Well, one thing about writing this post is especially convenient, our time in Auroville is coming to a close in two days, so we can really be accurate in our overall perceptions of this very unique place.
Whitney: Five years ago I went into Whole Foods Market in the Pearl District of downtown Portland and bought some Maroma incense. Maroma is one of the best I've ever come across, and they always have a tiny insert with information about the product, and also mention Auroville. As soon as I read even that small blurb about Auroville I said " This place sounds amazing! I have to find out more!" Little did I know then that I would make the trip to India and be fortunate enough to volunteer and live here for two months. It's amazing how these things can happen.
Auroville was founded in 1968 by The Mother, who was a woman of jewish heritage from France. Mirra Alfassa came to India, and here she met the political and spiritual philosopher Sri Aurobindo (hence Auroville's name). Sri Aurobindo was also a great poet and writer, and his main teachings from my perspective seem to be that spiritual truths unite us, while religious dogma separates us. Of course he also believed in love and the pursuit of higher consciousness as every other guru touts too. I started reading The Mother's teachings in the U.S., and I found her much more approachable. Perhaps her more famous quotes are descriptions of her vision for Auroville:
"Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."
- Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
- 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 realizations.
- Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.