A special moment came last month with the completion of the fixing of the present row of discs. Now they reach two rows below the equator, with 1024 discs having been placed in all, and about 390 more to go! (The 390 have been gilded and are waiting to be mounted.)
What is 'special' is that, with the completion of this latest row, the golden discs have now reached below the tops of the petals, so one now has a very good idea of how the completed Matrimandir will
look. The photo below shows it well: the golden globe seeming to rise like a
sun out of the ring-like crater formed by the upward sweep of the petals.
A surprising view
We are proceeding with our preparations for the work of the Inner Skin inside Matrimandir. One team has been busy removing the scaffolding pipes that have been in place inside the structure since the late 1980's, when they were erected to support the top rows of the pre-cast concrete beams that make up the spherical space-frame of Matrimandir.
At that time (from 1980-87), the spherical structure was built up layer by layer. The beams of each row were lifted into place, the joints were cemented together, and then the scaffolding was raised higher to support the next row.
After the sphere had been completed in 1988 the pipe structure remained there continuously, a helpful tool with all the subsequent works on the skin that followed, such as placing the ferrocement triangles of the outer surface, fixing the round 'porthole' windows in place, and so on.
During the last month when the full scaffolding of pipes in one quarter was removed, we saw for the first time the majestic sweeping curve of the interior of the structure.
Everyone was surprised and impressed by the sight of the ramp to the Chamber arching without support, from rib to massive rib through this wonderfully enclosed space. Starting from the benches on the first level, the elegant spherical shell stretches up and out, reaching its widest point at the level of the Chamber door and then curving in again to join the top cap above the roof of the Chamber.
A week or so after we first saw this remarkable view the scaffolding was rebuilt with newly painted pipes repositioned, to serve the next phase of the work on the inner skin.
It was as if some veil had parted briefly, giving us for a few days an inspiring glimpse of the finished inner space of Matrimandir to come!
This moment of seeing into the future, as it were, reminds one of Mother's conversation with Satprem in 1970, where She described Her vision of the Chamber for the first time. She said: "I clearly saw - very, very distinctly saw, which means it was like that, and it still IS like that, it's there (gesture showing an eternal plane) - the inside of that place."
Indeed, the process of building the Matrimandir seems to be very much a process of unveiling something that is already there….
Not only the Chamber, but the gardens too Mother saw in visions, which she had been having since her childhood. She described them once like this:
"This central point is a park I had seen when I was a little girl (perhaps the most beautiful thing in the world with regard to physical, material Nature), a park with water and trees like all parks…" And again, "There will be rockeries, in Japanese style, with varieties of cactus, small waterfalls, small pools with lilies, marble statues, marble fountains and pavements decorated with precious stones."
The "unveiling" of these gardens and park over the next few years here is something to which one looks very much forward!