Heavy rains started on the 24 th of November, the day of the Darshan; the next day a cyclone began blowing from the North-East; it went down the coast and returned up, devastating the entire coastal area and pouring a deluge of rains inland. This went on till the 27 th; the following night an enormous rain came down for hours. Then it eased off. Over 50 poles were snapped and most of the power lines were down in the Auroville area; hundreds of tall trees were felled, mainly mature, regal eucalyptus trees and Work trees, and many other trees were damaged in their fall; a formidable mess had been caused, which would take weeks to clear. In the city of Puducherry, many trees had also been felled, but the disaster was more in terms of flooding; entire sections of the city were inundated, and the sewage came up to the surface and mixed with the flood of rain water, while in the Cuddalore area where a couple of rivers join the Indian ocean, many villages were cut off and many thousands of people were rendered homeless and all crops were ruined.
I hesitated before writing another note; perhaps this “natural” event and the disruptions it had caused was an occasion to stop writing; but power had been returned to some of the communities and I went to Amrit’s house in Certitude on the following Tuesday to e-mail the following note from his computer, revising it as I typed it. I did not want to sound merely negative again and certainly intensive good and helpful work had been done by most Services in Auroville and we were all under stress from the clearing and the tidying up everywhere; but the absence of any coordinated effort and the rush of money-minded initiatives were too striking and, besides. I deeply felt that this calamity was part of the earth-wide disorder and carried an unprecedented force, which we had to look at from another perspective than just that of damage-control and repair… So, here is the note, which appeared on 06-12-08:
On Certainties and the Unknown
Ancient seers were enabled to reach certainties and to translate some of them in communicable terms; one of these certainties was that this whole universe, this world, this earth, this manifestation, all of this is meant for the Lord’s habitation; in other words, the evolution of consciousness into more and more refined forms is meant to fashion a fitting home for the divine, the divineness of being, the delight.
However, here we are today, billions of us secreting an unnameable mess everywhere we can reach and claim with our self-serving, arrogant, conceited sense of superiority.
But when forces of Nature are unleashed and vent their indiscriminate rage and fury, or simply exert their unqualifiable, indifferent and formidable strength, their awesome power is undoubtedly humbling. The mess they can cause in no time at all is vastly more spectacular indeed… Besides, they can reduce each and every one of us to a cringing creature and they give us a sobering measure of our knowledge and mastery.
Surely we all find it most necessary to draw whatever lessons can be drawn, as one can no longer elude the question: will this earth remain hospitable?
Yet, once the relentless savaging had moved on its way and some calm had returned in the air, one was jolted by another sobering realization: business is booming, deals are briskly struck and the hunt is on for benefits, while one barely sees any sign of any meaningful attempt, on the part of our several exalted administrations, to gather and orient energies and tap at the inner resources of the collective being, in order to make of this physical ordeal an occasion for progress… Mister Cash remains the undisputed, untroubled king of the show…
Those who diligently advocate the regime of virtual existence – be connected to the world via your portable screen and ear-plugs and ignore your neighbor -, as those who ponder day after day the need for more rules and the ways to break them, those who always manage to allocate the blame and those who always know perfectly well what must be done to build the city the earth needs… in fact, each and everyone of us, have we found a superior alternative to direct awareness or, for that matter, to the innocent and generous beauty that has just been felled…?