24 April 2016 - Acres for Auroville Letter
The Mother first met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry on March 29, 1914. Her diary entry for that week noted “but now all is changed; a new stage has begun.” Circumstances intervened, leading her back to France and then to Japan. At last, the Mother was able to return to India definitively on 24th April 1920. This was the start of their collaboration, the bedrock of their evolutionary work and vision and the foundation for the Auroville to come. On this occasion of 24 April, we are pleased to share this extract from the Mother’s talks with Satprem on the subject of her return (Mother's Agenda Vol. 2, 20/12/1961):
“Suddenly everything in me became immobile; the whole outer being got immobilized completely, I had a vision of the Supreme… more beautiful than the one in the Gita. A vision of the Supreme. And then this vision literally took me in its arms, it turned towards the West, that is, towards India, and it presented me, and I saw that at the other end there was Sri Aurobindo. It was… I felt it physically. I saw, saw – my eyes were closed but I saw… indescribable. It was as if this Immensity had reduced itself to a Being slightly gigantic; he lifted me like a feather and presented me. Not a word, nothing else, nothing more than that. The very next day, the preparations began to go back to India.”
Then, when the ship was nearing Pondicherry on 24th April, she had another great experience: “I felt the atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo (felt materially) ten miles away from the coast: ten nautical miles, not kilometers! It was suddenly, very concretely, a pure atmosphere, of lightness, lightness, which was uplifting you.” The Auroville project is a direct outgrowth of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s thirty years of collaboration for a new consciousness and spiritualized humanity. As the Mother described, one characteristic of the new consciousness is this “...pure atmosphere, of lightness, lightness, which was uplifting you”. This is the basis for Auroville – a state of consciousness. It follows that when we try to secure the unified physical base of Auroville, we try to secure a material ground for the new consciousness to work in matter and to reveal itself in its own time and way. What is Auroville after all? A place to embody the consciousness of the next future.
Aryadeep & Mandakini
For donations, please specify “Acres for Auroville” or “GreenAcres” via:
Auroville Unity Fund (checks and bank transfers): Town Hall, Auroville TN 605101 India
Auroville Donation Gateway (credit and debit cards): www.auroville.com/donations/
Auroville International centers: www.auroville-international.org
Lands for Auroville Unified (LFAU) - previously Auroville Land Fund - communicates with donors and publishes a newsletter, COLAAP Newsletter (an acronym for Collaboration for Auroville Area Protection). LFAU is a subsidiary of the Land Board. LFAU currently has two ongoing fundraising campaigns for securing Auroville lands: Acres for Auroville and GreenAcres.
The Lands for Auroville Unified (LFAU) aims to:
- Provide information and create public awareness of the importance and urgency of securing the land within the designated Auroville Township area.
- Appeal to all people of the world for support to acquire the land for this evolutionary project.
- Enhance and expand global outreach through united networking with the Auroville International Centers and allied organizations worldwide.
- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with foundations, funding agencies, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Escalating Land Prices
Land prices within the Auroville Township have increased by almost 500% over the past 10 years. The rates at which land is being traded in the Auroville area are determined by:
- the close proximity of Pondicherry , one of India 's fastest growing cities;
- the quick transition of the surrounding rural area into a semi-urban region due to the tremendous population pressure;
- Auroville's own development from a small community into an emerging town.
The rapid escalation of land prices is not only a reality for land within the designated Auroville Township , but also for other areas in the surrounding region.
Speculators and Real Estate DevelopersReal estate speculation and developments within the township area, inconsistent with Auroville's Master Plan, are on the increase. Real estate developers and outside business people are eager to profit from Auroville's growth and its worldwide attraction of visitors and guests. Restaurants, guesthouses, travel services, massage centres and shops are already booming on the edge of the Auroville township area. Currently, strategic pieces of land within the Green Belt have been bought by outside parties for real estate development. (The Green Belt area has been reserved for environmental conservation and water resource management).
Strip Development along Access Roads
Over the past few years commercial development by outside business owners has mushroomed along the two access roads to Auroville. Further encroachment is very likely to happen where land has not yet been acquired by Auroville. Approximately 150 acres of land along the major access roads needs to be acquired to prevent further detrimental development and to preserve the integrity of the township's master plan and vision.
Auroville's current task is to overcome these challenges in order to acquire the remaining land that is still needed.
For more information, please contact:
Lands for Auroville Unified (LFAU),
Centre for Urban Research,
Auroville - 605 101, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: +91 (0)413 2622657 Fax: +91 (0)413 2622055