An Auroville experience (Day 2)

This is part 2 of a 4 part series titled 'A trip that made a difference: Auroville'
Click here for Part 1

Our obsession with being occupied and surrounded by people all the time leaves us with a feeling of emptiness when all that reaches your ears are the sounds of the waves crashing the shore and the buzzing of the insects. The silence took some time to sink in but once it did, I slept like a corpse.

The Sunrise
The day started when it was still dark. In order to not miss out on sunrise, we freshened up and rushed to the beach. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the sun rising from the sea, gracing the earth, announcing the brand new beginning, new promises and hopes to linger on. What can be a better way than starting your day looking at the sun casting the beams on the water making it glow like molten gold, changing the color of the sky and the sea with every passing second? This sweet realization left me in awe and a smile for the simple reason of being able to witness it again the next day.

Instructed to reach the visitor's area by 8.45am, we reached before time. At 9, we were directed towards the video room. They played the video on the history of Auroville. It lasted for 15 minutes. We hopped onto the bus to Matrimandir. The architectural significance of Matrimandir was explained by a French resident, essentially for the people who had not been to the visitor’s area before. It was followed by a question answer session. She explained the protocols to be followed inside Matrimandir:

1. No photography is allowed. The luggage including mobile phones have to be submitted outside.
2. The shoes are to be removed before entering.
3. We need to put on a pair of white socks provided by them in order to keep the interiors clean.
4. Once you enter the inner chamber, no religious practices are to be followed.
5. Pin drop silence has to be maintained.
6. After 15 minutes of meditation, the focus lights are turned on. You need to quietly get up and take an exit.

 Photo Courtesy :

My excitement knew no boundaries. We entered and found number of volunteers helping maintain the decorum. Guided through the alleys covered with the white carpet, we reached the inner chamber, the place I had wanted to experience since the day I read about it.

 Photo courtesy :
White mats are placed around the crystal for the people practicing meditation. I sat there in stillness for 15 minutes and came out with an experience that is ineffable. The energy in the chamber transcends you to a different level of consciousness, you float, you let go, and you are free. Something has changed in me since then.

   The art workshop

By the time we returned to the visitors' area, it was lunch time. We headed straight to the cafeteria and ordered a meal.  Once we fueled ourselves, we went to the day long free art workshop organized in the open area next to the Dreamers’ Café. From someone who hasn't touched a brush in life to a professional artist, everybody was invited. We had a chat with the organizer, a young art teacher in Auroville. “The idea is to spread joy, to open up your senses and to let the expressions flow.” she said. I couldn't have agreed more. My art was definitely a work of an amateur but it served the purpose. So artistically stimulated was I, if skilled, I could have created The Last Supper, then and there.                 
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton has captured the essence of art in a single line.

                        Tea by the sea

We returned to Samarpan, took a nap and woke up to the aromatic tea we could never get enough of.             Donata had invited us to accompany her to Pondicherry for a Manipuri dance performance. Unfortunately, the rain played spoilsport and we had to return to Auroville. We insisted Donata to have dinner with us. We went to an Italian restaurant called Tanto. A couple from Italy volunteers in Tanto for four hours a day. Over a chat with them, we ordered Chicken Cotoletta served with salad and French fries and Tiramisu for the dessert. The food was lip-smacking and the company made it more delightful.

The day came to an end with the realization that it doesn't take much to stay happy in life. Geared up for the next day, we slept in peace.

Activities: Check out the notice board near visitor's area cafeteria to find the various activities in Auroville.

This is part 1 of a 4 part series titled 'A trip that made a difference: Auroville'
Click here for Part 1

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