A family of monkeys sat on the top of Matrimandir and watched the full moon rise slowly out of the Bay of Bengal, far to the East. Moonlight shimmered off the waters of the bay, reaching them over the tops of the trees of the Auroville forest which covered the land down towards the ocean. This forested area was their place, their family’s place, and had been for countless generations. And sometimes they came here, to this high central spot to see how the land and the humans were getting on.
The monkeys had heard wonderful tales, handed down from their ancestors, of a huge gathering here on the barren plane long ago and of the beginning of something special….
Even something of the words of that day had been handed down to them. Their grandfather, sitting quietly up on one of the palm trees to the south of that large silent gathering, had heard Mother speak on that remarkable day… “Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness…” Their grandfather knew then that this was going to be a very special place indeed….
One member of the family checks to see if the main entrance door is open !
And the grandfather and the father of the monkey family had told wonderful tales of the rebirth of the forest on this land…the beginning of the recreation of that huge forest, so dense and vibrant that had existed here for hundreds of years before the humans had cut it all down long ago to build their houses and their sailing ships …Now that forest, their true home, was returning.
The monkey family was small,- a mother, the father and one child. Under the light of the full moon they could see much of the new forest, which formed a wide circle around them and then, beyond that, mostly far to the south, they could see the many lights of a human city. In fact, at a distance on all sides there were those bright lights. Only here, in this fairly small circle of forest, was there a pleasant quietness, and a feeling of calm.
A working model of the seven small fountains to be set up in the Garden of Bliss in viewed by some of the Matrimandir team members.
The monkeys had been camping here for three days now. First they had arrived at the edge of the wide garden space and then, scampering across an open area of grass, they had nimbly climbed up the great central Banyan…a tree that they knew well. There, they inspected the re-growth of the large area on the top where a huge branch had been ripped off by the cyclone the year before…young green shoots were sprouting everywhere, reaching towards the sunlight in the empty space in the tree top… all seemed well. This tree had been known to their family for a very long time. Indeed it had been here much, much before the humans had started to build the new town on this land.
The small troupe of monkeys had rested that first night in the banyan, eating fruits from the tree and insects too, and then, early the next morning had ventured across the open space and leaped easily up
onto the pillars of the gold colored building there and made their way up to the top. The pigeons and crows who had nested there were not at all pleased to see them arrive and began to flap and dive at them in an effort to protect the eggs in their nests…but the monkeys, not minding the noise of the birds, had moved silently, easily all over the structure, helping themselves to whatever they could be find.
Slate stones are fixed against a backing of lime and red earth mortar to create the "sunken path" in the Bliss garden.
Sitting on top of the building the monkeys could easily feel that this was a special place.. and they wondered If the humans could feel this too…
In the quiet of the evening, and again in the early morning, the small monkey family swung down to the white marble lotus pond below the golden building. There they drank from the fountain that always flowed with clean, sweet water. Then, perched up on the tops of the red clad petals around the building they watched the humans move up the granite steps and enter through the main door. The monkey family wanted very much to go into the building too, - but the people there always kept the door closed when they ventured near, almost as if they did not want them to go in! Their father had told them about the interior of this place, for he had managed to get in once when the door was left open. What fun he had had in there, running along its spiraling ramps and jumping off to slide down the curved inner surface of this strange building until he was chased out a top door by one of the humans. Maybe, if they were lucky, they might be able to slip in too and have some fun …… It was a bit of mystery to them, all this movement of the people, coming and going….but still, it was quiet, and they liked that… It was very peaceful… a good place to be…
Soon it would be time to move on, there were other places that they had to go to, for they were the ancestral custodians of quite a wide part of this land and they had to see how it all was doing, to see if all was well. Many of those other parts of their land did not seem to be doing so well, in fact, but they liked this place very much. Here it felt like a kind of oasis..they knew that in other places there would be noise and machines and the smell of smoke in the air.
So they would return to the high plateau of Auroville as soon as they could, and then sit again on top of the golden building and watch the moon rise majestically from the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Colorful flowers bloom in the central area of the garden of Unity.
The six circular plots of this garden are planted with flowers of a different color in each plot, ranging from white at the southern end, passing through deep red in the center, (this photo) and moving to pink back to white at the northern end.
These tall plants on the left, with their red flowers, were named
“Aspiration in the Physical for Divine Love” by the Mother.
Masons work to place the last slabs of white granite which now clad the pond in the garden of Unity.
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MATRIMANDIR – AUROVILLE 605101 – TAMIL NADU – INDIA
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