Aurobindo Ashram || Aurovile
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram located on rue de la Marine, is one
of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India, with
devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it
for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a
synthesis of yoga and modern science. It is open to the public
daily between 08-1200 hrs and 1400-1800 hrs. Children below
3 years of age are not allowed into the ashram and photography
is allowed only with permission of the ashram authorities.
The Ashram was set up in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, one
of India’s greatest philosopher-poets, who originally
came to Pondy to escape persecution by the British. It was
after arriving in puducherry, that he was drawn into the
spiritual realm and discovered the power of yoga. His philosophy
deeply rooted in yoga and his writings inspired a number of
One of them was a Parisian mystic, painter and musician
called Mirra Alfassa, who was so inspired by his philosophy
that she stayed on in puducherry and was instrumental in
establishment of the ashram. After Aurobindo’s death
in 1950, the running of the Ashram was entrusted to his chief
disciple and companion, Mirra Alfassa, (also known as ‘The
Mother’). The idea of Auroville or the “City of
Down” was conceived by ‘The Mother’. She
died in 1973 at the age of 93.
The ashram’s influence can be felt in most of puducherry.
The main ashram building is where the mortal remains of Aurobindo
and the Mother are kept. Their ‘Samadhi’ or mausoleum,
which is generally surrounded by supplicating devotees, is
in the central courtyard under a frangipani tree and is covered
daily with flowers.
Some of the ashram’s facilities like the Library and
the Main Building (during collective meditation) can be accessed,
only after obtaining a gate pass from the Bureau Central or
some of the Ashram Guest Houses.
more information, please contact:
Bureau Central, Cottage Complex
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
3 Ranga Pillai St., puducherry 605001
Auroville - or the ‘City of
’ - was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of
human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri
Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people
of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive
harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.
Auroville came into existence in 1968. Its Charter says, “To
live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine
Consciousness”, and describes it as “belonging to nobody
in particular, but to humanity as a whole”; as a place “of
constant progress”; and as “a bridge between the past and
Located around 8 kms north-west
of Puducherry, Auroville was designed by the French architect
Roger Anger. Around 2,000 people live there in settlements
with names like
Fraternity, Fertile, Certitude and Transformation. Nearly
two-thirds of the residents are non-Indians.
speaking the buildings are a combination of modern western and
traditional Indian elements, set in a rural landscape of deep
red earth and widespread forestation, with narrow earth roads
linking the settlements. The residents are involved in
agriculture, administration, commerce and handicrafts,
alternative technology, education, healthcare and development
projects, the latter including AuroRE Systems, an
international award winning unit involved in solar
photovoltaic and thermal systems.
The central Matrimandir, which
is not a temple but a place for individual silent
concentration, is set in an area of 62 acres at the centre of
the emerging township, and is seen as “a symbol of the
Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection.
with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity.”
During the inauguration ceremony
of Auroville on
28th February 1968
, soil from 124 countries was placed in a lotus-shaped urn and
mixed to symbolize universal oneness. This urn is today sited
at the centre of an Amphitheatre in the
. The Matrimandir’s 12-sided white marble Inner Chamber has
a 70 cms diameter optical-quality glass globe at its centre,
onto which a shaft of sunlight is focused by way of a
roof-mounted heliostat. The light falling on the globe acts as
a focal aid to concentration.
The Auroville Visitors Centre
(Ph: 0413 – 2622239) is located near Bharat Nivas, the
Indian national pavilion in Auroville’s International Zone,
and is open from 0930 to 1730 hrs every day. This Centre has a
permanent exhibition on the history and philosophy of the
project, an Information Service offering books, brochures and
leaflets on various aspects of Auroville, three boutiques, a
bookshop, and a cafeteria providing refreshments and
international cuisine. Introductory videos on the township and
the Matrimandir can be seen at the Centre by request.
For more information see the Auroville website www.auroville.org
La Boutique d’ Auroville,
38 J.Nehru Street,
Phone: 0413 –
is provided by the Department of Tourism, Puducherry
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