Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion of Indian Culture
the last twenty years, India's Pavilion 'Bharat Nivas' has been carrying
the torch for development in the International Zone while its surroundings
remained pretty barren and dormant until quite recently. The various buildings
in the Bharat Nivas compound, several of them yet to be completed, have
generously housed some thirty Auroville services and units, making the
place a dynamic and important centre for the communal and social life
of the township.
Soon Bharat Nivas can take up its main
role and function. India's work for the future, as Sri Aurobindo
says in 'The Renaissance of India', is:
The recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and
experience in all its splendour, depth and fullness is its first most
The flowing of this spirituality into new forms
of philosophy, literature, art, science and critical knowledge is
An original dealing with modern problems in the
light of the Indian spirit and the endeavour to formulate a great
synthesis of a spiritualised society is the third and the most difficult.
The Pavilion of Tibetan Culture
We understand that this Pavilion will be dedicated
to the essence of Tibetan culture in an effort to show that out of the
diversity of world cultures, these pavilions can help to create a new
harmony towards world human unity.
Begun in 1997, the construction of the Pavilion of
Tibetan Culture has progressed smoothly since then. Today more than two
thirds of the building, constructed on the grid of the Kalachakra Mandala,
is completed. The Pavilion will have an exhibition hall, a large conference
room, a library, a restaurant, and a Tibetan medical centre, as well as
guest rooms for Tibetans and other visitors. For the past ten years regular
cultural activities such as training for young Tibetans, monastic dance
and chants, lectures and medical camps have been conducted in Auroville.
The Americas Area was consecrated on Febuary 28th,
2001, and plans are moving forward for the creation of a student guesthouse,
which can be the first of many buildings on the Americas 'campus'. The
U.S. Pavilion has already begun offering cultural events and sponsoring
educational programmes within Auroville.
There is a proposal for building a first Africa House
to provide a base where African students and guests could be accommodated
and come into direct contact with the atmosphere of Auroville.
France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and U.K.
For many years already, several countries such as
France, Italy and Russia have been offering various cultural programmes
to Auroville, such as exhibitions, book collections and other materials
under the umbrella of their future Cultural Pavilions. Pledges for funding
towards these Pavilions have been made, and research into their materialisation
is ongoing. A proposal and design for a Russian Pavilion was one of the
first projects studied and researched, as well as a French initiative.
Both these are being revived and reviewed at present.
In Germany the 'Soul of Germany' is being discussed within Auroville-associated
circles as a necessary preparation for a true representation of the country's
cultural life, and on August 15th 2001 a first 'consecration' of the German
Pavilion took place. Also in Spain
in-depth studies in this direction have been done, and U.K. starts
gearing up as well.
The 'Unity Pavilion' is meant as a seed and catalyst
for the development of the International Zone. It will be open to all
nations presenting cultural activities, and in this way initiate the realisation
of the national/cultural pavilions. The focus of work in the Unity Pavilion
will be the collaboration and development of the continental areas and
the interaction of cultures that defy national borders. This process can
bring us to a deeper understanding of what the International Zone represents.
In this wide context, the Unity Pavilion's objective will be to promote
understanding between people, individuals and cultures, and in that way
work towards an understanding of human unity that is the basis for realisation
of world peace. >> more
George Nakashima, a distinguished American architect
and woodworker, dreamed of offering to each continent of the world a
Table for Peace, crafted from two great, 300 year old Eastern Black
Walnut trees. The first Peace Table was placed at the Cathedral of St.
John the Divine in New York City. A second table was dedicated in 1995,
and will be installed in Moscow in June, 2001. February 29th 1996, marked
the inauguration of the third Peace Table in Auroville. Presently housed
in the Centre of Indian Culture, it will have its home in The Hall of
Peace, situated between the Matrimandir and the Unity Pavilion.
Visitors Information Centre
At the periphery of the International Zone is a large
Visitors Centre which,
in an easily accessible way, introduces visitors to Auroville and presents
the many aspects of Auroville's ongoing research by way of an exhibition,
printed publications and a video viewing facility. It also contains shops
that offer Auroville handicrafts, a bookshop and a cafeteria.
An invitation to participate
So far the work of the pavilions has been done through
individuals and groups in Auroville and abroad. The full functionality
of the pavilions will be fulfilled only when there is participation by
the national governments in manifesting them. Active sponsorship is encouraged
and can be coordinated through the Auroville
It is no longer towards division and difference
that we should turn our minds, but on unity, union, even oneness necessary
for the pursuit and realisation of a common Ideal, the destined goal.
There is therefore the need to see how East and West could be reconciled
in the pursuit of the highest and largest ideals. Spirit embrace Matter
and Matter finds its own true reality and the hidden reality in all things
in the spirit.