After my morning meal at the Ashram dining hall, a car picked me up and took me to my scheduled group appointment at the Visitor’s Bureau in Auroville. I was surprised by how many people were waiting in the video room to watch the Auroville video and join me after at the Matrimandir for group concentration – I would say about 70.

The video gives a sense of the construction of the Matrimandir and, even more so, the intention behind its construction, the vision of the Mother for creating such a structure, or let me say space and energy. Here is what is written about the Matrimandir:

“The Matrimandir is a shrine of the Universal Mother and the Soul of Auroville; it is meant for those who, in the Mother’s words, are sincere and serious and truly want to learn to concentrate. The Matrimandir is not a temple in the conventional sense of the word; it is neither a place of worship, nor to be associated with any religion, whether ancient, present, new or future.”

Following the video, we took a shuttle to the shrine grounds (the Park of Unity located at the center of Auroville), waited awhile, and were joined by a lovely French lady who has lived in Auroville for many years and served as our tour guide (beautiful energy). She explained the reason why it is difficult for visitors to arrange their concentration appointments, meaning the different steps of watching a different video, waiting for certain hours to get your ticket, coming back after a few days depending upon the crowds. She said that the Matrimandir is a tool of the work of the Mother, for each of us, for Auroville, and for humanity and, as it says above, we have to be sincere and committed to enter the shrine for meditation. The shrine and its grounds would not be the same (immaculate physically and energetically) if visitors came whenever they wanted as entertainment. I agree with this wholeheartedly, especially in experiencing the very powerful energy of the grounds even before entering the mandir.

Here’s a view of the Matrimandir:

matrimandir-the-big-golden-ball-auroville

The Mother’s symbol that is seen everywhere is shown below, and symbolizes Auroville and the Matrimandir as its center. It is followed by the written words of the Mother explaining what the symbol represents.

Matrimandir symbol

mother_writing

You can see three complete and two partial petals of the twelve petals surrounding the Matrimandir in the photo above. The meditation rooms inside the twelve stone-clad petals carry the names and colors of the petals in the Mother’s symbol, and represent the twelve qualities or virtues of the Universal Mother:

Sincerity, Humility, Gratitude, Perseverance, Aspiration, Receptivity, Progress, Courage, Goodness, Generosity, Equality, Peace

The first eight concern the attitude towards the Divine, and the last four towards humanity.

Outside of the Matrimandir are twelve gardens representing the powers of the Universal Mother, as well as a banyan tree that is the geographical center of Auroville. Our tour guide told us the story of the Mother receiving a map of the grounds and pointing her finger at one spot which she said would be the center where the Matrimandir would be built, and this happened to be the location of the banyan tree which was the only one for miles, and the only greenery on the barren grounds at that time. The grounds also include an amphitheater which is where Auroville’s inauguration ceremony took place on February 28, 1968.

Now for my experience:

As I sat with the group on benches overlooking the Matrimandir waiting for our tour guide, I felt a huge energy rushing through me, especially into my brain. I had to close my eyes as I was penetrated by the Shakti. This reminds me that the tour guide said that the Matrimandir for her is Shakti, the energy of the Divine Mother without which nothing would be manifested. MAA, MAA, MAA.

The energy was palpable as we walked up the path to the Matrimandir and the huge golden dome hovered over us. I could see the intricacy and care of the construction, the beauty and elegance of the design that is so evident in every crevice outside and inside the shrine. After we left our shoes at the entrance, we followed the guide to an area that is called the lotus pond (no lotuses) that has circular white tiles vertically running through it along with streams of water, a meditative fountain that is exquisite. We sat around the pond on long stone benches for a while meditating, and then entered, walked past one of the twelve inner meditation rooms, and started our ascent up a flowing circular walkway with hand railings, white carpet, and light pink colored outer walls. In the middle of the ascending walkway is a thin stream of light coming from the upper ceiling into another structure at the bottom center.

We reached an area where we sat again on benches and were asked to place white socks on our feet, as the inner concentration chamber of the Matrimandir is all white – I really blended in and felt quite at home!!! We then ascended again and reached the inner chamber.

I had visited this inner chamber nine years ago, maybe four or five times, when the outer construction of the walkway wasn’t yet completed, or the outside grounds and gardens. The chamber is pristine white, with white columns placed around the perimeter of the circular room, and floor pillows placed between the columns. At the center of the chamber is a very large clear crystal, maybe three feet in diameter. The crystal sits on a golden sacred geometry structure, and penetrating the crystal at the top is a beam of light that streams down through a small hole in the very high ceiling of the chamber. You sit on a pillow and see this beam of light, and the illuminated crystal glowing atop the golden pedestal – what a sight, what energy, what an experience and inner state.

What came to me in sitting there, and in experiencing the whole outer and inner structure, was PURITY. I would  say the purity that comes from deep concentration on Self, purification, pure thoughts, feelings, sensations, actions. What comes to my mind also is Perfection … and the Beauty and Grace of Mother.

As I meditated, this purity ran through me, along with the stillness. No work had to be done, just being present in this state, washed and filled, as the soft air touched my skin (a perfect air control system, again immaculate design). When I exited the hall after maybe fifteen minutes, I walked slowly down the walkway with the others, deeply silent and still, my white clothing flowing and matching the white environment. Following our guide, we reached the level where we removed our white socks, then descended to the outer grounds, walking by one of the inner meditation rooms. Once outside we approached the large banyan tree encircled by stone benches (Baba’s meditation tree and now this!). We walked slowly past the tree and then out to the entrance where our shuttle bus was waiting.

When I was experiencing the Matrimandir grounds, and its outer and inner design, and the power and purity of the Shakti of Mother within the inner chamber, I thought of all of you, wishing for you to come to Auroville to experience this elegance, beauty and grace, these qualities of Mother that our Beloved Maa embodies and expresses to us in our lives, and activates within us. If you have the opportunity, meaning if you are traveling around India, from our home in Kashi to other cities, please do visit Auroville and the Matrimandir, and of course the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother at the Ashram.

The only other visit for me tomorrow will be to Notre Dame des Anges (Our Lady of Angels), a nearby church, and I’ll probably visit the Bay of Bengal again and the Promenade. Then on to Mumbai.

Thank you for joining me again on my (our) journey, with great love and blessings all ways.

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