On Auroville - 12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir


It appears from the indications given by the Mother and from the flowers chosen by Her for these twelve gardens that the over-arching atmosphere of the gardens should be filled with intense sense of devotion and surrender filled with aspiration that is surcharged with psychic consciousness and which strives for the ascent to the supermind and for the manifestation of the supermind in order that the entire earthly life becomes divinized. An overview of the gardens should vibrate with the divine joy that is beautiful and which expands itself for youthful progression towards majestic and sovereign perfection that is perfectly perfect.

All symbolisms in the gardens may therefore aim at manifesting the following:

(a) Synthesis of calm and strength;

(b) Nestling of the finite and the infinite;

(c) Union of the individual and the universal, of the union of the universal with the transcendental, union of the individual with the transcendental; and union of one and all with all and one and all enveloped in supreme oneness;

(d) Eternity and Infinity of the Spaceless and Timeless and Eternity of Space and Time;

(e) Sovereignty of the divine power filled with ecstatic delight and fathomless compassion;

(f) Breezes and winds carrying the music of offering, devotion, worship and all-consuming surrender;

(g) Inexhaustible richness, aristocracy, refinement, complexity and inscrutable subtlety that tend to point to the wonderful profundity and wisdom and power and opulence and perfection of the Divine Mother. 

The above seven themes can suitably be symbolized by the disposition and cluster of flowers, rows of flowers, designs of placement of flowers as also through symbolic groves, waterfalls, bridges and designs of display of colourful pebbles and stones or hills of clay and sand and modern gadgets that can emit light and colours and sounds of various murmuring melodies that induce silence, contemplation and delightful sacrifice of the heart and the mind and the body to the Divine Mother.

Specific Remarks:

I. Existence:

To be represented by the flower no. 600: psychic power in existence.

(All numbers of flowers are numbers in the Book: “Spiritual Significance of Flowers”)

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

The experience of the garden could be that of utter sweetness that arises from the illumined, heroic and faithful surrender to the Infinite and the Eternal that has endless manifoldness and yet stands out inexhaustibly in an unimaginable tip of transcendence as indescribable as a zero which is the womb of all-comprehensiveness.

Three images occur as we contemplate on Existence:

a) Image of the Rock presented in the Mother’s painting of “Ascent to the Truth”. On the top of the rock is spread out the sky of infinity in which one can plunge and abolish oneself in complete self-surrender that gives birth to manifold, imperious and irresistible sweetness which is comprehensive.

b) An image of innumerable pebbles of manifold colours, each reflecting in its crystals a massive ascending mountain of flowers (Hibiscus Rosa cannesis).

c) An image of an ever developing spiral reflected in a pool of water below which is studded with heaps of precious stones, all scintillating with multisided and multicoloured lights, and all of them forming circles in circles symbolizing all comprehensiveness.

II. Consciousness: Supramental consciousness.

The images of the supramental consciousness could perhaps be formulated in terms of the forms of flowers which have been shown at 637, 638, 639, 640, 641, 642, 643. 

The supramental sun, Anthocephalus Cadamba in golden yellow seems to be the best symbolic form of the supramental consciousness: the complete roundness of the form indicates the comprehensiveness of consciousness; sharp projecting needles indicate the straightness of the rays of the light of the supermind; (Vedic Rishis distinguished between the straightness of the supramental consciousness which they called rita-chit, from crooked consciousness, which they considered to be the nature of the consciousness that deviates from the truth, anritam). The unity of the roundness of the central ball of the flower symbolizes unity which manifests diversity. The sharpness of the needles indicates the infallibility of the supramental consciousness, considering that the supramental consciousness infallibly moves straight towards its target and expresses the uniqueness of the point of diversity which infallibly manifests the underlying oneness and unity. The golden colour indicates ever wakefulness in vigilance that is always bright, resplendent and golden.

The garden of consciousness may therefore combine variously images of fullness, of straightness, of sharpness, of multiplicity that is always subordinate to unity, and of golden luminosity.

A special characteristic of supramental consciousness is its dynamism, its creativity, and its harmonious unity. Creativity of the supermind always harmonizes, and the form of the flower 637 symbolizes both creativity and harmony.

Supramental consciousness manifests omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. It is not easy to symbolize these three characteristics, but a combination of the forms of

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

flowers no. 634, 635 and 638, culminating in 643 may help to visualize or symbolize these three characteristics.

The supermind has three poises, and these three poises are simultaneous: it is at once comprehensive, apprehensive and projecting. In the comprehensive poise, the Unitarian consciousness is predominant, even when diversity manifests out of its Unitarian consciousness; in the apprehensive consciousness, uniqueness of each individual consciousness which is embedded in the unity, begins to be emphasized: the play of hierarchy, which is not inconsistent with unity, has a special role in this second poise. In regard to this second poise, two forms seem to occur: first, there is a harmonious hierarchy of wisdom, strength, harmony of interchange, and obedience to execute to the utmost point of perfection. Forms of these four elements can be so designed that they are all harmonized in the relationship of mutuality. The second form manifests the joy of the unity of each individual with the universal and transcendental, even when these three terms constitute the hierarchy of trinity in which the individual even though manifested through the universal is directly a frontal aspect of the transcendental. The Rāsa Formation which is a circle symbolizes the universal, permits each individual to have direct union with the transcendental.

In the projecting consciousness of the third poise of the supermind, the figure of the Rāsa continues to have persistence, but diversity gets more prominence than unity and the individuals arranged in the hierarchy of harmony underline more emphatically their individuality.

In what form all the three poises of supramental consciousness can be simultaneously symbolized, can be variously conceived, but this is the task of the genius of the creative artist. Perhaps the figure of the flower 643 may seem to indicate a beautiful representation of these three poises.

The supramental consciousness is the consciousness of immortality; it is imperishable even when it is continuously mobile; it is immortal because it is immobile even in mobility; it is inexhaustible even when it expands itself constantly; it is inalienably transcendental, universal and individual even when these three terms are united and reunited constantly in harmonious rhythms which are endless. A figure of the immortality is that of unending wideness which sustains endless curls of individualities, something similar to the form of the flower no. 636 and 638.

III. Ananda

The Mother has identified Hibiscus Rosa-senensis (flower no. 565) in cream colour, and She has given the following characteristics: “calm, tranquil, equal, smiling and very sweet in its truly simple austerity.”

Sweetness that vibrates in all its subtleties even while retaining simplicity and austerity. Ananda unites essence and power and this unity or union causes joy and harmony and beauty; this joy is calm and tranquil and not exuberant because it is not like a bubble that

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

can burst and perish; its seed is in essence, in infinity, in eternity. Ananda is equal because the power that is united with essence is omnipotent; and this omnipotence is always omnipotent in all forms and in all states; it has no partiality and its justice is the spontaneous smile of constant grace. It is pure like Jasmine (flower no. 317) and austere like Dhatura (flower no.194).

Ananda is freedom, since its play has infinite possibilities and each possibility is as harmonious and perfect as every other; it, therefore, chooses one or the other, not because one is superior to the other, but because both are equally perfect and harmonious. There is no compelling reason why one is chosen instead of another; it is sheer freedom and sheer delight of play. All forms of modesty and humility and purity that are spontaneous and which convey tranquility and power through the simplicity of the Smile of Infinite Grace are forms that can symbolize the atmosphere of the garden of ananda. The garden of ananda will be the garden of what can be called Sri Aurobindo’s smile, ‒ soft, sweet and infinitely compassionate.

Ananda is a laughter of the snow of the Himalayas, and that is one figure that presents itself when one tries to give a form to the garden of ananda.

Ananda is a fire of purity which creates all and devours all by the tongue that drips with honey. This is the second figure that occurs when we contemplate on ananda.

Ananda is the cool breeze of sweetness and fragrance that animates the flute of Krishna and dance of Krishna, ‒ dance of leisurely power of creativity that has endless forms. This is the third figure that emerges when we contemplate on ananda.

A short note of reflections:

I think that the gardens that we are contemplating will be primarily of gardens of flowers, which will be symbolic flowers indicated by the Mother but which will be arranged in various symbolic forms that will bring out the nature and qualities which are to be signified in the garden. As these will be the gardens of flowers, and the concerned flowers will have to be fresh every day, they will not be static gardens, but they will be flexible and changeable periodically. Hence, forms and designs of arrangement of flowers can be varied from time to time. In order to facilitate this variation, there will be freedom to the designers of the gardens to conceive and execute varieties of arrangement of designs and forms. Miniature bridges, sculptures and various kinds of models can also be displayed for presentation of varied forms. Each garden will be a melody of silent music, and the totality of the gardens would whisper into the ears of the viewers an inaudible orchestra that would express varieties of harmonies of sounds, colours and rhythms.

Please send me your comment on the above understanding of the nature of the gardens that you think we should conceive and imagine.

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

IV. Light

The Mother has given the flower “Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis ‘Vaimaea’”. The colour of this flower is white, and the Mother has called the flower “Light of Purified Power”.

This flower (No.606) is explained as follows: irresistibly simple in its power consecrated solely to the Divine.

Three ideas occur: 1) there is a close connection between light, purity and power.

It is light that purifies power; power is always dependent on light: in other words, power is basically Will-Power, and Will emanates from light. This idea is brought out forcefully in the Vedic concept of Agni which is described as ‘kavi kratu’ in Rig Veda I.1.5. “Kavi kratu” is a compound of two words: kavi and kratu. Kavi stands for wisdom or light and kratu stands for will for action. Wisdom and will are combined in Agni, the fire, which is the purifier, which is always lifted upwards and irresistibly erect and its highest point of flame burns always upwards where the Supreme Divine is seated and who presides and controls all movements of manifestation and action of power, power that is luminous, the power that is purified is a power that is white.

An image for a form that would probably symbolize the idea that has to be manifested in the garden of light would be a galloping white horse that is keen to reach its destination and to be consecrated to the Divine who is omnipotent. Could we have in this garden something to symbolize the movement of the galloping horse and the direction of the movement which can be symbolized by that image of the Lord of Power, ‒ somewhat like the snow white peaks of unshakable Himalayan Mountains?

2) Power that is consecrated to the Divine is the power of heroism, but heroism that is keen to sacrifice all and in all manner of being before the manifestation of the divine will which is always luminous and therefore white. The image that emerges while contemplating on this concept is that of rows of heroic soldiers, ‒ strong, effective and triumphant, ‒ but all of them    in salutations and in complete self-giving to the Divine. This will be an image similar to the image of Arjuna at the feet of Sri Krishna, ‒ a hero that salutes the divine Lord from all sides and directions in a completely white state of submission to the Lord whose white light bursts out in great resplendence as though thousand Suns have come to shine all at once.

3) Power flows from a commanding position. The image of the power that is consecrated to the Divine could therefore be an image of a commanding position. A throne can normally be regarded as a symbol of a commanding position, provided that the throne is placed in the centre of an assemblage or on the top of the assemblage. Whether at the centre or at the top, the power that is white is inalienably submitted and surrendered to the Supreme Divine. A central throne or a top throne offered totally at the feet of the Lord could perhaps be a good symbol for giving a form to this third idea.

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

V. Life

The Mother has given the symbolic flower for life “Hibiscus rosa-sinensis” at No.592, which she has called “Power of Consciousness”. The colour of this flower is raspberry-pink to red, double. The meaning that She has given to this flower is: “All the powers of controlling and governing the lower movements of the inconscient nature.” There are two paragraphs in ‘The Life Divine’, which can help us in conceiving an image of the garden which is expected to symbolize Life. They are as follows:

“Therefore the perfect solution of the problem of Life is not likely to be realized by association, interchange and accommodations of love alone or through the law of the mind and the heart alone. It must come by a fourth status of life in which the eternal unity of the many is realized through the spirit and the conscious foundation of all the operations of life is laid no longer in the divisions of body, nor in the passions and hungers of the vitality, nor in the groupings and the imperfect harmonies of the mind, nor in a combination of all these, but in the unity and freedom of the Spirit.” (“The Life Divine”, Ch.21, p.206)

Next paragraph:

“…it (human race) must aspire to this ascent, conducted indeed through love, mental illumination and the vital urge to possession and self-giving, but leading beyond to the supramental unity which transcends and fulfils them; in the founding of human life upon the supramental realization of conscious unity with the One and with all in our being and in all its members of humanity must seek its final good and salvation. And this is what we have described as the fourth status of Life in its ascent towards the Godhead.” (Ibid, Ch.22, p.217)

In the light of the above an image that seems to emerge is the following:

An image of the ocean with a number of ripples on the surface. These ripples symbolize the lower movements of the inconscient nature. Over these ripples, four layers one above the other can be visibly laid out. The first layer could represent or symbolize the power of love, and the flowers of this layer could be in the formations of mutual interdependence and intermingling; the second layer could be that of flowers arranged in the form that would symbolize heroic self-giving or sacrifice; the third layer could be the layer of flowers organized in the formations of stars that could symbolize the    rays of illumination; but the fourth, top layer could be that of flowers arranged in a formation of comprehensive sky from which would fall rows of flowers, and these rows of flowers could be fitted with bulbs of light and they could all be tied mutually so as to symbolize a net of perfect harmony.

The flowers that would form the ripples of the ocean on its surface, which all represent the movements of the inconscient nature, all though black in their origin but become under the influence of the four above layers of flowers raspberry-pink and even red.

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

VI. Power

The Mother has chosen flower No.609, which is entitled aesthetic power. And the Mother has commented: Beauty is a great power (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – reddish pink)

Power emanates from the Force, which is always subordinate to consciousness but the quality of the power seems to depend upon the position and the disposition. Power dominates, but the nature of domination has various qualities. The right position of domination emanates from the state of victory which is totally obedient to the Supreme. Victory and obedience combined harmoniously. Their harmonious blending of victory and obedience expresses Ananda, and when this Ananda is expressed, we have beauty which is a great power. It appears that the flower, aesthetic power, symbolizes the manifestation of Ananda emanating from the harmonious blending of victory and obedience.

There are several other flowers which are connected with beauty and harmony, and the forms of these flowers can guide us in conceiving the formations of arrangement of flowers of 609 in the garden devoted to power. These are 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 577, 578, 608.

In physical terms, however, circle, square and curves of various kinds express forms of beauty.

But beauty as a power is primarily the beauty of vision and the beauty of the image of the reality and the beauty of rhythm of expression.

It appears that the Mother underlines beauty instead of domination to be the vehicle of the atmosphere that is to be created for the garden of power. Joy of harmony, joy of triumph that comes from complete surrender to the supreme, and the joy in obedience to the supreme should surcharge the atmosphere of this garden.

Love, joy and beauty are the expressions of Ananda: all the three are interdependent, and yet each is unique. In the expression of love, mutuality of relationship is important; in the manifestation of joy, the power of out bursting of fullness is important; in the experience of beauty, the touch of the stuff of the eternal harmony inherent in reality which strikes and awakens in the consciousness, ‒ that is important. It is rightly said that a thing of beauty is joy forever. But the beauty which is the joy is the expression of the inherent harmony which is a mysterious blend of being, consciousness and bliss in a manner that strikes and awakens by virtue of what it is and by virtue of the manner in which it expresses. In that experience, all manners are beautiful, since they inevitably express the inherent harmony of the mysterious blending in Reality of being, consciousness and delight.

Aesthetic power is the power that is manifested by beauty. Beauty which is a power that blends and harmonises, and harmonises the victory of the consciousness and obedience of being and delight.

In the ultimate analysis, beauty which is power does not dominate or exploit, it serves, heals and nourishes.

I think that the garden of power should be the garden of service, healing and nourishment.

12 Gardens of Matrimandir

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