News & Notes 640:Auroville 48

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640 icon.jpg   News & Notes 640
12 March 2016

Auroville 48

Today is Auroville’s 48th birthday! The Earth-Queen is 48. The Rose-flower of the earth is 48! New kind of United Nations is 48! “The cultural, architectural, educational and all round world Olympics” is 48.

The Mother: “48 is four times 12. It's an extremely important figure. Extremely important.”[1] What could be this “extremely important”?

The Mother: “Thus we have first 6, then 12 (a perfection of manifestation), then 30, the manifestation of Sachchidananda, and 48, the manifestation of the Infinite”.[2]

In some rarified plane of consciousness, today the infinite must be solemnizing his bond with Auroville with an all-powerful will to consolidate and strengthen her presence on earth for furthering the evolution hundredfold.

Once, about 4 decades ago an Englishman published a small unusual advertisement in an insignificant corner of a prominent British newspaper. It read:

“An expedition going to North Pole. Inhospitable terrain, long walks, harsh climate, low wage, safe return not guaranteed. If interested, please write to Box. No. ...”


The man who had placed the advertisement later said in an interview that it was as if the whole of England was up and eager to come onboard. He got numerous letters expressing their desire to join the expedition.

We can infer from this that deep down in the people’s heart there is a need for adventure, for freedom; freedom from daily routine; from ordinary and familiar circumstance; a quest for something new, something lofty and pristine.

The same need for adventure, the same quest for something new and pristine; the same search for freedom from ordinary and familiar patterns of life and circumstances gripped people’s imagination when Auroville was announced more than 48 years ago.

“Now look! A flood of letters, my child! From everywhere, from all over the world, people are writing to me: 'At last! This is the project I was waiting for', etc. A flood.”[3]

“Auroville is an exciting project …” wrote India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

In a most poetic language, Auroville was introduced to the General Assembly of the UNESCO. The representative of the Indian delegation had said referring to the aspiration of Auroville, “secret chamber where the beautiful princess sleeps”.

This quest for something new was also the view of the Mother: “If I come to Auroville, there will be meditation again…” she once said in a lighter vein which at once speaks of her humour and her expectation that in Auroville, the pattern of individual and collective life will be better and different than existing in the Ashram at Puducherry… there will be a more vibrant, more flexible, more plastic environment, free from mental rigidity and fixedness.

On another occasion when a disciple presented a plan for financing Auroville, she replied that all this seems like the old way of working and added, “Auroville wants to be a new creation expressing a new consciousness in a new way and according to new methods.”[4]

What does this exactly mean?

I will not venture to answer the question. I suppose most people could sense the reply. I will only say that now when the exponential technologies are about to disrupt the industrial era and create a new era of universal abundance, Auroville will have relevance only if she emerges into an oasis, and not another city.

Dr. Doudou Diene (Former Director of the Division of Intercultural Projects, UNESCO; Former UN Special Rapporteur, former member of Auroville International Advisory Council in an interview with Auroville Today in 2010) said: “Auroville is based on Sri Aurobindo’s incredible vision of the unity of mankind behind its diversity. It is an attempt to break or to reverse the deep historical trend of interpreting diversity as oppositions, as something to be afraid of. You are constructing a new human tapestry where each thread, each individual, nationality, will retain its specificity, its beauty, while contributing to the tapestry as a whole. You are not there yet: this is the ultimate, but you are definitely on the way.”


  1. Agenda, 11 May 1963
  2. Ibid.
  3. Agenda, 23 June 1965
  4. Words of the Mother – I, p.249