SVARAM Musical Instruments sections, Auroville has more to offer in the fields of Architecture, Education and Reaserch, Rural Development, Health and Wellness, Industry and Commerce, Art and Culture and City Services.
Auroville seems to be the ideal city or ‘idea’ for the future, however in the ‘real world’ we still have a long way to go. The beauty of Auroville’s concept is that it all started with Sri Aurobindo’s vision. His vision turned into the Mother’s passion, to serve and to make the world a better place. Her passion was put into action by architect Roger Anger.
What is your vision?
What is your passion?
Remember, “All those who wander are not lost.” If you are in search of your passion or looking at expanding your vision or just to simply restore and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, then you might want to check out at least one of the four featured tours on offer from the Obvious Choice:
ABOUT THE OBVIOUS CHOICE:
Owner and founder of The Obvious Choice, Zaritha van Wyngaardt, is passionate about travelling and offers corporate clients, as well as individuals, the opportunity to travel to vibrant destinations to experience, energise and revitalise.
The Obvious Choice is your one stop solution for Experiential Travel, Conferences, Incentives and Event Management.