Consecration of the German Pavilion
Aug 15th 2001
The 15th of August is India's Independence
Day, and it's also Sri Aurobindo's birthday. Therefore many
new initiatives and programmes are started off on that auspicious
day. This time it was a big day for the Germans residing
in and otherwise connected to Auroville. After nine years
of internal discussions in the 'pavilion group' in Germany
regarding the construction of a German Pavilion in Auroville's
International Zone, it was decided by the group to finally
put something concrete into the ground, to symbolically
start the process of building the Pavilion, and - more importantly
- to help clear the roads and heal old wounds left by the
German recent past and history.
Encouraged by Ananda Reddy and Nirodbaran
Interestingly, two Indian gentlemen
have been in the forefront in bringing this consecration
of the German pavilion about. One of them is the Director
of the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR),
Dr. Ananda Reddy; the other is Sri Nirodbaran, lifetime
physician and scribe of Sri Aurobindo. Both are associated
with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and both were present during
Soil of Germany, Samadhi and Auroville
A German group arrived in Auroville
in the beginning of August headed by Wolfgang Schmidt-Reinecke,
chairperson of the Auroville International Association.
The group brought earth from different parts of Germany
which was mixed during a small 'sealing ceremony' with earth
from the Samadhi of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and from Auroville.
One of the two metal containers also held a large rose-quartz
from the recently initiated Sri Aurobindo Centre in Berlin
- a symbol of love and heart energy, together with silver
symbols of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and many flowers
from Auroville and the Ashram. The two containers remained
for some time in Sri Aurobindo's room before being put in
the ground on the 15th.
In the European Plaza
A large number of people met in the
International Zone, just north of the Tibetan Pavilion,
at the site where, one day, the European Plaza is to be.
As yet, it was not really possible to determine the exact
spot where the German pavilion will be in the Plaza, as
the area is huge and empty. But we chose a beautiful site
in the correct space to have the containers lowered into
High time for the Zone to commence..
As of today, the International Zone
presents a look of wild beauty and emptiness. It's green
and lovely, a few trees here and there, grazing cattle and
goats wandering the winding foot-paths towards the horizon.
It's hard to imagine that buildings, roads, restaurants,
guest houses, exhibition and shopping centres and plazas
are to be materialised here in the years to come.
The International Zone being the last
of the four zones to be developed, it gives the exciting
feeling of something to start from scratch on 'virgin' land.
By some 'miracle', all the lands of the International Zone
are in Auroville's hands now, the last plots having been
purchased just recently. So it seems high time for the Zone
to come into its element.
Quiet little ceremony
More than a hundred people attended
the ceremony, mostly Germans from either Auroville or abroad.
It was quiet and concentrated. We sat on the ground meditating
on a tarpaulin, while Mother's organ music was playing.
After this, Friederike Werner, board member of AVI and AVI
Germany, read the passage in 'The Human Cycle' where Sri
Aurobindo talks about Germany, a very appropriate text for
the occasion, deep and touching. Then Nirodbaran was helped
to go down in the freshly dug hole in the ground, and Wolfgang
handed him both the containers to place them inside. Nirod,
who had made it a condition for participating that he would
not talk, became so inspired that suddenly he gave a moving
speech about the 'great German nation putting their foundation
into Auroville'. Everyone was happy and cheered.
Up to 15th August 2002
And that was it, everybody then dropped
earth and flowers onto the containers, mumpties (digging
tools) went around, and quickly the hole was closed, a big
stone with an Auroville symbol placed on top, so that we
would find the spot again. The service tree, a shoot from
the Samadhi service tree, will remain in a pot and be cared
for in an Auroville community for one year, until the 'real'
foundation stone for the German pavilion will be laid on
15th August 2002. At least this is the set goal - to come
back with money and plans and start the pavilion construction
What is it to be German?
As Germans are in general very practical
people, efficient and work-minded, it should not be difficult
to agree on a construction plan or a material action. It
is more difficult for the Germans to agree on the ideology
behind the German pavilion. The feelings and opinions regarding
the pavilion expressed by Germans who live in Germany and
by Germans living in Auroville tend to be far apart. As
I am German myself, but living in Auroville for almost 20
years, I feel kind of detached from the daily life process
in Germany, but all these discussions in the last months
around the German soul brought back to me the question as
to why I incarnated in Germany this time, and not in some
other country. As the soul chooses to be born in a particular
country, it automatically takes on certain qualities of
that particular nation-soul to work with these qualities
in life. In that sense I may feel like a world-citizen in
Auroville, but with certain German qualities which express
themselves through my work and how I do and perceive things.
During the ceremony yesterday, I silently expressed my desire
to see this beautiful goddess-being who is the nation-soul
of Germany with my own eyes one day.
Each country building their national
pavilion in Auroville will have to go through these discussions
to find out what their nation-soul is expressing in the
world, and how they identify with it. This process has -
as far as I can see - barely started. It will make international
relations clearer, hopefully more harmonious, and is an
interesting tool for self-discovery, separating the 'soul
and self' of the country from the 'self and soul' of the
Adapted from a report
to an international cyberforum submitted by Aurovilian Tine,
the Auroville International coordinator residing in Auroville.