Produced by aurovillevideoproductions. With special thanks to Nick, Thulasi & Vimal and Music: Holger & Joy
The Auroville Charter
1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But, to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the divine consciousness.
2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations.
4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.
The Mother (1954).
There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his sufferings and miseries, to surmount his weaknesses and ignorance to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the concern for progress would take precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the search for pleasure and material enjoyment.
In this place, children would be able to grow and develop integrally without losing contact with their souls; education would be given not for passing examinations or obtaining certificates and posts but to enrich existing faculties and bring forth new ones.
In this place, titles and positions would be replaced by opportunities to serve and organise; the bodily needs of each one would be equally provided for, and intellectual, moral and spiritual superiority would be expressed in the general organisation not by an increase in the pleasures and powers of life but by increased duties and responsibilities.
Beauty in all its artistic forms, painting, sculpture, music, literature, would be equally accessible to all; the ability to share in the joy it brings would be limited only by the capacities of each one and not by social or financial position. For in this ideal place money would no longer be the sovereign lord; individual worth would have a far greater importance than that of material wealth and social standing.
There, work would not be a way to earn one’s living but a way to express oneself and to develop one’s capacities and possibilities while being of service to the community as a whole, which, for its own part, would provide for each individual’s subsistence and sphere of action.
In short, it would be a place where human relationships, which are normally based almost exclusively on competition and strife, would be replaced by relationships of emulation in doing well, of collaboration and real brotherhood.
The Mother (1954).
Fifty years ago
Fifty years ago, approximately 5,000 people attended the birth of Auroville on a barren plateau. The inauguration took place on February 28, 1968 and was broadcast live on All India Radio. Youth representing 124 nations and 23 Indian states placed soil from their native lands into a marble urn, which remains at the Amphitheatre in the centre of Auroville. The Charter of Auroville was read over the wireless in French by the founder Mirra Alfassa, also called The Mother, from her room in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.
Conceived as an experimental Township, Auroville offers itself as a testing ground and laboratory for the next step in humanity’s evolutionary process. It aims to realize a Human Unity, which implies overcoming one’s differences by transcending them, in order to live and work together. An important tool to achieve this is the Integral Yoga underlying the project. It encourages practitioners to psychologically enter a deep self-introspection and gradually evolve from there.
Auroville primarily being a place of inner growing, every aspect of the city’s functioning is a constantly changing pattern of life’s external expression: green practices, art and beauty, education, governance, economic realities, social collaboration and so on. All are part and parcel of a growing entity.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the International City of Auroville, we are looking back on the first half century of our existence. This is also the time to look towards the future, the paths that still need to be discovered and explored. (text by outreach media)