A commemorative postage stamp on Golden Jubilee (1968-2018) of Auroville (City of Dawn), an experimental township in Viluppuram, founded by “the Mother” Mirra Alfassa in 1968 :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 25, 2018
Issued for : Department of Posts is pleased to issue a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Auroville International Township – Golden Jubilee 1968-2018.
Stamp/FDC/Brochure/Cancellation Cachet : Sh. Brahm Prakash
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 6.46 lakh
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- For millennia, we have been developing outer means, outer instruments, outer techniques of living, and finally those means and techniques are crushing us. The sign of the new humanity is a reversal in the standpoint, and the understanding that inner knowledge and inner technique can change the world and master it without crushing it.
- Auroville is the place where this new way of living is being worked out, it is a centre of accelerated evolution where man must begin to change his world through the power of the inner spirit. – The Mother
- Inspired by Sri Aurobindo’s vision ideals of human unity, Mirra Alfasa, Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator and universally revered as ‘The Mother’, founded Auroville as an international cultural township on 28 February 1968. In its physical manifestation as a human settlement, its founders envisioned Auroville as a “living laboratory” for applied researches.
- “Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity”. – The Mother
- The core purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity in diversity, on behalf of humanity as a whole. Today, Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with – and practically researching into – sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.
- A planned town for up to 50,000 people from around the world, Auroville began on a degraded barren plateau in south-east India. Located mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu, close to the Coromandel Coast and some 10 km north of Pondicherry and 150 km south of Chennai. Over the last 50 years an unknown rural area has been transformed into a lush green Conscious City, acting as a magnet for men and women seeking a higher purpose of life.
- In terms of physical development, Auroville aims at becoming a model of ‘the city the earth needs’. It wants to show the world that future realisations in all fields of work will allow us to build beautiful cities where people sincerely look towards a more harmonious future.
- One of the most remarkable concepts of Auroville is its master plan, laid out in form of a Galaxy – a galaxy in which several ‘arms’ or Lines of Force seem to unwind from a central region.
- At the centre of the township lies the Peace Area, comprising the Matrimandir, the ‘soul of Auroville’, a place for individual, silent concentration and its gardens, the amphitheatre with the Urn of Human Unity that contains the soil of 124 nations and 23 Indian states, and the project of a lake to help create an atmosphere of serenity.
- Radiating out beyond the Matrimandir Gardens are four Zones, each focusing on an important aspect of the township’s life:
- Industrial Zone, a zone for “green” industries, is focused on Auroville’s efforts towards a self-supporting township. It contains small and medium-scale industries, training centres, arts and crafts.
- Cultural Zone is a site for applied research in education and artistic expression. Facilities for cultural, educational, art and sports activities are located in this zone.
- Residential Zone is designed to provide a well-adjusted habitat between individual and collective living, with large areas of greenery and smaller built surface, thereby creating an urban density balanced by nature.
- International Zone hosts the national and cultural pavilions, grouped by continents. Its central focus is to create a living demonstration of human unity in diversity through the expression of the genius and contribution of each nation to humanity.
- Surrounding the city area is a Green Belt consisting of forested areas, farms and sanctuaries. The Green Belt stands as an example of successful transformation of wasteland into a vibrant eco-system, a remarkable demonstration site for soil and water conservation, ground water recharge, and environmental restoration.
- “Greetings from Auroville to all men of goodwill are invited to Auroville all those who thirst for progress and aspire to a truer life” was the message to youth of the world, in 1968. Inspired young men and women came from world over in caravans chasing a dream; a dream which belongs to nobody in particular. A place where youth will never age. A place searching for answers to the struggles of the world.
- Over the years the population has grown and today 2800 permanent residents from 54 countries have made Auroville their home. Many more thousands come for a shorter experience and take the fragrance of Auroville back to the lands they come from. Young minds are attracted to learn from this aspiration for a new way of living and feel inspired to join Auroville.
- Embracing ‘All Life is Yoga’, a message of Sri Aurobindo, Auroville is an answer to humanity’s aspiration for a higher perfection where unity with the Divine is not achieved by withdrawing from but by embracing all the challenges of life, and turning the difficulties of human existence into stepping stones of growth and progress. Auroville is indeed the practical expression of India’s eternal philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam”.
- Auroville is a place of unending and lifelong education, a seat for learning and continuation of our age old tradition of Gurukul, where learning is not confined to classrooms but where life is a living laboratory. Experiments in content and methods of a new system of education are undertaken. Emphasis is on developing all aspects of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of a human being. Along with academics, sports, arts, culture are spiritual development consist an important part of learning. Additionally special schools are run for local villages to provide holistic education. Making education a joyful learning experience, Auroville runs more than 20 educational centers and numerous courses and diverse activities to serve the learning needs of all ages.
- The economy of Auroville is based on the fundamental of no ownership of lands and enterprises. All actions are a service and offering to the Divine. Money is not meant to generate money; money should generate an increase in production, an improvement in the conditions of life and a progress in human consciousness.
- The enterprises are run on principle of trusteeship above needs of personal possessions. Beauty in matter is a cherished goal behind creating a wide range of products. Nearly 400 artisanal small enterprises employ more than 6,000 people from local villages. Apart from income from internal units, Auroville receives grants and donations from several well-wishers from all over the world, including the Government of India.
- Encouraging creativity and innovative thinking Auroville has made rapid progress in applied research in areas of health and healing, environmental regeneration, organic farming, water harvesting, solid waste management, electrical mobility and renewable energy. Auroville has become a centre for sustainable architecture and green practices, producing 125% of energy consumed from renewable sources like wind and solar energy.
- Collaboration is the essence of Auroville’s experiment. Transforming local villages around Auroville has been an important aspect of co-development. The developmental footprint of Auroville effort in rural development has had a transformative effect in the bioregion. Through several initiatives of micro finance, micro enterprises and skill development, Auroville has brought improvement in lives of nearly 1,00,000 people in the surrounding villages.
- Art and culture are integral part of life in Auroville. The exuberant vitality is visible with works of several artists and potters who made Auroville their home. Several residents have become well-known artists and writers through their works of arts, music, acting and literature.
- The organization of Auroville is based on principles of equality, inclusiveness, transparency, collaboration, empathy and plasticity. Recognizing the importance of the Auroville experiment, the Government of India created a statutory body by in-acting the Auroville Foundation Act 1988, functioning under the Ministry of Human Resources and development.
- The General Assembly of UNESCO unanimously passed in 1966, 1968, 1970, 1983 and 2017 resolutions of support to Auroville, inviting ‘member states and international non-governmental organisations to participate in the development of Auroville as an international cultural township designed to bring together the values of different cultures and civilisations in a harmonious environment with integrated living standards which correspond to man’s physical and spiritual needs’.
- The footprint of Auroville has spread beyond its geography through several projects of its units and actions of its residents. Transformation of the surrounding villages of Auroville is the most visible impact. Recognizing the wider impact The UNESCO resolution passed by the General Assembly in 2017 for the 50th year noted, “that Auroville has developed into a centre of expertise in a wide range of fields, benefiting India and noting its success in sharing its experience and helping the development of its neighboring rural population”.
- Over the years Auroville has been recognized by several national and international Awards like ‘Hasan Fathi Award for Architecture in 1992, Best Earth Buildings to Centre for Scientific Research, Award by HUDCO to Auroville Building Centre in 1994, 1995 and 1996, Ashden Award for renewable energy to Aurore (Auroville Renewable Energy) in 2004, Award of Excellence by Ministry of Textiles to Upasana Studio, Low Carbon Award’ of the ‘Green Building Solutions Awards in 2016’ to Auroville Earth Institute, Rush Light Award for 2017-18 to Auroville Consulting.
- Text : Based on the material received from proponent.