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February '03


- by Sunaura

Matrimandir is a place where present and past merge

Lingering while my small toes melt into the wet earth, allowing the sticky red to gather between, I eye the huge man-made crater and wonder if it is fit for swimming. Aurolice, Mukta, Chandra, Aurassi and my sister Lunaura run forward with shrieks of glee - our cycles left scattered aimlessly behind. We are free. Monsoon rains have provided us with a new and very large swimming pond. Granted the water is thick with mud and the early stages of Matrimandir's scaffolding protrude skyward, but we are not concerned. Our parents, neighbours and friends are working to build this almost incomprehensible huge Mother dome and we are its children coming to play. I run toward the water, splashing in with the others, letting my hair become thick with mud and drops of monsoon rain. Afterwards, we would climb the banyan where the King Cobra dwells, pass through the rocks and shrubs on our racing wheels or mud-stained feet and find a friendly house to fill our tummies full...

Twenty-some years later, this memory comes alive as I make my way toward early morning chamber duty. I follow the path that leads through the ancient Banyan's arms, reaching out to give one a hug while wondering what has become of the King Cobra. All around me sprinklers water the short, neatly-cut green grass and lines are drawn out on the ground for the twelve gardens to be. In front of me, still barely comprehensible, stands the Matrimandir - its golden disks glimmering in the light of the morning sun. Looking at it, I find it difficult to imagine when it was but a hole in the ground. The years of love, sweat and work that have gone into its creation are impossible to miss.

Checking in with Jayaraman, I take the keys to the inner chamber and begin my climb up the concrete steps. I remove my shoes after the second flight of stairs and look around. A handful of Aurovilians and devoted workers are cleaning and chipping the white marble walls. Someone somewhere starts an electric drill, clashing with the echoing silence. I try and set the noise aside as I begin walking up the slanted entrance ramp.

Finally at the chamber doors, I promise myself for the 100th time to quit smoking, while I slip on a pair of clean white socks. I unlock the door and step inside, letting the cool air swim over me. I glimpse the sunray shooting downward, lighting the huge crystal ball. The light seems to radiate out from the crystal's center and then quietly dims as a cloud passes overhead. I am in awe each time I come. I am alone in a chamber of white marble, crystals and Divine love. What a blessing to be part of such a place. Suddenly I feel like a small girl again.

I resist the urge to swirl around in the magic space and instead make myself a comfortable sitting spot with the white-clothed cushions. Resting into the Chamber's atmosphere and my own inner space, I let go...

The Matrimandir is the heart of our community. Whether or not the rhythmic energy pulse is heard, it continues to be. We continue to be challenged by its existence. As the workers and builders, we struggle amongst ourselves to find the perfection we each individually see. But, ultimately we are not the creators of the Matrimandir. Its life energy comes from the Divine and it is this energy that keeps the pulse beating.



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