Arts and Culture
Auroville Arts and Culture
" Auroville will be known through the arts....." -The Mother As Sri Aurobindo pointed out, The first and lowest use of Art is the purely aesthetic, the second is the intellectual or educative, the third and highest the spiritual...The aesthetic faculties entering into the enjoyment of the world and the satisfaction of the vital instincts, the love of the beautiful in men and women, in food, in things, in articles of use and articles of pleasure, have done more than anything else to raise man from the beast, to refine and purge his passions, to enable his emotions and to lead him up through the heart and the imagination to the state of the intellectual man. Auroville, a cradle of Superman, was conceived as a place where the arts will be both a means and an expression of the human progress above the vital, intellectual or aesthetic levels. Sri Aurobindo stated that, on the path of yoga, arts can serve as a means of achieving cittasuddhi, the purification of the heart.
Current activities in Auroville
The term "Auroville arts" should necessarily mean 'arts practised in Auroville'. It should not be taken in the sense of a school of thought or a group that has a common agenda or language like many a modern and post modern art-groups may have.
Jocelyn, who has written a book called the 'Antithesis of Yoga'has a studio in Auroville where some quasi-traditional art is produced. It is very like the famous Tanjavoor (Tanjore) glass painting style.
Chanting The Rainbow is a fun call-and -response singing class led by Jivan and Tewa where participants are guided to sing heart songs from around the globe with the intention of manifesting unity consciousness. Clapping, dancing, smiling, heart-connecting, blissful, healing experience.
KIRTAN is devotional chanting of Sanskrit mantras led by Jivan and Tewa. The kirtan begins with people holding hands in circle, being guided into the heart cave (spiritual Heart), and continuous Om. Jivan teaches the songs, plays guitar, shruti, and drums, and leads the singing with the help of special guests. The practice of singing the names (Shiva, Krishna, SitaRama, Ma, etc.) is a form of sonic meditation where we focus the mind on being one with the sound and letting go into the bliss of the Heart. It is a healing journey, an inner massage, an invitation to dive into the Ocean of Grace, a joyful expression of Beauty and Love.
Lloyd Hofman is a poet, editor and designer.
There are several Aurovilians dancers who have been trained in Bharatanatyam (Saroja, Prabha and others) and Odissi (Devasmita Patnaik and Kanchana). They conduct classes for children and adults and occasionally stage performances.
Groups involved in cultural activities
- The National Value of Art Sri Aurobindo 1910, Karmayogin