The Matrimandir: Auroville's spiritual center

Auroville — A Community of Harmony and Peace

A beach in Auroville, India
A beach in Auroville, India

Sadhana Forest is located in the community of Auroville, which has a long history of being a place for harmonious living between the roughly 2,000 permanent residents from more than 40 countries. In addition to the permanent Aurovillians, countless day-trippers, long-term guests and volunteers call the area home. Though these visitors are not a part of the official community,  it could not exist without them.

Carrie wrote the following Auroville summary better than I could in my multiple tries, so what follows is plagiarized from her blog, “Auroville was founded by a famous French/Indian couple who’s pictures are displayed all over Ponducherry shops and restaurants. The couple created Auroville with the intention that everyone that lives there is working and living together in harmony and peace. Everyone contributes a certain amount of hours per week of some form of services whether it be therapeutic, plumbing, gardening, etc and each member has free access to these services. It’s a very interesting community and the members are all very happy with their way of life.” Be sure to check out her entry on our experience at Sadhana for a completely different view.

The Matrimandir: Auroville’s Spiritual Heart

Carrie does yoga at sunset in Auroville, India
Carrie does yoga at sunset in Auroville

The heart of Auroville is the Matrimandir: a center for meditation, silence and internal reflection. The structure itself is giant and globe-shaped with gold plates around the outside. Inside is sterile and white with a meditation chamber at the top featuring a large crystal ball that reflects and channels the energy of the sunlight.

We sat in the white sunlight room for around 20 minutes meditating and reflecting. While I was not able to clear my mind of all thoughts without falling asleep (which I did a few times), I was able to concentrate more than usual. I also think I felt the energy in the form of tingly fingers for a few seconds, though that may just be my mind playing tricks on myself. Though I really don’t get the whole idea behind it, it was a powerful experience none-the-less.

For more on Auroville, check out the following resources: