Last updated: 25 May, 2022

Centre for Indian Culture

Centre for Indian Culture
The Centre for Research in Indian Culture was set up in 1984 in one of the unfinished pavilions of Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion of India, situated in the International Zone of Auroville. Its main purpose was to bring into focus the work that Bharat Nivas, when completed, would undertake in a fuller manner.

Aims

The specific aims of CIC were three-fold:

  1. In pursuance of the spiritual work done by Sri Aurobindo and the The Mother, to carry out research into the newer dimensions of being and of life with a view to discovering the possibilities of the future; ways of re-moulding life itself to re-create the human being in a supramental form; and visualising new processes of growth and experimenting with them. All this while recovering the essential truth of the processes known in the past.
  2. To explore afresh – with the consciousness of the modern age – the ancient truths of the Indian experience of reality, and to learn to discern and to identify the processes of life and action that flow from those truths. Having done so, to then apply them, concretely and repeatedly, to the issues and situations of contemporary life, for which ample opportunity is offered by the diverse collective life of Auroville itself. Also to note and observe how far these ancient processes prove effective even today, and how far they can renew themselves and move into further dimensions. For example, do they yield happier results than those obtained by following processes emerging from other roots of experience? It might be added briefly that this area of research, pursued over many years, has proved most fruitful, with the result that a sense of confidence has been gained, insights arrived at and concrete results accumulated.
  3. To create a physical space, within the experiment of Auroville, where the characteristic “feel”, “vibration” and “dynamics” of the Indian experience of life and reality could be made tangible and pervasive; that space to further generate varied activities, involving individuals and groups.

Facilities

The Centre offers the following facilities:

  • A small but specialized library of books on Indian culture – English translations of ancient texts, treatises and literary works; encyclopaedias; books on Indian art; modern Indian literature; etc. Also a collection of Sanskrit texts and some Indian journals is available.
  • A collection of music, both Carnatic and Hindustani.

Activities

The Centre is involved in a number of activities, both within Auroville and also outside, such as:

  • Within Auroville – there are workshops, publications, numerous exhibitions of art by Auroville artists, as also artists coming from outside. Creative programmes of dance, music and theatre are also presented – some by Aurovilians, others by eminent personalities from around India. Classes are offered in Indian dance and music to the international community of Auroville. Since these activities have now become manifold, other centres within Bharat Nivas, such as Kala Kendra and Kalai have taken them in their charge.
  • Outside Auroville – the Centre is invited to national and international conferences in India and in other countries hosted by some of the major institutions and universities. Papers reflecting the experience gained by the Centre have been presented and published.
  • One of the main thrusts of the work of the Centre is to complete the campus of Bharat Nivas, along the guidelines given by The Mother, when she initiated work on it in 1971. After decades of struggle to this end, we have since three years the support of the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation to provide for adequate funds to do so. This financial help is now provided by the Government of India and Shri B.V. Doshi, the eminent architect, has accepted the responsibility of guiding this work with the help of Auroville architects. Thus two new buildings are coming up – Tamil Heritage Centre and Centre of Indian Studies. The old ones are undergoing renovation and completion. The landscaping of the entire campus is under way. In the next 3-4 years, we hope to see the entire Bharat Nivas well laid out and the buildings finished.
  • (d) Since several years we have been hosting an annual International Conference on themes of current interest. To list a few of the themes –
    • Humanity at the Crossroads
    • The Sense of the Infinite – the Sprit of Indian Culture
    • All life is Yoga
    • Yoga and Transformation
    • The New Dynamism of the Material and the Spiritual
    • Mutation... a Process
    • Mutation II... a Clearing

Ph. 0413-2622253  

Contact: cicbn@auroville.org.in