Thursday, September 21, 2006

Auroville - a different sort of community

I had gone last month to a place called Auroville. This is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a pretty interesting concept. Read more about it here..
Auroville is declared as a universal township that is constantly being built. It has a special legal status about which you can read more in the links above. Suffice it to say, the concept has a lot of converts, people who live in this township and people who visit frequently. I am actually neither of these, but still had a good impression when I was there. I am still not a convert, but can understand the sentiments of those who are.
The photograph above is of a big tree called the banyan tree. In Indian culture, the banyan tree has great significance. Because it covers a wide area, it has provided shade to travellers against the hot Indian summers for centuries.
The banyan is also the tree under which the Buddha is supposed to have gained enlightenment. In Auroville, the banyan tree represents a place to meditate and self-instrospect. It is a silent zone, and people are supposed to be silent under the tree. It forms part of the Matrimandir complex, the central zone of Auroville.

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