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German Pavilion

Consecration of the German Pavilion

Aug 15th 2001

Moment of silent consecration at the site of the future pavilion

The 15th of August is India's Independence Day, and it's also Sri Aurobindo's birthday. Therefore many new initiatives and programmes are started off on that auspicious day. This time it was a big day for the Germans residing in and otherwise connected to Auroville. After nine years of internal discussions in the 'pavilion group' in Germany regarding the construction of a German Pavilion in Auroville's International Zone, it was decided by the group to finally put something concrete into the ground, to symbolically start the process of building the Pavilion, and - more importantly - to help clear the roads and heal old wounds left by the German recent past and history.

Friederike Werner reading from Sri Aurobindo's 'Human Cycle' a passage on the German nation

Encouraged by Ananda Reddy and Nirodbaran

Interestingly, two Indian gentlemen have been in the forefront in bringing this consecration of the German pavilion about. One of them is the Director of the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR), Dr. Ananda Reddy; the other is Sri Nirodbaran, lifetime physician and scribe of Sri Aurobindo. Both are associated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and both were present during the occasion.

 

Ananda Reddy communicating with Nirodbaran who is standing in the consecration space..

 

..and receives the two containers with the soil mixture from the hands of AVI chairperson Wolfgang Schmid-Reinecke..

 

..after which Ananda Reddy handed over the Service tree to be planted on the site.

 

Soil of Germany, Samadhi and Auroville

A German group arrived in Auroville in the beginning of August headed by Wolfgang Schmidt-Reinecke, chairperson of the Auroville International Association. The group brought earth from different parts of Germany which was mixed during a small 'sealing ceremony' with earth from the Samadhi of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and from Auroville. One of the two metal containers also held a large rose-quartz from the recently initiated Sri Aurobindo Centre in Berlin - a symbol of love and heart energy, together with silver symbols of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and many flowers from Auroville and the Ashram. The two containers remained for some time in Sri Aurobindo's room before being put in the ground on the 15th.

Wolfgang with soil from various German places to be sprinkled over the containers

 

The consecrated space, symbolic beginning of the German pavilion

 

..a big stone with an Auroville symbol placed on top

In the European Plaza

A large number of people met in the International Zone, just north of the Tibetan Pavilion, at the site where, one day, the European Plaza is to be. As yet, it was not really possible to determine the exact spot where the German pavilion will be in the Plaza, as the area is huge and empty. But we chose a beautiful site in the correct space to have the containers lowered into the ground.

High time for the Zone to commence..

As of today, the International Zone presents a look of wild beauty and emptiness. It's green and lovely, a few trees here and there, grazing cattle and goats wandering the winding foot-paths towards the horizon. It's hard to imagine that buildings, roads, restaurants, guest houses, exhibition and shopping centres and plazas are to be materialised here in the years to come.

The International Zone being the last of the four zones to be developed, it gives the exciting feeling of something to start from scratch on 'virgin' land. By some 'miracle', all the lands of the International Zone are in Auroville's hands now, the last plots having been purchased just recently. So it seems high time for the Zone to come into its element.

Quiet little ceremony

More than a hundred people attended the ceremony, mostly Germans from either Auroville or abroad. It was quiet and concentrated. We sat on the ground meditating on a tarpaulin, while Mother's organ music was playing. After this, Friederike Werner, board member of AVI and AVI Germany, read the passage in 'The Human Cycle' where Sri Aurobindo talks about Germany, a very appropriate text for the occasion, deep and touching. Then Nirodbaran was helped to go down in the freshly dug hole in the ground, and Wolfgang handed him both the containers to place them inside. Nirod, who had made it a condition for participating that he would not talk, became so inspired that suddenly he gave a moving speech about the 'great German nation putting their foundation into Auroville'. Everyone was happy and cheered.

Up to 15th August 2002

And that was it, everybody then dropped earth and flowers onto the containers, mumpties (digging tools) went around, and quickly the hole was closed, a big stone with an Auroville symbol placed on top, so that we would find the spot again. The service tree, a shoot from the Samadhi service tree, will remain in a pot and be cared for in an Auroville community for one year, until the 'real' foundation stone for the German pavilion will be laid on 15th August 2002. At least this is the set goal - to come back with money and plans and start the pavilion construction next year.

What is it to be German?

As Germans are in general very practical people, efficient and work-minded, it should not be difficult to agree on a construction plan or a material action. It is more difficult for the Germans to agree on the ideology behind the German pavilion. The feelings and opinions regarding the pavilion expressed by Germans who live in Germany and by Germans living in Auroville tend to be far apart. As I am German myself, but living in Auroville for almost 20 years, I feel kind of detached from the daily life process in Germany, but all these discussions in the last months around the German soul brought back to me the question as to why I incarnated in Germany this time, and not in some other country. As the soul chooses to be born in a particular country, it automatically takes on certain qualities of that particular nation-soul to work with these qualities in life. In that sense I may feel like a world-citizen in Auroville, but with certain German qualities which express themselves through my work and how I do and perceive things. During the ceremony yesterday, I silently expressed my desire to see this beautiful goddess-being who is the nation-soul of Germany with my own eyes one day.

The nation-soul

Each country building their national pavilion in Auroville will have to go through these discussions to find out what their nation-soul is expressing in the world, and how they identify with it. This process has - as far as I can see - barely started. It will make international relations clearer, hopefully more harmonious, and is an interesting tool for self-discovery, separating the 'soul and self' of the country from the 'self and soul' of the individual.

Adapted from a report to an international cyberforum submitted by Aurovilian Tine, the Auroville International coordinator residing in Auroville.

tine@auroville.org.in 

  

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