Discovering the Key: Anandi Z.

I found that instead of going out, you need to go deeper in.

Every child is a knower of some deeper truth.

You can see it in children’s eyes, in their being, they just know it. Maybe they’re an artist, a musician, a poet, a philosopher. The little ones have that connection still there, and if they are not so much influenced by family and society and teachers, they will really know it.

When I was a child going to school, coming back home, I would be singing, just singing of everything that I saw: the sky, the birds, the wind. We had poems in the textbooks and I read them aloud, recited them. It was part of my education, part of my natural being. Later on I got busy with other things – studying, work, living life – and the charm of being a child, connected with the natural beauty of life, wasn’t continued.

I lost my own biological mother when I was 12. I had a very intimate relationship with my grandmother, and later on she passed away. So for many years I felt a vacuum inside psychologically, spiritually. I have been searching for something that I could call home. I’ve been to cultural centres, yoga retreats,  ecovillages, Taoist temples, Buddhist temples… I have tried many, many things.

Finally I decided to go on a worldwide trip, starting from India, which I knew nothing about. I knew nothing about Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Auroville.

I went to Tiruvannamalai and stayed in the Ramana Maharshi ashram for one week. During that week I did things which everybody does: meditation, going around the mountain, reading books. When finally I felt there was some time for me to explore the place, I went to the round white building in the back which is the ashram library.

I was looking for a little book to read for one or two hours, not a thick book. And I found a small booklet: The Biography of the Mother. Auroville was in it. The idea of someone being called The Mother was totally new for me. Not unfamiliar or strange, just new. And when I read later the biographies of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, in the end they were described as “leaving the body”. I found it beautiful, it really carries another significance, doesn’t it? It means the soul’s journey goes on, and their presence is still there, the play goes on. It’s very revealing and true.

I found it so incredible that in this modern world with the internet and mass media, I had known nothing about Auroville before. It means somewhere I must have needed to take the journey to prepare myself to open to this. Deep down inside me, I know this dream of human unity has been there for millennia, and it’s very much alive. I felt a very deep connection – I decided that Auroville is my home even before coming. So my worldwide travel paused so that I can stay here, be more rooted and go deeper into the inner world.

Embracing the Totality

When I started to read Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri while walking in the forest – holding the book and reading it aloud with nobody around – the sense of poetry came back to me. I observed life, events, my feelings, inspirations – and they could easily be put into words; not exactly written by me, but written through me because the poetic inspirations can come as vibrations, sensations, feelings, images – and sometimes even in exact words. I just need to be the scribe, just to write down. It is a simple flow, and I am not there to interpret it or to block it. I’m just there writing it down.

Poetry is not only for the educated, literary people. It is not reserved for people who have the time or the dedication to literature. Poetry is originally, I think, a gift for everyone. I got inspired by Sri Aurobindo, who wrote in magnificent, vast ways, with a language perhaps inaccessible for most people. But the message is universal – the way he expressed the soul’s journey, the visions and experiences he had.

Poetry came to me in English, which is not my mother tongue. So I do not have the capacity to express it in sophisticated, complex ways. I write in simple words to bring out, or hint at layers of meanings, that readers can chew on – so that becomes my way. In fact, I am first of all a reader, and everything in life can be expressed in poetry: all the observations, feelings, the blowing of the wind, the blossoming of flowers, butterflies… A joke we tell, a story, a nightmare, an emotional drama or trauma; Anything can be the subject for poetry.

For me, poetry is a journey of embracing the totality of life. And if something is deeply personal, sometimes when expressed it is also very universal, because many people can relate to that. I believe poetry and music are part of the universal vibrations.

Bringing Out the Possibilities Within

And at certain points life in Auroville could become so challenging, and I did have momentary doubts, whether this is my place. I had the thought of going out. I can create a beautiful life anywhere in the world, isn’t it? The possibility is there. The world is so huge, there are so many things I haven’t seen and haven’t experienced. And I have been to places which are very beautiful, and places that are also culturally dynamic and have the spiritual element. I chose Auroville because there is something very, very precious here, which I hope to be able to always remember.

Eventually I found that instead of going out or giving it up, you need to go deeper in. Going into myself, rediscovering and reconnecting with the original intention of why I came to Auroville, was a shift. Why do I feel this is the place to be, this is home?

I truly treasure that process of soul searching, soul finding and soul expression, which is uniquely here. Auroville’s ideal is vast, and each person has their own unique ways of discovering it. External circumstances may sometimes be frustrating and limiting, but the bosom of the Mother is vast – so I could swim in that ocean of vastness. 

There are many dimensions of Auroville. Not focusing on activities to attend or people to get back to, but going into the deeper dimensions of Auroville, the deeper layers – that’s when the sense of curious discovery can come back.

If our ultimate aim is to create in Auroville, and on this Earth, some place where life can be more perfect and true, then it’s up to each of us to go inside, to uncover and to gradually bring out all the potentialities that are there within. I find that Auroville is the place for that, because here we can really be creative. My solution, or the way that has been shown to me, is to go inside and find the key.

My name does describe my inner aspiration. I used to feel like my life was a tragedy, and then over the years, through a lot of healing, facing and letting go of things, through poetry and living life, a lot of those things have passed, and I feel the multiple flavours of life. This inner quality of being in a blissful state is coming more and more. A friend in Mumbai gave me this name in 2014 – but that’s another story.

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