Arka - t h e r a y o f l i g h t
is not the number of years you have lived
Arka brochure (487Kb)
see also: Eternal Youth
beginning and end of things is a conventional term of our experience;
you do not want your body to fail you, avoid wasting your energies in
useless agitation. Whatever you do, do it in a quiet and composed poise.
In peace and silence is the greatest strength.
- wants to be a place where one can remain young
even while one's age is advancing
The second point of the Auroville Charter reads: "Auroville wants to be a place of an unending education, of constant progress and a youth that never ages." The recently embarked Arka project wants to be just such place within the township and addresses itself to Aurovilians who after a certain age feel the physiological and psychological need and urge to live in an intimate and protected environment, while at the same time having the possibility to live an active life and play a useful role within the community. Arka's overall aim is to encourage its inhabitants to participate in the process of growth and evolution in Auroville regardless of their age or any possible non-autonomous or partially autonomous physical condition.
The first stone for the centre was laid on January 1st 2002.
Living 'old age' in a new way
Auroville is a place where people work in order to progress, a place in which to create and evolve. Old age should, certainly here, not be a 'last painful step' of existence; instead it can be the bridge, the transition stage towards another life. It is a time for harvesting the fruits of existence to date, and for being able to share them with others.
ARKA will be an autonomous environment where the residents can shape their own internal organisation. The future centre intends to be a self-supporting community and envisages:
Not only for Arka residents
Also elderly Aurovilians who continue to live outside of the Arka premises will be able to call on the centre for assistance. They will be welcome to use facilities such as therapies, nurse assistance, transport, laundry delivery and food.
Fulfilling the need for 'grandparents'..
'Villaggio ARKA', located in the Residential Zone and close to the Auroville Kindergarten, may also prove very useful for the relationship between these two age groups, which at present in Auroville is minimal. The idea that Auroville's small children may find there the equivalent of 'grandparents' makes us smile, and reminds us of happy times associated with our childhood. Meanwhile we also keep in mind that, after finally leaving us, our 'old' folks of today may return to us as tomorrow's children! As it's with the Light that one is to proceed from lifetime to lifetime, it is meaningful that the Sanskrit word 'Arka' stands for the Sun, a ray of light.
Making it happen
On completion of the first stage of the project,
youth will be welcomed to take part in the activities of Arka's multipurpose
centre. They will be able to learn, to work, to try new areas of activity,
while at the same time mingling with the older Arka residents who may
share with them some of their skills.
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