Aurograms: An international system of pictograms and ideograms to introduce to children the art of reading, an instrument for their self-knowledge and their knowledge of the world.
Dedication and destination
This game is dedicated to Auro-Ilango, the little Tamil prince of Auroville, and to all the Auros of present and future Aurovilles. It is destined for the little princes of the year 2000 who will perhaps no longer need to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, because accurate computers will do such work for them, but who will need to understand their universe as well as themselves. It is addressed to the thinker, the ontologist, the psychologist, the poet, the creator present in each child who expects to be offered a mirror, a game, an instrument by which he may recognise himself, develop himself, and consciously manifest himself.
The word aurogram comes from auro in homage to Sri Aurobindo who has traced the path towards a new dimension of consciousness and a new art of living. The root aur also means ‘gold’, so the aurograms are the writing of children of the new golden age.
May the aurograms help the children of the world to manifest in joy the new age which was announced long ago in the Hindu tradition as an ‘Era of Truth’, and which will see the blossoming of man, the earth and the entire universe.
Pictograms and ideograms
The aurograms form an international system of writing, a pasigraphy for the use of children. Just as Chinese writing can be read in several Chinese dialects, and related languages such as Japanese, Korean and Annamese, the aurograms can be read and written by children all over the world, whatever may be their mother tongue.
Aurograms are not a phonetic writing. A word written phonetically is foreign to all who do not speak that language. Each aurogram represents an element of our universe by an image which, singly, may be distinguished from all others. It is that image or symbol, holding the power of meaning, which is the word.
We call pictogram the representation of an element according to its physical appearance. The aurograms ‘a cow’, ‘a plane’, ‘a rainbow’ are pictograms.
And we call ideogram the symbolisation of an element by an analogous or a non-figurative form. The aurograms ‘here’, ‘the beginning’, and ‘the future’ are ideograms.
How many facets does an aurogram have?
The only rule in the game of aurograms consists in avoiding all narrowness in their interpretation. The fact that an aurogram is identical to a word does not imply a limitation of the word by the image it represents any more than the word implies the limitation of an object, or an action, or a movement of consciousness that it might represent. Rather it is desirable to regard the aurograms as an invitation to surpass the surface meaning of their symbol.
‘To run’, for example, is represented by a human being running. Yet the action of all that runs or seems to run is expressed with this word image:
the child runs
the lion runs
the cloud runs
the wave runs…
The aurogram with two hands holding something, which means ‘to hold’, symbolises the action of anyone holding anything.
mother holds an umbrella
the bird holds a seed
the cord holds a kite…
‘To be born’ is the privilege not only of the bird. A child is born; a plant, a boat, a book, -- all are born…
a star is born, it lives and dies
To those playing with the aurograms, it quickly becomes evident that they are not simply what they appear to be. While learning to liberate himself from their most physical suggestion, a child prepares himself to explore their hidden aspects and capabilities for expression.