As we left Pondicherry this morning, we made a detour to visit the ashram of Auroville, which was established in Pondicherry by an Indian philosopher, Aurobinbo (“and Bingo was his nameO”) and further developed by his partner (?), “Mother.” It was to be a place with no religion, no caste system and open to all. And, at least originally, was kind of dedicated to the study of yoga.
Things have evolved since its inception. The center piece of the community is the matrimatir (mother temple) and the gardens that will eventually be laid out around it (as donations allow) will each extoll one of the twelve characteristics of Mother. It all seems very religious/culty to me and I can’t pretend to know what it is now but it has awfully nice gift shops and lovely, clean toilets, so, it really doesn’t matter.
I did love the street sign below: