Based on its Charter, Auroville is a living microcosm of the world; its spiritual and progressive elements attracting seekers from all walks of life. In this township that has a vivid focus on unending education, research, progressive transformation, the realization of a higher and truer life, as well as freedom and exploration, individuals who are seeking a different life find their haven, as Auroville serves as both an anchor and an inspiration for artistic pilgrimage. As a collective, Auroville aspires to go beyond arbitrary and artificial organization, instead, it is to be the expression of a higher consciousness working to manifest the truth of the future. For this, the Mother foresaw that the organization itself must remain ‘flexible and plastic in order to progress continually and to modify itself according to the need.’ Practically, this means that Auroville is constantly changing and working to be an embodiment of human unity, while creating the material conditions for each individual to grow and evolve.
The work of each Aurovilian is to contribute to the Auroville experiment and to internalize the ideals of Auroville while also being a willing and serving participant in the evolution of mankind, so that this process may be accelerated, but without creating systems that are predominantly products of the mind. In this journey, each Aurovilian is both a teacher and a student and there are no fixed or defined parameters for Auroville’s collective progress. However, over the years, the material construction of the Matrimandir - the soul of the City, as well as the city’s infrastructure, has served as a constant drive and reminder that Auroville is working towards physically anchoring humanity’s aspiration for the Divine. In Auroville, because the focus on inner work is predominant and because one lives according to one’s inner calling, many find themselves taking up a wide range of interests and activities, including a focus on beauty and artistic expressions.
Founded in 1968 Auroville is based on the vision of The Mother from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and is endorsed by UNESCO and the Government of India. It is recognized as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of Consciousness. Located in South India, near Puducherry on the Coromandel Coast, it is a growing community and spiritual society. Promulgated by an Act of Parliament, in 1988, the Auroville Foundation is also concerned with - and practically researching into - sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.
“It could conceivably be the most important single Bill ever passed by this House, because it deals not simply with material manifestation, not even with the collective human manifestation but deals with something which is still beyond the ken of human conciousness, it deals with an idea which is an arrow into the future.” - Dr Karan Singh (Indian Parliament 1980)
Spread over more than 4000 acres for an intended population of 50,000 residents, Auroville is an inspiring model for sustainable practices and ecologically-responsible living. Over the years, Auroville has won international acclaim for its efforts in social and environmental sustainability. More than 50 years after its founding, with approximately 4500 members of nearly 70 nationalities, the current population devote themselves to community building and is actively engaged in all aspects of township development: renewable energy, water harvesting, building materials, organic farming, forestation, architecture, art, governance.
Written by Inge van Alphen
For It Matters