Auroville golden jubilee celebrated with meditation, music, memories

Nandini Sen Gupta | TNN | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 11:09 IST

PUDUCHERRY/AUROVILLE: Auroville, the international township just outside Puducherry, celebrated its golden jubilee in style on Wednesday morning with meditation, music and memories.

The City of Dawn, founded in 1968 by the Mother Mirra Alfassa, ushered in its 50th anniversary with a moving fire and water ceremony to replicate the solemnity and message of universal unity of its founding day half a century ago.

“It was magical – as the bonfire was lit with the lightening of the sky, I felt my eyes welling up,” said Alo Pal, a long-time resident of Puducherry whose family was involved in the foundation day ceremony 50 years ago. Back then, youths representing 124 nations and all the Indian states had carried a handful of earth from each of those places to be placed in an urn that now stands in the centre of the Mantrimandir amphitheatre – literally the heart of Auroville. This time round, water from 150 rivers and lakes across the world and seven Indian rivers was poured into a golden disc in front of the urn in what was a symbolic ceremony for most Aurovillians and Puducherians who have been closely associated with the Auroville experiment.

The water ceremony began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pouring “sacred water” from the river Ganga into the lotus pond at Matrimandir on February 25.

The ceremony on Wednesday morning began at 4.30am with a bonfire and meditation as the Mother’s five-point charter for Auroville was read out in French, English and Sanskrit.

The water ceremony had children and young adults carrying waterdrop-shaped placards announcing the name of the country and the river/lake from where the water was sourced. The placard bearers were followed by another youth carrying the water itself.

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