Significance of Auroville
In the Agenda of 1961, the Mother has spoken of certain conditions of the idea of an ideal city which could be a habitation of a collective life and which could serve as the embryo or seed of the future supramental world. In the words of the Mother:
What I myself have seen ... was a plan that came complete in all details, but that doesn't at all conform in spirit and consciousness with what is possible on earth now (although, in its most material manifestation, the plan was based on existing terrestrial conditions). It was the idea of an ideal city, the nucleus of a small ideal country, having only superficial and extremely limited contacts with the old world. One would already have to conceive (it's possible) of a Power sufficient to be at once a protection against aggression or bad will (this would not be the most difficult protection to provide) and a protection
(which can just barely be imagined) against infiltration and admixture.... From the social or organizational standpoint, these problems are not difficult, nor from the standpoint of inner life; the problem is the relationship with what is not supramentalized—preventing infiltration or admixture, keeping the nucleus from falling back into an inferior creation during the transitional period.1 ...The realization under community or group conditions would clearly be far more complete, integral, total and probably more perfect than any individual realization, which is always, necessarily—necessarily—extremely limited on the external material level, because it's only one way of being, one mode of manifestation, one microscopic set of vibrations that is touched.2
In due course, something of this idea of an ideal city began to take shape, and the Mother took a decision to establish a small international township (about 10 km away from Pondicherry). The Mother named it Auroville.
On 28th February, 1968, youths from 124 countries came to deposit a handful of earth from their countries into the urn at the centre of the proposed city, and the Mother gave the Charter of Auroville.
In the first few years, Auroville grew rapidly under the Mother's guidance, and its significance came to be recognised not only by India but also by UNESCO and various countries of the world.
The significance of Auroville has been explained by the Mother in several conversations with Satprem, which we find in the Mother's Agenda. We give below the relevant portions from the Mother's Agenda:
21 September, 1966
(This conversation came about following a personal question of Satprem's, who asked Mother if he should not refuse an amount of money offered to him by the French government: a war pension. Satprem's intention was to refuse that pension, not wanting to feel tied to any government and any country for any amount of money. Mother advised him to accept that money for the divine Work.)
I had a revelation, in the sense that it was more on the order of a vision.
For external reasons, I was looking at the sorry state in which all countries find themselves, the truly painful and dangerous conditions of the earth, and there was a sort of all-embracing vision showing how nations (men taken as nations) have acted and are increasingly acting in a growing Falsehood, and how they have used all their creative power to create such formidable means of destruction, with, at the back of their minds, the really childish notion that the destruction would be so terrible that no one would want to use them. But they don't know (they ought to know, but they don't) that things have a consciousness and a force of manifestation, and that all those means of destruction are pressing to be used; and even though men may not want to use them, a force stronger than they will be pushing them to do so.
Then, seeing all this, the imminence of the catastrophe, there was a sort of call or aspiration to bring down something that could at least neutralize that error. And it came, an answer ... I can't say I heard it with my ears, but it was so clear, so strong and precise that it was indisputable. I
am obliged to translate it into words; if I translate it into words, I may say something like this: "That's why you have created Auroville."
And with the clear vision that Auroville was a center of force and creation, with ... (how can I explain?) a seed of truth, and that if it could sprout and develop, the very movement of its growth would be a reaction against the catastrophic consequences of the error of armament. I found this very interesting because this birth ofAuroville wasn't preceded by any thought; as always, it was simply a Force acting, like a sort of absolute manifesting, and it was so strong [when the idea of Auroville presented itself to Mother] that I could have told people, "Even if you don't believe in it, even if all circumstances appear to be quite unfavorable, I KNOW THAT AUROVILLE WILL BE. It may be in a hundred years, it may be in a thousand years, I don't know, but Auroville will be, because it has been decreed." So it was decreed—and done quite simply, like that, in obedience to a Command, without any thought. And when I was told that (I say, "I was told," but you understand what I mean), when I was told that, it was to tell me, "Here is why you have made Auroville; you are unaware of it, but that's why...." Because it was the LAST HOPE to react against the imminent catastrophe. If some interest is awakened in all countries for this creation, little by little it will have the power to react against the error they have committed.
I found this very interesting, because I had never thought about it.
And naturally, when I was shown that, I understood; I perceived how the creation of Auroville has an action in the invisible, and what action. It's not a material, outward action: it's an action in the invisible. And since
then, I have been trying to make countries understand it, of course not outwardly because they all think they're much too clever to be taught anything, but inwardly, in the invisible.
It's fairly recent, it dates from two or three days ago. I had never been told this. It was said very clearly—"said," I mean seen, shown like this (gesture of a scene offered to the sight). So my interest in Auroville has considerably increased since then. Because I have understood that it isn't just a creation of idealism, but quite a practical phenomenon, in the hope ... in the will, rather, to thwart and counterbalance the effects—the frightful effects—of the psychological error of believing that fear can save you from a danger! Fear attracts the danger much more than it saves you from it. And all these countries, all these governments commit blunder upon blunder because of that fear of the catastrophe.
All this is simply to tell you that if nations collaborate in the work of Auroville, even to a very modest extent [such as this offer of money from the French government], it will do them good—it can do them a lot of good, a good that can be out of proportion to the appearance of their actions.
You speak of the imminence of a catastrophe, but still Auroville will take some time to be realized?
No! I am speaking of the countries' collaboration in CREATING something. It's not when Auroville has been completed: it's the nations' collaboration in creating something—but creating something founded on the Truth instead of a rivalry in Falsehood's creation. It's not when Auroville is ready—when Auroville is ready,
it will be one town among all other towns and it's only its own capacity of truth that will have power, but that ... remains to be seen.
No, the point is a combined interest in building something founded on the Truth. They have had a combined interest (combined without any mutual liking, of course) in creating a power of destruction built on Falsehood; well, Auroville means diverting a little of that force (the quantity is minor, but the quality is superior). It's truly a hope—it's founded on a hope—of doing something that can be the beginning of a harmony.
No, it's RIGHT NOW, right now. The force of propagation is far greater, it's out of proportion to the transmitting center [Mother], which, on a world scale, is so to say unknown and almost nonexistent. But the center, the power of radiation and propagation is out of proportion, it's rather remarkable: the response [to Auroville] is everywhere, everywhere; a response from new Africa, a response in France, a response in Russia, a response in America, a response in Canada, and a response in numerous countries, in Italy ... everywhere, everywhere. And not just individuals: groups, tendencies, movements, even in governments.
What's proving to be the most refractory (and the irony of it is wonderful) is ... the United Nations! Those people are outdated, oh! ... They haven't yet gone beyond the "materialistic, antireligious movement," and they made a derogatory remark about the Auroville brochure, saying it was "mystic," with "religious" tendency. The irony is lovely!
Besides, even quite outwardly, that fight between India and Pakistan was clearly ... (how can I put it? ... The words that come to me are English) initiated and driven,
that is to say, set in motion by and under the impulsion of the forces of Truth that wanted to create a great "Asian Federation" with the power to counterbalance Red China and its movement. It was a federation that, as a matter of fact, needed the return of Pakistan and all those regions, and which includes Nepal, Tibet, also Burma, and in the south, Ceylon. A great federation with each country having its autonomous development, perfectly free, but which would be united in a common single aspiration for peace and fight against the invasion of forces of dissolution. That was very clear, it was willed—and it's the intervention of this United Nations that stopped everything.
I am not saying anything officially; because I have said and always repeat that politics is in complete Falsehood, based on Falsehood, and I am not dealing with it, meaning that I am not in politics, I don't want to be – but that doesn't stop me from seeing clearly! ... People have come and asked me (from every side, by the way) for my opinion, view or advice; I said, "No, I don't deal in politics." You see, all diplomacy is absolutely based on a DELIBERATE Falsehood. As long as it is like that, there's no hope: the inspirations will always come from the wrong side; inspirations, impulsions, ideas, everything will always come from the wrong side – which means the inescapable blunder, for everyone. A few rare individuals feel that and are aware of it, and they are half desperate because nobody listens to them.
Unfortunately, following the present tendencies, for Auroville they are trying to get UNESCO'S support (!) I, of course, knew beforehand that those [UNESCO] people couldn't understand, but ... they are trying. Because everywhere people (it's a sort of superstition), everywhere people say, "No, I'll open my purse strings only with
UNESCO's approval and encouragement"—I am talking about those whose contribution matters, lots of people, so •••
Only, to me, all this is the crust, the quite superficial experience—the crust; and things have to happen underneath, beneath that crust. It's just an appearance.
I said that to those who look after Auroville, I told them, "Those people [of UNESCO] are two hundred years behind the earth's march, so there's little hope they'll understand." But anyway, I didn't tell them not to deal with them—I don't give any advice.
But tiny details such as the one we spoke of just before [the French government's offer of a pension] are an indication: it's countries collaborating in the Truth without knowing it. And it's very good, it will do them good. It's good for them. It doesn't matter if they aren't aware of it (smiling): they won't have the pleasure of having done it, that's all!
But I was the first to be very interested, because it came like that (gesture of irresistible descent), with all-powerful authority: "That's why Auroville has been created."
(Mother goes into a contemplation, then resumes)
I see all kinds of very amusing things pass by; just now, this reflection: "Ah, it's a Tower of Babel in reverse." (Mother laughs) That's interesting! They united and divided in the construction, so now, they come together to unite in the construction. That's it: a Tower of Babel ... in reverse!
(Mother stops for an instant, as if she saw something)
One suddenly sees ... It's a certain region, there, a region in the earth atmosphere, vast and imperishable, where things take on a new importance, which sometimes belies appearances, and one sees a sort of great, immense current carrying circumstances and events along towards a goal ... always the same goal, and through very unexpected paths. It becomes very vast, and despite the horror of details, as a whole it takes on a very smiling Rhythm....
Now I know, I remember, this whole experience came after I saw a book that was published quite recently in India, in English, which they entitled The Roll of Honour, and in which there is a photo and a short biography of all those who died in the fight against the British, for India's freedom. There were photos everywhere, lots of them (some were only photos the police took after they had just been killed and were lying on the ground). And it all brought a certain atmosphere: the atmosphere of those disinterested goodwilled people who meet with a tragic fate. It had the same impression on me as the horrors of the Germans during the war over there. These things are obviously under the direct influence of certain adverse forces, but we know that the adverse forces are, so to say, permitted to work—through the sense of horror, in fact—in order to hasten the awakening of consciousness. So then, that experience, which was very strong and was very like the one I had when I saw the photographs of German atrocities in France, put me in contact with the vision of the human, terrestrial, modern error (it's modern: it began these last one thousand years and has become more and more acute in the last hundred
years), with the aspiration to counterbalance that: How to do it?... What is to be done?... And the answer: "That's why you have created Auroville."
There is a perception of forces—the forces that act directly in events, material events, which are ... illusory and deceptive. For instance, the man who fought for his country's freedom, who has just been assassinated because he is a rebel, and who looks defeated, lying there on the edge of the road—he is the real victor. That's how it is, it clearly shows the kind of relationship between the truth and the expression. Then, if you enter the consciousness in which you perceive the play of forces and see the world in that light, it's very interesting. And that's how, when I was in that state, I was told, clearly shown (it's inexpressible because it isn't with words, but these are facts): "That's why you have created Auroville...." It's the same thing as with that photo.
There, you'll keep this.
* * *
A note on Auroville by Mother:
"Humanity is not the last rung of terrestrial creation. Evolution continues and man will be surpassed. It is for each one to know whether he wants to participate in the advent of the new species. For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no raison d'être."
* * *
February 3, 1968
(Mother first reads out for All India Radio the text of her "reminiscences " of her life in India)
Then I've written something else.... They wanted to prepare a sort of brochure on Auroville to distribute to the press, the government, etc., on the 28th, and before that, there is in Delhi in two or three days a conference of all nations ("all nations" is an exaggeration, but anyway they say "all nations"). Z is going there, and she wants to take with her all the papers on Auroville. They have prepared texts – always lengthy, interminable: speeches and more speeches. So then I asked, I concentrated to know what had to be said. And all of a sudden, Sri Aurobindo gave me a revelation. That was something interesting. I concentrated to know the why, the how and so on, and all of a sudden Sri Aurobindo said ...
(Mother reads out a note:)
"India has become ...
It was the vision of the thing, and it instantly translated into French words.
"India has become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of modern mankind.
"India will be the land of its resurrection—the resurrection to a higher and truer life."
And the clear vision: the same thing which in the history of the universe made the earth the symbolic
representation of the universe so as to concentrate the work on one point, the same phenomenon is now taking place: India is the representation of all human difficulties on earth, and it is in India that the ... cure will be found. And then, that is why—THAT IS WHY I was made to start Auroville.
It came and it was so clear, so tremendously powerful! So I wrote it down. I didn't tell them how or why, I told them, "Put this at the beginning of your paper, whatever it is; you can say whatever you like, but put this first."
It was very interesting. It remained the whole time, for more than an hour, such a strong and clear vision, as if suddenly everything became clear. I often used to wonder about it (not "wonder," but there was a tension to understand why things, here in India, have become such a chaos, with such sordid difficulties, and all of it piling up), and instantly, everything became clear, like that. It was really interesting. And immediately there was: "Here is why you have made Auroville." I didn't know it, you understand, I did the thing under pressure, and it took larger and larger proportions (it's becoming really worldwide), and I would wonder why.... For a time I thought it was the only present possibility to prevent a war,e but it seemed to me a somewhat superficial explanation. Then it came all of a sudden: "Ah! That's why." And as that whole power was in it, I said, "Put it." We'll see—they won't understand anything, but that doesn't matter, it will act.
* * *
22 March 1969
Two days ago (not yesterday, the day before), this Consciousness told me something; I said, "Very well," but it went on saying the same thing again and again and again, until I'd written it down! So here it is (Mother holds out a note). And it explained to me why there was "we."
"We will strive to make Auroville the cradle of the superman."
Ah... it's important news! (Mother smiles) So then, I said, "Why 'we'?" It answered, "It's because the attempt will be to get those who will live in Auroville to collaborate."