News & Notes 638:Vedapuri
- “A son of the two Mothers, he attains to kingship in his discoveries of knowledge, he moved on the summit, he dwells in his high foundation.” – Rig Veda, 1.10.2
We have already quoted Nolini Kanta's description of Pondicherry as it was when Sri Aurobindo came and settled here. Let us supplement it by a short history of the ancient town and its suburbs as published by = 1 (a symbolic figure), a quarterly organ of Auroville. We find in it that in olden times the whole place was flourishing both spiritually and materially, and was considered an important centre of learning and commerce in South India.
- “The origins of Pondicherry go back into the night of time. Pondicherry means 'the new suburb'. The original name of the town, no longer used, was Vedapuri, and a big temple still stands today, the Vedapurishwara temple, dedicated to the great god, Siva, the god of Contemplatives. Vedapuri means 'City of Knowledge'. The patron saint of Vedapuri was Sri Agastya, legends of whose life tell of his coming from the far Himalayas, travelling south and settling in the country of the Tamils to teach the people the Veda. For thousands of years Vedapuri was a school for young Brahmins where they learnt to chant the Vedic hymns in Sanskrit and to perform complicated sacrifices in the proper way.”
Sri Aurobindo: His Life Unique, p.368