Have you ever dreamed of a city without politics, religion, and money? A city with no political spectrum? It sounds like a city that John Lennon dreamed of when he wrote Imagine. But, the truth is that there is such a city in India. It is a utopian place, a dreamer’s paradise to see. Auroville is the stuff of legends. It is nestled in the deep recesses of India, and it is populated by people from all walks of life. Even though the place is dotted with the latest amenities, its inhabitants stick to the familiar, as well as old-fashioned practices.
And because of its setup, the travelers from all over have craved to get a glimpse of what people now dub as the paradise on earth.
Auroville, a city without politics, religion, and money
The city of Auroville had been founded in 1968. It has been established as a city since then and is recognized by UNESCO. The inhabitants of Auroville are not just locals from India. In fact, it has people from around 50 different countries, as well as cultures and lives. Thus, this makes it one of the unique places on the planet earth. But, the divergence is not the only thing which sets it apart.
According to the official website of Auroville, it wants to be “a universal town where men and women of all countries will be able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all needs, as well as all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.”
So, where exactly is this haven located? Auroville is a city which is located in the southern part of India, where most of the area is found in the Tamil Nadu state. Some of its parts are also located in the Puducherry state. It is a few meters inland from the Coromandel Coast. While it does sound as if it is in the most inconspicuous area, those that live there say that it is worth the journey.
What actually makes this city, not just special, but interesting as well, is the fact that it has been the melting pot of people from all walks of life. At, this point, there are thousands of people that live there, but just one-third of them are Indians. But, as it is slowly garnering a reputation, people have come to Auroville to see if this is a place that they could actually live in.
Who is the creator of Auroville? What does the political reddit says?
How Auroville come to be? Who was the person that is responsible for its architecture and design? The driving force behind this utopian place is actually a woman. People called her the Mother, or, as she was originally called, Mirra Alfassa. This woman was born to an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father. And ever since she was a little girl, she had already been considered as a gifted one. In her twenties, she learned about the occult and had been working with different groups of spiritual seekers.
In her studies, she learned a lot from those that studied spirituality. Hence, she had always wanted to meet a man that was named Sri Aurobindo. In 1914, Mother and her husband were able to travel to Pondicherry and met Sri in person. He instantly became her mentor, and though she had to go back to real life, she ultimately returned and decided to build a life there.
Sri Aurobindo has recognized the talents of Mirra and dubbed her as the Supreme Mother. Then, she organized a group of people that soon become her followers, and after the death of her mentor in 1950, she created the Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. She worked hard in order to provide education for the Indian youth and had become successful at it.
From vision to reality
Finally, in 1968, Mirra has established a town where Aurobindo’s visions had become a reality. He also wanted a new form of individual and collective life which was apart from the norm. For him, it was the first step toward a better, as well as brighter earth. A mind peopled by those that have gone beyond the conscious mind, or in the Supreme Mother’s words, she called it the “Supermind” or “The Supramental.”
Auroville also came to be as a result of the vision of Mirra and Aurobindo. It started out as an experiment on human unity which was based on the belief that they have gathered in their study of spirituality. People of diversified backgrounds can come together, and in their effort to prove this right, the Mother and her followers built a paradise which the rest of the world will come to envy.
There were some people that were skeptical about Auroville at first, but the town has proven to withstand the test of time. Nowadays, its population has grown exponentially. There are about 2,500 residents from all over the world. Also, the town has been accepted as the sole place where experimentation on human unity and the transformation of consciousness is happening. But, Auroville is more than just a continuing study – the town also provides a sustainable living form to its inhabitants.
Just like its citizens from every country of the world, the people that are living in Auroville also have cultural, as well as social, environmental, and spiritual needs. Mother has also designed the town to give everything that the residents require to survive and thrive. What is more important, while the town is still being built and completed, Mother has made sure that her spiritual teachings embody every structure.
At the center of Auroville is the Peace Area or what the residents call the Matrimandir. One look at its construction and the visitor can see just how unique it is. The gold structure of the town is surrounded by luscious gardens, and the amphitheater contains one of the town’s most important properties, the Urn of Human Unity.
When Auroville was inaugurated on the 28th of February, 1968, a total of 5,000 people assembled near the banyan tree of the town. Representatives from 124 nations and about 23 Indian countries came to give soil from their land as a symbol of unity. Mother considered this as a gesture of acceptance and recognition for her hard work and vision.
But, how does Auroville make money actually? Well, the city has been carefully planned and laid out, with one area detected to the industrial business. This zone is open for “green” industries like training centers, art and crafts businesses, and the city administration. The goal of the town is to open a place to establishments that can afford enough revenue for the town to be self-sufficient.
The residential area of the city is the largest of the four city zones. It covers about 189 hectares of land surrounded by nature. The parks that in the north, south, east and west ends give a fresh feel to the place. In fact, the greens cover 55% of the area and the rest, 45%, is for the structure itself.
International and cultural area
This international town deserves an international zone too. In fact, 75 hectares of land will host cultural pavilions grouped by continent. The focus of this area is to foster unity, as well as celebrate diversity.
It celebrates differences while encouraging unity, so it needs a cultural zone. The site is devoted to applied research and artistic expressions. This zone also includes different facilities for athletic, as well as cultural, artistic, and educational needs.
The Green Belt is the thing that surrounds Auroville. It is the zone for organic farms and wildlife. It also serves as a barricade from the messy outside urban world.
Auroville’s purpose is to be completely self-sufficient. The Green Belt which acts as a barrier is also going to provide the townsfolk with timber, food, and medicine. And it is also beautiful.
Even though incomplete, tourists and visitors can admire the Green Belt zone. It covers a massive 405 hectares of land, and it stands as a perfect example of transforming the wastelands into a fully attractive and efficient ecosystem.
It is a peaceful, yet anarchic community. However, the City of Dawn (as sometimes called) is free of strife, suffering, and anger. The people in this town follow a unique method of living.
How the people here survive?
To start with, there may be an absence of government. However, there are committees that are in charge of the different needs of the town – they exchange goods for other goods. They also have the Aurocard for financial transactions.
Auroville is a city without politics, religion, and money. However, it is far from the perfect town that it is. Outsiders are always welcome and they can break some rules. That is why the place does not have a set of rules in place. Rather than that, polices are enforced based on the system of trust.
Alcohol and cars are not permitted in Auroville, but yes, it does have its fair share of problems. There have also been known robberies in the area. But, visitors to the town have been more than impressed. That is because this is the perfect place for meditation.
Guests can access the places with the use of a motorbike or a rickshaw. And for meals, they can pick organic food from anyone’s backyard.
When the visitors want to experience Auroville, the town has what they call the Visitor Center (VC). It is located in the International Zone. The best part is that the VC welcomes hundreds of guests each day.
What actually attracts people to Auroville is the fact that outsiders are extremely welcome. They even have permission even to take home a piece of Auroville with them when they are going home. There are those that make handicrafts, as well as clothing, incense, jewelry and so much more – all of it uniquely reflective of how the town is.
For those that seek peace and who want to know more about how unity should be, Auroville is a must-see. It started with a vision by two very spiritual individuals.
Auroville is a town with no guns, no hunger, no pain, and no money. What it has is a lot of friendship, unity, as well as peace. It is a yogi’s paradise. A place where people get to actually catch a glimpse of heaven.