Friday, May 10, 2013

Auroville – Home of Human Unity

Hearing about an ashram temple and community with a big gold dome, and unusual creed, on the way to Pondicherry as a recommended stop from another traveller with our group, piqued our curiosity, and we were keen to try and check it out on our roadtrip. Luckily, we spotted the dome from the road on the way into the Southern Indian seaside town, and managed to get our driver to take us in. Gold, indeed!

Through paddocks of trees, we could see the Dome, but it took some time before we got anywhere near it. Once we found the carpark, and walked the distance to the entrance, we got to see the sections that were open to the public of this "universal township".

The Visitor's Centre outlined the idea of human unity, and the vision of The Mother, who was behind this township.

The Mother's vision is lofty, and universally hopeful. According to the website:
Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness
along with sustainable living, research, and "needs of mankind". Fascinating!

The Centre also outlines The Mother's life, and her specific vision, about meditation and self-sufficient living, and the notion of many people from all over the world, living as one.

Onsite there is a university, and a residential area, in addition to the Dome and it's gardens, with the ampitheatre.

The Visitor's Centre requires that you watch a video about the community, and the construction of the Dome - which is called the Matrimandir, and is a shrine to The Mother - before you are granted a pass to walk out to the observation point to see the Dome and it's carefully manicured surroundings.

The video shows the intricate details of the Dome, from the gold plates that make up the Dome, the twelve meditation rooms within the Dome, and the positioning of the crystal inside to capture the sunlight, and the lotus pond below.

To be honest, I think we came away bemused, and non-the-wiser about what the community living and devoted to the Dome were all about, but it certainly had us talking about it for the rest of the day!

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