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December 2006


The petal shields in the twelve meditation rooms

- Carel

On 19th January 1972, the Mother gave Satprem a list of twelve qualities for the meditation rooms which architect Roger Anger wanted to create in the Matrimandir's twelve ‘petals'.

They are: Sincerity (light blue), Peace (deep blue), Equality (blue violet), Generosity (pure violet), Goodness (reddish violet), Courage (pure red), Progress (vermilion), Receptivity (orange), Aspiration (golden yellow), Perseverance (light yellow), Gratitude (light green), and Humility (dark green). Mother commented: “The first eight concern the attitude towards the Divine, and the last four towards humanity.”

The corridor leading to the ‘Courage’ petal.

Matrimandir is going to surprise us. Already now, even though work on the main structure is continuing, the Inner Chamber attracts many Aurovilians for concentration - on the inner Divine or on other levels of consciousness. But what can be expected from the meditation rooms in the 12 petals? And what will each of the 12 gardens communicate?

For The Mother it was obvious. A visitor to a garden or a petal chamber should experience the specific quality of that garden or chamber. Someone visiting the garden called ‘Power' should experience what power truly is. Similarly, a person meditating in the ‘Aspiration' chamber should acquire a deeper understanding of aspiration on all levels - psychic, mental, vital and physical.

To envision and design gardens and chambers that express such qualities is an immense task. The work on the gardens is at an early stage and designs are still being made. But the meditation chambers in the petals will be open to the public on February 21, 2007.

Section through petal chamber

Chamber designs

Two design elements express the specific quality of each chamber: its colour and the geometric patterns on the window shield. Both are the work of Auroville artist Shanta (Chantal Gowa). She began the work in 1992, fourteen years ago.

Her first task was to find the right colour, the vibration of which corresponds to the chamber's quality. After various experiments it was decided use pure, strong colours. A visitor to a chamber can now expect a colour bath - an immersion in colour as a help to understand the deeper meaning of the chamber's quality.

The second help to experiencing the specific quality of a chamber is the geometric pattern on its window shield, the chamber's focal point. Shanta began the process after studying Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother's words that describe the specific quality of a chamber.

“The white oval was in front of me. I tried not to use my mind to conceive of the design, but instead manifest something from emptiness by simple doing,” she says. “For these are not ordinary designs, but mandalas - expressions of a higher truth.” Afterwards she showed her work to a group of people. If they approved, the shields were made in a factory in Bangalore .

Yet, even if the group approved a design, it wouldn't always mean the end of the affair. “If I felt that the design did not agree with my inner perception, that I had not expressed all that there was to express, I would start again,” says Shanta. And there were periods when the flow of inspiration stopped. This happened after she had finished the first six shields. “I felt without inspiration. A change was needed. I tried to refer myself to Mother. I prayed, asked for energy and inspiration, and gradually a new way opened up, which I followed till the end.” The work on the twelve shields is now finished. Looking back, Shanta says it was an act of Grace to have been given this work.

Once the rooms are open “it's up to the Aurovilians to make use of the opportunity,” says Shanta. “If we have the will to change ourselves, we have to make the step and take a bath. It can happen in a minute, when understanding dawns in a flash; it can be after long meditation that understanding grows. But the doors for change have opened and the Aurovilians can step through.”

1.Sincerity (light blue).
To become perfectly sincere, one should have no preference, no desire, no attraction, no disgust, no sympathy or antipathy, no attachment, no repulsion.

2. Peace (deep blue).
Calm and tranquillity, a smile which does not disappoint,
a deep quietude where no disturbance can come –
a quietude with a sense of established security and release.

3. Equality (blue violet)
Equal in all circumstances, keeps a perfect mastery and remains peaceful in the presence of whatever happens.


4.Generosity (pure violet) Generosity gives and gives itself without bargaining – gives for the joy of giving.


5. Goodness (reddish violet) Christ was an Avatar in the line of Krishna , the line that represented...yes, goodness, charity, love and harmony.


6. Courage (pure red)
True courage is to be able to face everything in life without the slightest emotion in any part of the being and with a constant awareness of the Divine presence.

7. Progress (vermilion)
Those who have a strong will towards spiritual progress and purification, automatically lit the fire within themselves.


8. Receptivity (orange)
The power to receive the Divine Force and to feel its presence and the presence of The Mother and allow it to work.


9. Aspiration (golden yellow) Aspiration is like an arrow… you aspire, you want very earnestly to understand, to know, to enter into the Truth. A flame that burns always, but never burns.

10. Perseverance (light yellow) The most essential quality is perseverance, endurance and a kind of inner good mood that helps you to not get discouraged and to face all difficulties with a smile.

11. Gratitude (light green) There is nothing that gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude.



12.Humility (dark green)
Humility is the recognition that one knows nothing, and that there may be something beyond what presently appears to us as being truest, noblest, most disinterested. True humility consists in referring oneself constantly to the Lord, in placing everything before Him.


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