Last updated: 19 Jul, 2024

Statements of support from Government of India

Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in Auroville

Visit to Auroville on its 50th anniversary and Statement of Support from the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on 25 February 2018

Message from President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, January 2018  

Original message from President of India consigned by Dr Anirban Ganguly to Hemant Lamba of AV Working Committee

Message of Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, January 2003

Indira Gandhi on 25th March 1969

Indira Gandhi, (late) Prime Minister of India, on 25th March 1969:

"Pondicherry was Sri Aurobindo's place of political exile and spiritual unfolding. His effulgent message radiated to different parts of the world from Pondicherry. It is appropriate that seekers of enlightenment from various lands should found a new city there bearing Sri Aurobindo's name. It is an exciting project for bringing about harmony among different cultures and for understanding the environmental needs for man's spiritual growth. May Auroville truly become a city of light and of peace." 

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam  November 1st 2004  

The President of India, His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited Auroville on Monday, November 1st 2004 .

The President started his speech saying,

"Friends, I have come as a pilgrim to this place, Auroville, and why I say pilgrim is because you have a mission bigger than mine; the mission you are having is larger than that of any indi­vidual. It is a vision which came from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and naturally it is a very big mission." He also said, "Most of you in Auroville, you are shaped as better human beings." When asked by a child earlier in the day, "How do you consider yourself? As a scientist? As a Muslim? As a Tamilian? " he replied to the kid that what matters most in life is to be a better human being.  

P.V. Narasimha Rao  on 23rd August 1986

P.V. Narasimha Rao, then Minister for Human Resource Development, and ex-Prime Minister of India, during his visit to Auroville on 23rd August 1986:

"I don't know why we are calling Auroville an experiment; it is life, it is a part of life, it ought to be a part of life, but now that we have gone back and started calling it an experiment, let's make it a success."  

Message from Dr Kireet Joshi

who was Chairman of Auroville Foundation and Advisor to Shri Narendra Modi and earlier to Smt. Indira Gandhi. At the time of this article he was Special Secretary in Ministry of Human Resource Development in New Delhi.

“Auroville: International Township of Research in Education”

By Dr. Kireet Joshi, Auroville Voice (Winter issue 1979, pp. 13-15)

How fascinating it is to look freely into the future and to attempt what has been most cherished and yet declared to be most impossible! To have philosophers or seers as ‘kings’, to have administrators not as rulers but as brothers, to obtain justice by assigning to each one his right place and function, to live in the Family of Man, to be constantly teased by the most distant moons and suns, to have inexhaustible possibility of exploration and search, to have endless education: these most cherished things are being proposed for Auroville; and because they are impossible, they are certain.

Auroville is a dream, a concept, a symbol of a new way of life, a new way of perpetual education. It is conceived to be a sanctuary of learning and research and the entire population will consist of teachers who will be pupils and of pupils who will be teachers. The aim of education here will be growth which will have no necessary relation with arbitrary time-limits. The craze for degrees and diplomas will have been abolished from this realm where there will be instead a spontaneous enthusiasm for Truth, Beauty and Goodness. Education will not be a process of ‘teaching’ but of helping and guiding. It will enable each one to organize not merely classrooms, but life itself so that life and education would be an identical process. In this organised life, each one will be helped to open oneself to the vast and challenging world, its secrets, and underlying truths. It will enable each one to acquire a capacity for a continuous freshness and competence to deal with one’s own life and the life of the world at large. It will strive to break all narrowness, partiality and natural or acquired limitations. There will be a powerful stimulation inspiring each one to become comprehensive, unified and integrated. This education will aim at creating and effectuating the maximum possible vibrations of unifying harmonies in the world.

The whole of Auroville is conceived as a University, a Centre of Education, an integrated system of education. In this vast University, schools and colleges will be well-equipped playgrounds, and the system of education will be truly the Free Progress System which is being experimented upon and developed at the International Centre of Education of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

The equipment of this educational system will consist not only of electronic machines, radio and television sets, films, tape recording, etc., but also of mobile museums, theatres, international pavilions, and attractive homes for a variety of subjects. All this equipment and environmental stimulation will be so located as to be easily accessible to students and teachers. The methods will use mechanical devices, but will not permit mechanisation; machines will serve but not replace the freedom of the spirit. Each individual will be permitted to progress at his own pace and on the lines of his own inner development. Progress of the students will be assured, not by mechanical uniform syllabi or examinations, but by the inner guiding principle secret within each individual. “Free Progress”, in the words of the Mother, “is progress guided by the soul and not enslaved by habits, conventions, and preconceived ideas.”

It is to be noted that mere physical, vital and mental education is not enough. Indeed those parts of our being have to be cultivated and cultivated to their maximum capacity; the vital must be made dynamic, disciplined, obedient and effective; the mind must be trained to be intelligent, observant, concentrated, rich and complex. In Auroville, this will be aimed at. But much more – and centrally. For we are standing today at the head of a new psychological revolution, unprecedented in the history of mankind. The Modem Man is said to be in search of himself. This search has just begun, but it promises to be a long and arduous adventure. Already, we have several revolutions inaugurated by depth psychology. Freud is already out of date. Jung is being overpassed. Psychical research is bringing to the fore the striking phenomenon of telepathy, foreknowledge, etc. Even wild experiments are being launched to discover the mysteries that lie hidden within Man. Already questions have been raised as to whether this inner search of Man will not produce even more dangerous results than what his external search has brought to him, notably the production of the Atom Bomb. It is evident that Mind has reached its own vanishing-point of development; the problems of man are difficult even for the richest and most synthetic minds. A new will and a new knowledge are needed to solve them. There is an incessant pressure now upon us to break our mental limitations and to seek a new way of knowing and acting. An exploration of Consciousness hitherto hardly undertaken by mankind is the call of today and it is likely to become more and more imperative with the passing of years. And the pace of progress is so accelerated that it will be no wonder if by the time Auroville begins to take some shape, this exploration will come to be a matter of a modem fashion. While planning for the Auroville system of education, we must take this future possibility into account and be open to all its implications.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its International Centre of Education have been doing research into this field for several decades, and Auroville will have the advantage of their research work and its results. One of the important conclusions of this research work is contained in the affirmation that there are golden and supramental reaches of our consciousness, and from them and from the reaches intermediate between them and our ordinary mental consciousness, there have descended forces and forms which have become embodied in literature, philosophy, science, in music, dance, art, architecture, sculpture, in great and heroic deeds and in all that is wonderful and precious in the different organised or as yet unorganised aspects of life. These reaches, it is further affirmed, can be firmly established upon earth, so that this earth can be radically changed and can be home for ever-new progress from knowledge to knowledge and from delight to delight.

To put the students in contact with these golden reaches of consciousness would be to provide them with the air and atmosphere in which they can breathe and inspiration to reach those peaks of consciousness and to create still newer forms and forces which would bring the golden day nearer for humanity.

We speak today of education for international understanding and for the world. But the unity of mankind cannot be lasting if it is based upon the compulsions of economic, social or political needs. It must be based upon a sounder foundation of the deeper psychological needs of man. The knowledge that is needed for the realisation of the psychological unity has been glimpsed by some advances minds, but we have as yet no solid and sound science regarding the psychology of human unity. The Auroville system of education will address itself to the development of this new science.

If world unity is to be realised, it will be only as a result of the fulfilment of the inmost truth of Man. It is only because the individual can attain to his fullest development by becoming universal that the ideal of the Universal Man becomes practicable and relevant to education. This is the essence of the education for one world, and we can hold to this essence only by an adventure and revolution of our consciousness. It is by this adventure that we discover that man is not the ego or the body-life-mind complex, but a soul, a psychic being. We discover further that the truth of the soul is a true individuality that recognises a single soul in humanity of which each man and each people is a soul-form or manifestation.

The Auroville system of education will then be a radical system; not satisfied with outward mechanical formulas for world unity, it will set itself to the most essential and difficult research into these inner truths of Man and the world by which the world-harmony can be rightly and effectively realised.

But even this will be only the base of its work; its frontiers will be ever-widening, and it is not possible for us to forecast today what lies in store for us in this great adventure. We know that there are millions and billions of light years both in the external and internal space; and we are also eager to know the Spaceless and the Timeless; and we should also like to know the equations of the Spaceless and Space and the Timeless and Time.  


P. Shiv Shanker  in September 1988

P. Shiv Shanker, former Minister for Human Resource Development, while introducing the Auroville Foundation Bill in September 1988 in Parliament:

"Auroville is to be looked upon as a vision which has great potentiality, and this can be of tremendous service to our country and the world at large. Auroville aims to discover a new life, deeper and more complete, and to show the world that tomorrow will be better than today. The Government is determined to help the process of development of Auroville in such a way that its aims and goals are made more and more realisable."

Dr. Karan Singh on 28th February 1991

Dr. Karan Singh, appointed by the Central Government as Chairman of the first Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation, in his speech to the residents of Auroville on 28th February 1991:

"Auroville was envisaged by the Mother as a concrete manifestation of the new consciousness, as an arrow pointed towards the future of evolution. And that is why Auroville is so extremely significant for the future of the human race. Never forget it is not only important to those who happen to live here. Certainly you are important, because it is you Aurovilians who are doing the work and making the experiment, but your work far transcends barriers of space and nationality and even of time. Because what is sought to be done here is nothing less than the transmutation of consciousness."

S.K. Tripathi on 10th April 2003

Address by Mr.S.K. Tripathi, Education Secretary, Government of India, at the 35th Anniversary Celebrations of Auroville, Paris 10th April '03.

Director General,

President of the General Conference,

Members of the Executive Board,

Members of the Indian community,

Ladies and Gentlemen

At the outset, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to UNESCO, & in particular to the Director General, for organizing this event to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Auroville. It is indeed a befitting tribute to the vision & ideals of Auroville as a World Centre for Human Unity. Auroville, in its essence, attempts to bridge the past & the future, by taking advantage of all discoveries from without & from within, to develop an enlightened society for the world of tomorrow.

In this context, I would like to quote a verse from one of our ancient scriptures, the Atharva Veda:-

"Born on the same planet

Covered by the same skies

Gazing at the same stars

Breathing the same air

We must learn to happily progress together

Or miserably perish together

For Man can live individually

But can survive only collectively".

In consonance with this Vedic thought, Auroville was founded by "The Mother", a French disciple of Sri Aurobindo, on 28th February, 1968, when youth from 121 countries & 23 Indian States placed a handful of earth from their homelands in the lotus-shaped urn, symbolizing the creation of a city that was conceived as "a site of material & spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity."

One of the aims of Auroville is to bring together in close juxtaposition the values and ideals of different civilizations and cultures and these are in close alignment with UNESCO's ideals. The General Assembly of UNESCO has unanimously passed in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983 resolutions of support to Auroville, inviting member states and international non-governmental organizations to participate in the development of Auroville as an International Cultural Township designed to bring together the values of different cultures and civilizations in a harmonious environment with integrated living standards which correspond to man's physical and spiritual needs. Auroville has been lauded as one of the special places on earth where people are trying to return to a spiritual basis of life and to provide a model for appropriate planetary consciousness.

The Government of India took over Auroville in 1980 and in the year 1988, the Parliament of India passed the Auroville Foundation Act. 1988 for better management and further development of Auroville in accordance with its original charter, and the Department of Secondary & Higher Education, is the nodal administrative department, providing assistance to Auroville.

Auroville has made steady progress over these years in accordance with the ideals of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo and presently is home to 1671 persons, of whom more than 1100 are nationals from 35 countries other than India. Apart from these, more than 4000 persons from neighbouring villages are employed by various commercial units, schools, offices, farms, forests, construction sites and homes in Auroville.

The Auroville Universal Township envisaged by the Mother is one of the unique examples of manifestation of human unity in diversity. The township, founded on a barren plateau devoid of even a blade of grass in 1968, has become a green area shaded with a variety of trees and plants. The architectural designs, appropriate building technologies, conservation approach, rainwater harvesting, re-use and recycling of water resources, solid waste management, land re-generation, community participation are some of the areas where innovative models and techniques have been developed and adapted in the township.

I am happy to share with you the fact that we have increased the Plan outlay for Auroville under the 10th Five Year Plan by adding a new Component for Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research, (SAIIER) to the already existing activities for which we were giving support. The 9th Plan outlay was Rupees twenty-five million and this has been increased to Rupees One hundred and fifty million now, denoting a six-fold increase. The Government is also funding Auroville through its other programmes.

We envisage that the Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research (SAIIER), which is being now supported by us, would bring about a change in the educational system in India through the implementation of Sri Aurobindo's vision of integral education. This involves a change in the aims of education, a new perception in the role of the teacher, experiments with evolving new curriculum & new methods of teaching & learning, thus, serving as a real life laboratory for the country's education system.

Auroville has already brought a transformation in the areas surrounding it by adopting people friendly technologies. Eco-friendly farms which do not destroy the Mother earth, income generating industrial units which do not pollute the air and many such innovations which point towards an India of the future, which is prosperous, in-tune with nature, does not sacrifice its collective goals and which acts as an inspiration for the new generation.

Towards this aim, we are here to support Auroville as partners in progress, as facilitators rather than as mere administrators, and would like to contribute towards the progress of Auroville to serve as a beacon of hope, not only for the future of India, but also for Humanity as a whole.

Thank you.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam  November 1st 2004

The President of India, His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited Auroville on Monday, November 1st 2004 .

The President started his speech saying,

"Friends, I have come as a pilgrim to this place, Auroville, and why I say pilgrim is because you have a mission bigger than mine; the mission you are having is larger than that of any indi­vidual. It is a vision which came from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and naturally it is a very big mission." He also said, "Most of you in Auroville, you are shaped as better human beings." When asked by a child earlier in the day, "How do you consider yourself? As a scientist? As a Muslim? As a Tamilian? " he replied to the kid that what matters most in life is to be a better human being.