Open letter to the Chairman and GB

Nov 26, 2022 | Governing Board, Statements by the RA and the Working groups

After the meeting requested by the chairman*, residents along with the Working Committee have sent a letter to to the Chairman and Members of the Governing Board dated 25th November 2022.The open letter has received 477 verified signatures (the verification process was carried out by the RAS). Individual letters have also been sent previously to the Chairman.

*[read the event, Nov 7th]

Dear Chairman and members of the Governing Board,

We came to meet you on the 7th of November with the hope to discover together how we can move forward with truth, humility and courage. However, we were surprised that the dialogue we were expecting didn’t happen.

We heard, in your speech, many accusations condemning Auroville and Aurovilians on innumerable levels without clear grounds, making assumptions not only about the reality of Auroville but misinterpreting its ideals and true raison d’être.

Still we welcome your criticism of Auroville as we acknowledge that we aren’t perfect and that progress needs to be made. Yes, a good honest shake is helpful to the growth process, individually and collectively — yet with the very clear and honest condition that this shake is conscious and not in itself stepping on the essence, ideals and values of Auroville. And on this path which has never been attempted before upon Earth we are in the unknown. Time, patience and endurance are needed to discover the way and who can really judge the spirituality of any individual or group unless one has realised the Supreme Truth we are all looking for?

We do need to improve the way we live together. More discipline, for instance, would surely be welcome. But this discipline cannot be imposed by any external authority. The Mother herself told us that the organisation should emerge from life itself and not be organised by arbitrary mental ideas or conceptions. This is one of the fundamentals of Auroville and why she clearly said – “Only those who have resolved to stay in Auroville for good have the right to intervene in its organisation”.

All of Auroville is profoundly grateful to India – it is her commitment to host all forms of spirituality that allows Auroville to root itself on her blessed land. We are also grateful to India for allowing this experiment which, as per its Charter, does not belong to anyone in particular but belongs to humanity as a whole, in service of the Divine’s Will alone. Auroville is a township devoted to the Divine but it is not an ashram. Aurovilians are not French or German or Indian or Israeli — they are Her workers. The city to be built is the material tool to evolve our consciousness; it is neither our goal, nor our ideal. To infuse spirit in matter and evolve our consciousness through this harmony and unity is the essential goal, the ideal, the vision, and the truth of Auroville.

We choose to bet on the beauty of life and on each being, embracing our imperfections and holding hands with the parts of ourselves that need to grow, knowing that it is Her grace leading

each of us through different guises and paths in this infinite and wondrous Lila back to Herself. There is a great diversity of people here with a wide range of experience and professional backgrounds in a multitude of fields, from science and governance to arts and poetry, farming to architecture and archaeology, history, education and yoga. While recognised in the outside world for our expertise and achievements, here, we try simply to be useful, to serve, and to learn. The stories of selfless dedication, of sacrifice, of endurance against all odds are not few, and yet mostly remain recorded only in the book of the Divine.

However, the present situation of fear, intimidation, threats of criminal charges, visa renewals being delayed or drastically reduced, cutting of maintenances and much more have seriously endangered the very Spirit of Auroville and our human fabric.

For instance, the Dreamweaving exploration was one effort to embody this very Spirit of Auroville — of integrating our differences of opinion, embracing the diversity of our knowledge and expertise, of a true collaboration not imposed but rather a spontaneous, genuine and joyful expression where each can find their place in a holistic development of Auroville.

But why was all this genuine effort made by the Dreamweavers suddenly put aside when it was supported by such a large portion of the community? There was so much hope at that time that this would be the way out and suddenly, the whole experience was abandoned by the Auroville Foundation Office without explanation. We cannot build mutual respect and mutual trust in that way. That will never work.

Mother imagined the development of Auroville as a Tower of Babel in reverse, that instead of becoming divided while building the city (as in the case of Babel), we will unite. When we look at what has been achieved in the last year which amounts to almost nothing except for what has been destroyed, including our roads, we can only conclude that building “The City the Earth Needs” in such a climate and such a division is an impossibility. To restore unity through real collaboration is the only path forward. And it should be with the unity of the three main bodies of Auroville, working hand in hand to collaborate with mutual respect and the honest acceptance of our respective roles in manifesting Her vision.

From this perspective we would like to invite you to a genuine dialogue with the Residents’ Assembly of Auroville, in an atmosphere conducive to honest sharing, understanding of our different views that may lead to a harmonious and peaceful way forward. We trust that we all are growing through this moment of deep crisis and serious disagreements and that beyond our

individual preferences, perspectives and limitations “The City the Earth Needs” will be.

At Her service,

Residents of Auroville

 

Collective Letter to the Chairman Mr. Ravi Nov 2022