“Grant that this day which is about to dawn may bring to the earth and to men a little more of pure light and true peace; may Thy manifestation be more complete and Thy sweet law more widely recognised; may something higher, nobler, more true be revealed to mankind; may a vaster and deeper love spread abroad so that all painful wounds may be healed; and may this first sunbeam dawning upon the earth be the herald of joy and harmony, a symbol of the glorious splendour hidden in the essence of life.” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 1:37)
Every year Auroville, the city of dawn, celebrates its birthday on 28th February. In this living experiment of human unity, Aurovillians and many others who come from various parts of the country and the world, gather in silence before dawn at the amphitheatre in front of the Matrimandir.
“Almost one felt, opaque, impenetrable,
In the sombre symbol of her eyeless muse
The abysm of the unbodied Infinite;” (Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, CWSA Vol. 34:1)
“For the plenitude of Thy Light we invoke Thee, O Lord! Awaken in us the power to express Thee.
“All is mute in the being as in a desert crypt; but in the heart of the shadow, in the bosom of the silence burns the lamp that can never be extinguished, the fire of an ardent aspiration to know Thee and totally to live Thee.
“The nights follow the days, new dawns unweariedly succeed to past dawns, but always there mounts the scented flame that no storm-wind can force to vacillate. Higher it climbs and higher and one day attains the vault still closed, the last obstacle opposing our union. And so pure, so erect, so proud is the flame that suddenly the obstacle is dissolved.
“Then Thou appearest in all Thy splendour, in the dazzling force of Thy infinite glory; at Thy contact the flame changes into a column of light that chases the shadows away forever.
“And the Word leaps forth, a supreme revelation.” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 1:270)
Agni, the Purifier
“And in all these domains Agni assures us of the help of his purifying flame, destroying all obstacles, kindling the energies, stimulating the will, so that the realisation may be hastened. Indra is with us for the perfection of the illumination in our knowledge; and the divine Soma has transformed us in his infinite, sovereign, marvellous love, bringer of the supreme beatitudes…” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 1:253)
The Vedic Yajña, in a New Form
“Surya Savitri in his task of illumination follows the progress of the Dawn. In another hymn the movements of the mind have been described as growing conscient and brilliant by the bright power of the continuous Dawns. Throughout the Veda Usha, daughter of Heaven, has always the same function. She is the medium of the awakening, the activity and the growth of the other gods; she is the first condition of the Vedic realisation. By her increasing illumination the whole nature of man is clarified; through her he arrives at the Truth, through her he enjoys the Beatitude. The divine dawn of the Rishis is the advent of the divine Light throwing off veil after veil and revealing in man’s activities the luminous godhead. In that light the Work is done, the sacrifice offered and its desirable fruits gathered by humanity.” (Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Vol. 15:294)
“In front of this calm sunrise which turned all within me into silence and peace, at the moment when I grew conscious of Thee and Thou alone wast living in me, O Lord, it seemed to me that I adopted all the inhabitants of this ship, and enveloped them in an equal love, and that so in each one of them something of Thy consciousness would awake. Not often had I felt so strongly Thy divine power and Thy invincible light, and once again total was my confidence and unmixed my joyful surrender.
“O Thou who relievest all suffering and dispersest all ignorance, O Thou the supreme healer, be constantly present on this boat in the heart of those whom it shelters that once again Thy glory may be manifested!” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 1:92, translated by Sri Aurobindo from French).
“There is only one Matrimandir, the Matrimandir of Auroville….
The Matrimandir will be the soul of Auroville….
The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection….” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 13:223)
On February 28, 1968, the day Auroville was inaugurated, the Mother read out her message, which was broadcast live to Auroville through All India Radio. This message is read out at the close of the dawnfire meditation every year since then – first in French in Mother’s voice, then in Sanskrit and Tamil.
“Greetings from Auroville to all men of goodwill.
“Are invited to Auroville all those who thirst for progress and aspire to a higher and truer life.”
1) Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
2) Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
3) Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
4) Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.
Symbolising the Unity
On 28th February 1968, the day of Auroville’s inauguration, young men and women representing each state of India as well as 121 nations of the world offered a handful of soil of the respective state or country in a marble-clad white urn shaped like a lotus bud. As each pair of a young man and a woman walked around the urn to offer the soil as a symbol to unify the humanity, a welcome message and Auroville’s Charter were read in various Indian and foreign languages. The urn stands at the middle of a large amphitheatre.
Reaffiriming the Unity
In 2018, for the 50th anniversary of Auroville, water was brought from over 200 countries to be offered as a way to reaffirm the ideal of human unity embodied by Auroville. The Prime Minster of India Shri Narendra Modi had brought water from the Ganga from Varanasi. All the water from various rivers from India and the world was collected and offered into the lotus pound below the Matrimandir.
“…the air, wind, water, do have a personality, but this is only to make you understand. To the air you cannot give a precise and definite form, it is everywhere: in your body, outside your body, here, there; but it has no precise form. It has an exact, precise position, but of course we are not talking about chemistry, we are speaking only of the appearance. You don’t get the feeling of a person when you think of the air.
“I wouldn’t say as much of water, because water has very specific characteristics. The water of one river is not the same as that of another; and this is perceptible, so it also has something of a personal character.” (The Mother, CWM Vol. 8:110)
The Banyan Tree
The Banyan tree near the Matrimandir is the geographical center of Auroville. Surrounding the Matrimandir and amphitheater 12 unique gardens are being created. The garden surrounding the banyan tree represents Unity, according to the Mother.
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