In 1968, 124 countries and all Indian states marked the inauguration of Auroville by depositing a handful of earth in an urn, at the center of the Matrimandir Amphitheater. 50 years later, in 2018, a sister ceremony will see waters from 150 sources across the globe being poured into a golden disc, also at the heart of the Matrimandir Amphitheatre. Water is the source of life and a cause of strife, but
most of all a uniting element. All life needs water. Water flows across all borders. Waters from the seven sacred rivers of India, the source of the Nile, the Dead Sea, and waters from rivers, lakes, springs and seas the world over will flow into one harmonious pool, symbolizing the oneness of life on Earth, and our vision of a unified humanity.
The celebrations on the 28th February will begin with a bonfire and meditation at 4.30am, and the Water Ceremony will begin at 6am, and last approximately till 6.45am. For the event, media need to contact Auroville’s Outreach Media service to obtain a pass due to the limited capacity. firstname.lastname@example.org
For decades now, Auroville has received constant support from India, who has most generously welcomed this international community to her land, and we also acknowledge the wonderful support of UNESCO, and extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our eminent guests.
«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.»A.P.J Abdul Kalam, President of India 2004.
«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.»Smt. Indira Gandhi, Former Prime Minister of India.
«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.»Shri. P.V. Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister of India.
«28 February 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Auroville, Further recognizing that Auroville is a successful and unique model project, proving the capacity of an international community, after almost 50 years of existence, to continue to live up to its initial founding ideas of peace and international harmony and which are also UNESCO’s own values and principles, as well as some of its major priorities. Invites the Director- General to reinforce the association of UNESCO with Auroville and organize commemorative activities for its 50th anniversary and to re-invite the Member States on the special occasion of Auroville’s 50th anniversary, to participate in Auroville’s further development.»UNESCO resolution by General Assembly 2017.
«Sri Aurobindo will also forever be associated with the founding of Auroville, a unique international township founded in 1968, as a place where people from different cultural, educational and political backgrounds can work together towards the common goal of unity through diversity. I have indeed visited this magical place. On
this first trip, I went to Auroville, such a unique place that stands for one humanity united around common values and respect for diversity.»Madame Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO in 2017.
«The Auroville project situated in Tamil Nadu, South India, which has been supported by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1983, is actively developing according to the basic principles of international understanding and human unity.»Snr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, in his letter of 31.01.98.
«You have been able to transcend what yesterday may have been barriers, that separated you. You work together, you understand each other, and perhaps you are what I might say a summing-up of the aspiration of the world of tomorrow.»Mr. A. M. M’Bow from Senegal, then Director-General of UNESCO, during his visit in 1986.
«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.»Dr. Kireet Joshi, Former Chairman of Auroville Foundation.
«Auroville is an alternative to the conflicting strategies that aim at mere freedom that hurts the values of equality and equity or at mere equality that tends to fetter the freedom of the spirit. In this context, Auroville stands out as a promise that liberty, equality and fraternity can meet together in a larger synthesis.»Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi as Minister of Human Resource Development in 2003.
«We are deeply impressed by the spiritual aim behind the building of an international city called Auroville. The importance of the effort to achieve human unity and international co-operation by the creation of such a city cannot be over-emphasized; nor can we neglect the benefit to be acquired from it.»His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
«Auroville is not just an idea. It is the future, the future of the World. It is the only model that I know of that has survived, and I believe in it more today than ever before. I have come here today to breath the Auroville spirit. I am not an Aurovilian, but I have the Auroville spirit.»Shri. J.R.D Tata, Eminent Industrialist and former Member of the International Advisory Council of Auroville.
«Auroville will grow in two ways in the next 50 years. Firstly, the city of Auroville will grow without losing its principles by sticking to the original plan and secondly, that its influence on the rest of the world will grow by become a shining light on how people can live in harmony.»Sir Mark Tully, former chief of BBC in India, former member of IAC of Auroville.
«Auroville as a spiritually-based community using the most modern technology could be a centre for social transformation in the villages around. It could be like the centre of the lotus with the villages as petals. This is how I look at this place.»Dr. A.T. Aryaratne from social scientist from Sri Lanka former Member of IAC of Auroville.
«The city of Auroville is a unique human experiment, respecting and celebrating diversity and pluralism,»Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Eminent Scientist and Former Chairman of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation.