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Auroville International

14 - 18th January 2005


Talk given by Sraddhalu Ranade, in Auroville, January 14th 2005:

'Auroville's conscious connection with the world'


Two years ago I was in the Tibetan Pavilion, in the beginning of the new year. I had come to attend the 'thousand lights' ceremony. It wasn't the first time I have come to Auroville, but somehow, the moment seemed special. There was a feeling of something achieved, something alive.. We were together, but somehow the individual faces didn't matter, because of the general outline of the silhouettes .., and one felt that each person there presented a state of consciousness.., linked to millions all over the world..

And in that gathering, all these different beings of different countries, nationalities, cultures, types and threads of human beings, had been drawn together by some divine presence, and were tied up, bound together. I had the distinct sense that something had been accomplished, that for the future of the world, unity is safe, is really accomplished here; the rest is a question of unfoldment in certain sense. This is the purpose for which Auroville has been established: to manifest a practical, working human unity, well before its time.., something that for the rest of the world is still impossible. And all these threads which have been gathered here, which are present here through each of us, form part of a thread that has begun more than thousand years ago, millions..

Nature has struggled for ages to develop specialised lines of consciousness so that these lines could split into further specialisations. Sometimes they have merged to then split again. Sri Aurobindo refers to this constant principle of nature that she takes a single trait and opens from it many lines of specialised development. When each line has been fulfilled to its extreme, sometimes even appearing to be opposing lines, she brings all those lines back to unite them in a richer, wider, larger harmony. The present phase of human evolution is one way that all these lines are being brought together. But precisely because these lines have often specialising, contradictory directions, the struggle to find the harmony is greater.

There is a certainty of a success because nature has drawn each line originating from truth. But to enable to tie them altogether and harmonise and unite them, nature has to struggle. It's as if nature is weaving together the tapestry of all these lines, and in that tapestry an image is to form.., an image of the divine.. But that image is not a static image. That particularly unfolding pattern will be one of the divine delight and freedom, in which all these threads will not be statically bounding as in a carpet, but will continuously flow through each other, uniting, merging, playing, twisting, and uncurling in a movement of constant growing delight..

If this is the future towards which humanity is growing, nature has still one great challenge to surmount. Although the entire carpet is woven around the globe, some way she must bring these threads together and bind them. Perhaps she concentrates on one small patch of the carpet.. It's a little like what we do in a chemistry experiment, when in a liquid where sugar dissolves, one plants one grain of sugar, a catalyst, around which all the mixed molecules coalesce to trigger off a chain reaction that leads to the granulation of all the sugar dissolved in that water.

It's as if the divine sweetness, now fragmented in chaotic lines dispersed all around the world, needs one tiny grain as a catalyst, which will spark off so many such crystals of the divine sweetness.


That grain is Auroville.

The ideal of Auroville, the reality that it manifests, has been in existence ever since the universe was born. It has waited through many billions of years. And every time that it seemed as if the idea might loose its hold on the possibility of manifesting itself, the divine has precipitated it upon earth even when circumstances were not ready, - simply to keep that ideal alive. You all know of Mother's reference to an attempt in Egypt , which was ahead of its time, which was in between, but it had to be done to keep the ideal alive. And people were drawn to it, were aligned to that ideal. They had come together for that purpose, and had to pass through the pain of the failure of the ideal.

Mother observed once that everyone who has come here, be it in Ashram, be it in Auroville, everyone who has come here, has been brought here because they were promised, long ago, that when the time came for the fulfilment of the ideal they will be given a chance. All of us have been brought here. We do not remember it, but something deep in our hearts knows. When we ask ourselves why we came to Auroville, we probably will find no rational reason, or perhaps a chance event, but the event was only a trigger to bring forward something which knew. And even now it's that thing that knows, that keeps us here, and that makes us struggle against the odds. It's that promise that the divine has kept with us. The time has come for that fulfilment. The whole of evolution has waited for this moment. The human age is about to dawn. And here a nucleus, a seed, has been established.

Why here..? Long ago, long before even the idea of Auroville had touched the human mind, when the Mother used to drive through what is now the East Coast road, she has on several occasions stopped and stared in this direction. When one of her attendants asked what it was that she was seeing, she said "One day a huge city will be established here." At the time it was considered a strange idea because this was desert land, nothing grows, why here..? She 'saw' it.., she didn't choose it.., she 'saw' it. Because the divine will had already chosen this space, and prepared it, for centuries.

Recall the Mother's observation that all the world's problems have been brought to India , because it is in this laboratory where a spiritual culture already exists, that a resolution to the problems of humanity has to be found. But if those problems of human nature have been brought to India , there is a still greater problem, on a more external level, which is the problem of various cultures and nationalities. This is more complex than just the human type. How shall we bring together so many distinct and perhaps opposite cultures, in a way that a larger harmony can be established, a dynamic unfolding harmony without letting one culture swallow another..? Allowing the distinctiveness of each to co-exists and enrich each other, without dilution?


So within India a special space had to be chosen.
That is Auroville.


But why then? Why not earlier, why not later? And again we find that there was a great preparation before Auroville could be established. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram was established first. And there, in the concentrated atmosphere a space has been created in the consciousness where the supramental consciousness could descent and commit to physical matter. In that concentrated space, once that link was established, and the supramental manifested on earth, it was then possible to work on Auroville.

It still took the Mother a decade before that possibility could be organised in external circumstances, the right people found to build the city of the new age.., the catalyst, the seed of the sweetness of the future.., and then the location, which had been prepared over thousands of years.

The new age is not to be built from existing forms, it has to be built from scratch, from its very foundation up, so only barren land would do.. And you have to begin by planting trees, and to begin with changing the climate.., you have to begin by bringing the water.. , not a single rupee.., you have to gather all from scratch. And what will you create, where will people live, what kinds of houses..? Nothing of the old is to be working, every step is new on earth, newly perceived, newly created. The first school established here.., Mother names it ' Last School '.

The end of a mind-set, the beginning of a new line of development..

Then, the time came for Matrimandir to be made. You will recall, someone cycling through had a vision of the Matrimandir and reiterated it to the Mother. Thus far she did not know, but the fact that it was received by a human being was an indication that the time had come for its foundation. That thing waiting had managed to touch the mind of a human being. And the work began soon hereafter.

Each individual here represents a focal point of humanity's aspiration. And therefore, every problem one sees here is also a problem that humanity has to resolve, after it can be done here. So even if you come with the best of intentions, with the clearest of consciousness, the fact that we come for this purpose makes us a representative of humanity and those problems will manifest around us, whether we like it or not. Because that is precisely the role Auroville has to play. The problems in Auroville seem to be ever exaggerated because they must be solved in the most intense condition. It doesn't help when the problem is solved when it is not intense. If you look from this perspective at the problems in Auroville you may wonder "Is it worth living in a space where all problems are going to be in the most extreme?" But that's the fulfilment, the challenge, the adventure that our souls have chosen. And those very extreme problems can be resolved here because the base of this entire project is the spiritual consciousness; it is the supramental consciousness of unity.

And yet, in our first efforts, as human beings, we have to pass through a few layers in between. So we will try to solve our problems by rules and regulations, by compulsion, by imposition, by conflict, discussion, strategy, and we will have to exhaust those possibilities. We have to come to a point where we feel "I just can't solve it", and that's where one will turn to something else, to someone else to solve it. As long as I thought that I could do it, it doesn't work. When I give up, and ASK for some help then I find that, miraculously, the situation will be solved; it will change and re-cast itself. And immediately after that happens, I fall back into my old ways and illusions, I start believing in myself again. But after this kind of thing repeatedly occurs, I learn to attune myself to this inner way and when enough of us can be conscious of this attunement, then even within Auroville this crystallisation of that truth in concrete physical form will take root. And I find new possibilities constantly emerging, in the struggle for the new consciousness to keep its grip on matter. It's happening here..

And in the light of Auroville, new homes have to be created.., and how do we relate to each other, how do we greet each other, how do we relate to nature, how do we organise the layout of the township. It is, again, new forms that have to be found.., it is a continual adventure where even the divine does not give you a pre-set form. It's not as if the divine doesn't have a concrete plan, a master plan where we just have to look at and copy its features. The truth which is manifesting in space and time casts itself into form, and its form changes constantly.. until it comes to the point where it can settle. In the first shock of that contact there is a resistance from matter and again the truth has to change its form, mould itself to the needs in reference to the capacity of matter to receive it. If we are conscious instruments and help it to manifest, it can mould itself more easily. If there's resistance, it needs to draw back and come back with a modified form. So there is no form that is pre-set, and our task is to discover the new forms and the seed to unfoldment. A form created, tried out, ten years ago, and partly succeeded, is not necessarily the same form that is worth now.


"Auroville is a field", Sonia Dyne said earlier. It is a field in which the concentration of that consciousness has been projected upon earth. The fact that we live here, the fact that we struggle here, automatically "ripples out" the results of our efforts around humanity.

A very interesting experiment, that is ongoing, is called a 'global consciousness project' in which computers around the world have been connected to a single computer at Princeton . Each of those computers measures the vibration of a single pattern, the vibration of the atom , and all those random pulses are brought together in alliance. Each time the vibrations of those atoms harmonise, a graph rises, each time a separation occurs, the graph falls. And it is astonishing to see that whenever there is a global event where the mind of humanity connects to a single idea the graph rises. In the world of foot ball, just when you're about the kick the goal, the attention of a million people on a single idea, the graph rises. Or, in Oscars' world, the winner is., the committee pauses.., the graph rises. The graph moves. It was at its highest just after September 11 th . That day gave a shock to the world, and for a few days it stayed high when the world connected, united in its revulsion to terrorism. Perhaps after the recent tsunami something like that will happen, it will be interesting to see.

But what is important for us: this graph rising, what does it represent? It represents the harmonisation of the vibrations of the atoms of the universe. It means actually that every atom on earth is somehow vibrating in harmony, that the mind of humanity is united in a single idea. Matter itself is morphous to our thoughts, to our collective aspiration. In Auroville, in this special field, that response of matter is in itself more conscious. When we unite our aspirations for the success of this ideal, even matter responds.. Every atom here throbs, shares in that aspiration, and the effect of that radiates out into the world.

Mother spoke of Auroville as one of her steps to manifest the future. And this project, the small nucleus already established, is a new beginning. Auroville is a consciousness, is a revolution. Those of you who live elsewhere in the world but are part of this consciousness, are also living in Auroville. What you do, the way you live, the way you think, has its effect on the world as if you were here, has its effect on situations here, because you're part of the consciousness and for this consciousness distance doesn't matter.

It is this larger identity of Auroville that I want to emphasize here, because your being away from here has also an effect on the world. Your constant contact with your inner beliefs in life creates the kind of communication, communion, by which this consciousness spreads out to other hearts, other minds. You may not speak it in so many words, you may not even give literature, "here, this is Auroville, read about it..," - but what you are, somehow, sprinkles into their hearts and minds like a possibility for them.., a newness.

These last few years one can see the ideal of human unity concretely taking form on a vast level in the mind of humanity. The worldwide response to the tsunami relief is an example of that. Many simply took the first plane to come and see how they could help, there's no comparison with that. This never has before happened in human history.

We're at a transition period in human history. And the divine promised us the chance to be part of the fulfilment of this ideal. Let us keep this big picture in mind when over the next few days we discuss plans, problems, initiatives, strategies. It is not what we plan, what solutions we strategise that will matter. That's not Auroville. It's the consciousness with which we approach the problem, the consciousness with which we stick to the solution. That's Auroville.

We're bounding together; it's such a thread.., this one consciousness. If there's anything that creates human aspirations, it is this kind of thread around the world, a boundless communion, that's the consciousness worldwide, even if you're not physically represented here, in physical space. One does not need to think of it as a ritual, and yet, that concretisation of the physical space ensures the connection of the spiritual truth in matter. Every person here serves the same purpose: connecting that ideal with one more link to matter.

With each passing event of such focal points linked to matter, the ideal of Auroville establishes itself more strongly on earth.. The future comes nearer.

Let us sit for a few minutes, consciously aspiring, collectively, that during the discussions of the coming days the ideal may inspire us with the forms that it seeks..


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