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Old and new traditions
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Gujarati dance in SAWCHU. Photo by Manohar

Leaving September and entering October turned out to be a major event this year (2006), in Auroville.

 

This year the ancient, moon-determined Nava Ratri (nine days in celebration of Shiva) ended on the turn of the English calendar. This was danced into being with two evenings of glorious circles at SAWCHU: Aurovilians of all ages and nationalities, spiralling, dancing and laughing together to the traditional rhythms of Gujerat.

Collective singing during Gujarati dance. Photo by Manohar


And on top of that, on the 1 st of October, was Ayudha Puja, the wonderful festival in south India where the tools are worshipped. The shovels and crowbars, cooking pots and knives, account books, and (these days) laptops all are taken out, cleaned and admired, anointed with kumkum and sandal paste and placed before the goddess Saraswathi, with songs and fire-offerings and the delight of the working man being recognised in his element.

Saraswati puja in Adventure community. Photo by Manohar

 

As if that weren't enough, on the 2 nd of October is Gandhi's birthday, a national holiday! Carrying on from Peace Day, we showed again the “Scared Sacred” movie, and over 130 Aurovilians jammed into the Multimedia Centre to be inspired by these scenes of horror transformed by the divine-in-the-human that manages to bring forth deep compassion and creativity from the most malignant disasters.

 

International Peace meditation under the banyan tree.Then, still throbbing from those images of duality and reconciliation, we moved to the Banyan Tree and sat for an hour, resonating with the Universal Peace Meditation which our former International Advisor Dr. Ariyaratne was leading with 100s of thousands of people in Sri Lanka .

 

Dr. Marc Luyckx GhisiAnd you know what, it didn't end there! Calmed and steadied by the banyan with all its heaven-born tunks, the glimmer of Matrimandir, and our concentration, many of us joined another of our International Advisors, Dr. Marc Luyckx Ghisi, who told us about a marvellous project which some of his high-powered friends have undertaken, to build fully sustainable “eco-cities” in China, Brazil, and other countries eager to lead the way in handling the population explosion ecologically. He thinks they've got the technologies well in hand – they can design cities which will be minus-polluters, actually improving the environment around. But what about the social fabric in these new habitats? Aurovilians' forty years of experience could be of great help in drawing up some guidelines and plans…he's inviting us to participate.

 

 

 

 

 

Thus begun, October is looking auspicious. In the USA October ends with Halloween, a day when, rather than the tools, the darker forces are celebrated. May All Souls Day this year be, in Auroville at least, a day of letting our psychic being, our soul, take the lead in all we do.

Saraswati puja in Verite' community

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