A spiritual gardener (Radio program)
Georges: I arrived in Auroville the 1st of January of last year . I came here mostly for three reasons. First, since maybe thirty years, the teachings of Sri Aurobindo are in the centre of my life. He's the only one which answers to all my questions, in full details, without forgetting any side of the reality. I feel very much at ease with him. Usually when I read some teachings, very quickly I feel a little bit a prisoner of the system. It's a little bit narrow. But with him, I feel like it's an infinite space, where I feel completely free.
The second reason why I came to Auroville is because I'd always been dreaming of what we call a 'better world'. A world where people really live in brotherhood, and in peace, and help each other – each one being able to give the best of himself, and receive from the community what he really needs. And each one helping the other to grow. In harmony with nature, also – all human beings. And here in Auroville we have a chance to find the two things.
And there is also another reason why I came to live here. It's because I like very much India. The Indian cultures. And I'm very grateful to all the Indian people – all they brought to me, since the first time I came here (in '72).
And first when we arrive in Auroville, we are very surprised, because it's not at all what we were waiting for. It's completely different; it's absolutely impossible to understand – it's a deep mystery. A little bit surrealistic. And very quickly, we have to face many kinds of challenges. We cannot escape to any side of our personality, so we have to face all the difficulties we have. Even mentally – other languages, and how to understand this complex world, and how to take position in it, and who is who; what is right and what is wrong – you know, everything is so mixed. And also emotionally, because you are alone in this world, and so you have to re-earn another kind of ___, another kind of friendship.
Georges (9:08): But also it's a marvel – a marvel and a wonderland. Because every day you discover something new, very interesting. You discover all kinds of people. So at the same time – there are difficulties, but at the same time – there is something which uplifts you. And of course there are the places like the Matrimandir, which are really... a pure jewel, a place where the aspiration of the people are... you can come together, and each one being able to offer himself, and make emerge the best of himself. And feel purified.
Yes, here in Auroville it's probably the first time of my life where, at the same time, I can express all the sides of my personality. Yet the opportunities are really given to me; I don't even try, but people ask me to do something. For instance, most recently it's Bhavana. She always finds what is a good – a great opportunity for me.
And also here in Auroville what is probably special – as Shraddhavan says it's a space open to a higher consciousness. And here, the connection between the inner life, and what we can express in the outer life, is a little bit... is more easy. We don't feel a deep cut between the two. The opportunity is given so it can be expressed spontaneously.
- How can you link your internal research with the outer expression? How does it manifest, for you?
Of course it's on a... on a low level. But here we know that what we do is for a better future. As humble the results, they are not like in the ordinary world – you know, diluted in so many kinds of influences. Of course we have all these influences; but it is for the best, it is because they have to be transformed. All the energies coming and being transformed. People coming, and bringing the best, and taking something... so it's a laboratory. And so here for instance, practically – for example where I'm working, in the garden [of Vérité], I can really be easily aware that I am a soul among other souls. And even these trees (gesture) are souls. Insects are souls. The other workers are souls. Here, it's easier. I don't say it's easy; but you forget it all the time [in ordinary life]. And here, you know, with food you can eat like how Sri Aurobindo advised: like offering to the Divine, and inside, you... because the other people you meet around also have the same idea. So they can understand that you do something special.
And also it's good because it's not like in an ashram or something, because there is a diversity. The other people can understand you, but they are not the same – not exactly following the same path. So the two things together... you discover who you really are. Because at the same time there is something which links us; and at the same time you are helped – or maybe forced, sometimes (!) – to discover what is special in you, what you especially have to express. For the moment. (Or try, anyway.)
But anyway, for me, I didn't know it was going to help me for inner progress, here. I was thinking mostly on a social side. But really, it's becoming simple – you forget about the things you have read, and it's becoming very, very simple, in the reality. Even [though] you do many mistakes, it's something like an evidence, like... not complex. You understand? Simplicity. In simplicity.
Georges (23:12): And here – I mean Vérité – I'm very lucky. Mostly I'm working in the garden. Vérité is like a resumé of Auroville. Like all the sides of Auroville are represented. For instance, here (gesture), all this organic food. We produce this organic food in the garden; but also at the kitchen, it's very... we have wonderful, wonderful menus. Organic, and with a lot of choice. And with Ayurvedic influence. And prepared with much hygiene – I was really very surprised. Like in a very high-class restaurant. And also: energy. All the energy is produced by solar power. And we have also a windmill to pump the water; and a system of waste water to give water to the fruit trees in the garden, or to ornamental plants.
And there is a library, with many kinds of interesting books. There is also ILC [(Integral Learning Centre)], a place where people can come to do some workshops. You can practice yoga; you can practice some chanting; dance; also some kinds of healing – learning many, many different kinds of things. Exhibitions, and people [giving] lectures to express themselves – many things happening.
And also, what is also so important, is that here we have a collective meditation each morning at 6:00. Of course, there are not so many people who come – people can come from the outside, or from inside the community – but there is this opportunity. And there is also another spiritual moment, after lunch, which is one hour reading Savitri. Each person there reading one page. Even there is a child of fourteen years old, and she's coming sometimes – from a village, not an Aurovilian, someone from a village. Even sometimes people bring a guitar... all kinds of things happen. It's not always the same.
That's why it's interesting in Vérité, because the guests who are attracted here are very often interesting. And also the people of the community. In the community, there is a great diversity. And at the same time there is a collective life. Each one has his own house, in the trees, and so can have his own life. So here it's some kind of balance.
And the project is that all the activities of Vérité contribute to the development of the psychic being. That is the spirit of this community. It's important that there is a spirit, there is a soul; and it doesn't depend on the people, fluctuations of the people. At least there is this project.
And here in the garden, of course, for me is... at the beginning I didn't know anything about tropical gardening. So I had to re-learn everything: the tools, and the climate, and the names of the vegetables (because of course English is not my language). And the Tamil workers speak only Tamil, so it's interesting... It's good to be like a baby, to start learning everything. So it's a real adventure. It has its own difficulties. But also this brotherhood with the people in the garden, these workers: we work together, or we appreciate a moment together. Eating a fruit together, or sharing or admiring something beautiful, or being happy and proud when we harvest something special. (Not very, very special – but for us we appreciate.) And there is also some point we... these people, they have a poetical sense, for me. And I can meet them on a level where... when you really feel human unity. There's no difference at all. Because the place where we connect ourselves is common to all human beings. Because there is no question of culture; for instance, Rajakumari – she's deaf, and she speaks only Tamil. But still, I know her. I don't know the details, but I think, 'it's someone I know'.
- You met her...
Yeah, I met her – for instance she can work very hard; and then after, she's tired, she has to sleep. And also she can do massage, and with prayers – and so she becomes a completely different person. Like in trance, and being very, very sweet. I don't know, it's... for me, each day is interesting. Because it's an adventure! It doesn't look like – it's not repetitive, it's an adventure. Because also it's a different culture, so you cannot predict how the things will be.
- Okay, thanks a lot Mr. Georges!
Oh, here I'm not 'Mr. Georges' anyway. Here for the Tamil workers I'm 'Joe'!
- Okay, thanks a lot Mr. Joe!
- Joe Tata!
For some of them I'm 'Tata' – it's very super.
- Ça va!
Ça va bien.