At the very centre of Auroville one finds the 'soul of the city', the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called 'Peace', from where the future township will radiate outwards. The atmosphere is quiet and charged, and the area beautiful, even though work continues in the Gardens.
To visit the Matrimandir viewing point and the inner chamber please go to this page.
The Matrimandir can be viewed as a large golden sphere which seems to be emerging out of the earth, symbolising the birth of a new consciousness. Since the past 50 years, Matrimandir's slow and steady progress towards completion has been followed by many.
While walking through the lovely green Matrimandir Gardens (divided into 12 individually named parks such as "Harmony", "Bliss", Perfection", Progress", "Consciousness", etc., each with their variety of flowers, shrubs and trees, one's attention is greatly drawn by this important and powerful feature at the heart of the city which was seen by the Mother as the "symbol of the Divine's answer to man's aspiration for perfection" and as "the central cohesive force" for the growth of Auroville.
The name 'Matrimandir' means literally 'Temple of the Mother'. According to Sri Aurobindo's teaching, the 'Mother' concept stands for the great evolutionary, conscious and intelligent principle of Life, the Universal Mother, - which seeks to help humanity move beyond its present limitations into the next stage of its evolutionary adventure, the supramental consciousness.
Matrimandir is here to teach people that it is not by escaping from the world while ignoring it, that they will realise the Divine in life. Matrimandir must be the symbol of this Truth. I don't want it to be made into a religion; with all my force I refuse. We don't want dogmas, principles, ritual, absolutely not, absolutely not.
Q.: Why do we build Matrimandir?
For the great majority of Indians there is no need for an explanation; they know from their background; it is for the Westerners and the Americans of whom one in a million is able to feel that it is necessary.
Q.: Will the Force be more specially concentrated in Matrimandir?
The new Force works everywhere, especially in this room. You feel it, don't you? There is here a density capable of performing miracles, but few are able to feel it, to perceive it. Sri Aurobindo and I have concentrated this Force on the whole town; it is palpable, perceptible as a very concrete perfume which penetrates, but one must be able to feel it, to receive it. But no miracles as people would like to see; for them to believe, they need material proofs without which they deny. Build Matrimandir; put in place my symbol and Sri Aurobindo’s and the suspended globe. I take it upon myself to make it into a very powerful centre. Only those who are capable will perceive it.
(Noted down by Roger Anger after a conversation, 07.71)
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And let it not become a religion, for heaven’s sake!
The spacious Inner Chamber in the upper hemisphere of the Matrimandir is completely white, with white marble walls and deep, white carpeting. In the centre sits a pure crystal-glass globe which suffuses a ray of electronically guided sunlight that falls on it through an opening at the apex of the sphere. This luminescent globe radiates natural lighting in the Inner Chamber.
"The most important thing is this: the play of the sun on the centre. Because that becomes the symbol, the symbol of future realisations."
The Inner Chamber is devoid of images, organised meditations, flowers, incense, religion or religious forms.
The Matrimandir is there for "those who want to learn to concentrate.." "No fixed meditations, none of all that, but they should stay there in silence, in silence and concentration. A place for trying to find one's consciousness."
"Let it not become a religion", the Mother said. "The failure of religions is... because they were divided. They wanted people to be religious to the exclusion of other religions, and every branch of knowledge has been a failure because it has been exclusive.
What the new consciousness wants (it is on this that it insists) is: no more divisions.
To be able to understand the spiritual extreme, the material extreme, and to find the meeting point, the point where that becomes a real force."
Read more about Matrimandir in the section "Building Matrimandir".
Watch this documentary on the building and construction of the Matrimandir.
Produced and directed by Doris Kalker, Auroville Video Production, 2008
The Galaxy Concept of the CityThe Galaxy Concept of the CityAuroville's Masterplan
In terms of physical development, Auroville aims at becoming a model of the 'city of the future' or 'the city the earth needs'. It wants to show the world that future realisations in all fields of work will allow us to build beautiful cities where people sincerely looking towards a more harmonious future will want to live.