Merely sentences into the Auroville website, it becomes almost impossible not to begin singing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. According to the community’s creed, it could be home for up to 50,000 people of all nationalities that live amongst one another in such a harmonious manner, that it is actually hard to believe.
However, whether you believe it or not, this place does indeed exist. The conception of the project began back in the 1930’s. The plan was not put into action, though, until the mid-1960’s.The purpose behind this community is diversity. Their website boasts the fact that as of currently, they are the first and only “internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness.”
They live up to this ideal by perfecting sustainable living techniques and learning to understand and facilitate the spiritual awakening of mankind.
It wasn’t until February 28 that the community began its journey. In the beginning, 5,000 people made their way to the inauguration ceremony that had a guest list of 124 nations. The entire idea was devised by Mirra Alfassa, that is most commonly known as The Mother.
“There should be a place on Earth that no nation could claim as their own; where all human beings of good will who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single authority, that of the supreme truth. A place of peace, concord, and harmony where all the fighting instinct in man were used exclusively to overcome the cause of their sufferings and miseries, to overcome their weaknesses and ignorance, and to triumph over their limitations and disabilities. A place where the needs of the spirit and interest of progress precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions or the pursuit of pleasure and material enjoyment,” was the idea of Alfassa.
Over 2,000 men and women from 49 different nations currently reside in Auroville. They all come from a variety of social classes, backgrounds, and cultures and seek to represent humanity as a whole. And their population continues to grow. One of the most interesting architectural aspects of the city is the “Peace Area” which is made up of the Matrimandir and its gardens, or an amphitheater with the “Urn of Human Unity” which is composed of soil from over 121 nations.
Auroville not only boasts an experimental society, they also seek out experimental architecture. These experimental buildings also allow the community to advance various sources of renewable energy.
Auroville is located in South India and is 150 km south of the Chennel, previously known as Madras. And if you find this way of life to be interesting or something that you would like to participate in, we have good news. Travelers can visit and stay in the area, and if you are interested in a longer stay, they also offer volunteer and intern positions. You can apply directly on their website, or contact them via email.
There are some skeptics that remain in disbelief over the sustainability of such a city, yet Auroville continues to thrive and flourish, despite such views, for over four decades. Of course, we fear what we do not understand. And since Auroville is currently the only one of its kind, it would be a hard feat for other societies to fully understand their purpose. Of course, no community is perfect, however, it would seem that Auroville might be on to something.