Access to The Matrimandir, called by The Mother ‘The Soul of Auroville', is restricted. According to the Mother's guidelines, access is only for those who are ‘serious and sincere'. She specified that visitors would only have access on a designated ‘time of the day” or “a day in the week'.
Access to The Matrimandir is regulated in Auroville's Matrimandir Access Policies. On behalf of Auroville, the Matrimandir Access Group is responsible for implementing the guidelines given by the Mother.
The following quotations of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother explain the importance of The Matrimandir in the light of the work they have come to do.
On Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, his vision, the Ashram and Auroville
There is an ascending evolution which goes from the stone to the plant, from the plant to the animal, from the animal to man. Because man is, for the moment, the last rung at the summit of this ascending evolution, he considers himself as the final stage in this ascension and believes there can be nothing on earth superior to him. In that he is mistaken. In his physical nature he is yet almost wholly animal, a thinking and speaking animal, bust still an animal in his material habits and instincts. Undoubtedly, nature cannot be satisfied with such an imperfect result; she endeavours to bring out a being who will be to man what man is to the animal, a being who will remain a man in its external form, and yet whose consciousness will rise far above the mental and its slavery to ignorance.
Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to teach this truth to men. He told them that man is only a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but with the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious. During the whole of his life upon earth, Sri Aurobindo gave all his time to establish in himself this consciousness he called supramental, and to help those gathered around him to realise it.
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The task of giving a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo's vision was entrusted to the Mother. The creation of a new world, a new humanity, a new society expressing and embodying the new consciousness is the work she has undertaken. By the very nature of things, it is a collective ideal that calls for a collective effort so that it may be realised in the terms of an integral human perfection.
The Ashram founded and built by the Mother was the first step in the accomplishment of this goal. The project of Auroville is the next step, more exterior, which seeks to widen the base of this attempt to establish harmony between soul and body, spirit and nature, heaven and earth, in the collective life of mankind.
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For thousands of years we have been developing outer means, outer instruments, outer techniques for living – and in the end those means and techniques are crushing us. The sign of the new humanity is a reversal of outlook and the understanding that inner means, inner knowledge and inner techniques can change the world and master it without crushing it.
Auroville is the place where this new way of living is being worked out, it is a centre of accelerated evolution where man must begin to change his world by means of the power of the inner spirit.
Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.
Article 2, 3 & 4 of Auroville's Charter, The Mother
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“…Sri Aurobindo gave me a revelation… all of a sudden Sri Aurobindo said…“ India has become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of modern mankind. India will be the land of its resurrection – the resurrection to a higher and truer life.” And the clear vision: the same thing which in the history of the universe made the earth the symbolic representation of the universe so as to concentrate the work on one point, the same phenomenon is now taking place: India is the representation of all human difficulties on earth, and it is in India that the… cure will be found. And then, that is why – THAT IS WHY I was made to start Auroville.
The Mother, February 3, 1968
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The Foundation stone of the Matrimandir was laid at the centre of Auroville on 21 st February 1971, exactly at sun-rise at 6.30 am. A fire, symbol of the human aspiration, had been lit in front of a simple yet magnificent altar and the large gathering sat in a semi-circle, facing the East, while the air resounded with the Mother's message and the music. The Mother gave the following message for the occasion: “Let the Matrimandir be the living symbol of Auroville's aspiration for the Divine”.
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The Matrimandir will be the soul of Auroville.
The sooner it is there, the better it will be for everybody and especially for the Aurovilians.
Message of The Mother of 15 November 1970
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Matrimandir is ‘like the Force, the central Force of Auroville, the cohesive Force of Auroville.'
The Mother, on 7 July 1970
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The Mother's Shrine will be an empty place, empty of all material things, meant only for meditation, concentration and prayer... and I hope, filled with light, spiritual force and the presence of the Truth.
The Mother, 15 November 1967
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The Matrimandir is not the focal centre of any religion.
Here we do not have religion. We replace religion by the spiritual life, which is truer, deeper and higher at the same time, that is to say, closer to the Divine. For the Divine is everything, but we are not conscious of it. This is the immense progress that man must make.
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We have entered the age of Universal spirituality, of spiritual experience in its initial purity.
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Known words of the Mother on access to the Matrimandir and its surrounding gardens
The Park of Unity must be surrounded by some kind of isolating zone so that it is solitary and silent. One has access to it only with permission.
The Mother, September 1965
But then, people will not come for “regular meditations” or anything of the kind (the internal organisation will be taken care of later): it will be a place for concentration. Not everyone will be allowed in; there will be a time of the week or the day (I don't know) when visitors will be allowed to come, but anyway without mixture. There will be a fixed time or a fixed day to show the visitors, and the rest of the time only for those who are... serious – serious, sincere, who truly want to learn to concentrate.
Then, people will be let in in order to concentrate – [laughing] to learn to concentrate! No fixed meditations, nothing of the sort, but they will have to stay there in silence – silence and concentration. [Speaking about the Chamber:] And SILENCE. No talking inside!
The Mother, 3rd January 1970
In August 1972, Roger Anger wrote down what the Mother had just told him about access to Matrimandir:
Not for visitors in principle. Reserved for Aurovilians but not everyone will be admitted. The 1 st condition for those who want to go there is to ask. Those who will have contributed to the construction will be admitted in the first place. If there are doubtful cases, they will be referred to me. All those who have a doubtful presence won't go. If there is the slightest doubt, the case will be presented to me. People must be known for their qualifications.
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