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Auroville Today

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Auroville Experience

May 2008

The Farewell project

- Elle Rasink

What does it mean to die a conscious death? The writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo suggest that, as one's consciousness increases, it takes progressively longer for the body's consciousness to leave after death. Based upon this a room has been set aside in the Health Centre where, after death, a body can be kept for up to 7 days to give the body's consciousness time to depart in a quiet atmosphere. The space has been left neutral to enable friends and family to personalise it. Visitors may also be received there.

The room is available to all who have expressed the desire that their body be kept there after death. To facilitate the carrying out of this wish the Farewell Project group has developed a questionnaire that Aurovilians can complete and which will be kept on file at the Health Centre. Although not legally binding it will have strong persuasive power as to the clearly expressed wishes of the person concerned. The document will include information useful in cases of accident or serious illness as well as dealing with preferences after death such as organ donation. “We also want to emphasise the benefits of making a will,” says Suzie, a member of the Farewell Project Group. “If you have personal property outside of Auroville, it's important to make your intentions with regard to Auroville clear in a document that is legally valid.”

Another aspect of the Farewell Group's work is the preparation of the site of burial or cremation. This work is carried out by a team of young Aurovilians, who offer it as a service to the community.

The work of the Farewell Group is deeply appreciated. It is a help for family and friends in difficult times to make the passing of the deceased a harmonious movemement towards the Light.

Elle Rasink

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