“A place belongs to nobody in particular. It belongs to humanity as a whole.” This is one of the four main ideas which formed the basis of Aurovile. I felt really lucky to visit this place. I had a very small idea of this place as this was a very sudden visit to Pondicherry. I must say I had one of the best five days of my life in Pondicherry. A visit to Auroville was a very different experience. It was a lifetime experience rather than a momentary one.
Born on 28 February, 1968, this place exists with the same principles that it was laid on. My journey to Auroville started by meeting one of my friend Veronique, who is an Aurovillian. She is in her fifties but very energetic. She guided us to the Visitor’s Centre where people take pass for Matrimandir. Tourists come basically to feel the essence of spirituality which one can feel inside Matrimandir.
Matrimandir – As the name suggests, it means Mother’s Temple. According to me, this can be one of the places where one can find oneself. The Matrimandir was extraordinary to look at and was greatly designed by Roger Anger. This place dictates peace and unity. It was surrounded by 12 parks. In the midst of it lies the big sphere painted in Golden. The body of this huge sphere covered by large gold plated discs. It was fitted in such a way that it has sustained so long and none of the natural calamities could have destroyed it till now.
We were supposed to remove our footwear and maintain silence. Since, the inner chamber is completely white, we were supposed to wear socks. We were taken to the inner chamber where we were supposed to sit and in front of it laying a big crystal which was focused exactly down the apex of the large sphere. There is a slit which opens and that leads the sun’s rays directs to the crystal which symbolizes the union of the divine and Mother Earth. In other words, one can say, the unity of one’s consciousness with the divine. One can find a big banyan tree outside where people can meditate to find one’s inner consciousness. Auroville is not only visiting Matrimandir and having a look at it. To know the essence of Auroville, one must understand what its significance is and what they do.
According to my perception, Auroville is about people. It is a place where one can rise to a better human being, where one can know how to sustain, and to connect with nature. I must say it is a place above all religion, caste or creed, regions, its only humanity that matters.
Auroville is a very big village that comprises of various sections, whether it is Auroville paper section, jewelry, handicrafts, books, agriculture; every little thing is unique and is of high quality and are taken to the national and International markets. There is a book gallery which comprises of books for everyone- children’s story books, travel books; spiritual CD’s/DVD’s, culinary books and one can even find books on Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa.
If one is hungry, just turn your head and you can find two amazing café’ near the Visitor’s Centre which serves the most authentic breakfast as well as Lunch. The food comprises both Indian and French cuisines. The fluffy Idlis and the smell of the freshly baked mouth watery cakes and cookies can temp anyone to their chairs.
For the Fashion Divas and Nature lovers, there exist the two famous boutiques- Mira and Kalki. Both have unique, environment friendly and natural products. One can see the hard labour and love of the local people. Each product is unique and different from each other. This excites me to know more about the products and the mastermind behind them. My journey of Auroville doesn’t end here; I must say my journey starts from here in a true sense.