The Mother already had a vision for a universal township in the 1930s. In the 1960s it came to her to manifest the project. She gave her blessings for the City of Dawn and the idea started to take shape in reality. After the concept was passed by UNESCO, who gave their full support to this project they deemed ‘of importance to the future of humanity’, Auroville was officially started on the 28th of February in 1968.
After the inauguration ceremony, which was attended by people from 124 nations, the real work began to build the universal township.
Facing a barren plateau with only red soil, no trees, and no shade in sight, the first need for Aurovilians was to put their energy into reforestation. While experimenting with different types of trees and planting techniques a forest slowly came up, bringing shade and cooler air. A big effort was made to keep all the rainwater from running off into the ocean, taking the precious topsoil with it – this ‘bunding’ work was incredibly important for whole area and led to a rising water table.
Another important work was building the Matrimandir, the Soul of Auroville. With little funding, a huge workload and many heads with different ideas, it took 38 years for the Matrimandir to reach its completion.
In the last 50+ years a township has developed, complete with housing and great infrastructure, around its centre and Soul. Today, 3000 people from many different nations are living in Auroville, about half of whom are Indian. A lush forest with flourishing wildlife is embedding a town with lots of art and culture, education, healing, small scale industries, organic farming and a great community life.
Only pictures and our living pioneers still remind us of the times when Auroville was nothing but red soil and a great vision.
Today, we are all still working towards this vision to realize human unity and transform our consciousness, each in our own way. Nobody knows when these aims will be achieved and our goals reached, but Auroville, a living experiment, is there for those who want to try.