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March 2009


To interfere or not, that is the question!

- Krishan Myer

To outsiders, Auroville seems to be unstructured, anarchic, and sometimes torn by opposing viewpoints. There are many possible solutions which cou1d be offered that could help Auroville outwardly offset all this, but if adopted the result would be the creation of a society or city similar to everywhere else in the world. Gone would be the uniqueness envisaged by The Mother for Auroville, and the appropriateness of its Charter.


Krishan Myer. Photo by GiorgioAuroville is a city of the future. If the achievement of outer perfection is a solution for the state of the world, then why – having pursued approaches and lines of thought towards such an end for the past several hundred years – has the surrounding world become no better, and the same or new problems persist? The very state of the world today is proof that no outer improvement or perfection can be the solution. That is why Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future... and why Auroville must boldly spring towards future realizations by living an entirely different life, a more spiritually-based life. Those future realizations can only be realised by being free to explore new ways.

The Mother founded Auroville to be fundamentally different, to be free to explore new ways of being and living together, to make mistakes, to be inefficient, to be disorganized or even be anarchic if necessary, as might be expected of a collective home for a seemingly ill-matched mix of human beings from around the world.

For these latter challenges Auroville has to be free to find its own ways, because nothing like it has ever happened in the world before. Specifically, Auroville has to be free from being pushed or led down the same old paths as before, with the eventual likelihood of simply replicating – at best perhaps in an improved manner – what has already been done elsewhere.

As The Mother put it... We are for a new creation, entirely new, carrying in it all the unforeseen, all risks, all hazards, – a true adventure of which the goal is sure victory, but of which the way is unknown, and has to he traced step by step in the unexplored. It is something that has never been in the present universe and will never be in the same manner. If that interests you, well, embark. What will happen tomorrow, I do not know. You must leave behind whatever has been designed, whatever has been built up. And then, march on into the unknown. Come what may!

From these words it is clear why Mother wrote, sometime around 1970, “To hand over the management of Auroville to any country or any group however big it may be is an absolute impossibility”. This is why when the Auroville Foundation Act was being drafted, such care was taken to try to give full administrative autonomy to the residents of Auroville, so they would be free of external interference, free to explore and research among themselves in ways unimaginable to the vast majority of humanity.

This was the intention of the Act, but as with all Acts it has been subject to individual interpretation. Those inspired by and in sympathy with the high ideals set before Auroville can easily understand its purpose, and relate to the project in an appropriate manner. But others are different; most of them can only understand Auroville through their own perspective and at the level on which they live their own lives. They simply cannot understand the project at its highest level. They are ready to take “next steps”, but not ready for something radically different from what exists. In 1966 The Mother said: For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville has no reason to exist. And so they try to direct Auroville along the only lines that they are familiar with themselves, have been trained for, and have experience in.

To these people one feels like saying, “Please don't stifle Auroville; please don't try to direct or control its destiny; please don't interfere in something you do not understand. Let Auroville find its own way of being, because it is going to be different from anything you are familiar with, from anything you can imagine. It is unique; nothing like it has ever happened before in the history of the world. Just trust that something positive is happening here, that Auroville is on track, that behind its apparent failings, its internal differences, its occasional anarchy and other problems, there is a sincere attempt towards a new and future life, a life which is sensed and foreseen by the Aurovilians, even if not by the rest of humanity.”

The fact is, something is quietly happening here which none of us can fully understand, because it is The Divine Mother Herself who is directing Auroville, carrying the project forward towards its goals, and using Auroville's “willing servitors of the Divine” – its inhabitants – to achieve her purpose, and something new for the whole world.

The Aurovilians accept and realise this, hence their commitment to the project, their deep faith in it, and their readiness to keep on pressing forward despite apparently insurmountable difficulties. As for the rest of the world, most of them will not understand or believe in Auroville until it succeeds. As Sri Aurobindo put it in his epic poem Savitri :

A few shall see what none yet understands;

God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;

For man shall not know the coming till its hour

And belief shall be not till the work is done

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