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A Study Of Auroville



The Mother's Service Society

Plot No.4, Venkata Nagar Ext.,

Pondicherry - 11.

January 17, 1983



I.          Objective............. 1

II.         The purpose of a Spiritual Community........ 1

III.       The Perfection of the Individual.................. 3

IV.       The Perfection of the Community.......... 5

V.        The Mother's Method in Auroville............. 6

VI.       Laws and Rules of Life in Auroville........... 9

VII.      Dynamics of Transformation in Auroville........ 11

VIII.     Study of Auroville....................... 12

IX.       Interviews and Questionnaires........... 14

            Appendix A:        "A Dream"

            Appendix B:        Auroville Charter

                                       To Be a True Aurovilian

            Appendix C:        Basic Concept of the


            Appendix D:        Financing Auroville

                                       Organisation and Discipline


Terms of Reference for a Study of Auroville


I.  Objective

Auroville was initiated by The Mother as an experiment in a new form of human community and a new way of life. In order to be truly objective and meaningful, a study of Auroville cannot be based on the common man's view of what a spiritual community should be like or even on the scientist's conception of a utopia. Rather it should be based on the expressed aims of Auroville, the intentions of the founders, the method chosen for achieving these aims, and the idealistic goals toward which the community strives. Any study requires terms of reference, a standard with which to compare the subject of observation. The terms of reference for a study of Auroville should be:

  • 1. A comparison of life in Auroville with normal social life to determine how far Auroville has succeeded in eliminating old forms of social existence which the founders wanted to overcome, and in establishing a higher type of social existence.
  • 2. A comparison of life in Auroville with the ideal life which Sri Aurobindo and The Mother envisioned as the ultimate aim of the community.

II.   The Purpose of a Spiritual Community

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother taught that man is not the last term in the evolution of the earth. As matter has given birth to living plants and animals, as life has given birth to thinking mental man, so also man will be superceded by a higher species which they called Superman. Though in the past this evolution has been a subconscious process of nature, man the mental being has the capacity to quicken the slow pace of evolution by a conscious effort to perfect himself. That effort is yoga.

The traditional Indian yogas aspire for a release of the soul from the ignorance, suffering and falsehood of human existence based on desire and the ego, a liberation of the soul from nature so that it can merge into the Supreme and escape from the vicious cycle of rebirth. This is achieved by concentration on the Divine through one part of the being: mind (jnana yoga), heart (bhakti yoga), life (karma yoga), body (hatha yoga), etc.

The aim and technique of Sri Aurobindo's yoga is different. Liberation is also an objective here, but the first of many other objectives. Liberation is not an end in itself as in other yogas. Liberation of the soul from desire and ego is a means to achieve the ultimate aim of divinising human nature. The other objectives are the liberation of nature from gunas and dualities, raising the whole being of man from his present mental center to the evolutionary goal of the supramental center and bringing down the Supermind to master, posses, transform mind and nature into its own original substance. Imperfect human nature is transformed into perfect divine nature. The divine perfection of man makes possible the realisation of a divine life on earth based on human unity.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram was created to help humanity to bring down the Supramental Consciousness to perfect man's inner nature and outer life. The Ashram was founded and built by The Mother as the first step toward the creation of a new world, a new humanity, a new society, expressing and embodying the new consciousness. Admission in the Ashram was limited to a few thousand members whom Sri Aurobindo and The Mother felt had an inner call to do yoga and who were willing to give up everything else to dedicate themselves to that effort. She conceived of the Ashram's role as that of pioneer, inspirer and the guide; the yogic effort to bring down on earth the force for transformation; Whereas Auroville is an attempt for a collective realisation in humanity on a larger scale. Conceived as a town to eventually house 50,000 citizens, Auroville is open to all who seek a new life with the help of the higher force, to all who aspire for the higher life which will be the result of the transformation and who wish to come and work for the realisation of that life. While Ashramites are expected to renounce all forms of social and family life and abide by strict rules of self-discipline, no restrictions are placed on the domestic and social life of Aurovilians. While those coming to the Ashram are expected to devote themselves entirely to the practices of yoga, those joining Auroville need only receive the descending spiritual force and collaborate in its work of transforming their nature.

The Mother's conception of a spiritual community dedicated to this purpose is expressed in one of Her early writings entitled "A Dream" (Appendix A). The aims of the community, the method to be followed, and the ideal towards which it strives are set forth in the Charter of Auroville and other writings (Appendix B-D).

It was never their intention to establish a perfect utopian community isolated from the mainstream of society in which the problems that plague the world would be bared from entry and prevented expression by enforced conformity to a rigid code of behaviour. Nor did they attempt to enlist only perfect individuals in their community. In fact for their purposes such perfect individuals did not exist. Once when a yogi visiting the Ashram indicated that the Ashramites did not seem to be quite up to his expectations, Sri Aurobindo commented that he was not so sure whether even the greatest yogis in the Himalayas would be any better for his purpose. He meant that his yoga, which aims to transform human nature rather than escape it as in traditional yogas, was so difficult and the constitution of every man's nature was so much the same, that there would be little difference between realised souls pursuing a traditional path of yoga and his own disciples.

In fact, far from trying to pre-select the entrants to permit only the most perfect, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother opened the community to all who had a sincere aspiration for a higher life and were prepared to dedicate themselves to achieve it. Since the very purpose of their yoga is to transform human nature, all possible types of human character, all varieties of personality, all facets of human nature were welcomed as the essential raw material for their work. As the ultimate goal was to transform life, not to escape it, no aspect of life was shunned or excluded. All were accepted so they could be uplifted and transformed. In other words every type of human weakness and imperfection and every type of social problem necessarily had to be admitted and confronted so they could be conquered.

III. The Perfection of the Individual

Since the ultimate goal of Auroville is the transformation of human nature and social life into a higher type, we must understand something of the constitution of that nature and the dynamics of transformation.

Man's psychological constitution is composed of many layers. The most superficial and visible is the pattern of habitual outer actions and ways of living, his behaviour, e.g. anger, politeness, aggressiveness, submissiveness, alertness, etc. At a deeper level men conform to various general types. They possess a fixed mode of viewing and responding to the world which forms their character, e.g. efficient, generous, selfish, thoughtful, impulsive, mean, good. Still deeper is the organizing center of personality in man which constitutes the unique disposition or individuality and the source of creativity that expresses through various character traits and ways of behaving. Beneath all these layers there is the basic stuff of human nature which is common to all, though different men express its various characteristics to different degrees and in different manners.

It is a basic truism of modern psychology that barring rare exceptions human character never changes after it has been formed. Psychology accepts a man's character as fixed and unalterable and tries to help establish a harmonious balance between the constraints of character and the demands of outer life. Outer behaviour changes according to the compulsions of outer circumstances or the dictates of man's mental will. But as man is constituted, he lacks the power to change his character. Mind is not capable of that change; it can only be done by the supramental power. Mind does not have the power to change character because character is in the plane of mind and is originally formed out of the knowledge, ideas, thoughts, and wills of the individual mind. Normally man progresses subconsciously through his offspring. The growth or change of character is made in the next generation.

Mother's aim is not merely change of character but a change of consciousness, i.e. a change in the constitution of human nature itself by breaking the fixed moulds of nature arrived at by the evolution and infusing a higher power which can transform them into their higher spiritual counterparts. To illustrate, when an angry man becomes calm and patient, he displays a change of behaviour. If, instead of anger, he comes to exhibit the right understanding of the situation and is incapable of angry behaviour, there has been a change of character. If in a situation which formerly provoked intense anger, he comes to feel absolutely equal and undisturbed, then he has undergone a change of consciousness or nature with respect to that strand of his being.

The characteristics of human nature which must be transformed are formidable and all too familiar to any sincere observer of himself. To list but a few of the more prominent: ideas, opinions, preferences, habits and mental constructions based on mind's limited powers of knowledge and on personal experience: desires, demands, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility based on the egoistic sense of separate individuality and the vital's craving for power and self-aggrandisement: stupidity, doubt, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change which derive from the unconsciousness and tamas of physical nature. These are the obstacles to human perfection which the aspirant has to confront and overcome.

IV. The Perfection of the Community

The inner perfection of the individual makes possible an outer perfection of society. No outer perfection is possible without the inner change. But an attempt at creating a more perfect community can provide more conducive circumstances for inner progress. That is the purpose of Auroville.

Human society as it is presently constituted is a field of strife and discord. War, conflict, competition, hatred, disharmony, opposition and antagonism of every kind, inexhaustible plenty side by side with utter impoverishment, ugliness, filth, disease, discrimination and exploitation, cruelty and persecution, domination and submission, compulsion, force, authoritarianism - the list of social ills is as formidable as the list of individual ills, indeed they both originate from the same source, human nature.

The aim of Auroville is to help create a society of a higher order. Some of the characteristics of that society have been described by Mother and incorporated in Her writings (see Appendix). A few are mentioned below.

  • 1. There will be no private ownership of property. What each person requires for his living will be given to him. Property will belong to the society as a whole. This means the abolition of human possessiveness and selfishness and will eradicate the economic inequalities that support idle richness and subsistence level poverty.
  • 2. There will be harmonious and cooperative association among people of all nationalities, races, creeds, beliefs, etc. which is the essential basis for world peace and human unity. This requires the abolition of discrimination, exploitation, sense of superiority, domination of one group by another.
  • 3. There will be no hierarchy of social and political power permitting those at the top to compel, force, exploit, and dominate for their own advantage those below. Social, legal, and moral conventions will be replaced by a freedom of the individual from the limitations and perversity of his own nature. Man will be free in the ultimate sense, free from his own egoism and desire.

V. The Mother's Method in Auroville

There can be no illusions that these highest ideals can be easily or swiftly achieved or that people can be found who are already suited for a higher life. Mother never expected it to be an easy task quickly accomplished, nor did She have illusions about those She invited for this great adventure.

But this does not mean that the idea is merely a fanciful conception with no reality behind it and no possibility of achievement. On the contrary, Mother was immensely practical and She founded Auroville precisely because She knew it would succeed, though by success we do not mean an instant transformation of human nature. As referred to earlier, human character is considered as fixed and unchangeable. But Mother created a society in which character and even human nature could and does change. The basis of Her method is the same as that employed by the evolutionary force in raising humanity to its present level of civilisation, except that Mother's method is conscious whereas the evolutionary progression is subconscious.

Life has evolved out of matter and mind has evolved out of life by the pressure of outer conditions stirring, awakening, and calling forth the latent powers lying dormant below the surface. Historian Arnold Toynbee has described this process as the chief mechanism for the development of civilizations and termed it ‘challenge and response'. At the physical level these challenges present in the form of physical pressures for food, survival, defense. By responding to these pressures man develops physical strength, endurance, courage, initiative, inventiveness, skill and thereby overcomes the lethargy and inertia of physical nature. At the vital level these challenges take the form of political, economic and social pressures and opportunities. By responding to them man develops cooperation, organisation, efficiency, dynamism, tolerance, and thereby overcomes the primitive egoism, hostility, impulsiveness and selfishness of vital nature. On the mental plane the challenges appear as perplexing social problems, technological and scientific potentials, philosophical questions, ethical and moral issues. By responding to them man develops the latent powers of his intellect, discovers high ethical ideals, evolves a universal code of social justice, and delves into the higher reaches beyond mind.

These three stages of progress occur automatically. As a subconscious response to the pressures of life, man takes a greater effort to discover latent powers within himself and utilizes those powers to control himself and master the outer world. The socialization of a child is essentially a use of external pressure (in this case fear and authority) to bring forth the child's own capacity for self-control and conformity.

This same process can be consciously followed by the individual. The effort has three conditions:

  • 1. The individual must recognise that his present way of living based on his present character and nature is imperfect, inadequate and to be transcended. He accepts that his mind is ignorant, his vital is selfish, his physical is full of tamas. He has faith that there is a higher power latent in him, a spiritual power of his soul, which can guide his life with a greater knowledge and truth than his mind, a greater purity and strength than his desires, a greater effectivity and productivity than his physical consciousness. He decides to seek contact with that inner authority, Mother's light in him, and make it the guiding authority of his outer life.
  • 2. He must recognise that all existing forms of social life and organisation are imperfect, inadequate and to be transcended. He knows that the laws of property which assign ownership to the strong aggressor or the first settler are not based on any higher law of justice. He knows that the power and privilege society bestows on the holders of wealth is a denial of the basic equality of all men. He knows that the use of organizational power for personal benefit is unjust. He knows that imposition of one's own social, cultural, moral or intellectual values on others is to insist on everyone sharing your own ignorance. Therefore he agrees to abandon the old systems of ownership, distribution, power, status, prestige, authority and try to establish a new system based on the concepts of true freedom, equality and fraternity guided by the inner light, the highest consciousness, of each individual and the collectivity.
  • 3. He must recognise and accept that every form of outer pressure, every event, every circumstance, is an expression of and response to his inner consciousness. He sees each external challenge, each problem, as an opportunity to call forth from within himself some higher latent power of consciousness and to reject, renounce or transform some element in his present constitution which attracts the problem or allows it to exist. For no outer problem exists that is not a direct expression of an imperfection within ourselves and an opportunity to overcome it.

The first of these conditions, reliance on the inner authority of the soul's inspirations, is made possible in Auroville by the intense presence of Mother's peace and power in the atmosphere which helps the individual contact his inner being and follow its dictates.

The second of these conditions, rejection of the normal external norms and guidelines of ordinary social life, is made possible in Auroville by the absence of property rights, well-defined social organisation, and a rigid hierarchy of authority.

The third condition, seeing the outer life as the direct reflection of our inner consciousness, depends on the sincerity of each Aurovilian and that sincerity determines the extent of his progress.

VI. Laws and Rules of Life in Auroville

1. Education: Mother never wanted any schools in Auroville. She wanted the whole of life in Auroville to be a continuous education. She wanted man to learn from life, because it is in life that he can discover his own reflection and decide to change. When people pressed Mother to start schools for the children in Auroville, she reluctantly agreed and named them "Last School", "No School", "After School", etc. She said: "Education will be based on what we hope to receive from the future, not on what we know about the past". The purpose is not to carry forward the conventions, beliefs, ignorance and prejudices of the past, but to discover a higher knowledge and create something new. By abolishing schools, Mother removes the sanction to all past knowledge which is partial and incomplete. The authority of the scholar and the expert are undermined, because no authority or expertise based on mind is true and complete. Those who come with post-graduate degrees and those who come without any education are equally near or far from the truth which is a vision of oneness and both must abandon the ideas, opinions, conceptions, constructions of mind to obtain a higher knowledge.

2. Money: "There won't be any exchange of money in Auroville. It is only with the outside world that Auroville will have money relations. Money will be no more the Sovereign Lord; individual value will have a greater importance than the value due to material wealth and social position" (The Mother).

Mother never gave any money to Auroville. Money must come through the aspiration of the Aurovilians, in the light of their goals, through their own endeavour. The absence of any guaranteed and secure source of funds generates a pressure on the Aurovilians for constant progress. The flow of funds is an index of the sincerity of their aspiration for a new life. All those who come and truly join the community find their wealth, however great, quickly swallowed up by the limitless requirement for funds to implement the project. In this way the rich and poor are quickly brought to an equal level in society. The son of an aristocrat cannot live luxuriously on the wealth of his ancestors, for in coming to Auroville he agrees to give up all the gains of the past in a quest for something greater.

3. Property: "Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole" (Auroville Charter).

In order to conform to Indian law, the property on which Auroville is being built had to belong to some organisation. Mother made Sri Aurobindo Society the legal owner to meet that requirement. But She clearly says that no one really owns Auroville and no one has a right to exercise any proprietary claim to the property or derive any power over the community by virtue of that claim. The fact that the Society has legal title but is unable to exercise it due to life circumstances is a clear proof that Auroville does function as Mother intended.

"The Aurovilian must lose the proprietary sense of possession. For our passage in the material world, that which is indispensable to our life and to our action is put at our disposal according to our place we should occupy there. The more conscious our contact is with our inner being, the more exact are the means given" (To Be a True Aurovilian).

If really no one owns anything, then how is right of access and use to be determined? It is based on one's aspiration.

Mother says: "At Auroville, nothing belongs to anyone in particular. It is the ideal place for those who want to know the joy and the liberation of not having personal possessions any more. All is a collective property". Only when man has been liberated from ego and desire can he feel that condition as joyous! Until then the absence of proprietary rights serves as a constant pressure on him to aspire for that liberation.

4. Authority: "Auroville will be a place where all human beings of good will, sincere in their aspiration, can live freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single authority, that of the Supreme Truth" (The Mother).

Mother never established any outer hierarchy of authority in Auroville. She said the one authority to be obeyed was the Supreme Truth (see Appendix B). She did not make any laws for the community. She never nominated a successor or delegate to guide the community in Her place. In other words, She insisted that each man seek the Truth in himself. She said that as an interim arrangement a small group could be chosen to govern using an ‘intuitive intelligence', but She never chose these people, or told how they should be chosen or how the right people could be identified. All this was done to ensure that the old forms of authority do not rear their head. It imposes on the community a fluid state where the only basis for constructive activity is mutual cooperation for the benefit of the entire community. No group can impose its own ideology or moral values.

In normal life this external social scaffolding of social authority in the form of customs, conventions, morals, rules, laws and force is the product of a long evolutionary advance, and it preserves all the past gains of civilisation from a fall back into the past. But it is also the greatest bar to further progress, since it seeks to stabilize society at the present level. In Auroville this scaffolding is abolished. The basic social law of Auroville is freedom - freedom from moral and social conventions, from political and economic exploitation - freedom to progress or freedom to regress. The spiritual atmosphere in Auroville fosters and helps those who seek consciously to move forward. The absence of a supporting social structure permits the forces of life to act directly on those who utilize freedom to subconsciously or consciously move backward by seeking to aggrandize the ego and indulge its desires. These life forces generate an evolutionary pressure on the individual to reverse his direction and make the effort needed for progress.

VII. Dynamics of Transformation in Auroville

In normal life man functions according to the accepted social pattern and is supported by the existing social structure. If he tries to advance beyond the level of the society, he is usually condemned or excluded; occasionally he is persecuted like Socrates, Galileo and Christ. If he regresses to a level below the social norm, he is punished by law or social ostracism.

In Auroville the normal structure of social, legal and moral conventions is absent. There is no restraint on the individual who tries to advance beyond the level of the group. There is no social mechanism to punish the individual who regresses. In place of the outer social authority, the authority in Auroville is the inner Truth, Mother's Light, the law of inner aspiration. So long as a person abides by that inner authority, he is protected and the impersonal forces of life (the evolutionary forces) cooperate with his effort to transform his human nature into divine nature. When, on the other hand, a person disregards that inner light and seeks to act in the old way according to human nature, the outer forces of life do not cooperate. Immediately the outer circumstances of physical life around him, not social life, exert a pressure on him to reverse his behaviour and his consciousness. If he persists, then the social forces of the community, the behaviour of other persons and groups, also rise in opposition. As in ordinary life the social machinery of enforcement is only directed against those who violate the external social norms; so here the machinery of life only acts on those who ignore the inner law and it does so in such a manner as to correct the deviation.

To cite a hypothetical example: a man produces something in Auroville and decides to keep it all for himself. Perhaps no one knows and no one objects. Soon he finds the object has been stolen by a thief or destroyed by insects. The greed of the man for what is not his attracts the greed of the thief or insects for what is not theirs.

VIII. Study of Auroville

Auroville is a project to be lived. If it is to be studied, it should be studied by living in Auroville. The subject of study must be the individual members of Auroville and the communities they live in.

1. The Auroville: Those who are living in Auroville have come from different countries. They represent a mixture of different nationalities, ethnic groups, socio-economic classes, occupation, levels of education, religious and moral training, etc. Each comes with a different idea of what Auroville is and should be. Often this may be at variance with the ideals of the project. Each has a different motive for coming. Some have come as married couples and later separated. Others have met here, lived together and born children.

The objective of a study of the Aurovilians should be to determine how far each member of the community has made an inner progress during his stay here. The standard for comparison and evaluation should be the life of each member prior to his arrival in Auroville. Another type of control group for comparison would be a study of individuals from similar national, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds who have not come to Auroville, but this obviously is far more difficult to undertake.

Individual progress can be evaluated with reference to each member's behaviour, character and personality. A case history of his life before coming here will reveal his normal attitudes, propensities, desires and character traits. A history of his experiences since his arrival will provide ample material for comparison. In addition to first person interviews, secondary sources of information can be used to verify the report of each subject. One main secondary source will be provided by the subject himself: the narration of events in his life after his coming here. The veracity of his statements about his inner life will be confirmed if the responses of life that he reports correspond to the inner conditions he professes. For instance, a man who claims to have no anger toward anyone but reports that others are hostile to him is either not sincere or not conscious of his anger because no one can direct anger at him without his harbouring anger himself. Another secondary source will be the reports of other Aurovilians about the subject. Another will be the responses of life during the course of the interviews.

Each individual can be studied to determine how far his behaviour, character and nature have changed after coming here; how far his ideas, attitudes, opinions, preferences, sentiments, emotions, desires, impulses, have changed; how far he still pursues old ideas, old interests, old hobbies, old fads; how far life has come forward on its own with money, good-will, information, comforts and conveniences in response to his inner effort, etc.

2. The Communities: The various communities in Auroville can also be studied, as well as other groups based on nationality, field of work, etc. The purpose here is to determine how far groups in Auroville function in a manner similar to groups outside and how far their functioning has evolved since the inception of the project. The variables for study include: how far those of the same country stand apart from others as a distinct group; how far nationals maintain the characteristic attitudes of their country; how far people of different countries, communities or work groups work in harmony with the larger community; how far each group identifies with the interests of the larger community; how far money and property is equitably distributed within and between communities' how far disputes are settled without use of force, compulsion, threats, quarrels; how far the communities cooperate with each other, are self-sufficient, etc. A comprehensive list can be prepared along these lines bearing in mind the founding ideals of the community.

3. The Observers: Auroville is a project as big as life itself in the psychological sense. Representatives of many types have come there. The greatest difficulty for the researchers will be to establish objective standards of investigation freed from their own backgrounds, conceptions, biases and preferences. The task is not to determine whether the people in Auroville are very cultured, sincere, or spiritually evolved. It is to determine how far they have advanced during their stay here. The task is not to determine whether the community has achieved the ideal. It is to determine whether, to what extent and how it is evolving toward a higher way of life than normal human society. The study will be complicated by the fact that Indian researchers are examining western subjects which automatically brings in different cultural terms of reference. I have found the same thing equally or more true when westerners, try to study Indians.

IX. Interviews and Questionnaires

A partial list of information to be elicited during interviews with the Aurovilians is given below. The rationale for the enquiry and significance of particular answers are given in parenthesis.

A. Study of the Individual

  • 1. When and how did you first learn of Auroville? What information or material on Auroville made you come?

What was your understanding of the purpose of Auroville and life here when you made the decision to come?

Why did you come to Auroville?

(These questions will explain to what extent he really understood the purpose of Auroville and how far his motives for coming were in tune with that purpose. His whole subsequent life here will be determined by his reasons for coming. If he came because he was a failure in life, wanted to avoid the military or hard work, was lonely or frustrated, liked the idea of foreign travel - all these are extraneous motives which will effect his life here until or unless he changes them and acquires the right motive).

  • 2. At what point in your life did you receive information about Auroville?

Under what conditions did you come?

What were the circumstances and events of your journey here after taking the decision to come?

(While the first set of questions elicits his ideas and conscious motives for coming, the second set focuses on the behaviour and response of life to his decision. If he narrates a very difficult experience relating to his journey, it reveals difficulties in his nature that were incompatible with his decision, i.e. an unreadiness for life here. If life offered extreme cooperation for his travel, it indicates a readiness and a full acceptance of the decision by his own being. For instance, in one case a man left his native country owing a lot of money to the government. It shows a running away from his responsibilities and we must see how far the same trait persists after his coming here).

  • 3. Narrate the events of your life before coming here including: family life, childhood, school, work experience, matrimony, interests, ideals, values, hobbies, habits, fads, goals, morals, opinions on major issues of life, etc.

(These questions will elicit information about his behaviour, character, and personality before coming to Auroville. It will serve as a baseline for determining how far he remains the same person today with the same ideas, values, habits, fads as before and how far he has really changed).

  • 4. Tell about your family and community background including: religion of your family, social and economic level, occupation of your parents, married and family life of parents, character sketches of each other member of the family, origins of grandparents, etc.

What are the traits you most admire or dislike in other members of your family?

What are the most important values of your family and community?

(Questions such as this will help reveal the deeper layers of his character which he is unwilling to speak of in himself, but he recognizes in his family. Since character is almost entirely inherited, what is true of them will be true of him too).

  • 5. Narrate the events of your life after coming to Auroville.

(For comparison with #3 above. The responses of life will clearly indicate how far he seeks to perpetuate the old way of life which is not supported here and how far he has abandoned it for something higher).

  • 6. How far have you been able to live up to the ideals of Auroville?

What were the occasions when you consciously deviated from the Charter and Mother's rules?

How far have you consciously violated the ideals of Auroville by necessity or choice?

(These questions are for a comparison of the individual with the ideal).

  • 7. Do you feel that you have made an inner progress since coming to Auroville?

What are the changes you find in yourself at the level of behaviour, character, and consciousness?

Can you give examples of events here where you have responded differently than you could have done or did in the past?

Why do you remain here?

(These questions are for comparison of the individual with his own status before coming here).

  • 8. Do you feel that Auroville is a success?

What is the best part of life in Auroville?

What are the most serious deficiencies of Auroville?

What types of problems do you encounter here - physical problems of living, social problems with others, cultural and psychological problems?

What is the most memorable event of your stay here?

What is the most unpleasant event of your stay here?

  • 9. What have you learned about yourself and about life from living here?

How far are you able to follow the inner authority rather than your mental preferences and vital desires?

How far are you compelled by physical life circumstances to act in a particular way?

How far are you compelled by other people to act in a particular way?

(This will reveal the dynamics of authority and life response).

  • 10. How far do you feel other people have changed or benefited from their life here? Cite as many instances as possible.

How far do you feel some people have lowered the level of their life and consciousness after coming here by abandoning modern western social life for a more primitive rural life here?

  • 11. If you are married, how far is your married life the same or different from what it was before you came here, or from that of your parents or friends back in your native country?
  • 12. How do you relate to your neighbours?

How far do you help them or receive help from them?

How are you maintained here in Auroville?

What work and money do you contribute to the community?

B. Study of the Communities

  • 1. How was Auroville started?
  • 2. How was each community started?
  • 3. How many people came at each stage, from where and how?
  • 4. How did money come for the project in the past and how does it come now? Who were the major donors?
  • 5. What are the reasons people come here for and the reasons they leave?
  • 6. How far does life here conform to the Charter and Mother's rules?
  • 7. How has money been spent here?
  • 8. How have the Aurovilians spent their time here?
  • 9. What are the new modes of life that have evolved and are lived here regarding property, government, work, compensation, distribution, human relationship, education, etc.?
  • 10. Are there instances of unusual creativity, resourcefulness, generosity, self-sacrifice, productivity, harmony, etc.?
  • 11. What are the old ways of life that still persist here and cannot be given up - quarrels, division of property, national pride, western fads regarding dress and food, etc.?
  • 12. How far does the collectivity insist on conformity by the individuals in following a new mode of life? (Insistence of any type is the old life).
  • 13. Collect the history of each community, each work project, each national grouping.
  • 14. What are the greatest successes and failures of Auroville?
  • 15. How far have the communities overcome the defects of ordinary social groups - competition, selfishness, pride, strife?
  • 16. How far has each community progressed - materially and socially?
  • 17. How far has Auroville as a whole progressed?

story | by Dr. Radut