AUROVILLE: A unique city

Auroville, a young city lying around 10 kilometres from the former French colony of Puducherry (Pondicherry), now an Indian union territory, is an important hub of Hindu spirituality, which draws in thousands of people from all over the world. Set deep in the forests straddling the border of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, Auroville’s buildings are laid out in a unique formation reminiscent of the stars of a galaxy. Designed by architect Roger Anger, Auroville takes its name from Sri Aurobindo, a great philosopher and was established in 1968 by The Mother, also known by her birth name Mirra Alfassa, who was a close disciple of Sri Aurobindo and who hailed from France. Auroville came about as a haven from the religious and political strife of the time, and its whole mentality is geared towards serving God and realising the inner self.

 

 

One of the main ideas that governs the city is the improvement of personal relations among people, at a time when there was much strife and rivalry, and nowadays it encourages the perfection of people collaborating together as one humanity, and the devotees of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo courageously work together to improve relations between different groups of humanity. Auroville even received recognition in this dynamism from once Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who spoke of the commune’s work in promoting harmony between different cultures and furthering understanding of how coexistence among human beings can help promote spiritual growth.

According to the Census of India 2014, only around 2,300 people live in Auroville, tiny by Indian standards. Around two-thirds originate from India, France and Germany. They are all governed by the civic cardinal rule, unique to Auroville, which states that no political, religious or spiritual organisation should use Auroville as a platform to proselytise for their faith or recruit followers. As a result, there are no political parties or political operations in Auroville, and there is also no concept of private property or money, with the land and homes held under a communal basis, via the auspices of the Auroville Foundation. Auroville also engages with intra-community activities with neighbouring villages and social outreach work.

Unlike the mayor’s office and local councils found in mainstream cities around the world, Auroville is administered by a committee elected by the locals, and residents can support or veto any measures put forward by the committee without having to deal with council red tape. In return, residents are expected to engage in daily programmes of work, for at least five hours a day, seven days a week, either on their own or collectively. When not working, many of Auroville’s inhabitants like to congregate at the Matrimandir to meditate and pray to and honour God, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry.

 

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Tecnología GM‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TecnologiaGM
“Esta es la ciudad más extraña del mundo: Auroville” – GrandesMedios.com – Cultura/Grandes Medios (21 February 2016) https://www.grandesmedios.com/esta-es-la-ciudad-mas-extrana-del-mundo-auroville/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Auroville puducherry.jpg” – sillybugger/Ian.A, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (1 May 2008) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Auroville_puducherry.jpg  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
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THOUGHT MOMENT: Refugees

 

As some sections of society in Europe become agitated at the prospect of the continent being a final place of safety for thousands of refugees fleeing among other things, the Daesh and civil war in Syria, a tweet starkly illustrates a taste of why so many people are running for their lives and risking everything. Above is a bombed out boulevard somewhere in Syria. Now is a time for compassion, not xenophobia.

SOURCES/IMAGE:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
TV, Film, Media…, Stephanie Lang , Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/DrStephanieLang/lists/tv-film-media
Marie McInerney, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mariemcinerney
Top-Up Their Phones, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/connect_refugee

PHOTO MOMENT: Kindness should not be the exception

“Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”

Kindness is one of the most beautiful aspects of humanity. Doing good things for each other, helping others and being there as a shoulder to cry or rest on. However there are a lot of dark things happening in this world, and at times, it well seems kindness is in short supply.

Let’s move from hatred, discrimination, warmongering and violence and learn to treat each other more with kindness and understanding. Let’s make it our natural way of life, not just something to be unwrapped only for special occasions.

Check out my new blog GIFVILLE here.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
faisal ◕‿◕ alfaisal‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/bdonesem
Spirit Science https://www.facebook.com/thespiritscience/

GOSSIP: A Turkish proverb

 

“Who gossips to you will gossip of you”

An old Turkish proverb relating the importance of not gossiping and backbiting about other people or indulging yourself in other people’s gossip. It may be riveting and appeal to the darker side of our curiosity, but the proverbial dung can fly in all directions. You may revel in hearing about what the gossiped-about person allegedly got up to, but how do you know the gossip is not spreading your muck around too?

The negative form of gossiping, as opposed to just sharing information around, is in my opinion one of the lowest forms of human communication. Gossips very much trade in bringing other people down and inflating their own smug sense of self-worth. They may be confiding another person’s secrets to you, without that other person’s permission of course, but then what is stopping them from doing the same to you, if say, they fell out with you or if they like stirring crap for crap’s sake. Gossiping encourages bullying and low self-esteem and exacerbates conflicts. It is a poisonous thing to do or get involved with.

Don’t feed the trolls.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Quote Delight, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/QuoteDelight
Quote Mirror, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Quote_Mirror
IMAGE CREDIT:
Quote Mirror, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Quote_Mirror