Meet Auroville: Gloria

Here is a modified and shortened extract from an interview with Gloria, an Aurovillian, taken from ‘Turning Points; An Inner Story of the Beginnings of Auroville’.

We wanted to return to Finland where we had lived for two years. In Italy, there was too much corruption, too much dishonesty, we could not accept it. We were in the process of preparing to leave, finishing whatever we had to do, when by chance at our neighbor’s apartment we met an actor who had been to Pondicherry. That was in 1966-67. So to discover that there was an inner world, so different, so deep, was very exciting. We exchanged letters with Nata, and through him we learnt that there was a project of building a city which would be based on new ideas. A space can have great influence on human beings. We read Sri Aurobindo and we liked it a lot. We also read the conversation of Mother with the school children - which we found a bit simple.

Finally we decided to leave for Pondicherry: why not have this experience in India for a year before returning to Finland? We arrived in Pondicherry on March 12, 1968.

Nata brought us to see the Mother on the 3rd of April (it was Piero’s birthday), and we took with us our daughter Martha who was almost five. Mother did not look at us much, she mainly concentrated on Martha (laughs). One year passed, and we had too many things to learn and do here to think of leaving. Our second daughter, Grazi was born here, and it was such a joy to bring her up in Mother’s atmosphere filled with hope. It was that contact with Mother that did it. We decided to stay one more year. And then, two years, three years, and now… it has been forty years! It is funny, no?

Even now, if you compare Auroville with the outside world, even considering all the mistakes, the difficulties, at least there is an aspiration, a search, something so different, so much deeper. If we do some inner work and go beyond, we can accept that difficulties are part of a complex evolutionary work. 

Then, if you think of all the communitures that were born in the world during the sixties, where are they today? But Auroville is still here. Auroville is here.

Mother gave Auroville its basis, which is karma yoga. One does the work as best as one can, but one is not attached to the result. The result is not in our hands… this thought gives me certain peace, and also the desire to work for Auroville till the end.