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Symbolism

See also: Matrimandir Journal
in Journals & Media section



Chinese Version
Russian translation

The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol
of the Divine's answer to man's aspiration for perfection.
Union with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity.

The Mother, 14.8.1970

The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol
of the Universal Mother according to Sri Aurobindo's teaching. 

The Mother, September 1970

 

When viewing the Matrimandir's structure and its immediate surroundings, the first impression it may evoke is the image of the New Consciousness breaking forth from Matter. While serious students of Auroville's vision and endeavour may find a range of other symbolic aspects in the Matrimandir's design, we list here some of the most evident.

 

The four Pillars

The four pillars that support the structure of Matrimandir, and carry the Inner Chamber, have been set at the four main directions of the compass.

"Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play".

Sri Aurobindo

 

In talking about the four aspects of the Mother, and their four directions, it helps to know that in India, traditionally, the evolutionary principle of creation is approached, and adored, as the great Mother, and seen as a deity. Sri Aurobindo distinguishes four main powers and personalities through which this evolutionary force manifests. The pillars of the Matrimandir have been named after these:

Maheshwari
(south pillar)

One is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness.

Mahakali
(north pillar)

Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force.

Mahalakshmi
(east pillar)

A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace.

Mahasaraswati
(west pillar)

The fourth is equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things...

 

The Mother's symbol and the Petals

The meditation rooms inside the twelve stone-clad 'petals' surrounding the Matrimandir carry the names and colours of the 'petals' in the Mother's symbol:


These are:

Sincerity
Humility
Gratitude
Perseverance
Aspiration
Receptivity
Progress
Courage
Goodness
Generosity
Equality
Peace

"The first eight concern the attitude towards the Divine, and the last four towards humanity."   (Mother's symbol)

 

Meaning of colours

In March 1934, Sri Aurobindo indicated through the (above placed) colour chart of the twelve petals pertaining to the symbol:

  • Center and four powers, white;

  • The twelve all different colors
    in three groups: 

  • top group red, passing to orange towards yellow;

  • next group, yellow passing through green towards blue; 

  • and third group, blue passing through violet towards red.

  • If white is not convenient, the center may be gold (powder).

                  

According to Sri Aurobindo the colours mentioned generally have the following significances, though the exact meaning may vary "with the field, the combinations, the character and shades of the color, the play of forces":

red

-

physical

yellow

-

thinking mind

blue

-

higher mind

orange

-

supramental in the physical

violet

-

divine compassion or grace

gold

-

divine Truth

green

-

life

white

-

the light of the Mother, or the Divine Consciousness

 

Colours of meditation rooms

The above mentioned names and colours have been integrated into the sequence of the meditation rooms which are being completed inside each of the twelve petals surrounding the structure in the following order: 

Sincerity - light blue 
Peace - deep blue  
Equality - blue violet
Generosity - pure violet
Goodness - reddish violet
Courage - red  
Progress - orange red  
Receptivity - orange
Aspiration - orange yellow  
Perseverance - pale yellow
Gratitude - pale green  
Humility - deep green

 

(When moving from the south axis towards the east axis, the Humility room is in the first petal.)

 

See also the Matrimandir Journal page

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