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Arka - t h e   r a y   o f   l i g h t

It is not the number of years you have lived 
that makes you old.
You become old when you stop progressing.

The Mother



Arka brochure (487Kb)
with detailed information
August 02 and May 03

Download Arka brochure - pdf format

 

see also: Eternal Youth

 

 

An older generation, Sri Nirodbaran of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, laying the first stone...

...  that is touched by the younger generation, Dyuman..

The beginning and end of things is a conventional term of our experience;
in their true existence these terms have no reality, there is no end and no beginning.

...  the inauguration ceremony on January 1st '02

If you do not want your body to fail you, avoid wasting your energies in useless agitation. Whatever you do, do it in a quiet and composed poise. In peace and silence is the greatest strength.

- wants to be a place where one can remain young even while one's age is advancing

Maria Grazia, project holder of Arka, watching Sri Nirodbaran discussing the Arka model at his feet..

The second point of the Auroville Charter reads: "Auroville wants to be a place of an unending education, of constant progress and a youth that never ages." The recently embarked Arka project wants to be just such place within the township and addresses itself to Aurovilians who after a certain age feel the physiological and psychological need and urge to live in an intimate and protected environment, while at the same time having the possibility to live an active life and play a useful role within the community. Arka's overall aim is to encourage its inhabitants to participate in the process of growth and evolution in Auroville regardless of their age or any possible non-autonomous or partially autonomous physical condition.

The first stone for the centre was laid on January 1st 2002.

The Arka model, designed by Aurovilian architect Dharmesh Jadeja

Living 'old age' in a new way

Auroville is a place where people work in order to progress, a place in which to create and evolve. Old age should, certainly here, not be a 'last painful step' of existence; instead it can be the bridge, the transition stage towards another life. It is a time for harvesting the fruits of existence to date, and for being able to share them with others.

Facilities

ARKA will be an autonomous environment where the residents can shape their own internal organisation. The future centre intends to be a self-supporting community and envisages:

  • a dispensary with 24-hour nursing assistance, a massage room, small gymnasium, and a swimming pool for therapeutic treatment. (All these facilities could be open to the AV public as well.)

  • a 'therapy zone', where residents can be treated according to their needs

  • cultural activities such as singing, music, exhibitions, shows and concerts

  • a library which includes a space for lectures, study groups about Indian and local culture & traditions, as well as classes for educational programmes for Arka's employees

  • a computer centre with Internet connections for regular communication with the outside, providing a source of stimulation for the residents

  • a restaurant open to the public, where Arka residents can contribute by preparing new dishes, caring for the place with decoration, etc.

  • houses for the staff and rooms for the visitors; this will help to keep an active contact with the outside, as well as help finance the centre

  • a transport service which will also be available to the community at large

Not only for Arka residents

Also elderly Aurovilians who continue to live outside of the Arka premises will be able to call on the centre for assistance. They will be welcome to use facilities such as therapies, nurse assistance, transport, laundry delivery and food.

 

Fulfilling the need for 'grandparents'..

'Villaggio ARKA', located in the Residential Zone and close to the Auroville Kindergarten, may also prove very useful for the relationship between these two age groups, which at present in Auroville is minimal. The idea that Auroville's small children may find there the equivalent of 'grandparents' makes us smile, and reminds us of happy times associated with our childhood. Meanwhile we also keep in mind that, after finally leaving us, our 'old' folks of today may return to us as tomorrow's children! As it's with the Light that one is to proceed from lifetime to lifetime, it is meaningful that the Sanskrit word 'Arka' stands for the Sun, a ray of light.

 

Making it happen

On completion of the first stage of the project, youth will be welcomed to take part in the activities of Arka's multipurpose centre. They will be able to learn, to work, to try new areas of activity, while at the same time mingling with the older Arka residents who may share with them some of their skills.
As the centre is located adjacent to the Mahalaksmi Gardens, nature lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful, inspiring and regenerative atmosphere.

Future residents walking the site..

Contact: mariagrazia@auroville.org.in  - project holder

 

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