Stories of Auroville - Janaka

I was in jail in Paris and one of the teachers asked us the question ‘what is truth. What does truth mean to you?’. I was nearly twenty and this was an experience that shaped my destiny.  I was overwhelmed by the idea that somewhere there could be a truth to be found, a truth to be experienced. Three months later I was freed. But not freed from that question. So I went searching for truth, through various groups and sects who claimed to hold the secret of everything, but I could not grasp it really. No one could give me the essential thing: a power that would free myself from another kind of prison, my own little dear person. I would later learn that we cannot free ourselves from something that we do not first possess fully. I would therefor have to develop it. In 1965 I plunged into the teachings of Max Theon, I didn’t understand much of it but it made me shudder. Theon’s symbol was the same as Sri Aurobindo’s I learned. After some enquiries I came to know that there was an Ashram in South India where there was a lady called the Mother who had received initiation in occultism from Theon himself and had given him the symbol of Sri Aurobindo. It was like a fairy tale! I wrote a long letter to the Mother explaining everything, not hiding any of my past. I received an answer that through all my difficulties I had been guided towards ‘my truth’. I should send my photo if I was interested to walk further on this path. I was totally overwhelmed. I was granted spiritual guidance.
I was also informed about the project of Auroville. That was in 1966. Two weeks later I received a blessing package by the Mother, I took it as a sign that she had accepted me among her children.
I went back to Paris to start the Integral Yoga. I lived in poverty, got some jobs and never stopped thinking of going to Pondicherry.
In the meantime an Auroville Association was founded in Paris, I was one of the first members. I met Roger Anger and many others. In July 1968 the project of the caravan came, we were to leave on the 15th August 1969. Forty eight days later after twelve thousand kilometres we drove the last stretch from Tindivanam to Pondicherry.
We lived in the Aspiration huts, the collective experiment started, and it was not easy!
My birthday was getting close. Soon I would be 28 years old. I was allowed to see the Mother for my birthday. It had been such a long way from my prison cell in France.
She welcomed me with a beautiful smile and ‘so my child it is your birthday?’ Unable to speak I offered her my wild flowers. I was in front of her! She was my Mother, the Divine incarnated who knew me completely and had always known me.
I was lost in her eyes, which were piercing my being in search of whatever was the truest I could put at her service. Oh, Mother!
When I came back to Aspiration, the community had prepared a small party for me. People were smiling at me, understanding and sharing my emotion. Oh Auroville, how much I love you! A single soul existed already, despite the differences, a unity behind the dissensions. I have known it since that time and forever: at crucial moments the soul of Auroville awakens and men forgetting their petty unite to answer her call!

This is an excerpt from the book ‘Turning Points’ by Auroville Press.
To purchase the same have a look here.