Note on another publication
Late last year, the editor of the Ashram Magazine “Mother India”, which was started in Sri Aurobindo’s time by one of his disciples, Amal Kiran, and is considered very highly in many circles throughout the world; sent a message to Aurovilians seeking their written contributions for a special issue he wanted to bring out on the occasion of Auroville’s 40th birth anniversary. He had specifically sought, in an individual letter, the input of Krishna Tewari, who had mentioned it to me, shown me the letter and encouraged me to also contribute something; the theme which the editor underlined was the relevance of Auroville in today’ world in terms of hope for humanity’s future.
While Krishna worked on his text and frequently asked for my comments; I decided to write a short note. I did not really expect it to be printed, as I thought there would be so many articles sent for the purpose that the editor would be hard pressed to choose among them and would naturally select the ones that were more typical; my impression was reinforced by the fact that I received no further feedback from him beyond his initial acknowledgement.
However; my note did appear in the February 2008 issue of “Mother India” and I was surprised to find that in fact very few contributions had been made and he had had to heavily borrow from already existing publications that had appeared earlier in Auroville.
This is the note, untitled, presented in the summary as follows:
“The Grace becomes our Certitude …… p. 191.
Divakar came first to the Ashram in 1969; he received his name from the Mother in 1970. He worked at the construction of the Matrimandir from 1973 to 2003.
Auroville, November 12, 2007.
Does Auroville today, after 40 years of existence, carry a message of hope for humanity at large?
Are its progresses and achievements relevant and indicative of an actual evolutionary path in the unprecedented, multiple and radical crisis both mankind and the earth-being are facing?
The goals the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have set before us are not merely ideals to be served: they require total commitment and self-giving.
This process of self-giving – the central action to which all our acts and movements must gradually learn to unite – goes through stages; as our receptivity develops, our comprehension of the task and of the stakes undergoes changes.
A large part of this process is letting go of the baggage.
There are times of negative realization: the fact of unity is not exactly romantic, as we discover that the traps and snares and nests of obscure resistance and treacherous malice and perversity are as much at home in “oneself” as in the next person, and separatedness is merely a device – albeit a necessary one for the evolutionary phase presently ending.
And when we must perforce endure the battling in the very substance of what we are, hope alone, however fine and welcome it may have been, is no longer sufficient or adequate to help us bear the intensity of the contradictions: that is perhaps when we become most aware of the Grace.
And the Grace becomes our certitude.
This awareness of the Grace is only possible because our psychic being has been awakened by Her; our true being is born in Her and by Her touch.
This is the sign of the new Age the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have ushered: souls have matured through their long journeyings, psychic beings are ready to come in front to replace the ego-formations.
And only the psychic being can find the way of a true progressive unity: it IS the way.
For there is a collective psychic being as well.
But, just as the individual soul is consciously free of any fixed identity, be it racial, cultural or social, so is the collective psychic being; any particular physical collectivity must learn to resonate with it, to unite with it.
This experience is alive both in the Ashram and in Auroville.
The Ashram is a congregation of souls, a psychic family, indestructible in the lap of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, with a focus on individual sadhana, within an organizational structure provided and elaborated by Her, based on self-discipline, acceptance and trust.
With Auroville, the Mother widened the circle, the action and the search.
Perhaps the purity of purpose has seemed lost.
But the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have placed so high the bar of excellence, and the aims of Auroville are so vast and inclusive, that as long as we steadfastly contribute our perseverance, we are bound, somehow and despite our middling, fumbling and stumbling, to be instrumental to some real accomplishment.
For in Auroville is emerging a new way of collective life, of living together upon earth: a multi-racial society, fairly peaceful, with a high sense of physical beauty, cleanliness, honesty and trust, where everyone is first concerned with their own progress but contributes faithfully to the whole, where nothing can be claimed as one’s property but everyone is respectful of the needs and capacities of the others, within a thriving natural environment, endeavoring to be innovative in all fields of activity and eager to communicate and to share…
This is no more a dream, and one can no longer conceive of any other acceptable way to live, for a long time to come.
And this is the supportive milieu needed for the further stages of the transition to the new species.
Indeed, there are also shortcomings and betrayals and distortions and abuses.
And perhaps the worst enemy of Auroville is what the French tongue can sum up in two words: “la bêtise” – a small, narrow-minded, judgmental, self-righteous, parochial, impervious, self-serving formation of humanness.
Nonetheless, can it be said that Auroville as an experiment has already yielded results and discovered processes which can then be replicated in adapted forms elsewhere?
To some extent, it may already be happening.
But Auroville is a child of Mother India: without the foundation that She gives it, of Her age-long realization – the Divine IS the truth and reality of every phenomenon -, could Auroville exist? Could the Spirit of Auroville actually have taken birth and begun to develop?
It is unlikely.
Auroville is necessarily part of the action Mother India must have over the entire world, to show the spiritual way to a true physical world.