Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.

- Sri Aurobindo & Mother

Auroville Documentary Part 1

Auroville Documentary Part 2

The city-in-the-making is located on the Coromandel Coast in south India. Auroville draws its inspiration from the vision and work of the renowned Indian seer and spiritual visionary, Sri Aurobindo. His spiritual collaborator and partner, whom he called Mother, founded the township in 1968 and gave its Charter which is as follows:

Auroville Charter

  • 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.
  • Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
  • 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.
  • Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.

The writings of these visionaries, and the specific guidelines for Auroville given by the Mother are crucial for in-depth understanding of what is trying to be achieved in Auroville, a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding.

T here should be somewhere upon earth a place that no nation could claim as its sole property, a place where all human beings of goodwill, sincere in their aspiration, could live freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord, harmony, where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his suffering and misery, to surmount his weakness and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the care for progress would get precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the seeking for pleasures and material enjoyments.

In this place, children would be able to grow and develop integrally without losing contact with their soul. Education would be given, not with a view to passing examinations and getting certificates and posts, but for enriching the existing faculties and bringing forth new ones. In this place titles and positions would be supplanted by opportunities to serve and organize. The needs of the body will be provided for equally in the case of each and everyone. In the general organisation intellectual, moral and spiritual superiority will find expression not in the enhancement of the pleasures and powers of life but in the increase of duties and responsibilities.

Artistic beauty in all forms, painting, sculpture, music, literature, will be available equally to all, the opportunity to share in the joys they bring being limited solely by each one’s capacities and not by social or financial position.

For in this ideal place money would be no more the sovereign lord. Individual merit will have a greater importance than the value due to material wealth and social position. Work would not be there as the means of gaining one’s livelihood, it would be the means whereby to express oneself, develop one’s capacities and possibilities, while doing at the same time service to the whole group, which on its side would provide for each one’s subsistence and for the field of his work.

In brief, it would be a place where the relations among human beings, usually based almost exclusively upon competition and strife, would be replaced by relations of emulation for doing better, for collaboration, relations of real brotherhood.

Auroville’s Statement Towards Unity

Auroville is a spiritual community in the very deepest sense. The deep sense of universal spirituality is the glue the holds the community together and what unites the people to a common vision of humanity.

Vasudhaiva kudumbakam, said the ancient Indians: the world is one family.

The ideal of human unity, which was already present at the dawn of civilisation, has never appeared so close to realisation, but paradoxically the closer we come to it, the more it seems to elude us. It is as if at the onset of the 21st century the need for human unity has never been so great, and yet quite often this very unity, seen as inevitable, is perceived as somewhat threatening.

We speak of mondialisation, of globalisation, and in the same breath we deplore the dangers of uniformity.. We speak of democracy as a universal ideal and of the progress of all nations towards it as irreversible, and yet at the same time this democratic model is perceived as a system imposed by some nations on others. We are facing environmental problems which threaten the very survival of our planet. We are aware of ‘global warming’ and a decrease in the finite resources of the planet, and we know that in order to tackle these common problems the individual nation-state is not an adequate institution anymore. But the very concept of a supra-national body is perceived as a possible infringement on the sovereignty of the nation-state, won in numerous cases after many decades – or longer – of struggle and pain.
We claim that today’s world is a global village, because technological progress has made our earth very small, and news can instantly reach every inhabitant of the earth through the highroad of information. But there is the fear that this global village culture may erase the diverse cultures of the earth; indeed it is argued that there is already an immense drive towards uniformity of life habits and uniformity of knowledge.
On the economic front, the much-talked-about liberalisation process is seen by many as an attempt to impose everywhere a model only suited to some countries, and to spread everywhere a culture of consumerism. A computer for everyone and bread for only one quarter of the world population; is this the goal towards which we are advancing?
In the 19th century, intellectuals saw the progress of science as the great factor which would lead to the unification of mankind, since science was a thing common to all men in its conclusions and was international in its very nature; but we know now that science can be misused, and is being misused, to discover more and more means of destruction. We have lost faith in science as a panacea for all evils, but what is there to replace it?
We know that egoism is the biggest obstacle to a life of harmony and peace on earth, but after so many centuries of civilisation no amount of religious preaching or moral teaching has been able to convince the ego to forego its claims, as to speak to him of fraternity is to speak to him of something fundamentally contrary to his nature.
Therefore it appears that although we are moving somewhat reluctantly towards a kind of unification, this is not a process likely to solve the many acute problems of the earth, nor will the envisaged unity answer the deeper needs and aspirations of the human being. In fact, we have begun to understand that if we want to preserve the freedom for man to develop and grow in all liberty, this unity cannot be built through mechanical means. It cannot be achieved as long as man does not recognise a real unity between man and man; it cannot be arrived at through social and mechanical devices; and we have even started to realise that if its aim is not to bring about a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind, this unity is hardly desirable.
It becomes therefore urgent to understand what this unity is towards which we feel pushed in spite of ourselves. Man is a transitional being, said Sri Aurobindo shortly after the first World War, evolution continues and man will be surpassed. Not only did Sri Aurobindo foresee the next step in the evolution of man, but he told us how to participate in it: instead of remaining a passive spectator in a painful and incomprehensible process, we could consciously collaborate in our own evolution and break free of our seemingly inextricable bonds.
But for this, we have to reverse the process, said Sri Aurobindo, and instead of using external means, we have to turn inward, because without a change in man’s nature no real changes in the external circumstances are likely to take place. The only way we can move towards unity is to progressively realise that there is a secret Spirit, a divine Reality in which we are all one – not only realise it mentally but discover it in ourselves and live this knowledge. The secret of unity is within, said Sri Aurobindo; the secret of brotherhood is within. There is no unity except by the soul, there is no real brotherhood except in the soul and by the soul. Only when we live from the soul and not from the ego will a real unity reign on earth.
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This ‘spiritual age of humanity’ then will represent a transformation in the nature of man as momentous as the appearance of the thinking mind on earth. In the same way as for millennia the mind was the centre of our life, so, in the new age opening for humanity, or ‘supra-mental’ age, the soul will become the centre of all life and activities. A new stage in the evolution of man has already begun; a new consciousness, higher than the mind, a truth-consciousness, as Sri Aurobindo said, in which the dualities, hesitations and limitations of the mind and the greed and blindness of the ego will no longer exist, has already started to appear, and all the upheavals and convulsions that are at present so painfully tearing our earth are the outward signs of this evolutionary crisis. This new consciousness is already at work in the atmosphere of the earth: we can connect with it, we can call it in ourselves, we can use it to transform our entire nature and consequently the world in which we live.

It is in this wide and far-reaching sense that Auroville is dedicated to human unity. All are invited.