Take a moment and think about the biggest challenges the world is facing today. Poverty, political disputes, natural resources depletion, cultural and ethnic intolerance. Moreover, prevalence of judgmental behavior and prejudice against anyone different.
Now, imagine living in a place where none of these problems exist. It sounds impossible, right?
Well, although a surprise for many, such a utopian place exists for more than 50 years.
The creation of the city was an idea of an incredibly smart and benevolent woman, a spiritual leader named Mirra Alfansa.
Although with Egyptian and Turkish roots, she has found her peace in the Indian culture, and has fulfilled her dream of creating a place where people will leave in peace with God and the universe, rather than worrying about the earthly artificially created plights.
As early as her teenage years, when asked why she is so sad, Mirra answered: “Indeed, I do feel the weight of the world‘s miseries pressing upon me!” Struggling with the idea she has to change the world, it all started.
The main goal of Auroville is to become a universal place, where everyone is welcomed to live, regardless of the nationality, cultural heritage, religion or language.
It is designed to be a cosmopolitan place that will demonstrate to everyone how harmonious life can be, if we only remember one thing – that we are all human, and that we are all citizens of the earth.
The way in which this place functions in very unique, and certainly, difficult to be believed. Its creator Mirra, has shaped a city charter, which explains the purpose of the town. According to the document, no nation can claim property of this place – Auroville belongs to the whole world.
There is no authority, legal or political, nor a person of power, that the inhabitants need to respect. There are no written laws either.
They all believe that there is only one supreme universal truth that everyone needs to follow. The values that its citizens strive towards are harmony, love and acceptance, while in the same time; they put enormous emphasis on education and research.
The idea of the town is to be a place of birth of new and prosperous ideas that will be used to the progress of all. There are no titles of hierarchical positions – everyone has equal access of resources, and everyone has a right to choose its own profession as long as he/she does not harm anyone.
To some it may look like a city of laziness – everyone can pursue its own dream. But in reality the city puts immense accent or scientific progress and societal development.
They care about the nature –, but in the same time they appreciate art, technology and industrial development.
As a result, the functioning of the town is organized in a very modern and environmental friendly way. They have implemented systems of wastewater treatment, as well as systems of ground water depletion.
Auroville uses eco-friendly methods for production of organic food, as well as technologically advanced methods for making the poor soil fertile. With the time, the town has become self-sufficient when it comes to food production and drinking water.
Starting from the seventies, they have started a process of forestation, and today the city is settled within a belt of forests and fields, making it one of the cleanest places on earth.
On top of that, Auroville has started with the production of biogas, produced out of a bio-waste. With that, the town has its own renewable energy production and a clean environment.
Interestingly enough, there were representatives of the western developed countries visiting the congresses organizes in Auroville, in order to see the new advancements this small settlement has instigated.
If you thought that all of this is too unrealistic, wait for the most fascinating part of the story.
Aurovillians use no money – they have a whole economy functioning on principles of sharing, giving and exchanging.
There is a distribution center in the city where both citizens and strangers can get a meal, but mainly, people produce what they need and exchange items with neighbors, without any aspirations of earning from the barter economy.
As a result of the cosmopolitan spirit embedded in the city, today it is inhabited with representatives from more than 50 nations.
It is protected under the authority of UNESCO, which in a way secures its future existence. The town has no restrictions – everyone is welcomes to come and to find his own peace.
Certainly, the example of Auroville might be perceived as extreme to someone, but without a doubt, it sets an example of how societies should search for organizational and functional forms that will stop the destruction of the environment and will reduce human suffering.
As Mirra Alfansa would say: “Widen your consciousness to the dimension of the earth, and you will have a place for everything”.