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Auroville in a nutshell

A highly condensed summary of the main points people seek information on regarding Auroville.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

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On vision

Q. What do you mean by human unity?

A. It's a vast topic, but in its simplest sense human unity implies the establishment of a unified and harmonious society which yet allows and encourages the rich diversity of mankind to flourish in complete freedom. Ultimately "unity" is an inner experience and realisation, which when it happens on a collective level will lead automatically to the goal of human unity.


Q. Is there any religion in Auroville?

A. No, Auroville is quite specific about this. Aurovilians are expected to lead a 'spiritual' life, but there are no religions in Auroville. Anyone still strongly attached to a specific religion, in the sense of wanting to commit themselves to it and practice it, would find that Auroville is not their place. While Auroville respects religions and has nothing against their practice, they do divide the people of the world, whereas Auroville is only interested in unity.


Q. Do you have collective meditations in Auroville?

A. Yes, on an occasional and irregular basis, open to all Aurovilians, Newcomers and guests. There are settlements within the community whose members regularly meditate together. Apart from this, the only other times that people sit together in silent concentration are on special occasions, such as a world crisis, when all of Auroville may come together in the Amphitheatre near the Matrimandir to send out harmonious vibrations and strength to the place concerned. Moreover, it has become tradition for the Aurovilians 'to sit' in silence and concentration for some time at the start, or end, of large or otherwise important meetings, seminars or similar gatherings.


Q. What is the spiritual life in Auroville?

A. There is no formal or organised spiritual life in Auroville. It is up to each individual to follow some sort of spiritually based lifestyle, though this doesn't mean that all the residents of Auroville necessarily do so. Essentially, all that is asked of those joining Auroville is that they have the goodwill to participate in an experiment in human unity, and some basic understanding of the vision underlying the experiment. However, in reality they are unlikely to be attracted to Auroville, or feel comfortable in the township in the long term, unless there is some sort of spiritual basis to their life.


Q. Is Auroville (AV) the base for a cult or sect, with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother the guru figures?

A. No, Auroville is an internationally recognised township project, endorsed by UNESCO and supported by the Government of India. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother were the people who inspired the project, and through which it started in 1968, but there is no 'cult' surrounding them; nor can the Aurovilians in any way be likened to a sect.


Q. What is Auroville's connection with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram?

A.Legally and practically the Ashram and Auroville are separate entities, separated geographically by a distance of approx 10 kms, the former being in Pondicherry and the latter for the greater part in Tamil Nadu on an inland plateau further up the coast.
In August 1964 the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry took a proposal from the Mother to start an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity, along the lines first mentioned in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.


See also: The origin of Auroville in Mother's words.
See also:
Who took the initiative of building Auroville

Q. What is the difference between the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville?

A. The Mother has said that there is no fundamental difference between the two institutions in their attitude towards the future and service of the Divine. However, the people of the Ashram are considered to have consecrated their lives to Integral Yoga, whereas in Auroville the good will to make a collective experiment for the progress of humanity is sufficient to gain admittance. The Ashram is expected to retain it true role of pioneer, inspirer and guide. Auroville is an attempt at collective realisation.



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