Hello all! In my Blogs I will be Writing about the Spiritual places and in this Blog I am going to Write about a spiritual place Matrimandir|Auroville. Auroville is located in south India, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of Puducherry), a few kilometres inland from the Coromandel Coast, approx 150 kms south of Chennai and 10 kms north of the town of Puducherry.
Auroville is a universal township in the making for a population of up to 50,000 people from around the world.
The main motto of all the people living in the Auroville city,is to convert life into ‘Supramental Consciousness’. It is also known by the name of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and is devoted towards ‘unity of mankind’. Auroville intends to become such a city that will serve as a model to the cities of the future, cities where people will strive towards a harmonious future.
The Auroville comprises of the teachings of the Mother (Mirra Alfassa), Sri Aurobindo and designed by architect Roger Anger. The city was inaugurated on 28th February 1968. Representatives from approximately 124 countries attended the inauguration ceremony.
In Mother words “Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities”.
Auroville (City of Dawn) has its origins in the French language, “aurore” meaning dawn and “ville” meaning city.
Auroville (City of Dawn) is an experimental township which would contribute significantly in the “progress of humanity towards its splendid future by bringing together people of goodwill and aspiration for a better world.”
The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity – in diversity. Today Auroville is recognized as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with – and practically researching into – sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.
At the centre of the township lies the Peace Area, comprising the Matrimandir and its gardens, the amphitheatre with the Urn of Human Unity that contains the soil of 121 nations and 23 Indian states, and the project of a lake to help create an atmosphere of calm and serenity and to serve as a groundwater recharge area.
A 109-hectare area to the north of the Peace Area, the Industrial Zone, a zone for “green” industries, is focused on Auroville’s efforts towards a self-supporting township. It will contain small and medium-scale industries, training centres, arts and crafts, and the city’s administration.
The largest of the four city zones, comprising of 189 hectares, the Residential Zone is bordered by parks on the north, south and west. Main access to the zone will be through the crown road with further traffic distribution via five radial roads that divide the zone into sectors of increasing densities. This zone wants to provide a well-adjusted habitat between individual and collective living. 55% of the area will be green and only 45% built surface, thereby creating an urban density balanced by nature.
The International Zone, a zone of 74 hectares to the west of the Peace Area, will host national and cultural pavilions, grouped by continents. Its central focus is to create a living demonstration of human unity in diversity through the expression of the genius and contribution of each nation to humanity
Planned on a 93-hectare area, situated to the east of the Peace Area, the Cultural Zone will be a site for applied research in education and artistic expression. Facilities for cultural, educational, art and sports activities will be located in this zone.
The city area with a radius of 1.25 km. will be surrounded by a Green Belt of 1.25 km width. As a zone for organic farms, dairies, orchards, forests, and wildlife areas, this belt will act as a barrier against urban encroachment, provide a variety of habitats for wildlife, and serve as a source for food, timber, medicines etc. and as a place for recreation.
Presently an area of 405 hectares, the Green Belt – though incomplete – stands as an example of successful transformation of wasteland into a vibrant eco-system. Its further planned extension with an additional 800 hectares will make it into a remarkable demonstration site for soil and water conservation, ground water recharge, and environmental restoration. As lungs for the entire township, it will complete the healing process that Auroville started several decades ago.
Mirra Alfassa, fondly called ‘The Mother’, was born to an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father. She was born in France and was the second child of her parents. She studied occultism in her twenties, in Algeria, and returned to Paris to work with groups of spiritual seekers. She met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, in the year 1914, and immediately recognized him as a mentor she had already met in dreams.
She left India after the start of World War II, but came back to join Sri Aurobindo, in the year 1920. She was responsible behind the organization of Sri Aurobindo’s followers into the Aurobindo Ashram of Pondicherry. In 1968, she commenced the project of Auroville Township as a means to implement Sri Aurobindo’s vision.
(1872 – 1950)
Sri Aurobindo (born Aurobindo Ghose; 15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.
‘ No one can write about my life because it has not been on the surface for man to see.’ – Sri Aurobindo from: On Himself
Yet his writings and outer life give a profound glimpse into the life of this unique spiritual master. Sri Aurobindo paved a new approach to yoga, which he termed ‘Integral Yoga’. Unlike the Yogi’s of old he felt yoga and spirituality need not involve retreating from the world.
Sri Aurobindo wished to bring the Divine into all aspects of life. For the last 40 years of his life he worked tirelessly for this goal of bringing down a new spiritual consciousness.
“We are Sons of God and must be even as He.” – Sri Aurobindo
The Center Part of Auroville is the ‘soul of the city’, the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called ‘Peace’, from where the future township will radiate outwards. The atmosphere is quiet, charged and are quite beautiful.
The Matrimandir is a large golden sphere which seems to be rising out of the earth, symbolising the birth of a new consciousness seeking to manifest. Matrimandir does not belong to any particular religion or sect.
Structure and surroundings
The Matrimandir took 37 years to build, from the laying of the foundation stone at sunrise on 21 February 1971 – the Mother’s 93rd birthday – to its completion in May 2008. It is in the form of a huge sphere surrounded by twelve petals. The Geodesic dome is covered by golden discs and reflects sunlight, which gives the structure its characteristic radiance. Inside this central dome is a meditation hall known as the inner chamber – this contains the largest optically-perfect glass globe in the world. The Matrimandir, and its surrounding gardens in the central Peace Area, is open to the public by appointment.
The four main pillars that support the structure of Matrimandir, and carry the Inner Chamber, have been set at the four main directions of the compass.
These four pillars are symbolic of the four aspects of the mother as described by Sri Aurobindo, and are named after these four aspects.
“The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol of the Universal Mother according to Sri Aurobindos teaching.” 1970
Maheshwari, South: “One is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness.”
Mahakali, North: “Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force.”
Mahalakshmi, East: “A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace.”
Mahasaraswati, West: ‘The fourth is equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things.”
The Mother’s Shrine
‘The Mothers Shrine will be an empty place, empty of all material things, meant only for meditation, concentration and prayer…” 1967
First Level :
First Level is the basement of the Globe. The Place is fully carpeted with white carpet.
Central Staircase takes us to the central region of the Globe from basement.
Running water inside Pillars
Through Central Staircase we come to the Second Level. From there the Ramp Starts to the top of the Globe where the Inner Chamber is Located.
oil Lamp at the Beginning of the Lamp
The Inner Chamber
The spacious Inner Chamber in the upper hemisphere of the Matrimandir is completely white, with white marble walls and deep, white carpeting. In the centre sits a pure crystal-glass globe which suffuses a ray of electronically guided sunlight that falls on it through an opening at the apex of the sphere. This luminescent globe radiates natural lighting in the Inner Chamber.
“The most important thing is this: the play of the sun on the centre. Because that becomes the symbol, the symbol of future realisations.”
The Inner Chamber is devoid of images, organised meditations, flowers, incense, religion or religious forms.
To find one’s consciousness
The Matrimandir is there for “those who want to learn to concentrate..” “No fixed meditations, none of all that, but they should stay there in silence, in silence and concentration. A place for trying to find one’s consciousness.”
“Let it not become a Religion”, the Mother said.
“The failure of religions is… because they were divided. They wanted people to be religious to the exclusion of other religions, and every branch of knowledge has been a failure because it has been exclusive. What the new consciousness wants (it is on this that it insists) is: no more divisions.
To be able to understand the spiritual extreme, the material extreme, and to find the meeting point, the point where that becomes a real force.”
The Crystal is mounted on Sri Aurobindo’s Symbol
The Lotus Pond
Below the Matrimandir water flows gently in a pure white marble lotus pond. At its center, a crystal ball receives the beam of sunlight that has passed through the Inner Chamber.
white marble lotus pond
Crystal Ball receives the beam of sunlight that has passed through the Inner Chamber
So this is how the Matrimandir and Auroville looks like.
Hope you all find this article informative and useful to know about Auroville and Matrimandir.
In Next article we will explore some other spiritual place. Kindly Leave your feedback about this article!