Sunday, February 03, 2008

Auroville, as we all know, is the Dream of God in the process of materialization on this earth

A Tribute by Kireet Joshi
(Mr. Kireet Joshi is former Chairman of the Auroville Foundation)
My sphere of work was far removed from Auroville, and although I felt a tremendous admiration and intimacy with the developments of the work relating to Auroville, the only time when I got the opportunity to get interwoven with a major programme of Auroville was, when the Mother assigned to Tanmaya and to me the task of organizing the participation of the youths who were to come to Auroville for depositing token soil from their respective countries in the foundational urn of Auroville on the occasion of the inauguration. The inaugural ceremony was to take place on the 28 th February, 1968 . This task had intimate connection with Roger because he was the living spirit behind the numerous activities that were connected with the gigantic inaugural ceremony.
In my own personal life and in my sadhana, this occasion was momentous. All the arrangements of the youths had to be done in Pondicherry , and it was my responsibility to ensure that all the youths assembled at the right time at our Centre of Education so that they could be transported by buses which were to be furnished by the Sri Aurobindo Society. Roger was to receive the youths at Auroville, and the rest of the ceremony was under the charge of Roger. Thus Roger and I had to synchronize very carefully many aspects of this work. But how greatly I was shocked when the Sri Aurobindo Society informed me late in the evening of the 27 th February that the buses, which the society was to arrange for the transportation of the youths, would not be made available to me, and that I should make arrangements on my own. This was a terrible disabling breach of the promise, and it put me in a gravest state of crisis. This is not the occasion to narrate this incident in detail. But as can be imagined, I would have failed miserably to transport the youth from Pondicherry to Auroville and to hand them over to the charge of Roger at the appointed hour.
I almost failed. But I was seeking earnestly some miraculous help from the Mother. I knew no transport agency, and none whom I approached was better in this respect. Something seemed to be helping me to remain very quiet. It was about 1a.m. that I could reach some deep level of being where I heard the Mother telling me, “Go and meet Udar”. I went to the residence of Udar, but it was naturally all closed. It was too late to wake him up at that late hour. At 5a.m. I knocked the door of his residence. Fortunately, Udar, whom the Mother had described as a “man with golden heart”, understood my predicament and promised to help me. The time available to him was so short that it was impossible. And yet, miraculously, he succeeded. At 8a.m. the buses arrived at the gate of the Centre of Education. The time left for me to arrange was extremely short. But I received maximum help from Tanmaya and teachers and students of our Centre of Education. I gave some anxious moments to Roger, since there was considerable delay in transporting the youths to Auroville. Nonetheless, Roger, although extremely anxious, showed no impatience, when he received the youths along with me at the site of the inauguration, and outwardly nobody could detect any external sign of the delay that had occurred. Everything happened punctually, and when the Mother's inaugural message came to be relayed from the Mother's room at Pondicherry, there was perfect calm and serenity and nearly five thousand people who had gathered on that momentous moment of the inauguration got enveloped by vibrant and gentle breeze of ineffable delight of the creative moment.
It was Roger who had designed and created the beautiful urn in which the youths were to deposit the token soil of their respective countries and were thus to gather the entire earth in that unifying vessel of the foundation of Auroville. It was Roger who had beautifully designed the pavilions around that vast ground of the inaugural site for all those who had assembled to witness that great moment of the birth of Auroville. The entire organization of the programme, the sequence and the punctuality of every unfolding moment were meticulously executed, and it was evident that Roger manifested palpably and concretely the Divine Mother's power of perfection, - particularly the genius and skill of Mahasaraswati. I cannot forget the smiling and shining face of Roger as it seemed to me floating over the entire movement and scene of the inauguration. Yes, “the Man of the Project” was spread from that Banyan tree (the Centre of Auroville) in all the spreading circumference of Auroville.

“L'Homme de' Projet!” – These words of the Mother for Roger sum up splendidly and gloriously all that was so beautifully packed in that great artist, visionary, sculptor and architect. Auroville, as we all know, is the Dream of God in the process of materialization on this earth. That Dream of God was articulated and firmly established on that 28 th February, 1968 , when the Mother's Charter for Auroville was declared and relayed so that the Ideals of Auroville could echo and reecho in all the corners of the earth. To live in Auroville, the Mother had said, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness. She had spoken of Auroville as a place of unending education and of a youth that never ages. Here was a field where one can afford to have only one allegiance, allegiance to the Truth and Truth alone; and here was a field being created for constant progress through material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of a Human Unity.
To symbolize this aspiration preeminently was the privilege of Roger. The task that the Mother had given him for Auroville remained for decades and decades throughout his life the sovereign occupation. He tried to fulfill that task as an instrument of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Like all adventurers who have striven to participate in a new experiment that has universal dimensions, he had to forge ahead through enormous difficulties, internal and external. How often he used to tell me during the seven years, 2000 – 2007, when I came greatly in close touch with him: “The Mother has given me the task; would you not help me?” Indeed, he had sought help from everyone in Auroville and he had received enormous help from the team of architects and engineers of Auroville, from the organizers of Auroville, from the workers of Auroville, and from rare and capable individuals to whom Matrimandir has been the sole breath of their lives... Kireet Joshi, 28/1/2008

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