Ushering In The Divine Feminine

10 min read6 days ago

Yes, But With Machismo and Plastic?

Auroville is the realizaton of a dream of Mira Alfassa, reverentially called The Mother. Since its birth in 1968, it has struck a path very different from the rest of the world. The rest of India and the world have pursued ‘development’ — a word that now clearly means a very masculine activity: that of overpowering Nature, building artificial environments, and leading unsustainable lives in the pursuit of increasing wealth.

Choosing The Impossible, The Necessary, The Feminine

Auroville followed a higher dream: to achieve human unity at a higher level of consciousness. Impossible, but urgently required. A blurrier path, which tries to be inclusive, less extractive and more regenerative, less exploitative and more nurturing. A mystical path. Feminine. Divine.

A small number people from all around the world were drawn to the small piece of barren land in South India. Auroville did get support from the government of India, who was also interested in seeding an invitation for the divine. It was given a special status as a self-organizing non-profit and allowed foreigners to adopt India easily and live and work long-term in Auroville.

Invoking The Divine Feminine

A century ago, Sri Aurobindo stepped away from his role as a leader of India’s revolution for independence from the British. He spent the last four decades of his life in seclusion, mainly writing. His main message was encoded in Savitri — at around 24,000 lines it is the longest poem in the English language. It is the story of a woman’s struggle with the gods to reclaim her dead husband.

Sri Aurobindo found a spiritual partner in Mira Alfasa, whom he named The Mother, and whose ample talents created the Aurobindo ashram. Her extraordinary spiritual powers jump-started the community of Auroville and her dream and agenda continue today to push the inhabitants to reach for a higher purpose.

Auroville was and still can be humanity’s dance of peace to invite the mothers, the divine, the supramental in.

Building A Feminine Symbol

In the past 400 years, many towns, cities, even places of learning, have constructed a mark to highlight their place and society. It is almost always a tower, often a clock tower, sometimes a lighthouse, but always a prominent masculine symbol.

Auroville departed from this trend by building, at its very centre, a large structure that could not project any masculinity.

The Matrimandir — Gentle and Graceful

The Matrimandir looks like a female cell (and a golf ball for some), and contains a large meditation chamber inside, in a womb-like atmosphere. Its four entry ways are aligned with the compass and dedicated to four Indian goddesses: Maheswari (south), Mahakali (north), Mahalakshmi (east), and Mahasaraswathi (west). Along with the adjacent banyan tree it makes for a brilliant sight in one of the larger gardens created in India in the past century.

The Matramandir cannot be mistaken for a traditional Indian temple and nor for any masculine symbol. It exudes gentleness — over a million people visit every year just to walk thru a wooded path and see it from afar.

A structure built slowly, built by cooperation, by contribution. A centre radiating out a message of unity. A beacon attracting people to come forward to work on humanity’s, and the planet’s, most urgent need.

Experimenting Towards A Divine Dream

Auroville is a laboratory where many experiments have been conducted over five decades. Many of the experiments were in the areas of regeneration of the human body, mind, and soul. And that of the environment. And in sustainability, where the difficult interfaces with the hyper-masculine world of leadership, power, and money were addressed. In transportation, instead of heading towards to the polluting, isolating car and the harsh road, Auroville stuck to softer, gentler, connecting, pedestrian-friendly ways on natural, therefore uneven, paths. There were many failures, to be expected, which offer a rich library of learnings. Together with several successes, they make Auroville The Future That India Needs.

Auroville is an ambitious experiment doomed to be frowned on by the hyper-masculine elite, who are bent on taking society quickly into the Sixth Great Extinction.

In the 37 years it took to build the Matrimandir, many supports of Auroville were built. This included the health centre, residences, schools, farms, offices, and even forests. Most of these were built in a self-organized, participative manner, with a high regard for sustainability, which often were rather inconvenient experiments. The constraints were overcome with much creativity and resulted in much beauty.

In recent years, the lack of clarity on the path resulted in indecisiveness, which allowed external powers to come in. Powers seeking profit, control, and success, using the idea of building a city (a smart city), eyeing the opportunity to exploit a regenerated green space. One of the projects pushed thru by a few upon the many is creating a lake around the Matrimandir.

A Lake, A Deeply Feminine Symbol, Or …

Digging an unnatural lake

The new lake is a massive cavity, very artificial and unnatural. One can imagine a flow, a river around the mandir as a feminine entity, similar to all the cleansing rivers of the motherland. Can a deep gash at the highest point — clearly a rash act of a very masculine power — be seen as feminine?

A Martian (Mars — the very masculine god of war) setting?

The first lake is 10m deep and 100m wide, and is being expanded rapidly. All the excavated topsoil has piled across the landscape creating a desert feel and much greenery and many trees have been sacrificed. The heavy equipment and trucks running 24x7 do not add grace to any mandir.

Digging noisily at night — only to discover a heart shrouded in darkness?

The lake has been lined with plastic imported from Germany. Tons of it hastening climate change, as it is created from oil imported from Russia and the Middle East. All of which flies in the face of decades of regeneration, nurturing, and sustainability learnings in Auroville.

The designed hole will take years to fill, with high evaporation loss. Since it is the highest point in the plateau and now waterproof, it will withhold water, not let it percolate into the water table. Sequestering all the water is a power grab. So both the process and result will end up alienating people. The process alienates Aurovilians, most who are against this water scheme, but who are at the mercy of a small team holding power. And the result will alienate the bioregion as a successful water capture will reduce water downstream, while polluting the water table, the entire watershed.

Lake or Plastic with water?

As all plastic starts decomposing from its first day, polluting the watershed with plastic nano-particles for the next dozen centuries is going to be a legacy that the community will be deeply ashamed off.

How Will The Divine Feminine Appear?

We are not going to attract the Divine Feminine, or the divine anything, if we swagger in heavy cowboy boots with a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ attitude.

The Divine Feminine is not coming on a wide road in a large car with an intimidating escort. She is not coming thru the women who have shuttered their feminine and maternal instincts to achieve success in this hyper-masculine society. She is not waltzing out with a microphone onto a brightly lit stage.

The Divine Feminine is going to emerge with great subtlety, enter in the dimness before the dawn. For this reason, both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Indians had goddesses — Eos and Usha — for the dawn. Our perception has to be sharpened to see the dimming of starlight and the brightening of the horizon. And until the masculine forces put down their oppressing weapons and the people gather together aspiring for higher consciousness — their deeper humanity — we will not be able to contemplate and sharpen our perception. We have to go into the night where we shut off all our lights — bright lights prevent us from seeing the dim — and wait patiently in darkness, wait for the gentle, almost imperceptible, pre-glow of the dawn. A delayed dawn.

Sri Aurobindo Shows the Way

How can man create the night gently? The great sage who shared his enormous knowledge thru voluminous writings, showed what we need to do to transition to the Divine Feminine. Thru his own life.

As a brilliant student Sri Aurobindo mastered languages and cultures. As a revolutionary leader he reached the peak of his masculine powers — intellect, courage, charisma — and amassed a following who were ready to give up their lives for the goal of India’s independence.

And then he was put in jail where the great transformation began. After becoming a divine avatar, he abandoned the physical revolutionary movement and sought refuge in Pondicherry. Here he amassed a different following — seekers who wanted to learn transformation. And people for whom his look — a darshan — were blessing enough.

An extraordinarily gifted French woman found him as the person who had appeared in her dreams. He named her his spiritual partner and successor, and handed off to her all his worldly affairs. A couple of decades after his death, the idea of Auroville germinated thru her. This is how the extraordinary sage aligned himself behind the Divine Feminine and let her lead.

The hyper-masculine society needs to heed this story. The brightest of lights, while pushing away Nature’s darkness, can only reveal the darkness enveloping man’s heart.

To make way for the divine feminine, it is not enough to create feminine structures. It is not going to be done by women who have found success in the male-dominated society. Man cannot force the divine feminine onto the throne, should he give up his existing loyalties and finally admit that his period is over.

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
― Blaise Pascal, 1654

The hyper-masculine society is constantly accelerating, squeezing time out of life, leaving no room for contemplation. In addition, the elite are pushing modern man into an extraordinary number of addictions from a large and diverse menu: convenience, sugar, gambling, work, success, wealth, painkillers, alcohol, tobacco, solvents, opioids, sex, porn, tv, social media, … Addicted people cannot think clearly, cannot think of others, in a constant search for the next ‘fix’. Addicts without time, can focus only the ends, without regards to the means, allowing any violence in their name. This has allowed escalating levels of violence and oppression all over the world.

To recover from this is hard: neither meditation nor psychology can address multiple addictions. Self-imposed isolation can help gain some awareness. It appears that some form of jail-time for man is necessary to learn humility, to surrender and give up control. Even then, all addictions will be hard to exhume.

In addition, man has to be ready to undertake some correction, some redemption for abusing his powers during his turn at the wheel of humanity’s journey. He has to give up all weapons and be restrained — sit quietly for a while. The ship of humanity will float safely without him at the helm. In this time, man can find something gentle, something contemplative to do. One activity could be to recite The Mothers’ Prayer.

And then, and only then, after seeing this impossible opening, will the divine feminine, the mothers of the world, step forward. And guide humanity and the planet out of this dark period towards the dawn.

So What Should We Do About The Lake? About Water?

The ancient Tamil culture knew how to let waters flow gently, percolate gently, and evaporate gently. And use only enough, ensuring that all those downstream got the quantity and quality needed and a bit more.

The old Tamil culture knew how to treat the land as a mother. And water as divine. They scooped shallow lakes in a large network. This increased the topsoil and the height of the water table. They surrounded their fields with dense forests. In a location with hot, dry summers, they moderated the climate and brought rain in. And a culture known throughout the world emerged.

The Kaluveli Watershed with Auroville in its southern corner

This ancient wisdom has resurfaced in Auroville where people are ready to work with the bioregion to regenerate it. Can a powerful minority be convinced to abandon a desperate push for a hyper-masculine lake and repurpose the massive plastic shroud? Auroville needs to stand up against bullying machismo and, with a mother’s touch, heal the deep scars.

If water ends up flowing gracefully, gently cascading in a land made verdant again, and which twinkles at a society holding hands peacefully watching it flow by, Auroville will have successfully invited the divine feminine back. It will be one of the beacons leading the world into the age of Aquarius.