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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The actuality of Human Unity seems a chimera. The difficulties abound

Contact Home 1968 - The global revolt Brief chronicle Events Asia/Australia > India
Forty Years Ago - A township that began with a dream

Sri Aurobindo* had the dream of an inevitable Human Unity and the Mother* had shared his dream of an ideal city.

“There should be somewhere upon earth a place that no nation could claim as its sole property, a place where all human beings of goodwill, sincere in their aspiration, could live freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord, harmony, where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his suffering and misery, to surmount his weakness and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the care for progress would get precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the seeking for pleasures and material enjoyments....”

The day was February 28, 1968.At 10.30 in the morning on a barren plateau, close to a lone banyan tree, the youth of the world were invited to come and share in this dream and build a city that would become the cradle of a new Humanity. The Mother’s organ music wafted across the devotees from the Ashram and peoples from around the globe who came to witness the start of a new age.

The Charter of Auroville was read by the Mother in French. Thereafter, the ceremony of laying the symbolic earth in the lotus urn was commenced. The first ones to march forward were Kiran-di and Vijay bhai (Poddar). Kiran-di held the Mother’s flag and Vijay bhai carried the symbolic earth from the Ashram. Vijay bhai deposited the symbolic earth and a scroll being the Charter of Auroville into the Urn.

One by one, youth from the various states of India and the countries of the world marched two by two bearing the flag (with name placard) of the state or the country represented, and the symbolic earth. Many countries and states had sent their representatives for the ceremony. Where such representatives were not sent, youth from the Ashram substituted for the country or the state. After the reading of the Charter in French, the charter was read in other languages, Tamil, Sanskrit, English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

As the Charter was read in Tamil, Sanskrit and English in the background, symbolic earth was deposited in the Urn by youth representing each state of India in alphabetical order. Thereafter, during the reading of the Charter in Arabic, Chinese etc. (above listed languages) youth representing the various countries of the world (in alphabetical order) deposited symbolic earth in the Urn.

40 years later The city of Auroville is today at the threshold of a new age. Forty years in the making, the symbolic spiritual centre, the Matri Mandir, is now complete. The forests have been planted, water run-off bunded, small communities have taken deeper root, children have been going to school and now their children shout and play in the forests and grounds of Auroville. The first Aurovilians from around the villages have taken on a new role in the building of Auroville. Human challenges are now real and intense.

The actuality of Human Unity seems a chimera. The difficulties abound. Many of the pioneers who came harkening to the first call left due to challenging governance issues. There are new forces, new faces, new energies and new impetus. Peoples are coming, many are returning. (Courtesy: Sri Aurobindo’s Action) by Chandresh Pately

Fikrun wa Fann The cultural magazine aims to contribute to a dialogue between Western and Islamic-influenced cultures. Goethe-Institut India Top Home 1968 - The global revolt Brief chronicle Events Contact © 2008 Goethe-Institut

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